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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has claimed he doesn’t use an iPhone for fear of surveillance technology in the smartphone, reports The Independent.
Snowdon’s attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, explains that Snowden does not use an iPhone, due to alleged secret software that can be activated to monitor the user. Speaking to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Kucherena explained, “Edward never uses an iPhone, he’s got a simple phone.”
“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.”
Kucherena went on to say that although Snowden doesn’t use an iPhone (or presumably any smartphone, judging from the ‘simple phone’ remark) for professional reasons, consumers are free to make up their own minds if they want one.
The Register states that the attorney refused to elaborate on “what this tracking software is, whether security experts are aware of it, or who would have the capability to view the ‘information’ gathered.”
As IT Pro Portal notes, “Snowden’s claims will likely come as a shock to Apple, which has recently been campaigning to improve user privacy.” Indeed, on the company website, Apple strongly claims that remote access to private data is impossible in iOS 8: “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”
Author Alan Martin, ESET