Spy in your pocket

“Most Western states have powerful spy agencies that can read most domestic traffic, and sometimes overseas messages as well. How this functions is controlled by legislation, although this varies and it is impossible to tell how tightly it is followed.

Intercept intelligence appears to be heavily exchanged between the main Anglo-Saxon powers — Britain and the United States, and also Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

A 2010 book “The Secret State” by academic Peter Hennessy says 50 to 80 percent of intelligence discussed at Britain’s weekly joint intelligence committee briefing is of U.S. origin.

Continental European states often suspect Anglo-Saxon powers of spying for business ends. All European Blackberry traffic goes through UK or Canadian servers and partly as a result many European governments are reluctant to use the system.

Most security experts believe Western powers occasionally use spy services for commercial ends but their main focus is on tackling militant threats and fighting economic crime.”

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