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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Justice Department Attempts To Blame Encryption for Terrorist Attack Feds Failed To See Coming – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2020

That’s the reason why Wray and Barr keep appealing directly to lawmakers (some of whom are sadly too amenable) and aren’t really trying to win over the public. They know full well that encryption backdoors and other security vulnerabilities can and are already used for malicious purposes by criminals and oppressive governments. They don’t care, as long as they get access, too.

https://reason.com/2020/05/19/justice-department-attempts-to-blame-encryption-for-terrorist-attack-feds-failed-to-see-coming/

When a Saudi Arabian man named Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, in December 2019, killing three and injuring eight, the FBI assumed (correctly) it was an act of terrorism.

Alshamrani, who was 21 and a lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, was at a training program sponsored by the Pentagon in an agreement with Saudi Arabia. A subsequent investigation by both the United States and Saudi Arabia would show that Alshamrani may have been radicalized by Al Qaeda as far back as 2015 and had been tweeting out angry comments against the United States and Israel prior to the attack. That information started coming to light less than a week after the attack, raising questions about whether the American government had done a bad job vetting Alshamrani before letting him into the United States to train.

But Alshamrani also had two iPhones that were locked (which the FBI couldn’t get access to upon his death), so instead of focusing on what intelligence failures allowed for Alshamrani to enter the United States, the Justice Department is instead continuing its attack on encryption. Immediately after the attack, FBI got a warrant to search Alshamrani’s phones andthey approached Apple, asking for help breaking into them. Apple reportedly gave the FBI access to data that the man had stored on his iCloud, but as has been their practice for years now, their encryption system doesn’t give Apple the ability to bypass it and the company would not assist in breaking into the phones.

This has been a sticking point between Apple (and other tech companies) and the Justice Department for years now. Strong encryption is vital to protecting everybody’s data privacy from criminals and any other bad actors with malicious intent (like authoritarian governments and spies). Criminals and terrorists, of course, can also use encryption to prevent their conversations and plans from being detected by police who might stop them. Any tool can be used for good and bad purposes.

This fight is back in the news this week because the Justice Department revealed on Monday that it had finally managed to break into Alshamrani’s phone without Apple’s help. This should be good news, but it’s clear that the FBI and Department of Justice have decided that they’re going to continue using this case to try to attack end-to-end encryption and attempt to force tech companies to install virtual backdoors that allow government officials to bypass security protections.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr briefly summarized what they’ve learned from Alshamrani’s phone:

  • Alshamrani and his Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) associates communicated using end-to-end encrypted apps, with warrant-proof encryption, deliberately in order to evade law enforcement.
  • Alshamrani’s preparations began years ago. He had been radicalized by 2015, and having connected and associated with AQAP operatives, joined the Royal Saudi Air Force in order to carry out a “special operation.”
  • In the months before the 2019 attack, while in the United States, Alshamrani had specific conversations with overseas AQAP associates about plans and tactics. In fact, he even conferred with his AQAP associates up until the night before the attack.

Note that the first item is obvious, and the second item was actually uncovered early on in the investigation. The third item, intended to serve as a justification for attacking encryption, is more of an indication of an intelligence failure. The press release from the Justice Department makes it clear that Alshamrani was not on the FBI’s radar prior to the attack and there’s no sign they had been trying to get access to his phone data until after the attack. The Justice Department observes in the release, “The phonescontained important, previously-unknown information that definitively established Alshamrani’s significant ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), not only before the attack, but before he even arrived in the United States. The FBI now has a clearer understanding of Alshamrani’s associations and activities in the years, months, and days leading up to the attack.”

So even though the federal government was unsuccessful in noticing Alshamrani’s radicalization that happened four years ago, before he ever came to America, the problem is now that they couldn’t get into his phone after the deed was done.

Both Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray continue to use these edge cases to demand that Congress force companies like Apple to cooperate with the feds and let them bypass encryption.

