Excerpts from a report by SPIEGEL: The United States’ National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all

Your smartphones are not safe from the NSA

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Excerpts from a report by SPIEGEL:

The United States’ National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.

The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

The material viewed by SPIEGEL suggests that the spying on smart phones has not been a mass phenomenon. It has been targeted, in some cases in an individually tailored manner and without the knowledge of the smart phone companies.

According to the report, this is not about having access to the companies behind these devices and services, but pure hacking. Dedicated groups are set up with the purpose of finding ways through each smartphone OS. Evidence suggests that they have successfully hacked every major smartphone platform and obtained user data. Even BlackBerry’s legendary email security has not been spared, if the report is anything to go by.

I hope that no-one around here is surprised by any of these. I concluded a long time ago that nothing is 100% private if the right people with the right tools want it. Well, at least, as long as you are online. It is a jungle out there, folks. Make what you will of the report and do what you have to do. We have discussed the subject of internet privacy again and again over the years. Now, we are getting to find out that our suspicions and sentiments have been mostly correct. Oh; surely you must know that this isn’t all there is to it either.

  1. A smartphone is mostly underutilized without going online. Unfortunately, it is during the process of going online, that you can get snooped upon.

    However, unless you are a subversive element or a James Bond, you don’t have much to worry about.

    Besides, we can conclude that some of these reports, like those of how malware have taken over the smartphones,are mostly overrated.

    Yes, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc, would have their interest better served by staying on the right side of Government. They probably provide information when requested, in special situations, from time to time.

    But I think it is delusional to imagine a US Government official somewhere is reading through our mails or chats.

    Even if there are automated scans looking for special keywords like BOMB, GRENADEs or BAZOOKAs, unless you are a suicide bomber or something, it should be no skin off your scalp.

    If I am not an exam cheat, an invigilator watching me in the Examination Hall.. should not give me any creeps!

  2. I laugh. Seriously, you don’t have to be remotely subversive for your information and details to be checked. That is a myth. So long as you stick your head above the parapet, have an online presence, any excuse can do to fit whatever information the NSA or whoever else wants to mine.

    Which is why I always say don’t mouth off anyhow thinking that, because you perceive yourself to be small fry, no one will ever be interested in you or information about you. You never know.

  3. There’s no doubt the U.S.A. could have access to the personal data of everyone who has online presence, but the U.S. government couldn’t possibly scrutinize all of the data of over one billion of all the smartphone users on earth presently. There just have to be subjects or keywords of interest that will lead them to the people of interest for a possible special attention. I’m not bothered about that and won’t worry my head about it since the only possible solution to the issue isn’t much of a solution anyway.

  4. No email address, no social networking, no phones ( feature, smart or dumb) receive your mails via the post office and the NSA got nothing on you. 😀

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