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NSA and GCHQ Target "Leaky" Phone Apps To Scoop User Data

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the always-watching dept.

Privacy 144

schwit1 writes "New leaked NSA documents shed a new light on the agency's assault on the data controls of smartphone apps. Using app data permissions as a jumping off point, the documents show agency staffers building huge quantities of data, including 'intercepting Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and using them to collect large volumes of location information.' One slide lists capabilities for 'hot mic' recording, high precision geotracking, and file retrieval which would reach any content stored locally on the phone, including text messages, emails and calendar entries. As the slide notes in a parenthetical aside, 'if it's on the phone, we can get it.'"

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first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085209)

frist psot

Now we finally know... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085217)

what those birds are so angry about

Can you hear me now? (4, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 8 months ago | (#46085235)

Why are you listening?
Do you understand me now?
Why are you still listening?
Do you think I have something to hide?
Remember, I'm on your side
So bugger off like a good man
and snoop on the Taleban

Re:Can you hear me now? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085511)

To be clear, it's the Obama Administration that is doing this. After all, he is responsible for the actions of this and other Federal Agencies.

Re:Can you hear me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087667)

However, no president that has been before him has done this thing ever. Yay! for stupid here...

Re:Can you hear me now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087705)

If you know wrong is being done and do nothing to stop it, you are complicit. Yes, Obama inherited the problem, but could have (and should have) stopped this months ago.

Re:Can you hear me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087899)

If he did, the Republicans would then claim that Obama is deliberately sabotaging the NSA and jeopardizing national security. To the Republicans, every move Obama makes is wrong, no matter what move that may be.

Re:Can you hear me now? (3, Informative)

morgauxo (974071) | about 8 months ago | (#46088247)

And that's an excuse to make the moves that actually ARE wrong?

Re:Can you hear me now? (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 8 months ago | (#46085561)

Remember, I'm on your side

Correction: I'm on the side you *claim to be on*.

Smurftastic! (4, Informative)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 8 months ago | (#46085279)

The NSA has all the actual slides from the internal presentation:
http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

From what I gather, TRACKER SMURF module of the WARRIOR PRIDE rootkit for both IOS and Android sort of grabs pin positions of places you search for in Google Maps as well as where you actually ARE. What's interesting is the seeming fascination with sexual orientation and clubs. I guess if there is dirt to be had on an operative or a politician, it might be if they are secretly a wild and crazy guy, or perhaps visiting a mistress in South America instead of being lost on the Appalachian trail.

I know it's fashionable to be angry and all that, but the more of these slides they release, the more you understand how good these guys are at spycraft. It's a solid rootkit base with modules for various device driver interaction, it's pulling back info to be sorted in databases specifically at dossier building on targets, etc etc. It's a well organized program of information gathering, actually.

Re:Smurftastic! (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46085359)

And a police officer has the technical capacity to walk into my house and shoot me dead. That I can appreciate his likely skill with a service revolver doesn't mean he gets to shoot me dead at a whim.

The same applies to the NSA. That it has some bright brains who have some impressive technical capabilities does not mean that they should be permitted to wantonly do it without proper civilian oversight, including the requirement that no US citizen's data be collected without an explicit and accurate warrant.

In other words; capacity is only part of the equation.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085421)

I'll just leave this right here..... http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/politics/nsa-snooping/

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085537)

That isn't really relevant. 1 person in 40,000 loses self-control, breaks the rules, and gets disciplined or fired. That behavior isn't policy, and people get punished for it.

NSA caught by targets that NSA wants to mention (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 8 months ago | (#46086129)

The NSA has 15 such cases that they feel like telling congress about. These are a few of the cases where the target caught on or the employee was otherwise busted. Given Snowden, it's reasonable to think NSA employees can do a lot without being caught.

As a rough guesttimate, maybe 1 / 20 who snoop on the woman they fantasize about get caught. How many of those are reported to Clapper? One in four? How many does Clapper want to tell Congress about? Maybe 1/4 of the ones he knows about?

So as a rough guess, 15 X 20 X 4 X 4 = 2,400 NSA employees have been spying on women they have a crush on.

