Apple doesn’t go out of its way to issue press releases, but the Silicon Valley giant felt the need to refute a claim that it helped the National Security Agency spy on iPhone users.
A document leaked to Der Spiegel this week claimed that, as part of an effort to spy on you via your iPhone, spyware installed on Apple’s iconic device was capable of accessing data, intercepting text messages, activating the camera or microphone, and more. The program, known as "DROPOUTJEEP" supposedly began in 2008; the leaked document was dated October of that year.
"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone," the company said in a prepared statement. "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."
A person "familiar with the matter" told the Wall Street Journal that any of its phones released since 2012, as well as its iOS 7 operating system, should be free of any such spyware.
The NSA was rather nebulous in a statement regarding these newest spying allegations.
"The U.S. government is as concerned as the public is with the security of these products. While we cannot comment on specific, alleged intelligence-gathering activities, NSA’s interest in any given technology is driven by the use of that technology by foreign intelligence targets. The U.S. pursues its intelligence mission with care to ensure that innocent users of those same technologies are not affected."
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