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China Iphone Apple

Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the fruit-ninja-must-have-cause-a-lot-of-traffic-deaths dept.
MojoKid writes: "When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forth last year with U.S. government spying secrets, it didn't take long to realize that some of the information revealed could bring on serious repercussions — not just for the U.S. government, but also for U.S.-based companies. The latest to feel the hit? None other than Apple, and in a region the company has been working hard to increase market share: China. China, via state media, has today declared that Apple's iPhone is a threat to national security — all because of its thorough tracking capabilities. It has the ability to keep track of user locations, and to the country, this could potentially reveal "state secrets" somehow. It's being noted that the iPhone will continue to track the user to some extent even if the overall feature is disabled. China's iPhone ousting comes hot on the heels of Russia's industry and trade deeming AMD and Intel processors to be untrustworthy. The nation will instead be building its own ARM-based "Baikal" processor.
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Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

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  • Not just iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xfizik (3491039) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:16PM (#47434835)
    Anything coming out of the U.S. is a threat to everybody else's national security.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:17PM (#47434849)

    Dear China: YOU BUILT IT. I think if it was a problem, you'd have mentioned something before now...

    And do you really want to push the "national security" button on the iPhone, of all things?
    How much money does manufacturing those beautiful little bits of Americana add to your bottom line?
    I notice you're not complaining about Samsung, or any of your own local phones. How much less do they track people?

  • pot and kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:33PM (#47434989)

    China is right: the iPhone is a gaping security hole.

    I also have little doubt that their "solution" will also be a gaping security hole, except that it will be designed so only China's intelligence services can exploit it.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:38PM (#47435029)

    Dear China: YOU BUILT IT. I think if it was a problem, you'd have mentioned something before now...

    China only does assembly. They do not design the chips, and they do not write the software.

  • by gizmo2199 (458329) on Friday July 11, 2014 @06:41PM (#47435067) Homepage
    IDK, a smartphone is the perfect spying machine.

    Not only do people keep their whole lives on their phone, email, pictures, documents, passwords, social media accounts, but the same device is fully portable, has a GPS receiver, picks up and connects to open wifi APs, has a microphone, and accelerometer.

    So you can find out what your target is up to, what he's planning, who he's talking to, where he is, and how fast he's moving, and by extension you get acces to his digital life.
  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:27PM (#47435677) Journal

    Tracking is separate from recorded and forwarded history of travel. It has always been possible to hire an agent to follow a specific indivdual. This is different from carrying a device which tracks everybody by default at a very low cost.

    An external agent to track dumb cellphones is far more complex than having an agent running inside a smart phone. It involves pretty substantial external resources and doesn't easily scale to large populations.

    You knew this, I hope, and were just trolling us. Right?

  • I'm glad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday July 11, 2014 @08:32PM (#47435703)

    Here is my problem with Apple, Google and Microsoft.

    Each vendor is using crowd sourced location / WiFi sniffing / map building excuses to collect location data from everyone. At least one vendor offers no ability to disable crowd sourcing without also preventing GPS from being used.

    GPS ASIC's have advanced to the point where standard excuses (uses too much power, takes too long to get a fix, some indoor use) are no longer applicable. This appears to in no way be discouraging vendors from selecting shitty GPS components while propagating excuses which unnecessarily eat into data plans and upload all of your data.

    Think of this from the Chinese perspective. Instead of everyone's location data being uploaded to Google or Apple ... what if it was all going to Huawei? Would US officials be comfortable with data about everyone's location constantly uploaded "anonymously" to Huawei?

    I think we are all better off if vendors used more capable GPS chips in their handsets and location data is not constantly being uploaded to any single vendor for any reason by default.

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