How iCloud helped convict Paul Manafort

“Paul Manafort, the longtime political adviser who for a time in 2016 was the chairman of President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, agreed to a plea bargain last week with the office special counsel Robert S. Mueller,” Stephen Silver writes for AppleInsider. “Manafort, who was convicted in August on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, CNN reported, citing court documents.”

“The obstruction count, in particular, stems from an unlikely source, Manafort’s poor operational security in regards to his iCloud account. But that’s only one way Manafort’s enthusiasm for Apple products has surfaced in the case,” Silver writes. “In June, after Manafort had already been indicted on several charges and was out on bail awaiting the first of two planned trials, he was jailed after being hit with additional charges of witness tampering. Manafort, prosecutors said, had improperly contacted two potential witnesses via WhatsApp. That Manafort had done so was discovered by the FBI via an unlikely source: His iCloud account. It turned out Manafort had been backing up his encrypted WhatsApp messages to an unencrypted iCloud account, which investigators obtained a court order to view. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iCloud’ll get you every time. If you use iCloud, don’t break the law.

Apple’s iCloud helped U.S. feds track down Russian spam kingpin – March 22, 2018
How U.S. iCloud users can ensure their data isn’t migrated to state-owned servers in China – January 11, 2018
iCloud changes put Apple on collision course with overreaching governments – July 20, 2017
U.S. Customs can search phones but not data stored solely in the cloud – July 14, 2017
U.S. Immigration spent record amount on phone hacking tech just after President Trump’s travel ban – April 13, 2017
Alabama’s governor was undone, in part, by Apple’s iCloud – April 11, 2017
American citizens: U.S. border agents can search your iPhone – March 14, 2017
Why I’m all-in on Apple but not on iCloud – March 29, 2017
How to get past customs without surrendering your digital privacy – February 17, 2017


    1. Trumpov has a date with an Orange Jumpsuit.
      Same for Jared, Ivanka and others.

      Note that Mueller has a perfect batting record against the Trumpov cabal. If he touches Mueller directly or by proxy he will be impeached and removed from office.

      We can only hope that Mike Dense is in it as well.

    1. Lol what year is this? It’s been a while since someone pulled that one out.

      Seriously, how did this affect Obama’s presidency? News flash: it didn’t. Just because someone you know says something bad, it doesn’t automatically make you bad. This is almost as silly as Hannity harping on Obama for ordering dijon mustard. Meanwhile, back in current times, our present administration has people dropping like flies for colluding against their own country’s democratic process.

    1. You return your iPhone to Apple because you’re too stupid to do a google search or open up settings and look at the very first item.

      That’s how you permanently turn off iCloud, D for duma$$.

      1. @electro: you sound like a condescending prick. Real Apple users don’t rely on Google to figure out how to use their Apple products.

        In answer to D’s question: you cannot entirely turn off iCloud, but you can limit data sharing. iCloud is Apple’s plan to suck in everyone into subscription based computing. Subscriptions are the easiest way for tech companies to extract money from you, regardless of what support you need from them month after month. Apple is counting on user laziness to get everyone to save data on their servers and soon have so much stuff that they have to rent storage at high cost. Don’t fall into the trap.

        Apple, just like every other tech company, forces you to set up an account so that they can collect data on you. When you buy a new device, the first thing to do is to skip setting up anything iCloud. You do not need iCloud services, which are overpriced and not particularly fast or user friendly. Apple is supposedly more secure (no proof though, as the user doesn’t hold the encryption keys and weak passwords will result in Fappening and authorities will be able to access your iCloud anytime they get a warrant). Apple supposedly doesn’t sell your personal data (but it’s been spotty in how much of your info that 3rd party apps will take). If you read the fine print, Apple will datamine everything you save on their servers and they will also populate your iCloud with data on you. So do not volunteer any additional information to Apple’s iCloud servers, which are interestingly hosted on Amazon and Google servers and therefore just a matter of time before these tech companies find a way to datamine it too. Turn off all the automated backup and sharing through iCloud from day one. Use local backups to your Mac or PC. Sync your iPhone with a cable, never wifi. Turn off location tracking, Find My Friends, and all the other social tracking crap both in iOS and also in 3rd party apps. Turn off background processes as much as possible.

