As if Snowden’s revelations were not catastrophic enough for the NSA, incidents such as the press release published this September by Germany’s Der Spiegel continue to stun us. Der Spiegel’s publication asserted that the NSA has been working to tap iPhones with spyware apps for the last five years. Apps were essentially designed to push/pull information from iPhone users.
Reports also indicate that the NSA may have worked with Apple to acquire the capability of switching on iPhone users’ mics and recording audio – a feature referred to as the hot-mic.
The app-set famously referred to as the DROPOUTJEEP is said to be a software implant that was designed to function as a complete spying package. News reports indicate that the surveillance campaign targeted the iOS5 but there is a margin that later versions may have been better and stronger. Any developments relating DROPOUTJEEP to iOS7 still remain to surface.
While speculations and debates on this latest exposure are still raging, the NSA is busy battling a host of allegations concerning breach of consumer privacy. At the top of the hot-list are allegations concerning payments made out to security firms and IT hardware manufacturers. Leaks indicate that the NSA was working with the RSA to install backdoors in prevalent encryption protocols. As if that is not enough, fresh allegations assert that the NSA was also working with DELL to bug computer systems.
Much like the NSA, Apple has also been caught off-guard. The Smartphone pioneer claims that it is unaware of any such program and is claiming that it did not work with the NSA to facilitate the installation of any surveillance programs at any time. While privacy advocates rally on harder than ever, the news report is also raising concerns amongst iPhone users who are enraged over the possibility that they may have been paying for data transmissions inflated by the NSA’s alleged surveillance apps.