“If not for our FBI’s ingenuity, some luck, and hours upon hours of time and resources, this information would have remained undiscovered,” Barr said in the statement. “The bottom line: our national security cannot remain in the hands of big corporations who put dollars over lawful access and public safety. The time has come for a legislative solution.”

It has been a long-running strategy for the Justice Department to treat Apple’s extremely valuable and important encryption tools as just some marketing gimmick to win over customers.

In a speech yesterday, Barr and Wray continued the assault. Barr said:

Apple’s desire to provide privacy for its customers is understandable, but not at all costs. Under our nation’s long-established constitutional principles, where a court authorizes a search for evidence of a crime, an individual’s privacy interests must yield to the broader needs of public safety. There is no reason why companies like Apple cannot design their consumer products and apps to allow for court-authorized access by law enforcement while maintaining very high standards of data security. Striking this balance should not be left to corporate boardrooms. It is a decision to be made by the American people through their representatives.

Let’s circle back to my observation above that a tool can be used for either good purposes or bad. That’s the Justice Department’s own argument, right? People are using encryption to hide crimes. Except, suddenly, when the Justice Department wants a key to bypass the encryption, suddenly it’s possible to create a tool that can only be used by the “right” people.

That’s not how encryption backdoors work. And as it has reminded us all every time this stupid argument rears its head, Apple responded yesterday with the same message. End-to-end encryption protects us because there aren’t backdoors. Apple responded (via The Verge):

It is because we take our responsibility to national security so seriously that we do not believe in the creation of a backdoor—one which will make every device vulnerable to bad actors who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. There is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys, and the American people do not have to choose between weakening encryption and effective investigations.

Customers count on Apple to keep their information secure and one of the ways in which we do so is by using strong encryption across our devices and servers. We sell the same iPhone everywhere, we don’t store customers’ passcodes and we don’t have the capacity to unlock passcode-protected devices. In data centers, we deploy strong hardware and software security protections to keep information safe and to ensure there are no backdoors into our systems. All of these practices apply equally to our operations in every country in the world.

That’s the reason why Wray and Barr keep appealing directly to lawmakers (some of whom are sadly too amenable) and aren’t really trying to win over the public. They know full well that encryption backdoors and other security vulnerabilities can and are already used for malicious purposes by criminals and oppressive governments. They don’t care, as long as they get access, too.

 

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Medical Surveillance State: France Calls on Apple and Google to Ditch Privacy Protections During Pandemic

Posted by M. C. on April 22, 2020

Don’t worry. This will all go away after you have been received all your forced vaccinations.

Life will be very Kafkaesque for today’s youth.

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/22/france-apple-google-ditch-privacy-protections-during-pandemic/

Kurt Zindulka

France has become the first country in the world to openly call on Silicon Valley tech giants to remove privacy protections during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, in order to introduce a “sovereign European health solution” that would track the movements of citizens.

The French government is aiming to unveil a contact tracing app by May 11th, when the country is expected to ease national lockdown measures that were introduced in March.

France and the European Union as a whole have come out in favour of a centralised approach to the tracking of citizens, in which data would be stored in government servers and monitored by state health services.

Currently, Apple’s operating system would prevent such an approach, as its Bluetooth function prohibits constant background tracking if the data is to be moved off the device. France claims that this privacy protection would prevent the government from developing its contact tracing app.

“We’re asking Apple to lift the technical hurdle to allow us to develop a sovereign European health solution that will be tied our health system,” France’s digital minister, Cédric O, told Bloomberg News.

The system being developed by Google and Apple, which is set to be made available worldwide next month, will take a decentralised approach to tracking, with the data remaining on a user’s phone rather than being collected in a central server.

The European Union has maintained that contact tracing apps should be voluntary, protect individual privacy, and be taken apart after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. However, a group of nearly 300 privacy experts warn that the apps could be used to introduce a surveillance state.

“We are concerned that some ‘solutions’ to the crisis may, via mission creep, result in systems which would allow unprecedented surveillance of society at large,” the group wrote in an open letter.

