Jay Carney ducks Angry Birds surveillance question


The White House wouldn’t comment specifically Monday on intelligence agencies’ surveillance of terror suspects and their contacts through mobile apps including Angry Birds, but a reporter’s sharp-tongued question on the issue did draw some laughs.

“I’m not in a position to discuss specifics on intelligence collection,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his daily press briefing. “But to be clear, as the president said in his Jan. 17 speech, to the extent data is collected by the NSA through whatever means, we are not interested in the communications of people who are not valid intelligence targets. And we are not collecting the information of ordinary Americans.”

Drawing on documents shared by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the New York Times reported Monday that the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters have been working together since 2007 to collect and store data from dozens of apps. So-called “leaky” apps release data including phones’ identification codes and locations onto networks, the Times said, making it ripe for the picking by spies.

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