In his 2016 interview with Vice in Moscow Edward Snowden pointed out that “in any world capitol where you’re in a major business hotel, if the hotel rooms aren’t pre-wired for surveillance they can be wired almost immediately”.
This is a disturbing statement that I think we would all like to make him take back so that we don’t have to consider how many times we have been bugged and spied on in a hotel room. Unfortunately we can’t put that cat back in the bag. The only thing we can do constructively at this point is deal with it.
Here are 5 tips to avoid being compromised in your hotel room.
- Do not talk about things you don’t want the world to know in your hotel. (Not just the room…the building)
- The TV is watching you. Just assume that and throw a blanket over the TV.
- Do not use the phone in your hotel. This is just common sense.
- Don’t bother looking for bugs. Unless you have advanced equipment or you intend to disassemble everything in the room to find the wires you are wasting time that could be used to get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately that’s about all you can use the hotel room for now.
- Wi-Fi use in a hotel room at this point would be worse than using the phone. Whatever you say on a telephone only leaves voice information for one-time surveillance. If you leave your electronics vulnerable, they can be compromised for multiple uses and your trail is hot for as long as you have that item.
This is a terrible thing for us all to deal with, but this is the world we live in. My final piece of advice is to stay with friends when you can. It’s much safer.
Here is the Vice interview with Snowden for those interested: