Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Mobile Tech
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data

By Jennifer LeClaire
September 9, 2013 2:47PM

    Bookmark and Share
There are certainly cases where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical devices. That's not necessarily new. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned about claims that the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all the leading manufacturers.
 


Last week, The New York Times suggested the National Security Agency (NSA) could beat your encryption with a little help from supercomputers, court orders, arm twisting and technical prowess. Now, Spiegel Online International, a German news outlet, is suggesting the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all leading manufacturers, including Apple iPhones, Android devices and even hardened BlackBerry phones.

Spiegel claims it has seen top secret NSA documents that reveal it's possible for the agency to see even the most private data on your smartphone, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where you've been. NSA has also reportedly set up specific working spy groups for each operating system.

Not intending to cause widespread panic, the media outlet noted that: "The material viewed by Spiegel suggests that the spying on smartphones has not been a mass phenomenon. It has been targeted, in some cases in an individually tailored manner and without the knowledge of the smartphone companies."

Should We Be Concerned?

Tim Worstall, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, reiterated that this is not a mass surveillance scheme. In other words, he explained, this is not akin to the agency's habit of trying to read all the Internet traffic it can lay its hands on.

"Rather, this is much more like dedicated surveillance of named individuals," Worstall said. "It's that they are now capable of doing this across the various different operating systems in a manner akin to the sort of thing the FBI might do if it had a warrant to allow it."

We turned to Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, to get his thoughts on the latest NSA news. He told us part of the problem with "Snowden" revelations is that there aren't a lot of details. The Spiegel story is no different.

"There are certainly cases that we've known about for a while where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical device," Hall said. "That's not necessarily new and the reporting wasn't clear as to whether or not this is a remote access capability. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned."

What's New Here?

There are existing concerns with iPhone and Android devices. Hall explained that enabling a PIN, for example, encrypts the iPhone -- but it's easy enough to break through that encryption. In fact, Hall said law enforcement can crack a four-digit pin in about 13 minutes.

"We know there's a forensic waiting list at Apple where you can send in a device and when they get to it they will somehow bypass the pin setting and encryption. There are similar stories related to Android platforms. It's hard to know what new revelation is in this report," Hall said.

"If the NSA could gain remote access or if they could grab stuff off your iCloud that would be new. What would also be new is seeing in real time what you are doing on your device over the air," Hall said. "There is particularly sensitive information on phones and in the next year or so you will be able to download medical records to your phone."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Android Hits 85% Market Share
2.   BBM Now Available on Windows Phone
3.   Smartphone Slowdown Hits Samsung
4.   Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Plans
5.   Asana Revamps Mobile App


advertisement
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
Smartphone Slowdown Hits Samsung
Reports its worst quarter in two years.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Ruling Against Microsoft Raises E-Mail Privacy Concern
Microsoft has been ordered to hand over e-mails to law enforcers in the United States as part of a criminal investigation, even though the e-mail is stored at a data center in Dublin,Ireland.
 
Twitter Buys Password Manager Startup Mitro
Following on the heels of another acquisition earlier this week, Twitter is adding to its fold a password-manager security startup called Mitro, which in turn is releasing its code as open source.
 
Government Requests for Customer Data Skyrocket
Requests for customer data from the government jumped 50 percent in the first half of 2014, according to Twitter, which received more than 2,000 requests for user info from gov't agencies.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.