By cracking cellphone code, NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations
The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means to decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day.
While the military and law enforcement agencies long have been able to hack into individual cellphones, the NSA‚Äôs capability appears to be far more sweeping because of the agency‚Äôs global signals collection operation. The agency‚Äôs ability to crack encryption used by the majority of cellphones in the world offers it wide-ranging powers to listen in on private conversations.
U.S. law prohibits the NSA from collecting the content of conversations between Americans without a court order. But experts say that if the NSA has developed the capacity to easily decode encrypted cellphone conversations, then other nations likely can do...
As has been pointed out, much of the cellphone technology is so old that it has poor encryption or none at all, which means the NSA doesn't have to work at it. The Americans might have more to worry about than the NSA, like the British for instance. Another article on the topic, NSA 'tracking' hundreds of millions of mobile phones