Apple will remotely install software to scan all US phones for child sex abuse images

cjcox

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Hopefully it works better than Facebook, where posting a picture of Jesse Owens getting a medal in the Olympics is the same as a lynching (apparently).
 

SmokeRngs

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Like I said, I'm not going to debate with someone who's incoherent, deals in hyperbole, and whose "examples" are curiously devoid of tangible information.

You will not respond to me again in this thread unless it's to apologize and discuss things in a nuanced, intelligent manner. If you respond for any other reason, I will consider it harassment and report you.
You're not debating and you did not once attempt to refute a single point I made. The reason for pointing this out is to show you have no argument nor are you even attempting to debate and therefore there is no point for anyone to take any "argument" seriously. Defend your argument instead of resorting to attacks and insults. Give reasons why Apple scanning all images on your phone to send any possible violations of what they don't like to law enforcement.
 
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I think many on this forum are doubting that's the real reason, but a smoke screen for a less acceptable invasion of privacy.

Of course. I'm more amazed by the fact that we apparently still had a shred of privacy left. I operate under the assumption that any digital communications in which I engage happen within the confines of a cyber-panopticon.
 

Aireoth

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Don't agree with Apple about this? Here's what they think of you:

https://twitter.com/kaepora/status/1423738825369604106
"Apple distributed an internal memo today which referred to pushback against its new content surveillance measures as "the screeching voices of the minority." I have nothing to add."

And here's the relevent part of the memo:
View attachment 382646
They are not wrong though, for all the screeching on the echo chamber of stupid that is the internet, nothing changes. People will still buy apple, and they will remain the defacto choice for many.

Its been long proven that most just don't care, ease of access trumps everything else. Plus privacy died decades ago anyway.
 
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DeeFrag

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I knew Jeffrey Epstein isn't dead, he just secretly took over apple's iPhone division.
 

Gorankar

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Does anyone actually think this is about catching pedos? Or that if it were, it's use would stop there? This is about controlling information, and destroying anyone that stands in the economic, social, or political, way of whomever is in control of this tech and information. "The Children!!!" is just an excuse.

Assuming they never intend to, or ever work their way up to, reporting people to the law based on some algorithm or another they use to decide what they consider is or is not permissible, I still have an issue with a third party deleting your files. I don't use cloud services myself, but, the cloud was meant to make backing up and accessing files easier. That is why people use it in the first place. I would like to think people will just stop using it, but, well, most are either too stupid, or, rather too naive to understand how it can, and almost certainly will be abused. Just little further each time, and little further the next. This is an icy cliff with 100mph winds blowing blinding "for the children" snow in every direction trying to push you over, not some slippery slope.

Just to remind people how it works in the US. A CP accusation alone is generally enough to end your life socially, politically, and economically, unless the claim is just too outlandish to believe, or you are a Democrat the party still finds useful. The way the law is written in much of the US, the accused would be required to prove that the person depicted was of legal age. Worse, in some jurisdictions, even if the person is of legal age, and the accused proves it, if the judge and prosecutor decide the person in question looks underage, they can go ahead with prosecution anyway. A petite, 28 year, old porn star with really good makeup, and pigtails or braces can land you in trouble with the law. Even if you do beat it in court, you are going to be hard pressed to earn a living or move on with your life socially afterwards. You have nothing to fear if you are living clean my backside.
 

next-Jin

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Does anyone actually think this is about catching pedos? Or that if it were, it's use would stop there? This is about controlling information, and destroying anyone that stands in the economic, social, or political, way of whomever is in control of this tech and information. "The Children!!!" is just an excuse.

Assuming they never intend to, or ever work their way up to, reporting people to the law based on some algorithm or another they use to decide what they consider is or is not permissible, I still have an issue with a third party deleting your files. I don't use cloud services myself, but, the cloud was meant to make backing up and accessing files easier. That is why people use it in the first place. I would like to think people will just stop using it, but, well, most are either too stupid, or, rather too naive to understand how it can, and almost certainly will be abused. Just little further each time, and little further the next. This is an icy cliff with 100mph winds blowing blinding "for the children" snow in every direction trying to push you over, not some slippery slope.

Just to remind people how it works in the US. A CP accusation alone is generally enough to end your life socially, politically, and economically, unless the claim is just too outlandish to believe, or you are a Democrat the party still finds useful. The way the law is written in much of the US, the accused would be required to prove that the person depicted was of legal age. Worse, in some jurisdictions, even if the person is of legal age, and the accused proves it, if the judge and prosecutor decide the person in question looks underage, they can go ahead with prosecution anyway. A petite, 28 year, old porn star with really good makeup, and pigtails or braces can land you in trouble with the law. Even if you do beat it in court, you are going to be hard pressed to earn a living or move on with your life socially afterwards. You have nothing to fear if you are living clean my backside.

I don’t get it either. Their email memo makes it sound like it’s going to “rescue” kids. That’s not what I am reading and it’s what most of us understand as fact unless they mean it will prevent pedos maybe? But that negates the “rescue” part of the sentence.

If they have a database of known photos (200 apparently) how does that target anyone who is doing harm to “new” kids?

The only way that memo makes sense is if they use AI to find naked pictures of kids or kids in distress somehow. I’m all for putting pedos in the ground and getting rid of them. But I don’t see how it makes sense with what they are saying it is versus what it actually does.

iOS 15 for me will have iCloud disabled until it’s sorted, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t have a security background. I just have SEC+ and some classes in cryptography and cloud security. Most of my background is switching and routing, now I write and research for the DOD so I don’t have the background to grasp this stuff. But the messaging and verbiage used doesn’t make sense for what they are trying to convey and that concerns me.
 

Killahurtz

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Its things like this that make me laugh. We have security cameras all big stores like wallamrt and in big city's, most give out their life story on facebook and so on. But the second their tech does something like this you have folks getting angry over it.
BTW most modem NVR cameras system used in bigger stores have facial recognition and can automatically pick up on car plates and so on. No one wines about this.
...I do
 

Aireoth

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So if I have a picture of my 1 year old daughter in the tub "floating" on her back because she's practicing what she's learning from swim lessons and sent it to my wife, now I can falsely get flagged?
who knows, but I suspect a lot of us parents would get flagged if that is true.
 

[Spectre]

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Like I said, I'm not going to debate with someone who's incoherent, deals in hyperbole, and whose "examples" are curiously devoid of tangible information.

You will not respond to me again in this thread unless it's to apologize and discuss things in a nuanced, intelligent manner. If you respond for any other reason, I will consider it harassment and report you.

That is not how things work. If you can't respond politely to someone then ignore them.
 

SmokeRngs

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I don’t get it either. Their email memo makes it sound like it’s going to “rescue” kids. That’s not what I am reading and it’s what most of us understand as fact unless they mean it will prevent pedos maybe? But that negates the “rescue” part of the sentence.

If they have a database of known photos (200 apparently) how does that target anyone who is doing harm to “new” kids?

The only way that memo makes sense is if they use AI to find naked pictures of kids or kids in distress somehow. I’m all for putting pedos in the ground and getting rid of them. But I don’t see how it makes sense with what they are saying it is versus what it actually does.

iOS 15 for me will have iCloud disabled until it’s sorted, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t have a security background. I just have SEC+ and some classes in cryptography and cloud security. Most of my background is switching and routing, now I write and research for the DOD so I don’t have the background to grasp this stuff. But the messaging and verbiage used doesn’t make sense for what they are trying to convey and that concerns me.
There's an additional point that puzzles me. What is Apple doing with these images in the first place? Apple is not law enforcement and therefore having the images is literally against the law. Even if Apple only has hashes and not the images, where did Apple get the hashes since the actual pictures are against the law to possess? The only way this makes sense is if Apple is knowingly and willingly working on behalf of government. That would make Apple an extension of the government and therefore a state actor.

