More than 90 organizations around the world sent an open letter urging apple to give up its plan to scan pictures of child abuse


Tencent technology news on August 19, the international alliance composed of more than 90 policy and rights organizations around the world jointly sent an open letter to apple on Wednesday, calling on the company to give up its plan to recently announce the introduction of “child safety” function on iPhone, iPad and other Apple products, including scanning children’s nude information and sexually abused children’s images.
On August 5 this year, Apple announced that it would install monitoring software to scan messages and photos. As the alliance explained in the letter, although these new functions are designed to protect children and reduce the dissemination of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), they will also bring new risks to children, which may be used to censor speech and threaten people’s privacy and security around the world.
The center for democracy and Technology (CDT), a non-profit organization headquartered in the United States, organized the largest opposition to single company encryption so far. Many international organizations are particularly concerned about the impact of these changes on countries with different legal systems, including those that have fought fiercely on encryption and privacy issues.
Sharon Bradford Franklin, CO director of CDT’s security and monitoring program, said: “Apple’s doing this is really disappointing and disturbing because they have always been strong allies in defending encryption in the past.”
An apple spokesman previously said that the company had addressed privacy and security concerns in a document released on Friday and outlined the reasons why the complex architecture of scanning software should resist abuse attempts.
Several organizations in Brazil signed the open letter. Brazilian courts have blocked Facebook’s WhatsApp many times because they failed to decrypt information in criminal investigations. The Brazilian Senate has passed a bill requiring information traceability, which will require marking the content of the information in some way. India passed a similar law this year.
Flavio Wagner, President of the Brazilian independent branch of the Internet association, who signed the agreement, said: “our main concern is the consequences of this mechanism and how to extend this mechanism to other situations and other companies, which represents a serious weakening of the encryption mechanism.”
Other signatory organizations come from India, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Ghana and Tanzania.
Apple announced the launch of the “child safety” function two weeks ago, but immediately caused a strong protest. Apple was surprised and provided a series of explanations and documents, arguing that the risk of error detection was very low.
Although most of the objections so far are about device scanning, the alliance’s open letter also accuses the change of IMessage in family accounts, which will try to identify and blur nude pictures in children’s information, and allow them to view them only after notifying parents.
These organizations say the initiative may endanger children in narrow families or those who seek educational materials. More broadly, they said that this change would break the end-to-end encryption of IMessage, and apple has always firmly defended this IMessage function in other cases.
“Once this’ back door ‘function is built in, the government may force apple to extend the notification to other accounts and detect offensive pictures other than sexually abused children,” the letter wrote
Finally, the open letter wrote: “We support efforts to protect children and resolutely oppose the proliferation of CSAM. But these changes announced by apple, now and in the future, put children and other users at risk. We urge apple to abandon these changes and reaffirm its commitment to protecting users with end-to-end encryption. We also urge apple to consult more often with citizen groups and vulnerable communities that may be more affected by changes in their products and services. “( Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)