The NSA have uncovered a way to spy on all digital communications through a ‘loophole’ which is built into most electronic devices, it has been revealed.

Under a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered by journalists at the news website Spiegel, NSA agents are able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives – from computing centres to individual computers, to laptops and mobile phones.

Even if those devices are protected by advanced firewalls, and various other privacy software, NSA spies are currently making use of equipment designed to circumvent those tools and gain access to private data.

A special group of hackers and spies who work under the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) are responsible for purchasing the software that are then used to control and monitor the devices of their intended victims.

The 50-page document has been described as being like a mail-order document of electronics and gadgets – one which the NSA have purchased in order to gain access to personal information.

Some of the software even allows the spying agency to insert malware into a laptop or phone and use it as a way to permanently maintain their presence on a persons electrical equipment.

It is also possible to bug devices, remotely monitor all the messages and data on a phone and display them to NSA, and monitor more than one device at the same time.

This can also be done in such a way as to make the device appear to be functioning normally, to avoid raising the suspicions of its owner and also to avoid detection by an antivirus program.

Such spyware programs and gadgets are able to break into devices manufactured by big companies such as Cisco, Huawei, Samsung and Dell, although there is currently no suggestion that those companies were complicit in the NSA activities or indeed knew of how their devices were vulnerable to advanced spyware used by the NSA.

All of the representatives or official spokespeople contacted by Spiegel reporters denied having any knowledge of the situation, although Dell officials said instead that the company “respects and complies with the laws of all countries in which it operates.”

In August, it was revealed that the NSA had asked some of the major technology companies, Google, facebook and Yahoo to name but a few, to hand over the passwords and details of millions of users both across the USA and internationally.

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