Independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum told a hacker conference in Germany that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computer even if they weren't online.
Appelbaum told hundreds of computer experts gathered at Hamburg's Chaos Communications Conference that his revelations about the NSA's capabilities "are even worse than your worst nightmares."
"What I am going to show you today is wrist-slittingly depressing," he said.
Even though in the past six months there have been an unprecedented level of public scrutiny of the NSA and its methods, Appelbaum's claims -- supported by what appeared to be internal NSA slideshows -- still caused a stir.
One of the slides described how the NSA can plant malicious software onto Apple's iPhone, giving American intelligence agents the ability to turn the popular smartphone into a pocket-sized spy.