According to the classified information leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA invested billions of dollars since 2000 for the secret surveillance efforts and the agencies referred to these secret hacking programs as 'Bullrun' and 'Edgehill'.
The agencies developed 'covert measures' to force companies to use certain types of cyber defences, then used supercomputers to crack codes 'with brute force' with the help of tech companies and Internet providers, Mirror reports.
The report said that UK's GCHQ identified 'the big four' service providers as Hotmail, Google, Yahoo and Facebook as key players needing to be hacked.
The encryption technology is used to keep information safe on the internet but revelations by Snowden have sparked debates about the limits to social security and individual privacy as experts insist that an invasion of everyone's privacy had taken place and not just of criminals' or terrorists'.
--ANI (Posted on 07-09-2013)