NSA using mobile apps like Angry Birds, Flickr, Google Maps to pull out user data
The latest claim to come from the trove of secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden has reportedly pointed out that the US intelligence agency allegedly used 'leaky' mobile apps to carve out user data for surveillance.
The NSA and its UK counterpart, the GCHQ, allegedly used apps like Angry Birds, Google Maps, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook etc., to pull out user data
According to Cnet, the information collected from these seemingly innocent and secure apps include details about the user's location, age, daily whereabouts, address books and a lot more.
The classified documents revealed that the mobile app initiative between the two spy agencies has been up and running since 2007, and they have traded programmes to collect location and planning data when a target uses Google Maps or sends posts or pictures via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Flicker apps.
If a user is updating Android, he is uploading nearly 500 lines of collectable data onto the network, leading to what the NSA calls 'Golden Nugget!'
The documents do not clearly outline how the agencies collected the data from the so-called 'leaky apps' and neither mentions if the app creators were cooperating to furnish user data.
However, this addition to the series of revelations about the alleged mass surveillance programme is said to further heat up the matter already debated across nations.
Recently, US President Barack Obama formally announced changes to the NSA's surveillance activities to curb indiscriminate snooping and extended rights to data, but many privacy advocates and Congressmen still believe the changes are not sufficient.
(Posted on 28-01-2014)