US Senator's "NSA Spy Cam Blocker" Might as Well be Masking Tape

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Trained ophthalmologist Rand Paul's new scheme wins the award for silliness. Not the scheme to run for president, though! But rather because the United States senator is selling an “NSA Spy Cam Blocker” in his little fundraising store for $15 (£10) a pop. But of course a little bit of buzz-hungry fundraising will not actually stop the government from spying on you.

The idea is simple and familiar. If you put this little piece of Rand-branded plastic over your laptop’s front-facing webcam, you can effectively block a hacker or spy from tapping into the feed and watching you type. “Safe and practical,” says Dr. Paul’s copywriter. Almost as practical as a piece of masking tape!

Yes, the NSA can technically take over webcams by deploying malware, and yes, that is bad. But the overreach of the US intelligence apparatus is certainly even more widespread than what the Snowden documents detail. More than protection, that little piece of plastic is a reminder that if the NSA really wanted to spy on you, the agency could listen through your laptop’s microphone, log your keystrokes, or read your emails.

A spy cam blocker is a clever twist on the old campaign button cliché, and an over-priced one at that. Just go grab a piece of masking tape. [The Hill]

Image via Rand Paul