An alarming white paper concludes that the Apple iPhone contains a backdoor spyware module that allows hackers or the government to conduct secret surveillance of the user, part of an established trend of corporations and the state working hand in hand to eavesdrop on citizens via widely-used software and hardware products.
Earlier this week, a technology group in Russia released the results of their attempts to reverse engineer the iPhone, concluding that the product has "A built-in function which sends all data from an iPhone to a specified web-server. Contacts from a phonebook, SMS, recent calls, history of Safari browser - all your personal information can be stolen."
The module could act as a backdoor for trojan developers or AT & T, said the report, adding that "government structures" would have access to the information.
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Since AT & T displayed no hesitation in handing over information about their subscribers to the U.S. government as part of the controversial and illegal NSA wiretapping scandal, it would be no surprise to learn that included in the trendy new must-have gadget is a spyware module that allows the government to listen in to your conversations.
AT & T were chosen by Apple as the exclusive service provider for the iPhone, at present all other cellphone companies are blocked from offering any kind of service compatible with the iPhone.
The revelation is also not without precedent - a plethora of companies now include backdoor access in both software and hardware products that allow the state to step in and conduct warrantless covert surveillance, a blanket violation of the 4th Amendment.
Digital cable TV boxes, such as Scientific Atlanta, have had secret in-built microphones inside them since their inception in the 1990's and these originally dormant devices were planned to be activated when the invasive advertising revolution arrived - 2006 marked that date.
The advent of digital video recording devices such as TiVo (Sky Plus in the UK) introduced the creation of psychological algorithm profiles - databases on what programs you watched, how long you watched them for, which adverts you liked or didn't like. This information was retained by TiVo and sold to the highest bidders - an example being Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the 2003 Super Bowl half-time show - TiVo were able to compile lists of how many people had rewound the clip and how many times they had replayed it.
Two way communications systems like OnStar also have the ability to tap into private conversations as Americans become increasingly conditioned, by means of the private sector, to having their every movement, web session and conversation tracked and catalogued by big brother.
Last year we reported on how Google were planning to use microphones in the computers of an estimated 150 million-plus Internet active Americans to spy on their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.
"The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that's adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject," reported the Register.
The report cites the inevitability that the use and abuse of this technology will eventually be taken over by the state.
"Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google feed and use it for full on espionage."
The Echelon program has collected information in violation of the 4th Amendment from American citizen's phone calls since the early 90's at least. In addition, a 2001 European Parliament report stated that "within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted" by the NSA.
The fact that Echelon barely even merited a mention during the recent furore created by the original USA Today NSA spying piece goes to show how utterly useless our media are in recalling what has already been admitted and proven.
In 1999 the Australian government admitted that they were part of an NSA led global intercept and surveillance grid in alliance with the US and Britain that could listen to "every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission."
The use of the iPhone as another means of carte-blanch invasive surveillance underscores the fact that corporations and government are joined at the hip when it comes to their disregard of the right to privacy as enshrined in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.
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