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American and British spies hacked into the world’s largest sim card manufacturer in a move that gave them unfettered access to billions of cellphones around the globe and looks set to spark another international row into overreach by espionage agencies.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent GCHQ hacked into Gemalto, a Netherlands sim card manufacturer, stealing encryption keys that allowed them to secretly monitor both voice calls and data, according to documents newly released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable,” said Gerard Schouw, a member of the Dutch Parliament, when told of the spy agencies’ actions. Schouw, the intelligence spokesperson for D66, the largest opposition party in the Netherlands, told The Intercept, “We don’t want to have the secret services from other countries doing things like this.” Schouw added that he and other lawmakers will ask the Dutch government to provide an official explanation and to clarify whether the country’s intelligence services were aware of the targeting of Gemalto, whose official headquarters is in Amsterdam.
Last November, the Dutch government amended its constitution to include explicit protection for the privacy of digital communications, including those made on mobile devices. “We have, in the Netherlands, a law on the [activities] of secret services. And hacking is not allowed,” Schouw said. Under Dutch law, the interior minister would have to sign off on such operations by foreign governments’ intelligence agencies. “I don’t believe that he has given his permission for these kind of actions.”
originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: AgentSmith
Wouldn't this be a criminal, prosecutable act if it was done without permission? Have we got no consideration for friendly nations and reputable businesses?
I'm 100% in favour of National Security! Who wants bombs going off or infrastructure being disrupted?
But shouldn't there be some moderation here? Just because we have the skills to listen in to friends and enemies doesn't mean we should. Where's the oversight? Where's the diplomacy? Which nations and states will be able to trust the UK and US in the future?
Isn't national security dependent on international stability too? Such stability has been created by countries becoming allies and unions. Listening in to everyone might increase national security on one hand and take it away with the other when cooperation begins to decline.
originally posted by: ManFromEurope
A nice touch is that every single mobile-based communication is now worthless as proof in court, as the possiblity of counterfeiting a SIM-card by national agencies is now proven.
Therefore, every documented communication via mobile could be a forgery by a governmental agency.