News reportage and analysis, criminal conspiracy investigations, general threat assessments and Information extractions from the memory hole. As well as insights and commentaries on the captive existence that we all experience currently as life under siege.

19 December, 2010

Grass Devices: iPhone or SpyPhone?

The 'i' prefix stands for intelligence.

Everyone loves technology, and have come to depend on it in much the same way that a narcotics addict needs their toxic diversion. It's an acquired addiction that benefits the supplier far more than it does the user and as only exciting as the first fix. The cultures and traditions of hundreds if not thousands of years are being eroded by waves of diversionary trinkets and sensory stimulating baubles. Consumerism has fast become a new pseudo-culture, supplanting ones of substance and progressive value with transitory toys. Technology is now the only advancement that's being proffered to the public as a boon to their lives. Ask yourself when has anything of true merit and significance to humanity been released to the general public to enhance their state of being (save the Internet)? Has Cancer been conquered? AIDS? How about Muscular Dystrophy, who've had telethons that since 1966 have netted a total of $2.45 Billion that haven't advanced a measurable iota towards any kind of cure. Why should it? Suffering children are a commodity to be used ad nauseaum so that every year Sick-Donalds… oops I mean McDonalds, and other shitbank corporate operations can pledge huge sums of lucre for tax write-offs the following year. Plus, the MDA charity in and of itself is a foul scam at its heart, as are a lot of other charities that use sick and starving children as window dressing to cover the real crime of theft through deception. LiveAid anyone? But I digress from my main point greatly, which was to impart to you, that the technologies we are so enthralled with are nothing more than Trojan horse devices grassing us all out. Cavet Emptor played out larger than life.

Apple loves to release the latest wonders to the public with clever PR campaigns that imply that these toys are only for the cool, in-kids. You do want to be one of the cool lot don't you? The hip, effete, jaunty, young, in-the-know (of pop shite knowledge that is). What? Don't fancy one of our Asian-slave produced, grossly over-priced, god devices? Well, fuck straight off dinosaur and slink away to die-off you analogue anachronism. That is the Apple marketing and advert scheme in action. What does it get you when and if you succumb? Well, how about a device that records and collects your voiceprint, fingerprints, photographs and transmit via GPS your exact location with timestamp. How about it being used as an electronic audio surveillance device whether the device is on or off, or live-time video/audio minicam surveillance device with remote activation? Sound too good to be true? Wait… there's still more, how about a telecom device that catalogues the users unique heartbeat signature? What I've just described for you was Apple's iPhone and laptops and their very nasty built-in spyware. Below is but a sampling of information siphoning patents that Apple has applied for and secured:
  • The system can take a picture of the user's face, "without a flash, any noise, or any indication that a picture is being taken to prevent the current user from knowing he is being photographed";
  • The system can record the user's voice, whether or not a phone call is even being made;
  • The system can determine the user's unique individual heartbeat "signature";
  • To determine if the device has been hacked, the device can watch for "a sudden increase in memory usage of the electronic device";
  • The user's "Internet activity can be monitored or any communication packets that are served to the electronic device can be recorded"; and
  • The device can take a photograph of the surrounding location to determine where it is being used.
If that's not bad enough Apple and Google apps are data-mining intel from it's users and transmitting it without their authorisation to marketing concerns and intelligence fronts like MySpace. The apps  collect and transmit back among other pieces of private data, age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, parental status and political views. 

Like to snap photos of your friends and family with the camera? Those are fair game as well, complete with geo-tagging the location where you took the pictures and video. Think your address book list of all your contacts is encrypted and safe as houses? How about breached and tarted full out to your local intelligence agency? It's one-stop shopping for device profiling of you, your habits, likes & dislikes, friends, family, finances and the lot. Marketed to you as the next shiny, must-acquire techno accoutrement that anyone who's anyone must have. The device that no one can live without who is a trusted friend you can depend on to enhance your career and life. Think of it all as iStasi, a mini surveillance state in the palm of your hand, or the All-Seeing Eye-Phone. You should be proud consumer, after-all you're saving the intelligence community a fortune in manpower and financial operating costs, by giving up all your personal data and privacy willingly and paying soundly for the privilege. What was once obtained only through court warrant is now available courtesy of Apple, Google, Microsoft and their ever so useful devices and apps.

