In case you thought your smartphone might be a last bastion of safety for your private information, it appears that the NSA has complete and total access to data on devices from each of the leading manufacturers. Spiegel reports “that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.” That information includes contact lists, SMS messages, notes and any location data stored on the phone.
The report also states that the NSA has a dedicated group in place for each operating system. Some documents uncovered in the report apparently revealed that by hacking personal computers that have synced to an iPhone, the NSA has gained access to “at least 38 iPhone features.” The most startling revelation of the report might be the fact that the NSA has been able to infiltrate the BlackBerry email system, which by all accounts is extremely secure. BlackBerry provided a statement to Spiegel ensuring the public that it had not enabled any kind of “back door” access for the NSA.
If there can be any consolation found in the Spiegel report, it’s that smartphone tapping “has not been a mass phenomenon,” but rather a focused effort targeting specific individuals that has been achieved without the permission of any of the manufacturers affected by the hacking.