Re:NSA caught by targets that NSA wants to mention (1)

russotto (537200) | about 8 months ago | (#46088305)

As a rough guesttimate, maybe 1 / 20 who snoop on the woman they fantasize about get caught.

The really clever ones fantasize about women who might actually be terrorists and spies. They never get caught.

Re:Smurftastic! (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 8 months ago | (#46085531)

The police do that more often than you think.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085653)

That is a really lazy analogy.

Re:Smurftastic! (1, Insightful)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 8 months ago | (#46085759)

That's a worthless comment.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Zordak (123132) | about 8 months ago | (#46085943)

That I can appreciate his likely skill with a service revolver

Cops don't carry those anymore. They carry Glocks. 9mm, 17+1 capacity. Yes, it's a technical nit to pick, but it means that the cop has 3x more bullets than you think he has if you think he's carrying a service revolver*. Also, he's probably carrying one or two spare magazines. In other words, Rain Man [xkcd.com] is screwed. Not only can he shoot you dead. He can shoot you very dead.

*I'm not saying this is always a bad thing. Cops deal with some seriously bad people sometimes, and I'm all for them being able to defend themselves. It just means that if you get a hotheaded cop on a power trip, there's potentially a lot of damage for IA to sweep under the rug in their coverup.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086465)

Cops don't carry those anymore. They carry Glocks. 9mm, 17+1 capacity. Yes, it's a technical nit to pick,

Wow, every single police department issues very specifically the Glock 17? That's the only Glock chambered in 9mm with a 17 round magazine standard (though the other 9mm models will accept them). That's an interesting assertion. Perhaps if you want to "pick a technical nit" you should make sure you know what you're talking about.

Let's look at the top 5 largest police departments in the US and see what they issue:

NYPD: Choice of 3, one of which is the Glock 19. Close, I guess. Officers on duty before 1994 may still carry their service revolver so you're wrong about that "nit" too.
Chicago, IL: Does not issue a sidearm. Officers must purchase their own from five manufacturers and three calibers. Again, officers serving since pre-1996 may keep their service revolver.
LAPD: Issued the Glock 17 or 22 by default (congratulations!), but are able to qualify and carry a wide variety of sidearm based on personal preference.
LASD: Issued the Smith & Wesson M&P9
CHP: Issued the Smith & Wesson 4006.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Zordak (123132) | about 8 months ago | (#46087703)

No, not every single cop everywhere carries specifically a Glock 17. But a numerical majority of them do carry Glocks, which was the point I made first ("They carry Glocks" is a fair generalization when it applies to well over 50% of police). Then I gave an example of a specific Glock that many of them carry, and used that to illustrate the fact that your typical cop is packing a lot more than just six rounds. When was the last time you saw a cop carrying a six-round service revolver (even if some of them theoretically can if they want to)? Are you asserting that a significant number of them still do? Maybe your experience is different from mine, but none of the cops I see in 2014 are carrying a .38 Special.

Re:Smurftastic! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46086051)

The United States government was designed, by The People, cognizant of past abuses inevitably and always leading to the downfall of freedom, with the guiding principle that this "technical capability" will be abused, and thus should only be used with warrant from a judge.

Even forgetting the sophistry that warrants are not needed, that the technical ability exists where a warrant is just a checkbox on a sheet which can be skipped at will, or at abuse, is the problem. There should be uncorruptible access logging at multiple offsite locations, with review process.

These offsite spots should not even be remotely editable so an agent abusong the system at the behest of a politician cannot cover his tracks.

A sheet with "Did you get a warrant? [x] Yes [ ] No" doesn't cut it anymore.

Re:Smurftastic! (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 8 months ago | (#46086199)

Very eloquent post ! Government has failed the first lesson about technology:

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

And if you can't that does NOT imply to wantonly ignore the rules, nor does it mean simply change them to suit your fancy.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087821)

Can you cite the law that requires a warrant absolutely?

Hint: there is none.

All an officer needs to do is claim "exigent circumstances" and they can do whatever they want without a warrant, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

The "exigent circumstances" exemption to the 4th amendment effectively nullifies it.

Re:Smurftastic! (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46087931)

The "exigent circumstances" exemption to the 4th amendment effectively nullifies it.

Weird. I don't see that one in my copy of the Constitution. Are you using Constitution 2.0?

