Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Turkey has recordings of Saudi journalist’s death — “The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory.”

October 13, 2018

Turkey’s investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has revealed recordings made on his Apple Watch purportedly indicating he was tortured and killed, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.

People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington.   (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)

The report in the pro-government Sabah daily, which could not immediately be verified, emerged after a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into his disappearance.

“The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch’s memory,” the paper said, adding that the watch had synched with his iPhone, which his fiancee was carrying outside the consulate.

Image result for Murdered by MBS poster, photos

Two senior Turkish officials previously told Reuters that Khashoggi had been wearing a black Apple watch when he entered the consulate and that it was connected to a mobile phone he left outside.

However, it was not clear whether data from Khashoggi’s watch could have been transmitted to his phone outside, or how investigators could have retrieved it without obtaining the watch themselves.

Sabah, which cited “reliable sources in a special intelligence department” for its report, said Khashoggi was believed to have turned on the recording feature on the phone before entering the consulate.

The paper said Saudi intelligence agents had realized after he died that the phone was recording and they used his finger print to unlock it, deleting some files, but not all of them. The recordings were subsequently found on his phone, it said.

On Thursday, Turkey said it and Saudi Arabia had agreed to form a joint working group – at Riyadh’s initiative – to investigate the case. A Saudi source said a senior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, had visited Turkey that day.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Turkish sources have told Reuters the initial assessment of the police was that Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been deliberately killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has dismissed the claims.

SPA said on Friday that Saudi Arabia’s interior minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, condemned the “lies and baseless allegations” against the kingdom, although he praised the joint investigation with Turkey.

The Saudi delegation, which arrived in Turkey on Thursday, is meeting a Turkish prosecutor investigating the case as well as representatives from the Justice Ministry, Interior Ministry, police and the national intelligence agency, one source said.

On Tuesday, the Turkish foreign ministry said the Saudi consulate in Istanbul would be searched as part of the investigation.

Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Gareth Jones




Jamal Khashoggi ‘dragged from consulate office, killed and dismembered’ — Middle East Eye

October 11, 2018

Turkish sources tell MEE they know when and where the missing Saudi journalist, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was killed

CCTV footage shows Khashoggi arriving at the consulate on 2 October (AFP)
Last update:
Thursday 11 October 2018 15:13 UTC

Jamal Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general’s office inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday before he was brutally murdered by two men who cut up his body, sources close to the investigation have told Middle East Eye.

Turkish officials say they know when and where in the building the veteran Saudi journalist was killed and are considering whether to dig up the consul-general’s garden to see whether his remains are buried there.

Khashoggi, 59, has been missing since last Tuesday when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.

Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving. However they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consolate were not recording at the time.

We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go

– Turkish source

“I would like to confirm that… Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,” the Saudi consul-general, Mohammad al-Otaibi, said on Saturday after the consulate was opened to Reuters journalists. “We are worried about this case.”

But a Turkish source with direct knowledge of the investigation has given MEE a detailed account of what investigators say happened in the consulate last Tuesday.

“We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go,” he said.

Khashoggi first went to the consulate on 28 September and met with a Saudi diplomat in an attempt to get the papers he needed.

The Saudi diplomat passed him on to a member of Saudi intelligence who said the consulate would be unable to provide what he needed that day, but he could return the following week, the source said.

Khashoggi left the building on Friday with the telephone number of the intelligence official.

On Tuesday morning, Khashoggi called and asked if he should still come to the consulate and was told that the papers were ready for him, the source said. His appointment was for 1pm.

Half an hour before then, during the lunch break held at the consulate, all local staff members left for their usual lunch break which lasts an hour. As they left, they were told to take the afternoon off because a high-level diplomatic meeting was planned for the afternoon in the consulate, the source said.

As a time-stamped photo first published by the Washington Post has shown, Khashoggi walked into the consulate less than an hour later at 1.14pm.

He was greeted by an official, and led into the consul-general’s room. Shortly afterwards, two men entered the room and dragged Khashoggi out of the office and into another room where they killed him, the source said, without elaborating how he was killed.

Khashoggi’s body was then dragged into a third room and dismembered, he said.

A Saudi source told Reuters that British intelligence believed there had been an attempt to drug Khashoggi inside the consulate that culminated in an overdose.

He said the information came from a British intelligence source. Contacted by Reuters, British intelligence did not comment. Asked about this account, a Saudi official said: “This death is not true.”

