A number of news outlets (TechSpot included) ran a story yesterday in which security expert Jonathan Zdziarski claims to have found several backdoors in iOS that can be used by law enforcement and government agencies to potentially spy on citizens. The Cupertino-based company has since responded to the claims, essentially calling them hogwash.
In an e-mail to Financial Times journalist Tim Bradshaw, Apple doesn't deny the backdoors in iOS. Instead, they refer to them as diagnostic functions which are primarily used by IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues.
"We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues. A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent.
As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products of services."
Zdziarski said he wasn't suggesting some grand conspiracy but there are certainly some services running in iOS that shouldn't be there which were intentionally added by Apple as part of the firmware. He said he simply wants the services off his phone as they don't belong there.
If Apple's explanation is indeed accurate, then it seems plausible that someone in an IT department or a developer with experience using the services in question will come forward to back up Apple's claims, no?
With Apple having released a statement on the matter, it's unlikely that the issue will escalate any higher and Zdziarski and others probably won't get the answers they're searching for.