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Gadzooks! They’ve cracked the iPhone!?|
Newly leaked documents from the National Security Agency highlight Dropout Jeep, a piece of software that could target one of the country’s most popular devices — the iPhone.
According to documents published by the German news website Spiegel Online and dated Oct. 1, 2008, Dropout Jeep would give the NSA the ability to retrieve contact information, read through text messages, listen to voicemails and even turn on the iPhone camera and microphone.
The document goes on to say that while Drop Jeep was currently limited to installation through “close access methods,” the NSA would research ways to install the program remotely in future versions.
If you’re wondering how the NSA developed this fiendish capability, fingers are being pointed at Apple, but a trip through the Wayback machine suggests another possible culprit:
From a 2011 article by Mark Elgan at Computerworld:
Cellphone users say they want more privacy, and app makers are listening.
No, they’re not listening to user requests. They’re literally listening to the sounds in your office, kitchen, living room and bedroom.
A new class of smartphone app has emerged that uses the microphone built into your phone as a covert listening device — a “bug,” in common parlance.
The issue was brought to the world’s attention recently on a podcast called This Week in Tech. Host Leo Laporte and his panel shocked listeners by unmasking three popular apps that activate your phone’s microphone to collect sound patterns from inside your home, meeting, office or wherever you are.
The new apps are often sneakier about it [than older apps, which were activated by users in order to identify a song that was playing, etc.--CH]. The vast majority of people who use the Color app, for example, have no idea that their microphones are being activated to gather sounds.
Welcome to the future.