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A Quick Plug
Episode 82: Apple’s Child Safety and the Screeching Voices of the Minority
Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Kyle Rankin about Apple’s new plans to monitor personal devices, and what it means for privacy, ownership, and setting precedence.
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The Screeching What, Now?
Apple distributed this internal memo this morning, dismissing their critics as "the screeching voices of the minority."— Eva (@evacide) August 6, 2021
I will never stop screeching about the importance of privacy, security, or civil liberties. And neither should you. pic.twitter.com/lLDfxEUIXL
A few weeks ago, Apple announced a new approach to child safety that caused a swift backlash from nearly every privacy expert and advocate, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, Fight for the Future, and many individuals and others, with many ultimately signing an open letter to Apple strongly condemning the move.
The undersigned organisations committed to civil rights, human rights and digital rights around the world are writing to urge Apple to abandon the plans it announced on 5 August 2021 to build surveillance capabilities into iPhones, iPads and other Apple products. Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children.
Reality 2.0 guests, Kyle Rankin and Bruce Schneier weighed in with reasoned commentary as well. Schneier provides an excellent round up of various information related to Apple’s announcement, and in his first post, aptly recalls his own 2005 warning:
Beware the Four Horsemen of the Information Apocalypse: terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, and child pornographers. Seems like you can scare any public into allowing the government to do anything with those four.
Rankin’s more thorough analysis on the Puri.sm blog raises the very fair question of precedence setting:
So companies capture and sell our data, and the police and private groups sometimes buy that data to look for crimes. But up to this point, the “snitching” that devices did on you was indirect–it would send data to vendors or app developers to sell to brokers, but the only time that vendors might search your data and alert the authorities is when searching files stored on their own servers that you have shared. Up to now, actually scanning for potential contraband on a person’s device was a line companies wouldn’t cross.
We hope you’ll listen to episode 82 to hear our full discussion with Kyle on what we feel is a gravely important issue. We’re with the experts on this, and you can add us to the “screeching voices of the minority.” You can show your support for the podcast and digital privacy by ordering a t-shirt or other printed items with the design below.
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This Week’s Reading List
Apple's Plan to "Think Different" About Encryption Opens a Backdoor to Your Private Life | Electronic Frontier Foundation — Apple has announced impending changes to its operating systems that include new “protections for children” features in iCloud and iMessage. If you’ve spent any time following the Crypto Wars, you know what this means: Apple is planning to build a backdoor into its data storage system and its messaging system.
Daring Fireball: Apple’s New ‘Child Safety’ Initiatives, and the Slippery Slope — My first advice is to read Apple’s own high-level description of the features, which ends with links to detailed technical documentation regarding the encryption and techniques Apple is employing in the implementations, and “technical assessments” from three leading researchers in cryptography and computer vision.
Eva on Twitter: "Apple distributed this internal memo this morning, dismissing their critics as "the screeching voices of the minority." I will never stop screeching about the importance of privacy, security, or civil liberties. And neither should you. https://t.co/lLDfxEUIXL" / Twitter — Apple distributed this internal memo this morning, dismissing their critics as "the screeching voices of the minority." I will never stop screeching about the importance of privacy, security, or civil liberties. And neither should you.
GitHub - nadimkobeissi/appleprivacyletter: An open letter against Apple's new privacy-invasive client-side content scanning. — An open letter against Apple's new privacy-invasive client-side content scanning technology.
Transactional analysis - Wikipedia — Transactional analysis (TA) is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the communicator (whether parent-like, childlike, or adult-like) as a basis for understanding behavior. In transactional analysis, the communicator is taught to alter the ego state as a way to solve emotional problems. The method deviates from Freudian psychoanalysis which focuses on increasing awareness of the contents of subconsciously held ideas. Eric Berne developed the concept and paradigm of transactional analysis in the late 1950s.
Reality 2.0 Episode 80: NSO Group's Pegasus, Stingrays, and Grindr — Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Kyle Rankin about NSO group and Pegasus, Stingrays and cars, and surveilling priests.
The Encryption Debate in Australia: 2021 Update - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace — In 2018, the heads of Australia’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies were given broad powers by the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018,1 or TOLA Act, to gain access to encrypted communicat
Internet of Snitches – Purism — Imagine an Internet of Snitches, each scanning whatever data they have access to for evidence of crime. Beyond the OS itself, individual phone apps could start looking for contraband. Personal computers would follow their lead. Home network file servers could pore through photos, videos and file backups for CSAM and maybe even evidence of copyright infringement. Home routers could scan any unencrypted network traffic. Your voice assistant could use machine learning to decide when yelling in a household crosses the line into abuse. Your printer could analyze the documents and photos you send it.
Reality 2.0 Episode 49: Parler, Ownership, and Open Source — Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman, Petros Koutoupis, and Kyle Rankin talk Parler and platform lock-in, the concept of data, software, and hardware ownership, and the open source social contract.
Reality 2.0 - Blog - Reality 2.0 Newsletter - November 25, 2020: Owned. — This week’s conversation was rooted in the concept of ownership, including hardware, software, and in the case of platform lock-in, even ownership of ideas. Over the course of nearly an hour, we questioned our ownership of our social media profiles, our photo storage accounts, our MacBooks, and our code.
Apple Adds a Backdoor to iMessage and iCloud Storage - Schneier on Security — Apple’s announcement that it’s going to start scanning photos for child abuse material is a big deal. (Here are five news stories.) I have been following the details, and discussing it in several different email lists. I don’t have time right now to delve into the details, but wanted to post something.
Apple Privacy Letter: An Open Letter Against Apple's Privacy-Invasive Content Scanning Technology — An Open Letter Against Apple's Privacy-Invasive Content Scanning Technology Security & Privacy Experts, Cryptographers, Researchers, Professors, Legal Experts and Apple Consumers Decry Apple's Planned Move to Undermine User Privacy and End-to-End Encryption
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