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<title>Apple's Operating Systems are Malware
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Apple's
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<a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Proprietary malware</a> →
Apple</p>
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<h2 id="main-heading">Apple's Operating Systems Are Malware</h2>

<p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Other examples of proprietary malware</a></p>

<div class="highlight-para">
<p>
<em>Malware</em> means id="about-dir">
<hr class="thin" />
<p>Nonfree (proprietary) software designed is very often malware (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.
</p>

<p>
Malware and nonfree software are two different issues.  The difference
between <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a> and
nonfree user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers,
which puts them in
<a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">
whether the users have control of the program or vice versa</a>.  It's
not directly a question position of what power over the program <em>does</em> when it
runs.  However, in practice nonfree software users; <a
href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">that is often malware,
because the developer's awareness
basic injustice</a>. The developers and manufacturers often exercise
that power to the detriment of the users would be powerless they ought to fix
any serve.</p>

<p>This typically takes the form of malicious functionalities tempts functionalities.</p>
<hr class="thin" />
</div>

<div class="important">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the developer URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to impose some.
</p> serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>

<div class="summary" style="margin-top: 2em">
<h3>Type of id="TOC">
<h3 style="display: none">Types of Apple malware</h3>
<ul>
  <li><a href="#back-doors">Back doors</a></li>
  <li><a href="#censorship">Censorship</a></li>
<!-- <li><a href="#insecurity">Insecurity</a></li> href="#deception">Deception</a></li> -->
  <li><a href="#pressuring">Pressuring</a></li> href="#drm">DRM</a></li>
  <li><a href="#sabotage">Sabotage</a></li> href="#incompatibility">Incompatibility</a></li>
  <li><a href="#insecurity">Insecurity</a></li>
  <li><a href="#interference">Interference</a></li>
  <li><a href="#surveillance">Surveillance</a></li> href="#jails">Jails</a></li>
  <li><a href="#drm">Digital restrictions
    management</a> or “DRM” means functionalities designed
    to restrict what users can do with the data in their computers.</li> href="#manipulation">Manipulation</a></li>
  <li><a href="#jails">Jails</a>—systems
    that impose censorship on application programs.</li> href="#pressuring">Pressuring</a></li>
  <li><a href="#tyrants">Tyrants</a>—systems
    that reject any operating system not “authorized” by the
    manufacturer.</li> href="#sabotage">Sabotage</a></li>
  <li><a href="#deception">Deception</a></li> href="#surveillance">Surveillance</a></li>
  <li><a href="#tyrants">Tyrants</a></li>
</ul>
</div>

<h3 id="back-doors">Apple Back id="back-doors">Back Doors</h3>
<ul>
<li><p>
Mac

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201907100">
    <p>Apple appears to say that <a
    href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/10/apple-silent-update-zoom-app/">
    there is a back door in MacOS</a> for automatically updating some
    (all?) apps.</p>

    <p>The specific change described in the article was not
    malicious—it protected users from surveillance by third
    parties—but that is a separate question.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201607284">
    <p>The Dropbox app for Macintosh <a
    href="http://applehelpwriter.com/2016/07/28/revealing-dropboxs-dirty-little-security-hack/">
    takes control of user interface items after luring the user into
    entering an admin password</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201504090">
    <p>Mac OS X had an <a
    href="https://truesecdev.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/hidden-backdoor-api-to-root-privileges-in-apple-os-x/">
    intentional local back door for 4 years</a>, which could be exploited
    by attackers to gain root privileges.
</p></li>

<li><p>The privileges.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201011220">
    <p>The iPhone has a back door for <a
    href="http://www.npr.org/2010/11/22/131511381/wipeout-when-your-company-kills-your-iphone">
    remote wipe</a>.  It's not always enabled, but users are led into
    enabling it without understanding.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200808110">
    <p>The iPhone has a back door <a
    href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/3358134/Apples-Jobs-confirms-iPhone-kill-switch.html">
    that allows Apple to remotely delete apps</a> which Apple considers
    “inappropriate”.  Jobs said it's OK for Apple to have
    this power because of course we can trust Apple.
</p></li>

<li><p>The iPhone has a back door for <a
href="http://www.npr.org/2010/11/22/131511381/wipeout-when-your-company-kills-your-iphone">
remote wipe</a>.  It's Apple.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="censorship">Censorship</h3>

<p>Apple mainly uses iOS, which is a typical jail, to impose censorship
through the Apple Store. Please refer to the <a href="#jails">Apple Jails</a>
section for more information.</p>