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46085403)

Jawohl mein herr, ein fery efficient program.
Vi hafe ways of knowing vat you fink! Trust us, vi only hafe the best interest of the nation in mind...

Re:Smurftastic! (2)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 8 months ago | (#46085517)

Mister President, we must not allow a mine shaft gap!

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

msauve (701917) | about 8 months ago | (#46086871)

A chicken in every pot, an orifice for every edifice!

Re:Smurftastic! (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 8 months ago | (#46085527)

The NSA seems to be only a few short steps away from the gas chambers and crematoriums.

Re:Smurftastic! (3, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46085785)

While that's a bit of an exaggeration since NSA is only collecting (once the data comes up/who cares where the hammer falls down/it's not my department/says NSA von braun), it fits in a more worrisome pattern.

There was never a doubt in the European's mind that waterboarding is torture, because that's what was used by the Reich on the resistance. When you add a KGB/Stasi-on-steroids NSA, that makes for a nasty vibe.

Re:Smurftastic! (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 8 months ago | (#46086639)

There was never a doubt in the European's mind that waterboarding is torture, because that's what was used by the Reich on the resistance.

And by the Spanish Inquisition, who documented it amongst their methods of torture.

Go Virtual (1)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 8 months ago | (#46086125)

It seems like time to revisit virtualization within smartphones. Set up a VM with a bogus profile, and use that as a walled sandbox to run any questionable games or apps. If necessary, direct that VM's network traffic through an Internet proxy.

Re:Smurftastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087451)

You're like the big game hunter in Jurassic Park who says "Clever girl!" to the velociraptor just before it rips his heart out.

Of course it's Google Maps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085301)

Scroogled again!

Re:Of course it's Google Maps (0)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 months ago | (#46085763)

The difference between Windows and android phones is that they must install a backdoor in the android ones.

So what. (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46085303)

People seem to be freaking out that all these capabilities exist when anyone with half a wit or more knew that this was all possible.

The question is regarding the set of controls over how and when this is done.

I mean, by golly, did you know that 5 years ago they could listen in on your phone conversations and even determine where you were located when you were making the phone call?!

Carrying on about these capabilities (as opposed to the way they are used) is going to look as quaint to people in 20 years as the above concern about land-line phone calls looks now.

Re:So what. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46085353)

I mean, by golly, did you know that 5 years ago they could listen in on your phone conversations and even determine where you were located when you were making the phone call?!

I mean, by golly, did you know that 50 years ago they could listen in on your phone conversations and even determine where you were located when you were making the phone call?!

Not quite as meaningul 5 years ago, lol.

Re:So what. (5, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46085541)

Yes, but it's only in the last couple decades that they've been able to regroup all the data from all the forms of communication attached to every single user.
The scale of the task used to keep people focused on potential targets. Now it's about having everything on everyone, because nobody ever got fired for having too much data when shit happens.

mod up. They used to target key suspects. (5, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 8 months ago | (#46086161)

Indeed, that's the difference. When they had to show up with a warrant for a specific individual and have agents sit and listen, they did that for high value suspects. Now it's all of us, all the time, who are the targets.

Re:So what. (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46085509)

But but... Hollywood keeps telling me I have 59 seconds before they can complete the trace?

Re:So what. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46085545)

"The question is regarding the set of controls over how and when this is done."

Yes, about those... The secret ones, that you'd need access to secret information to verify compliance with, based on a classified interpretation of a massive hodgepodge of assorted laws, executive orders, and precedents, as interpreted by a secret court that doesn't release opinions and hears only testimony from the state agents requesting authorization? Those ones... Forgive me if I'm... less than 100% reassured.

Internal regulation and discipline can't even keep the officers of Hickville PD from periodic abuses that end up drawing big civil suits, and those guys are both nearly powerless and highly vulnerable to 3rd party scrutiny. Why would anyone expect 'controls' on an agency that can just stamp 'Double Top Secret' on anything embarassing and bury it forever to be more than a joke for the break room?

Re:So what. (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 8 months ago | (#46088223)

They can't stop the officers of Hickville PD mostly because the community doesn't really have a problem with the abuses of Hickville PD.

