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Discussion on: What is Apple thinking?

webbureaucrat profile image

The Apple detractor case goes something like this:

  • Before this announcement, we trusted Apple to not create this kind of software to enable authoritarians without telling us.
  • Now that Apple has told us exactly what they built and what it's being used for, we no longer trust Apple not to modify this kind of software to enable authoritarians.

Apple is closed source! They already install software on your device for you on a regular basis, and you don't have any transparency into what it does! This doesn't suddenly enable that. If they weren't pursuing child protection, they could still pursue cooperation with authoritarianism.

Another common argument I hear is that it's unlikely to actually catch any pedophiles because pedophiles will simply not use a service that complies with authorities. This is false, and it's easy to see if you've just looked into the subject even a little. Facebook submits about 20 million cases to the FBI every year. That means every year people are caught uploading child sexual abuse imagery to Facebook, a company that has made perfectly clear many times that it will choose its own interests over privacy every day of the week.