But intelligence officials aren’t necessarily interested in monitoring private communications on the phone. They want to use the device to take photos or eavesdrop.
"They want to own your phone instead of you,” Snowden insisted.And smartphone owners have “very little” they can do to stop these officials from cracking their device.
For the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British digital spy agency, all it takes is a well-placed encrypted text message to get into the smartphone it wants to manipulate. The message is even invisible to the user, making it extraordinarily difficult to not succumb to the hack.
GCHQ has dubbed these capabilities the “Smurf Suite,” named after the Belgian cartoon characters that live in mushroom-shaped houses.
“Dreamy Smurf is the power management tool which means turning your phone on and off with you knowing," Snowden said.
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