The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.
The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.
The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.
I’m having a problem here!
First, I may or may not fully understand the term “text messages”, but I don’t recall EVER conducting a financial transaction with a text message. If they mean “clear text” transmission (as opposed to encrypted transmission), then I get that.
Second, the stuff I do in text messages is occasionally risky – that is – I have been responsible from sending a friend or relative a login or password for a social media account or resource that we share. But to be able to actually use that information, the NSA would have to have been listing to our phone and face-to-face conversations in the same time frame.
And I’m not bragging here, but I JUST DONT TEXT SENSITIVE INFORMATION. Do you?
Thanks to The Guardian