The implications of this go far beyond what Apple has announced. As a state actor, what level of access does the government have with regards to any and all information Apple has? Can Apple even be considered a technology company with protections a private business has since it is now a state actor? There are massive and far-reaching implications regarding the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments just to start.
 

cybereality

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Right, Apple isn't law enforcement. Why are they getting into this in the first place, especially with all the talk and marketing about privacy?

I mean, where does it stop? Do they scan your messages where you spoke to a lawyer about tax evasion? Maybe you are collecting unemployment checks illegally?

Recording police brutality videos? What about banned content in certain other countries, like those Winnie the Pooh satire images in China? This is not good.
 

noko

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How is Apple making money from this? What added expense will there be to manage this policy? From a business sense it does not make much sense since Apple admitted they have partners that use Child labor to begin with.
https://www.channelnews.com.au/apple-admits-to-using-child-labour-to-build-iphone-x/

The disguise for using an identification system against Child Porn, freezing accounts, reporting to authorities etc. specifically in the US (many folks do their financial jobs, sometimes only method to be suddenly locked out!) just seems way out of left field. Due process and not Apple process which would not have any legal protections. Basically any image hashes, people faces, cars etc. could be stored and no way you would know your phone is being used more than just for your use. Also since a hit means they will now look at your images, wow, access and now someone who you have no clue about, has control over any image, copy, broadcast, sell, profile etc. Of course we can just instantly trust 100% that no employee or Apple will abuse this, Apple Employees/managers will be just flawless. Yeah right.
 

noko

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There's an additional point that puzzles me. What is Apple doing with these images in the first place? Apple is not law enforcement and therefore having the images is literally against the law. Even if Apple only has hashes and not the images, where did Apple get the hashes since the actual pictures are against the law to possess? The only way this makes sense is if Apple is knowingly and willingly working on behalf of government. That would make Apple an extension of the government and therefore a state actor.

The implications of this go far beyond what Apple has announced. As a state actor, what level of access does the government have with regards to any and all information Apple has? Can Apple even be considered a technology company with protections a private business has since it is now a state actor? There are massive and far-reaching implications regarding the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments just to start.
Apple has a Law Enforcement Support programs letting government know what data is available and what to do to get it

Law Enforcement Support Program​

We believe that law enforcement agencies play a critical role in keeping our society safe and we’ve always maintained that if we have information we will make it available when presented with valid legal process. In recognizing the ongoing digital evidence needs of law enforcement agencies, we have a team of dedicated professionals within our legal department who manage and respond to all legal requests received from law enforcement agencies globally. Our team also responds to emergency requests globally on a 24/7 basis.
We publish legal process guidelines for government and law enforcement agencies globally and we publish transparency reports twice a year detailing the types of requests we receive and how we respond. In addition, we regularly provide training to law enforcement officers on the types of data available from Apple and how to obtain it consistent with our legal process guidelines.
Register for the online law enforcement training course
We are also in the process of launching an online portal for authenticated law enforcement officers globally to submit lawful requests for data, check request status, and obtain responsive data from Apple.
Apple is committed to protecting the security and privacy of our users. The above developments and the work we do to assist investigations uphold this fundamental commitment.

I like how Apple says ". . . . with our legal process guidelines." I guess they tell the government the process lol. Now the government won't have to request, Apple will just give it to them. Then Apple states they are committed to the privacy of their users :ROFLMAO:.

https://www.apple.com/privacy/government-information-requests/

My other concern would be if images can be taken from your phone what stops images from being inserted into your phone? A person maliciously or accidently or trying to cover for a mistake. Well I just bought my wife an iPhone 12, I have an Samsung Android phone, maybe just getting a flip phone and not worry about the updates, spying, advertisements . . . would just be better.
 