You see, the citizens of Hickville don't much like African Americans or other minorities very much, they wouldn't say that to your face, but it the cops are hassling people, well they're probably criminals. Because they're in Hickville, the residents of Hickville are the only people who regularly see what they're doing and since those same residents actually approve of what they're doing nothing happens.

Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (5, Funny)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 8 months ago | (#46085317)

I, May of 2000, President Clinton unscrambled GPS for civilian usage.

I always wondered why he did this. To create the GPS industry? I don't think so. Instead I think it was with the full knowledge that in a short time, the NSA could track people using it.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

Kardos (1348077) | about 8 months ago | (#46085417)

What? GPS receivers don't transmit. How do you track a GPS receiver?

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085491)

A GPS receiver which is part of a phone/computer with multiple transmitters? Gee, that DOES seem really hard to do.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46085571)

What? GPS receivers don't transmit. How do you track a GPS receiver?

You don't(well, somebody with an indistinguishable-from-magic antenna array and a truck full of DSPs might be able to pick up some effect of your antenna and RF circuitry against background; but it'd be dubiously practical at best); but a great many GPS receivers are connected to cellphones that are delightfully cooperative about providing those data for you. Now, even without GPS, cell tower triangulation would provide rough data; but GPS neatens it up nicely.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (5, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 8 months ago | (#46086241)

This is why the FIRMWARE of phone radio CPUs needs to be fully open-sourced. Until they are, there is no way to audit them for privacy concerns nor modify them to close such loopholes.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46088335)

This is why the FIRMWARE of phone radio CPUs needs to be fully open-sourced. Until they are, there is no way to audit them for privacy concerns nor modify them to close such loopholes.

Either the firmware didn't have spyware built in or the NSA's slides are misinformation, describing rootkits they didn't actually need to create in order to keep us from worrying about bugged firmware. Oh, and they must have planted this misinformation expecting that Snowden (or someone like him) would leak it.

I'm not discounting your concern, firmware is a nice vector for such spyware. But this particular data release is fairly strong evidence against it being a real problem, at least in the recent past.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46088571)

but that will make it harder for google to lock people in to android.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 8 months ago | (#46085611)

uhhmmm. yeah. the gps receiver doesn't transmit. but your phone, hooked to a gps receiver, does. now go back and read the article again.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085701)

What? GPS receivers don't transmit. How do you track a GPS receiver?

People keep saying this, but even putting aside cellphones (which obviously transmit this information frequently), unless you're very careful with the (often repetitive) privacy questions, your car GPS (which is what most people think of as a "gps") will transmit history every time you plug it in to update it.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (2)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 8 months ago | (#46086401)

While they don't transmit, per se, if GPS is enabled (and sometimes even if disabled) the most recent GPS fix is typically stored in memory.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086735)

What? GPS receivers don't transmit. How do you track a GPS receiver?

No but your cell phone does transmit, ever wonder why the government REQUIRED all cell phones to be GPS enabled? It was very hard to track the old analog phones, that is why the government MANDATED that all analog cell service end.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087987)

All cell phones have GPS for E-911 compliance. People calling 911 on a cell phone often tend to forget or are unable to tell the dispatcher where they are. The E-911 system uses the GPS integrated into the phone to allow the dispatcher to pinpoint the callers location. The E-911 mandate increased public safety and has saved lives.

Analog cell service ended because it is an inefficient use of spectrum and cell phone companies could carry more simultaneous phone calls per cell site with digital. Battery life was also much better with digital. Most of the digital TDMA and CDMA from the 1990's up the early 2000's had no GPS receivers. The FCC issued an order requiring cell phone companies to keep analog running much longer than those companies would have liked. So thank the federal government for keeping analog running for years after it was considered entirely obsolete.

Now that I have completely debunked your paranoid fear-mongering with some facts, would you please take off your tin foil hat.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

thelexx (237096) | about 8 months ago | (#46087533)

While I don't agree with the op's premise, if you encourage civilian devices to use it while knowing you can tap or otherwise access all the logs of the receiving devices (vehicles/OnStar, phones), then...?

Re: Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46088715)

They do when they are in a smartphone and you 1. get served "advertisements", 2. use Google Maps or other major map service.

This is of course done to "improve the user experience" and NSA has nothing to do with it.

