DOJ Calls Out Apple in the Group Chat

Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News from WIRED

Mar 28 2024 • 29 mins

Apple has gotten used to being a favorite target of rivals and government agencies. The company has been repeatedly scrutinized by regulators, and other tech companies have accused the company of anticompetitive practices. Apple’s most recent legal challenge is a doozy: an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice and more than a dozen state attorneys general. The suit takes aim at the security and privacy features offered only on the iPhone, and accuses Apple of using that exclusivity to lock consumers into its ecosystem. At the center of the suit is the lack of true cross-platform encryption on Apple’s messaging platform—the green bubble-blue bubble divide—which the government alleges harms consumers by leaving them more vulnerable to attacks.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED senior security editor Andrew Couts about the encryption and privacy issues behind the DOJ's suit against Apple, and how the dreaded green bubbles on iMessage factor in.

Show Notes:

Read Andrew and Andy Greenberg’s WIRED story about how the DOJ is targeting Apple's iMessage encryption. Read Lauren’s story about how the antitrust case is all about the green bubbles, really.


Andrew recommends profumo del chianti sea salt. Lauren recommends the book Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Mike recommends going to the Big Ears music festival next year.

Andrew Couts can be found on social media @AndrewCouts. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.