So here’s our top 10 list of NSA and GCHQ surveillance programmes, brought to you by Amnesty International and Privacy International.10.
Between December 2012 and January 2013, MUSCULAR collected 181 million records. users and took one still image every five minutes of video per user. webcam chats, what other video apps can they break into? It potentially also allowed GCHQ to monitor communications transmitted between Belgacom and its international partners (the company had connections across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa). The slightly dodgy You Tube videos you like to watch? It's not just a time waster and a way to Instagram photos of your dinner – now it's a tracking device and microphone that you willingly carry around with you all the time. Do not stand, sit, run or fall near someone who owns a mobile phone.3. NSA and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK have access to it. This is one giant database full of billions of people's emails, text messages and phone calls.
In the Philippines, Kenya and Mexico, Mystic ‘only’ records the metadata (who called who, when the call happened, for how long and the location of the call if it was made on a mobile). GCHQ targeted Belgacom, Belgium's largest telecommunications provider, with spyware called Regin, a malicious piece of software designed to break into Belgaom’s networks. It has 400 mobile network operator partners with 700 million subscribers. For example, Google’s gmail service had 425 million active users worldwide in June 2012. Nosey Smurf is a “hot mic” feature that turns on the microphone on a phone to listen in to conversations going on around it. The NSA and GCHQ directly intercept cables connected to the US (through Upstream) and the UK (Tempora).
Mystic spies on every single phone call made in five target countries. Gemalto is the largest SIM Card manufacturer in the world, producing two billion sim cards a year. These internet companies store enormous quantities of personal information. Dreamy Smurf is a program that allows its user to activate a target's phone when it is apparently turned off. Undersea fibre optic cables carry 99% of the world’s communications.
The hysteria currently can only be attributed to the numerous Social Media posts and blogs informing people who were otherwise uninformed.
Increasingly more and more people are voicing their concern and even their anger at the permissions needed from the user in order to use the App.Although the App was released some time ago, it wasn’t until Facebook took away end user choice and made the App mandatory that the concerns began to materialize and spread like wildfire on social media and blogs alike. It has always required autonomous access without user confirmation to the device’s microphone and camera.