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SmokeRngs

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Apple has a Law Enforcement Support programs letting government know what data is available and what to do to get it



I like how Apple says ". . . . with our legal process guidelines." I guess they tell the government the process lol. Now the government won't have to request, Apple will just give it to them. Then Apple states they are committed to the privacy of their users :ROFLMAO:.

https://www.apple.com/privacy/government-information-requests/

My other concern would be if images can be taken from your phone what stops images from being inserted into your phone? A person maliciously or accidently or trying to cover for a mistake. Well I just bought my wife an iPhone 12, I have an Samsung Android phone, maybe just getting a flip phone and not worry about the updates, spying, advertisements . . . would just be better.
On the surface I don't have a problem with Apple's stated Law Enforcement Support Program. As long as Apple only allows the government access to information obtained through legal means and through the legal process it's not an issue. Posting guidelines on what law enforcement is required to do (as long as it also follows the law such as valid search warrants) saves everyone time and money. It's also a transparent policy which Apple users can read to inform themselves what constitutional responsibilities Apple has with regards to law enforcement.

The subject of this thread is far beyond that and in my opinion completely illegal and unconstitutional. This is not a case of someone working on a computer and stumbling over child porn which they then report to the police. This is Apple actively searching for something specific for no reason and without permission for the explicit purpose of turning it over to law enforcement.

I have no doubt this will be abused by Apple and law enforcement to put something on a phone in order to frame them. Law enforcement has been doing things like this since law enforcement was invented. It's not a matter of if but when. It's also only the tip of the iceberg of what can and will be done with this program.
 

Crotan

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I'm sorry, but "slippery slopes" are called logical fallacies for a reason — because assuming the worst possible outcome is often irrational and seldom realistic.

There are thorny privacy issues here, and we should absolutely hold Apple's feet to the fire if it ventures further. I won't shout "won't someone please think of the children?" if it goes away. But assuming this will be expanded, intentionally used for false positives, and pushed for secret motives? Er, no. I want evidence-based reasoning, not wild speculation based on what you're worried might happen. It's possible to be concerned about Apple's move without devolving into Chicken Little panicking.

Ehh I don't know, the number of state actors that use that Pegasus spyware to monitor anybody they deem dissidents is pretty damming of our motives. Just because you would never use it that way, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of nations actively invading the privacy of their citizens. With the number of countries that use straight up spyware to monitor journalists, technology developments such as this are exactly what they want to preserve their own interests. Any any technology company that can make it happen will find multiple nation state paying customers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/nso-spyware-pegasus-cellphones/
 

Killahurtz

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There's an additional point that puzzles me. What is Apple doing with these images in the first place? Apple is not law enforcement and therefore having the images is literally against the law. Even if Apple only has hashes and not the images, where did Apple get the hashes since the actual pictures are against the law to possess? The only way this makes sense is if Apple is knowingly and willingly working on behalf of government. That would make Apple an extension of the government and therefore a state actor.

The implications of this go far beyond what Apple has announced. As a state actor, what level of access does the government have with regards to any and all information Apple has? Can Apple even be considered a technology company with protections a private business has since it is now a state actor? There are massive and far-reaching implications regarding the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments just to start.
per the Constitution and law...

If something is unconstitutional and illegal for the federal government to do it is also unconstitutional and illegal for the federal government to "farm it out" to someone else to do.
 

Mchart

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per the Constitution and law...

If something is unconstitutional and illegal for the federal government to do it is also unconstitutional and illegal for the federal government to "farm it out" to someone else to do.
That's the issue, they technically aren't. Apple is passing this to a private organization that fights online child porn. What that organization chooses to do with it at that point is on them. I agree the laws need to change, but this isn't illegal by any measure.
 

travm

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Of course. I'm more amazed by the fact that we apparently still had a shred of privacy left. I operate under the assumption that any digital communications in which I engage happen within the confines of a cyber-panopticon.
I wouldn't be surprised at all of this is preemptive damage control because they've been spying on everything we do for years.
 

Aurelius

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Ehh I don't know, the number of state actors that use that Pegasus spyware to monitor anybody they deem dissidents is pretty damming of our motives. Just because you would never use it that way, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of nations actively invading the privacy of their citizens. With the number of countries that use straight up spyware to monitor journalists, technology developments such as this are exactly what they want to preserve their own interests. Any any technology company that can make it happen will find multiple nation state paying customers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/nso-spyware-pegasus-cellphones/
That's still something of a logical leap given that Apple has carved out what it will and won't do... and that definitely doesn't include selling the technology elsewhere. NSO sells Pegasus because surveillance tools like that are its business; this is a relatively tiny change to Apple photo functionality. What Apple is doing certainly isn't nearly as invasive as Pegasus.
 
