Rector Snowden on BBC's Panorama

Image of Edward Snowden courtesy BBC PanoramaRector Edward Snowden made new claims about state surveillance on the BBC's Panorama current affairs show last night.

He told the distinguished investigative reporter Peter Taylor that smartphone users can do "very little" to stop security services getting "total control" over their devices. Taylor had flown to Moscow for a clandestine meeting with the University's Rector.

The former intelligence contractor turned whistleblower told Panorama that the UK intelligence agency GCHQ had the power to hack into phones without their owners' knowledge.

Mr Snowden said GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking pictures and listening in.

The UK government has declined to comment.

Mr Snowden was installed as Rector of the University of Glasgow in April 2014.

First published: 5 October 2015

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