<h3 id="drm">DRM</h3>

<p>Digital restrictions management, or “DRM,” refers to
functionalities designed to restrict what users can do with the data
in their computers.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908150.1">
    <p>Apple is putting DRM on iPhone batteries, and the system proprietary
    software <a href="#M201908150">turns off certain features when batteries
    are replaced other than by Apple.</a></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704070.1">
    <p>DRM makes the iPhone 7 nearly <a
    href="#iphone7-sabotage">unrepairable</a> by anyone else but Apple.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201512260">
    <p><a
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bmvxp4/switzerland-wants-a-single-universal-phone-charger-by-2017">
    Apple uses DRM software to prevent people from charging an iThing
    with a generic USB cable</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200811210">
    <p><a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/apple-downgrades-macbook-video-drm">
    DRM (digital restrictions mechanisms) in MacOS</a>. 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.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200708130">
    <p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/08/aacs-tentacles/">
    DRM that caters to Bluray disks</a>.  (The article focused on Windows
    and said that MacOS would do the same thing subsequently.)</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200703310">
    <p>iTunes videos have DRM, which allows Apple to <a
    href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay">dictate where its
    customers can watch the videos they purchased</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="incompatibility">Incompatibility</h3>

<p>In this section, we list characteristics of Apple programs that block or
hinder users from switching to any alternative program—and, in
particular, from switching to free software which can liberate the device
the software runs on.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201803300">
    <p>In MacOS and iOS, the procedure for <a
    href="https://support.apple.com/guide/photos/export-photos-videos-and-slideshows-pht6e157c5f/mac">
    converting images from the Photos format</a> to a free format is so
    tedious and time-consuming that users just give up if they have a
    lot of them.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201802120">
    <p>Apple devices lock users in <a
    href="https://gizmodo.com/homepod-is-the-ultimate-apple-product-in-a-bad-way-1822883347">
    solely to Apple services</a> by being designed to be incompatible
    with all other options, ethical or unethical.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201605044">
    <p>iWork (office software that runs on MacOS,
    iOS and iCloud) uses secret formats and <a
    href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IWork">provides no means of
    converting them to or from Open Document Formats</a>. iWork
    formats have changed several times since they were first
    introduced. This may have had the effect of thwarting <a
    href="https://github.com/obriensp/iWorkFileFormat">reverse engineering
    efforts</a>, thus preventing free software from fully supporting
    them.</p>

    <p>iWork formats are considered <a
    href="https://wiki.harvard.edu/confluence/download/attachments/204385883/Format%20profile%20-%20Apple%20iWork%20Pages%20v04.docx?version=1&modificationDate=1459873751000&api=v2">
    unfit for document preservation</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="insecurity">Insecurity</h3>

<p>These bugs are/were not intentional, so unlike the rest of the file
  they do not count as malware. We mention them to refute the
  supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave
  bugs.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908310">
    <p>A series of vulnerabilities <a
    href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/08/31/apple-iphone-ipad-security-ios-upgrade-iphone-xs-max-xr-update/">found
    in iOS allowed attackers to gain access to sensitive information
    including private messages, passwords, photos and contacts stored on
    the user's iMonster</a>.</p>

    <p>The deep insecurity of iMonsters is even more pertinent given that
    Apple's proprietary software makes users totally dependent on Apple
    for even a modicum of security.  It also means that the devices do
    not even try to offer security against Apple itself.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201607220">
    <p>A vulnerability in Apple's Image I/O API allowed an attacker to <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/22/stagefright-flaw-ios-iphone-imessage-apple">execute
    malicious code from any application which uses this API to render a
    certain kind of image file</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201604120">
    <p>A bug in the iThings Messages app <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/04/12/apple-bug-exposed-chat-history-with-a-single-click/">allowed
    a malicious web site to extract all the user's messaging
    history</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201311120">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180816030205/http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/privacy-scandal-nsa-can-spy-on-smart-phone-data-a-920971.html">
    The NSA can tap data in smart phones, including iPhones,
    Android, and BlackBerry</a>.  While there is not much
    detail here, it seems that this does not operate via
    the universal back door that we know nearly all portable
    phones have. It may involve exploiting various bugs.  There are <a
    href="http://www.osnews.com/story/27416/The_second_operating_system_hiding_in_every_mobile_phone">
    lots of bugs in the phones' radio software</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="interference">Interference</h3>
<p>Various proprietary programs often mess up the user's system. They
  are like sabotage, but they are not grave enough to qualify for the
  word “sabotage”. Nonetheless, they are nasty and
  wrong. This section describes examples of Apple committing
  interference.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908150">
    <p>Apple is putting DRM on iPhone
    batteries, and the system proprietary software <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/59nz3k/apple-is-locking-batteries-to-specific-iphones-a-nightmare-for-diy-repair">turns
    off certain features when batteries are replaced other than by
    Apple.</a></p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="jails">Jails</h3>

<p>Jails are systems that impose censorship on application programs.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201904080">
    <p>Apple plans to require that <a
    href="https://www.macrumors.com/2019/04/08/mac-apps-notarization-macos-10-14-5/">
    all application software for MacOS be approved by Apple first</a>.</p>