“Some of the Bluetooth-based proposals respect the individual’s right to privacy, whilst others would enable a form of government or private sector surveillance that would catastrophically hamper trust in and acceptance of such an application by society at large,” the group added.

“We urge all countries to rely only on systems that are subject to public scrutiny and that are privacy-preserving by design (instead of there being an expectation that they will be managed by a trustworthy party), as a means to ensure that the citizen’s data protection rights are upheld,” the group concluded.

France’s parliament will debate the contact tracing app later this month, and European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton told the French Senate that he would be taking up the matter with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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franz kafka | Sketches, Scratches and Scattered Thoughts

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Apple Will Start Tracking Your Calls & Emails To Assign You A ‘Trust Score’ – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2018/09/23/apple-begins-tracking-your-calls-emails-to-assign-you-a-trust-score/

Published on

In Brief

  • The Facts:Apple iPhone users will now have their data on phones calls, texts and emails track by Apple so they can be given a ‘trust score.’ They claim this data collection will help prevent fraud.
  • Reflect On:Is this not just behavioural and user data collection disguised as ‘trying to protect you?’ Is this data going to be used to sell you more products? Or maybe sold to other companies? Do we have ANY reason to trust Apple?

Apple quietly updated their privacy policy with a new controversial ploy stating they will now collect user and behavioural data from iPhone users and claims it will be used to prevent fraud.  But is this really what’s going on? Let’s have a look.

We live on a great planet, and there are a lot of incredible people here. Let’s not forget that. At the same time, there are some serious concerns that are rising and need to be brought to light regarding the people that basically control our planet, this powerful conglomerate that sit atop the financial pyramid control everything, including politics. This group is often called the Deep State or cabal.

This is something that can be seen given many examples, one basic example is the power that corporate America has on government and how decisions are really made. It’s not the people deciding what happens, and what happens is hardly even ever disclosed to the public, and if it is, it’s hardly done so in a truthful manner.

We’re living in an age of mass surveillance and data connection, one which the global elite claims is for our own protection in the “fight against terrorism,” a fight and a war that’s been based on lies and completely fabricated, as emphasized, shown and explained by many politicians, academicians and researchers around the world. It’s an important narrative to share, given the fact that it’s one mainstream media refuses to touch.

If the reasons for mass surveillance are not actually for our own safety, and truly for ‘national security’ reasons, then what is it for? Why are they doing it, and why are they doing it in such a secretive, sneaky, and powerful manner?

“At least 80% of fibre optic cables globally go via the US, this is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores. The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.” – William Binney, a former high ranking intelligence official with the National Security Agency (NSA). He is one of the highest placed intelligence officials to ever blow the whistle

Bribery is also used, multiple politicians have explained how ‘men in dark suits,’ perhaps representatives of the Deep State that runs corporate America, and imposes its will on a global scale. When a president is elected into office, if they are elected, and not “selected” as Rosevelt once said, then they are most likely confronted with every piece of dirt that the Deep State has on them…

The Takeaway

Are these corporations acting in a way that protects us? Or are we simply customers that represent billions in profit? Why do we continue to support corporations that these companies and what they do if we have other options? While we don’t yet know what this new data collection will be used for, can we not learn from the recent Facebook data scandals?

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mark of the beast

The Mark of the Beast

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Trump Administration Considering Social Credit Score System to Determine Who Can Buy a Gun

Posted by M. C. on September 4, 2019

Only the start.

Apple, Google, Facebook will

Determine whether you can: Buy a gun, ammunition, vote, have a media site, get that job, own a car-home-boat, have children, buy alcohol, join an organization…

Based on: whether own a gun, whether you vote and who for, what media sites you frequent, your job, your vehicle, if you buy alcohol,the organizations you belong to …

https://www.infowars.com/trump-administration-considering-social-credit-score-system-to-determine-who-can-buy-a-gun/

You didn’t care about media spying because you had nothing to hide.

Would partner with Big Tech to use spy data from Amazon, Google and Apple.

The Trump administration is considering launching a social credit score-style system in coordination with Big Tech that would use spy data collected from Amazon, Google and Apple devices to determine whether or not an individual can own a gun.

“The proposal is part of an initiative to create a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), which would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department,” reports the Daily Caller. “The new agency would have a separate budget and the president would be responsible for appointing its director.”

HARPA would employ “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,” including Apple Watches, Amazon Echo and Google Home.

In other words, data collected from devices that spy on private conversations and closely monitor user behavior would be used to strip Americans of their fundamental rights.

“Though the proposal is starting as a voluntary data collection scheme allegedly aimed at finding warning signs of mental illness, we all know so-called “voluntary” government programs often become mandatory at the drop of a hat,” comments Chris Menahan.

According to the Washington Post, Trump has reacted “very positively” to the idea….

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deep state media

It’s Always About Control

 

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Top tech investor claims smart assistants are being used to SPY on users by Google, Apple and Amazon | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7417033/Top-tech-investor-claims-smart-assistants-used-SPY-users-Google-Apple-Amazon.html

By Ralph R. Ortega For Dailymail.com

  • John Borthwick expects regulators will give more control of privacy to users
  • He warns popular smart speakers are more than listening for audible responses 
  • Tech companies collect information when ‘people passively act on the device’

Tech investor John Borthwick believes the convenience of today’s smart assistants from Amazon, Google and Apple comes at a price far higher than the cost paid for the devices.

‘From a consumer standpoint, user standpoint, is that these, these devices are being used for what’s — it’s hard to call it anything but surveillance,’ Borthwick says, warning that government regulation may be the only safeguard to user privacy.

Borthwick, a venture capitalist who started out in the technology industry with a web content studio that was bought by AOL, and who later headed tech strategy for Time Warner, tells Yahoo that he expects regulators will hand over more control of privacy to device users.

As it stands now, he warns tech companies that manufacture and sell popular smart speakers, like Amazon’s Echo, Google Assistant and Apple’s HomePod, are having much more than they’re audible responses recorded.

‘They’ve gone to those devices and they’ve said, ‘Give us data when people passively act upon the device.’ So in other words, I walk over to that light switch,’ Borthwick said. ‘I turn it off, turn it on, it’s now giving data back to the smart speaker.’

Tech companies provide an activation, or ‘wake’ command with most devices.

Amazon’s Echo, for example, will not respond until it hears a user say ‘Alexa,’ followed by a command. A similar protocol is followed with Google Assistant, and when an Apple product user requires help from Siri.

Borthwick, however, points out how the speakers are connected with other products, where surveillance is less obvious.

‘These smart speakers– I was particularly sort of disturbed by– it sounds very wonky, but the– the smart speakers are driven by an implication,’ he tells Yahoo…

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Angry Birds, tracking device? - Salon.com

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says you should get off Facebook | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on July 9, 2019

While you may not be able to stop it entirely, there are ways the average person can clamp down on their personal data – including getting rid of Facebook.

When asked if Facebook and Instagram users should delete their accounts, Wozniak said most would be smart to do so.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7225593/Apple-founder-Steve-Wozniak-says-Facebook.html

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

Steve Wozniak is the latest high-profile naysayer to speak out against Facebook.

The Apple co-founder, who deleted his own Facebook profile last year, told TMZ recently that he recommends most people ‘figure out a way to get off’ the site due to ongoing privacy concerns.

Wozniak warned that people often assume they have much more privacy online than they really do, and said he’s now ‘worried about everything’ when it comes to potential eavesdropping and data sharing.

TMZ ran into Wozniak at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. last week and asked him if we should be worried that our devices are listening to us.

And according to Wozniak, the answer is yes.

‘I’m worried about everything,’ Wozniak said. ‘I don’t think you can stop it, though.

‘Who knows if my cell phone is listening right now? Alexa has already been in the news a lot.’

The prevalence of connected devices today means your conversations might not be as private as you think they are, Wozniak said.

‘There’s almost no way to stop it,’ he added. ‘People think they have a level of privacy that they don’t.

