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Jeff Bezos’s War With National Enquirer Involves a Huge Spy Scandal

John Schindler, writing for Observer:

A hint where this scandal is headed appeared last night when a Post reporter revealed on MSNBC that Gavin de Becker, the security guru to the stars whom Bezos hired to look into AMI, “told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked, he thinks it’s possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages.” […]

Another suspect is Saudi Arabia, which incurred the wrath of The Washington Post by murdering and dismembering their columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last October. Bezos referenced that awful crime in his blog post, including the line, “Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government,” explaining that AMI is seeking Saudi funding. Bezos added, “Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”

Here’s a detail I would like to see everyone reporting on this story identify: what type of text messages was Bezos exchanging with Lauren Sanchez? “Text message” technically implies SMS, but in common usage most people call iMessage messages “texts”, and the act of sending them “texting”. Or were they using some other platform? People call all sorts of messages “texts”.

This matters because SMS is not encrypted. iMessage is not just encrypted but end-to-end encrypted. If, as Bezos’s investigator apparently believes, Bezos’s phone was not compromised, that means either Sanchez’s phone was compromised, or the messages were intercepted in transit. But if they were iMessages, they couldn’t be intercepted in transit.

Friday, 8 February 2019