Thursday, July 18th, 2019

iCensor: Apple Patents Remote “Kill Switch” for iPhone Cameras

Published on July 2, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

iphonecamera

 Nika Knight

Owning an iPhone could someday mean being blocked from recording anything that someone in power doesn’t want you to record.

That’s the potential ramification of a patent granted to Apple earlier this week for technology that remotely disables iPhone cameras by infrared sensors.

While Apple’s patent application uses the example of a rock band preventing audience members from recording a concert, since the application was first submitted back in 2009 observers have noted that the technology could also be used by police, repressive governments, and anyone in power to stop citizens from recording abuses of power and other injustices

The patent was approved despite thousands of signatures on a petitionseeking to block the technology from being developed.

“Here’s the rub. The First Amendment and Article 19 of the U.N.’s Declaration on Human Rights don’t really apply to the corporations that build these cellphones and run these social networks. Free speech rules don’t apply to Silicon Valley,” wrote the civil liberties group Free Press back in 2011, and Apple’s “cellphone camera kill switch can be used as a pre-emptive strike against free speech. ”

Approval for the patent was also granted amid increasing use of smartphone technology to record abuses of power, whether that is everyday citizens recording police brutality, House Democrats recording their sit-in for gun control after Speaker Paul Ryan shut off C-SPAN cameras, or peaceful protesters recordingassaults by police.

 Read More HERE

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