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Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by tntlassiter, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    Not to be petty but...Am I overthinking it or am I being smart? I have to have a smartphone for my job. I have almost always had a Android powered device. Recently (past 6 months roughly), I have read and heard a lot about Google being "in bed" with our government and with the latest about the government being able to turn on the microphones of Android devices, I am considering getting an iPhone. I had an iPhone earlier and didn't much care for it but if it is safer/more secure/better than Android OS I will deal with it. Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    The first thing id ask myself is "am i so interesting that the government would want to snoop on me" lol :D
    P.s, if google are "in bed" with the US government, you can bet apple are too
     
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  3. out of ideas

    out of ideas Android Enthusiast
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    google and iphone both are "in bed" with the government in equal amounts. they were able to turn on your phone and listen in before smartphones were even around. So neither phone is "more secure" in that regard

    spying by the govt is wrong and hasn't stopped anything, its disguised as making you"safer" so you feel better about it.

    peace.
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    Let's keep this to the technicalities, or the thread will end up being moved to Politics and Current Affairs, and nothing good comes from there ;)

    I agree with other posters though - there is no reason to feel that your privacy will be better protected from the NSA (or GCHQ, the British equivalent) by using an iPhone (or Windows Phone) than an Android.

    If you really worry then Android itself is open source, so in principle you can check it for backdoors and even build it yourself (it's a lot of work in practice!), and there are custom ROMs which come without any of the closed-source Google apps (CyanogenMod comes to mind). You wouldn't have those options with iOS.
     
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  5. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love
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    Welcome to Android Forums, tntlassiter.:)

    I would personally recommend that you get whatever phone you really want regardless of the rumors that may abound about it.
    It probably isn't an issue of any real concern, but if the government wants to keep an eye on you, they will find a way, even if you don't own a phone.
    I feel sorry for them if they are spying on me and my family.
    It's a total waste of their time.;):p
     
  6. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    So with a custom ROM I may be able to stop or close the open source that allows remotely turning on the mic?
     
  7. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Think youre missing the point a bit mate. Yeah with customisation youre far "safer" on android than you could ever be on iOs.... then again.. maybe the CIA, M15, secretive government agencies of the world have made a huge deal with the cyanogen devs :p or, more likely, your carrier.
    The point is, unless youre part of a non-sovereign army or a major criminal.. noone really cares what youre doing. Google are making more than enough money from your search data to potentially jeopardize it by being shady.
    Im not naive, i actually listen to Alex Jones' podcast as ironic comedy :p
     
  8. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert
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    The major tech companies are not "in bed" with the government. They are being forced to comply by allowing the government to do what it is going to do. And there is nothing a Google can do to change it since it doesn't happen inside of Google. Rather it happens where Google meets the Internet.
     
  9. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!
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    plus i do not think it is google, but more on the cell providers. i guess google can provide info as to what you are searching on your phone......but for me, i have no worries to really care about any of the gov spying that has come out.

    and as far as rooting and custom roms go.....rooting actually uses a vulnerability in your phone to gain root access......phones that are easy to root may be more susceptible to malware. but really as long as you common sense, you should be fine.

    and i never heard of being able to remote turn a mic on your phone. this would be a very bad issue......but again i have no worries about it, even if it can be done.

    why would they want to listen to my garbage? LOL
     
  10. bead5

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    If you have no secret, why worry?
     
  11. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    Here is the article:
    Report: FBI Can Remotely Turn on Phone Microphones for Spying | TheBlaze.com
     
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  12. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    It's not the point of whether I have a secret worth hearing or not, it is the fact that I don't want to make it easier for the government to listen or intrude on my converations/texts or whatever. If the FBI can remotely turn on the mic of Android phones but can't an iPhone then it makes sense to me to go with an iPhone but if I can alter the Android phone to be able to block this access then I would like to stay with Android.
     
  13. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    Well I don't know how much truth there is in the article, nor whether the mention of Android but not Apple actually means anything. But the article doesn't seem to be claiming that android includes a back door to let the FBI (or whoever) turn the mic on - rather it seems to me to be saying that they use hacking techniques to install spyware on the phones (yes, I read the linked articles as well).
     
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  14. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    So with a rooted and custom ROM, could I stop that or make it harder for a little while?
     
  15. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    Dunno - would depend on what exploits they use to get such apps installed (which they are probably not going to publicise). Given that it will involve effort and expense, you should probably be more worried about criminals trying to install spyware or malware on your phone than the Feds.

    Most malware relies on the user to install it (i.e. trojans), so the usual precautions apply: download only from trusted sources, check permissions before installing and be suspicious if they seem unneeded for the app's function (though there usually are legitimate requirements if you think about them for a little). If you are more suspicious, untick the box that allows installation of apps from unknown sources (i.e. only installs from the Play Store allowed) and turn off usb debugging (so someone would have to get past your lockscreen to turn it on in order to push stuff over usb. Has the drawback that usb debugging can be useful for recovering data if you have a problem though). But thinking before installing is your first and best line of defense.

    As for the authorities, who knows? If you are suspicious-minded enough you'd avoid any popular app from any major internet company (Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, etc) because you can't know that the NSA haven't got them to bake something in (if I wanted to make a phone-based ubiquitous surveillance system that's where I'd start, because that stuff is closed source and comes with all phones on all platforms). It's really a matter of how far you want to take it. The only way to be sure is to not carry a phone of any sort at all - that way you at least force them to go to the effort of physically planting a bug on you.
     
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  16. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER CHANGED FROM AF ADDICT MIKESTONY
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    Ok, I have deleted a few posts, mostly for being off topic. The topic is which phone is harder to be monitored, and are there ways to increase the difficulty? This is not the place to discuss government monitoring in general, we have the PCA forum for that.

    Thanks for understanding. :)
     
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  17. out of ideas

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    for further reference and clarity, being an android or iphone really has nothing to do with it.

    a phone is basically a transmitter in your pocket, and it can send and receive either way.

    FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool - CNET News

    there's an article from 2006 regarding the fbi turning on mobsters phones in 2003, and i had been aware of such roving bugs since around 2000 or so. Its an old technology and was done before smartphones were invented. the same can be done with a vehicles on star for instance. these things have microphones and can be activated remotely.

    So in conclusion, it doesn't matter if its android or iphone or nextels or your car. if its got a mic it can be turned on.

    you cant stop the govt unless maybe you pull the battery. preventing "hackers" from putting something on your phone is easy if you're only using trusted sources.

    I say get an android cuz they're neater :)
     
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  18. tntlassiter

    tntlassiter Newbie
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    Thanks for all the help guys!! I appreciate it!!
     
  19. boyo1991

    boyo1991 Android Enthusiast
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    Haha I feel the same way about Alex.. however on topic.. I have to agree with what most have said. Unless your a drug lord, or the gov'ts thought of terrorist, your not interisting enough to listen on into...
     
  20. Tattycakes

    Tattycakes Well-Known Member
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    I'm sorry if this is off-topic, but it has to be said that this is a very naive point of view. You might not have any secrets now, but if your government starts doing something that you don't agree with, you literally have no way of counteracting it privately if your calls, texts, emails and messages are all being read. Want to organise a petition or a protest? They'll know. They could come and arrest you and your family wouldn't be able to call or text anyone about your innocence, because they'll know that too, and then they'll take them. It sounds like a dystopian nightmare but the principle of privacy still stands.

     

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