Apple store (Nanjing East, China, exterior 001)

CEO Tim Cook has agreed to allow Chinese government officials to conduct security audits on Apple devices sold in China, IDG News Service reported yesterday.

The surprising development comes amid tensions that have erupted in the 1.33 billion people country, Apple’s second largest market by revenue, over allegations that other governments are using Apple devices for surveillance and accusations of state-sponsored phishing attacks on Apple’s iCloud users.

Apple has agreed to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to run security audits on its hardware sold in the country in an effort to assuage surveillance fears.

These inspections should determine whether Apple’s hardware and software contains backdoors allowing government organizations to spy on users and access their private data stored on their Apple devices.

A story in the Beijing News claims [Google Translate] that Tim Cook made the offer during a meeting with China’s Cyberspace Administration minister Lu Wei in December.

Although Tim Cook vehemently denied backdoor claims and ensured the general public that his company has not, and never will, share private data with  government spooks, Wui insisted the Chinese government itself will make any such assessment.

iPhone 6 (China teaser 001)

“I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services,” reads Cook’s note on privacy available on Apple’s website. “We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.”

However, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawyer recent said his client refuses to use an iPhone because it has “special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him.”

Source: IDG News Service

  • iPhoneWINS

    all electrons communications devices are open and being watched no matter what you think…

    • hkgsulphate

      nope. the Chinese Government is awful

  • Chang in Charge

    Where is the proof from Snowden about this special software?

    • Firedomain

      It’s called iCloud! Gathers my information every night!

      • Vic O.

        Why is that so hard for people to understand?

  • Only a matter of time before the truth surfaces.

    BTW, that Apple store looks gorgeous.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    bow down. when you come to my town. bow down. when i’m eastward bound.

    • Digitalfeind

      Cause I ain’t hater like you. Bow down to some niggas that’s greater than you.

      WEST SIDE!!!

  • Digitalfeind

    Waiting for the “if you don’t have anything to hide you shouldn’t be worried” trolls.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      where da soda?!??

      • Digitalfeind

        Soda causes cancer.

    • I think this is pretty much what’s happened. Apple clearly has nothing to hide so has consented to China to perform audits. If they had something to hide they would have just flat out lied…

      • tstsr6

        If something can be remotely activated I’m sure it can be remotely removed… Maybe they have nothing to hide because they’ve finally managed to get rid of the evidence

  • singhay559

    They proly alrdy took care of it if it existed

  • SoylentGreen

    word games, no backdoor required as law enforcement have “frontdoor keys”
    ive got one in my hand and like most others have been slowly & surely made to feel like it is increasingly ‘necessary’
    attempting to make us believe (the moral majority believe) that its normal to have all kinds of obscure and not so obscure data hoovered up to ??where and used to discredit people mostly normal citizens that don’t tow the party line etc etc, look at the footsteps thing in health app, its creepy to think wtf that could be done with this ‘per step monitor’ & location services. first time i went into that health app (well disguised spy hidden in plain sight) i was like “1800 steps?? not been out, weird” then on further messing i find the 2steps here 5 steps there etc list, counting steps is very useful but not every single step ever, thats just weird.

    • You can turn off the location tracking and maybe the step tracking too although I fail to see what’s so incriminating about walking 1800 steps…

      • SoylentGreen

        depends what your doing bre 😉 and some ppl have a personal privacy standards where this level of intrusion is a ‘step’ too far (no pun intended), I know you will say “well they can always not buy an iphone” and thats true, but its still too granular analytically, to re-create every footstep a person makes, coupled with locations its invasive, ive not tried to turn ‘steps’ off but it should be on by choice, not by default imo. like i said its getting us acclimatised to being ‘watched’ or ‘monitored’, normalisation of things that are no good for us, (unless your taken in by the ‘war on terror’ & ‘war on drugs’ myth) but very good if you like/want/need full spectrum control of populations primarily for extracting $£€¥ from ppl and a plethora of other things ranging from character assassination to fake prosecutions, insider dealing etc.
        just observe, the roll-out began long ago.

      • When it comes to personal privacy I agree with the “Respect are privacy and don’t spy on us with the excuse that if we have nothing to hide there’s no problem” mantra. Corporations on the other hand should be transparent about everything they do, it’s all very well saying you don’t have any backdoors in your systems but don’t just say it prove it!