Bow down to your new hacker overlords

Memos leaked by Lords of Dharmaraja say Apple, Nokia, RIM built back doors for government spooks -- and raise questions about smartphone spying

Anonymous, move over. WikiLeaks, take a hike. There's a new uber hacking/whistleblowing group in town with some serious game and a wicked cool name that's putting you both to shame.

The Lords of Dharmaraja is the group behind the theft of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus source code from India's intelligence agencies. It's also the group that claims to have broken into the servers of India's embassy in Paris last summer. Now it's released a bombshell memo that appears to document collusion between the world's largest makers of smartphones and India's spy services.

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(In my next life, I want to be part of a hacker group with a name like the Lords of Dharmaraja. Just sayin'.)

Security researcher Chris Soghoian was poring over some of the government documents posted last month by the Lords and noticed a chilling detail: a reference to back doors built into phones made by RIM, Nokia, and Apple that appear to allow India's spook community to spy on smartphone users at will.

Slashdot has a nice summary of the quid-pro-quo detailed in that memo.

The memo suggests that, "in exchange for the Indian market presence" mobile device manufacturers, including RIM, Nokia, and Apple (collectively defined in the document as "RINOA") have agreed to provide back-door access on their devices. The Indian government then "utilized back doors provided by RINOA" to intercept internal emails of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government body with a mandate to monitor, investigate, and report to Congress on "the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship" between the U.S. and China.

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