Another day, another development in the privacy scandal that keeps on giving. The latest is that the NSA has apparently been hacking data on citizens’ iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerrys. According to classified documents cited by German newspaper Der Spiegel, the NSA has access to “most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.”
The department reportedly set up specific groups to work on cracking each operating system and found success across all three. Despite claims to the contrary from Apple, the NSA can reportedly access 38 different features on users’ iPhones by tapping into the computers to which the devices are synced. The NSA has also managed to circumvent the encryption for BlackBerry, a platform whose primary appeal has long been its boast of high-level security.
However, the newspaper concedes that the documents do not betray mass spying on cell phones; rather, specific individuals have been targeted for surveillance without the cooperation of the smartphone manufacturers in question. Der Spiegel said it will publish its full report tomorrow.
The allegations come just days after the harrowing revelation that the NSA has built supercomputers designed to bypass encryption measures taken by individuals and organizations.