Nation & World News

NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

By Eyder Peralta on January 27th, 2014

The National Security Agency, along with its British counterpart, the GCHQ, can exploit sometimes very personal data that leaks from popular phone apps.

That’s according to The New York Times, which is basing its reporting on secret British documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the Times, the NSA and GCHQ have “traded recipes for grabbing location and planning data when a target uses Google Maps, and for vacuuming up address books, buddy lists, phone logs and the geographic data embedded in photos when someone sends a post to the mobile versions of Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and other services.”

Not only that but the agencies can also scoop up data as it moves across the stream. When one person updated the Android software on their phone, for example, the agencies captured “nearly 500 lines of data about the phone’s history and use onto the network.”

As Times puts it, this kind of data is normally used by mobile ad companies to create detailed profiles of phone users. From this data, the ad companies are able to discern where people travel, “what apps and websites they open” and might be able to “triangulate web shopping data and browsing history to guess whether someone is wealthy or has children, for example.”

It’s important to note that the Times piece talks about capabilities, not necessarily what the NSA and GCHQ are doing. While it’s clear the spy agencies are scooping up data, it’s unclear the extent or how much of it is coming from Americans.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to play in the NBA in 1950, died Thursday at 86. He's seen here, center, being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003.

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

Earl Lloyd, who died Thursday, once recalled telling a young man who thanked him for blazing a trail, “Man, you owe me absolutely nothing.”


Actor Leonard Nimoy died Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 83.

Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock On ‘Star Trek,’ Dies At 83

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his granddaughter tells NPR.


People gather on the spot where Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy was killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday.

Bangladeshi-American Blogger Hacked To Death In Dhaka

Avijit Roy’s writings denounced fundamentalist thought and earned him death threats from Islamist groups. His wife, Rafida Ahmed, who was with him during the attack Thursday, was severely wounded.


9 People Found Dead In Southern Missouri

Police say a gunman is among those who died following a series of shootings in multiple locations Thursday night.


Senate OKs Funding For Homeland Security; House Has Rival Plan

The Senate has voted to fund Homeland Security through Sept. 30. But it will likely also take up a three-week extension of funding that is moving forward in the House.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments