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

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.

Reprinted with permission from

20 thoughts on “Snowden: NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)”

  1. Interesting to note that Snowdon revealed that the UK was keeping an eye on Argentina and her Malvinas aspirations. Google: 'Argentina's Illegitimate Sovereignty Claims' to take a critical look at Argentina's Falklands' claim.

    1. I salute no such thing. The Falklands were just rocks, until British farmers developed them. Then the Portuguese in Argentina said they had the right to throw out the farmers and take the farms for themselves – whatever.

      1. Rocks or not Malvinas is stolen land. I don't give a flying f**k if the limeys built roller coasters on them, theft is theft. The Crown has no more claim to them then they do Northern Ireland and "those Portuguese in Argentina" are called Argentinians you racist, queen shagging prick.

        Comrade hermit out! Drop the microphone.

      2. "Just rocks" with lucrative fishing rights and more recently off shore oil drilling rights. Funny how you forgot to mention those valuable property rights.

  2. Why do you think Merkel of Germany is such a slave to DC? They have her so blackmailed, along with most of the EU officials.

    1. That could very well be, Survivor. Though I think Merkel would likely do what she does anyway. But what the NSA and the GCHQ are doing is like Stasi's spying in East Germany, and probably gathers more "intel" than Stasi did with its informers. This is a new thing. What happens in a democracy when representatives are easily blackmailed? The ones who should stop it are … the representatives. Who are blackmailed.

      As Drudge tweeted after the Senate elections, handily won by Republicans on the promise to fight against Obamacare. And then they didn't. "NSA dirt on Boehner must be huge." Could very well be. Could be the case with some in the Supreme Court too. And as for the UN, we KNOW that the NSA set up fake internet cafés close to the General Assembly in order to catch diplomats' passwords. A human life is long, plenty of time to do things you could be blackmailed for – even when it's legal. I don't think anyone here can say he couldn't be blackmailed with this or that in his life. And we KNOW they listened in on Merkel's phone. What else? We can only speculate.

      The struggle today is not so much between Right and Left as between globalists and the rest. Obama and Bush and Clinton, Cameron and Brown and Blair, Merkel and Schröder and Kohl, Hollande and Sarkozy and Chirac – in everything essential they're the same.

      1. So why do you support British imperialism in the Falklands if you truly believe the above statements?

  3. Hmm interesting. So how can we prevent that? Any trick to make this Smurf Suite dissappear from our phone? Or it can't? Are the best way to prevent this spying by not using a phone?

  4. My guess is Apple, Samsung, Google etc. have ceded public privacy rights to government spying.

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