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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