Angry Birds Leaking Data? NSA and GCHQ Sure Hope So!
Nowadays, everyone has been made aware of NSA tactics used in order to collect valuable data. However, GCHQ and the British have been using similar techniques towards gaining the same knowledge. After all, it is of primary concern to both countries, meaning the USA and UK, to understand and prevent acts of terror and violations against national security. Every single piece of information can be crucial and lead to much more consistent actions on behalf of both the agencies.
Recent reports have involved the leakage of data from popular applications on smartphones, such as Angry Birds. It seems like, despite belief, there is a lot of info lying beneath those apps and both the agencies aim at collecting it in the best manner possible. For instance, the agencies can learn all about the age and sex of the app user, his zip code and home country, as well as other important factors featuring the physical location and more sensitive data including the sexual orientation and the marital status. Grabbing hold of such data can be vital towards identifying any suspicious moves and the apps are the vessel, which helps in the collection process.
Of course, users and smartphones are completely ignorant of such collection and they continue making use of the very same apps, just like they have always done so far. The habitual patterns of the users though become powerful indications of anything that might alert the agencies and this has been the driving force in their target. Published by the legendary Edward Snowden, a lot of documents highlight the efforts of NSA primarily and GCHQ, following the same lead.
It is true that terrorists and other criminals who target the security of the country are dependent on their phones to a great extent. This has been widely acknowledged given their frequent use of mobile phones for various reasons. This has made NSA spend over one billion dollars in the field of surveillance, promoting more sophisticated and straight to the point methods in collecting precious data.
Back to the recent revelations now, NSA has been using the code name “Golden Nugget” for capturing the data in smartphones. The so called perfect scenario includes the mass collection of data deriving from the uploading of photos from smartphones to social media websites and apps. Fortunately enough for the public, Facebook and Twitter (among others) use EXIF for preventing such collection to be completed. Still, in various cases this is not enough or thoroughly performed to avoid mass data capturing.
In a similar pattern, GCHQ has been using the code names of Smurfs and several combinations that make it difficult to track. The agency can gather information from listening to conversations to identifying the exact location of the user and so on. As it has been predicted though, neither NSA nor GCHQ have made any comment on these reports and allegations. The sole comment has been that of the British regarding the legality of any action promoting public security. What is more, NSA went on to state that the only data collection is made against reasonably doubted users and has not been spread to the rest of the people.
As for Angry Birds Rovio, which is the creator of this extremely popular game, has stressed out that they do not have any relation whatsoever with such tracking efforts and they have never been informed on such tactics by the two agencies. All at once, they have pointed out that they have never been made aware of such actions.
In such troubled times, there is no wonder they call the game Angry Birds! Angry is how we should all feel about such revelations, after all!