Digging up the garden

There are around 22 cars which are registered to the consulate of which between three and four are of interest to the murder inquiry.

One of them left the consulate building at 3:15pm and went several hundred metres to the nearby consul general’s home, the source said.

MEE understands that the prosecutor general is now considering whether to dig up the consul general’s garden to see whether Khashoggi’s remains are buried there.

A separate Turkish source told MEE that the consul general has not left his house for the past three days and has cancelled all of his appointments.

This source also said that the Turkish police want to search the residence and also take all the cars which are registered to the consulate to a secure location to examine them, but the Saudis have not allowed this.

A source also told MEE the Saudis took all the hard drives from the security camera room at the consulate with them when they left the building.

The Saudis on Tuesday rescinded an offer they made originally to allow Turkish forensic experts onto the premises. Their offer was withdrawn after Turkish media outlets published a list of 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi disappeared.


Full coverage of Jamal Khashoggi

The source who outlined the account of how Khashoggi was killed said that police investigators were confident they already had enough forensic evidence from searches of the sewage network connected to the building.

A second Turkish source with knowledge of the investigation told MEE that the Turks had video and audio evidence of the killing. However, they have not revealed how they obtained this evidence.

But particular attention is being paid to the Apple watch that Khashoggi was wearing when he entered the building. This is synced electronically to the iPhone that he gave his fiancee before entering the building.

MEE has sought comment from the Saudi embassies in the UK and US.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.


Report: Saudi Arabia Used Israeli Cyberweapons to Target Dissident in Canada

October 2, 2018

Saudi authorities reportedly used technology provided by Israeli firm NSO to try and track Omar Abdulaziz via his cellphone, a Canadian research group claims

Pegasus' use worldwide, according to Citizen Lab
Pegasus’ use worldwide, according to Citizen Lab

Agents apparently linked to the Saudi regime used spy technology from Israeli firm NSO Group Technologies to eavesdrop on a Saudi dissident in Canadaaccording to a report on Monday.

The Citizen Lab research group said it had “high confidence” that NSO’s Pegasus software had been used this summer to eavesdrop on a 27-year-old Saudi exile, Omar Abdulaziz.

According to the report, which was picked up by Canadian daily The Globe and Mail, the aim was to access the iPhone of Abdulaziz, who lives in Montreal and has been a prominent critic of the Saudi government on social media.

Any such use of eavesdropping technology by a foreign government would constitute illegal wiretapping, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert told the daily.

Dissident Omar Abdulaziz speaking out against the Saudi regime.
Dissident Omar Abdulaziz speaking out against the Saudi regime.YouTube screengrab

The case comes against the backdrop of a diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Riyadh, following criticism in August by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland over the jailing of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. She also called for their release.

Saudi Arabia called the minister’s comments a violation of its sovereignty and in response suspended diplomatic and trade ties with Canada. Riyadh also brought home thousands of Saudi university students who had been studying in Canada.

In July, Citizen Lab researchers issued a warning that misleading messages about protests in Saudi Arabia were being used to target cellphones, including that of a regional Amnesty International researcher. Last month, the University of Toronto research group claimed that at least 36 governments were making use of NSO’s services. It also claimed there was a high degree of probability that Saudi Arabia was among them. Suspected Pegasus software infections were found in Canada, Britain, France and Morocco, in addition to Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar and Bahrain, Citizen Lab said.

In August, it was reported that the United Arab Emirates had used NSO software to track 159 members of the Qatari royal family. And lawsuits recently filed in Israel and Cyprus alleged that the rulers of the UAE used Pegasus for more than a year to monitor opponents of the regime both inside the emirate and abroad.

For its part, NSO has said it “develops products that are licensed only to legitimate government agencies for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crime and terror.” Its software, the company said, has been used to help prevent suicide attacks, to help convict drug lords and to locate missing children. It did not specify which governments make use of its technology. “The product will not operate outside of approved countries,” its statement said.

Huawei Not Impressed With Apple’s New iPhones: “No problem for us.”

September 13, 2018

Chinese smartphone brands have chipped away at Apple’s market share in China by introducing feature-laden models, but are striving to convince consumers to shell out top dollar and enshrine their brands with the same premium cachet reserved for the iPhone

South China Morning Post

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2018, 8:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2018, 8:31pm

Huawei Technologies’ mobile business chief Richard Yu Chengdong probably breathed a sigh of relief after Apple unveiled its new iPhones.

