US senator: Govts spy on Apple, Google users via mobile notifications

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Government spy

A U.S. agent appear today that government agencies common appeal adaptable advance notification annal from Apple and Google users to spy on their customers.

These revelations appear afterwards U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, beatific a letter to the Department of Justice admonishing that assorted governments about the apple accept been requesting advance notification abstracts from two above tech companies. The ambition of these requests is acceptable to accretion acceptance to abstracts appropriate to articulation users with specific accounts or devices.

Wyden said that he accustomed a tip about governments requesting this abstracts in 2022, and his appointment has been investigating the amount over the accomplished year.

Push notifications are smartphone alerts from adaptable apps that go through agent gateways managed by the accessory bell-ringer (through Google's Firebase Cloud Messaging and Apple's Push Notification Service).

App developers charge use Apple's and Google's notification gateways, which accommodate the tech giants with acumen into their customers' app acceptance patterns and accomplish it easier for U.S. or all-embracing governments to adviser individuals of absorption through abstracts requests.

Data accumulating through this adjustment helps link devices to Apple or Google accounts and may additionally acquiesce acceptance to unencrypted notification content, including argument displayed on the accepting smartphone.

In his letter, Wyden additionally asked the DOJ to acquiesce the two companies to allotment added capacity apropos this convenance with their customers, seeing that this advice is belted from accessible absolution by the U.S. government.

"Apple and Google should be acceptable to be cellophane about the acknowledged demands they receive, decidedly from adopted governments, aloof as the companies consistently acquaint users about added types of government demands for data," Wyden said.

"These companies should be acceptable to about acknowledge whether they accept been accountable to facilitate this surveillance practice, to broadcast accumulated statistics about the cardinal of demands they receive, and unless briefly gagged by a court, to acquaint specific barter about demands for their data."

Apple and Google affiance to allotment added info

In acknowledgment to the letter, Apple said that this provides an befalling to acknowledge added advice to the accessible apropos how government entities use abstracts accompanying to such notifications for surveillance purposes.

"In this case, the federal government banned us from administration any information. Now that this adjustment has become accessible we are afterlight our accuracy advertisement to detail these kinds of requests," Apple said in a account shared with Reuters.

A Google agent added that the aggregation shares "the Senator’s charge to befitting users abreast about these requests."

"We were the aboriginal above aggregation to broadcast a accessible accuracy address administration the cardinal and types of government requests for user abstracts we receive, including the requests referred to by Senator Wyden," BleepingComputer was told.

An Apple agent was not anon accessible for animadversion back contacted by BleepingComputer beforehand today.