Recently, I posted an article that detailed how – via an implant called Dropout Jeep – the omnipresent NSA is able to remotely hack into your Iphone. Apple, for their part, has responded that it simply ain’t so. Or it ain’t so at least as far as they know:
In the latest instance of a Silicon Valley tech company being drawn into the shadowy activities of the National Security Agency, Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday denied any involvement in the spy agency’s alleged efforts to hack into and monitor iPhones.Responding to a report by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine this week that the NSA was able to use a program called “DROPOUT JEEP” to infiltrate a number of computing devices, including the iPhone, Apple has joined other tech giants like Google (GOOG) and Cisco (CSCO) in insisting it never worked with the agency and was unaware of efforts to target its products.
Given my extreme skepticism, my first reaction that this is a bit of a Hilary Clinton “I have no recollection” or “What difference does it make” type of response. I have an equal level of confidence in Google which uses the Android OS in their devices – especially with their track record of helping the NSA circumvent the Fourth Amendment.
But whether any of these companies cooperate with, or know about, or turn a blind eye toward NSA illegal snooping, may be a moot point:
Shipping giants FedEx and UPS haven’t said much since it was revealed Sunday that the National Security Agency intercepts electronics packages to install spyware, but what they have said implies they knew what the agency was up to.
Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum co-wrote a Der Spiegel article published Sunday detailing how the NSA intercepts newly purchased computer products mid-shipment to install surveillance malware before reaching the buyer without their knowledge.
“If a target person, agency or company orders a new computer or related accessories, for example, TAO [Office of Tailored Access Operations] can divert the shipping delivery to its own secret workshops,” Appelbaum wrote. ”The NSA calls this method interdiction. At these so-called “load stations,” agents carefully open the package in order to load malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.”
Frankly, I have no clue about what to do about any of this snooping. Any suggestions?
Perhaps the best we can do is be aware . . . and govern ourselves accordingly.