This story in the Guardian caught my eye and I have delayed posting on it as I was waiting for some advice from my 'techie' friend.
It appears that no-one is actually safe, even in the privacy of their home, from the all-seeing eye of the state. It is appreciated that the students mentioned in the Guardian article had had their laptops 'altered' prior to their receiving them, however, no doubt as in Britain, it was not really necessary for the school to have done that.
It is worth remembering, in this country, that all providers now have to keep data and IP addresses and any computer can be hacked into and any hacker worth his/her salt will 'crack' a password in seconds, if not minutes. The camera on a laptop needs to be told to activate via your system and for this to be done remotely would mean that a virus or a trojan would need to be inserted into your system to allow it to happen as straight hacking will only allow access to your files.
Or so I am told............