Leaked documents now show what we all suspected: the NSA can turn your iPhone’s microphone and camera on and off without you knowing.

According to Der Spiegel’s website:

“The NSA’s ANT division develops implants for mobile phones and SIM cards. One of these is a spyware implant called “DROPOUTJEEP” — designed for the first generation of iPhones — which was still in development in 2008, shortly after the iPhone’s launch. This spyware was to make it possible to remotely download or upload files to a mobile phone. It would also, according to the catalog, allow the NSA to divert text messages, browse the user’s address book, intercept voicemails, activate the phone’s microphone and camera at will, determine the current cell site and the user’s current location, “etc.” ANT’s technicians also develop modified mobile phones, for use in special cases that look like normal, standard devices, but transmit various pieces of information to the NSA — that can be swapped undetected with a target’s own mobile phone or passed to informants and agents. In 2008, ANT had models from Eastcom and Samsung on offer, and it has likely developed additional models since.”

See leaked document below:


As we reported previously, ANT specialists at the NSA’s department for Tailored Access Operations can remotely access, monitor, and manipulate data in electronics around the world.

According to the report, the NSA intercepts shipments that are ordered online and spyware is manually installed on their target’s iPhone.

The NSA claims a 100 percent success rate when it comes to implanting iOS devices with spyware, reports The Daily Dot.

Journalist and security researcher Jacob Appelbaum asks important questions in the video below.

Is Apple helping the NSA?

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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook is a writer and reporter for Truth In Media. He has interviewed many politicians including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Walter Jones, Bob Graham, Trey Gowdy and thought leaders who shape U.S. policy. He is a host of 'Beer and Politcs' on Truth In Media. If you have any tips please email him at joshua@truthinmedia.com. Find him on Twitter @RealJoshuaCook

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  • Drew R

    I’d be flattered if somebody wanted to listen to me! Oh hi Israeli spies, oh hi NSA spies. I’d say it’s a badge of honor if you’re being effective enough that those 4th Amendment violating peepers would want to see what you’re up to.

    • noin007

      Considering the reports of them using these programs to spy on potential girlfriends and just to watch people jerk off… I’d say it really doesn’t take all that much to get your 4th amendment trampled over anymore.

      • Drew R

        I sense that a Zeus thunderbolt is being prepared with NSA written all over it. And then maybe some Constitutional cans of whoop ass.

    • Our Gamehenge

      “Badge of Honor” … interesting, probably precisely the way the people that were hunted down by Mussolini felt.

      Naive – having or showing a lack of experience or knowledge : innocent or simple.

      • Drew R

        To be targeted for righteousness’ sake is indeed a badge of honor. Naive would be to never assume an abuse of power takes place, or that government is altruistic and honest. I’m simply trying to keep a little levity amidst all the insanity. If you let everything you read in the news get your panties in a twist than your living in a self imposed nightmare, and it’s really not representative of reality. If some NSA creeps want to listen to me, I don’t approve of it, but if it’s gonna happen I’ll tell em what I think of em and not let it bog me down and ruin my quality of life. But the sooner these spies go the better. Remember that the universe arcs towards justice. Or is that naive?

        • Our Gamehenge

          “Remember that the universe arcs towards justice.”

          I like that one as well as your outlook, agreed.

          But … one cant ignore the turn-key tyranny apparatus in place currently. We witnessed the same scenarios playout throughout history.

          2000 years ago til now, same power struggle between psychopaths and serfs. The only difference now is the very real potential for global innahiliation. Nuclear arsenals and Psychopaths are a bad combination.

          I don’t have the answers, just a constant stink-eye at what I see and hear coming from our so called “Government”.

          I will take your advice and appreciate the joy that humor brings today, I wont be getting that from News.


  • TimmyPoopkins

    I think everybody with half a brain has known this for at least 10 years. I guess the concrete proof is… something.

  • Patrick K

    Are you Benswann.com journalists using the Tails OS ?

  • metermaid9876

    When you say, “NSA has complete control over your iPhone” what you really mean is that they have the tools to invade, infect and control your iPhone, if they want to. If you have any evidence that they are doing this to all iPhones simultaneously I would like to see it.

    Please understand; I am not saying that these programmes are limited, or correct. They are absolutely inexcusable and wrong. What is needed to counter this illegal nonsense is accurate reporting that is not hysterical or hyped.

    • Fascist Slayer

      I think the proof you’re looking for is in that giant monster spy center in the middle of the desert.

    • T

      The ability to infect at will is effectively complete control.

  • TonyWestover

    This is ridiculous hyperbole.

    The NSA *could* have complete control of your phone if they intercepted your phone while it was being shipped to you and jailbroke it to install spyware that’s basically impossible to do on a locked-down non-jailbroken device.

    • Ben

      Unless Apple is working WITH the NSA…

      • TonyWestover

        Yeah, because it’s totally in Apple’s best interest to help the government spy on their customers.

        If you followed the initial leaks about these stories, these companies didn’t build backdoors or let them install spyware on their servers. These were court orders, they companies turned over data dumps from their databases.

        And if anyone is going to work with the NSA it’s Google. There’s isn’t a less trustworthy tech company than them.

        • Kismet

          Why are people thinking that the NSA is some secret government organization anyhow? It is a consortium of companies, eg oracle, google, nortel, qualcomm, foxcomm, GD, BAE, amongst a great many others… Get real, we live in a glass castle!

          • TonyWestover

            “Why are people thinking that the NSA is some secret government organization anyhow?”

            Because it is.

  • Corey

    Soon our world will be like the video game “Watch Dogs.” Remote downloading…etc. All you gotta do is be in proximity….just like bluetooth, etc.

    I doubt they’d do this to EVERYONE. But the fact that its possible definitely starts to reflect the gravity of the world we’re moving into.

  • Shorty Stuff

    This is old news to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past decade. It’s the same thing they can do to any PC running Windows since Microsoft put hidden backdoors in all versions just for their use.

    • Anon

      Vista and after yes – its why they make you digitally sign drivers. XP does not have a back door because you still have root access and can see your drivers and with them see all running programs, I assure you – if there was a weird driver on my XP desktop – I would of disassembled it

  • T

    I left Hughes after developing the prototype for what later became OnStar because of objections to the invasiveness of the project, which includes tapping the phone and sending live audio and location data while appearing to be off. Of all of the GM concept cars that we did, this was the one concept that GM decided to pursue. Be careful what you invent. Someone may actually use it.

    • Jeff Brodhead

      I have a link somewhere in my folders of the last 2-3 months, to a discussion about the possibility of using CAN bus access, via a hacked after-market system communicating with the CAN bus to remote control a vehicle. In theory, the unsecured accessory could be used to “upgrade” the vehicle’s computer systems (i.e. via wireless connection meant for factory updates.)

      It seems OnStar and other such systems, would be potential points of access for hackers(?)

    • bobfairlane

      Screw you, then. Onstar is stupid, and cars have way too much electronic crap in them now.

    • kcmac

      I will say this about OnStar. I have a friend who’s mother and 6 year old daughter were driving down a back road one rainy night about 6n months ago. The child’s grandmother lost control of her SUV going around a curve and ended up upside down in a creek. OnStar is the only thing that saved their lives before they both drowned as multiple injuries were involved. I don’t like intrusive technology but this one saved 2 lives…if it makes you feel any better.

  • Boo Yaaaaa

    This article is lame. Who cares really if the government does this? (If they do at all..) At the end of the day, none of you are so important that the government wants to activate your phone to hear you yelling at your spouse or talk about the new Jordan’s that came out. I am so sick and tired of hearing about this NSA bullsh_t. America get over yourselves. How do you think they found Bin Laden after all these years. Let the trained professionals do their job and you do yours, while not being a terrorist and I promise NSA will not turn your stupid iPhone on.

    • MatthewLH

      They found Bin Laden because Dr Afridi (misspelled of course) told us where he was.
      Also, Bin Laden wasnt far from a NATO base so its clear the US ignored him for a while.
      The NSA did not help capture Bin Laden.
      Everyone is important enough for the govt to mess with. These programs theyre running are expensive and they need our compliance and taxes to run these programs.

