Et tu, Angry Birds?

Hackers updated the Angry Birds website following news of its misuse by NSA

Just when you thought it was safe to relax and have some fun, it turns out that the NSA is even tracking you through Angry Birds:

The National Security Agency has targeted popular smartphone-based social games like “Candy Crush” and “Angry Birds” to pilfer personal information, including phone numbers, e-mails and codes that identify the user’s device, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Apple and other companies have made a great public show of objecting to the NSA’s accessing their customers’ information, suing to be able to publicly disclose surveillance agencies’ issuance of national security orders to them.

But as continuing revelations show, disclosure of “requests” for information through “the channels” are fairly meaningless.

For example, Apple’s recent release discloses that it received between zero and 249 national security orders between January 1 and June 30, 2013, affecting between zero and 249 accounts—which means, exactly what?

In point of fact, as its use of Angry Birds shows, NSA need not bother with such pesky procedures as issuing national security orders at all—it simply hacks at will: “The NSA Reportedly Has Total Access To The Apple iPhone:”

Of course, Apple is hardly the only smartphone maker targeted by the NSA. According to Der Spiegel, Android and even Blackberry have been cracked by the agency, though perhaps not so thoroughly.

With every aspect of your every daily activity captured and indefinitely stored in government facilities, safest to simply assume: anything you say, play, do, or think can and will be used against you when it suits the government to do so.

4th Amendment, anyone?

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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