Malware means software designed to function in ways that
mistreat or harm the user. (This does not include accidental errors.)
This page explains how the software in Apple's computer products are
Malware and nonfree software are two different issues. The difference
between free software and
nonfree software is in
whether the users have control of the program or vice versa. It's
not directly a question of what the program does when it
runs. However, in practice nonfree software is often malware,
because the developer's awareness that the users would be powerless to fix
any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.
Here's how Apple's systems are malware.
MacOS automatically sends to Apple servers unsaved documents being
things you have not decided to save are even more sensitive than the
things you have stored in files.
Apple has made various
MacOS programs send files to Apple servers without asking permission.
This exposes the files to Big Brother and perhaps to other snoops.
It also demonstrates how you can't trust proprietary software,
because even if today's version doesn't have a malicious
functionality, tomorrow's version might add it. The developer won't
remove the malfeature unless many users push back hard, and the users
can't remove it themselves.
Various operations in
the latest MacOS send reports to Apple servers.
Spyware in MacOS:
Spotlight search sends users' search terms to Apple.
Apple admits the
spying in a search facility, but there's a lot
more snooping that Apple has not talked about.
iOS, the operating system of the Apple iThings, is a jail for
users. That means it imposes censorship of application programs.
Apple has used this power to
censor all bitcoin apps for the iThings.
Apple, in the iThings, pioneered the practice of general purpose
computers that are jails, and the term comes from iThing users, who
referred to escaping from the censorship as “jailbreaking.”
Here is an article about the
code signing that the iThings use to jail the user.
blocks users from installing old versions of iOS.
Several “features” of iOS seem to exist for no possible
purpose other than surveillance. Here is the
iBeacon lets stores determine exactly where the iThing is, and
get other info too.
The iThings are tyrant devices: they do not permit
installing a different or modified operating system. There is a
port of Android to the iThings, but installing it
finding a bug or “exploit” to make it possible to
install a different system.
DRM (digital restrictions mechanisms) in MacOS. This article
focuses on the fact that a new model of Macbook introduced a requirement
for monitors to have malicious hardware, but DRM software in MacOS is
involved in activating the hardware. The software for accessing iTunes
is also responsible.
DRM that caters to Bluray disks. (The article focused on Windows
and said that MacOS would do the same thing subsequently.)
The iPhone has a back door
that allows Apple to remotely delete apps which Apple considers
“inappropriate”. Jobs said it's OK for Apple to have this
power because of course we can trust Apple.
The iPhone has a back door for
remote wipe. It's not always enabled, but users are led into
enabling it without understanding.
An Apple firmware “upgrade” bricked iPhones that had been
unlocked. The “upgrade” also deactivated applications
not approved by Apple
censorship. All this was apparently intentional.
Apple can, and regularly does,
remotely extract some data from iPhones for the state.
This may have improved with
iOS 8 security improvements; but
not as much as Apple claims.
deleted from iPods the music that users had got from internet music
stores that competed with iTunes.
More examples of Apple's arbitrary and inconsistent censorship.