The Intercept reported on Friday that top-secret documents provided to it by Snowden indicated that a joint unit comprised of operatives from the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had hacked into the internal systems of global Netherlands-headquartered SIM card manufacturer Gemalto.
Gemalto is one of the world’s largest Sim manufacturer and more than 85 countries and approx 1.5 million people use the Sim’s manufactured by Gemalto. By this breach both these agencies are now have an access to all the users of Gemalto. This act has clearly violated all the international laws.
The yearly production of Gemalto is around 2 Billion sim cards and the comany has some of the high profile clients like AT&T, Sprint,T-Mobile,Verizon. The company supplies sims to more than 450 carriers all over the world.
Now both these agencies are now watching these billions of Sim’s without any approval of telecom companies or that countries government. Violation of users privacy seems a small breach after knowing these things. The users can use an extra layer of encryption if they want to stop these agencies form gaining access to any communication made from their devices.
There has been a debate going on from a long time that phones are not secured anymore. These revelations had backed up the argument that the mobile phone security should not be trusted. This problem is not going to be solved anytime soon, unless these agencies will stop keeping an eye on you which is something not possible.
These agencies took this as a counter terrorism step. They will now keep and eye on those countries users too whose governments are not cooperative with these agencies. But none the less the international rules has been breached, and this story has been just started. Lets see what these agencies defend themselves after these leaked documents.