"This action takes the criminality of the spy agencies to an entirely new level,” London School of Economics data protection and internet rights experts Simon Davies told Sputnik on Friday. “The theft of encryption keys on such a huge scale exposes the agency [GCHQ] to a claim that it breached the Computer Misuse Act.”
Davies argued that the US Congress and the UK Parliament have to intervene to rein in the spying agencies.
“The agencies are clearly out of control. Oversight of their activities has failed almost entirely to bring them within the rule of law. If action is not taken soon, trust in electronic communications will vanish entirely,” he said.
“Sadly, the US Constitution does little to help all of the non-US citizens in the world who used phones with these potentially compromised chips,” Rouse said.
Rouse added that NSA’s and GCHQ’s desire to decrypt various communications clashes with the basic notions of privacy and freedom from government intrusion. “The indiscriminate ability for any government to monitor communications around the globe is an affront to basic privacy rights,” he said.
The details of the breach were discovered in a secret 2010 GCHQ document given to The Intercept by former NSA-contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden’s leak of classified documents revealed that the NSA runs massive surveillance programs without a warrant, and searches through databases for private information about US citizens, foreigners and leaders of allied countries.