Saturday, November 2, 2013

Warning, you could be under radar without your knowledge

spy agent

The text messages in your phone can easily be accessed by intelligence agencies and even private individuals keen to know your personal secrets.

Hacking of SMS data and emails is already at the centre of an international scandal in which the United States government was caught red-handed snooping into the communication secrets of presidents of foreign countries like Germany and Mexico.

Closer home, suspicion has always been rife that our own National Intelligence Service (NIS) has been creeping behind our backs to know what we communicate using our phones and computers.

In fact, monitoring of telephone conversations was prevalent even before the advent of mobile telephony.

Hacking and tapping of communication channels for prominent personalities and persons of interest to governments started in Kenya way back during the era of the Special Branch Unit.

 According to a former spy who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, the hacking of communication channels in Kenya started when the country had fixed telephone lines.

“We used to have our officers stationed at the Kenya Post and Telecom Corporation offices countrywide. They would monitor telephone conversations of senior government officers and even intercept mails,” said the former spy who worked for the government for more than 15 years.

Recently, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko was in the news when he bragged that he uses spy technology better than those at the disposal of the country’s spy organisation.

Some spy applications like ‘ownspy’ that can be installed on smart telephones like the iPhone enable one to record all calls he gets and to intercept calls being made to or from other telephones, provided consent was previously given by the owner of the phone to be intercepted.

In the United States, Barack Obama’s government is battling damning revelations that its National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on foreign countries, most of them allies like Kenya.

In one case, it has been revealed that NSA, besides hacking into the presidential computer network of its southern neighbour, Mexico, during the reign of President Felipe Calderon, it also hacked into the 86,000 SMS messages of his heir Enrique Pena Neta.


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