    <p>Offering a checking service as an option could be
    useful and would not be wrong.  Requiring users to get
    Apple's approval is tyranny. Apple says the check will
    only look for malware (not counting the malware that is <a
    href="/proprietary/malware-apple.html#TOC">part of
    the operating system</a>), but Apple could change that policy step
    by step.  Or perhaps Apple will define malware to include any app
    that China does not like.</p>

    <p>For free software, this means users will need to get Apple's
    approval after compilation.  This amounts to a system of surveilling
    the use of free programs.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200803070">
    <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=IOS_jailbreaking&oldid=835861046">
    iOS, the operating system of the Apple iThings, is the prototype
    of a jail</a>.  It was Apple that introduced the practice of
    designing general purpose computers with censorship of application
    programs.</p>

    <p>Here is an article about the <a
    href="http://weblog.rogueamoeba.com/2008/03/07/code-signing-and-you/">
    code signing</a> that the iThings use to lock up the user.</p>

    <p>Curiously, Apple is beginning to allow limited passage through the
    walls of the iThing jail: users can now install apps built from
    source code, provided the source code is written in Swift.  Users
    cannot do this freely because they are required to identify
    themselves. <a href="https://developer.apple.com/xcode/">Here
    are details</a>. While this is a crack in the prison walls, it is not
    big enough to mean that the iThings are no longer jails.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h4 id="jail-censorship">Examples of censorship by Apple jails</h4>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201910100">
    <p>Apple has <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/10/hong-kong-protests-apple-pulls-tracking-app-after-china-criticism">
    banned the app that Hong Kong protesters use to communicate</a>.</p>

    <p>Obeying the “local laws” about what people can do with
    software is no excuse for censoring what software people can use.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201910070">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/10/07/apple-ios-13-1-2-for-hong-kong.html">
    censors the Taiwan flag in iOS</a> on behalf of the Chinese
    government. When the region is set to Hong Kong, this flag is not
    visible in the emoji selection widget but is still accessible. When the
    region is set to mainland China, all attempts to display it will result
    in the “empty emoji” icon as if the flag never existed.</p>

    <p>Thus, not only does Apple use the App Store as an instrument
    of censorship, it also uses the iThing operating system for that
    purpose.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201905150">
    <p>Users caught in the jail of an iMonster are <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2019/05/15/brittle-security.html"> sitting
    ducks for other attackers</a>, and the app censorship prevents security
    companies from figuring out how those attacks work.</p>

    <p>Apple's censorship of apps is fundamentally unjust, and would be
    inexcusable even if it didn't lead to security threats as well.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710130">
    <p>Apple is <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/10/iranian-hardliners-want-isolated-internet">
    censoring apps for the US government too</a>. Specifically, it is
    deleting apps developed by Iranians.</p>

    <p>The root of these wrongs is in Apple. If Apple had not always enabled, but designed
    the iMonsters to let Apple censor applications, Apple would not have
    had the power to stop users are led into
enabling it without understanding.
</p></li>
</ul>

<h3 id="censorship">Apple Censorship</h3>
<ul>

<li> from installing whatever kind of apps.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201707290">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/29/technology/china-apple-censorhip.html">
    deleted several VPNs from its app store for China</a>, thus using its
    own censorship power to strengthen that of the Chinese 
government.
</p>

<p>If government.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701064">
    <p>Apple used its censorship system to enforce Russian surveillance <a
    href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0">
    by blocking distribution of the LinkedIn app in Russia</a>.</p>

    <p>This is ironic because LinkedIn is a surveillance system itself.
    While subjecting its users to its own surveillance, it tries to
    protect its users from Russian surveillance, and is therefore subject
    to Russian censorship.</p>

    <p>However, the point here is the wrong of Apple's censorship of
    apps.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201701050">
    <p>Apple used its censorship system to enforce China's censorship <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/05/apple-removes-new-york-times-app-in-china">
    by blocking distribution of the New York Times app</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201605190">
    <p>Apple censors games, <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/apple-says-game-about-palestinian-child-isnt-a-game">
    banning some games from the cr…app store</a> because of which
    political points they suggest. Some political points are apparently
    considered acceptable.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201509290">
    <p>Apple <a href="http://ifixit.org/blog/7401/ifixit-app-pulled/">
    banned a program from the App Store</a> because its developers
    committed the enormity of disassembling some iThings.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201509230">
    <p>As of 2015, Apple had <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/23/apple-anti-choice-tendencies-showing-in-app-store-reproductive-rights">
    systematically bans apps that endorse abortion rights or would help
    women find abortions</a>.</p>

    <p>This particular political slant <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/siri-abortion-apple-unintenional-omissions">
    affects other Apple services</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201506250">
    <p>Apple has banned iThing
    applications that show the confederate flag.  <a
    href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/25/apple-confederate-flag_n_7663754.html">
    Not only those that use it as a symbol of racism</a>, but even
    strategic games that use it to represent confederate army units
    fighting in the Civil War.</p>

