During a recent podcast called How the NSA Works by Stuff You Should know, Chuck and Josh touched on a little program called Dropoutjeep, a program which effectively allows the NSA to access and infiltrate iPhones and activate any and all apps or software installed on your android device. With 100% success rate. In the Forbes article linked above, it was posited by security researcher Applebaum that this was accomplished with the aid of Apple, by leaving backdoors and exploits in the android software before launch.
Here’s a flowchart.
To illustrate my point about how irresponsible this technology is, allow me to remind you that Lucius Fox, the most moral, forward-thinking citizen in Gotham thought it was too much power for one man to wield. Never mind that one man was the fucking Dark Knight, a hero who is by definition willing to make every selfless sacrifice for the good of the people.
Let us also consider that this allows Batman to access one of the cell functions present in every android device, to track down one maniac– not an unending list of potential threats that stretches off into the horizon like Santa Claus’s naughty list.
Batman: Beautiful, isn’t it?
Lucius Fox: Beautiful… unethical… dangerous. You’ve turned every cellphone in Gotham into a microphone.
Batman: And a high-frequency generator-receiver.
Lucius Fox: You took my sonar concept and applied it to every phone in the city. With half the city feeding you sonar, you can image all of Gotham. This is wrong.
Batman: I’ve gotta find this man, Lucius.
Lucius Fox: At what cost?
Batman: The database is null-key encrypted. It can only be accessed by one person.
Lucius Fox: This is too much power for one person.
Batman: That’s why I gave it to you. Only you can use it.
Lucius Fox: Spying on 30 million people isn’t part of my job description.
I know I’m comparing a real technology with a fictional character’s assessment. But Lucius Fox is relateable precisely because he is the archetype of the fatherly educator, and the voice of morality and reason that we (as the viewer) can all accept is in the right.
Just something to consider, seeing that this program isn’t in the hands of a costumed orphaned leather-clad sociopath with a moral hard-on, but in the collective hands of an agency that has come under political fire more times in the last year than Putin, who is actively annexing republics.