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Apple Denies Ever Working With The NSA

Tyler Durden's picture


Yesterday, we broke the story that during the 30th Chaos Communication Congress, it was revealed that according to the NSA (the slide in question) virtually every Apple product can be "backdoored", and that the presenter of the discovery Jacob Applebaum openly asked Apple if it was just its "shitty software" that provided the NSA with this privacy invading loophole, or if it was Apple secretly working in collaboration with the NSA that permitted this betrayal of the iconic company's customers.

Moments ago the WSJ reported that according to Apple, it was just the "shitty software", as the company denied ever working with the NSA.

Somehow we doubt this will be the end of this particular story, especially since this is an implicit admission that Apple does, indeed, have "backdoors" in its products. Whether invited or not.

Perhaps as a follow up, Apple can also confirm that none of its products permit illegal backdoor access for the NSA or anyone else, especially now that the "implantation" mechanism has been made clear to the entire world?


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Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:49 | 4288803 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah and I never once jerked off.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:55 | 4288812 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Apple's got cake all over its mouth and saying "he ate it!"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:57 | 4288821 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Plan A: Deny

Plan B: Deny

Plan C: Deny

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:02 | 4288853 PR Guy
PR Guy's picture



Ah yes..... the NSA...... I have a cartoon about them somewhere....


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:03 | 4288868 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

Devices that can have the batt removed are problematic for the NSA.  The 'tells' are obvious.  

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:20 | 4288923 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Clever choice of words?

Yeah, Apple didnt "work with" the NSA, they did it all themself!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:24 | 4288941 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its the latest, most anticipated, hottest release evah!...they're lined up around the block, some sleeping in the snow out here for days Brandy!


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:26 | 4288959 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

And remember according to Judge what's his nuts in New York not only is this legal but it is encouraged. Best be putting pieces of tape over those camera lenses. (Front and Back)

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:28 | 4288968 jaap
jaap's picture

so, they are legal backdoors.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:00 | 4289082 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I asked SIRI "Do you work with the NSA?" and she replied "I can't talk here."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:23 | 4289163 jayman21
jayman21's picture

What version?


The iphone 5 said she never thought about it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:29 | 4289179 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Backdoor-ing your customers is a "team sport".

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:46 | 4289214 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"Apple says it never worked with NSA to create 'backdoor' in products"

Apple weasel words.

It could have worked FOR the NSA to create 'backdoor' in products.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:53 | 4289423 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

..ask SIRI "what is July27, 2014"  ..mine says "Sunday, opening Gates of Hades"  ...I'm not kidding.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:56 | 4289211 aVileRat
aVileRat's picture

The greatest trick the devil performed was convincing the world he did not exist. The second greatest trick was that the technology industry convinced the world their existence was not a sock puppet for the military complex.

Consumer tech depends on the clicks and purchases of people. This depends on their ignorance, willful or otherwise. If everyone knows Google is not a goodwill service for people but a search service that swaps indexed search results for 100% monitoring and consumer preference mapping, will people use it ? Will they use Yahoo ? Facebook ? Snapchat ? how about Intel. Will Larry Ellison feel as confident in his ability to acquire new customers when his global subsidiaries are nationalized by governments afraid their code databases are broadcasting back to their NSA co-lo competitors ?

I suspect if this spirals out of control, and retail customers suddenly recognize their interests are compromised, the fallout for the tech sector will make Ralph Nader and the Ford Pinto (and the collpase of Detroit confidence) look like a firecracker in NYC winter snow.

How confident will the tech billionares be when their fortunes are halved in a consumer revolt and tech equity valuation collapse ? How will the governments respond when they see a snap upwards in consumer lawsuits when the adults realize not only their behaviour was tracked, but that the XBONE's were always on, and always watching their living rooms.

If we use a case precedent on when a national comfort was taken away from American people, the Iran oil shock, the natural response will be sweeping oversight at the USA for consumer rights. Abroad all countries will nationalize or strongly restrict tech imports. The nationalization abroad will claim to be for the security of citizens but in reality the expropriation will be used to repropriate the tech for their own industrial catalysts. As every country now has their own state sponsored "Google" a wave of new jobs will kick up, but the net effect will be a commoditization of the tech revolution. Another nail in the American exceptionalist story, and killing the massive productivity gains generated by silicon valley by selling bad code to the world.

Imagine what the nationalization sweep will do for the tech sector. Will the Hoffman's & Styers suddenly feel smug in their lifestyles when their equity valuations are south 40% ? Who will suddenly backstop the progressive green policy and distributive tax policies without the super-PACS at San Fran ?

This is why nothing will happen.

On an 'unrelated' note, while going for coffee this morning with a former Co-CEO of RIM, he openly mused about the triple witching hack attack on RIM and the rise of Apple who prior to 2004 had zero acumen in enterprise security subsystems. It was always a big question at RIM during the last few years where the DNS attacks that killed their creditibility came from or how the point source knew just which nodes to hit INSIDE the company mail-pushing intranet. It's also funny how all the creditibility hits to the RIM security came after the company was asked by FBI/DOD to turn over their gen4 security keys for review in 2006 after 15 years of bunker-proof red room testing.