Whoever thought this up is brilliant. Get humans to pay for their own surveillance and make it financially incentivized to do more of it! Bravo, I tip my hat, Sir.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 8 months ago | (#46085589)

It was because it was largely useless to use selective availability at the time as the only people who were punished were those using low grade GPS receivers. Military wasn't subject to it and golf courses, surveyors, and our enemies could get around it via base stations.I'm sure this is intentionally paranoid but a GPS is essentially nothing more than a clock, with more expensive GPS being better clocks.

Re:Ever wonder why US unscrambled GPS Signals. (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 8 months ago | (#46085601)

I, May of 2000, President Clinton unscrambled GPS for civilian usage.

I always wondered why he did this. To create the GPS industry? I don't think so. Instead I think it was with the full knowledge that in a short time, the NSA could track people using it.

Not exactly. GPS was always available for public usage, they just turn off "selective availability", which increased the accuracy of civilian GPS (from the ~50 meter accuracy down to meter or sub-meter accuracy).

I stopped using smartphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085319)

Hopefully the open source phones catch up, because right now carrying around a general purpose computing device you have no control over thanks to the carriers strikes me as an astoundingly bad idea.

Re:I stopped using smartphones (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46085645)

Hopefully the open source phones catch up, because right now carrying around a general purpose computing device you have no control over thanks to the carriers strikes me as an astoundingly bad idea.

Having a phone whose OS is either compromised or deliberately acting against you is obviously unhelpful; but unless you control the baseband you are pretty much fucked regardless of the OS. Cell networks are fundamentally pretty hostile in terms of how much control is held by the network or at very low levels in the baseband, rather than where you can actually see it.

Big surprise (NOT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085321)

The permissions system in Android is and has been a joke since the beginning. I would never use it as is.

I install F-wall for fine-grained control of network permissions on per-app basis. I don't use any "cloud-based" applications (Google, Facebook, etc). There ARE FOSS alternatives.

  * K-9 mail (IMAP mail)
  * Calendar Sync Adapter (plugs into Android's calendar and enables sync to a Caldav server. It's early in development but works for me)
  * Firefox

We spent 25 years getting rid of Windows and it's ugly .exe-world and now we're quickly replacing it with something even worse. It's deeply tragic from a security point of view.

Re: Big surprise (NOT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085911)

Thank you for your summary of what you do and don't use. That has helped us further refine our incomplete profile on you and connect additional data into your master record.

Yours sincerely,
National Security Agency

Don't buy from US companies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085331)

Don't use their products. The move away from US technology has only just begun.

Re:Don't buy from US companies (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 8 months ago | (#46085393)

Shut up you fucking dunce. What are you going to buy, Chinese products? Or maybe you can buy from one of the other altruistic nation states, amirite?

Re:Don't buy from US companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085451)

Chinese phones have BigBrother software intended for tracking Chinese citizens. This spyware probably won't work well from US providers. I bet Chinese phones are actually more secure in the US, and I also suspect the converse is true.

China doesn't know it's shipping phones to the US? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 8 months ago | (#46086227)

> Chinese phones have BigBrother software intended for tracking Chinese citizens. This spyware probably won't work well from US providers.

I suspect the Chinese have noticed that they're shipping millions of phones to their #1 rival, the US.
Notice are set up in English. It's beyond trivial for the Chinese to set export phones to English language and US region backdoor.

Re:Don't buy from US companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085529)

Lots harder for Chinese spies to come over and screw up my life than it is for American spies. Today, knowing or not knowing about backdoors and hacked products, I'd buy Chinese over American beause we all know that US tech is all built in China, anyway. And, for sure, none of our data is going to be sitting in a data-centre "cloud" in the US. Screw that. So, ya, I believe it's probably best to not use US products.

Angry Birds (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 8 months ago | (#46085419)

One article I read phrased this as the NSA spying on Angry Birds use. Come to think of it, it makes sense! You are launching projectiles (birds) at "buildings" (the pigs' structures) to cause casualties (pigs). The black bird's even a bomb that blows himself up. The Angry Birds are terrorists!!!

Re:Angry Birds (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46085489)

I approve the part about the pigs being the target.