      • Steve

        Very well said.

    • Ian

      ‘Who cares really if the government does this?’

      commence government rape

    • Derek James Nord

      Who cares? Everyone that stands up for a free America and the Constitution should care. And We The People, who the USA is built on are not important enough? Your entire comment is quite ignorant. You’re pretty much saying that nobody should have any privacy just so they can try to find a needle in the pacific ocean. They didn’t find Obama by tapping into Iphones by the way…

      • strawman

        I wish they hadn’t found Obama….. LOL. You mean Osama, they knew where he was because the CIA knew where to send his paycheck…………

    • ghendric

      My uncle is retired from the NSA… I got it straight from the horses mouth… He doesn’t do any social networking or any of that crap either.. He barely does email..

    • Jt

      Are you willing to go to war for the government’s right to spy on you? Because I sure as hell will go to war for my right not to be spied on, and I will put a bullet in your brain if it comes to it.

    • Boela

      You seriously believe Osama Bin Laden was found? Just from heavily pixelated video clips that look worse than even the oldest digital video? Accept for THAT stupid comment I will and can agree with the rest you said.

  • Anon

    As an iPhone developer, I can assure you they do not have the ability to remotely turn on your camera or microphone. Don’t believe me? Look into the src yourself. As far as reading ‘texts’ and ‘phonecalls’ go that is probably happening on the backend of our phones. Blame the phone companies for that one.

    • Anon

      Hardware or hidden software that does that kind of thing is not only possible but widely talked about and researched in the infosec community. don’t be so naive.

    • Ian

      you must be joking like obama jokes about predator drones.

    • Jt

      WTF does being an iPhone developer have to do with knowing what back-end software is implemented in iOS? You just gave yourself away as completely clueless as to how these things work. Everyone and their dog is an iPhone developer these days, you are clueless. The source is not open so people can’t simply look into the source themselves. You’re clueless.

      • Jt

        How completely naive can you be… oh my lord, if you really are an iPhone developer and you seriously don’t think the NSA can access the phone, get a new job, in a different industry, WOW.

    • dinkster

      So as an “iPhone developer” I’m sure you know all about the second proprietary operating system that drives the backbone for the various cell radios, right? Ask Qualcomm for the source, lol.

    • jay

      Either you are on damage control or you live in a dream world….just keep in mind if they can think it…its only time until they do it…pixel portals are already in use…you say huh?…exactly…thats where they want your mind…distracted and doubtful…paranoia only hurts the one time it was necessary…then its too late.

    • http://www.mikechurch.com/ pete838

      They just told each other they could do it as far back as 2007 in a document we were never meant to see.

  • Steve

    I can see that a lot of you guys had better wake up. Just ask yourself one question, do you have the same freedoms and libertys as your grandfather had?

    • John Angst

      Icing on the cake is it was a Republican that brought all of this on with his “Freedom and Privacy loving” Patriot Act..

      Thank you George W. Bush!

      • EasyEight

        But WHO is President today??

        • Soccer nut

          Both suck.. idiots voted for both of them. End of discussion.

      • Ashley

        You can thank Obama for expanding the Patriot Act. It might have been implemented during Bush’s reign, but Obama is the one abusing it.

        • Steve

          And they should both go down in history as who they really are, not what they want us to think what they really are.

        • Soccer nut

          Passing the law in the first place was the abuse. Constitution shredding is abuse no matter what party. Stop being a cheerleader for (R) or (D)…most in both suck.

  • ghendric

    All those apps you have on your phone also track where you are and accesses all your contacts too.. next time you install something, read the disclaimer when it pops up.. I can get on my phone and see where all my friends are on the planet at any given time of day, providing of course if they have their phone GPS turned on…

    Also, All those laptops with the finger reader is a great way to get your finger prints without ever getting finger printed at the police station. They can keep their frickin’ technology… they’re hoping that we’re all too stupid to get it.. apparently its working because people are buying that crap..

