Is the CIA Watching You? How?

Last updated: 2022/04/13
Cybersecurity7 minutes

Central Intelligence Agency or mostly known as the CIA, is a US government agency created in 1947. It was established during the second World War and has been the intelligence arm of the US government ever since. The CIA’s primary task is to cover overseas and foreign intelligence duties. There have been times when it worked closely with the internal law enforcement agencies as well.

What is the CIA?

The CIA gathers, processes, and analyzes national security information from all around the world. It is core member of the US Intelligence Community and reports directly to the director of National Intelligence. CIA's priority is to provide intelligence to the president and the cabinet of the US. President Harry S. Truman created the CIA but in only formerly came into being with its official name after the National Security Act of 1947.

Unlike the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), which is a domestic security and enforcement agency, the CIA does not have a law enforcement function. Its purpose is to gather intelligence overseas. CIA is the only agency in the US that has the authority to conduct missions overseas. It uses tactical divisions like the Special Activities Center to exert foreign political influence. The CIA also had a key role in the establishment of intelligence services for various US Allies, including Germany's. It has also provided planning, coordination, torture mentoring, and technical assistance to an amount of overseas political groups and governments. Numerous military interventions, terrorist attacks, and attempted killings of international leaders fall under CIA’s accomplishments.

Now we know what the CIA is. Let us talk about the main question: Is the CIA watching us?

Is the CIA watching you?

One does not need to worry if they are on the CIA's radar unless they did something illegal. There is a good chance no one is monitoring your discussions, but they still can. There is no guarantee that your personally identifiable information does not exist in a massive database. According to the Freedom on the Net research, 89% users of social media platforms have their activities tracked. Automated methods collect and process a huge amount of user information. Even though metadata gathering may appear to be less intrusive, this is not always the case. It can sometimes provide a more comprehensive picture of a human's profile than a one-on-one talk.

The CIA has state of the art technology, there is no doubt that their technological department is just as well equipped. If needed, they would be able to access systems from all across the world. Considering they were able to hack into Iran's nuclear program, our phones and computers may seem like a cakewalk. Let us go through some of the ways the CIA can hack our devices right now.

Ways the CIA can hack you right now

Whether they simply want to access your phone’s microphone or may find out where you are, the CIA may have the capabilities to do both. They created a library of malware infections to get into Android phones and iPhones, some of which could gain complete control of the devices. The attacks enable varying levels of access. Strong enough just to enable the attacker to gain control of the kernel. The kernel is the core of a computer system that governs the phone's functionality. Some of these infections also grant root access. Which means complete control over data and software activities on the device.

Access to information such as location tracking, messages, contacts, and more would be possible using these tactics. But these attacks are far more effective for concentrated hacking of a special target rather than for mass surveillance. One document explains how a CIA team generates malware vulnerabilities and implants bugs in for high-priority smartphones in order to collect intelligence.

Let us say you are on the CIA's list, and they want to spy on you. Let us go through some of the ways they can do so.

Smart TV spying

When Samsung's new Smart TV first released in 2015, the company issued a warning to users to not say any sensitive personal information near the screen. The warning hints that they may have recorded customers' discussions forwarded them to third parties. According to a WikiLeaks article from 2017, the CIA used the Weeping Angel hack to turn Samsung TVs into bugs. The exploit makes the user believe that the TV is not on. In fact, it is acting as a mic and transmitting important discussions to CIA servers.

If you have a Smart TV with a microphone and a camera that is connected to the internet, the CIA can hack into it and spy on you. We can turn off the devices, but the microphone and camera can still work on them.

Computer hacking

Government agencies have vast malware libraries that make your system vulnerable. They also have a database of other loopholes and exploits that they can employ to transform your PC into a spying machine. The CIA has divisions dedicated to figuring out how to breach Microsoft or Mac OS software. Whether it be the authorities or a malicious hacker, hacking your webcam is quite simple. Their hacking tools can infect PCs and use the webcam and microphone to take images and record conversations. GCHQ, with the support of the NSA, acquired photos from Yahoo web conversations in 2008, despite the fact that many of the users were not government targets.

All it takes is a simple software to hack your computer. When it runs its script on your PC, and you grant it access, that is it. You will never know if the CIA has hacked your PC or not. In an interview with some CIA agents, they told the press that people should cover their cameras when they are not using them, which means the cameras are not that difficult to hack into. Even Mark Zuckerberg tapes his laptop's camera to avoid being spied.

Smartphone hacking

The government is able to access your phone data without a warrant, but they will not likely eavesdrop on your calls. Who you call, when you call, and for how long might reveal a lot about your hobbies, job, and personal life. Smartphones have made it easy to spy on anyone. Everyone has a smartphone now. The CIA can easily find everyone and even know about their personality by checking their phone data. The CIA can even know our exact location. They can hear us through phones mic, and can even see us. Multinational companies monitor our activities all the time, the CIA would have no trouble in generating a digital profile about us.

In 2017 Felix Krause said that apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and many more ask for access to users’ phones. Malicious apps built by the CIA also do this, once we grant permission to them to access our microphones, cameras, contacts, and gallery. The CIA can do the following:

  • They can use both cameras of your phone without you knowing it.
  • They can record at any time while the app is running in the foreground.
  • Without your permission, they can take images and do recordings.
  • Without informing you, upload your photos and videos.
  • They can detect facial traits or expressions, use real-time face recognition.
  • They can trace you and know your exact location.
  • Determine whether the user is watching alone on their phone or with another person.
  • Run a proper facial recognition software that can identify existing images of you on the internet and construct a 3D model based on your face.


Cars are one of the other devices that the CIA can attack. One extreme goal would be to seize control of the vehicle and assassinate the passengers in ways that will make it appear as if it were just an ordinary car accident. Our automobiles are vulnerable to hacking and tracking. While assassinations might sound extreme, the CIA can definitely track your location and your whereabouts by tracking your car.

How to protect your online privacy?

We can keep our devices updated so that our internet security will be strong and protect our system from the infection of malware. Encryption of our communication is important so that a third party is unable to listen to our sensitive information. Never open suspicious emails, they are almost always full of malwares.

But regardless of how careful you are, there are still many ways that the CIA and other local authorities can track your online activities. The only way to protect yourself completely is by using a VPN service like VPN Proxy Master. Doing so will encrypt all of your online communications and hide your real IP address from the services that you use. Making it impossible for the CIA or anyone else to spy on you. The only other way that these. Intelligence agencies can keep an eye on you would be if they get physical access to your computer or device. At which point, there is nothing that can protect you.

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