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MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – A St. Petersburg city lawmaker known for his conservative views cautioned Russian officials Monday against using Apple’s new iPhone until there is proof that the advanced technology is safe from US spying.
Vitaly Milonov, who helped mastermind Russia’s controversial legislation against the promotion of homosexuality to minors, said he planned to ask Russia’s Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) to find out whether there is a guarantee that “the [iPhone] 5S fingerprints will not appear in the US special services database.” (FAPSI, once responsible for communications security and signals intelligence, was disbanded 10 years ago and its functions were reassigned to other agencies; it was not immediately clear whether Milonov in fact intends to appeal to one of its successors.)
“If it turns out that there is no guarantee against the theft of fingerprints, then the use of the 5S could be restricted for state officials at work,” Milonov wrote on Twitter.
Apple's new iPhone allows users to register their fingerprints on their device as a security measure to enable them to unlock it. The US tech giant said earlier this month that “information about the fingerprint is stored on the device and not uploaded to company networks – meaning it wouldn’t be in data batches that may be sent to or collected by US intelligence agencies under court orders,” according to Bloomberg.
A group of German hackers claimed to have found a way to dupe the iPhone fingerprint scanner on Sunday, just two days after the new technology was unveiled. The hackers said that fake fingerprints can be made with “materials that can be found in almost every household.”
Updated three hours after posting with FAPSI clarification and minor edits throughout.
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- bielecOf course,17:12, 23/09/2013...it could be the system software, a piece of hardware, or a future popular and free "third party" application that will send the fingerprints to an outside database. Why would they introduce such a "security" system that makes it impossible for my wife or friend to use my phone, if needed, for example, in emergency.
Since the sad departure of Steve Jobs and the introduction of iOS-5, users can install the new system software but cannot go back to the old one. Apple refuses to fix or service phones with older operating systems, thus forcing clients to upgrade. This is unususal, considering that, for example, Windows machines and repair services accept all relatively recent operating systems.
There must be some good reasons for such unnecessary policies and they are reasonably suspicious.
- bielecJust happening...23:25, 23/09/2013I use an iPhone with the older iOS-5 operating system. I prefer it - it is simpler and it has better maps for navigation. I did not update to iOS-6 or to the current iOS-7.
Today, I tried to buy an electronic book from iTunes. I had done this before, many times. Today, the transaction was interrupted by a requirement to accept new iTunes Terms and Conditions. In the new Terms and conditions, we read:
"The iTunes service is available to you only in [your country], its territories, and possessions. You agree not to use, or attempt to use the iTunes Service from outside these locations. Apple may use technologies to verify your compliance."
In other words, you agree that Apple will track your location and whereabouts.
Further, the new Terms and Conditions read:
"The latest version of required software is recommended to access iTune Service and may be required for certain transactions or features, and to download iTunes products previously purchased."
In other words, iTunes Service is forcing me to upgrade to a newer operating system, although this is not really required for simple online purchases of electronic books.
The way Apple introduces and forces these changes on its customers, who have no choice but to accept the post-Jobs operating systems and policies, is unique and disturbing. From a technical point of view these changes should not necessary and, therefore, it raises serious suspicions.
What spying capabilities are now included in the new software that they so desperately want you to download to your iPhone? This seems to be the most likely reason for the pushy approach by Apple.
The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.