‘Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount and you’ll keep my data more secure and private than everyone else handing it to advertisers.’…

 

 

 

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BOMBSHELL: Apple demands Natural News stop writing about abortions or Satanism; threatens to block Natural News app from all Apple devices

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2019

https://www.newstarget.com/2019-02-11-apple-demands-natural-news-stop-writing-about-abortions-or-satanism.html

By 

In a series of shocking “demand” emails containing screen captures showing lists of Natural News articles, Apple has demanded Natural News stop publishing articles critical of abortions or Satanism, threatening to block the Natural News app from all Apple devices if Apple’s demands are not met.

This is the first time that a dominant tech company has overtly come out in defense of Satanism while threatening to censor a prominent publisher that exposes the evils of Satanic influence. Many people will see this as yet more proof that Apple, along with other tech giants, is literally aligned with Satan and is exploiting its power of censorship to silence those who criticize Satanism.

With Democrats now openly pushing infanticide and the legalization of the serial killing of infants, tech giants like Apple are serving as the censorship “speech police” to silence all criticism of the gruesome practice. In threatening Natural News over our coverage of infanticide and abortions, Apple is staking out the position of being pro-infanticide, and anyone who dares to speak up for innocent children is deemed by Apple to be engaged in “hate speech.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Zero Transparency: 6 Questions that Tech Giants Refuse to Answer About the InfoWars Ban | Breitbart

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2018

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/08/07/zero-transparency-6-questions-that-tech-giants-refuse-to-answer-about-the-infowars-ban/

by Allum Bokhari

…But Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube have offered, at most, only copy and paste explanations for why they banned InfoWars content from their platforms — or why, after months of pressure from the Democrats and CNN, they all came to the same decision on the same day. Questions about transparency have a much broader scope that just the case of InfoWars and Alex Jones. Beyond the banning of other individuals such as Tommy Robinson, the same questions apply to a whole host of actions by the Masters of the Universe, including partnering with foreign governments to shut down accounts, shadowbanning users to limit the scope of their engagement, and mass user purges.

Breitbart News sent the following questions to Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple earlier today, and have yet to receive a real answer for most of them. Apple and YouTube chose to provide the same canned statement they provided to all other media outlets who contacted them, while Facebook and Spotify ignored our request entirely.

THE QUESTIONS SILICON VALLEY WON’T ANSWER Read the rest of this entry »

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Alex Jones and the rise of corporate censorship | Free speech | spiked

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2018

We live in strange times. On one hand it is fashionable to hate capitalism these days… But on the other hand we seem content to trust Silicon Valley, the new frontier in corporate power, to make moral judgements about what kind of content people should be able to see online.

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/alex-jones-and-the-rise-of-corporate-censorship/21658#.W2npJtIzaUm

So we’re now trusting the capitalist class, massive, unaccountable corporations, to decide on our behalf what we may listen to and talk about? This is the take-home message, the terrible take-home message, of the expulsion of Alex Jones’ Infowars network from Apple, Facebook and Spotify and of the wild whoops of delight that this summary banning generated among so-called liberals: that people are now okay with allowing global capitalism to govern the public sphere and to decree what is sayable and what is unsayable. Corporate censorship, liberals’ new favourite thing – how bizarre. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple, Facebook and other tech companies delete content from Alex Jones

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2018

Executives defend the decision not to share exactly what content violated a policy because they fear it will prompt people to test it.

Alex Jones as Josef K.

http://www.jamestownsun.com/entertainment/podcasts/4481888-apple-facebook-and-other-tech-companies-delete-content-alex-jones

By Washington Post

Major technology companies including Apple, Facebook and YouTube deleted years of content from conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars platforms over allegations of hate speech, a sudden clampdown that is fueling the growing debate over how big technology companies choose to censor…

The recent actions by the technology companies also highlight the opaque nature of their decision-making, with most not publicly specifying what content by Jones violated their policies or how they decided what posts to block and which to leave online. Jones has treaded close to some definitions of hate speech for years, and it wasn’t clear from the companies if or when he finally crossed the line… Read the rest of this entry »

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