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I wouldn't be surprised at all of this is preemptive damage control because they've been spying on everything we do for years.

That makes sense. They're probably trying to give the spying a legitimate context so that when their records get subpoenaed for a matter that has nothing to do with CP, they can just say the data collection was "incidental" or "accidental."
 
D

Deleted member 89018

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Conspiracy theories about “they’re already spying on everything” aside, you guys really should assume that everything in the cloud is scanned at some point.

I think it would be irresponsible of a cloud storage provider to not do so. I mean, they already scan for malicious software, so trying to match hashes of known contraband files is… basically the same thing.

the real concern here should be that it’s going to be happening on a device you “own” without your permission and it’s a closed system that is “unlikely” to have a false positive and “won’t be abused by the governments we’ve already made concessions for.”

it also seems to fly in the face of accepted “unreasonable search” and “probable cause” interpretation, unless I missed something about phones and the massive stores of personal data they contain no longer being considered private property the last few years?
 
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travm

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Conspiracy theories about “they’re already spying on everything” aside, you guys really should assume that everything in the cloud is scanned at some point.

I think it would be irresponsible of a cloud storage provider to not do so. I mean, they already scan for malicious software, so trying to match hashes of known contraband files is… basically the same thing.

the real concern here should be that it’s going to be happening on a device you “own” without your permission and it’s a closed system that is “unlikely” to have a false positive and “won’t be abused by the governments we’ve already made concessions for.”

it also seems to fly in the face of accepted “unreasonable search” and “probable cause” interpretation, unless I missed something about phones and the massive stores of personal data they contain no longer being considered private property the last few years?
For me the takeaway here really is, the internet and Internet connected devices are not private. Therefore it's not even really a search. It's like dealing drugs in the doorway to the police station. Unreasonable search and seizure do not apply.

Don't do anything on the net you wouldn't do on a freeway Boulevard.
 
D

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travm totally agreed about the internet and cloud services But internet connected devices that you are supposed to own, now scanning data you thought was private?

“just disable iCloud photos” would be a perfectly fine way to opt out if it weren’t for the fact that the scan is happening on-device.

think of it like an Apple employee just showing up at your house and looking through all of your things, taking down notes on everything they find and writing up a report on it. Without your permission and you have no way to stop him. Then that employee goes back to work and takes the report with him, but promises it will be safe.

just because it’s easier for them to do it on a phone doesn’t make it okay.

I’ve already disabled auto iOS updates on our two iPhones and my iPad, and disabled iCloud photo. But it seems like unless Apple changes course my next phone will have to be something else. Who knows what will even be a viable option by then.
 

travm

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travm totally agreed about the internet and cloud services But internet connected devices that you are supposed to own, now scanning data you thought was private?

“just disable iCloud photos” would be a perfectly fine way to opt out if it weren’t for the fact that the scan is happening on-device.

think of it like an Apple employee just showing up at your house and looking through all of your things, taking down notes on everything they find and writing up a report on it. Without your permission and you have no way to stop him. Then that employee goes back to work and takes the report with him, but promises it will be safe.

just because it’s easier for them to do it on a phone doesn’t make it okay.
You don't own software. It's more like you keeping all your things in Apple's house, then being surprised they looked through your things.

Also now that they've announced it, you should know it's not private.
 

Mchart

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travm totally agreed about the internet and cloud services But internet connected devices that you are supposed to own, now scanning data you thought was private?

“just disable iCloud photos” would be a perfectly fine way to opt out if it weren’t for the fact that the scan is happening on-device.

think of it like an Apple employee just showing up at your house and looking through all of your things, taking down notes on everything they find and writing up a report on it. Without your permission and you have no way to stop him. Then that employee goes back to work and takes the report with him, but promises it will be safe.

just because it’s easier for them to do it on a phone doesn’t make it okay.
The scan happens on the device, but the ticket that is generated is never looked at unless the photo is uploaded to iCloud.
 
