The BBC reports. . . .
US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.
Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.
The encryption techniques targeted are used by popular internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
The NSA is said to spend $250m (£160m) a year on the top secret program.
It is codenamed Bullrun, an American civil war battle, according to the documents published by the Guardian in conjunction with the New York Times and ProPublica.
The British counterpart program is called Edgehill, after the first major engagement of the English civil war, say the documents.
The reports say the UK and US intelligence agencies are focusing on the encryption used in 4G smartphones, email, online shopping and remote business communication networks.
Under Bullrun, it is said that the NSA has built powerful supercomputers to try to crack the technology that scrambles and encrypts personal information when internet users log on to access various services.
The NSA also collaborated with unnamed technology companies to build so-called back doors into their software – something that would give the government access to information before it is encrypted and sent over the internet, it is reported.