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Apple: FBI Could Target iPhone Cameras and Microphones Next


Apple: FBI Could Target iPhone Cameras and Microphones Next

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

If the FBI successfully manages to force Apple to unlock the suspected San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, the government could use the precedent to require the tech company to remotely turn on users' iPhone microphones and cameras, Apple's senior vice president warned this week.


I don't have a smart phone anyway. The mobile phone I do have is always turned off. So, hack that hackmeisters.


So does this mean the other phone corpses are already doing this? Why is Apple the only one fighting this?


Besides the new concerns that Apple is raising, I am concerned about monitoring from all the new smart appliances that Silicon Valley is developing. These include smart TVs with microphones that enable the viewer to ask the TV to change the channel or look for specific programs and various other smart appliances one would find in the home like smart stoves, smart refrigerators, etc. I don't think there are any good guys here. The high tech companies keep producing these "smart" devices whether there is really any need for them or not and these devices are leading to a Big Brother society. Of course this allows abuses by the government agencies such as the FBI. All of this is driven by high tech companies that only care about profits and are very clever in marketing a digital life style (which means surveillance). Some like Facebook, perhaps the worst of the lot, have convinced people their privacy is gone and that it no longer matters. And the FBI, which used to focus on solving crimes, now has a mission of preventing crimes before they happen (specifically acts of terrorism) and therefore is driven to know as much as possible about what people are doing.


After I bought my house, a home security company salesman approached me and told me about how their home security system uses a combination of cameras and microphones to record the intruders. All the recordings went directly to the company's data banks. How was I supposed to know when stuff is being recorded and when not? How was I supposed to know this was a salesman working for a legit company and not an agent working for The Company? Needless to say, they got no business from me.


What else is news? It's the network that is being constructed.

Implications and capacities of this burgeoning and unprecedented networking of humans and computers, go way beyond the desires of the US "security" apparatus outlined in the current Apple iPhone case.


Just another of the many reasons that Ed Snowden needs to remain free and able to be heard.


Sorry, but the encryption key for the dumb phones is so old and worn, that they finally printed a hard copy of the key and distributed it years ago at one of the black hat seminars.

Not that that we are so interesting, that the FEDS are listening in...but know that your key is quite open to the public for listening in.


There is a huge need for us to look at the Fourth Amendment. The men who wrote it did so in the age of sealing wax and mail carried in saddlebags.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, [a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, ... "

Is your phone reasonably considered to be among your "effects," and, in this age of digital communication and transactions, are its contents reasonably considered to be among your "papers?"

It is absurd to believe that this case would NOT set a precedent. That's exACTly what it would do.


Bringing the issue of tracking a bit closer to home:

To: webmaster@commondreams.org, editor@commondreams.org
Subject: Network spying as it impacts those of us at commondreams

I am happy that you have kept some focus on the issue of spying on our internet communications. Being thus aware of the issue, it perplexes me that you have not taken the step to use https for commondreams and the commons. Without it, every article we read and every post we make is visible on the network, tracked and connected both to our IP and to our login name. As a result of the revelations of Edward Snowden, Wikipedia has made the jump. Would you also consider correcting this problem?

Thank you,

(You can also phone commondreams at: 207.775.0488)


It's getting pretty scary to own one of those devices. It is a trojan horse. Spyware is built right into the operating system. We don't live in a fair legal system and it is extremely risky having any data on a smart phone. Even having the phone in your possession when you aren't even using it could make you vulnerable to someone to spying on you. I am thinking about going back to a landline. To hell with mobile devices until we have fair laws.


(F)ools, (B)ums and (I)diots (as my mother called them 60 years ago) should just go grab some contraband out of the evidence room, chill out and go watch some porn....that's right up their ghetto minded alley.


Beware; your dishwasher is listening !

Say the wrong thing when being driven in your automated car and it will take you straight to jail. Now there's an idea for the FBI.

Just wait till face recognition is coupled to brainwave sensing!

Why buy the wretched stuff?.


This article, like a host similar articles in the media, is blatant advertorial. Apple was created by those they now swear they oppose.

It is a joke really; a horrible one!

A clever man will recognise that any who trust the USA are retarded. I mean this is presently the luminous green the bull elephant in musk now rampaging in the Western room to the sexy squeaks of Hollywood ingenues who have long been prostituting for a buck--or two---- or three.

A wise man will recognise that those who trust an insider US company such as Apple are simplistic, even demented worshipers of their own personal, trainer led, programme of "Individualism" that may even result in them being pictured mounting the great American beast of a thumping Harley Davidson on the front cover of Rolling Stone.

Such is the 'American' exceptionalist.

Bloody (no swearing) twats!


The smart appliances you speak of are not from the government but from corporations. Therein lies the rub. No one is mentioning the role that corporations are playing in this issue while at the same time everyone is concerned about what the government might do. Our concerns are misplaced because corporations are already doing what we fear the gov. "might" do.

For instance, regarding the article's warning that the FBI could start targeting iPhone cameras and microphones. Facebook is already doing it. Very few people read the Terms of Service (ToS) agreement that we have to agree to before we're allowed to use Facebook or hundreds of other apps, Google, etc. Facebook, without notice, recently changed their ToS to allow them access to your smartphone camera and microphone without the owner knowing about it. Google does the same. And the data they're gathering through this "data mining" is sold to the highest bidders for hundreds of billions a year without any compensation to us the users. And all this is done without any regulation at all.

Our concerns about what the gov. may or may not be doing is misplaced as long as we continue to ignore the fact that corporations are already doing the very same thing that we fear from the gov.


The true culprits in this issue are not the FBI nor the gov. but the corporations who are mining the data that we produce and selling it for hundreds of billions a year without compensation to the users. Ever wonder why we don't get bills from Facebook or Google? It's becuase we're not their customers; we're their products.

A case in point is the subject of the article. While the author spends much time outlining how the gov. may someday use our iPhone cameras and microphones, Facebook is already doing so. The proof is in Facebook's newly revised Terms of Service agreement that we all have to "sign" in order to have access to FB and which no one reads. And it doesn't matter if your phone is turned off or not. FB can access one's camera now without the owner ever knowing that it's happening. Moreover, this and more is happening under our noses without any compensation, regulation or notification. Samsung can do the same with their SmartTVs, which give them 24/7 access to the owner's home without notice.

We might consider addressing our privacy concerns with the corporate entities that are already doing what we fear the gov. might do in the future. So far no one seems to be aware or even care that what we fear from the gov. is already happening through corporate "data mining".


Wow, this is old news. This was, not only on this website, but New Scientist, The Intercept as well. They all said back then that it was already able to be done. This, plus the Stingray devices, I guess means that we are being surveilled without 'Muricans knowledge. But the funny thing is, technically we all know its happening, so our gov't has been telling the truth through ommision. Im starting to think theyare letting the media make a circus event about this so they dont have to actually disclose what they are doing...or something. Whatever it is, its not secret and therefore the CIA/FBI, etc. have become a liability to our countries defenses. By their own views, thaywould be criminal due to the leaks.


You missed my point. When my phone is turned off, they can't turn it on. If they can't turn it on, who cares what encryption key they have? It won't do them any good unless I turn on my phone.