Bitstrips, the fun cartoon generation app growing in popularity on social media, is it turns out a Trojan horse from the NSA to tap your Facebook feed and cell phone. Edward Snowden in his most recent disclosure revealed the origin of the bitstrip program.
According to a statement from Snowden the NSA knew that someday their spying would be made public. They knew that people would respond by demanding more privacy settings. So in response the NSA set up a team to develop apps that will by pass privacy settings, in a legal way.
In a statement from Snowden it said “To use these apps you have to agree to the Terms of Service, and agree to give the app access to your Facebook profile. So these developers were tasked to develop apps that would go viral. Games were looked at, but there are so many games out there already. Then someone said cartoons and comics. Facebook is a visual platform, so pictures do well.”
Snowden then details how nefarious this Trojan horse is. Even if a person does not use Bitstrips they may be giving the NSA access. The act of clicking like or posting a comment on Bitstrip someone else posted allows the app a peek into your profile.
In addition Bitstrips has android and iPhone apps. The act of installing these apps gives the NSA free access to users cell phones. Call, text messages, email, web surfing, photos and video the NSA has access to all via the app.
According to many legal experts this is completely legal. It may be rather unethical, but still legal. Lawyer Thomas Anderson explains it this way. “Software terms of service are a legal and binding contract. In their contract it outlines that the user is giving full access to the app creator. When they click that box that states ‘I Agree’ they are entering into a contract. So in effect people are volunteering to give all that data to the NSA. Because seriously who reads all the legal stuff in the terms of service.”