    • Jt

      That is a very, very different situation altogether. You explicitly give these apps permission to do these things. It asks you whether or not to allow that app to access them. It’s 100% voluntary and anyone who didn’t realize apps could do this is completely ignoring the words on their screen. They do it for your own benefit, yes there are sinister uses of these technologies, there are also benefits.

      • ghendric

        Why do they need to track me even if I allow the apps to do that? Specifically, games. Why do games need to track me? I can understand some sort of map app doing that but not a game. Sure I could chose not to install a game but then why do I need a better phone then? I might as well just get a basic no frills phone that doesn’t do anything but make phone calls.

    • Aaron

      They already have my fingerprints, unfortunately. I’ve never been arrested, but I had to submit them to before taking an investment/stock brokers licensing test. I was pretty pissed about it.

    • Robert J. Muir

      I believe the fingerprint scanner is taking security too far in a way that they can basically steal your personal identity from you, not to mention all the chopped off fingers. I like the ability of being anonymous, that’s what privacy is, I’ve never committed any crimes, why do they need my fingerprints, you know? To answer the last sentence, APPLE users are the most gullible, retarded buyers in the phone market, they could gold plate piles of crap and slap an apple logo on it, and people would flock to buy it, my S3 is good and has been since I bought it in 2012, still has a superb camera and 1.5 gigs of ram, I would sooner trust a Korean company than an American one.

  • joel k steine

    Hopefully mother nature will realign our modern needs by taking us to where we’ve never been. There will never be peace in a monetary world..

  • jacobisraelite
  • http://formlesspoet.blogspot.com/ Zahhar

    And of course plant “evidence” to incriminate you in crimes you have no knowledge of and of course nothing to do with. Yay NSA! We Love Big Brother.

  • Alex Crowley

    It’s also possible that when you plug in your iPhone. malware/backdoor could be installed onto your Mac/PC without it being detected by any antiviruses. you never know if AVG, kaspersky, Trend Micro Titanium or whatever anti-virus company you’re using could be working with the NSA.

  • Eric Grimsrud

    Wait, does that mean we can charge them for the bill? Hmmm, several years of cell phone costs for unauthorized usage, times the number of affected Iphones… So is there a good class action attorney out there?

  • cathy c

    How is “Is Apple helping the NSA?” still a question?????

    • Dustin Pageloff

      Please learn how tech works before you make anymore comments..Thanks.

  • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

    There’s enough tinfoil in this thread to wrap 300 thanksgiving turkeys.

    • http://www.salescopywriter.net/ Alan

      Annoy the wrong person and suddenly there’s child porn on your phone and a knock on the door, Funny that?

      • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

        I think you’d have to be more than simply annoying for someone to go to those kind of lengths to put you in that kind of position, I think if you are kind and honest from day to day there’s not much to worry about.

        • http://www.salescopywriter.net/ Alan

          Yeah, stick your head down, don’t want any trouble, just follow orders and it’ll be alright, honest guv.

          • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

            Don’t confuse my politeness for complacency 😉

          • http://www.salescopywriter.net/ Alan

            Oh I know, if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear. Sure thing.

  • Kyle

    @jprime:disqus I’m a skeptic, & if you’re aiming your remark towards some of the comments, I agree. However, anybody who doesn’t understand that mass data collection is the most powerful weapon is clueless. Think of the billions of text logs / call logs / etc being stored in databases. It’s just a bunch of useless information right now, but in the near future they will be able to predict our every move based on pattern / repetition / algorithms.

    • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

      So let’s say they have collected data on our calls and texts for years and mined it for information, how are they going to use it against us?

      I’d like to pose the supermarket scenario as a microcosm of this situation: Every day I go into the supermarket to buy a carton of milk. (Or a local farmers market 😉 ). The milk is at the very far end of the store, so I make my way back there to get it. Repeat day after day.
      The seller records my shopping habits (gasp) over time, and suddenly one day I walk into the store and the milk is right there at the front.

