Apple Allows Uber To Spy On Screen And Data Access With Back Door Entitlement

As being reported by Business Insider, Apple has granted Uber access to sesitive features in Apple systems such as camera, data and screen. 

Business Insider: Uber’s iPhone app has a secret back door to powerful Apple features, allowing the ride-hailing service to potentially record a user’s screen and access other personal information without their knowledge.

This access to special iPhone functions — which are so powerful that Apple almost always keeps them off-limits to outside companies — is not disclosed in any consumer-facing information included with Uber’s app.

Although there is no evidence that Uber used its access to take advantage of the iPhone features, the revelation that the app has access to privileged Apple code raises important questions for a company already under investigation for other controversial business practices.

Uber told Business Insider the code was not being used and was essentially a vestige of an earlier version of its Apple Watch app.
However, it has set off alarm bells among experts.

“Granting such a sensitive entitlement to a third party is unprecedented, as far as I can tell — no other app developers have been able to convince Apple to grant them entitlements they’ve needed to let their apps utilize certain privileged system functionality,” Will Strafach, a security researcher who discovered the situation, told Business Insider.

Read full article at Business Insider

 

Source: IB Times

 

Legitimate downloads of popular software including WhatsApp, Skype and VLC Player are allegedly being hacked at an internet service provider (ISP) level to spread an advanced form of surveillance software known as “FinFisher”, cybersecurity researchers warn.
FinFisher is sold to global governments and intelligence agencies and can be used to snoop on webcam feeds, keystrokes, microphones and web browsing. Documents, previously published by WikiLeaks, indicate that one tool called “FinFly ISP” may be linked to the case.
The digital surveillance tools are peddled by an international firm called Gamma Group and have in the past been sold to repressive regimes including Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In March this year, the company attended a security conference sponsored by the UK Home Office.
This week (21 September), experts from cybersecurity firm Eset claimed that new FinFisher variants had been discovered in seven countries, two of which were being targeted by “man in the middle” (MitM) attacks at an ISP level – packaging real downloads with spyware.
Companies hit included WhatsApp, Skype, Avast, VLC Player and WinRAR, it said, adding that “virtually any application could be misused in this way.”
When a target of surveillance was downloading the software, they would be silently redirected to a version infected with FinFisher, research found.

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New Device Allows Cops to Download All of Your Mobile phone Activity in Seconds

 

     ANTIMEDIA | June 26, 2017

“Any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have given consent to field testing of his or her mobile telephone and/or personal electronic device for the purpose of determining the use thereof while operating a motor vehicle, provided that such testing is conducted by or at the direction of a police officer.”

 

That’s language from the text of a bill currently working its way through the New York state legislature. The legislation would allow cops to search through drivers’ cell phones following traffic incidents — even minor fender-benders — to determine if the person was using their phone while behind the wheel.

Most states have laws banning the use of mobile devices while driving, though such laws are rarely enforced. This is largely because it’s nearly impossible to catch someone in the act. What person would admit to an officer that they broke the law, the argument goes, particularly when it’s after the fact? After all, cops don’t show up until after the accident occurs.

Now, technology exists that would give police the power to plug drivers’ phones into tablet-like devices — being called “textalyzers” in the media — that tell officers exactly what they were doing on their phone and exactly when they were doing it. And if the readout shows a driver was texting while driving, for instance, the legal system will have an additional way to fine them.

“Recording your every click, tap or swipe, it would even know what apps you were using. Police officers could download the data, right on the spot,” Jeff Rossen of NBC News said in a video report on the technology.

Proponents of the legislation point to the rise in traffic fatalities associated with using mobile devices while driving. But rights activists, such as Rashida Richardson of the New York Civil Liberties Union, says it’s a societal issue and no excuse to violate an individual’s privacy:

“This is a concern because our phones have some of our most personal and private information — so we’re certain that if this law is enforced as it is proposed, it will not only violate people’s privacy rights, but also civil liberties.”

New York state isn’t alone. Currently, similar legislation is being considered in Tennessee and New Jersey



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Urgent Warning Issued by Human Rights Group over New Police Bill in Congress

 

 

| May 30, 2017

 

(ANTIMEDIA) Last week, Human Rights Watch penned an open letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees voicing their strong opposition to a new bill that would make it nearly impossible to sue police for constitutional violations. Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) proposed the identical bills on May 16th “to protect law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.”

Co-Director of Human Rights Watch Alison Parker writes that H.R. 2437/S.B. 1134, or the “Back the Blue Act,” doesn’t protect police from danger, but rather “protects police departments from liability, and removes incentives for those departments to monitor themselves and improve the quality of their policing.”

 




The proposed bill would make significant amendments to Sections 1983 and 1988 of the U.S. Code, shielding police officers from civil liability even in cases of grievous misconduct, making new federal crimes out of offenses already covered by state laws and imposing harsh mandatory minimum sentences.

Qualified immunity already provides police with broad protection from liability by requiring proof that not only were an individual’s rights violated but whether or not a reasonable officer was aware that their misconduct violated the plaintiff’s rights. Qualified immunity has been described by experienced civil rights litigator and professor of law Alan K. Chen as “one of the most impenetrable barriers to liability for constitutional violations.” According to Professor Chen, “the Court has shaped the doctrine in ways that make it more closely resemble absolute immunity.”

Under the Back the Blue Act, if police can prove that the violation and any injuries or damages inflicted“incurred in the course of, or as a result of, or . . . related to, conduct by the injured party that, more likely than not, constituted a felony or a crime of violence . . . (including any deprivation in the course of arrest or apprehension for, or the investigation, prosecution, or adjudication of, such an offense),” the offending officer would be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses only. The law would also preclude victims from recovering attorneys’ fees.

As the letter explains:

This amendment means that if police arrest someone for selling marijuana, and beat him without justification, that person may only recover medical expenses, but nothing for emotional distress, pain and suffering or punitive damages to deter future misconduct. If a police officer unlawfully shoots and kills someone committing an act of vandalism, the police department would be liable for funeral expenses and nothing more. Such a limit on liability would make it much harder for victims of abuse to secure effective legal representation, and remove a major restraint on unjustified violence by police officers.”

The new bill also imposes harsh mandatory minimum sentences under federal law for any assault on a police officer causing “bodily injury,” which is defined to include injuries as minor as a bruise, abrasion, or even the temporary feeling of physical pain. This removes the court’s discretion, preventing judges from issuing sentences proportionate to the individual circumstances of the case. In addition, the Back the Blue Act will expand the federal death penalty to include those convicted of killing police, removing certain habeas corpus protections and again limiting judicial discretion — even in states that have abolished the death penalty.

“Under the guise of protecting officers, this bill would make police less accountable, which can only undermine their legitimacy with the communities they serve,” said John Raphling, senior criminal justice researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Congress should reject this dangerous bill.”

Human Rights Watch’s observations are all the more vital considering at least 385 Americans have been killed by police this year alone, and officers around the country continue to impose constitutional violations on citizens every day.