According to ex-NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, he doesn’t use any Apple products, Snowden’s lawyer told us Monday, secret tracking technologies lie within Apple devices, making it a not so smart option for those worried about their privacy.
It was not made public what types of wide-open iPhone hardware make it an affordable spying device, but Snowden’s lawyer told reporters in Russia that the whistleblower does not use an iPhone.
This may not be a shock as Snowden may not be able to use a number of products or new pieces of technology due to his high-risk status and right to privacy, which many new products openly infringe upon.
Currently housed in Russia, Snowden doesn’t use and does not plan to use the Apple iPhone his laywer said. Instead, he uses a simpler method of communication, “Edward never uses an iPhone. He’s got a simple phone open.”
“The iPhone has special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him,” Snowden’s lawyer told reporters. “That’s why on security grounds he refused to have this phone.”
It was not made clear what “special software” lies within the iPhone making it similar to a backdoor, or if the NSA found an easy way to compromise the iOS operating system. According to Apple, the company does not allow any third-party or government agency to have access to their servers.
According to Apple’s most recent iOS 8 upgrade, Apple claims the company is not able to read iMessages, and couldn’t even if they tried, due to the messages being end-to-end encrypted.
According to an interview with Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Apple cares deeply about user privacy and tries to collect as little information as possible. Now while such statements may be wildly untrue, Cook continues to claim the device is the product, not the people. He then goes on to say he is offended when companies offer products that unknowingly spy on users and collect gobs of data.
“When we design a new service, we try not to collect data, so we are not reading your email,” Cook said in an interview. “We’re not reading your iMessage, if the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it, it’s encrypted and we don’t have the key.”
Cook later mentions the Snowden incident, claiming Apple “wanted to be totally transparent because there were rumors and things being written in the press, that people had backdoors to our servers, none of that is true, zero.”
Apple has recently begun to put a strong emphasis on user security ever since the recent Snowden disclosures showed that Apple was a direct target of the NSA, now whether Apple was working directly with the agency or agents tapped into Apple’s database was not disclosed.
It appears Snowden won’t be waiting in line for an iPhone this year.
Photo via Pixabay [Public Domain]
Thank you for the newsletter. I do not know what to believe about the iPhone. All this tech stuff is scarey.keep sending these informational letters.
Thank you for the kind words and it is hard to believe at first. Thanks to Snowden and countless others more information on what is actually going on inside the most commonly used technology is becoming available on a broader scale. Which is great since the public can see what companies are doing in private.
Thanks for all the great articles mr Stosh! Thanks to you I chose Hushmail and have informed myself on many subjects through your website.
Is there a smartphone that is still safe to use? What are you using mr Stosh? I am thinking about the new iPhone 6 since IOS8 might be better with encryption and safety, but still. The power of data collection might put me off smartphone for good. Would love to hear your ideas on the matter!
Hey Woltaczar, thank you for the kind words and great choice on choosing Hushmail, our #1!
In regards to smartphones, not really. It really depends on what your looking for. In terms of privacy, no phone will give you that. Apple owns the iPhone and Google owns Android, so when it comes to the smartphone war, privacy is not entirely attainable. However, a custom ROM such as paranoid android installed on an Android-device could give you greater control over your privacy and security. However that takes time and work out of the box.
But Apple has been doing an exceptional job at stopping the government from being so invasive, so they are running a solid operation over there. In the end it’s up to you. Those are just my thoughts on the smartphone world.