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surveillance state

NSA planned to hijack app stores to spy on users

On the heels of Sen. Rand Paul's 10-hour semi-filibuster to protest the Patriot Act and National Security Agency (NSA) mass surveillance, The Intercept reports that the NSA intended to use the Google and Samsung app stores to infiltrate users' phones for mass surveillance purposes.

This new revelation comes from a document freshly released by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hijacking plan was a portion of a program called "Irritant Horn," and the goal was to enable the agency to install hidden software on smartphones to secretly broadcast data back to the NSA.

Similar tactics are sometimes used by cybercriminals for fraudulent activities. Google and Samsung have not commented on this report.