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Apple shared user's iTunes sales data with Homeland Security

by on22 July 2016

Only protects terrorists not pirates

Apple’s claim that it protects user data from the authorities appears to be somewhat selective.

If you gun down children at a day care centre and fire at police, then Apple will protect your phone after your death. But if you dare to run a torrent site which the movie and music studios don’t like then Apple will pass your iTunes shopping list to Homeland Security.

This week the coppers arrested alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin. But the entire case is based on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase.

According to the criminal complaint against Vaulin, the US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement took time from their busy schedule of protecting democracy against terrorists to conduct an online probe into the alleged pirate king's activities

It said that investigators were able to use “Records provided by Apple” to access an email account, , used by Vaulin.

Since email addresses are part of Apple’s s MobileMe platform it is fair to say it turned over the lot. Apparently there were 31 emails stored in the account which showed Vaulin and other Kickass team members discussing bugs on the site and progress towards fixing them.

Not content with that Jobs’ Mob also provided IP addresses, which showed that conducted an iTunes transaction using IP Address on or about July 31, 2015. The same IP Address was used on the same day to login into the KAT Facebook Account. Then, on or about December 9, 2015, used IP Address to conduct another iTunes transaction. The same IP Address was logged as accessing the KAT Facebook Account on or about December 4, 2015.”

Ironically he was stupid enough to buy something legally online from iTunes rather than pirate it. However he might have assumed that since Jobs’ Mob was prepared to go to the highest court in the land rather than turn over the account details of mass murdering terrorist, it might have done a bit more to protect his personal privacy.

Er no. Investigators were also allowed to search Vaulin’s Apple iCloud account, and in it claim they “discovered that Vaulin has an instant message account he uses with the username 'nike." Looks like the Goddess of Victory was not impressed.

Last modified on 22 July 2016
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