Updated by nota. My update is between the black lines:
If you had any doubt left about how you are viewed by your own government, this story should erase it. Last week we found out that the National Security Agency (NSA) and its UK counterpart GCHQ have backdoors into various security offerings used online, including popular service providers like Facebook, Google, Hotmail and Yahoo, as well as technologies like SSL. Additionally, they can access data on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, which together make up over 90% of the smart phone market.
As bad as that is, however, that’s not the worst of it.
The documentation in the Guardian report tells the real story behind all the spying, hacking and infiltration – in it, the NSA and GCHQ openly state that the enemy isn’t al-Qaeda or some other terrorist organization as you would expect. Instead, you are the enemy.
Among other things, the program is designed to “insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems”. These would be known to the NSA, but to no one else, including ordinary customers, who are tellingly referred to in the document as “adversaries”.
Also interesting to note is that the NSA programs are named after Civil War battles:
The full extent of the N.S.A.’s decoding capabilities is known only to a limited group of top analysts from the so-called Five Eyes: the N.S.A. and its counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of American Civil War battles. A parallel GCHQ counterencryption program is called Edgehill, named for the first battle of the English Civil War of the 17th century.
Unlike some classified information that can be parceled out on a strict “need to know” basis, one document makes clear that with Bullrun, “there will be NO ‘need to know.’ ”
Only a small cadre of trusted contractors were allowed to join Bullrun. It does not appear that Mr. Snowden was among them, but he nonetheless managed to obtain dozens of classified documents referring to the program’s capabilities, methods and sources.
Lying, spying on Americans, warrantless searches and seizures, and now openly stating that the American people are the enemy, all the while having the impudence to name their programs after Civil War battles.
Kinda tells you where we stand, doesn’t it?
The United States’ National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.
The documents also indicate that the NSA has set up specific working groups to deal with each operating system, with the goal of gaining secret access to the data held on the phones.”