The National Security Agency can reportedly spy directly on smartphones, according to leaked documents from Germany’s Der Spiegel. Der Spiegel reports that the NSA can “tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.”
The internal documents boast about being able to infiltrate iPhones as they sync to a user’s computer, and that the NSA briefly lost access to BlackBerry in 2009, after a Canadian company acquired it. Currently, Der Spiegel only reports that the NSA taps iPhones, BlackBerries and Android, but more could be revealed.
Smartphone makers, especially Apple, have claimed that agencies can’t read the encrypted messages that are sent between devices of the same type (i.e. iMessage and BBM). However, since those messages are sent through a company-owned server, it is possible that the NSA could have access to them. If Der Spiegel’s report is true, it would be especially damaging to BlackBerry, with its strong following in government.
Der Spiegel writes that it will publish “the full article” tomorrow. So, until then, we don’t know if your Angry Birds score is free from prying eyes.