Cyanogenmod Privacy Guard (1)

emil (695) | about 8 months ago | (#46085477)

Does this feature [androidcentral.com] have any ability to secure a phone?

I take no small pleasure in doing this to Facebook.

Re:Cyanogenmod Privacy Guard (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46087175)

You need to think of the NSA as the "Eye of Sauron" Sauron had immense power, but without focus it was spread weakly across the world. But when the Eye was pointed your way, whoa unto you. You can't secure your phone against the NSA. If you get their attention they will have everything. This is the way it will be until the evil is destroyed.

So... (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 8 months ago | (#46085523)

now can we encrypt all traffic by default?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085679)

now can we encrypt all traffic by default?

Why do you hate our Freedoms?

Re: So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085955)

Yes you may. For maximum security we recommend that you use an encryption standard from the NIST.

Yours sincerely,
National Security Agency

Re:So... (1)

Burz (138833) | about 8 months ago | (#46085999)

There is one way... http://geti2p.net/ [geti2p.net]

They have an android version in alpha, too, but its mainly a PC/server networking layer.

The thing to remember about plain encryption is that it still shows a lot of metadata: the Who, When, and Where of all your communications. It should be paired with an anonymizing network layer like I2P if you want to minimize leakage of that info.

Re:So... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086281)

If you're rooted, encrypting does nothing but give a false sense of security.

And the collusion continues.... (5, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46085767)

From the following linked article:
"During a recent interview session I had with Mikko Hypponen, the chief research officer for digital security company F-Secure Corp, he shared that he was friends with the men behind Rovio, the creators behind another massive success story--Angry Birds."

http://www.thestar.com.my/stor... [thestar.com.my]

A couple of years ago I tried, in earnest, to inform Mikko Hypponen of evidence I had acquired (first-hand) that proved that Sony Entertainment was gathering data from computers that had Sony software installed, after being referred to him by Mark Russinovich (of Microsoft/Sysinternals fame). I was stone-walled completely, even after providing crash-dumps that held all the evidence he needed to go public-- now, I know why.

Re:And the collusion continues.... (1)

Anti-Social Network (3032259) | about 8 months ago | (#46087225)

Wow. As much as I liked the TED talks the guy gave that put him firmly in the anti-NSA camp, I wonder what his scruples say about this potential conflict of interest (considering how much info Angry Birds sends back to the mothership...). If you weren't already at +5 I would mod you up.

ASOP has Google market issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46085845)

Let's fix it, there are some really great roms out there. Rooting for wireless Tether is VITAL. And another killer app, though it may seem minor it makes a huge difference, is the ability to change tracks in your pocket without looking at the phone at all. Using long press on the volume keys.
 
  Down with surveillance, the NSA has been given broad authority with NOTHING to show for it. Time to lock down everything they don't admit they are spying on... I don't want NSA people to have all the best pick up lines, that'd be evil.
 
  And their manchurian candidate with access to the opponent's copy of Microsoft Office and Powerpoint can't be beat using conventional politics.

I Would Favor This (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 8 months ago | (#46085983)

The shame of it is, if I felt that the NSA was obeying the law, not watching people but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, I would favor this capability.

Though let me be clear here; by "probable cause", I mean that a substantial percentage of the people who pass the probable cause bar wind up being found guilty. The notion that anyone crossing the border is subject to search, for example, doesn't pass the test.

Re:I Would Favor This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087923)

The reason this kind of power is so dangerous is that you cannot and will never have these assurances. They'll always hold all the cards and you will be obligated to take them at their word. I'm not seeing any scenario anywhere involving any government, corporation or other organization (or individual for that matter), even one that is ostensibly benevolent, in which I could view an assurance of good will but no transparency with anything but deep incredulity. And the really disconcerting thing is that some (many) people these days call that paranoid or dismiss it in a similar way.

Re:I Would Favor This (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 8 months ago | (#46088657)

Of course people crossing a border pass that test. US Customs was created and empowered to search people crossing the borders by the people who actually created the constitution. Searching people and objects entering your country is something that law enforcement is empowered to do in every single country on earth and has always been empowered to do in every single country on earth.

software you don't control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086007)

This perpetual slide towards software we have less and less control over is NOT a good thing for us. Everyone buying into it is a chump.

