What today can the government do to your phone and your laptop?– Edward Snowden On Trump, Privacy, And Threats To Democracy | The 11th Hour | MSNBC – YouTube

18:28: Brian Williams: What today can the government do to your phone and your laptop the phone and laptop of any American what’s the extent of the government’s reach if they’re determined to reach into your life?

Edward Snowden: …. I’ll try to summarize hacking has
increasingly become what governments
consider a legitimate investigative tool.
They use the same methods and techniques
as criminal hackers and what this means
is they will try to remotely take over
your device. Once they do this, by
detecting a vulnerability (and in the
software that your device runs such as
Apple’s iOS or Microsoft Windows), they
can craft a special kind of attack code
called an exploit. They then launch this
exploit at the vulnerability on your
device which allows them to take total
control of that device. Anything you can
do on that device the attacker (in this
case the government) can do. They can read
your email,
collect every document, they can look at
your contact book, they can turn the
location services on they can see
anything that is on that phone instantly,
and send it back home to the mothership.
They can do the same with laptops. The
other point that we forget so frequently
is that in many cases they don’t need to
hack our devices, they can simply ask
Google for a copy of our email box
because Google saves a copy of that.
Everything that you’ve ever typed into
that search box Google has a copy of
every private message that you’ve sent
on Facebook. Every link that you’ve
clicked everything that you’ve liked
they keep a permanent record of, and all
of these things available not just to
these companies but to our governments,
as they are increasingly deputized, as
sort of miniature arms of government.

Brian Williams: What about enabling your microphone

Edward Snowden: If you can do it, they can do it.
It is trivial to remotely turn on your
microphone, or to activate your camera so
long as you have systems-level access. If
you had hacked someone’s device remotely,
anything they can do, you can do, they can
look up your nose right? They can record
what’s in the room the screen may be off
as it’s sitting on your desk, but the
device is talking all of the time. The
question we have to ask is who is it
talking to? Even if your phone is not
hacked right now, you look at it it’s
just sitting there on the charger, it is
talking tens or hundreds or thousands of
times a minute, to any number of
different companies, who have apps
installed on your phone it looks like
it’s off, it looks like it’s just sitting
there, but it is constantly chattering
and unfortunately like pollution we have
not created the tools that are necessary
for ordinary people to be able to see
this activity. And it is the invisibility
of it that makes it so popular in common
and attractive for these companies
because if you do not realize they’re
collecting this data from you, this very
private and personal data, there’s no way
you’re going to object to it.