China has been one of the most outspoken critics of the NSA’s surveillance programs and the country demonstrated this last year with its massive collection of accusations and investigations into American technology companies. It looks like China will be doing the same thing this year, as the country has successfully pressured Apple into handing over the code that makes up iOS so that the government can check for spying tools.
Apple has accepted Chinese demands for a full security inspection of its products to ensure that it can continue selling its hardware in the country. According to reports in the Beijing News, chief executive Tim Cook agreed that China’s State Internet Information Office could run security audits on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Although all of Apple’s devices are manufactured in China, the hardware and software is designed in the US, leading to concern in the Chinese government that they could covertly spy on citizens. The director of the state department, Lu Wei, reportedly told Cook that China was one of the biggest markets for the company, but that inspection of products to ensure national security was essential. Cook reportedly told Wei in a meeting: “There were rumours of us keeping backdoors and providing data to third parties. We have never had any backdoors and never will.” However, that exact wording seems to be published on Apple’s website.
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