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:57 | 4289438 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

well said AVilerat.

The continued NSA revelations are having a compound effect on the masses.

People are slow to turn but they are turning. The paced release of NSA documents is brilliant!

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 14:43 | 4291109 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

That RIM gave up the keys to the kingdom to an 3rd party would appear to be what broke their security model.  They opened the door and their systems were no longer secure.  Shame on RIM.  They really have no one else to blame.

Double shame on any new companies who thoughtlessly follow in their foot steps.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 16:00 | 4291267 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Interesting article here by Wayne Madsen that attributes early Blackberry service failure to forced takedowns because NSA SatComm facilities suffered fire.  RIM has been on the NSA's radar from the get go...and as their robust security was compromised from without and then within, so was the company. Like a scene from Goodfellas...


April 17, 2007 -- Our sources inform us that a possible fire today has knocked out classified communications services at the US State Department's Communications Annex facility (State Communications Annex - SA26 - in Beltsville, Maryland), just outside of Washington, DC. Also affected by the outage is the joint National Security Agency-Central Intelligence Agency Special Collection Service (SCS) (F6) ("CSSG") located in a building off Springfield Road and located adjacent to SA-26, which is located at 8101 Odell Road. The SCS relies on the State Department backbone secure satellite communications for its links to covert listening posts and devices around the world. Agencies affected by the communications outage are the State Department, NSA, CIA, and Department of Defense. The State Department has been forced to use its backup facility. a CIA facility located at Brandy Station in northern Virginia.

Last October, a 6-alarm fire broke out on the roof of Nathan Hale Hall on NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland complex. Among other units, the building housed the 902nd Military Intelligence Unit, which maintains the Threat and Local Observation Notice database used to surveill threats to Army bases and personnel. "Threats" included peace and veterans groups.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:31 | 4288974 Stuart
Stuart's picture

Ergo, so Apple publicly says the NSA is full of shit.   This is going to get interesting.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:44 | 4289030 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

The problem here is that the question asked of Apple was not worded correctly.

Their reply could in fact be true but because the question was not carefully worded to eliminate any loopholes they were able to avoid answering truthfully.

Apple may not have worked with the NSA directly but since the question didn't ask whether they had worked with a 3rd party or intermediary they didn't have to really answer truthfully.

It's all about how the question is worded.....

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:53 | 4289049 Indian_Goldsmith
Indian_Goldsmith's picture

LOL you americans are so dumb as to believe that the real world is just like what hollywood shows in the movies! Do you seriously believe you can hide from someone as powerful as the Overlords?? NO!!! You cant hide!!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:13 | 4289124 CH1
CH1's picture

The overlords are not gods, my friend.

If they were so smart, they would have killed the Internet in 1989... but they didn't and they ain't.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:33 | 4289189 fonestar
fonestar's picture

All of this emphasis on low-level access to devices has got me thinking that it is best to be paranoid and move my BTC to Linux-only, non-TPM infected machines.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:39 | 4289387 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Learning Linux might be a good New Year's resolution.

Being a little extra-paranoid is probably a good thing.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 18:19 | 4289610 SHRAGS
SHRAGS's picture

Steep learning curve, but there many ways to soften it. One thing you can do immediately is switch to open source software on your current OS and use that (Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice) for everything you can. All this software will then look familiar on your Linux machine once you have it running.

Don't go cold turkey, use a virtual machine to practice (VirtualBox, now owned by *cough* Oracle) is a good place to start on your normal desktop. You don't want to make the switch and break your normal machine or workflow, that will send you right back into the easy to use OS.

A virtual machine will run a little more slowly, but it means that you can break your installs (get dropped into the shell occasionally). You can also take snapshots and revert to previous states. You need to break a few installs before you get it right. You might want to bookmark a few tutorials on command line editors like Vi, nano & Joe.

Once you have mastered that, use an old machine in parallel.  Hardware support is the biggest problem area due to many peripherals being undocumented /closed source.   Linux will support almost all hardware that is openly documented or has been reverse engineered, but it can't perform miracles.  Problem area's are wireless network drivers & laptops with suspend & hibernate.

All of this can be worked around, it just takes planning and forethought & carefully choosing your hardware.  Plan your transition, rather than jump straight in.  There is an enormous help system through forums and write-ups available on the web. 

It will take some serious time & effort, but the reward will you being free (free as in free, not as in free beer) of closed source systems that you have ZERO control over. I've never looked back.

Once installed, they are pretty much rock solid. You keep practicing with virtual machines (Virtualbox runs also on Linux) for how to do updates and more advanced configurations.

Debian based distro's like Mint would be the choice of beginners.  Many of the skills can then be transferred to Ubuntu or Debian.  However that is just a personal preference, others will suggest beginner distro's.


