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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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  • Open Source Android (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Oysterville ( 2944937 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:33AM (#44789657)
    Are there any projects within the Android realm that can combat this? Given the open nature of the OS, it'd be nice if we could somehow adequately firewall such things.
  • by ifiwereasculptor ( 1870574 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:40AM (#44789697)

    What amazes me is that there have been no reprisals so far. Not by the US citizens, by US courts nor by other countries. Folks who actually live in the US, please tell me: are people really just shrugging it off or am I just not seeing the repercussions from here?

  • by ehack ( 115197 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:43AM (#44789721) Journal

    And now comes Act II where intercepted data can be shown in secret to a judge to obtain convictions without the defense being able to review same.
    Then in Act III trials will be held in secret chambers with no defense.

  • Belief In Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:52AM (#44789783)

    Obviously if phone traffic is intercepted most of the crimes mentioned in conversations would not relate to terrorism. One wonders how many criminal prosecutions could take place if all crimes detected were subject to prosecution. Murder plots, cases of fraud and tax cheating, drug sales and smuggling and prostitution would all certainly be found with ease. It would quickly become obvious that our local and national government have little interest if stopping most crime.
                    If you don't believe this or do not want to believe it think about this one simple situation. People leaving bars in the wee hours are often drunks driving home. A smart cop would not want to stop people at closing time as he would be pulling over bar staff leaving work. But almost everyone leaving a bar 3o minutes before closing is legally drunk. So simply sitting at an advantageous spot and pulling over cars leaving the bar would yield a huge amount of good arrests. Yet town discourage cops from using this tactic as it disrupts business. Think about that a bit. Wouldn't we want to catch every drunk driver every time they drive drunk?

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:06AM (#44789901)

    Stop voting for these fucking politicians.

    It's not difficult, change the people who make the laws.

    Learn what you potential future politicians actually have done in the past and stop listening to the bullshit that spews from their mouths and campaigns.

    Vote out these life time politicians.

    Stop sitting on your lazy ass and make an actual effort instead of whining that it doesn't matter.

    Apathy changes nothing.

    The president DOES NOT MAKE LAWS, so stop giving him all your attention and vote for specific people in congress. Next time around, vote them out when the lie to you.

  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:18AM (#44789987) Journal

    Actually, he doesn't get the mod point back, it just disappears.

    Also if you mod then post AC from the same IP, it just disappears too, only without the "you're about to undo your moderations" warning.

  • Re:Belief In Law (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:43AM (#44790191)
    My wife and I were "ambushed" by two police cars after leaving a bar after closing. We only lived about 1000 feet from the bar, but they had to detain us for 30 minutes anyway. At the end of the ordeal they drove us home (yes 1000 feet) and told us that "the next time we get "sloshed' that we should have a way to get home. We weren't even "sloshed". Cops in the US are real bastards.
  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @11:52AM (#44790261) Homepage Journal

    If voting could change anything, it would be outlawed.

    As it is, they just want the numbers to look good enough, to get away with what they want.

    That's why they keep so many in jail - and out of the polls.

  • Re:Secret oversight (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Sunday September 08, 2013 @12:11PM (#44790407) Homepage Journal

    Secret oversight can't be trusted

    Of course not, but posting anonymously won't keep them from knowing who you are.

    I just upgraded to an Android phone from my old feature phone and find it annoying when a pre-installed app wants me to turn GPS and Location Services on. Those are supposed to be for my benefit, not doubleclick and the NSA's.

  • by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @12:56PM (#44790679)

    That's the entire problem with this NSA crap. Anyone who bucked the system and made it far along enough in the process would have tons of dirt on him/her already automatically unearthed by the NSA's data centers. The info would be leaked to a complicit media, who would drool over the chance to run another political scandal, and the good politician's career would be over before it even began.

    It's sad, but knowing about the extent of the abuse has actually made me *more* worried about protesting the abuse. Panopticon and all that -- we know they can be watching any of us now, with access to basically all our information online (even stuff that's encrypted, like this data, which is being sent over a VPN but who even knows if it's secure?), as well as all the metadata from our phones, which tell them exactly where we have gone. I doubt they are interested in me per se, but say I ran for office under a platform the established powers didn't like -- they might get interested then, and I would be fucked.

    This shit is really scary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 08, 2013 @03:35PM (#44791743)

    And: The temperature in FtMeade is already quite high, believe me on this. They read the comment boards like we do. Actually, they do it 8 hours a day.

    So, don't be Chicken Little: Insult them as much as you can. Don't call for violence, just call them traitors. Call them Peeping Toms. Call them Pervers. In plaintext without TOR. Sure as hell they will tally up the "called NSA-traitor list" and when they see the water level rises each day, quite a few of them will simply quit or spill the beans.

    The top brass will be finally discussing with people who Sit In in FtMeade. Even Erich Mielke tried to "explain" himself one day. He said "Ich liebe Euch Doch Alle !". Before he had ordered some people to be shot, of course.

    Make those guys sweat. The nice thing is, the first sweat level can start right from your comfy chair.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard