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Over the weekend, a report by Der Spiegel revealed the existence of an elite hacking unit within the NSA – the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). For years, this unit has been intercepting electronics deliveries, embedding items with spyware, and sending them along to unsuspecting customers.

Among the report's many revelations was the fact that, since 2008, TAO has intercepted and embedded spyware on customers' iOS devices with a stunning 100 percent success rate. This bold claim prompted some to theorize that Apple has been working hand-in-hand with the NSA. For how else could the NSA hack all of its mobile products without fail?

This prompted Apple to put out a statement (below) which not only denied such cooperation, but revealed the company's public anger toward the U.S. government, with two words near the end starkly marking that anger:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.
Whether or not this statement bears out to be true regarding Apple's cooperation with the NSA, or lack thereof, remains to be seen. However, publicly calling out government agents as "malicious hackers" who engage in "security attacks" against American consumers is, to date, an unprecedented show of anger by one of America's largest technology firms.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Apple, or any of America's largest telecom and technology firms, deserve our sympathy here. They deserve none – particularly when one considers the tax breaks such companies receive and the gross income disparities existent between their executive classes and normative workers.

However, it is giant corporations such as Apple and Microsoft, with their high-paid lawyers and deep lobbying pockets, which could compel the Obama administration to rein in the NSA's unconstitutional surveillance activities.

Is this the way democracy is supposed to function? No. But neither can democracy function when the electorate is uninformed as to what their elected officials are doing.

At least technology companies are fighting for transparency and constitutional protections since Edward Snowden's leaks. This is a good thing, regardless of whether or not they are motivated by profit margins and lined pockets.

                                                            --§--

What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, just out from Oneworld Publications.


Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:46 PM PST.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

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  •  Tip Jar (171+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, Lost and Found, churchylafemme, GustavMahler, Mogolori, leftykook, Floande, Valar Morghulis, MsGrin, Free Jazz at High Noon, DRo, Norm in Chicago, FlyingToaster, CA Nana, NYmom, peacestpete, joynow, leonard145b, DeadHead, George3, Odysseus, annecros, Sucker Politics, pundit, kurious, stone clearing, turdraker, joegoldstein, Catte Nappe, emal, ColoTim, Jim P, Dumbo, US Blues, wader, Shockwave, Kentucky Kid, Lost Left Coaster, roses, blueoasis, nailbender, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, YucatanMan, chrississippi, peachcreek, bronte17, mimi, Rogneid, mookins, randallt, LynChi, bakeneko, ChemBob, dkmich, ranger995, bill warnick, bnasley, zerelda, Notreadytobenice, 3goldens, wayoutinthestix, lenzy1000, on the cusp, Publius2008, old wobbly, Oh Mary Oh, SpecialKinFlag, Just Bob, Polly Syllabic, some other george, RFK Lives, sailmaker, caul, ask, ruscle, liberte, 43north, jayden, greenbastard, LakeSuperior, boatjones, zerone, Lovo, Aaa T Tudeattack, Bisbonian, markdd, yoduuuh do or do not, Sunspots, The Jester, Demeter Rising, jrand, Horace Boothroyd III, maggid, dksbook, sobermom, Simplify, Pablo Bocanegra, moldyfolky, stevemb, ichibon, petulans, realalaskan, linkage, Involuntary Exile, grollen, Mr Robert, Tunk, harlinchi, deepeco, fixxit, divineorder, elwior, sawgrass727, JML9999, susakinovember, FogCityJohn, serendipityisabitch, Thunder, eztempo, kevinpdx, Throw The Bums Out, koNko, walkshills, La Gitane, chantedor, RJP9999, notrouble, HarpboyAK, Youffraita, 2thanks, dRefractor, WheninRome, Sandino, The Free Agent, basquebob, quill, quagmiremonkey, onionjim, DerAmi, Shelley99, TheMeansAreTheEnd, run around, carpunder, rapala, truong son traveler, tmay, daveygodigaditch, Kristina40, lcs, eagleray, rmonroe, maryabein, StrayCat, lostinamerica, Ironic Chef, blukat, jamess, HedwigKos, triv33, wxorknot, leeleedee, Lefty Ladig, Tinfoil Hat, Sun Tzu, Wino, odum, thomask, martini, melo, cville townie, splashy

    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:46:13 PM PST

    •  Yes, we knew from the likes of Thomas Drake (60+ / 0-)

      and others that unconstitutional surveillance was happening.

      However, the scope? Absolutely not.

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 04:59:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regarding the scope (21+ / 0-)

        We may not have known what it is, but I am not surprised by the on-going revelations of how pervasive and insidious the NSA has been.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:59:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unlike most commenters, I trust the NSA and I wish (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tortmaster, Paul1a

          these particular secrets on methods of data-collection had never been revealed.

          The vast, vast majority of their actual focus is on evildoers who wish us harm. Letting the latter know how we listen to them does not enhance or preserve my liberty (h/t Ben Franklin; yes I know the line). Sure, there need to be safeguards to ensure that this access to data is not misused, and obviously those safeguards were not strong enough (or Snowden wouldn't have gotten access) and need to be improved.

          But I'd really like it if the NSA were able to read emails, eavesdrop, and listen to cell-phone conversations within the Syrian military and government, e.g. to learn who authorized the use of chemical weapons there. I want our NSA to be able to eavesdrop on conversations among various Al Qaeda permutations, in Yemen, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (including private Saudis who finance Al Qaeda), Syria, Egypt, etc. If some nationalist general in China is itching for war with Japan, I'd like our government to know this before hostilities break out. If Boko Haram is getting funding from e.g. the Islamic World Society, I want our government to know this. If there's an opportunity to peacefully end the horrific one-party rule in North Korea (where Kim Jong-Un recently stepped up measures to “ensure that they think and act at all times and in all places in line with the Party’s ideas and intentions”), I want the US to know in advance. If people like AQ Khan are engaged in proliferation of nuclear-, chemical-, and/or biological- weapon technologies, I want the US to bug their computers, phones, house, office, car, etc., and those of all of their friends and contacts, too. Etc., etc., etc.

      •  The NSA scandel seems (12+ / 0-)

        To have been left out of the diary of Obama's achievements this year.

        Now, crawl back into your  bible and drool about the good ol' days when God, the mass murderer, flooded the world and killed almost everyone including the animals. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS. Ziggy fingers on an Ipad :)

        by snoopydawg on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:34:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But Was Obama Ever Informed by NSA (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb, Lefty Ladig, cville townie

          ...of the true extent of their pervasive spying before other parties (e.g. Snowden etc) began to expose them?  Especially since much of the NSA's hyper-expansion began under Cheney's sponsorship, continued for awhile into the Obama presidency by Michael Hayden, it wouldn't surprise me if the top leadership of NSA believed their mission to be too important to their ambitious visions for protecting and advancing the US and its interests to risk any full, accurate revealation to a democratic president who might prove far less hospitable to it than his predecessor.  Even once Snowden's revealations began to force the issue, they still had Obama in the awkard spot of either appearing inept to the extent he claimed lack of knowledge, or of appearing fully complicit if he did not.

          My money's on this analysis being essentially correct - affirmed by the prototypically measured, cautious way he's responded to it.

    •  And don't forget trying his as a traitor for (13+ / 0-)

      telling us what we already knew.....  

      I find myself cheering for a corporation, and Apple at that.   Maybe things are beginning to change.  If they are, it's because of the people who keep pushing, not because of those who try to shut us up.

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:41:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tech corporations getting alienated may save the (11+ / 0-)

        1st and the 4th Amendments.  I guess the Roberts Court was ahead of the curve w/ its corporate free speech doctrine.

        The potential long-term consequences of these trends are so dire that, in this instance, I'm willing to accept getting the right result for the wrong reasons.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:19:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When Apple calls for amnesty for Snowden (9+ / 0-)

        I may start cheering. But not until then. So far these electronic and telecommunications giants just seem to be crying crocodile tears.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:31:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup (10+ / 0-)

          They have to scream because a) to not do would cost them business and b) because the revelations have already cost them lots of business. They are purely looking out for their bottom line.

          The NSA has done a lot of damage to American companies.

          There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

          by taonow on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:33:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't kid yourself (3+ / 0-)

            This hardly impacts on Apple's business as their core userbase just don't seem to give a damn about anyone except themselves, and are often too uninterested to realise this hurts them as well. A big chunk of their userbase I know personally are all for invasion of privacy and suspension of human rights in the case of prisoners as just two examples of how stupid they act.

            I'm constantly dealing with Australians (note we've got no constitutionally protected freedom of speech, it's merely a privilege we enjoy), that are just as insane as your average teabagger, and the majority of them use iPhones (because they're easier to use...) while deriding illegal immigrants, drug use, prisoners, freedom of speech, equality, etc...

            •  *sigh* (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              onionjim, StrayCat

              The fact that this is your view of Apple's user base says a lot more about you and who you associate with than it does about Apple's actual user base. Which is as diverse as the country from which it sprang, but which does lean rather heavily towards the liberal end of the political spectrum. (E.g. this study finds that 59% of Mac users self-identify as liberal, compared to roughly 20% of the general US population, and 36% of Windows people.)

              Admittedly, that's the US's version of liberal.

              •  Probably says more about where I live actually (0+ / 0-)

                I'll be the first to note this is a fairly conservative area (ah who am I kidding? The asses still beat the crap out of homosexuals around here and those of us who are openly bi cop it from both communities), though there's a lot of pro-choice people I know too, however a lot of them are using older phones, like S60 based Nokias rather than upgrade (for now).

                But it's also an appreciable portion of the population Android lost something like 10% of sales in the last fiscal year (it's hard to locate decent sales figures for the region but getting there).
                Q3 statistics for Au Which comes from the global statistics you can get as a PDF from here Global Statistics for Mobile sales look on the right side for the link to the PDF.

                I define liberalism as the support of individual freedoms, acceptance of the right to make personal choices for yourself and nobody else. I don't believe anyone has the right to tell you how to live unless your choices do endanger others, that simple. I was taught the first test of a good law was does it protect people from harm, if it doesn't it shouldn't be a law. Many laws fail that test.

        •  Tech corps hate NSA because it's bad for business (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb, dkmich

          ...because the refealations are damaging for international business.

          •  I think you've got the right idea there (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dkmich

            The NSA's control over things like encryption standards (regarding export at one point in particular comes to mind) definitely made international trade harder for tech companies, especially for MS and Apple since it even impacted on an OS level because they couldn't ship their web browsers for example with a decent level of encryption. When the restriction was lifted life definitely seemed a lot simpler update wise for their consumers.

        •  They shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

          I think Snowden should get amnesty but I think it would be improper for Apple to comment on the matter. Why would they, anyway? They just sell neat gizmos to people.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:00:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  actually, it puts to rest any (10+ / 0-)

      remote semblance of intellectual honesty behind the "we knew this already" argument.

      The argument itself, the intellectual equivalent of genital herpes, will continue to unpredictably flare up in public discourse.

      Which is why 4 out of 5 doctors recommend an oral barrier when engaging in verbal intercourse with authoritarian apologists.

      Be safe.  Take precautions.

      You're not just talking to authoritarian apologists.  You're also talking to everyone authoritarian apologists have talked to.

      elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

      by bnasley on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:56:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, bnasley. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem

        Much of the information in the Der Spiegel article was not known, and that's why, in my opinion, if this is linked back to Snowden, it will be Exhibit "1" in his trial, and he will spend decades in prison.

        This has nothing to do with whistleblowing, nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with damaging our foreign intelligence-gathering capabilities.

        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. On biblical prophesy: If you play the bible backwards, it says, "Paul is dead."

        by Tortmaster on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 12:39:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, we still haven't heard some ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, Lefty Ladig

      ... of this unless you count embellishments by David Harris Gershon to be new. For example, the diary uses this phrase:

      "... 'security attacks' against American consumers...."
      The phrase "American consumers" does not exist in any of the Spiegel online articles and certainly not the one linked to by Gershon. Moreover, there is no antecedent phrase in the writings that hint at attacks on "American consumers." There is, however, the use of these phrases and sentences:
      "They infiltrated networks of European telecommunications companies...."
      "... the global network...."
      "During the middle part of the last decade, the special unit succeeded in gaining access to 258 targets in 89 countries -- nearly everywhere in the world. In 2010, it conducted 279 operations worldwide."
      "... hack into global communications traffic."
      "The San Antonio office handles attacks against targets in the Middle East, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia, not to mention Mexico, just 200 kilometers (124 miles) away, where the government has fallen into the NSA's crosshairs."
      "... democratically elected leaders of countries."
      That's just on the first page of the article, but it goes on to mention Angela Merkel in 2002, "somewhere in the world," Mexico's Secretariat of Public Security, OPEC and, of course, the Iranian nuclear weapons facility on page two:
      "The most well-known and notorious use of this type of attack was the development of Stuxnet, the computer worm whose existence was discovered in June 2010. The virus was developed jointly by American and Israeli intelligence agencies to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, and successfully so. The country's nuclear program was set back by years after Stuxnet manipulated the SCADA control technology used at Iran's uranium enrichment facilities in Natanz, rendering up to 1,000 centrifuges unusable."
      So, when Gershon implies that Americans are being targeted by this set of programs described by Der Spiegel, he is not telling the truth, but, on the plus side, he is stating something so new that nobody has made that claim before. This is how internet myths get started.

      Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. On biblical prophesy: If you play the bible backwards, it says, "Paul is dead."

      by Tortmaster on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 12:19:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I found out that the NSA were able to hack into (44+ / 0-)

    every phone on the planet it wouldn't make me feel any safer. These hacking efforts are security theater designed to justify massive budgets with minimal oversight.

  •  Double/Triple-Dipping-Telecoms, Deserve No: (22+ / 0-)

    sympathy for sure: having their operations built and subsidized by taxpayers, then monopolizing and over-charging clients for access, and then selling client, information and data to the government, with virtually none of it tied directly to terrorism...

    The National Security Agency is paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year to U.S. companies for clandestine access to their communications networks, filtering vast traffic flows for foreign targets in a process that also sweeps in large volumes of American telephone calls, e-mails and instant messages.

    The bulk of the spending, detailed in a multi-volume intelligence budget obtained by The Washington Post, goes to participants in a Corporate Partner Access Project for major U.S. telecommunications providers. The documents open an important window into surveillance operations on U.S. territory that have been the subject of debate since they were revealed by The Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper in June.

    New details of the corporate-partner project, which falls under the NSA’s Special Source Operations, confirm that the agency taps into “high volume circuit and packet-switched networks,” according to the spending blueprint for fiscal 2013. The program was expected to cost $278 million in the current fiscal year, down nearly one-third from its peak of $394 million in 2011.

    source: washingtonpost
  •  If they can make an impact, good. (20+ / 0-)

    I still think there's more than a little ass-covering is going on here, though.

    My skepticism and cynicism likely won't ever subside, unfortunately.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:21:34 PM PST

    •  Apple Statement- TRANSLATED. (5+ / 0-)

      I stole this from a Slashdot commenter (Annoymous Coward).

      "I work in a relationship role for a large firm that most people have heard of. Let me fill all of you in on exactly what was said here.
      First time poster as I am normally not interested however I felt that most of the comments were not addressing the whole verbiage of the defense.

      "Apple has never worked with the NSA" ----- We did not have a contract with or resources sharing agreement with the NSA. We have friends though.
      "to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone" ----- Whatever was created was not called a backdoor or we did not create it. Someone else did.
      "Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products..." ----- THIS alleged program. We were given a different name or aware of others.
      " ... Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers.
      ----- Apple will and probably does investigate breach attempts. But this is not a breach. It was a voluntary. So we aren't doing anything.

      "We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them." ------ Malicious hackers, Security Attacks, as stated above this was voluntary. We will continue not using resources to patch the vulnerabilities.

      In summary Apple did not deny. It is simply used double speak/meaning to say, it was not officially worked, we didn't refer to it by this name, we did not personally create the vulnerabilities and we aren't going to fix them. The NSA would be like a vendor to a large company in this instance. The company can sit back and say they did not personally take malicious action. However, they can't get away from the fact that it happened under their watch so they must respond and deny, which as pointed out by others can be proven by subsequent revelation by Snowden or others, or they can type a paragraph which is true and doesn't admit guilt while misguiding others into making their own conclusion.

      Remember, you are the one they have to convince, not themselves. The executives are not going to let someone like government or shareholders just waltz in and destroy what they've spent years building. They will lie or mislead and if caught, after years of arbitration and lawsuits, can settle for a small lump sum that pales in comparison to the money they could have made in the meantime. Look at BP and the trust fund they setup for the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup. They made a profit on the interest and reinvestment of that money.

      Believe me or not it's entirely up to you. I work in an area who has written quite a few of these and trust me it works to divide and conquer individuals who have different interpretations of literary/writing style. Either way, most people are not paying attention... and that's a fact."

      •  Ugh. This again? (0+ / 0-)

        And I steal from a response to that, also on reddit... only it's one I wrote, so I think that's probably permissible.

        Please. It's a ridiculous stretch, and — let's be honest here — Apple has absolutely no reason to mince words this finely. The only people that 'technically sort of almost true as long as you ignore the actual English meanings of the words we say' impresses are those who somehow think that's better than actually lying. It certainly does not impress, for example, lawyers. Which is to say: if you issued that statement, and then later proved to have helped the NSA, and then sat down with a lawyer and read him your explanation of how you weren't really lying after all, he would laugh you out of his office. Words have meanings, and if you say something that you know will be interpreted in one way, you can't then get off the hook for that interpretation by showing a (remarkably less valid, in this case) alternative reading of the same thing.

        It's like signing an agreement with someone that says 'in the second month of the year 2014 I will do X' and then, when that month rolls around, you say, 'oh, well, I didn't specify the calendar, and in the calendar I was referring to, 2014 does not occur for another 3800 years.' Yeah. Okay. No.

        If you look at the actual document in question, it is from a period when the only iPhone available was the original iPhone, and there was a publicly available jailbreak and unlock for each and every version of the iPhone software that had been released up until that time. Without Apple's help in any way, just using the publicly available jailbreak software, I could do all by myself every single thing that the NSA says that they could do, with local access to an iPhone, at that time. Jailbreak, install cydia, and you could install any software you wanted. There was even a pre-made cydia remote camera-and-mic app available during that time frame.

        I am not saying Apple is definitely innocent, but given that no remote hack was possible at that time (which would have been something trivial for Apple to arrange), it is simply contrary to any kind of reason or logic to assume their guilt.

        •  Except for the fact that (0+ / 0-)

          installing the jailbreak would disable the software updates that Apple regularly releases. The owner should become aware of the problem when their phone won't function properly. Jailbreaking breaks the phone in a fundamental way, which is why it is something not to be done without serious consideration. Of course, not everyone keeps up with the times and may continue to use a jailbroken phone for the life of their 2 year contract. A clever operative would learn their phone has been compromised and then begin using it to plant false information. Truly entering Spy vs. Spy territory now...

  •  I think right now Apple is just a tad unhappy with (18+ / 0-)

    the federal government as a federal judge has saddled it with a monitor as part of her judgement against Apple in the price-fixing ebook case that DOJ brought.

    Plus, the 100% success rate is not surprising since few Apple products require or carry much third party security systems, unlike Microsoft products. Until now they have represented such a small share of the computer market that hackers tended to bypass them in order to focus on the larger PC target.

    •  You know nothing about the Unix system on which (6+ / 0-)

      iOS and OSX are based I presume. This is not a software issue, it is a physical product capture and firmware issue. A decent hacker who has access to the hardware, virtually any hardware, can bat 100%.

      •  If anybody feels like spending an hour (19+ / 0-)

        Here's a vid of Jacob Applebaum (of Der Spiegel) giving a technical rundown of the NSA's hacks, rootkits, and other assorted nastinesses at a talk on December 30.

        They can get anybody's computer, mostly. But the list of exploits of Apple's iOS is mind boggling. I believe that the NSA and their contractors are committing felonies. I'd be delighted to see the agency shut down and their people in prison. They're truly a menace to society.

        "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

        by Crider on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:04:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Appelbaum n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crider, leonard145b, Don midwest, koNko

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:16:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Proof? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sucker Politics

          All supposition on his part (of Apple helping NSA -what BS) and hacking of of an iPhone requires physical possession. (Which any phone/computer can be compromised in that scenario). Notice his omission of any Android devices in his list? How's that possible? He's an "open source is better" dude with a bias against Apple.

          Good article, read the comments

          We'll never be truly free with this crap going on. Too many people don't care about their privacy because they don't see an immediate impact on their lives.

          •  No. Go to minute 36, among others (5+ / 0-)

            Doesn't requite physical access.

            "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

            by Crider on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:36:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. Now I don't have to do that. n/t (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crider, leonard145b, Don midwest

              I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

              by Just Bob on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:53:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That was his own speculation (0+ / 0-)

              ... unsupported by the ANT catalog.

            •  Where? (0+ / 0-)

              Listened to his spiel about Apple and I don't see where he said that these things can be done remotely. Transcript please. Again, why didn't he say one thing about Android which has been far more vulnerable to exploits?

            •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              walkshills, StrayCat, Crider

              Does not require physical access. See by up thread comment and link, you guys are misinterpreting things and need to not the catalogue published was c2008.

              Certainly iPhones can be hacked; Apple's statement on the NSA hack makes that self-evident and I could cite other cases to prove it.

              Quote Apple:

              Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.
              If Apple products are hack proof, there is absolutely no reason for Apple to ever lift a finger, so why would they make such statements?

              And if this was dependent on physical access, how could Apple possibly protect hundreds of millions of iPhones in the field?

              I don't believe it, and obviously, neither do they.

              No OS is hack-proof.

          •  What do you think a jailbreak is? Exactly, a full (0+ / 0-)

            hack that disables all the normal "protection" mechanisms built into iOS and yes there have been a few remote jailbreaks that require merely visiting a website.  Oh, and just  like various video game consoles the iPhone is designed not to be hackable even if you have physical possession because that would defeat the whole "walled garden" approach.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 10:20:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  great talk n/t (5+ / 0-)

          There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

          by taonow on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:34:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  His iPhone scenario is plausible... (0+ / 0-)

          ... but it isn't supported by the evidence in the ANT catalog on which he's basing his talk. The catalog implants require physical access to the iPhone device (we could probably stretch it a bit and allow for an iPhone device connected to a remotely accessed computer). The catalog hints at development on over-the-air-provisioning installation, but it also hints that such a technique might be (and no doubt nowadays is) constrained by service-provider security measures -- hence the no-rush approach.

          Likewise, his NIGHTSTAND description is plausible (there have been remotely exploitable bugs in wireless drivers), but as a look at the catalog will show, NIGHTSTAND targeted old versions of Internet Explorer.

          The build-up to the grand finale doesn't sufficiently highlight that the whole thing depends on previously placed passive implants. It's no TEMPEST, not by a long shot. TEMPEST doesn't require previously placed passive implants.

      •  Not so fast ..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat

        The initial version seems to have required hardware access but never versions installed remotely.  Read the last statement in the catalogue description (c2008).

        I'm an OSX/iOS user by choice and a long time Unix/Linux coder. There is nothing special about Unix/Linux that precludes software hacks and there are numerous examples to prove this; in fact, the majority of network servers and HPC applications are Unix/Linux based and frequently hacked by various means, or we wouldn't be having this discussion now.

        I pretty much agree with Susan's statements and would add that lots of OSX, Uniix and Linux users operate under the delusion their favored OS is not vulnerable but this is not supported by fact, and complacency of this sort leads to painful awakenings.

        The only thing you can say in favor of open source OS is more eyes are on them, but also more hands.

        Locks are designed to be opened. Simple fact.

    •  100% success rate is not surprising... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Sucker Politics, leonard145b

      It's not surprising that if they gain physical access to devices that they can compromise them. All software security measures are defenses against remote attacks. Once you have physical access to a device, you can 100% of the time bypass any security measures. For example, any PC (including Mac) can be booted from a disk (such as a CD-ROM drive or USB stick) that runs an alternate OS, bypassing the OS on the hard drive and giving complete access to everything on the machine. And for mobile devices, while you may not be able to boot from an external drive, you can re-flash the firmware, which again allows to you install anything you like on the device.

      This is true of Windows, Mac and Linux, and pretty much any other OS. Because if you make a device so secure that you can't reinstall the OS or recover from corrupted firmware, etc., you'll have a device that can't be supported in the field.

      The security aspect isn't that someone who gets physical control of a device can hack it - that's well understood in the security world. The thing that's horrifying is that it means that the US shipping companies cannot be trusted, because they allow their deliveries to be intercepted and hacked while "in transit". So either they're complicit or at least they need better security over their deliveries.

      So even if the NSA hasn't compromised US technology (one can hope), if they've compromised US delivery services that's possibly worse, because even if the product is secure, you can't trust that what is delivered to you hasn't been compromised.

      •  There are defenses against physical access hacks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maggid

        Especially for a closed OS device like iPhone.

        But they are complex and require strong security measures and trusted part suppliers. There is an entire industry centered around trusted computing. The problem is that it adds cost and may require encrypted data to be transmitted from place to place inside the device itself.

        I am certainly interested in understanding how the NSA is doing this, but I think a company with Apple's resources could lock the NSA out of their devices even with physical access. The question is whether they will invest the money and resources to make it happen.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:59:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, Tortmaster

        You've gone into a lot more detail than I went into earlier. If you were to send your post to 99% of the journalists creating all the buzz, they'd probably just gloss over it and move on to the next point-missing, sensationalized, revenue-generating piece.

        The real story is the interdiction process (mail interception), not the "OMG. 100% SUCCESS RATE. IPHONES. APPLE. DELL. OMG." It's the interdiction process that drives the success rate, not company backdoors or company cooperation.

        Even some people in the security industry who had access to the ANT catalog have misrepresented it completely, which is clear now that everybody has access to it. There are probably some truly scary cell-phone attacks out there, but the ANT catalog's cell-phone attacks reduce to physical access (interdiction with USB injection). There are hints of development work on remote installation using over-the-air provisioning, but the same hints mention service-provider keys being needed, which is probably why there was no great rush in development. That would amount to traditional law-enforcement requests delivered to telecommunications providers. In any event, in none of this would tech-company cooperation have been required.

      •  Wrong. Nobody has been able to hack a PS3 (0+ / 0-)

        that came with firmware newer than version 3.55 despite lots of people with physical access trying.  Or a 3DS with firmware higher than 4.5.  And yes, they have even tried things like chip decapping in order to find possible exploits.  The whole point of iOS is that just like those game consoles the entire system is locked down so that only approved code can run on them.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 10:26:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please, this is driving me nuts (22+ / 0-)

    I see it so often, but expected you would know better
     

    reign in the NSA's unconstitutional surveillance activities.
    It's "rein in", not "reign in".

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:50:47 PM PST

  •  video that describes these hacks and more (17+ / 0-)

    Jeremy Hammond at a recent conference

    this is about the topics of this email and more

    I follow this stuff all the time and much of this is new

    what has not been hacked by NSA

    https://www.youtube.com/....

    here is something from Dec 1, 2010.

    Appelbaum is the only known American member of Wikileaks and the leading evangelist for the software program that helped make the leak possible. In a sense, he's a bizarro version of Mark Zuckerberg: If Facebook's ambition is to "make the world more open and connected," Appelbaum has dedicated his life to fighting for anonymity and privacy. An anarchist street kid raised by a heroin- addict father, he dropped out of high school, taught himself the intricacies of code and developed a healthy paranoia along the way. "I don't want to live in a world where everyone is watched all the time," he says. "I want to be left alone as much as possible. I don't want a data trail to tell a story that isn't true." We have transferred our most intimate and personal information — our bank accounts, e-mails, photographs, phone conversations, medical records — to digital networks, trusting that it's all locked away in some secret crypt. But Appelbaum knows that this information is not safe. He knows, because he can find it.
    another high school drop out!

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/....
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

  •  "... Our industry leading security..." (13+ / 0-)

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

    Well, I guess there's a big opening developing for Linux smartphones.

    http://www.zdnet.com/...

    I can write their commercial for them:  "In these troubled times, cellphone hacking is a growing problem.  You need the phone that doesn't give it up as easily as a preacher's daughter when some unnamed evil organization tries to hack it!  You need the LinuxPhone!"

    •  Android is insecure against physical attacks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, jayden

      Android, and linux more generally, is not designed to be secure against attacks from someone who has physical control over the device - if you have your hands on the device, you can load modified firmware that will do whatever you like - report back, keystroke log, etc.

      For what it's worth, iOS is on this front marginally more secure, because it will only install signed firmware, so it's not quite as trivial to modify the firmware. Not impossible, but harder.

      So if what you're worried about is what the NSA did, a Linux Phone (or Android phone) won't help at all.

      Basically, once they have your phone, they can bypass any security that the device has. The only protection is, perversely, if you own an extremely obscure, unpopular phone, because the hacking tools might not support cracking it yet, and they'd have to do more work to compromise it.

      •  In theory? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest
        For what it's worth, iOS is on this front marginally more secure, because it will only install signed firmware, so it's not quite as trivial to modify the firmware. Not impossible, but harder.
        If 100% of iOS devices have been compromised, can it be described as "marginally more secure" than Android???  As others have pointed out, there are widely available low cost or free security software (AVG for example) on the Android platform. Surely this means Android devices should be more secure in practice if not in theory?

        We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:34:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

          Such security applications are usually installed after the point of interdiction where such malware is installed in the context of TAO, and thus can often render your applications unable to detect it. This is why rootkits on personal computers are so truly annoying to combat.

          •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

            Anti-malware applications are useless if installed after the malware is installed, since they already have full control of the system and are able to detect/disable/modify the anti-malware application as it is installed.

            Not to mention the fact that anti-malware applications are based on pattern matching and heuristics that have proven to be somewhat less than foolproof—most of the dominant players on Android have been tested to have a 50-60% detection rate in practice.

            That's not nothing, but it's not all that reassuring against the NSA, particularly if the anti-malware app is being installed after a rootkit is already in place.

            -9.63, 0.00
            "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

            by nobody at all on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:46:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep and it's not an unfamiliar theme (0+ / 0-)

              I remember installing Windows 2000 Pro SP3 for a friend and having to shutdown his internet connection and install some of the pre SP3 hotfixes because for some insane reason the exploit fixes hadn't been included by default with the slipstream install disc. Thankfully no infection (hurray for slow net and knowing the symptoms of the exploit by sight), but such vulnerabilities are part of how rootkits get onto systems in the first place, and given the failings you've mentioned yourself it's quite possible too for them to hide themselves during system checks from a scan easily enough, or being outside the files that are normally checked anyway. Heck just the root lockdown on Android and iOS devices makes it a bit harder for AV to locate this sort of thing because typically the app wouldn't be able to get access privileges to that level of the software without an exemption being made by the OS for AV to get root level access without jailbreaking/rooting your phone.

        •  100% of iOS devices have been compromised, what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, Dumbo

          do you think a jailbreak is?  Every time a new major iOS version comes out an "untethered" jailbreak is found within a month at most and yes, some of them can be triggered just by going to a website on the iPhone/iPad browser.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 10:28:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, because many Linux users (4+ / 0-)

      Are just as delusional and foolish about the security of their preferred OS as many OSX/iOS users.

      They will both tell you how invulnerable their OS is, with a self-satisfied smirk.

      But if Linux was unhackable, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?

      NB -

      Apple (Unix)
      Cisco (Linux)
      Huawei (Linux)
      IBM (Linux)
      Juniper (Linux)
      Oracle (Linux)

      No OS is unhackable. Hasn't been invented yet.

      •  That only reinforces my point. (0+ / 0-)

        This is a situation where the IMPRESSION of the reliability of US based software is compromised as well as the software itself.  If non-US software and hardware carries some impression of being less compromisable (and I think that's a given considering that they're out of subpoena range; thus there's at least a little more work for the NSA without the corporate blessing) then that affects SALES.  Sales affects income.  Less income means more corporate whining to the whitehouse about the NSA.  Yay.

      •  Also... (0+ / 0-)
        But if Linux was unhackable, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?
        The NSA uses their own brand of Linux on their own computers.

        http://www.nsa.gov/...

    •  Android IS Linux (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo

      Don't believe me?

      Get root on your Android phone, start a shell, and type:

      uname -a

      Android is a Linux distribution, just like Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:42:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My worst fears about the NSA are being confirmed (17+ / 0-)

    Everything is in place for a new J. Edgar Hoover to become ruler of the world.  Can you imagine J. Edgar with this power when he went after MLK and even JFK?.

    All such a monster has to do is to take out a few people that make noise when a movement starts and you essentially control politics and therefore the government.

    We are in uncharted waters until the NSA is reined in indeed.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:03:58 PM PST

  •  "Just simple things can cause serious serious... (11+ / 0-)

     harm to regular people who are working for some kind of truth telling..."

    ...At a weekend Chaos Communications Congress event in Hamburg, sponsored by Germany's (in)famous Computer Chaos Club, Jacob Appelbaum delivered a speech detailing techniques he believes the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is using in its campaign to spy on not only Americans, but the entire world....
    Appelbaum went on to describe how government tech tampering can cause real people real harm:
    ...Rafael, a journalist in Angola....found that the government had implanted a screengrab program on Rafael's program.  Rafael was an investigative journalist exposing government corruption.  Unfortunately, his machine was safeguarded too late.  He was arrested and charged with espionage crimes.  

    ...Incidentally, the administration of President Barack Obama (D) has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act (18 U.S.C. § 792) offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined, according to The Guardian...

    Whether or not Apple's anger is over the principle of NSA's tampering with their products, Apple and other tech companies know very well that it's bad for business and that could be another reason for their anger.  
    The National Security Agency spying scandal could cost the top U.S. tech companies billions of dollars over the next several years, according to industry experts. In addition to consumer Internet companies, hardware and cloud-storage giants like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Oracle could suffer billions of dollars in losses if international clients take their business elsewhere...

    Now, the nation’s largest Internet companies are calling for Congress and President Obama to reform the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs.

    Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook are facing intense scrutiny following revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden...

    And that was before the latest revelations about Apple's iPhone.  Now they really are angry...
  •  Good diary. A few points: (5+ / 0-)
    Over the weekend, a report by Der Spiegel revealed the existence of an elite hacking unit within the NSA – the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). For years, this unit has been intercepting electronics deliveries, embedding items with spyware, and sending them along to unsuspecting customers.
    TAO/ROC has been known by name as early as June and discussed extensively since then. See for instance this:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/...

    The main thrust of the Der Spiegel story was, IMO, an inconsequential, sensationalist, and highly misleading refinement on known information about TAO implants.

    Sensationalist and highly misleading: The term 'backdoor' when associated with a company has a very specific meaning within the security industry that has been heavily distorted in many news articles. There's no evidence of these companies inserting backdoors into their products, which would be the tech story of the century.

    The NSA backdoors described tend to be of the rootkit-backdoor flavor, relying on physical access to devices (e.g., by interdiction) or remote access by traditional hacking attacks. This activity is to be expected of an intelligence agency.

    A company backdoor would be something that the companies have added to grant the NSA immediate access over a network, with no hacking activity required. But the need for the interdiction process itself suggests that the NSA hasn't enjoyed much success when it comes to such company backdoors. Rather, any success they've had with company backdoors tends to involve subtly weakened encryption products.

    The CCC video was in some ways sensationalist as well. It was a build-up to the "worst nightmare" of wave technology that can power previously placed passive implants. The curious thing about the video was that it mentioned TEMPEST technology and then immediately depicted this wave technology as even scarier. No, no, no. TEMPEST technology doesn't require previously placed implants and is thereby far scarier.

    Among the report's many revelations was the fact that, since 2008, TAO has intercepted

    That was the only interesting revelation, IMO -- the level of organization in the interdiction process. A NY Times anonymous source had mentioned this in recent months in a barely noticed comment, but the impression there was that it was a rare operation and that the NSA had "asked" a manufacturer to add the backdoor for a foreign target.

    Actually, given the existence of this NY Times anonymous source, the unusual omission of Snowden attribution by Der Spiegel, and strong suggestions by other journalists that the ANT catalog didn't come from the Snowden stash, I think we are seeing signs of a second whistleblower coming to the fore.

    iOS devices with a stunning 100 percent success rate. This bold claim prompted some to theorize that Apple has been working hand-in-hand with the NSA. For how else could the NSA hack all of its mobile products without fail?
    This isn't as stunning as the media has portrayed it. It's like claiming a 100% success rate at smashing someone's window with a brick. Given close enough access to a window, and given the fairly uniform physical properties of glass, it's not a surprising claim.

    Or consider this: There's iOS jail-breaking software developed by civilian hackers that can unlock targeted devices with the same 100% success rate. These civilian hackers didn't need Apple's cooperation.

    The NSA is a glorified hacking outfit. Apple's cooperation or consultation wasn't required. Hackers research company products and develop reliable exploits all the time without vendor cooperation or consultation.

    •  A psych. hint of lack of company cooperation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb, Tortmaster

      To me, probably the biggest hint that there was no company cooperation (beyond that of responding to FISA requests) is in the gloating and sense of triumph:

      * A smiley face on the diagram of Google's compromised data centers.

      * A spoof on Apple's Big Brother commercial, calling Apple's customers "zombies paying for their own surveillance."

      * "Champagne" celebrations after the long slog of breaking BlackBerry again

      * Making fun of Microsoft's crash-report submissions.

      One comment I saw suggested this indicated a pathological organizational culture. But I've seen this mischievous streak among people with solid principles and integrity.

    •  D'oh, failed reading comprehension on my part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nobody at all
      [TAO has intercepted] iOS devices with a stunning 100 percent success rate. This bold claim prompted some to theorize that Apple has been working hand-in-hand with the NSA. For how else could the NSA hack all of its mobile products without fail?
      I split your comments in a way that broke continuity and then ended up reading the wrong damn thing into them. Sorry, David.

      If it's the interception itself that always succeeds, then absolutely, there's a big mystery there that needs to be solved. Where in the delivery chain does responsibility rest? Apple had better hope it's not too close to Apple.

      •  This is fascinating to me as well. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sucker Politics

        It takes the problem out of the realm of the technical and into the realm of the social. It's not about "hacking" alone, it's about having compromised supply chain management and having NSA fingers across the broader economy, in warehouses and shipping centers, not just in data centers.

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:48:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Emptywheel recent post (9+ / 0-)

    The Obama as Civil Libertarian Propaganda Rolls Out

    That is, ultimately Obama plans his own “reform.” Which not only keeps the authority for “reform” in the Executive’s hands — protecting executive authority — but almost certainly stops short of the reasonable but by no means adequate changes proposed by his Review Group.
  •  Snowden. (0+ / 0-)

    How did you folks get it so backwards?  

    Thank GOD Snowden revealed the depth of our subversion.

    You folks are less informed than the Huff post folks!

    •  misunderstanding Social Contract (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb

      your one word comment  SNOWDEN

      was in the context following the comment of a killing, it was understood as you saying that Snowden made a killing by what he did. They asked "what benefit did he get from it?"

      I think that what is going on is a simple misunderstanding.

      I'll try two approaches to your comment

      for example

      1. are you saying that Snowden made a killing with money by what he did? Or made a killing to secure his future?

      2. or are you saying that he made a killing by exposing the most powerful factions in the world and for that we are eternally grateful?

      3. or something else?

      •  Something else. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        I seem to have a lot to learn......

        •  hi - two points - hierarchy & trolls (0+ / 0-)

          1. comments are a response to a comment and thus continue the conversation

          need to read the comment and respond to the point being made

          2. there are a lot of people who disrupt the discussion by saying stupid things like Snowden is getting rich. People thought that you were trying to mess with the dialogue. They jumped on you because your comment could be misread

          A suggestion

          Go back up to your original comment on Snowden

          Reply to you comment  - CORRECTION - Made unclear comment

          or something to that effect to clarify. People will hang out around the comment and may not go down here to find out

          another suggestion

          you can click on your original comment and see who gave you a HR, a Hide Rating. You can click on each name and send them a kosmail message to correct what you were trying to say and to ask them to remove the HR. They didn't realize that you think that Snowden is a hero and they thought that you were saying that Snowden was a traitor or something like that.

          and, you will recover

          just take a little more time with your comments

          •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

            if s/he can actually see the original comment. It is hidden and SC is not a TU.

            Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

            by ask on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 04:48:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It would appear so (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb, Don midwest

          I have removed my HR in your previous comment. Keep in mind that that comment was the equivalent of "Squirrel" - a common tactic by the NSA-fluffers.

          Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

          by ask on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:49:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  i'm not really familiar with apple products (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, jayden, stevemb

    is there a large overseas market for things like iPhones?

    If Apple sees a big drop in oversea sales, can they sue the NSA?

    Its unfortunate the most probable agents to rein in NSA abuses will likely be corporate entities rather than, you know, we the people.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:00:36 PM PST

    •  Not just Apple. One comment on spiegel link: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, taonow, jayden, stevemb, StrayCat
      Yeah, I bought a Toshiba Laptop Windows 7 that had been pre-set with a proxy remote connection. At the time I had called the FBI and the store to report it. Now turns out it was the NSA
    •  There is a huge market in some places. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      Australia for every one Android phone I see on the street, there'll be 3-4 iPhones (at least where I live rurally), there's WP available but I see only old symbian and blackberries not a single WP or WM handset on the streets (not even amongst the Nokia fans like my mother). While the saturation will definitely vary from place to place, Australia really isn't a big FOSS supporter, MS and Apple are huge market controllers in computing (half my own systems run Linux distros, the others Windows but I write software, play games, and do tech support so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on a full breakaway), mobile computing it's mostly Apple, I'm the only person I know with a tablet that runs Android, nobody running a Windows tablet, but plenty using iPads (including my own sister as her school uses them now). I was hoping the 4G debacle with the iPhones would break the stranglehold a bit (USA uses different frequencies for 4G/LTE to Australia so the 4G models were launched with only the ability to use our 3G bands), but no such luck, it's looking like the early 90s again when Macs dominated the schools and workplaces.

  •  Folks, what's the deal? (0+ / 0-)

    I said Snowden.

    How did you  interpret that?

    Snowden is a hero.  

  •  Dear NSA, when we ituned you that Doors Album (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, taonow, Bisbonian, Mister T, StrayCat

    as a Secret Santa gift, we didn't think you'd take Back Door Man quite so literally.

    Or totally not get the lyrics so.

    srsly. wow.

    sincerely,
    Apple

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:06:43 PM PST

  •  I dont see how you miss being HIJACKED? (0+ / 0-)

    So I have to assume the NSA was doing it while they were in the customs warehouse at the port of entry, awaiting clearing of customs (drug dog check, etc).

    Hauled off, altered/hacked and then returned to be handed over to whatever truck was heading to Apple.

    See, stupid Apple jerkoff's, if you MANUFACTURED THEM HERE IN YOUR OWN FACTORY they wouldn't have been getting fucked with, assholes.

    Now, who on earth is going to buy your stupid phone, who would trust that the NSA hasn't already hacked it.

    I hope consumers worldwide speak with their wallets just as Brazil did with Boeing.

  •  snark website on Utah data center - how long (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, StrayCat

    will it be allowed to stay up?

    humor is not allowed when the issue is NATIONAL SECURITY

    this tab titled LEAKS has Applebaum's talk

    http://nsa.gov1.info/...

    here is the "home page"

    http://nsa.gov1.info/...

    and for those looking for employment, a job description

    The men and women who work for the Domestic Surveillance Directorate are Americans first, last , and always. Each employee is required to take a solemn oath to support and defend the United States against all enemies, especially domestic.
    I added the bold
    The Facts About Our Surveillance Activities
    In recent months, numerous Top Secret documents have been leaked to the media relating to surveillance activities carried out by the Intelligence Community. In an effort to increase transparency, a new website called "IC OFF THE RECORD" has been created to provide immediate, ongoing and direct access to these unauthorized leaks.
  •  Because Microsoft had such good luck fighting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko

    the government...   (Remember when all we worried about was whether a browser would be installed as part of your operating system?)

  •  The specific technologies and methods used (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Don midwest

    are secondary to the underlying fact that they're doing this at all, by whatever specific means. Spying is spying is spying, and when done on innocent people without probable cause or judicial warrant, is unconstitutional.

    What we're seeing is a particularly anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive, and quite desperate and really silly form of megalomania, the sort of thing that incompetent bureaucrats do to cover up their incompetence and failure.

    They're not just exploiting 9/11. They're overcompensating for their failure to predict and prevent it. No worse abuser than someone who's been violated. To deal with the methods, know the minds behind it.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 05:48:14 AM PST

  •  They're not "malicious hackers" (0+ / 0-)

    They're thieves. Their goal is not to shut down functionality but to steal personal data for their own use. That's theft, and it's a crime.

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