Apple Computer has unveiled plans to scan iPhones in the USA, AP reports, ostensibly under the guise of searching for for child pornography. The Electronic Frontier Foundation called Apple’s giving up privacy protections “a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.”
Apple Computer was once celebrated among security and civil liberty watchdogs alike, for refusing the FBI access to the San Bernadino jihadi terrorists’ iPhone communications, who killed 14 and injured 22 others.
In 2020, President Donald Trump slammed Apple over refusing access to password-protected iPhones used by the shooter in the 2019 attack on a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said that “Apple is opening the door to broader abuses”:
“It’s impossible to build a client-side scanning system that can only be used for sexually explicit images sent or received by children. As a consequence, even a well-intentioned effort to build such a system will break key promises of the messenger’s encryption itself and open the door to broader abuses […] That’s not a slippery slope; that’s a fully built system just waiting for external pressure to make the slightest change.”
The Center for Democracy and Technology has said that it is “deeply concerned that Apple’s changes in fact create new risks to children and all users, and mark a significant departure from long-held privacy and security protocols”:
NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden recently revealed how Pegasus spy software from Israeli company NSO can infilitrate our iPhones:
Enormous: official confirmation of the allegations regarding Israeli hacking-for-hire company NSO Group's involvement in targeted attacks on EU journalists.
If they will do it in France, they will do it anywhere. Shut them down—ban the exploit trade.https://t.co/gw2M9Je1nf
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) August 3, 2021
For the skilled user, here is a step-by-step instruction for checking whether your phone has been compromised by Pegasus spy software.