Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed on Monday the UK government acquired vast amounts of communications data from inside Pakistan by secretly hacking into routers manufactured by the US company, Cisco.
In a interview the whistleblower said cellphones can be hacked into by British secret agents remotely using an easy text message and make audio recordings or shoot pictures without owners knowings.
Snowden asserted that GCHQ used some interception programs called “Smurf Suite”, following the blue cartoon characters, The Smurfs.
“Nosey Smurf” empowered secret agents to switch on a smartphone’s mic even when the phone was off, Snowden asserted.
He said the text message sent by GCHQ to access the cellphone wouldn’t be detected by its own owner.
“When it arrives at your cellphone it is concealed from you. It does not show.
The BBC said the government had declined to remark consistent with common policy on intelligence issues.
Snowden, after leaking files to the media about digital espionage, who was charged by the United States with espionage and theft of government property, is residing in exile in Russia.
The British government is planning legislation that will give more powers to intelligence agencies to track on-line action to inquire offense.