Apple Inc. and Verizon Turning Over User Data to FBI in Protest Cases

Apple Inc. and Verizon Rat Out Customers
Apple Inc. and Verizon Rat Out Customers
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Apple Inc. and Verizon have been ratting out their customers to the FBI. One such case was exposed by the mainstream media today (see source link). In that case Apple turned over iCloud data that included pictures, videos, contacts, history, and location data from Kelly Jackson's iPhone after the FBI had already obtained location information from Verizon. Jackson is accused of removing hazardous obstacles from public thoroughfares using enhanced protest techniques during George Floyd protests earlier this year.


This shift of loyalties comes as an unpleasant surprise for Apple customers that enjoyed the safety and security of Apple's prior refusal to cooperate with law enforcement. In 2019 Apple made international headlines when the FBI went to them with a complaint that they could not search the contents of an iPhone without the user's password or Apple's help circumventing security (https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2020/05/18/feds-hack-iphones-in-pensacola-case-apple-not-needed-after-all/). Apple did the right thing and refused to betray their customers. Unfortunately, the FBI was able to gain access to the phone anyway after paying a company called GrayKey over $70,000 to hack the phone. Despite that setback, Apple was still able to maintain their image as a company that was loyal to their customers, but that is not the case anymore. Today we can no longer recommend Apple products to anyone because Apple has betrayed their customers to the federal government.


Verizon is not recommended either for the same reasons as Apple. Verizon has shown that they will turn your data over to the government upon request even if that data could be used to put you in prison. Nobody should do business with a company like that unless they have no other option for obtaining essential services.


There really is no such thing as an unhackable phone, but that does not mean that there is nothing you can do to keep your phone from getting you busted. If you are going somewhere to do something that the police might investigate you for, leave your phone at home and order a pay per view movie that you've already seen before leaving the house. That way your location data and TV use histories will support the claim that you were at home watching a movie. If you must take a phone with you, use a more secure phone (https://www.businessinsider.com/smartphones-rich-famous-vulnerable-security-hack-jeff-bezos-shark-tank-2020-3).


What are Apple and Verizon Thinking?


We have seen no information indicating that working with the FBI is good for either company. The goal of a company is to make money. That is the primary objective of a corporation. How does a company accomplish that objective by betraying their customers? As far as we can tell neither company has produced any information showing that their stock went up because they worked with the feds. Decisions like these cost them customers and revenue, so it is never appropriate for a company to do such things.


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