At least that was how most social-media users who left comments interpreted a posting by Yu after Apple’s annual iPhone showcase held in Cupertino, California. In a post at 3:01am on Thursday to his 6.5 million followers on microblog Weibo, Yu said rather cryptically: “no problem (for us) now, see you all in London Oct. 16.”

Apple announced three new iPhone models, with the entry-level iPhone XR starting at US$749 and the mid-range iPhone XS at US$999, while the iPhone XS Max with a 6.5-inch screen starts at US$1,099 and goes all the way up to US$1,449 for the top specifications. That represents the most expensive iPhone ever released by Apple, a point that was seized on by netizens who posted their reactions to the product launch.

Tim Cook introduced Apple’s latest iPhone models on Wednesday at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. Photo: TNS

“This product, this pricing … the most happy person today must be Yu,” Weibo user Chengshuhuakai wrote in a comment on Yu’s account.

Whatever the views, the reaction on both Yu and netizens underscore the intense competition in the smartphone industry, particularly in China, where Huawei leads in shipments but at a lower price segment than Apple.

Chinese smartphone brands have chipped away at Apple’s market share in China by introducing feature-laden models, but are still striving to convince consumers to shell out top dollar and enshrine their brands with the same premium cachet reserved for the iPhone.

Huawei overtook Apple in global smartphone sales for the first time in the second quarter, and will introduce its flagship Huawei Mate 20 series on October 16. Shenzhen-based Huawei has stated its aim of shipping 200 million handsets to both domestic and global markets in 2018, after delivering 100 million phones as of July 18, the fastest pace of shipments the Chinese company has seen in years. The performance has been partly due to sales of its P20 series and strong sales of its budget brand Honor.

Huawei and Honor expanded their combined China market share to a record 27 per cent in the three months to June, up from 21 per cent during the same period a year ago, marking the biggest share for any smartphone vendor in China since the second quarter of 2011, Canalys said in an earlier report released in July.

Apple launches new iPhones with big screens and dual-sim support as it bids to maintain global market share

The Apple event and new iPhone models were trending on Weibo Thursday morning. The high price of the models was often commented on in postings.

“The biggest highlight of Apple this year – the price,” a Weibo user with the name UnqualifiedZombie wrote. Another user named Wangde_GretA quipped, “After taking a look at the prices, hmm, I can finally make myself useful in the China-US trade war. I will resolutely boycott American products!”

While many Huawei fans were supportive of Yu’s posting, those less impressed said he is trying to piggyback on the Apple event, as Weibo user Ruya Suihe Sunxiaochuan wrote.

And one user pointedly asked Yu: “Would Apple CEO Tim Cook stay up in the middle of the night to watch Huawei’s smartphone launch?”

Google tracking is even creepier than you thought — Getting like China’s total surveillance system — Controlling the masses?

August 22, 2018

Turning off the “Location History” does nothing — location information is still sent to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour.

Maybe Google’s motto all this time should have been “Don’t be creepy” instead of not being evil. Maybe that would have produced a different reality from the one presented in a new study from a Vanderbilt professor, released today, which shows that Google’s tracking of users is probably a lot worse and creepier than the average person likely releases.

Image may contain: text

For one thing, the study that was commissioned by the trade group Digital Content Next walks through “passive” data-collection done by Google often without the user’s knowledge. Such as when users switch to an incognito browsing session online, the results of which Google can retroactively link back to the users thanks to how deep its digital tentacles reach into the rest of that same user’s online experience.

“That’s not well understood by consumers,” Douglas Schmidt, the author of the study and a Vanderbilt professor of computer science, told the publication AdAge about those findings. “But if you read the fine print on ‘incognito’ mode it brings up a whole lot of disclaimers.”

Here’s how the incognito mode tracking works, in an AdAge recap of the study:

“A person fires up a private browser session in Chrome. On websites that run ads from Google’s online ad marketplace, anonymized cookies are dropped on the browsers associated with the user. If the same person leaves private browsing mode and logs into a Google service like Gmail or YouTube, the act of signing into Google makes it possible to connect the earlier web activity to the now identified user. (Unless, that is, the cookies expired or were manually deleted by the user.)”

