On Thursday, Canada's CBC television channel and the Intercept online portal reported that documents leaked by NSA former contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the intelligence agency and its partners abroad planned to infiltrate Google and Samsung mobile application stores to plant espionage software on users' smartphones.
"No, not in a legal sense," Daphne van der Kroft said, answering a question on whether Google and Samsung can feasibly protect themselves from being hacked by intelligence agencies.
She continued, saying that it "seems to be ever more important to not only fix this legal problem with politics, we also need to use technical solutions such as encryption."
The leaked documents describe how the smartphone exploitation software — code-named "Irritant Horn" — was developed by NSA with the assistance of its British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, known as the Five Eyes alliance.
The "Irritant Horn" was under development between November 2011 and February 2012 in workshops held in Australia and Canada, seeking to find ways to access the two tech giants' servers.
Previous publications of files Edward Snowden leaked had demonstrated that the Five Eyes alliance collected data, including e-mails, text message files, web browser and phone call history, videos and photographs, but its methods had remained unclear until now.