D

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You don't own software. It's more like you keeping all your things in Apple's house, then being surprised they looked through your things.

Also now that they've announced it, you should know it's not private.

no, but you can own a phone. At least, we thought you could.

and yes, they’ve announced this now, so what about everyone who bought Apple devices based on their constant harping about user privacy and security?

The scan happens on the device, but the ticket that is generated is never looked at unless the photo is uploaded to iCloud.

yea, that’s the “don’t worry, no one will ever look at the report” part.

it’s generating the report on device in the first place that’s the problem for me. That’s an action that should require probable cause, a warrant, a search and seizure of property and a digital analysis.

they don’t get to skip right to digital analysis “just in case we need it later”.
 

Mchart

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Interesting
My guess is they designed it this way, because due to how iCloud end-to-end encryption works, they wouldn't be able to scan it if it's not on a device you have paired/signed-in with iCloud. The ticket in question seems to be the same meta-data ticket that is generated/uploaded already anyways for photos, but now they add this extra field in.

Either way, if you're really concerned about it, just disable iCloud photos. Or if you're super concerned, just stop using iCloud anyways. However, some of the iOS 15 features are pretty legit, and need iCloud to function. Like the private cloud relay that passes all webtraffic by default out through iCloud servers now, and Apple strips off any identifying header info. This will be enabled by default for iOS15, and is going to be a massive blow to web-advertisers.
 

Killahurtz

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That's the issue, they technically aren't. Apple is passing this to a private organization that fights online child porn. What that organization chooses to do with it at that point is on them. I agree the laws need to change, but this isn't illegal by an

no, but you can own a phone. At least, we thought you could.

and yes, they’ve announced this now, so what about everyone who bought Apple devices based on their constant harping about user privacy and security?



yea, that’s the “don’t worry, no one will ever look at the report” part.

it’s generating the report on device in the first place that’s the problem for me. That’s an action that should require probable cause, a warrant, a search and seizure of property and a digital analysis.

they don’t get to skip right to digital analysis “just in case we need it later”.


....what he said
 

Mchart

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no, but you can own a phone. At least, we thought you could.

and yes, they’ve announced this now, so what about everyone who bought Apple devices based on their constant harping about user privacy and security?



yea, that’s the “don’t worry, no one will ever look at the report” part.

it’s generating the report on device in the first place that’s the problem for me. That’s an action that should require probable cause, a warrant, a search and seizure of property and a digital analysis.

they don’t get to skip right to digital analysis “just in case we need it later”.
Apple doesn't need a warrant or any legal authority to do something like this. Nor are they passing this info directly to a LEO. I'm neutral on the thing, but you really need to make sure you are using clear language here.
 
D

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Fwiw there are some alternatives right now for anyone who is already looking to jump ship but still wants a smartphone.

GrapheneOS on a Pixel is probably the closest you’ll get to regular smartphone capabilities. https://grapheneos.org/

/e/ is another option. https://e.foundation/

purism: https://puri.sm/

there’s also Ubuntu touch. https://ubuntu-touch.io/

they all come with various usability compromises.


Like the private cloud relay that passes all webtraffic by default out through iCloud servers now, and Apple strips off any identifying header info.

Yikes. I hadn’t heard about that one. Just funnel all your internet traffic through their servers too, they’re obviously interested in preserving your privacy, and certainly not fingerprinting your information for later.


Apple doesn't need a warrant or any legal authority to do something like this. Nor are they passing this info directly to a LEO. I'm neutral on the thing, but you really need to make sure you are using clear language here.

I think Apple needs to be using clear language about it.

they’ve stated they’re putting a database on your device that the fingerprinting will use as a reference.

it’s creating a ”hash” that it will compare to known bad ones using some fuzzy logic.

just because it doesn’t do anything with the report afterwards (unless the photo is uploaded to iCloud) doesn’t make it okay for them to be digging through your stuff.
 
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