    <p>This ludicrous rigidity illustrates the point that Apple should
    not be allowed to censor apps.  Even if Apple carried out this act of
    censorship with some care, it would still be wrong.  Whether racism
    is bad, whether educating people about drone attacks is bad, are not designed
    the iMonsters to let Apple censor
applications, 
<a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html"> real issue.  Apple would should not have had the power to stop users from installing
VPNs</a>.</p> impose its views
    about either of these questions, or any other.</p>
  </li>

<li><p>
Apple

  <li id="M201412110">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/11/papers-please-game-ipad-nude-body-scans">
    More examples of Apple's arbitrary and inconsistent censorship</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201405250">
    <p>Apple used its this censorship system power in 2014 to enforce Russian
surveillance <a
href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0">
by blocking distribution
    href="http://boingboing.net/2014/02/07/apple-yanks-last-remaining-bit.html">
    ban all bitcoin apps</a> for the iThings for a time.  It also <a
    href="http://www.gamespot.com/articles/apple-removes-game-about-growing-marijuana-from-app-store/1100-6419864/">
    banned a game about growing marijuana</a>, while permitting games
    about other crimes such as killing people.  Perhaps Apple considers
    killing more acceptable than marijuana.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201402070">
    <p>Apple rejected an app that displayed the locations
    of US drone assassinations, giving various excuses. Each
    time the developers fixed one “problem”, Apple
    complained about another.  After the fifth rejection, Apple <a
    href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/apple-app-tracks-drone-strikes/">
    admitted it was censoring the LinkedIn app in Russia</a>.</p> based on the subject matter</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="manipulation">Manipulation</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201308290">
    <p>“Dark patterns” are <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/29/4640308/dark-patterns-inside-the-interfaces-designed-to-trick-you">user
    interfaces designed to mislead users, or make option settings hard
    to find</a>.</p>

    <p>This is ironic because LinkedIn is allows a surveillance system
itself. While subjecting its company such as Apple to say, “We allow users
    to its own surveillance, turn this off” while ensuring that few will understand how
    to actually turn it tries off.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="pressuring">Pressuring</h3>

<p>Proprietary companies can take advantage of their customers by imposing arbitrary limits to protect their use of the software.  This section reports examples of hard sell and other unjust commercial tactics by Apple.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201510270">
    <p>Apple Siri <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/27/apple-music-subscribers-siri-questions">refuses
    to give you information</a> about music charts if you're not an Apple
    Music subscriber.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="sabotage">Sabotage</h3>

<p>These are situations in which Apple employs its power over users from Russian surveillance, and is therefore
subject
to Russian censorship.</p>

<p>However, directly intervene in ways that harm them or block their work.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908130">
    <p>When Apple suspects a user of fraud, it
    judges the point here is case secretly and presents the wrong of Apple's censorship of
apps.</p>
</li>

<li><p>
Apple used its censorship system verdict
    as a fait accompli.  The punishment to enforce
China's censorship a user found guilty <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/05/apple-removes-new-york-times-app-in-china">by
blocking distribution of
    href="https://qz.com/1683460/what-happens-to-your-itunes-account-when-apple-says-youve-committed-fraud/">is
    being cut off for life, which more-or-less cripples the New York Times app</a>.</p></li>

<li><p> user's Apple censors
games,
    devices forever</a>.  There is no appeal.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201810240">
    <p>Apple and Samsung deliberately <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/apple-says-game-about-palestinian-child-isnt-a-game">banning
some games from
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/24/apple-samsung-fined-for-slowing-down-phones">degrade
    the cr…app store</a> because performance of which political
points they suggest. Some political points are apparently considered
acceptable.</p> older phones to force users to buy their newer
    phones</a>.</p>
  </li>

<li><p>
Apple

  <li id="M201805310">
    <p>Apple has <a href="http://ifixit.org/blog/7401/ifixit-app-pulled/">
banned a program
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/31/17412396/telegram-apple-app-store-app-updates-russia">blocked
    Telegram from the App Store</a> because upgrading its developers
committed the enormity of disassembling some iThings.
</p></li>

<li><p>
Apple rejected an app that displayed the locations of US drone
assassinations, giving various excuses. Each time the developers
fixed one “problem”, Apple complained about another.
After the fifth rejection, for a month</a>.</p>

    <p>This evidently has to do with Russia's command to Apple to block
    Telegram in Russia.</p>

    <p>The Telegram client is free software on other platforms, but not on
    iThings. Since <a href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/apple-app-tracks-drone-strikes/">admitted
it was censoring the href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html#apple">they
    are jails</a>, they don't permit any app based on the subject matter</a>.
</p></li>

