Webcam takes a photo when I Open an application

Peter Myers, Australia – November 30, 2011

My external webcam, on a Mac running OS X, has been taking a photo when an application is opened. This practice continued when I changed webcams.

The webcam’s light comes on, its lens cover opens, and it flashes.

With newer, faster, computers with internal webcams, it’s possible that users would not notice the flash.

Being concerned about surveillance, I searched for other people who have had this experience. It turns out that Adobe Flash Player routinely allows third-party sites to operate one’s webcam, and even store data on one’s computer - unless these permissions are explicitly turned off in the settings.

When I went to the Flash settings webpage, I found that Flash had authorized such use of the webcam, WITHOUT ASKING – ie, that is the Default.

However, given that Flash might not be the only facilitator of such surveillance, I have also implemented my own failsafe solution. I bought an extender cable, which plugs into the computer port. To operate the webcam, the two cables must be joined; otherwise, there’s no power.

Such a solution is not feasible for internal webcams.

The US Government now has Facial Recognition technology whereby to identify individuals within crowds of many thousands.

This technology is truly frightening. Perhaps knowing they possess it reassures the authorities that they can beat any challenge posed by the Occupy forces.

When the social order unravels, however, no amount of surveillance will protect the powers that be. Blood on the streets – in America, not just Egypt – will only intensify the resistance. Incarceration and torture cannot be kept secret forever. The anger of the American people, once roused, will be unstoppable.

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