Apple might have gotten respite in its fight with the FBI over iPhone unlocking, but that doesn’t mean the war over customer privacy and public security are finished.
The Cupertino giant reportedly has concerns that the servers they ordered from traditional supply chains were intercepted mid-shipment, with additional firmware added to steal customer and company data. The company may now be designing its own servers so it can gain significantly more control over encryption and security.
The tech titan believes that the US government agencies can intercept the hardware before it gets delivered to the company. Like we have all known the government has programs dedicated to intercepting computer hardware during shipping. These programs are used to lodge backdoors or spyware deep into a system’s firmware even before its arrival at the company's datacenters.
So why is Apple doing this now? Developing its own servers with motherboards it designed would certainly be a full proof method for Apple to restrict unauthorized snooping through additional chips mounted on servers.
A while ago, the company even appointed people to click pictures of motherboards and added a footnote about the function of each chip, describing why it was supposed to be there, according to a report.
Besides Tim Cook's desire to gain control over server components, reports have also surfaced about an initiative called Project McQueen, one of six projects that that the company has started that are dedicated to building its own data centers around the world and the other networking equipment it needs to become self-sufficient.
The iPhone maker isn’t alone here; Google too has been a victim of government surveillance. The search giant announced it would start encrypting all data that pass through its data centres amid suspicions that the NSA had tapped undersea cables to snoop on Google’s data centres from the inside.
Since long the iOS giant has been relying on vendors to supply the storage for iCloud. It also partnered with China Telecom to store user data on Chinese servers in order to boost the reliability of iCloud in the enormous Chinese market. That move was outstanding because most of the tech companies have refrained from storing data in China due to censorship and privacy issues.
Apple, for its part, is surely forging ahead to find better ways to secure and protect customer privacy and data. However, the government is certainly going to take serious objections to the company’s own encrypted servers and could coerce it through warrants to let agency like NSA snoop on user communications.