DNC urges Democrats to dump Android for iPhone

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
iPhone security impresses the new head of information security at the Democratic National Party.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Democratic National Committee has a solution for improving its smartphone security: switch to iPhone. It suggests that Democratic organizations get rid of all their Android devices.

This is especially true if the phones are from ZTE, a company with ties to the Chinese government.

Bob Lord, the DNC’s first chief information security officer, came up with the plan. He notes that Apple frequently issues security patches for all iOS devices. That’s something the fractured nature of the Android ecosystem can’t provide.

Google regularly introduces security patches for its operating system, but it’s up to each phone manufacturer to make these available for its own products. And as Lord told Forbes, “It’s very hard for me to know if you’ve purchased a particular phone from a vendor what their appetite for doing quality assurance is.”

And Apple’s commitment to security goes beyond just frequently patching flaws. Even law-enforcement agencies have trouble bypassing the iOS log-in system, and each application runs in a sandbox to make it much harder for malware to access unauthorized information.

DNC security vs. ZTE and Huawei

The Democratic National Committee recommends that no one working for the party use a phone made by ZTE.

That’s not surprising; last month, it became illegal for any employee of the U.S. government to use a phone made by ZTE. They are also banned from using handsets from another Chinese firm, Huawei.

The DNC currently prefers Apple products, but only because they are the most secure available now. “We have a bias currently towards the iPhone. But evidence could change our minds… this is not religious debate,” said DNC security chief Bob Lord.

Anyone working as part of an election campaign should also be using security keys as part of two-factor authentication.