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US Intelligence Chief Lists Main Global Threats, Warns Of IoT As Tools For Spying On You

10 February 2016, 7:26 am EST By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a report of the main global threats to the United States. Under the Cyber and Technology Category is the Internet of Things, as both hackers and the govenment can take advantage of connected devices.  ( Win McNamee | Getty Images )

The so-called Internet of Things promises increased convenience for users, with devices that can connect to the Internet and to each other to deliver on that promise.

However, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tagged the Internet of Things as among the main global threats that the world is facing in a report entitled "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community."

The Internet of Things falls under the Cyber and Technology section of global threats, with Clapper claiming that such connected devices will provide hackers with more opportunities to extract sensitive information from users.

The U.S. Intelligence Community will also be able to use the Internet of Things for its own surveillance and location tracking activities, Clapper noted, though he did not specify exactly which agencies will be performing the said activities.

Another threat included within the Cyber and Technology category is the fact that countries are not experiencing any restrictions in their cyber operations, with the report tagging China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as among the principal threats in the category.

"Russia and China continue to have the most sophisticated cyber programs," Clapper noted.

Under the Terrorism category, Clapper sees ISIS remaining as the dominant terrorist threat worldwide, though the al Qaeda is once again growing into a serious threat. For the United States, the main threat would be the homegrown violent extremists that could carry out violent acts, possibly inspired by ISIS or the al Qaeda.

North Korea was tagged as a threat in the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation category due to its advancing nuclear program, along with China as it is modernizing its nuclear weapons. It is Iran, however, that was tagged as the principal threat alongside North Korea.

In the Space and Counterspace category, Clapped noted that China and Russia's military and intelligence satellites are seeing rapid improvement, with these two countries also the principal threats in the Counterintelligence category.

The Transnational Organized Crime category mentions Mexican and Andean drug traffickers and the spike of designer drugs, the Economics and Natural Resources category focused on weakening economic conditions, while the Human Security category listed infectious diseases and risks of large-scale violence and instability as global threats.

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