<li><p>
As of 2015, Apple to be free software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710044">
    <p>MacOS High Sierra forcibly reformats SSD boot drives, and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/23/apple-anti-choice-tendencies-showing-in-app-store-reproductive-rights">systematically bans apps that endorse abortion
rights
    href="https://www.macworld.com/article/3230498/apple-file-system-apfs-faq.html">
    changes the file system from HFS+  to APFS</a>, which cannot be
    accessed from GNU/Linux, Windows or would help women find abortions</a>.</p>

<p>
This particular political slant even older versions of MacOS.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201706060">
    <p>Apple will stop <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/siri-abortion-apple-unintenional-omissions">
affects other Apple services</a>.
</p></li>
</ul>

<h3 id="insecurity">Apple Insecurity</h3>

<p>These
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/06/iphone-ipad-apps-games-apple-5-5c-obsolete">fixing
    bugs are/were not intentional, so unlike for older model iThings</a>.</p>

    <p>Meanwhile, Apple stops people from fixing problems themselves;
    that's the rest nature of the file
  they do not count as malware. We mention them to refute the
  supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave
  bugs.</p>

<ul>
  <li>
    <p>A vulnerability in Apple's Image I/O API allowed an attacker software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704070">
    <p id="iphone7-sabotage">The
    iPhone 7 contains DRM specifically designed to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/22/stagefright-flaw-ios-iphone-imessage-apple">execute
    malacious code from any application which
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kbjm8e/iphone-7-home-button-unreplaceable-repair-software-lock">
    brick it if an “unauthorized” repair shop fixes it</a>.
    “Unauthorized” essentially means anyone besides Apple.</p>

    <p><small>(The article uses this API the term “lock”
    to render
    a certain kind of image file</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
    <p>A bug in describe the iThings Messages
      app <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/04/12/apple-bug-exposed-chat-history-with-a-single-click/">allowed
        a malicious web site DRM, but we prefer to extract all use the user's messaging history</a>.
    </p> term <a
    href="/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#DigitalLocks"> digital
    handcuffs</a>.)</small></p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="interference">Apple Interference</h3>
<p>Various proprietary programs often mess up

  <li id="M201606080">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/14/uninstall_quicktime_for_windows/">
    stops users from fixing the security bugs in Quicktime for Windows</a>,
    while refusing to fix them itself.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201605040">
    <p>The Apple Music client program <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170520213355/https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/">scans
    the user's system. They are like sabotage, but they are not grave enough file system for music files, copies them to qualify an Apple server,
    and deletes them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201602050">
    <p>iOS version 9 for the word “sabotage”. Nonetheless, iThings <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/05/error-53-apple-iphone-software-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair">sabotages
    them irreparably if they are nasty and wrong. This section describes examples of were repaired by someone other than
    Apple</a>. Apple committing
interference.</p>

<ul>
  <li><p>Apple eventually backed off from this policy under
    criticism from the users. However, it has not acknowledged that this
    was wrong.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201510020">
    <p>Apple forced millions of iThings to download <a
    href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7256669?tstart=0">download
    a system upgrade
         <a href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7256669?tstart0=">without without asking the users</a>. Apple did not
    forcibly install the upgrade but the downloading alone caused lots downloading alone caused lots
    of trouble.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201412040">
    <p>Apple <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/04/apple-deleted-music-ipods-rivals-steve-jobs">
    deleted from iPods the music that users had got from internet music
    stores that competed with iTunes</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200709270">
    <p><a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2541250/update--apple-plays-hardball--upgrade--bricks--unlocked-iphones.html">
    An Apple firmware “upgrade” bricked iPhones that had been
    unlocked</a>.  The “upgrade” also deactivated applications
    not approved by <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html">Apple
    censorship</a>.  All this was apparently intentional.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="surveillance">Surveillance</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201910131">
    <p>Safari occasionally <a
    href="https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2019/10/13/dear-apple-safe-browsing-might-not-be-that-safe/">
    sends browsing data from Apple devices in China to the Tencent Safe
    Browsing service</a>, to check URLs that possibly correspond to
    “fraudulent” websites. Since Tencent collaborates
    with the Chinese government, its Safe Browsing black list most certainly
    contains the websites of trouble.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="pressuring">Apple Pressuring</h3>

<p>Proprietary companies political opponents. By linking the requests
    originating from single IP addresses, the government can take advantage of identify
    dissenters in China and Hong Kong, thus endangering their customers by imposing arbitrary limits lives.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201910130">
    <p>The Chinese Communist Party's “Study
    the Great Nation” app requires users to grant it <a
    href="https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/chinese-app-allows-officials-access-to-100-million-users-phone-report-2115962">
    access to their use of the software.  This section reports examples of hard sell phone's microphone, photos, text messages, contacts, and other unjust commercial tactics by Apple.</p>

<ul>
  <li><p>Apple Siri
      <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/27/apple-music-subscribers-siri-questions">refuses
    internet history</a>, and the Android version was found to give you information</a>
      about music charts if you're not an Apple Music subscriber.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="sabotage">Apple Sabotage</h3>

