Report: NSA can tap smartphone data

The National Security Agency can access data from smartphones previously thought to be secure, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

 

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The German weekly said it viewed top-secret NSA documents that suggest spying on smartphones is not widespread.

Those documents, however, reportedly show that the NSA can tap into Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and phones using Google’s Android operating system to access contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information.

NSA has set up working groups to deal with each operating system, Der Spiegel reported.

“It is not for us to comment on media reports regarding alleged government surveillance of telecommunications traffic," BlackBerry officials told Der Spiegel, adding that the company had not programmed a "'back door' pipeline to our platform."

The report did not say whether Der Spiegel obtained the documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Citing documents leaked by Snowden, The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica reported late last week that the NSA has successfully cracked many of the tools that people use to protect the privacy of their online communications.

The news outlets reported that the spy agency has waged a secret campaign for years to undermine security measures and privacy tools using supercomputers, sophisticated hackers, collaboration from technology companies and a covert project to build vulnerabilities into security tools, according to the news organizations.