Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Jan 2012 10:08 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Well, well, well, what have we here? Hackers have gained access to internal documents from the Indian Military (shared on the web), and in it, it is revealed that RIM, Nokia, and Apple have added backdoors to their mobile software (BlackBerry, S40 (supposedly), and iOS) which the Indian Military's intelligence service then used to spy on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (the USCC). The backdoors were added by RIM, Nokia, and Apple in exchange for Indian market presence.
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Cognitive dissonance
by atsureki on Wed 11th Jan 2012 17:31 UTC
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Here's where Thom eats his cake:

When it comes to Android, the backdoor wouldn't be in the open source AOSP, but the Indian government could, say, demand HTC, Samsung, and so on to install a bit of spyware onto their Android devices which provides the same backdoor. It could also be hiding in the closed Google applications (say, the Market), or even in the baseband processor.

But oh, look, he still has it one line later:
All this, of course, vindicates what I wrote only a few days ago: open source is important, as it allows developers to check for backdoors in the software we're all using - and do something about it.

No, no it totally does not vindicate any claim that open source is important; in fact it's direct evidence that open source is completely irrelevant, because it doesn't amount to anything more than a single ingredient in the mystery meat that is any sort of finished product.

(Unless you're speaking entirely hypothetically and have given up all illusions and equivocations that Android products and devices -- you know, Android in any meaningful sense -- were ever open to begin with. In which case, disregard: I only meant to discuss Things That Exist.)

Even if you could find the backdoor in iOS through, say, network monitoring, you still wouldn't be able to do much about it.

Hacking an Android device is called rooting. Hacking an iOS device is called jailbreaking. Aside from the name, there's not much else different between them. No matter how much Android code you audit and compile yourself, you need to put the proprietary drivers back in if you want the phone to actually operate.

Android devices are not open, and being "more open" doesn't actually get you anywhere because you can't roll your own phone. Wake me up as soon as that changes.

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