Apple Could Have Access to Your iMessages
Research claims that iMessage is not entirely secure
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 16:10
In the midst of this year’s National Security Agency scandal, multi-billion dollar company Apple assured its customers that they are unable to see iMessage conversations among users. However, a recent report by research team QuarksLab says otherwise.
Apple claims that the iMessage system has end-to-end encryption – meaning the messages themselves remain private, but information regarding sender, receiver, date and time can be seen. QuarksLab explained that although this is true, Apple controls the messaging system, therefore they could have the ability to intercept iMessages.
QuarksLab’s research report is full of technology jargon, but they state one thing explicitly.
“What we are not saying: Apple reads your iMessages. What we are saying: Apple can read your iMessages if they choose to, or if they are required to do so by a government order,” they wrote at the beginning of the report.
QuarksLab explained that since Apple controls the key infrastructure of all their devices, they could hypothetically access any and all iMessages. Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller refuted the claim.
“iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages,” she told the Washington Post.
She explained that Apple would have to reconstruct the entirety of iMessage in order to meet QuarksLab’s claims, which the company does not intend to do.
No solid evidence has surfaced regarding the government ever requesting iMessages from Apple. However, some Apple users feel that if the claims are true, it is a breach of privacy and has major implications.
“I do not feel like [the government or Apple has] a right to monitor our electronic activity,” recent Women and Gender Studies graduate and Apple consumer Courtney Schaff said. “This inhibits creativity, collaboration, and the freedom to challenge those who may be watching out of fear of repercussion.”
Senior HDFS and Elementary Education major Alyssa Gackle identifies as an “avid Apple user.” She said she is skeptical of the rumors surrounding the allegations against the company.
“It very well could be true, but I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and assume Apple is reading my messages,” she said. “I have bigger things to worry about.”
Whether or not Apple eavesdrops on their customers’ conversations or if the government has ever demanded access to them remains to be seen.