Spooks testify for Apple, against Epic

“The national security implications of forced sideloading are front and center.” — Statement signed officials from CIA, NSA, Pentagon

From Brian Fung’s “Former top national security officials side with Apple in app store antitrust case” posted Thursday: 

Former senior national security officials, including two ex-CIA directors and a past NSA director, are backing Apple (AAPL)’s app store practices as the iPhone maker fights a critical antitrust case.

The nearly two-dozen security experts and former US officials argued Thursday in a court filing that proposals to force open Apple’s mobile ecosystem — such as requirements that iPhones be able to install apps from outside the official app store — would harm user and national security.

The star-studded list of signatories includes Gen. Michael Hayden and John Brennan, the former CIA directors, along with Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence and NSA director. Others signing onto the friend-of-the-court submission include William Evanina, former director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center; the longtime national security expert Richard Clarke; and various others with past roles at the Pentagon, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Requiring Apple devices to accept third-party apps and app stores necessarily increases the risk of malware on iOS devices, which directly correlates to an increased risk to national security,” the former officials wrote.

My take: The three-letter agencies were singing a different tune in San Bernardino.

See the San Bernardino archives


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. The three-letter agencies were singing a different tune in San Bernardino.”

    They’re all retired today and engaged in private sector work; so, they now can speak to the truth.

    April 1, 2022
  2. We need to allow Bellerophon to ride Pegasus and other spyware/malware out the door. Sideloading is a Chimera or monster waiting to ruin our phones and give up our data. After years of being trashed by leadership, now we understand the importance of spies. Sun Tzu considered spies most important of all tools in The Art of War.
    At Ma Bell we offered little sympathy to those who called us after encountering issues jailbreaking their iPhones. Those devices were not eligible for warranty replacement or trade-in, the user chose to trash them. Hard Reset rarely worked and we didn’t want those nodes back on our network anyway.

    April 1, 2022
  3. David Emery said:
    Well, it’s not quite the same thing here. What the TLAs wanted was a “secure back door” that only they could access. That’s a different proposition than opening up the device for all the other bad guys out there.

    (p.s. I always loved Spy vs Spy!)

    April 1, 2022
  4. Steven Philips said:
    About time! How the congress critters could be blind to this I can’t understand! – Yes I can! 🙁

    April 1, 2022
  5. Thomas Larkin said:
    Yep, this privacy and security stuff is real. That Margarethe Vestager, et al., and members of our own congress, are leading the parallel charge to undermine consumer privacy and security points how corrupt, and anti-consumer this misguided assault on Apple’s ecosystem really is.

    April 1, 2022
  6. Michael Goldfeder said:
    @PED: That headline, along with the Mad Magazine “Spy v. Spy” duo is another example of why this site is so masterfully curated by your journalistic and artistic abilities. I’ll be laughing about this post for quite some time! Thank you!!

    April 1, 2022

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