<p>The wrongs contain a
    back-door allowing developers to run any code they wish in the users'
    phone, as “superusers.” Downloading and using this section are not precisely malware, since they do
not involve making
    app is mandatory at some workplaces.</p>

    <p>Note: The <a
    href="http://web-old.archive.org/web/20191015005153/https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinese-app-on-xis-ideology-allows-data-access-to-100-million-users-phones-report-says/2019/10/11/2d53bbae-eb4d-11e9-bafb-da248f8d5734_story.html">
    Washington Post version of the program that runs article</a> (partly obfuscated, but
    readable after copy-pasting in a way that hurts the user.
But they are text editor) includes a lot like malware, since they are technical Apple
actions clarification
    saying that harm to the users tests were only performed on the Android version
    of specific Apple software.</p>

<ul>
  <li>
    <p>Apple will stop <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/06/iphone-ipad-apps-games-apple-5-5c-obsolete">fixing bugs for older
    model iThings</a>.</p>

    <p>Meanwhile, Apple stops people from fixing problems themselves;
    that's the nature app, and that, according to Apple, “this kind of proprietary software.</p>
    ‘superuser’ surveillance could not be conducted on
    Apple's operating system.”</p>
  </li>

  <li>
  <p>The iPhone 7 contains DRM specifically designed

  <li id="M201905280">
    <p>In spite of Apple's supposed commitment to
    privacy, iPhone apps contain trackers that are busy at night <a
  href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/iphone-7-home-button-unreplaceable-repair-software-lock">
  brick it if an “unauthorized” repair shop fixes it</a>.
  “Unauthorized” essentially means anyone besides Apple.</p>
    href="https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2019/05/its-3-am-do-you-know-who-your-iphone-is-talking-to.html">
    sending users' personal information to third parties</a>.</p>

    <p>The article uses mentions specific examples: Microsoft OneDrive,
    Intuit’s Mint, Nike, Spotify, The Washington Post, The Weather
    Channel (owned by IBM), the term “lock” to describe crime-alert service Citizen, Yelp
    and DoorDash. But it is likely that most nonfree apps contain
    trackers. Some of these send personally identifying data such as phone
    fingerprint, exact location, email address, phone number or even
    delivery address (in the DRM,
  but we prefer to use case of DoorDash). Once this information
    is collected by the term <a
  href="https://gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#DigitalLocks">
  digital handcuffs</a>.</p> company, there is no telling what it will be
    used for.</p>
  </li>


  <li>
    <p>The Apple Music client
      program

  <li id="M201809070">
    <p>Adware Doctor, an ad blocker for MacOS, <a href="https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/">scans
    href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wjye8x/mac-anti-adware-doctor-app-steals-browsing-history">reports
    the user's file system for music files, copies them to an Apple
      server, and deletes them</a>.</p> browsing history</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
    <p>Apple <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160608183145/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/14/uninstall_quicktime_for_windows/">
stops users from fixing

  <li id="M201711250">
    <p>The DMCA and the security bugs in Quicktime for
      Windows</a>, while refusing EU Copyright Directive make it <a
    href="https://boingboing.net/2017/11/25/la-la-la-cant-hear-you.html">
    illegal to fix them itself.</p> study how iOS cr…apps spy on users</a>, because
    this would require circumventing the iOS DRM.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
    <p>iOS version 9 for

  <li id="M201709210">
    <p>In the latest iThings system,
    “turning off” WiFi and Bluetooth the obvious way <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/05/error-53-apple-iphone-software-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair">sabotages
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/21/ios-11-apple-toggling-wifi-bluetooth-control-centre-doesnt-turn-them-off">
    doesn't really turn them irreparably if they were repaired by someone other than
    Apple</a>. Apple eventually backed off from this policy under
    criticism from the users. However, it has not acknowledged that
    this was wrong.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2541250/apple-mac/update--apple-plays-hardball--upgrade--bricks--unlocked-iphones.html">
  An off</a>.  A more advanced way really does turn
    them off—only until 5am.  That's Apple firmware “upgrade” bricked iPhones that had been
  unlocked.</a>  The “upgrade” also deactivated applications
  not approved by <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html">Apple
  censorship</a>.  All this was apparently intentional.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple
  <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/04/apple-deleted-music-ipods-rivals-steve-jobs">
  deleted from iPods the music that users had got from internet music
  stores that competed with iTunes</a>.</p> for you—“We
    know you want to be spied on”.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="surveillance">Apple Surveillance</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p>Apple

  <li id="M201702150">
    <p>Apple proposes <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/15/apple-removing-iphone-home-button-fingerprint-scanning-screen">a
    fingerprint-scanning touch screen</a>
      — which screen</a>—which would mean no way
    to use it without having your fingerprints taken. Users would have
    no way to tell whether the phone is snooping on
      them.</p></li>

