Apple Rumored To Build Its Own Servers To Quell Fears Of Government Tampering

Apple and the FBI have locked horns with one another over an iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, but what seems like a suddenly contentious relationship may have roots that go even deeper. If a new report is to be believed, Apple's distrust of the U.S. government runs so deep that it's started designing its own servers to avoid any shady tampering.

Citing a paywalled report published by The Information on Thursday, ArsTechnica says Apple has long been suspicious that servers it orders get intercepted prior to delivery. As the story goes, Apple believes that third-parties install special chips and firmware that make them vulnerable to government hacking, a not inconceivable thought in the wake of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealing the extent of the government's spying efforts.

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"At one point, Apple even assigned people to take photographs of motherboards and annotate the function of each chip, explaining why it was supposed to be there," the report states. "Building its own servers with motherboards it designed would be the most surefire way for Apple to prevent unauthorized snooping via extra chips."

It's been reported before that the NSA does this sort of thing, though not necessarily to Apple. There are several reports claiming the NSA used to intercept Cisco routers without the company's knowledge to plant surveillance tools. These were routers that were being exported to other countries.

Apple's move to build its own servers wouldn't be unprecedented by any means in the tech industry. Major firms like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all have their own servers, though not necessarily to avoid government spying. Apple's also been a client of several of these cloud providers, but running its own servers would allow it to operate more efficiently, in addition to avoiding the government's watchful eye.