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New Snowden Report Exposes NSA Program Spying on 70 Percent of The World’s Cellular Networks

December 8, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
New Snowden Report Exposes NSA Program Spying on 70 Percent of The World’s Cellular Networks Image courtesy of wired.com

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The Intercept released an astonishing report, which says that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on 70 percent of world’s mobile phone networks using a top secret program called Auroragold for several years now.

Auroragold exploits security breaches and has the ability to implement new security programs into cellular networks, which gives the NSA the ability to listen in on phone calls and text messages.

The information was revealed by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who released thousands of classified NSA documents on several social networks and websites back in 2013.

Journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald met Snowden in Hong Kong last year.

In that meeting,  Snowden revealed to them that additional classified information about NSA spying techniques would be released.

The two journalists sometimes actually publish the information on their online site, The Intercept, and study the reactions from both public and government.

The US Department of Justice sentenced Snowden in absentia to 30 years in prison for violating the US Espionage Act and theft of government property.

Snowden has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

According to the latest report from The Intercept, NSA’s Auroragold program has been continuing it’s spying program on more than 1.200 e-mail accounts and communications made through dozens of mobile phone networks around the world for the last few years.

The GSM Association (GSMA), an association of mobile operators headquartered in the UK, which some of the biggest members telephone operators and IT companies in the world are members, have been a major target of the NSA.

Members include, AT&T, Vodafone, Cisco, Samsung and Microsoft.

The GSMA provides and implements new systems and technologies in order to improve cellular network security around the globe.

The Intercept report provides the reason as to why the NSA showed an interest in GSMA’s documentation on roaming technology, which gives mobile phone users the ability to call home when traveling abroad.

The NSA made a cohesive effort to spy on GSMA’s encryption protocols and new roaming technologies.

The revelations have made life harder for the NSA by having to face backlash from the public and foreign intelligence agencies.

With regard to the latest revelations, the NSA would not confirm the latest leaks.

Vanee Vines, spokesperson for the Agency said with regards of the discovery:

“NSA operates within the law and it adheres to a presidential mandate in its “attention to everyday means of communication” in a commitment to a secure, open and interoperable global Internet. Terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other foreign targets often rely on the same means of communication as ordinary people. In order to anticipate and understand evolving threats to our citizens and our allies, NSA works to identify and report on the communications of valid foreign targets,”

The Intercept report also shows that the NSA has been collecting information through 70 percent of worldwide cell phone networks including those in the Middle East,  China, and Northern Africa, however the US was not among NSA’s top targets of network espionage.

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