Monday, January 24, 2011

Muslimas your webcam is spying on YOU!

In the name of Allah, compassionate & merciful بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Peace be with you السلام عليك

You have that shiny new laptop with all the bells and whistles including a webcam and you are all like, "ama be a youtube star!"  Hold your horses. 
A Philadelphia-area school district finds itself under scrutiny after remotely activating a MacBook Web cam and capturing a young student engaging in "improper behavior at home." The student was confronted by a Harrington High School official and shown photographs of his actions. These photographs set off privacy alarms and have led to a class-action lawsuit alleging that the school district has been spying on its students in their homes. (read more here)
Now for most people that would probably be no problem but what if you are a hijabi or a niqabi? Its not like we sit in front of our computers at home fully covered.  What if you are sporting a tank top or much less?  What if it captures you and your husband and people start forwarding that?  (the Muslim sex tape),

Viruses, programs, ex-spouses, jealous boyfriends (even though you shouldn't be dating), bullies at school or other mean spirited people can activate your webcam and see you while you are using your computer.  Because I think I may need it some day I haven't deactivated the driver for the webcam (I mean seriously someone can activate it remotely anyway).  What I have done is put gauze and put a bandaid on it.  That way even if they do activate it, there is no image and if I choose to use the webcam then I can remove the gauze and use it with my hijab AND niqab on.  (the gauze goes OVER the camera lense and the bandaid OVER the gauze so no glue damages the camera)

It may not be the 'techiest' solution but it works! Also some laptops are equipped to record audio so I suggest that once you are done using the lap top turn it off, unplug it from the internet and if possible remove the battery so that it isn't accessed wirelessly.

Protect your hijab even at home from invasive technology.   There are a lot of how-tos for hacking a webcam remotely so don't rely on the goodness of other people.

What to do?
1) buy gauze
2) tape or band aid
3) Always PHYSICALLY disconnect your computer from the internet and from a power source (annoying as heck but we have to do what we have to do)

May Allah swt protect us from all evils in this world and the next. ameen.


*claychick* said...

normally when the webcam is active the little light next to it starts to glow

.::Tuttie::. said...

@*claychick*. That is true but by then your privacy has already been invaded. Also if you are like me and likes to listen to speeches while doing work then your computer is on but you are away from it.

So to me the easiest and cheapest fix was to bandaid that sucker!

nah I mean jelly bean? :)

yellowmango said...

wow. thanks a lot for this ! I wouldnt have realized it even though I always switch my computer off and all. still.

.::Tuttie::. said...

@YellowMango, here is another post about this same topic