Among other findings, meanwhile, if an iOS user decides to avoid using any Google product at all and visits only non-Google webpages — well, you can run but you can’t hide. The number of times data gets communicated back to Google’s servers in that scenario is still, per the study, “surprisingly high” and driven by advertiser and publisher services.

You can check out the full study here. At one point during the study, it walks through a typical “day in the life” experiment involving a real user with a new Google account and an Android phone with a new SIM card. She goes about her daily routine while Google collects data via everything from her location, routes taken, music she listen to, and more. “Surprisingly,” the study notes, “Google collected or inferred over two-thirds of the information through passive means.”

It continues: “Both Android and Chrome send data to Google even in the absence of any user interaction. Our experiments show that a dormant, stationary Android phone (with Chrome active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.”

About tracking location information — as a reminder, we reported yesterday that, following an Associated Press investigation, a San Diego man has filed a complaint against Google in federal court in San Francisco. It seeks class-action status on behalf of Android and iPhone users who turned off the “Location History” feature on their phones, which the complaint says Google ignored by then spying on their movements anyway.

A Google spokesperson provided this statement about the study released today:

“This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group, and written by a witness for Oracle in their ongoing copyright litigation with Google. So, it’s no surprise that it contains wildly misleading information.”


Qualcomm Wins Taiwan Reprieve as Global Antitrust Battle Rages

August 10, 2018

Image result for Qualcomm chip, photos

Qualcomm Inc., the smartphone chipmaker fighting regulatory actions and lawsuits threatening its most profitable business, has reached a settlement with Taiwan’s antitrust regulators that reverses most of a $773 million fine.

As part of an agreement announced Friday by the Fair Trade Commission, the company will invest $700 million over the next five years and boost research activities in Taiwan, home to a clutch of important suppliers to global names such as Apple Inc. In return, Qualcomm can stop paying fines and retains the right to charge manufacturers royalties on its technology. The commission said Friday it will keep NT$2.73 billion ($89 million) in fines that Qualcomm’s already paid but waive the rest.

Taiwan’s decision reverses one of a number of actions taken against Qualcomm in recent years that investors worry will destroy its patent-licensing business, a unit that generates the majority of the company’s profit. Qualcomm has argued that such moves are part of a global push by Apple to elicit government support for its legal fight with the chipmaker. The iPhone maker is suing Qualcomm for antitrust violations, alleging the San Diego-based company unfairly leverages its market position in modem chips, and has said regulatory actions worldwide show its claims are justified.

Qualcomm still faces multiple lawsuits brought by Apple, as well as actions and investigations in the European Union and the U.S. The flood of legal challenges has weighed on the company’s stock price and made it a target for a failed hostile takeover bid by rival Broadcom Inc.

“Both parties felt the FTC’s fines were controversial. And we feel, if we continue with the lawsuit, it will take too long should we take Taiwan’s industry progress into consideration,” FTC Commissioner Hong Tsai-Lung told reporters. A lengthy legal process “will have a very negative impact on Taiwan’s development, so that is why our stand has changed following an internal collective decision.”

Read more: Qualcomm in Crosshairs as EU Takes Second Shot at Pricing

Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf has said Qualcomm will maintain its record of prevailing in court, and contends that the bitter fight with Apple is a commercial dispute that will be resolved when one side gains leverage in trials that are underway.

In an October decision, Taiwan’s antitrust agency said Qualcomm had monopoly market status over key mobile phone standards and was violating local laws by not providing products to clients who didn’t agree with its conditions. Besides the fine, the Fair Trade Commission told Qualcomm at the time to remove previously signed deals that forced competitors to provide price, customer names, shipment, model name and other sensitive information. Qualcomm appealed the decision.

The company agreed to ensure fair negotiations with local licensees, and will support research and commercial projects in Taiwan, including collaborating on the development of fifth-generation wireless, Qualcomm said in a separate statement Friday.

Most of Qualcomm’s revenue comes from its main business of selling chips that connect smartphones to cellular networks. The company gets the bulk of its profit, though, from charging royalties on patents it owns that cover the fundamentals of all modern high-speed data phone systems.

China’s trade surplus with US swells in June

July 13, 2018

China’s surplus with the US swelled in June, data showed Friday, likely stoking tensions with Donald Trump, who has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods citing unfair trade practices.

The increase came as total trade between the world’s top two economies rose 13.1 percent for the first half of the year, despite the face-off, which has seen tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods and warnings of more to come.

