“Tech giants listed as part of the National Security Agency’s Prism spying program have gone to some lengths to convince the world they aren’t in bed with the U.S. government,” Mark Milian reports for Businessweek. “Google has filed a request with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court asking permission to disclose more information about the government’s data requests.”
“So there’s a certain irony that NSA programmers are now refining code that Google has approved for the company’s mobile operating system, Android,” Milian reports. “Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA’s programming in Android OS.”
MacDailyNews Take: Why does Google, supposedly staffed by some of the world’s preeminent genius PhDs, need U.S. government workers to write “security” code for their OS?
“Through its open-source Android project, Google has agreed to incorporate code, first developed by the agency in 2011, into future versions of its mobile operating system, which according to market researcher IDC runs on three-quarters of the smartphones shipped globally in the first quarter,” Milian reports. “NSA officials say their code, known as Security Enhancements for Android, isolates apps to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data stored on a device. Eventually all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code, agency spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines said in an e-mailed statement. NSA researcher Stephen Smalley, who works on the program, says, ‘Our goal is to raise the bar in the security of commodity mobile devices.'”
MacDailyNews Take: “Open.”
“In May the Pentagon approved the use of smartphones and tablets that run Samsung’s mobile enterprise software, Knox, which also includes NSA programming, the company wrote in a June white paper. Sony, HTC, and Samsung declined to comment,” Milian reports. “‘Apple does not accept source code from any government agencies for any of our operating systems or other products,’ says Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for the company.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack
As the post-PC world continues to diminish the use of crappy Windows PCs, which run a so-called operating system from Microsoft, a company that seemingly couldn’t wait to jump into bed with the NSA for whatever benefits that would offer, the conspiracy-minded could easily see why malware-prone Android phones and tablets are being pushed so hard to the ignorati worldwide through unending “Buy One, Get X Free” promotions, myriad slanted reviews that falsely equate Android devices with Apple products, and why lawsuits over blatant patent infringement are stalled in U.S. and other U.S.-allied nations’ courts for many years, while (and so that) Android takes hold as the world’s dominant OS in terms of unit share; get it in as many hands as possible.
But, of course, that would be crazy talk.
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Peter G.” for the heads up.]
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