A matter of life and death sometimes
Summary: Apple’s iMessage, which is falsely advertised as secure, most likely finds its way into the NSA through PRISM
NOTHING threatens an activist more than a hostile constantly-observing eye. Everything that a dissident does in some nations can result in imprisonment and even death. When the NSA and the FBI set up Tor honeypots or break into anonymisation networks they show their endless contempt for what their government likes to label “freedom and democracy”. But leaving all that aside, the point to be made here that people’s lives can be at risk if they believe that they enjoy privacy/anonymity when in fact they are under surveillance. A false sense of privacy is worse than no privacy at all and promotion of tools as “secure” when in fact they are not is akin to setting up honeypots. Similarly, “a court order is an insider attack,” claims Bruce Schneier , alluding to the fact that risk comes in less expected ways than we’re accustomed to think of (someone at Slashdot is attacking this messenger right now).
“People who require privacy should shun proprietary software even when that software claims to be secure.”The interesting news is that researchers show Apple “could easily intercept communications on the service” called iMessage . Apple is part of PRISM, so we might as well just assume that the NSA gets iMessage activity transmitted to its storage devices. Never trust proprietary software companies for security and privacy, Apple cannot be trusted to provide even security and real encryption for mobile payments , for instance. Google can’t, either.
Cryptology is largely broken because of Trojan horses from agencies like the NSA (people who pretend to be coding for security or are subverting standards-setting bodies); privileges of cryptology applications, or access to them from another region of the system (be it a driver, operating system, or other application) means that on proprietary systems the back doors need not even be in cryptology itself. The solution is thus Free/libre software, universally. Without it, nothing can earn trust. People who require privacy should shun proprietary software even when that software claims to be secure. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
A close look at Apple’s iMessage system shows the company could easily intercept communications on the service despite its assurances to the contrary, researchers claimed Thursday at a security conference.