China’s surplus with the US rose to $133.8 billion in January-June, and a record $28.97 billion last month.

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP | The trade imbalance is heart of Donald Trump’s anger at what he describes as Beijing’s unfair trade practices that are hurting American companies

The imbalance is at the heart of Trump’s anger at what he describes as Beijing’s unfair trade practices that are hurting American companies and destroying jobs.

But on Thursday, China blamed those problems on the US, saying the trade imbalance was “overestimated” and caused by “domestic structural problems” in the United States, in a statement from the commerce ministry.

Bilateral trade between China and the US was booming last month during the exchange of trade threats between Beijing and Washington, Chinese official customs data showed. China exported US$217.7 billion of goods to the US in the first half of 2018, up 13.6 per cent year-on-year. Photo: Bloomberg

“This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade,” said customs administration spokesman Huang Songping at a briefing Friday.

With the wider world, China’s exports rose 11.3 percent on-year in June, beating a Bloomberg News forecast of 9.5 percent, while imports increased 14.1 percent, below the forecast 21.3 percent.


See also:

China reports record surplus with US and exports growth before July 6 tariffs kick in

See also:

China makes $8.46 from an iPhone. That’s why a U.S. trade war is futile


Facebook: Court to rule on grieving parents’ right to digital data

July 12, 2018

Facebook refused to grant parents access to their daughter’s data after her suspected suicide in 2012. Germany’s highest court will now rule on whether the right to inherit wins out against the right to data privacy.

Facebook logo reflected in the screen of a smartphone (picture-alliance/PA Wire/D. Lipinski)

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (BGH) was expected on Thursday to make a landmark ruling on whether relatives of people who have died have a right to access their digital data.

The case involves parents of a 15-year-old girl who asked Facebook to give them access to her data and messages after she was killed by an underground train in 2012.

Read more: What happens to your Facebook account after you die?

The social media giant denied the request despite the parents’ saying they wanted the information to decipher whether their daughter had died in an accident or committed suicide and, based on that, whether the train driver was entitled to compensation.

Contradictory lower-level rulings

A lower-level court ruled in favor of the parents in 2015, supporting their claim that Facebook data is legally equivalent to private correspondence covered by Germany’s inheritance law. Parents also had a right to know about their child’s communication if they were minors, according to the court.

But an appeals court overturned the decision in 2017, ruling in favor of Facebook’s claim that the German constitution, or Basic Law, entitles a person a right to data privacy even after their death.

Facebook only allows relatives of a deceased user to either convert their page into a “memorial” site or delete the page entirely.

The legal questions surrounding a person’s “digital legacy” have previously arisen in the United States, where Apple refused a law enforcement request to unlock an iPhone of a mass shooter in San Bernardino, California.

amp/rc (AFP)

China eager to defuse trade pressures — But “Won’t Give an Inch”?

June 28, 2018

The Chinese government has once again defended its trade surplus with other major economies. It insisted that the nation’s rapid growth had brought lucrative opportunities to partners all over the world.

Chinese solar industry workers (picture alliance/Zumapress)

China’s leadership on Thursday launched yet another attempt to ease US and European pressure over market access and technology policy.

A government report repeated promises to cut tariffs and open more industries to foreign investment.

“China’s growth has brought great opportunities to trading partners all over the world,” Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a news conference.

The fresh report highlighted the clash between Beijing’s insistence it had honored market-opening pledges made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and arguments by the US and the European Union that China improperly hampered access to emerging industries and pressured foreign companies to hand over technology.

US President Donald Trump’s threat of tariff hikes on up to $450 billion (€389 billion) of Chinese products reflected fears in the White House that Beijing’s industrial policy was a threat to American technological leadership and prosperity.

On which side of the fence is Europe?

China has tried to recruit Europe as an ally in the dispute, but faces complaints by Germany and others that it bars purchases of Chinese assets while its own companies are on a global shopping spree.

Asked about possible US plans to restrict Chinese investment in tech industries, the commerce minister said he hoped that the countries concerned “would do the right thing and adopt policies that support free trade and investment.”

The United States and other trading partners argue China’s emergence as a competitor in smartphone technology, solar panels and other goods means it no longer qualifies for the special protections it was granted as a developing nation when it joined the WTO.

Earlier this week, Beijing and Brussels announced they would form a group to work on modernizing WTO rules to keep pace with recent developments in the global economy.

hg/mm (AP, dpa)