Spy Agencies Targeted Angry Birds App Users for Information
Published on: 28th Jan 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
US spies are routinely spying on some of the most popular mobile apps, according to documents from the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
It would seem that the NSA is able to log information broadcast by mobile apps back to their own servers, such as location and websites being visited. The mobile apps might be using that information for advertising, but almost any information can seemingly be targetted by the spies.
In a statement, the NSA said it was not interested in data beyond "valid foreign intelligence targets".
Is that the angry bird, or the evil pig?
"Any implication that NSA's foreign intelligence collection is focused on the smartphone or social media communications of everyday Americans is not true," the statement added.
Quite how much information is being gathered this way seems unclear at the moment, so it could be a small operation, or a huge project hoovering up vast quantities of information.
However, the reports suggest that both the UK and US spy agencies are increasing their data collection from mobile apps, seeing that as valuable trove of information.
The joint UK-US programme "effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system" one document from the UK spy agency, GCHQ written in 2008 is quoted as saying.
Another report from 2012 explicitly mentioned the Angry Birds game and how to extract information from the Android app.
Your penchant for throwing birds at pigs could be stored in an NSA computer somewhere as an indication of your personality.