According to a set of secretive documents reportedly authored by the NSA and delivered to the public by Der Spiegel, the security agency is or has been able to access vital data on three of the world’s most popular operating systems with relative ease. These documents suggest that Apple iPhones, Google Android devices, and BlackBerry devices are all able to be tapped by the NSA. These documents suggest that NSA taps of these devices are able to reveal “most sensitive data” including SMS traffic, location information, notes, and contact lists.
It’s important to note that Der Spiegel suggests that their data does not point to widespread hacking of smartphones by the NSA. They say that these documents suggest targeted, “individually tailored” cases of smartphone tapping, generally “without the knowledge of smart phone companies.” This would indicate that BlackBerry, Google, and Apple had nothing to do with it, so to speak.
This program spoken of by the NSA suggests that the iPhone is able to be infiltrated by scripts which allow access to a series of “at least” 38 iPhone features. These documents suggest that they’ve been able to successfully tap into iPhones through the computers iPhone are synced with, with similar access being suggested for BlackBerry and Android.
It’s also suggested that the NSA had a period of struggle with tapping information on BlackBerry devices from somewhere inside 2009 until March of 2010. There in March, a document is shown from Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency that they’d regained access to BlackBerry data. Meanwhile the report (at the moment) doesn’t suggest much for specifics in how Android data is being handled.
While this may be a surprise for some, over the past few weeks the NSA has been revealed to have access to what appears to be pretty much every piece of data you’ve ever posted online. It should go without saying that if you’re a criminal, you’d be better of skipping using the internet altogether.