In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama, the whistleblower reveals the sneaky tricks at the disposal of security agencies to hack into your mobile.
Rather bizarrely these little nasties have been named after the children’s cartoon The Smurfs. Cute names must make operatives feel better about the gross invasion of privacy.
All of this is allegedly achieved through an encrypted message you don’t even know has hit your phone. And once in, the spyware is not easily removed as it is purpose designed to escape the notice of even trained phone technicians.
That’s a specially crafted message that’s texted to your number like any other text message but when it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for it [the phone] but whoever controls the software owns the phone.”
Now it is conceded by the Snowden that the government has a tight legal framework to which they must adhere, ensuring only ‘necessary and proportionate’ monitoring takes place.
But given you are almost never going to know it is occurring, the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ rhetoric is irrelevant. They have the capability and what is to prevent its abuse?
Unsurprisingly the UK government has declined to comment on the allegations.
Could this be the start of a glorious comeback for the Nokia 3330?