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iPhone caught ignoring YOUR privacy again and uploading full address books without permission

By Dark Politricks

Another example of modern technology being used to implement the surveillance state by consent has come to light with the recent news that Twitter has been caught out invading it’s millions of iPhone users privacy by uploading the entire contents of the phone users address books to their servers without permission.

From a story in the Irish Times:


TWITTER HAS promised to make changes to its privacy policies after admitting to uploading entire address books from users’ iPhones and storing them on its computers for up 18 months.

The social network uses the information to help users find existing contacts who already have a Twitter account.

It is the latest internet company revealed to have been copying and storing entire address books from smartphones to provide a “Find Friends” service.

Last week Arun Thampi, a programmer in Singapore, revealed that Path, a social network app created by a former Facebook engineer, was copying address-book data from users’ iPhones without notifying them.

Mr Thampi’s blog post about the practice received worldwide attention, with the result that programmers and privacy advocates began checking to see if other popular apps also uploaded user data without user permission.

Other popular apps – including Yelp, Foursquare, Foodspotting and Instagram – were found to be uploading user data without making it clear they were doing so.

The issue attracted attention from the US Congress. Two members of the subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade have written to Apple chief executive Tim Cook seeking further information on its privacy guidelines for apps. The letter makes reference to one appmaker who claims to have a database including “Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’s cell phone number”.

Apple has responded by saying that in future any app accessing contact information will need explicit approval from the user.

An Apple spokesman said that “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines”.

So Apple are basically admitting any application that collects or stores users contact data is in breach of their terms of service but somehow I doubt that Twitter is going to be punished in the same way anyone else would if they had been caught breaking the Terms of Service of a global technology giant like Apple.

This comes not so long after the last iPhone related story about your privacy being nothing but an antiquated concept when it was realised that iPhones were secretly tracking every users movements through their inbuilt GPS systems and logging them to a database which could then be taken from the phone by anyone with the right tools.

This included Police forces who would pull over drivers and use mobile scanners to transmit the database from the drivers phone to their own computers so that they could see where the person had been travelling to and from. All without a warrant of course.

Even though stories like this come around every few months or so causing big outcries until the technology device manufacturer promises to fix the “bug” in their software. People need to realise that it doesn’t matter if the phone or computer they are using is fitted with the top of the range anti key-logging software, or they go through proxies and have their GPS turned off as they travel as the only way to avoid being tracked and monitored by big brother totally is to go and live in the middle of the forest where no modern electrical devices exist at all and your only friends are squirrels and deer.

I have documented on this site many times how the big technology players all have links to the global surveillance network in some cases working closely together with agencies such as the CIA and NSA.

Even if you disable every possible app and feature on your smart-phone you are still going to be tracked by the cellphone towers that provide your signal, the thousands of CCTV cameras that follow your ever movement and your credit and debit cards that leave an electronic trail of everything you purchase. Plus the system has a multitude of super computers that reside in huge NSA data centers that put all this personal information together as well as monitoring and analysing all your calls, emails, web traffic and emails for signs of terrorism, malcontent or even just displeasure at our supposedly Utopian society.

If you don’t believe me just spent a minute or two reading up on ECHELON, and that is just one of many systems that has been around for decades and is acknowledged to exist by the government. Just imagine what the government isn’t telling us and then imagine what the NSA is capable of now in this post 9-11 world of fear where a terrorist is living in every street and citizens are being asked by Big Brother and Big Sis to keep an eye out for anything “unusual”.

And by unusual that means in the governments eyes any behaviour such as paying with cash, texting in public, supporting the right to bear firearms, being an ex servicemen, patriots and supporters of the constitution, Ron Paul and Bob Barr supporters or members of the Occupy movement.

Even just thinking for yourself and not believing the lies spoon fed to us by the government to get us into wars such as the one in Iraq or belief in outlandish conspiracies like 9.11, the Gulf of Tonkin or the JFK assassination is enough to get you flagged as a possible domestic extremist and this has been proven by the many leaflets given out to shop keepers and citizens eager to do their duty by snitching on others in a neo-Stasi world where your neighbour is your enemy and the state is the only guardian keeping you safe from terrorist attacks.

So it comes as no surprise to find yet another example of one of the huge Internet companies breaking privacy laws and stealing personal info at every opportunity as that’s the name of the game nowadays.

We have Microsoft building backdoors into their PC’s so that the NSA can bypass local security measures and access them remotely, Google helped to get going with CIA money as well as helping the myriad of US security companies come up with real time monitoring systems as well as bending over backwards with authoritarian regimes like China to block the flow of information and earn more money.

