Are the Chinese Spying on President Trump’s Unsecured iPhone?

Donald Trump Using An Iphone Credit: The White House
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Chinese and Russian spies are listening in to phone calls made by President Donald Trump on one of his unsecured iPhones.

That’s according to a New York Times report that cites U.S. intelligence and White House sources. NYT reports that the president has three devices. While two have been specially altered by the National Security Agency, a third is no different than any other consumer-grade iPhone.

The unsecured iPhone is also Trump’s favorite, since it can store his contacts. The president denied the claims in the Times story, saying he only uses one “government authorized” cell phone. (It’s worth noting that the tweet was sent from an iPhone.)

In response to the story, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, had some rather interesting advice for the president.

Politico reported that, at the ministry’s routine briefing in Beijing on Thursday, Chunying said that President Trump has a couple of options: cut off communications entirely, or trade his iPhone in for a Huawei device.

She also dismissed the New York Times report as “fake news,” and added that she feels “there are those in America who are working all-out to win the Oscar for best screenplay.”

That may not be sound advice, if the U.S. intelligence community is to be believed. A slew of high-ranking officials from the CIA, NSA and FBI have urged Americans not to purchase or use Chinese-made devices due to concerns about espionage.

The U.S. has also banned Huawei from supplying devices and technology to the government. Huawei, for its part, denies that its devices pose a security or privacy risk.

Huawei has recently overtaken Apple as the second largest smartphone maker in the world behind Samsung (though that may change this quarter due to new iPhone models). Despite its success, the company has largely failed to gain any sort of significant foothold in the U.S.

The Times points out that it’s not necessarily the iPhones that are unsecured. Instead, the vulnerabilities are inherent to cellular infrastructure. Calls can be intersected as they travel through cell towers, cables and switches across the globe.

China has reportedly been eavesdropping on the president’s cell phone calls so that it can prevent further escalation of the brewing U.S.-China trade war, American intelligence agencies said.

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