Exclusive-Policy groups ask Apple to drop plans to inspect iMessages, scan for abuse images

www.reuters.com
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fairly difficult
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.
(Reuters) -

FILE PHOTO: The Apple logo is seen on a Macbook in this illustration photo taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

"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 here 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.

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Joseph Menn
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