Frightening new technology in the hands of government intelligence agencies has the ability to commandeer any smart camera and even “alter the feed” to manipulate its audio and video — including past recordings, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Big Brother-like software used by the state intelligence agency Mossad has been proxied to countries around the globe by Toka, the company of the former Israel Defense Forces cyber chief, since 2018.
But only recently has the true power of this advanced hacking tool been revealed.
Its top-secret client has the “previously unattainable ability” to locate all security and web cameras within a given range and utilize feeds at its discretion to view, decipher and even tamper with them — including previous footage, the newspaper said. report.
Specifically, it can “transform untapped [Internet of things] According to an internal company document from 2021 obtained by Ha’aretz, “transform sensors into intelligence sources” for “intelligence and operational needs.”
Additionally, the tools help users “discover and access security and smart cameras” to help assess “target areas.” There is another “access” technology called “Automotive Forensics and Intelligence,” which can also locate vehicles “wirelessly.”
The espionage service – which bundled its parts together as a package deal – also has the ability to erase or alter footage in real time, dubbing the practice “live event cover-up” for “covert operations”.
“These are capabilities that were previously unimaginable,” said Alon Sapir, a human rights lawyer. “From a human rights perspective, this is a dystopian technology. Its very existence raises serious questions.”
Sapir is concerned that the technology used by the government will be misused.
“One could imagine that if the video fell into the wrong hands, the video could be manipulated to implicate innocent citizens or shield guilty parties close to the system, or even just manipulated edits for ideological or even political purposes,” he said.
A company spokesperson told Haaretz, “Toka undergoes a rigorous annual review and approval process guided by the International Corruption, Rule of Law and Civil Liberties Index and assisted by external consultants with extensive and renowned expertise in anti-corruption practices .”
A Toka representative added that its only customers are “the United States and its closest allies…Toka does not sell to private clients or individuals.”
“Under no circumstances will our company sell our products to countries or entities that are sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Finance or the Israel Defense Export Control Agency — restricting our potential customers to all countries in the world is not to one in five institutions.”
Toka, which has offices in Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C., plans to “expand its existing deployment” in its host country, Ha’aretz reported.