Apple's 'camera kill switch' patent enrages rights groups

Apple's 'camera kill switch' patent enrages rights groups
We told you a few days ago about Apple's patent filing, in which a coded infrared transmission could disable your iPhone's camera. That could have a number of applications. Considering Apple's unique relationship with record companies, the primary use would be to prevent photos and video recordings of live concerts.

But the Save the Internet coalition has penned an open letter to Steve Jobs, discouraging the implementation of such a device. And they bring up some solid, albeit dramatic, points. Referring to the heavy use of cell phones in recent revolutions around the world, they point out that "This technology would also give tyrants the power to stem the flow of protest videos and crack down on their citizens with impunity."

In general, however, "it would give tyrants and companies the power to silence one of the most critical forms of free expression." Like we said, it's a little dramatic. And, ideally, Apple would be able to control who had access to the coded infrared device, limiting its oppressive applications.

But there are everyday situations in which the kill switch could be a problem. What if someone is assaulted at a concert, and no one is able to photograph the assailant for evidence. Some of us use our iPhones to take videos of concerts, and then violate their copyright by posting them online. But the majority of us depend on them for far more, be they photos of our puppy or videos of a national revolution.

source: Save the Internet via TUAW



1. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Really sad.

3. ztedac

Posts: 69; Member since: May 17, 2010

wow... if it actually pass and if someone did get hurt in one of the concerts will apple be sue as an accomplice? accessory of murder?

12. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

I tried to send a video MMS to security # posted at the concert, but my iPhone wouldn't let me! I was forced to just watch that little guy in orange robes burst into flames and burn himself to death. Apple and the Concert promoters are responsible for the damage to my psyche! And now I will not get a chance at $100000 from America's Funniest Home Videos either...

4. jem unregistered

turning it back to a dumbphone doesn't mean anything. how do dumbphones record murders in the concerts before the smartphones existed anyway ?

5. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

Go Apple! Tools...

6. ssjassassin

Posts: 108; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

I hate these pop up ads that are in the body of text. Im pretty sure that s**t is like 90's style internet advertising... it is bull s**t p.a. it keeps making you site look like balls.

7. hawk62

Posts: 320; Member since: Nov 21, 2009

The people that plan to video n post the concert will just jailbreak their phone and over ride this. Seems like a huge pr mess with apples customers just to give a false sense of security to the record companies.

10. kcombs

Posts: 275; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

Or I'll just not buy apple phones anymore, I think that was all I needed to switch to Android.

11. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

Congrats! now just step out of the apple stampede and watch those lemmings jump over the cliff...

8. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Boohoo, get over it. Apple is a business and iTunes has a good deal with the recording industry.

9. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Lol, how cute. Someone rated my comment negatively.

13. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

So....where are all the ppl that thought since this was in a tabloid it was lies... Yea, all this will do is get in the way of ppl wanting to use their phones a certain way in certain instances.

14. mrandrewshah

Posts: 14; Member since: Nov 01, 2009


15. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

This is an exact move on Apple's part that consistently irks me. If someone wants to take a chance and have their phone/camera taken away for illegally photographing concerts/ shows, isn't that the decision of that person(s) and security? I understand a certain amount of control in Apple's ecosystem, but this just blatantly crosses the line. They are trying to tell you when you can and cannot take pictures and be the phone police? People complain about government intervention, yet the same people allow Apple to control how they use their phones. Very disturbing. How many more people are going to buy into dictation from Apple? It's your device and your money. You should be able to do as you please. I sure hope this article is a premature evaluation that does not reflect a true result from Apple. John B.

16. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

Another reason to jailbreak your iPhone.

17. Phullofphil

Posts: 1843; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

its kind stupid because its not like you cann get a good recording of your phone thats worth a dam any how. They are mostly crapp

18. fairly_mismatched unregistered

Where's Anonymous and LulzSec when it comes to Apple? For two (one?) organization(s) that are all about freedom (of information, the internet, and people in general) and fighting oppression I don't think I've heard one peep about the Super Nanny like control Apple exerts over it's business partners and consumers.

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