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 05:47 | 4301326 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

learning curve is much less steep with Ubuntu. I'm still on it, 12.04/Precise as delivered by Linux Mint 13 / Maya (long-term support with 12.04 being long-term).

It's built on Debian. I've used Debian, and Gentoo in the past.

The real hard-core is Debian or Slackware.

Right now the hardest things I deal with on Ubuntu/Mint13 is learning which packages to lock so they don't "upgrade" and fuck with me. This has meant locking KDE and xserver down once they work and now I've done it to firefox. v26 is crap for taking away the downloads window and shoving it of all things into the bookmarks. I happen to like being able to force downloads, bookmarks & firefox windows into different desktops with different priority for being transparent or not when active/inactive and I can't do that if downloads are forced into the bookmarks window.

When I hadn't yet learned which packages to lock so they don't upgrade, can't be upgraded, I had display problems. with KDE updates may come xserver updates or at least something changing the config file FOR the x server.

The x server basically is your screen control.

When it goes all black and you can't control anything anymore that's bad. That's what I got when I let KDE or the xserver get updated from repositories (sources, URLs where new packages are) that didn't play well with my drivers, I was locked right out except pure text console. Not happy with that.

The easy way to install packages is with Synaptic and the easy way to lock them is to select one in Synaptic and in the top-level menu bar go to "Package" and choose "Lock version". It's just as easy to unlock any package that's been locked.

This prevents accidents. Synaptic is a root program so you can't stumble into it, it must be administrator-level / root account to do that.

As an added bonus sometimes multiple new versions are available for a package and the changelog will show you WHO made the change and when. That way you can figure out if 2 competing newer versions are from the same source. Generally what's "upstream" I avoid if I don't need to and what's "security" I go for (is a fix for identified security problems, usually is listed).

Sadly Firefox was NOT labeled properly in the changelogs for this which is how I got 26 and figured out it was crap & went back to 25. All they listed was a ton of patches applied & I figured I could trust the Mozilla people not to fuck with me. I was wrong.

Someone else mentioned problems with suspend/hibernate: I did have such a problem.

My recommendation is don't use it if you don't have to and also don't encrypt your home folder. This means learning a lot more about how ecryptfs works but it's worth it.

Instead of being unable to log in because something corrupts the encrypted data and you can't upgrade your OS or various other problems, I recommend learning how to manually mount a folder or partition that is NOT your home folder because your home folder /home/username is filled with config files needed for a successful login for the graphical environment.

And lots else.

It's easy enough to have something else loaded on demand and to link TO it all the time - the point being that when the encrypted folder / partition is not mounted the locations aren't visible so nothing is compromised.

That includes links to links. So just ONE subdirectory/folder within the encrypted folder could have links to other subfolders that are more descriptive and all the unencrypted links could point to THOSE encrypted links. Until you mount it none of the targets are visible so only the /home/username/links directory/folder would be known from the internal contents of the unencrypted links whereas the actual files could be in a much more descriptive location once it's mounted.

That way you could have email, downloads, various saved documents all in descriptive, helpful directory structures but at the same time none of it visible when not needed. And none of it needed to boot up & log in.

Also if you use GRUB to boot to Linux or Windows (boot manager) never delete the /boot directory unless you can restore the boot loader that was there before Linux was ever installed or GRUB will stay in charge and have nothing to look at for how to load the other operating systems (or Linux).

Can be fixed but that goes in the +10 level of hard and I think you're looking for anything lower than say... a 3.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:44 | 4289565 Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl's picture

And only generate private keys offline using a *truly* random key generator. Create a paper wallet. If you aren't planning on spending them then you can just leave it all alone and check to verify that they are still there.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 14:46 | 4291118 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

That is one of the more intelligent things I've read from you.  The problem is that Linux uses a lot of cryptography which has been shown to have already been pinholed by the NSA.  If you use the internet, no matter the tech/os, there is very little chance for a normal person to remain secure. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:38 | 4289198 raeb
raeb's picture

"It's all about how the question is worded......"


and made famous by: Bill  "That depends on what your definition of "is" is"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 21:13 | 4290015 XitSam
XitSam's picture

The answer was given by a lawyer or a PR person with no knowledge of the work with the NSA. No doubt this was a secret project inside an exceptionally secret company.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:44 | 4289024 Indian_Goldsmith
Indian_Goldsmith's picture

tape on cameras? wHAT FOR? If some hot chick at NSA wants tp see me jerk off and spill cum all over my abdomen, she's welcome :)) Maybe i'll think of her next time :))

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:09 | 4289106 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Oh well... Clapper does like young Indian boys

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 03:21 | 4290469 RangerRiley
RangerRiley's picture

Every time i see a post from you it is the same type of smart ass stupid comments. Are you a bot? Is there a brain at work or just a random list of cliches?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:24 | 4288951 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

They "worked with" the GCHQ, who in turn handed over the - propriety - information to NSA.

Who could possible have predicted this outcome?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:46 | 4289028 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

Here's my interpretation...

The NSA has insiders, inside APPLE who work on the NSA's behalf.   Of course, I'm sure the NSA wouldn't do the same thing for the worlds Database Providers....Or, does the NSA work directy with the wealthiest people in the world (i.e. the men at the top of a few organizations offering them unobstructed takeover opportunities (I didn't say Java or MySql) in exchange for "services".   But, I'm sure the NSA would never think of that.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:18 | 4289145 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Its too late now. Apple cannot afford to close back door now.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:51 | 4289410 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

"Yeah, Apple didnt "work with" the NSA..."

They work "for" the NSA just like Google and Cisco.

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:05 | 4290426 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

It was the least untruthful answer, after all.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:05 | 4288867 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

"Apple says it never worked with NSA..."

That there folks, is "Truthiness" in action. It's easy to deny that abstractions (such as Apple, and the NSA) fail to act as humans since they don't even have the capacity to emulate individual humans.

The real question, of course, is whether individual people within either organization colluded (regardless whether or not they were pretending to represent an abstraction at the time).


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:04 | 4288875 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

or did they work with a subcontractor? 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:39 | 4289005 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Yeah, probably the same subcontractor in 'tribe' land that the NSA uses.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:25 | 4288943 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

all depends on what they mean by "Apple" or "it" or "with" or "worked" or "NSA" or Bill Clinton's lawyer can fill in the rest.  What a fucking joke.  It's too late in the game for these kinds of denials to work.

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 15:49 | 4294050 fallout11
fallout11's picture

"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. When you control the meaning of words, you control the people who must use those words to express meaning." - Philip K. Dick

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:36 | 4289190 Serfs Up
Serfs Up's picture

Of course they didn't "work with" the NSA.


They collaborated.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:11 | 4288897 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Buh bye AAPL.


Almost forgot.

Happy New Year Billy A.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:16 | 4288926 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

Buh Bye? Oh hell no. They will be classified as brave heroes in the war on teerah and the ppt-hfters will push their stocks to new highs. Bullish bitchez

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:29 | 4288975 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Interestingly, their iPad line is effectively shrinking in market share.

Personally, I use an iPad, but a Droid based mobile. Both operating systems are NSA pwned to fxck, no doubt.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:20 | 4289138 anonnn
anonnn's picture

Childish parsing and fraudulent interrogatory.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:18 | 4288920 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Of course Apple didn't give backdoor access to the NSA.

But it did provide a copy of the frontdoor key and alarm system deactivation pass.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:58 | 4288838 G.O.O.D
G.O.O.D's picture

Honestly, this is no bullshit, would we lie to you?

You can trust us.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:14 | 4288907 Tom_333
Tom_333's picture

Maybe Lenovo is better. I have no doubt that they have backddors installed for Chinese Sigint - but maybe as a consumer you should not support only one brand but instead try to create some balance.Mmm...?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:16 | 4289136 CH1
CH1's picture

I'd rather the Chicoms had my info than the supremely arrogant and evil NSA.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:15 | 4288912 fooshorter
fooshorter's picture

Well not ... 'literaly'


Merry Christmas you filthy animals and a happy new year too.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:39 | 4289007 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

I'll be howling at the moon at midnight!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:52 | 4289054 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

"Apple says it never worked with NSA to create 'backdoor' in products."

It could be that they are telling the truth though I doubt. Hear me out. Like any large corporation, they outsource a fair amount of their business to others. So maybe Apple itself "never worked with NSA to create 'backdoor' (directly) in their products" but maybe they worked with one of NSA's subsidiaries / shell companies to develop backdoors. Call it plausible deniability or whatever you want. They could then deny that they've ever worked with NSA when in fact they have done so by proxy. "We never knew!" That said, I think they are lying.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:53 | 4289059 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Doc is still "Lord of the Manor"; still "Master of his Domain"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:54 | 4289060 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Apple, MicroShaft, Googurgle, Face Shit and all of Silicon Vally = LIARS.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:53 | 4288807 Renfield
Renfield's picture

2014 will be an avalanche of opportunities to answer an age-old question: is it better to be considered evil, or incompetent?

Looks like Apple's opting for incompetent...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:23 | 4288949 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

They are opting for incompetent, but everybody knows they are too smart for that....

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:50 | 4288808 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

that means they did

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:58 | 4288847 seabiscuit
seabiscuit's picture

It is quite possible that they worked with a different accomplish the same means. They knowingly did this, and now that I know this, I will no longer purchase their items EVER AGAIN.



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:13 | 4288901 phoolish
phoolish's picture

Only trouble there is, every "technology" co. on the planet has done the same thing.  Can't escape it and use the tech at the same time.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:53 | 4288809 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, I do not know whom to believe anymore.

Gold, fishez!  For 2014 and beyond.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:55 | 4288829 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Precisely, DCRB. That was the plan all along.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:55 | 4288813 ZH Snob
ZH Snob's picture

didn't google and cisco claim the same thing, while MS mocks the former for its collusion?  that's become the big selling point: we won't sell you out

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:52 | 4288816 SandiaMan
SandiaMan's picture

Apple is the .gov

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:58 | 4288827 One And Only
One And Only's picture

If there was any doubt as to why apple doesn't pay tax, this story should answer it. Fascism.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:58 | 4288830 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

"Apple says it never worked with NSA to create 'backdoor' in products."

That is a true statement. Apple did not work with the NSA.............Apple worked FOR the NSA.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:29 | 4288917 holgerdanske
holgerdanske's picture

The only companies I have ever noticed resisting the state are Lavabit (Lavasoft?) and Blackberry. Blackberry is still there, they will get my support, again!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:47 | 4289042 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

depends on the definition of 'backdoor'....

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:56 | 4288835 RacerX
RacerX's picture

Apple has so much spy/monitor/crapware embedded in their software.. what's one more (NSA) going to matter?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:59 | 4288837 PR Guy
PR Guy's picture



Ah yes..... the NSA...... I have a cartoon about them somewhere....


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:59 | 4288839 Zero Sledge
Zero Sledge's picture

no "backdoor" just an open window with a ladder under it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:00 | 4288840 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

Denying collaboration with NSA is an integral part of the collaboration.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:57 | 4288841 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

Paging Pinocchio

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:57 | 4288844 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Apple never worked with NSA to create 'backdoor'.

It simply created it for the NSA without having to work with them. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:58 | 4288845 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

define ''worked'' with the, google, microsoft, GS, JPM, booz allen et al are all part of the sovereign

''worked'' to me, implys that they were hired or paid, which they were not......

be careful of the language

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:20 | 4288930 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

"worked with" implies cooperation. It all depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:24 | 4288942 piceridu
piceridu's picture

" I never had sex with that (NSA) women"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:01 | 4288848 KrugerrandFan
KrugerrandFan's picture

 So as Jacob Applebaum said in this video maybe thet just write crap software then?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:02 | 4288849 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

So then, what Jacob Applebaum said is true: Apple writes shitty software (IOS in particular).

A variant: Dear Apple, have you stopped providing IOS back doors for the NSA?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 13:59 | 4288851 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

The contractors did it!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:00 | 4288855 upWising
upWising's picture

Can't get the image of lines of CEO and PR Rats lining up (with their laptops in their backpacks) at a single rope leading off the sinking ship SS NSA, each trying to get off before the whole thing sinks below the waves.  Lots of rats falling into the water in the melee to save one's own rodent ass.

Can rats swim?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:33 | 4288979 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

Heck, every piece of human garbarge on the planet wants to get in at this point. With that type of information, it's a get rich quick scheme that works, backed by guns and jails. If I was a betting man, and I am, I'm betting a large number of the NSA insiders are getting rich.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:18 | 4289144 CH1
CH1's picture

I'm betting a large number of the NSA insiders are getting rich.

Roger that.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:46 | 4289399 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

That would be my guess as well.  Add IRS agents too...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 23:27 | 4290261 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Maybe this info is yet to come out from Snowden.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:03 | 4288857 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

If you want your back door, you can keep it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:03 | 4288861 pods
pods's picture

I thought this was hardware level access the NSA has?

Like BIOS.  So Apple could have plausible deniability that it is merely a collection agent for the NSA. They would just have to approve the right BIOS.

The software in question was from the ANT development team of the NSA:

"The ANT developers have a clear preference for planting their malicious code in so-called BIOS, software located on a computer's motherboard that is the first thing to load when a computer is turned on."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:18 | 4288932 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

Explains why a UEFI bios is being pushed.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:03 | 4288862 Max Cynical
Max Cynical's picture

All we need to know is how much money the NSA paid Apple to prositute themselves.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:05 | 4288866 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Well, let's try screen door, barn door, side door, cellar door, dutch door...1,000,000,000 chinese monkeys soddering and...presto secret passageways.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:05 | 4288876 rlouis
rlouis's picture

This is like a judge ruling against the constitution - there is no credibility in the decision, everyone in power is compromised, whether they screwed a page boy, or girl in DC, cheated on their spouse, took a bribe, or were doing drugs, etc. And everyone, almost, knows it, believes it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:06 | 4288883 annabelleballow
annabelleballow's picture

It's okay Apple, you can admit it. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:09 | 4288892 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

You bought one, two, or.... ten items for yourself.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 18:03 | 4289617 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

You bought one, two, or.....ten items for yourself.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 19:08 | 4289769 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

You bought one, two, or.....ten items for yourself.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 20:55 | 4289979 Renfield
Renfield's picture

I don't watch MSM but I can admit that I watched this.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:11 | 4288891 22winmag
22winmag's picture

The South was right!

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:09 | 4288894 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    Anyone that believes what "rotten Apple" says deserves to have their brain cored out.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:28 | 4288956 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yen Cross slices to the heart of the matter...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:11 | 4288902 Iam Yue2
Iam Yue2's picture

The Doors: Back Door Man;

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:14 | 4288905 Troy Ounce
Troy Ounce's picture


Stay away from any American technical product. They just cannot be trusted.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:20 | 4288910 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

Apple puts HUGE blocks of firmware (aka "backdoors") into the design of their hardware and software products.

Intel did it with System Management Interrupts (SMIs).  This is why Intel's documentation on the SMI architecture is so heavily restricted.  They do not want anyone to know the true purpose of why they built the system management mode into their x86 designs.  There is effectively no action that is restricted while running in SMI mode.  They have SMI software specifically designed to scan RAM and various PCI device memory areas to dump cryptographic keys.  This software also performs USB bus accesses and can steal or write files to your USB flash drives, totally bypassing the operating system.

If anyone really wants to dive into what is going on, they need to start asking questions of Intel.

Since Apple has switched to the x86 platform, they've also been loading the same "trusted" Intel SMI firmware.  Not even Apple has access to the contents of this firmware.  Its entirely Intel secret and the only ones that have access to it are a select few engineers at Intel and a number of three letter government agencies.



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:17 | 4288931 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

So true Captain.  The thing I always found ironic about Apple is that Steve Jobs is seen as some leftist by most people yet the guy positioned every Apple product to be monetized to the hilt right up to "selling" backdoor access for large institurions, not that there is anything wrong with it, it is just that perception is in no way reality.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:42 | 4288958 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

Insanelysane, I think you're missing the point.  I am telling you for a fact that people are looking at the wrong company entirely.  Not even Apple has knowledge of all the backdoors they've enabled.  They can deny ever knowing about the ones planted by Intel and they'd be speaking the truth.  This isn't about the Apple I-Idiot junkies or the Windows-fanboys....  I am telling you for a fact that the SMI architecture is _HOW_ the three letter spying agencies backdoored pretty much every modern PC.  And yes, there are ways to trigger SMI# without physical hardware access!  This means remote exploits are certainly possible via things like embedded wireless radios (like 802.11 on a modern laptop).

Apple is the distraction away from the real big back doors....

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:53 | 4289241 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

What about AMD?

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:42 | 4289555 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


What about AMD?

Yeah, that was my next question too.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:24 | 4289165 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Keeping that secret deep inside his heart killed Steve Jobs.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:28 | 4288966 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Huh? Not that I don't believe that Intel work with the NSA (as well as everyone else), but here is a link to the docs:


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:42 | 4289002 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture


You are simply referencing the basic instruction set documentation.  They have used SMIs to effectively hide things in plain sight.

Mentioning SMI doesn't mean detailing it or what it does.  The reason why SMIs have SMI-only memory areas is so that they can have trusted areas to execute large blocks of decrypted and decompressed code.  You won't find a single public Intel document detailing register layouts, full behavioral changes, or what added microcode is available and enabled when in SMI mode.

I'm not sure if Intel still calls them Orange books or Blue books or whatever, but you'll probably have one hell of a time getting your hands on one.  Getting this book will scratch the surface a little bit.  They are restricted access but it isn't the highly restricted data that Intel keeps under armed guard.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:55 | 4289041 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

I've worked with ODMs that make designs and boards sold to Apple.   These companies have access to _WAY_ more architectural detail than the basic Intel programmer documentation published in PDFs freely available.   And as far as I'm aware, not a single ODM that I've worked with has been able to get access to the full documentation of the SMI architecture.

We've hit occasional SMI problems in the past.  The only way they get resolved is Intel engineers being called in to "fix" it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:17 | 4289110 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

If you're taling about the firmware, then what Intel does is no different from any other proprietory vendor out there, as in not release the source. But yeah, I do share your concern.

Oh, another thing. Yeah, they might be able to dump physical memory at any point, and scan for whatever you'd like. But that is really no different from when you execute code in Ring 0. Hell, I can essentially suspend any PL3 thread from another PL3 thread if I so desire, and use virtual memory copies to see what it currently does.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:17 | 4288918 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

Think it best to refrain from any purchases of electronic devices from now on and realise all that you have purchased in the last few years is already compromised. The only way now to secure your information is to program your own OS because "everything" will have a backdoor.

The backdoor if nothing else is to allow the dumb programmer back into a system they inadvertently locked themselves out of implying the NSA / GCHQ just have to ask for this.

All manufacturers will have complied and then those in the NSA / GCHQ just do this


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:31 | 4288971 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture


Please read my post above about SMIs.  Even if you program your own OS or run a free and open source OS that you trust, you cannot prevent the SMI exploits that have been planted into the actual hardware of the machine.  Intel only allows a select group of engineers in a very locked down facilty access to the full SMI information. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:32 | 4288984 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

Not everything from the last few years is owned by the NSA.  However everything from the last few years has some pretty nasty vulnerabilities that TAO (Tailored Access Operations group) can exploit.  Though, they need to target you in most cases, and they have limited bandwidth and resources, so they don't have everyone.  Now we know, we can build some levels of protections.  

Anyone concerned about their business or personal systems being compromised should absolutely avoid products by Juniper, Cisco, Dell perhaps some others.  Run Linux OSs and Linux based firewalls from which you can monitor all traffic.


Look for encrypted UDP traffic, and some honeypots might be a good system to detect if you're having exploits attempted on your environment. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:21 | 4288929 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

"Apple Denies Ever Working With The NSA." Bullshit! Prove it.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:18 | 4288933 stant
stant's picture

they are losing buisness over the nsa hence all this effort to unring a bell. which after all cant be done. the trust is gone

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:22 | 4288935 LawyerScum
LawyerScum's picture

*slips note to Apple*  "Back door beauty?"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:23 | 4288938 Der Wille Zur Macht
Der Wille Zur Macht's picture

I am curious - is there any major OS that isn't monitored by the NSA? It seems like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and basically every other tech giant has collaborated with the NSA in one way or another. Is purchasing modern electronics completely futile with regard to maintaining anonymity? 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:54 | 4288955 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

Yes, Linux.  However, if you're really concerned about privacy.  I'd buy a laptop or PC that doesn't have a network card, and never did for your confidential computing, then buy a cheap laptop at a store with cash for your Internet PC. 

It's not completely fool proof, but will probably stop the first line of attacks.  If they do a black bag operation on your house, you're probably fucked, unless you catch them, then they're fucked.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:39 | 4289003 pods
pods's picture

I think you know the answer to that question.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:25 | 4288945 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

So they had the NSA write the backdoor, then Apple built it into the firmware.  They didn't work together! 

"I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you!!"  Bullshit.  Fuck apple.  Fuck Cisco, Fuck Juniper.  Fuck them all.  They are all going to pay dearly for having anything to do with the American Stasi.  They will lose billions in revenues. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:23 | 4288947 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

That was Carl dropping our blueprints and schematics off at the NSA...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:29 | 4288957 Staplegun
Staplegun's picture

I was messing around with an IRA calculator online today and noticed that it already knew my age. (Puts phone down...backs up slowly.) 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:26 | 4288960 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

lap dance on the 4th amendment

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:43 | 4289029 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

The 4th Amendment has been skullfucked to death long ago by these perverted sick fucks.  However they finally figured out how to violate a different amendment to the constitution, the THIRD Amendment.

"No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

The NSA is taking over servers, routers, firewalls and other systems in order to use as sources of attacks.  The NSA can enlist, all of your shit, and has including: xbox, ipad, and wireless router to exploit your neighbor or anyone else they find of interest. 


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:28 | 4288973 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

There probably never has been but certainally there will never be any security or privacy in cyberspace from those who wish to invade it.  And that's a fact, Jack.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:30 | 4288978 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Based on the way my cat looks at me sometimes, I'm pretty sure the NSA has gotten to her, too.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:34 | 4288983 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

It depends on the definition of 'with'.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:34 | 4288992 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

This is where:

Apple,"It's a bug"

NSA,"It's a feature"

Customer,"It's invasive"

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:38 | 4288995 BGO
BGO's picture

No company (in the US at least) becomes so big and powerful and is without fear of reprisal able to offshore untold billions in cash without "playing ball."

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:42 | 4289009 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

Bullish for Blackberry?

Simple choice. A phone the NSA can remotely turn on and watch you shagging your wife/secretary/mother-in-law? Or one they can't...


Another reason for Apple to be a bit perturbed at the moment.

Funny how that snake-oil saleman Gore crawls out of the woodwork.


Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:47 | 4289031 Dr. Bonzo
Dr. Bonzo's picture

Apples' legal advisor, William Jefferson Jesus Mohandis Ghandi Buddha Clinton stated, "It depends what the meaning of 'with... with...'"



Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:49 | 4289037 WTF_247
WTF_247's picture

No company is going to say it has been working with the NSA.  EVER.  

They cannot say anything - they are absolutely prohibited.  Likely threatened with 10+ years in jail, forced to sign secret NDA etc.  Admitting that you worked with them is tantamount to exposing state secrets - just like our friend Snowden.  They deem all projects like this as top secret classified.  You cannot acknowledge existence or you are already in violation.

It is unlikely that the NSA is so adept at hacking that they can infiltrate any and all electronics at will, including bios and firmware.  This would take advanced knowledge of the entire code base used for the OS, BIOS and the schematics for the chips.  This is not public information for any company - those are highly protected proprietary assets.

