Back in October, we reported on a story that had the world up in proverbial arms about the illegal surveillance and wiretapping of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone being tapped by US and British intelligence agencies.
Well, it turns out they weren’t the only ones, as it was revealed today that up to 5 other nations, including China and even North Korea, had placed their own taps on her phone throughout the course of her tenure. German security officials told Fortune magazine this week that they had trapped and recorded signals being broadcast from her Blackberry both at work and home, finding encoded traceroutes leading back to the countries in question. After the discovery of a GCHQ listening nest posted inside the UK embassy in Berlin, German counter-intelligence officers have been hard at work securing the communications of their top officials, and since the Snowden leaks, have even gone as far as requesting statewide encrypted phones to be distributed to anyone who might be at risk for international surveillance tasks.
Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst at the ACLU, said in a series of updates to his personal Twitter account that the security shortcomings in Merkel’s mobile set-up should have been apparent. The vulnerabilities offer lessons for other political leaders, he added.
“Even if the US stops tapping Merkel’s phone, other countries will continue,” he said. “The solution is encrypted phones for all. If Russia & China are tapping Merkel’s calls in Germany, they’ve gotta be doing the same to politicians in the US. The smartphones that members of Congress use to to call, tweet (and in some cases, sext)? They are no more secure than Merkel’s,” he added.
Of course, unless you’re planning on becoming a German dignitary anytime soon, you likely won’t have to worry about half the world’s superpowers listening in on your landline, but just in case you should always use a mobile VPN provider like Express VPN. Regarded as one of the top security solutions for smartphones, ExpressVPN makes it easier than ever to install and manage virtual VPNs on all of your devices ranging from iOS to Android. Sign up now, and save up to 30% when you select an annual subscription!