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India Mobile Handset Backdoor Memo Probably a Fake 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the upon-further-investigation dept.
daveschroeder writes "In the wake of previous coverage alleging that Apple, Nokia, RIM, and others have provided Indian government with backdoors into their mobile handsets — which itself spawned a US investigation and questions about handset security — it turns out the memo which ignited the controversy is probably a fake designed to draw attention to the "Lords of Dharmaraja." According to Reuters, "Military and cyber-security experts in India say the hackers may have created the purported military intelligence memo simply to draw attention to their work, or to taint relations between close allies India and the United States." Apple has already denied providing access to the Indian government."
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India Mobile Handset Backdoor Memo Probably a Fake

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  • Or maybe not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:23PM (#38670382) Homepage Journal
    It's not a backdoor if it's "by accident..." [theregister.co.uk]
  • by NiceGeek (126629) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:25PM (#38670396)

    patiently waiting for everyone who was Apple-bashing to recant their statements.

  • Re:Or maybe not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:30PM (#38670428)

    You can never prove a conspiracy false, because any evidence against it is dismissed as disinformation planted by the conspiracy.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:30PM (#38670432)
    Meanwhile in the US, telecom companies and every other industry is bending over backwards for our police state. I find it rather funny that this accusation gets press but you rarely find mention of people actually wanting to stop warrantless wiretaps. After all, both Microsoft and Skype have quietly complied with allowing eavesdropping by the government. So honestly it wouldn't surprise me one bit that handsets have backdoors given to the US government which are then figured out by other oppressive governments to spy on their citizens.
  • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:35PM (#38670454)

    The Slashdot community already convicted Apple of this and have moved on.

    And yes, I realize it's about Nokia as well as RIM, too - but in the original story discussion very few people paid any attention to those players.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:40PM (#38670498)

    I have to give Apple credit for the Apple II. That was awesome. Hurray for Wozniak.

    Is there any other Apple product of which you can say "no one did things that way before"?

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:42PM (#38670506)

    Of course you don't have any evidence. It's funny how conspiracy-theorists are just as faith-based as any religion.

  • by bonch (38532) * on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @11:58PM (#38670606)

    Android phones originally looked like this [imgur.com]. Jobs-era Apple spent its existence putting out products that do things in ways others didn't do before. It doesn't really matter if some cross-armed haters don't want to admit that. The history of the last 15 years speaks for itself.

  • Good news. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Voline (207517) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @12:04AM (#38670636)

    As the submitter of the original story, I'll be relieved if the leaked memo is a fake. It gives me an excuse to put off migrating from Mac OS X to Linux, which was going to be a good deal of work.

    But the earlier case of RIM agreeing to provide in-country servers [cnet.com] to enable government surveillance in the UAE, India and Saudia Arabia shows the leverage that governments can wield over companies that operate within their territory. Vigilance is warranted.

  • by NiceGeek (126629) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @12:52AM (#38670882)

    Find me a computer of any brand that doesn't use Foxconn parts. Take your time :)

  • Re:X-Files Episode (Score:4, Insightful)

    by onefriedrice (1171917) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @01:08AM (#38670954)

    Sure, Apple might not give a backdoor to the Indian government, but chances are it (or your cell phone service provider) is giving a backdoor to the US government, pursuant to CALEA and other laws. And Skype is mandated to put in backdoors too...

    It's cute that you think the US government needs handset manufacturers to include backdoors in order to wiretap. It's much easier to just control the networks. \tinfoil

  • by Loopy (41728) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @01:22AM (#38671006) Journal

    People will believe something because they want it to be true, or because they're afraid it is true. This holds in spite of evidence to the contrary or the absence of any corroborating data.

    Doubly unfortunate is that assertions like this ask the accusee to prove a negative, knowing full well that proving it would necessarily reveal source code and/or trade secrets and/or secret agreements with governments.

  • Re:Good news. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by cheaphomemadeacid (881971) <cheaphomemadeaci ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday January 12, 2012 @02:34AM (#38671214) Journal
    Well, thats kinda what happens when you run untrusted/unchecked source code on your device. No matter if the memo is real or not, and no matter how many times the US/india/apple and so on says its not true, we still won't know [fsf.org]
  • by CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) on Thursday January 12, 2012 @05:03AM (#38671714) Journal

    Android phones originally looked like this [imgur.com].

    Ah, it wouldn't be Slashdot without sly misdirection and deceptive practices.

    There are TWO Android prototypes, one the image you've liked to, the other a (still ugly) candybar touchscreen device. Anyone who's used the emulator in the SDK will be familiar with the touchscreen version http://i.zdnet.com/blogs/android-emulator.jpg [zdnet.com].

    Wow, there actually was an Android touchscreen emulator less than a year after the iPhone was announced? And that the actual prototypes that were shown later all lacked the touchscreen is actually a fluke?

    What was that again about sly misdirection and deceptive practices again?

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 12, 2012 @09:10AM (#38672634)

    Right, so why did Android phones not look like that till after the iPhone, if it was so obvious and ubiquitous?

    There's no escaping that Android shifted gears to match the iPhone after all that difficult "risk" was gone (since the iPhone took that risk - as was widely being laughed out of the room and predicted to be a giant flop by everyone until it actually started selling [much like the iPad actually]).

    It's not necessarily a bad thing - switching to something the consumer wants is exactly how businesses and products thrive. It's just highly disingenuous to try to downplay Apple's role in moving the smartphone market into the mainstream with a different way of doing things. Note that this doesn't mean that they "invented the touch screen phone" or "were the first to make an mp3 player" as many Apple haters attempt to claim is the point of the argument, just that they spotted a niche and released a product that worked very well in that niche.

    To those who hate on screen keyboards, I'm sure they're annoyed at that, but for everyone else, Apple changed the way people (as in, the public at large, not just the tiny, tiny, tiny minority of people using smartphones at the time) saw the smartphone.

    Those behind Android quickly realised this and followed suit. Those at RIM did not see that, and look where they are now, after trying doggedly to stick to what was working before. Android's move to match what consumers wanted has paid off extremely well for the platform. Those who like Android seem loathe to acknowledge that Apple played a big role in that.

    Your sig is especially hilarious, since without Apple, Android would still be on Blackberry-like devices and wouldn't be able to include things like Webkit. We'd all be stuck with DRM-locked music from online stores and people would laugh at you if you suggested a 10" touchscreen tablet as something the consumer would want to buy.

    They're not perfect by any means, but they're far from the Machiavellian evil empire that people on slashdot who don;t seem to have anything other than a hate of Apple to define themselves seem to think they are.

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