Edward Snowden, the famous whistle blower of WikiLeaks, has made another revelation in an interview with the Panorama program that is featured on the BBC. Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013 on a temporary asylum, has claimed that the Government Communications Headquarters agency of Britain has been using a method to gain complete access of the phones of unassuming phone users.
The tool uses a simple text message which can be sent on the phones of the users. Although the message will not be displayed on their phones, it allows the agency to control those phones. The agency is then able to switch on the phone’s microphone and camera, allowing it to spy on the people using the phones. It also allows GCHQ access to the data on the phone.
The application used by the agency is called “Smurf Suite”, which is named after the famous cartoon characters. The applications were named “Nosey Smurf”, “Tracker Smurf” and “Dreamy Smurf”. Through WikiLeaks, Snowden has revealed several past secrets that involve government agencies spying on people. This revelation about the British agency, is just one of many such measures used by the government to control the lives of its own citizens.
The text messages sent by the British agency is an unauthorised method to infringe upon the lives of British citizens. The exploit allows GCHQ to remotely switch the phones on and off without the permission of the owners. Such instances are concerning. Governments across the world have cited that such measures are for the safety of the people. However, the reality is such exploits do not enhance the security of the citizens. To put it simply, governments primarily indulge in such activities in order to gain more power.
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