Apple says that it has never worked with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to help them to spy on iPhone users. This response comes one day after the NSA’s DROPOUTJEEP program first came to light.
In a message to TechCrunch, Apple says:
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.
On Monday, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum said that through DROPOUTJEEP, the NSA can intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data, and activate the device’s microphone and camera.
At the time, Appelbaum says this presents two possibilities.
“Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves.”
“Do you think Apple helped them with that?” Appelbaum asked. “I hope Apple will clarify that.”
Apple has now responded. Thankfully, they have done so in a way that protects a users’ right to privacy.
Image: Debating EU