      I’d like to see a scenario where my text and phone calls or general e-trackable habits are used against me maliciously by the body that collects it.

      • hi

        wow you must be young,they will never make it easy to get your milk that’s why its way in the back so you have to walk past everything to get to it so you will be temped to buy more.and how they will use the folders on you is…they will have this info for sale to anyone that would like to use it against you ,like texts ,naked pic’s , you know personal stuff ,etc .

        • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

          lol, so naive. 43, been programming and writing code for data mining for about 10 years. You have a lot to learn.

    • John F. Hendry

      That is absolutely correct and they can change the outcome of any event right down to stopping a far better business from competing with their own interests and putting it out of business. As long as greed is driving in a circle War will follow till a flat tire beings it home and ends the delusion.

  • Brian Gaffney

    COOOL! No more privacy! Nothing & nowhere to hide, people. Welcome to the future!

  • ronadair

    This is a hit piece if I ever saw one. Is the NSA targeting iPhones? Sure. Does this unequivocally prove Apple is complicit? Get real. The assumptions here eclipse moronic.

    And just because DOJ doesn’t specifically mention androids doesn’t mean jack. Most likely that’s a different program – under the name “CRAPPEDOUTCHRYSLER” or similar.

    I assumed something with Ben Swann’s name on it would show a little more class than this linkbait. Shame.

    • Gregg Braddoch

      Androids are just as vulnerable – How many apps get permission to access your information? Lots of them, and any one could have NSA backdoors built in.

      I wouldn’t put it past apple, google, or microsoft to protest the NSA and then go ahead helping them though.

  • http://educatorssite.com/ romacox

    The android allows one to download extra security that is not available for the smartphone user. http://selinuxproject.org/page/SEAndroid

  • jrex

    The craziest thing about all of this is that there is NOTHING that ANYONE can do about it! We as a people can’t stop them from spying on us, legislators can’t stop them, Obama probably couldn’t stop them, even if he ever wanted to, with any number of his executive orders. And even IF the government demanded they knock it off, the NSA would still just keep spying anyway. There is no way for anybody to stop them invading our privacy. It’s just over.

    The US has been so complacent, so lazy and disinterested, so wrapped up in dancing with the stars or whatever’s on TV that we’ve let this happen and now we’ll never get our privacy back. This country went to bed one night and woke up to a fully covered surveillance grid run by an authoritarian police state. We looked away and found ourselves in 1984.

    At least in other countries they don’t lie and try to hide that you’re being spied on in everything you do. At least they tell you they’re watching and don’t feed you the bull that you’re free.

  • John F. Hendry

    If people who want to be in control were honest and were not using their power in bad faith to try to increase the value of E in one place to have more than E in another I would feel comfortable with all this as you cannot offer the World the power the US has given it without some stringent controls in place. But as the “Good Doctor” and his gang of thugs using the US Legal System to do their dirty work after deception failed him to control the people around them has shown the World lawlessness supporting greed is the reflex action in use.

    And when dealing with E you have a very “quantum limitation” and collectively greed wastes massive amounts of energy and resources so the most honest Observer/s will always win for it takes a level scale to survive and what we put on our scale must match Nature’s scale. Without Law there will be no Order and it’s as simple as that. But people like the Good Doctor think they will find control in deception and disorder as things get more and more complex. A simple small mistake or act of Nature is all it will take to bring down the entire house of cards put together using dice. And with no voice left to get help because no one will listen to a deceiver time will hide the lost opportunity caused by people who believe their own lies and blame others for telling them.

  • Robert J. Muir

    I can see this ending badly, very badly for the people in control, they do have control of our surveiliance, but all it takes is a revolution, like Snowden started, to really end the US government. Other powerful countries could see this as a very serious threat and want to destroy America, why does it all have to be about money? Its just a material object, sure money is good, but to really push forward to the end of the world is really taking it too far.

  • Robert J. Muir

    People need to keep in mind that anything, and I mean anything is possible on computers, its like Tron, having limitless power at your fingertips, you just need to know how to access it, if you can think of a program, you can make it.

  • BlatentYak .