Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed on Saturday that the U.S. is tapping into Chinese to access customers’ text messages.
It’s not just a few messages, either. Snowden told the South China Morning Post that millions of Chinese text messages are being harvested by the U.S.
“China should set up a national information security review commission as soon as possible,” Snowden told the paper.
Chinese mobile users sent over 900 billion text messages in 2012, according to government statistics, so if Snowden’s claims are true, the United States’ surveillance isn’t too extensive in the grand scheme of things. (Chinese officials likely won’t see the situation in that light though.)
The reveal will make an already rocky relationship between the U.S. and China even more tumultuous. President Obama and China’s new president Xi Jinping have already had several conversations about cybersecurity relations, and both leaders are also kicking off a series of regular talks between the two countries.