According to a report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the NSA’s elite TAO hacker unit can target your iPhone. No big surprises here. We already know the extensive reach of the NSA. What’s the big deal? Well, actually, if you read the details, it’s enough to scare the piss out of you.
How bad is the TAO? Well, you have to remember, the TAO is organized to get the ungettable, to penetrate the impenetrable, to go where unauthorized people can’t get to. In other words, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to do for however long to get information, and according to that mission statement, they are able to do exactly that by using malware on iPhones.
According to Der Spiegel, the NSA has a malware that targets the iPhone. Once you have this malware installed on your iPhone’s smartphone, it can find the following; it can access your voice mail, it will be aware of your geolocation history, it can copy your contact list and it can know all your text messages. If that’s not enough to make the hair on your necks stand on end, wait, there’s more. The scariest part is that this malware can remotely activate your iPhone’s microphone and your camera. This means that you may be playing around with your phone while you’re sitting in the toilet doing your business and the NSA could be recording you taking a dump or you could be having a private conversation with your friend at Starbucks with your smartphone placed in front of you and all that time your phone may be recording not just your conversation but they can snapshots of you and your friend. It’s really crazy. It almost borders on the Orwellian.
While we do understand the life or death mission of the NSA in its struggle against global terrorism and security threats to the United States, it has to be able to draw a line. I mean, this level of intrusion is sure to make enemies of the United States. Moreover, it puts American corporations in the bad light. While Apple has gone on the record of saying that, they don’t cooperate with the NSA and any of these hardware-based snooping, this is too little too late. If anything, it smears American brands. It makes global consumers less trusting of hardware and software products, for that matter, from the United States. All we can say is, all this surveillance will end badly.