By Joseph Menn (Reuters) – More than 90 policy and rights groups around the world will publish an open letter on Thursday urging Apple to abandon plans for scanning children’s messages for nudity and the phones of adults for images of child sex abuse.
“Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material, 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,” the groups wrote in the letter provided in advance to Reuters.
The largest campaign to date over an encryption issue at a single company was organized by the U.S.-based nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT).
Some overseas signatories in particular are worried about the impact of the changes in nations with different legal systems, including some already hosting heated fights over encryption and privacy.
“It’s so disappointing and upsetting that Apple is doing this, because they have been a staunch ally in defending encryption in the past,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, co-director of CDT’s Security & Surveillance Project.
An Apple spokesman said the company had addressed privacy and security concerns in a document Friday outlining why the complex architecture of the scanning software should resist attempts to subvert it…Read More