  * UPDATE 21, March 2012 * 

If all that wasn't bad enough, according to a article, CIA Director David Petraeus  want to take domestic espionage to a high technical art by integrating digital surveillance devices in television (New Samsung TVs Have Built-In HD Camera, Microphones, Face and Speech Recognition), car navigation systems, and even remotely controlled light switches and other in-home conveniences. At a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm, Petraeus stated, "All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,”

Petraeus further said, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

The article additionally reveals, that hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation.

That’s not the only data exploit intriguing Petraeus. He’s interested in creating new online identities for his undercover spies — and sweeping away the “digital footprints” of agents who suddenly need to vanish.
“Proud parents document the arrival and growth of their future CIA officer in all forms of social media that the world can access for decades to come,” Petraeus observed. “Moreover, we have to figure out how to create the digital footprint for new identities for some officers.”
It’s hard to argue with that. Online cache is not a spy’s friend. But Petraeus has an inadvertent pal in Facebook.

Why? With the arrival of Timeline, Facebook made it super-easy to backdate your online history. Barack Obama, for instance, hasn’t been on Facebook since his birth in 1961. Creating new identities for CIA non-official cover operatives has arguably never been easier.

  * UPDATE 22, July 2014 * 

Normally I don't fancy gloating when a warning I've issued previously is substantiated by solid evidence, but I'm making an exception here. To all the psychologically disconnected fools who dismissed what we've been alerting you long ago about iPhone spying capabilities, here is some serious corroboration from an expert: Your iPhone May Be Rigged to Spy on You

Here's a brief excerpt:
iOS forensic examiner Jonathan Zdziarski may know more about iPhones than any other non-Apple employee. Yet even he can't find a reason for some of the mystery features buried within the iOS operating system, which look an awful lot like security backdoors that bypass user-designated data protections. The features could be there to let Apple — or even the National Security Agency or the FBI — get access to most of your iOS device's data without you knowing it.



  1. so true. and this is the upgrade from microsoft, the product for people who are more sophisticated. evidently it just doesn't matter. you can pay more money to be spied on or less, your choice.

    anyway, HHQ, i don't know if you celebrate Christmas but all the same i wish you every blessing now and for the new year.

  2. Thanks and you do the same dear lady, have a merry Christmas enjoy family and good times this season.

    Cheers and respect!

  3. And to think I once posted that Apple may be competition to Miroshites evil ways, as if top firms like this can be anything but part of it all. The frenzy at every new Apple crap is creepy. Teh news is full of scens of shoppers rioting to get the new best deals in slaes, one day after Christmas.

    Ah well, we're going where we're going, probably nout we can do about it but gaze on in astonishment.

    Merry Christmas mate, to you and all your informed readers.


  4. Merry Christmas and best of fortunes and victories in the new year. I know, those media portrayed scenes of the consumer feeding frenzies must entertain the assumed elite for hours. Just watching "useless eaters" queuing up in battle for shite disposable goods to prove to their loved ones that they still love them as they trample down the elderly to get that deal. Horrid fucking nonsense guised as tradition is what that is. Funny for the Christian holiday it proclaims itself to be, it marginalises that aspect each year. This year I've seen numerous adverts mocking and generally savaging Santa Claus, and depictions of evil or possessed snowmen abounding, all calculated to denigrate even children's happiness. The attack on family, culture and tradition are all part and parcel of a calculated war on all fronts, on the populace, to break the collective will and assimilate us to servitude.

  5. Hey HHQ!

    left wishes for you over at my place...
    I did read this piece, then I read it to hubby, who is very much into the techie sort of stuff, but this is quite creepy, really.

  6. Cheers Penny, and best of tidings to you and your family this season. What's even creepier is that this was the stuff that Apple declared outright for patents. Think of what they are preparing in their R & D section as we speak that is undeclared.


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