Yes, it's true that the cell tower can collect your phone's location even if you have a trustworthy software stack. But that's better than collecting your phone's location AND everything you ever do with your phone's software.

But go ahead people. Keep buying the shiny cages. I mean, it's worked out so well so far.

Biased legal system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086231)

So, if I do this as a private individual I get arrested, but the NSA is off the hook?

Suspicions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086235)

I have bought an SSH app for my WP8 phone. For all I know I have given keys to my kingdom to the NSA, organized criminals, or both.

WEARABLES BECOME TRACKABLES (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086243)

You may refuse and dont want a GPS bracelet on your ankle or wrist but that is what you will have. A dog collar for all of your LIFE.

WEARABLES, it's the future... (not your future as you have non in your digital cage) :)

Re:WEARABLES BECOME TRACKABLES (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 8 months ago | (#46086729)

You may refuse and dont want a GPS bracelet on your ankle or wrist but that is what you will have. A dog collar for all of your LIFE.

WEARABLES, it's the future... (not your future as you have non in your digital cage) :)

Dont want a GPS bracelet tracking your every move?
Dont wear one.

It is optional to wear one ( unless you commit heinous crimes ).

The question becomes, do you *need* to wear one?
Today: not really.
The future: would be a 'nice to have' and cheap as chips. But probably still optional.

Your phone has a GPS too and ou can be tracked via cellular triangulation, so if you are worried about tracking, you might as well not have a mobile phone at all.

TLDR: Dont worry, you are allowed to not buy one.

Classified markings (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | about 8 months ago | (#46086473)

If those Powerpoint slides are legit, then someone inside the NSA is seriously negligent in proper portion marking of classified documents. That's a security violation right there.

This is close to treachery (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 8 months ago | (#46086745)

Surely the existence of these abilities is a useful power in meaningful intelligence activity, so its revelation does make the NSA less effective in its legitimate work. The whole debate is always sailing close to this line; to me these revelations are over the line, unlike a lot of the earlier ones.

You read /. so you already knew this right? (4, Informative)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 8 months ago | (#46086777)

The file "Computer_Forensics_for_Prosecutors_(2013)_Part_1".pdf has this gem in it.

"Users of mobile devices and cloud storage sign off on their rights to data scanning, There is no opt-out option."

This file showed up when a question of True Crypt being back doored came up, as out of the blue it mentions it is; if not set up correctly I would tend to agree.

Page 16 http://www.techarp.com/article... [techarp.com]
article lies about Phil ZImermann but the only place I could find the file.

Re:You read /. so you already knew this right? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46087037)

"Page 16 http://www.techarp.com/article [techarp.com] ..."

Mod up Informative, please.

This called hacking ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46086885)

... and it is a felony in the USA.

Re:This called hacking ... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 8 months ago | (#46087795)

Not if the government does it. The government doesn't have to follow the laws it passes for we the peasants.

easy to circumvent (2)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | about 8 months ago | (#46086955)

I often type in and drive to strip clubs and card rooms just to throw the NSA off since those searches are in complete contradiction of my choir boy profile.

Re:easy to circumvent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087115)

you sly devil, I do the same exact same thing, except i actually enter the bars

unknown unknown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46087629)

Basically everyone needs to deal with the risk of multiple entry points into the organisation .... How anyone will deal with the security risk assessment is beyond me.

All that trouble... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about 8 months ago | (#46087823)

Just to get a picture of my dong. They could have just asked, I mean, if it was for national security and all that...

This whole Snowden thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46088063)

Is really fucked up
Do we not have better things to think about?

If it's on the phone... ? (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 8 months ago | (#46088139)

"If it's on the phone..."
Oh yeah? Not if I don't have a smart phone with data, you can't.

Still not gonna give in.

President Obama: Pervert N Chief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46088553)

So it slowly come out.

Mr. Obama the "President N Chief."

His demands for minute-by-minute information on all U.S.A. citizens and all Not-U.S.A. citizens is nothing more than to satisfy his pervert fetishes.

Well Mr. Pervert N Chief, I hope your masturbations soothe the "Executive" and are service payable from the U.S.A. Treasury.

Obama goes from 'First Stoner' to 'First Masturbator.'

Ha ha

Sad but true
You are You

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