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Government Privacy Blackberry Cellphones Communications Handhelds Iphone United States Your Rights Online

NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry 298

An anonymous reader writes with a report from Spiegel Online that the U.S. government "has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, [and] devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. ... 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." As a bonus, the same reader points out a Washington Post report according to which "The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency's use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans' communications in its massive databases ... In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."
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NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry

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  • Let me guess, BIS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ferzerp ( 83619 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:31AM (#44789637)

    BES in theory can only be intercepted and cracked with a massive amount of computation time, limiting the functional use of any dragnet attempts.

    Journalists never understand the difference between BIS and BES though.

  • by pashdown ( 124942 ) <> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:47AM (#44789749) Homepage

    Gibbertbot [] offers OTR XMPP chat for Android, as does ChatSecure for iOS. The DuckDuckGo [] app for Androind/iOS offers untracked search over HTTPS. There are a number of PGP/GPG email readers/writers for Android and iOS.

    All of this can be precluded by the NSA having a backdoor at the graces of the manufacturer, but we still don't know the extent of that. The article states that their iPhone surveillance required them to hack into the host iTunes computer, which can be prevented with a good firewall.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#44789779)

    No, because mobile phone hardware is specifically designed to make sure that user replaceable software like Android is kept inside a sandbox and only a government approved proprietary operating system can directly use the radio hardware.

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:09AM (#44789927)
    It's easy to look at this post as redundant at a glance. The truth is, we cannot say this enough. Here, have my last mod point.
  • by Oysterville ( 2944937 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:14AM (#44789957)
    You're in luck! By posting to the thread after moderating it, you get your mod point back!
  • Things people can do (Score:5, Informative)

    by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:30AM (#44790087) Homepage Journal

    From a previous post, here's the collected list of suggested actions people can take to help change the situation.

    Have more ideas? Please post below.

    Links worthy of attention: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    Join the class action suit that Rand Paul is bringing against the NSA.

    Suggestion #1:

    (My idea): If people could band together and agree to vote out the incumbent (senator, representative, president) whenever one of these incidents crop up, there would be incentive for politicians to better serve the people in order to continue in office. This would mean giving up party loyalty and the idea of "lessor of two evils", which a lot of people won't do. Some congressional elections are quite close, so 2,000 or so petitioners might be enough to swing a future election.

    Let your house and senate rep know how you feel about this issue / patriot act and encourage those you know to do the same.

    If enough people let their representivies know how they feel obviously those officials who want to be reelected will tend to take notice. We have seen what happens when wikipedia and google go "dark", congressional switchboards melt and the 180's start to pile up.

    Fax is considered the best way to contact a congressperson,especially if it is on corporate letterhead.

    Suggestion #2:

    Tor, I2dP and the likes. Let's build a new common internet over the internet. Full strong anonymity and integrity. Transform what an
    eavesdropper would see in a huge cypherpunk clusterfuck.

    Taking back what's ours through technology and educated practices.

    Let's go back to the 90' where the internet was a place for knowledgeable and cooperative people.

    Someone Added: Let's go full scale by deploying small wireless routers across the globe creating a real mesh network as internet was designed to be!

    Suggestion #3:

    A first step might be understanding the extent towards which the government actually disagrees with the people. Are we talking about a situation where the government is enacting unpopular policies that people oppose? Or are we talking about a situation where people support the policies? Because the solutions to those two situations are very different.

    In many cases involving "national security", I think the situation is closer to the second one. "Tough on X" policies are quite popular, and politicians often pander to people by enacting them. The USA Patriot Act, for example, was hugely popular when it was passed. And in general, politicians get voted out of office more often for being not "tough" on crime and terrorism and whatever else, than for being too over-the-top in pursuing those policies.

    Suggestion #4:

    What I feel is needed is a true 3rd party, not 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th parties, such as Green, Tea Party, Libertarian; we need an agreeable third party that can compete against the two majors without a lot of interference from small parties. We need a consensus third party.

    Suggestion #5:

    Replace the voting system. Plurality voting will always lead [] to the mess we have now. The only contribution towards politics I've made in years

Happiness is twin floppies.