Has India Used Apple to Spy on the U.S.?
According to a tweet by privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian @csoghoian, U.S. companies including Rim, Nokia, and Apple (RINOA) may have granted access to back doors in their software to allow the Indian Government to spy on its citizens. This surveillance capability was supposedly granted in exchange for access to the Indian mobile market. We have discussed India's desire to censor social networking in the past, but "back doors" in software would allow the Indian government access to encrypted communications between individuals.
A Hacker group calling itself the Lords of Dharmaraja has released a set of documents that it claims have been obtained by hacking into the Indian military network, according to ZDNet India. The group claimed that the original hack had allowed them to acquire the source code of Symantec anti-virus. The group released a statement that read, in part:
As of now we start sharing with all our brothers and followers information from the Indian Militaty (sic) Intelligence servers, so far we have discovered within the Indian Spy Programme (sic) source codes of a dozen software companies which have signed agreements with Indian TANCS programme (sic) and
The source code was released, but it turned out to be 4 or 5 years old. The fact that these original claims didn't turn out to be what the group had claimed casts doubt on the authenticity of the documents claiming back doors in mobile device makers operating in India.
If the documents are accurate, the Indian military has been using these back doors supplied by RINOA to spy on the US-China Economic and Security Commission (USCC). The USCC was established to "monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China".
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