  <li><p>iPhones them.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611170">
    <p>iPhones <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/iphones-secretly-send-call-history-to-apple-security-firm-says">send
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/iphones-secretly-send-call-history-to-apple-security-firm-says/">send
    lots of personal data to Apple's servers</a>.  Big Brother can get
    them from there.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The

  <li id="M201609280">
    <p>The iMessage app on iThings <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2016/09/28/apple-logs-your-imessage-contacts-and-may-share-them-with-police/">tells
    a server every phone number that the user types into it</a>; the
    server records these numbers for at least 30 days.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Users cannot make an Apple ID (<a href="http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/49951/how-can-i-download-free-apps-without-registering-an-apple-idcool">necessary to install even gratis apps</a>) without giving a valid email address and receiving the verification code Apple 
      sends to it.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>iThings

  <li id="M201509240">
    <p>iThings automatically upload to Apple's servers all the photos
    and videos they make.</p>

    <blockquote><p> iCloud Photo Library stores every photo and video you
    take, and keeps them up to date on all your devices. Any edits you
    make are automatically updated everywhere. [...] […] </p></blockquote>

    <p>(From <a href="https://www.apple.com/icloud/photos/">Apple's iCloud
    information</a> as accessed on 24 Sep 2015.) The iCloud feature is
    <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202033">activated by the
    startup of iOS</a>. The term “cloud” means “please
    don't ask where.”</p>

    <p>There is a way to
    <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104"> deactivate
    iCloud</a>, but it's active by default so it still counts as a
    surveillance functionality.</p>

    <p>Unknown people apparently took advantage of this to <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/naked-celebrity-hack-icloud-backup-jennifer-lawrence">get
    nude photos of many celebrities</a>. They needed to break Apple's
    security to get at them, but NSA can access any of them through <a href="/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html#digitalcash">PRISM</a>.
  </p></li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/10/30/how-one-mans-private-files-ended-up-on-apples-icloud-without-his-consent/">
  MacOS automatically sends to Apple servers unsaved documents being
  edited</a>. The <a
  href="https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/10/apple_copies_yo.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter">
  things you have not decided to save are even more sensitive than the
  things you have stored in files</a>.</p>
    href="/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html#digitalcash">PRISM</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple

  <li id="M201411040">
    <p>Apple has made various <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/04/apple-data-privacy-icloud">
    MacOS programs send files to Apple servers without asking
    permission</a>.  This exposes the files to Big Brother and perhaps
    to other snoops.</p>

    <p>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.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Various operations in

  <li id="M201410300">
    <p> MacOS automatically <a href="http://lifehacker.com/safari-and-spotlight-can-send-data-to-apple-heres-how-1648453540">
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170831144456/https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/10/30/how-one-mans-private-files-ended-up-on-apples-icloud-without-his-consent/">
    sends to Apple servers unsaved documents being edited</a>. The
    things you have not decided to save are <a
    href="https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/10/apple_copies_yo.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter/">
    even more sensitive</a> than the latest MacOS send reports to Apple</a> servers.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Spyware things you have stored in MacOS:
  <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
  Spotlight search</a> sends users' search terms to Apple.</p> files.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple

  <li id="M201410220">
    <p>Apple admits the <a
    href="http://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/spotlight-suggestions-in-os-x-yosemite-and-ios-are-you-staying-private/">
    spying in a search facility</a>, but there's a lot <a
    href="https://github.com/fix-macosx/yosemite-phone-home"> more snooping
    that Apple has not talked about</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/23/iphone-backdoors-surveillance-forensic-services">
  Several “features” of iOS seem to exist for no possible
  purpose other than surveillance</a>.  Here is the <a
  href="http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/iOS_Backdoors_Attack_Points_Surveillance_Mechanisms_Moved.pdf">
  Technical presentation</a>.</p>
  </li>
  
  <li><p>The

  <li id="M201410200">
    <p>Various operations in <a class="not-a-duplicate"
  href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
  iBeacon</a> lets stores determine exactly where
    href="http://lifehacker.com/safari-and-spotlight-can-send-data-to-apple-heres-how-1648453540">
    the iThing is, and
  get other info too.</p> latest MacOS send reports to Apple</a> servers.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Apple

  <li id="M201409220">
    <p>Apple can, and regularly does, <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/05/new-guidelines-outline-what-iphone-data-apple-can-give-to-police/">
    remotely extract some data from iPhones for the state</a>.
  </p> state</a>.</p>