These huge companies waste no time at all buying up any smaller companies that provides new online innovation and with most of the world already users on the biggest social network monitoring tool of all, Facebook, it makes sense for intelligence agencies to have close links with web outfits who’s only product is YOUR personal information.

Why bother with hooks into the backbone of the internet and complicated decryption code to decipher communications between web users when they can easily just purchase the companies that everyone uses and take the unencrypted data straight from the various databases that Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft use to store all your content “in the cloud” so to speak.

As with Microsofts recent purchase of SKYPE and Googles purchase of most new web technologies that make communication easier the introduction of IPv6 will soon mean that every computer, smart phone, TV and digital appliance connected to the Internet will have it’s own unique static IP address enabling any organisation to easily monitor a “person of interest”.

I can only imagine the size of the databases required at Langley and GCHQ to keep all the information logged about everybody but they do exist whether your want to believe it or not.

In the not too distant future you will be totally monitored from the time you wake up to the time you close your eyes and it won’t be too long before the drones that already fly our domestic skies are fitted with cameras that can scan brainwaves looking for people who dare to dream outside the limits of acceptable behaviour. Thought crime is only a few years away and there will be no escape from Big Brother even during your sleep.

Here is an imaginary scenario – lets see how long before it becomes a reality, as the governments huge computerised monitoring system monitors the population for signs of domestic extremism – the real reason behind the war on terror and the move towards  high tech surveillance state.

8.30 am Mr X’s alarm clock went off

8.45 am Mr X emptied his dishwasher, he unloaded 6 plates, 3 forks and 2 tea spoons.

9.30 am Mr X made a phone call to Mr Y lasting 5 minutes 30 seconds in which the following sentences were mentioned: “The government sucks”, “I wish someone would do something about the debt crisis” and “I think someone shoot or punch David Cameron”. Mr X is flagged for extensive monitoring due to his anti government sentiments.

9.50 am Mr X left his house and walked 0.4 miles to the shops at these co-ordinates X,Y. His phones GPS logged his journey and 5 CCTV cameras caught his travels in real time. An overhead drone was in the vicinity armed with a stun device in case he required to be incapacitated.

10.15 am Mr X visited Tesco’s where he bought the following items: A pack of batteries, a torch, the Guardian and some cigarettes. He paid in cash! The checkout staff member who served him pressed her button under the desk which follows the company policy of alerting the authorities whenever a customer pays by cash or buys items on the “monitored” list. The CCTV from the shop and the details of Mr X’s purchases were sent to GCHQ in real time for analysis.

10.22 am A CCTV camera recorded a conversation Mr X had with someone outside the shop. The facial recognition software has identified this person as Mr Q who has a criminal record for public order offences as well as being logged as attending a recent Occupy Wall St protest in London.  The nearest voice activated lamppost recorded the full conversation which ranked the malcontent level of the conversation as 8.2 out of 10. The full recording along with the CCTV pictures were automatically sent to GCHQ and because this was the second time Mr X had been flagged today he has been upgraded to the second highest security alert possible.

10.45 am Mr X logged onto his computer with the following password XXXXX. He went to the following website which is on the governments website “watch list” as it indicates that visitors to the site are believers in the thought crime of believing in conspiracy theories. Mr X’s malcontent score has been increased to severe.

10.46 am The inbuilt Trojan software which is installed by default in all new Microsoft computers was activated remotely to log every keystroke as well as the inbuilt webcam and microphone to watch and record Mr X’s behaviour and facial movements as he reads the article. The images are fed instantly to a psychological analysis programme which identifies certain facial movements that correspond with the position of Mr X’s eyes on the screen as he reads certain parts of the article. The analysis programme has identified Mr X as a potential threat to security.

10.40 am Mr X has been analysed and flagged as a domestic extremist. He has automatically been put on 20 government watch lists and no fly lists, banned from purchasing firearms or driving a car and a SWAT team is proceeding to his residence to extract him for questioning.

I’m sure that was all just the fantastical ramblings of a wild imagination and nowhere near the realms of possibility but at least we can rely on the youth of today to sort things out for us before things get too far down the road to a total surveillance state – oh wait they don’t know what privacy means. Looks like we’re screwed then.



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  1. Send Dark examples of police brutality or ways to prevent the machine rolling over us this way! | Dark Politics linked to this post on March 5, 2013

    […] and proxies, removing your battery from your phone to stop being GPS/GPRS tracked, preventing iPhone and Google from storing and uploading your data to any policeman with the right tools and using block lists to bypass ISP’s that sniff P2P torrent packets to see what you are […]

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