Technology

White House: Terrorists, Like All of Us, Might Enjoy Playing Angry Birds

Says Jay Carney: “I mean, look. Terrorists, proliferators, other bad actors, use the same communications tools that others use.”

National Journal
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Dustin Volz
Jan. 27, 2014, 10:05 a.m.

The White House isn’t ruling out that terrorists, just like normal, everyday people, are avid fans of the hit international video game franchise Angry Birds.

White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to a reporter’s question Monday asking whether the National Security Agency was collecting the information of Americans who use smartphone apps, such as Angry Birds, that share personal data over the Internet.

“I mean, look. Terrorists, proliferators, other bad actors, use the same communications tools that others use,” Carney said, eliciting some commotion among the press corps. “What I’m saying is that the NSA in its collection is focused on the communication of people who are valid foreign intelligence targets.”

NSA agents are “not focused on the information of ordinary Americans, and that’s the case in answer to questions about, you know, the variety of revelations that have been made in the press.”

Earlier Monday, a number of publications reported that the NSA and its British equivalent have attempted to collect personal data from “leaky” smartphone apps, including Angry Birds. NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden detail efforts spanning back to 2007 to gather information from the use of several different kinds of apps, including Google Maps and various social networks.

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