Are they watching?

Being at University on a weekly basis means being online, logged into a device, swiping, typing, listening, reading and digesting what we see in front of us on our screens. 


Sometimes I wonder, is anyone watching, personally, I believe in conspiracy theories, and this is where I believe to wonder if students across campus are constantly being “watched” through their laptop cameras, or even our iPhones. Is it possible that constantly, everyday students privacy is being disturbed, as we may constantly be observed by someone or something…


Image result for someone is watching gif


Stickers and slides serve to ease concerns that spooks could be watching our every move, as even the FBI director says he puts tape on his camera.


Though this assumption may seem far reached, it is also very eminent as there have been cases around the world where webcams have been hacked and individuals have been, or are being “watched”, and the fact that an FBI director, hides his cameras on his device with stickers, this itself raises my suspicion for students.


Is there such a case where University students may be targeted across Australia? Specifically at the University of Wollongong? Currently, there are 31464 students enrolled at the University of Wollongong, meaning at least over 35000 laptops and phones being used every day. 


What does this mean?

Am I being too paranoid?


Well in 2010 a school in the U.S Pennsylvania was found spying on their own students, as the school activated cameras within their school-provided laptops to spy on students in their homes. 


Not only was this illegal, but it makes me wonder, with situations like this dating back to 2010, how are institutions observing their students in 2019, as both technology, hackers and surveillance gadgets have obviously improved, so is it possible that not only University students at UOW are being watched or observed, but University students in general.


The University of Wollongong already tracks students activities through e-learning sources within Moodle and is able to detect which students have watched lectures, or clicked on certain activities and links within the webpage. So is this type of ‘surveillance’ or observation already becoming an aspect that allows this sensation or occurrence that “we are being watched”? 


Not only these thoughts raise these questions, but the fact that I observe several students in my classes or around campus covering their laptop webcam with stickers, already raising the suspicion that someone may be watching. 


Image result for laptop covered webcam


So are we all being paranoid?

Well according to the Guardian “it’s not science fiction. Researchers in 2013 showed how they could activate a Macbook’s camera without triggering the green “this-thing-is-on” light.

Another thing they point out is that its important to consider the “internet of things” could be used “for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials”.


However, after reading and hearing cases worldwide, until I hear a case, or story that someone in my class or University has witnessed this green light flash and is in a situation where they feel something illegal is happening, that’s when myself and students would take this more seriously, for now I just walk around my campus, or sit within my classes unknown to the fact if someone is “watching me” and my peers.



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