The Guardian revealed that the NSA extracts data including location, contact networks and credit card details from the text messages that it collects. They cite top-secret documents that also revealed that the UK spy agency GCHQ has access to the NSA database of text messages.
According to BBC, the NSA commented that "the implication that NSA's collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false". They also added that the program, named Dishfire, was "focused and specifically deployed against - and only against - valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements".
However, the documents revealed that Dishfire collects everything that it can from everyone that it can, rather than being limited to people who are currently under surveillance. The extent of what the NSA can collect is frightening; according to the report, the NSA can analyse text messages for information including contacts from missed call alerts, location from roaming and travel alerts, financial information from bank alerts and payments and names from electronic business cards.
This comes during a time when the NSA has come under a lot of heavy fire after Snowden initially leaked documents detailing the extent of the spying the NSA conducts. Snowden has been charged by the U.S. for espionage and is a fugitive living in Russia. Despite this, the whistleblower still actively seeks to make the spying of the NSA known.
Earlier this week, Geeksphone and Silent Circle unveiled plans for the Blackphone, the first phone that prevents anyone, including the NSA, from monitoring your activities through your cell phone.
What do you think about the latest leak from Snowden? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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