Has Homeland Security Gone Too Far with Surveillance?

Dell Key loggers

Normally, I’m all for what Uncle Sam needs to do in order to maintain National Security … so long as it doesn’t go too far. The question is, with this story in Hack N Mod, has Uncle Sam (and Dell Computers) gone a bridge too far in surveilling America?

Big Brother is indeed watching you, my friends … One man found a keylogger connected to the integrated Ethernet board of his Dell PC.

The story goes on to state that Dell gave him a nondescript reply and after consulting local law enforcement, he made a FOIA request regarding it. The reply is interesting, but may not be the entire story. Not everything is black helicopters and wiretaps.

On it’s face, it appears that Dell Computer may be participating in a felony by installing hardware keyloggers in their Dell Laptops. However, there are some real world applications for a hardware keylogger … such as information security on business laptops and backup potential in the event of a catastrophic software or hard drive failure. And one comfort is that according Keyghost, the makers of the keylogger, only an administrator can access the log, which only records up to 128,000 characters. Then there’s the deterrant capability that if employees know that a keylogger is installed on their business computers, they won’t use those computers for unauthorized or nefarious uses.

It could be a mistake of distribution, or deliberate design meant to accommodate their business customers. But if Dell is installing these in all their laptops and not advising their customers with an option to have it removed, then perhaps they are indeed violating a customer’s rights.

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