Snowden shuns iPhones for security reasons – lawyer

Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski
Whistleblower Edward Snowden uses a “simple phone” and avoids Apple devices, which can be used to snoop on an individual remotely and secretly, according to the former NSA contractor’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

READ MORE: NSA can easily bug your switched-off iPhone: Here's how you can stop them

For Snowden, the decision to shun such technology is both a personal and professional choice, Kucherena told RIA Novosti on Monday.

“Edward never uses an iPhone, he’s got a simple phone… The iPhone has special software that can activate itself without the ownеr having to press a button and gather information about him, which is why he refuses to use the phone based on security grounds,” Kucherena said.

Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden gives a press conference in Moscow. (AFP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

Despite Apple’s claims that it has released new technology that cannot be compromised by the police, one of Snowden’s multiple revelations showed the NSA can bug devices even when they are turned off.

READ MORE: Apple reveals new operating system it claims is police-proof

Kucherena once again reiterated that Snowden is satisfied with his life in Russia.
In December, the lawyer also revealed that Snowden was planning to spend Christmas with friends in Moscow.

“He’s not the kind of person who wants to be on television or to be a public figure. He prefers a modest life,” the lawyer said.

Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsey Mills, has reportedly reunited with him in Russia.

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in one of Moscow's theaters. (RIA Novosti/Anatoly Kucherena)

The whistleblower received a three-year Russian residence permit in August 2014 and is now working as a consultant for an IT firm.

In the US, Snowden faces several charges for revealing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) snooping tactics, including espionage and theft of government property, which could land him up to 30 years in prison if he returns home.

The latest leak by the whistleblower showed the British security agency GCHQ has been storing thousands of emails from journalists working for the world’s biggest news organizations, including the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post and others.

READ MORE: ‘Dangerous as terrorists’: Snowden leaks reveal GCHQ stores journalists’ data