Edward Snowden, a system operator working for a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) fled the U.S. with a massive amount of data that the NSA’s Prism program is collecting from individual’s phone calls, emails and others. When he arrived in Hong Kong he started to release some of the data upsetting the country and other nations and Snowden declared that he will be releasing additional data in coming weeks and months. To everyone’s surprise, the action brought a little known surveillance program of data mining by the U.S. government to the forefront.
In the middle of the controversy is data gathering behemoths such as Google, Apple and many others. Google’s Android operating system is an open source code and anyone can participate. It can be found on many devices such as Android OS based smartphones, tablets, televisions, cars, and many other devices. No wonder why the Federal government has its own secret Android code to obtain data from the Google’s Android OS. Not just the NSA, anyone can get data from the open source system. Since Apple doesn’t accept outside source codes, anyone including the NSA need Apple’s approval or need to obtain data from Apple.