• Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)

    October 15, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America

    snowden hopex

    You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.

    Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.

    According to Snowden, the UK’s spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone’s smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack.

    GCHQ calls these smartphone hacking tools the “Smurf Suite.” The suite includes:

    “Dreamy Smurf” is the power management tool that turns your phone on and off with you knowing.

    “Nosey Smurf” is the hot mic tool. “For example,” Snowden said, “if the phone is in your pocket, NSA/GCHQ can turn the microphone on and listen to everything that’s going on around you, even if your phone is switched off because they’ve got the other tools for turning it on.

    “Tracker Smurf” is a geolocation tool which allows spies to follow you with a greater precision than you would get from the typical triangulation of cellphone towers.

    “Paranoid Smurf” is a defensive mechanism designed to make the other tools installed on the phone undetectable.

    Snowden said the NSA has spent close to $1 billion to develop these smartphone hacking programs.

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      Who knew that the state would not have to embed chips in its citizens to keep check of their every move but instead give them a toy to carry around for the same purpose? To want to know everything all the time is sadly a sign that this is the Age of Paranoia. What;s next? I can’t imagine where such paranoia and spying will eventually lead this country except another Dark Age.

      10/15/15 8:13 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Perhaps America’s biggest and perhaps fatal “intelligence failure” (pun intended) has been the synergistic partnership of the MICC (Congressional has been added) and the NSA with both business models demanding that everyone and anything is to be labelled a foe or threat including our own citizens.

      10/15/15 12:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      OrWell –
      X 5.

      10/15/15 12:21 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Off subject. Historical footnote. Kevin McCarthy’s bragging comment slip put Hillary Clinton into the White House. It is terrifying to realize how history can hinge on a teeny little verbal utterance.

      10/15/15 3:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      According to media reporting, sounds like these tools are being used in other domestic activities, as back doors to getting a warrant. and we STILL have hardcore criminals about. The technology is not a panacea. They can eavesdrop — they cant do anything to the bad guys meanwhile

      Or can they?

      10/15/15 6:36 PM | Comment Link

    • Patricia said...


      Are these people for real???
      I’m convinced they’re all batshit crazy!

      10/15/15 8:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Nic108 said...


      I call the NSA and other Police State agencies “Criminal Bureaucrat Smurfs”.

      10/15/15 8:29 PM | Comment Link

    • The passing scene – October 16, 2015 | Phil Ebersole's Blog said...


      […] Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You) by Peter Van Buren for We Meant Well. […]

      10/16/15 6:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You) « Antiwar.com Blog said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      10/18/15 9:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You) | Michigan Standard said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com. […]

      10/19/15 3:00 AM | Comment Link

    • Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You) said...


      […] Read more: WeMeantWell.com […]

      10/19/15 12:37 PM | Comment Link

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