Police Can Spy on Your iOS and Android Push Notifications


Whereas Wyden’s letter says that governments exterior the US have requested individuals’s push notification information, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has completed in order effectively. A February 2021 search warrant application submitted by an FBI agent to the US District Court docket in Washington, DC, requested particulars for 2 accounts managed by Meta (then Fb), particularly citing a request for push notification tokens. The search warrant request associated to an investigation into an individual accused of collaborating within the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol.

Meta, which owns Fb, WhatsApp, and Instagram, didn’t instantly reply to WIRED’s request to remark. A spokesperson for Sign, the favored encrypted messaging app, additionally didn’t reply. The DOJ declined to remark.

Though Wyden is asking the DOJ to permit Apple and Google to debate authorities requests for push notification information, the senator’s letter seems to have enabled them to just do that.

An Apple spokesperson tells WIRED that the corporate has up to date its Law Enforcement Guidelines in its transparency report back to mirror authorities requests for push notification information. The corporate may also start to element these requests in its subsequent transparency report. Apple’s up to date guidelines for police requests say push notification information “could also be obtained with a subpoena or better authorized course of.”

“Apple is dedicated to transparency and now we have lengthy been a supporter of efforts to make sure that suppliers are in a position to disclose as a lot info as attainable to their customers,” Apple says in an announcement. “On this case, the federal authorities prohibited us from sharing any info and now that this methodology has turn out to be public we’re updating our transparency reporting to element these sorts of requests.”

Google confirmed to WIRED that it receives requests for push notification information, however the firm says it already contains all these requests in its transparency reports. The corporate says requests from US-based legislation enforcement for push notification information require court docket orders with judicial approval.

“We have been the primary main firm to publish a public transparency report sharing the quantity and kinds of authorities requests for consumer information we obtain, together with the requests referred to by Senator Wyden,” a Google spokesperson tells WIRED. “We share the senator’s dedication to retaining customers knowledgeable about these requests.”

A WIRED overview of Google’s most up-to-date transparency report for the interval between December 2019 and December 2022 discovered that it doesn’t particularly get away authorities requests for push notification information, and Google confirmed that it aggregates this information in its transparency report.

Google’s transparency report exhibits that the US authorities requested Google Cloud Platform information from enterprise prospects 175 instances in the course of the interval, and of these, used a search warrant 13 instances. It’s unclear whether or not any of these requests for consumer information included push notification information—particulars which will, following Wyden’s letter, be revealed sooner or later.

Further reporting by William Turton and Dhruv Mehrotra.

Up to date at 1:30 pm ET, December 6, 2023, to notice that the DOJ has declined to touch upon Wyden’s letter and so as to add further particulars about Apple’s up to date guidelines for legislation enforcement relating to requests for push notification information.

Up to date at 3:50 pm ET, December 6, 2023, so as to add particulars about Google’s authorized requirement for legislation enforcement requests for push notification information.



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