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

Earlier this week, protesters marched for Freddie Gray through downtown Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. A larger protest is planned for Saturday afternoon.

After Baltimore March, Clashes Between Protesters, Police

People gathered in the city’s streets in support of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a fatal spinal cord injury during or after his arrest. Later, protests took a violent turn at Camden Yards.


Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso (center) of the Philippines, is escorted by Indonesian officers during a hearing to appeal her conviction on drug-smuggling charges in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in March. Veloso is one of three "Bali Nine" inmates who have been told their execution date is imminent.

Indonesia Sets Executions For 3 ‘Bali Nine’ Drug-Smugglers

At least three members of the trafficking ring — two Australians seen as ringleaders and a Filipina maid who acted as a “mule” — have been informed that their execution by firing squad is imminent.


On Everest, Quake-Triggered Avalanche Leaves Death, Chaos

Early reports are that at least eight climbers and/or Sherpas have been killed at Everest Base Camp. Others are trapped higher up on the world’s tallest peak.


Near Valletta, Malta, on Thursday there was a funeral service for 24 of the hundreds of migrants who died earlier in the week when the ship they were on capsized and sank.

There’s A Sad Reason ‘Migrants,’ Not ‘Immigrants,’ Is The Word Being Used

Hundreds of people died this month when an overloaded ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea. They were on the move, but never reached their destinations.


Volunteers help with rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday. The temblor is the worst in Nepal in 80 years.

1,400 Confirmed Dead In Nepal After Powerful Earthquake

The magnitude-7.8 temblor hit north of the capital Kathmandu, toppling buildings in the capital. Dozens were also killed in neighboring India, China and Bangladesh.


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
Underwriting Payments