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The United States and its allies can monitor their citizens through mobile phone notifications

The United States and its allies can monitor their citizens through mobile phone notifications

2023. December 6 – 17:14

The US government and leaders of its allied democracies can also spy on their citizens through mobile phone notifications – this is what Senator Ron Wyden wrote to the US Department of Justice. Referring to an anonymous source, Wyden wrote in his letter that, according to his knowledge, foreign powers have repeatedly requested data from Google and Apple about messages exchanged between their users, he said. Reuters.

Google, which develops and operates the Android phone operating system, and Apple usually do not necessarily know what messages users exchange through an application, however, notifications related to messages always work through their servers. According to Wyden, this is data that foreign governments regularly request from major American technology companies.

Ron Wyden among reporters - Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ron Wyden among reporters – Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

According to Reuters, experts have repeatedly pointed out that the notification situation has not been resolved and that in many respects it represents a “data protection nightmare” for companies. But so far no one has bothered to resolve the situation. The US Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters, but Apple issued a statement saying it was pleased to finally address notifications and that Wyden's speech gave them an opportunity to explain how some governments are monitoring people through notifications.

“The federal government has prohibited us from sharing any information regarding this matter,” the company said in a statement. “However, now that the method has been made public, we are updating our transparency report to include details of these requests.”

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