If there really were 10s of 1000s of exploitable holes in software, firmware and bios (easily found by adept hackers) then you would see successful hacking attacks on a daily basis by criminal elements. Firewalls would be useless - yet they do stop most attacks because those attacking do not have advanced knowledge of how the devices were made and access to the code base used.  They employ some very high level coders as well yet successful attacks on any sort of mass scale are few and far between.  You see a few that do get through but no where near the extent to which the NSA has access - there is basically no security protocol anywhere that they cannot get around very easily. 

This tells me that the NSA had cooperation from all those companies - there is no other explanation of how they could build all those tools that can get around any and all security.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:49 | 4289039 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

I wonder if this is gonna affect sales in China?

I guess China gets a free software license from the NSA.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:40 | 4289557 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

Actually, that's huge as Apple sales in China  were to be the salvation of the company.  But, I am sure the Chicomns will have no problem with the NSA knowing everything, everything.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 14:53 | 4289055 Alternative
Alternative's picture

Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha ,ha. And I am Steve Jobs. 

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:05 | 4289085 bploeger
bploeger's picture

Considering it would be illegal for them to admit they assisted the NSA...

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:07 | 4289091 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Rule #1 when working with the NSA is that you always have to deny working with the NSA.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:12 | 4289108 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

It depends on how the definition of "worked" works.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:15 | 4289126 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

What if Apple is telling the truth? What if this NSA spy program, Edward Snowden and the whole ball of shit is nothing more than a giant PSYOP created to make the USGOV seem omnipotent; used to strike fear into the hearts and minds of the masses and make them slaves to the whims of their own imaginations, and it is all one big lie......

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:31 | 4289176 Alternative
Alternative's picture

Don't underestimate the Power of the Dark Side, Lunatic!

BTW, I didn't vote you down.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 17:52 | 4289587 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

No worries there my friend. I try to think outside the box on occasion, much to the apparent chagrin of my fan club, lol........

Wed, 01/01/2014 - 02:40 | 4290431 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

As much as I have exposed on the Internet, on Zerohedge, for instance, I am amazed that the Feds have not kicked down my door.


I have also been inclined to think that this might be the largest of all of the bluffs in History.


Look at what I have posted in the past on ZH...


Here is how to build a bomb....

Here is how to get a bomb through Airline Security....

Oil Refineries can be attacked....

Rocket Propelled Grenades are the choice weapon...

Paper Currency can be used as a Bacteriological Weapon. (It is Toilet Paper after all)

Ad infinitum...


And yet I will be here tomorrow...and the following day...and the following day.


So they are BLUFFING???


Yeah...Until you force their hand. Until you call.


Then they will make an example of you.


And I know this...THROIUGH THE EXPERIENCE OF AN AIRPORT STRIP SEARCH.  I exposed the lunacy of Airport Security by publishing that I could tear an Aluminum Can in two, while in an Airline Cabin, and make a knife just as sharp as a Box Cutter...AFTER GOING THROUGH SECURITY and BOARDING THE AIRCRAFT. 


I published the statement on the National Rocketry Association blog as part of a response to the arbitrary 62.5 gram propellant rule which BATF established. (Really would 62.6 grams of Rocket Propellant make the Rocket really dangerous whereas 62.5 Grams is okay?) I wrote that the rules were ARBITRARY and ARBITRARY RULES are against the law.


(I used the ARBITRARY RULE of not allowing a 64oz Soft Drink through the gate as an example. They had forced me to drink a Half Gallon of Soda Pop. After boarding the Stewardess asked me if I'd like something to drink. I ordered that which was in Aluminum Cans. She told me that she could NOT DO THAT. I asked her why. She told me that I needed to order a cup of ice with it. I thought that cup of ice was an inferrential. Then I thought about what she said while fidgeting with an empty can and it struck me. I could rip the fucking can in two.)


Well...BATF just did not like that. So they REACTED and tipped their hand. The very next time that I flew they STRIP SEARCHED ME and had an Air Marshall aboard. I had to identify where I was seated...over the PA Intercom. 


Of course I ordered the same drink...WITH A CUP OF ICE...and I was served.


So I anecdotally KNOW THIS to be true...THAT IT IS NOT A BLUFF...through EXPERIENCE.


So i dismiss my inclinations and you'd be wise to do the same.


(I gave you an Up Arrow as I would have come to your conclusion without the evidence to the contrary.)

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:20 | 4289153 straightershooter
straightershooter's picture

The president of the USA, the world most powerful man, was denied (HA, not that powerful in this regard), by his security advisor ( could be NSA ?) to use the Apple i-phone on the ground that Apple i-pone was not secured. Obama lamented and complained that he could not use what his daughters were using ( but, he could be happy anyway, just like the movie True lies.....he could spy onto them and provide extra help?????)


So, here you have it, anyone who uses apple i-phone.......(Fill the blank yourself)

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:55 | 4289239 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Actually he has always used a BB

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 16:11 | 4289293 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

They still don't get it. Apple hack will make BES look like childs play.

Tue, 12/31/2013 - 15:30 | 4289182 Joe A
Joe A's picture

They lie, they all lie. And they lie to cover up more lies.

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