    <p>This may have improved with <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2014/09/17/2612af58-3ed2-11e4-b03f-de718edeb92f_story.html">
    href="https://www.denverpost.com/2014/09/17/apple-will-no-longer-unlock-most-iphones-ipads-for-police/">
    iOS 8 security improvements</a>; but <a
    href="https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/22/apple-data/">
    not as much as Apple claims</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="drm">Apple DRM</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p>The DMCA and the EU Copyright Directive make it <a
href="https://boingboing.net/2017/11/25/la-la-la-cant-hear-you.html">
      illegal to study how iOS cr...apps spy on users</a>, because this
      would require circumventing the iOS DRM.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a
  href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/switzerland-wants-a-single-universal-phone-charger-by-2017">
  Apple uses DRM software to prevent people from charging an iThing with a 
  generic USB cable</a>.</p></li>
  
  <li><p><a
  href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/11/apple-downgrades-macbook-video-drm">
  DRM (digital restrictions mechanisms) in MacOS</a>. 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.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/08/aacs-tentacles/">
  DRM that caters to Bluray disks</a>.  (The article focused on Windows
  and said that MacOS would do the same thing subsequently.)</p></li>
</ul>

<h3 id="jails">Apple Jails</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p><a href="http://boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-yo.html">
  iOS, the operating system of the Apple iThings, is a jail for
  users.</a>  That means it imposes censorship

  <li id="M201407230">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/23/iphone-backdoors-surveillance-forensic-services">
    Several “features” of application programs.</p>

  <p>Apple has used this power iOS seem to
  <a href="http://boingboing.net/2014/02/07/apple-yanks-last-remaining-bit.html">
  censor all bitcoin apps</a> exist
    for the iThings.</p>

  <p>Apple, in the iThings, pioneered the practice of general no possible purpose
  computers that are jails, and the term comes from iThing users, who
  referred to escaping from the censorship as “jailbreaking.”</p>

  <p>Here other than surveillance</a>.  Here is an article about the <a
  href="http://weblog.rogueamoeba.com/2008/03/07/code-signing-and-you/">
  code signing</a> that the iThings use
    href="http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/iOS_Backdoors_Attack_Points_Surveillance_Mechanisms_Moved.pdf">
    Technical presentation</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401100.1">
    <p><a
    href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
    Spotlight search</a> sends users' search terms to jail Apple.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401100">
    <p>The <a class="not-a-duplicate"
    href="http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/privacy-advocates-worry-over-new-apple-iphone-tracking-feature-161836223.html">
    iBeacon</a> lets stores determine exactly where the user.</p>

  <p>Curiously, iThing is, and
    get other info too.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201312300">
    <p><a
    href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/how-nsa-hacks-your-iphone-presenting-dropout-jeep">
    Either Apple is beginning to allow limited passage through the
  walls of helps the NSA snoop on all the data in an iThing, or it
    is totally incompetent</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201308080">
    <p>The iThing jail: users also <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/08/ios7_tracking_now_its_a_favourite_feature/">
    tells Apple its geolocation</a> by default, though that can now install apps built from
  source code, provided the source code be
    turned off.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201210170">
    <p>There is written in Swift.  Users
  cannot do this freely because they are required also a feature for web sites to identify themselves.
  <a href="https://developer.apple.com/xcode/">Here are details.</a></p>

  <p>While this track users, which is a crack in the prison walls, <a
    href="http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10/17/how-to-disable-apple-ios-user-tracking-ios-6/">
    enabled by default</a>.  (That article talks about iOS 6, but it is not big enough
    still true in iOS 7.)</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201204280">
    <p>Users cannot make an Apple ID (<a
    href="https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/49951/how-can-i-download-free-apps-without-registering-an-apple-id">necessary
    to
  mean that the iThings are no longer jails.</p></li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/11/papers-please-game-ipad-nude-body-scans">
  More examples of Apple's arbitrary install even gratis apps</a>) without giving a valid
    email address and inconsistent censorship</a>.</p> receiving the verification code Apple sends
    to it.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="tyrants">Apple Tyrants</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p>Apple id="tyrants">Tyrants</h3>

<p>Tyrants are systems that reject any operating system not
“authorized” by the manufacturer.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201412010">
    <p>Apple arbitrarily <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2014/12/01/ios-8-1-signing-window-closed/">
  blocks
    href="http://9to5mac.com/2014/12/01/ios-8-1-signing-window-closed/">blocks
    users from installing old versions of iOS</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>The

  <li id="M201205280">
    <p>The Apple iThings are tyrant devices: they do not permit
  installing a different or modified operating system. devices.  There is a
    port of Android to the iThings, but installing it requires <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20150721065208/http://www.idroidproject.org/wiki/Status">
    finding a bug or “exploit”</a> to make it possible to
    install a different system.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="deception">Apple Deception</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p>“Dark patterns”
      are <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/29/4640308/dark-patterns-inside-the-interfaces-designed-to-trick-you">user
      interfaces designed to mislead users, or make option settings
      hard to find</a>.</p>

    <p>This allows a company such as Apple to say, “We allow
    users to turn this off” while ensuring that few will
    understand how to actually turn it off.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

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