Kellyanne Conway believes microwave ovens have spy cameras in them. The Senior White House advisor is in the hot seat once more for mouthing out accusations that the Obama administration spied on Donald Trump using, among other things, a microwave.
Trump previously accused former U.S. President Barack Obama, through a tweet, of spying on him by having the Trump Tower wiretapped. Conway then sparked, even more controversy on the unsubstantiated claim by telling Mike Kelly of Bergen County's "The Record" that people can now easily be put under surveillance through phones, TV sets and "microwaves that turn into cameras". She also stressed that this is "just a fact of modern life".
Broadly got in touch with a cyber security expert and computer science specialist to put some light on Conway's claims. Steven Belloving of Columbia University stressed that he is unaware of any process that can turn a microwave into a camera. He also stressed that Conway's microwave allegations were made by a "non-technical person garbling something she heard but didn't really understand".
Broadly also got hold of a representative of Whirlpool Corporation, one of the biggest manufacturers of home appliances including the now-infamous microwave, who stressed that the company has no comments at the time. Other microwave manufacturers that the publication reached out to for comment did not respond as of this writing.
Engadget delved a little more on the technical aspect of the allegation by explaining the components of a microwave oven. It has what is called a magnetron. This integral part of the kitchen appliance is responsible for converting electric energy to microwave radiation. The radiation is then directed to and through the food with the help of a waveguide. Other main parts include the control panel, turntable and a cooking chamber. Cameras, meanwhile, has an image sensor, lens, and processor among other parts all of which are not found in any standard microwave.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time that the microwave oven has been involved in such controversy. There is another conspiracy theory that the kitchen appliance can be used to control minds. While microwave ovens being used for espionage are highly improbable at this point, other devices such as smartphones are the more likely culprits. In fact, one case of a privacy breach and possible spying involved a number of budget Android smartphones that secretly sent information to a Chinese company.
Kellyanne is now saying that her comments were taken out of context. In an interview with CNN, Conway quipped that she is not Inspector Gadget and that she doesn't believe that a microwave oven turned into a camera was used to spy on Trump.