Belfast Telegraph

Edward Snowden shuns iPhones due to secret software that can be remotely activated to spy on people, says lawyer

The iPhone has secret spyware that lets governments watch users without their knowledge, according to Edward Snowden's lawyer.

The NSA whistleblower doesn’t use a phone because of the secret software, which his lawyer says can be remotely activated to watch the user.

"Edward never uses an iPhone, he’s got a simple phone," Anatoly Kucherena told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"The iPhone has special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him, that’s why on security grounds he refused to have this phone based on security grounds."

Apple has been active in making the iPhone harder for security services to spy on, and the company said that iOS 8 made it impossible for law enforcement to extract users’ personal data, even if they have a warrant.

The company has also been active in campaigning for privacy reform after the Snowden revelations, joining with Facebook and Google to call for changes to the law.

But recently published files from the NSA showed that British agency GCHQ used the phones UDIDs — the unique identifier that each iPhone has — to track users.

While there doesn’t seem to be any mention of such spying software in any of the revelations so far, a range of documents are thought to be still unpublished.

Applebaum: To Protect And Infect

Further reading

US 'cracked most online encryption' 

David Cameron could ban encrypted chat services such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and iMessage under new surveillance plans 

Mass surveillance of UK citizens on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google is legal, says government’s top anti-terror chief Charles Farr

Facebook status updates and Twitter posts intercepted by UK Government

Snooping tools GCHQ could use to hack your phone's microphone, camera and keypad: Nosey Smurf, Gumfish and Foggybottom

52% wary of expressing their views online, one in three do not feel free from government surveillance

GCHQ ‘using online viruses and honey traps to discredit targets’

GCHQ given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of text messages from around the world, according to NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden

NSA can spy on computers not connected to internet using radio waves

NSA and GCHQ agents acted as elves and gnomes to spy on gamers using World of Warcraft and Second Life

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales: Edward Snowden is a hero

GCHQ set up fake LinkedIn pages to spy on mobile phone giants using 'Quantum Insert' technique

Google engineers on NSA and GCHQ surveillance: "F*** these guys" 

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