        Your iPhone battery life will be an order of magnitude better, and your device will work faster. Your data will be significantly more secure, and you will be able to know exactly where your data actually resides.

        DO NOT rely on iCloud as a reliable backup. It isn’t, and it never was.

          1. Well, Spike — I’ll wait for you to explain in your elegant simple terms how to completely disable iCloud.

            I remind you, the very first thing Apple requires you to do whenever you buy a new Mac or iOS device is to set up an iCloud account. Only after than can you start manually turning off all the “services” iCloud attempts (poorly) to deliver. One can get better services elsewhere but Apple just wants to nudge everyone into dependency on an all-Apple experience, just like Microsoft attempted to do long ago.

            Your cheerleading for Apple to become the next Microsoft is pathetic.

  1. Manafort should have encripted all of the links in his distribution of data which would have included iCloud.

    The US Gov. brought the charges and convictions of lower level crimes to vindictively punish Manafort because he and Trump did not commit the gross crime that the FBI was looking for: Colluding with Putin’s Russia to throw the US election to Trump.

    Progressives should regard this result as yet another chain link in the new Iron Curtain that profiteers such as Hillary, Rightwingers, NeoLibs, and the Pentagon’s brass and contractors hope to erect. This is the exact context of the Manafort’s conviction. If there is a so-called “Deep State,” this is an upwelling manifestation bubbling up from the Wash. DC cesspool. I expect to see more.

      1. Where’s the collusion for which this investigation was started? No leak yet on whether or not his testimony is about trump’s alleged collusion. Do you know?

      2. I don’t know about his secret testimony, and I don’t care. What the public knows is plenty.

        Manafort was an unregistered agent for the former pro-Russian regime in Ukraine and for a collection of Russian oligarchs/gangsters who are allied with the Russian President. He was being paid huge fees on which he was evading US taxes. He has admitted to all of that as part of his guilty plea.

        While serving as a foreign agent, he was also managing a US presidential campaign and arranging for at least one meeting between campaign officials (including members of the candidate’s family) and clearly identified foreign government operatives who were expressly offering the completely illegal intervention of their government in a US domestic election.

        These Russian agents offered to provide dirt for use against the rival campaign, and actually did so by hacking American citizens and publishing their private information via WikiLeaks and similar channels. By meeting with those foreign operatives and encouraging the criminal enterprise, Manafort and others participated in a conspiracy to violate US law.

        I have no idea what you think “collusion” is if that doesn’t qualify.

        1. Everything TxUser said is available for all of you to see you in the PUBLIC court transcripts and the court plea agreement

          Manafort testified that all of this was so, and that he was guilty of EVERY CRIME charged by mueller for BOTH TRIALS, and Manafort so testified in open court.

          TAX EVASION ON 20 million dollars of income is not a minor crime, nor are any of those other charges.

          It’s the kind of irrefutable info just completely ignored by fox news analysts

          1. No collusion to throw the election to Trump was found. If you used your brain to think this through, you would have concluded that this does not make me a Trump supporter except in the sense that he uses at least one Apple product, but so does Rush.

    1. I’m trying to figure out how this clown wasn’t caught sooner by the IRS, given he was making so many bank transfers from accounts in countries where fraud and money laundering are notorious. Shouldn’t the recipient banks in the US have raised some red flags?

      1. Money laundering, tax evasion, conspiracy, lying to the FBI. And the first two occurred before Hillary recklessly threw out the Russia collusion false narrative because he was mad that she lost the election fair and square. I don’t see the main alleged crime: Collusion in the election. These crimes are a pittance compared to the huge crimes against humanity that Bush and Obama performed. So naturally I smell a rat.

  2. “don’t break the law”

    …or engage in legal political activity that is disfavored by law enforcement. Or be attractive enough to be stalked by someone in law enforcement. Etc.

  3. Trump uses Twitter on Samsung so he thinks his “communications”, er FAux News re-tweets, are all safe.

    Incompetence is Trump’s best defense. His competent henchmen, who mostly last a year or less in office before their corruption catches up with them, will be sentenced first.

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