In an attempt to snoop into the cell phone users’ privacy to gather more user data, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has targeted, hacked and weakened the global cellphone network provider, like UK-based GSM Association (GSMA) that provides cellphone networking tools to more than 800 operators around the world. This information was leaked by the whistleblower, Edwan Snowden and first reported by The Intercept.
The National Security Agency named this secret program as Auroragold, through which, the spying agency wanted to take control over every telecommunication networks across the globe and get full access to every mobile phone user.
According to Snowden, NSA attacked the GSMA to weaken its structure of the network to easily gain access to its more than 800 network operators to snoop into each and every mobile phone users in the world. That means, the NSA might have accessed user data from countries like Russia, China, India, Australia and more, wherever GSMA provided the services.
Till date, many revelations of NSA’s spying programs by Edward Snowden were USA centric, but this time the leaked documents suggest that the NSA is onto something big – global phone users. He said that the United States would have intercepted messages of cellphone users during the recent civil war in Syria, as well as other conflicts in the middle east.
So far, Germany and Brazil were the two countries which shown resilience to the US-backed secret surveillance program, and even added counter measures to avoid infiltration into the national security. Recently, Brazil cut off ties with the United States with a separate fiber optic cable for the Internet to its country, which doesn’t being routed through the US.
This makes us think twice about the built-in security and encryption service provided by the smartphone-makers on their latest smartphones such as Apple iPhone and Google’s Android L-powered smartphones. What’s the use, if the spying agencies can directly access the telecommunication networks?
It’s been also reported that GSMA targeting was helpful to NSA to gain access to the important users’ information in the US via AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Snowden revealed that this program was begun in 2010 and it’s still active without GSM Association’s notice. The GSMA said that its lawyers will thoroughly check the leaked documents and it will take action against the NSA. Will it be ever possible?