Snowden Talks Cell Phone Privacy

In late 2015, Edward Snowden discussed cell phone privacy with BBC in a candid interview.

Snowden says: “They want to own your phone instead of you.” It sounds very much like he means we are being purposefully encouraged to buy our own tracking devices. That kinda saved the government some money, didn’t it?” – BBC

We think this interview is worth a watch. Some of the details of how you are being spied on may surprise you. For instance, some of the technologies used to spy on your phone are named after Smurfs. Yes, you heard correct – SMURFS.smurf spy

“these technologies are very disturbing; each one is built to spy on you in a different way:

  • “Dreamy Smurf”: lets the phone be powered on and off
  • “Nosey Smurf”:lets spies turn the microphone on and listen in on users, even if the phone itself is turned off
  • “Tracker Smurf”:a geo-location tool which allows [GCHQ] to follow you with a greater precision than you would get from the typical triangulation of cellphone towers.
  • “Paranoid Smurf”: hides the fact that it has taken control of the phone. The tool will stop people from recognising that the phone has been tampered with if it is taken in for a service, for instance.” – BBC Snowden Interview

And there are things you can do to prevent this. Immediate things you can do to make yourself more private:

  • Change your privacy settings so that your phone is not allowing tracking
  • Turn the phone off when not in use.
  • Purchase a cell phone case that blocks signals, when not in use (like a block-it pocket).
  • Add a password to your phone.
  • Don’t let others use your phone and don’t leave the phone where others might access it.
  • Download privacy apps for your phone that allow for encryption.

YouTube Documentary:

snowden interview

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