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

Falling oil prices have put downward pressure on gasoline prices, now averaging $2.65 a gallon — about 85 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Oil Prices Tumble Again, Hurting Drillers But Helping Drivers

Oil prices are falling, down sharply since mid-June to just over $45 a barrel. That has affected gasoline prices, now down to an average of $2.65 a gallon, about 85 cents less than a year ago.


President Obama delivers remarks at a Clean Power Plan event at the White House on Monday.

President Obama Unveils New Power Plant Rules In ‘Clean Power Plan’

Key elements include a requirement that would cut the power industry’s carbon pollution by 32 percent below 2005 levels in the next 15 years.


Attorney General Ken Paxton was booked on three felony securities fraud charges in Texas Monday morning.

Texas Attorney General Turns Himself In On Fraud Charges

Facing three felony charges of securities fraud, Ken Paxton was processed at a county jail and released on bail Monday morning.


Second American Accused In Illegal Killing Of Lion In Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean wildlife officials say the man killed the lion in April during a hunt that was illegal. This comes a week after the killing of a lion named Cecil sparked a worldwide outcry.


As part of its U.S. travels, hitchBOT rode along with two boys who were heading to summer camp. But a week later, the robot was found to have been vandalized.

Group Offers To Help Revive HitchBOT That Was Vandalized In Philadelphia

A kid-sized robot that’s built around a PVC bucket and sports a friendly face, the hitchBOT couldn’t make it out of Philadelphia in one piece.


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