EFF urges Apple to drop CSAM tool plans completely

Posted:
in iOS
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has responded favorably to Apple's announcement it would delay implementing its CSAM tools, but still wants Apple to go further and give up on the plans entirely.




On September 3, Apple announced it was going to "take additional time" to consult about its plans to launch child protection features, with a view to improving the tools and implementing them within a few months. In response, the EFF believes Apple could do more on the matter.

In its Friday response, the digital rights group said it was "pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns" of its users "about the dangers posed by its phone scanning tools." However, Apple "must go further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into its encryption entirely."

The statement by the group recapped the criticism Apple had received from over 90 organizations around the world, asking the iPhone maker not to implement the features. The claims are that they could "lead to the censoring of protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children."

A petition hosted by the EFF against Apple's initiative reached 25,000 signatures on September 1, and was nearing 27,000 at the time of publication. According to the EFF, the figure grows to "well over 50,000 signatures" when taking into account similar petitions from groups including Fight for the Future and OpenMedia.

"The enormous coalition that has spoken out will continue to demand that user phones - both their messages and their photos - be protected, and that the company maintain its promise to provide real privacy to its users," the EFF blog post ends.

It remains to be seen what changes Apple will make to its CSAM features, but given it is opening itself up to consultation, it won't be short of suggestions and instruction from observers and critics.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 47
    I agree 100% with EFF’s position.
    CelticPaddybaconstangxyzzy01nadrielmacplusplusrcfaAlex_V
  • Reply 3 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    This is obviously the first time you heard of the EFF and have no idea of the work they do otherwise you wouldn't have made such a dopey comment. 
    I have heard of the EFF and know what they do.  They've done some decent and worthwhile campaigning in the past, but they're very close to being no-compromise privacy zealots.  And I doubt Apple are going to be much bothered to engage with people who cannot be reasoned with given the concurrent obligations Apple feels that it has.
    edited September 2021 jony0
  • Reply 4 of 47
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    It’s pretty obvious you have no idea what “reaonable” means. 
    elijahgtommikelebaconstangxyzzy01bonobobrcfakillroyAlex_V
  • Reply 5 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    It’s pretty obvious you have no idea what “reaonable” means. 
    Not even listening to what the other person is saying is pretty much dictionary definition of unreasonable.
    chasmwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 47
    I feel Apple is not going to be able to do that because the whole thing is very unApple and reeks of government intervention. 
    edited September 2021 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 47
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    Do you even know who and what the EFF is? What their mission and agenda is?

    I don't think you have any idea what you are talking about. 
    elijahgbaconstangnadrielkillroyAlex_V
  • Reply 8 of 47
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    This is obviously the first time you heard of the EFF and have no idea of the work they do otherwise you wouldn't have made such a dopey comment. 
    I have heard of the EFF and know what they do.  They've done some decent and worthwhile campaigning in the past, but they're very close to being no-compromise privacy zealots.  And I doubt Apple are going to be much bothered to engage with people who cannot be reasoned with given the concurrent obligations Apple feels that it has.
    You may have "heard of them", but you clearly have no idea regarding what they do and know very little about them.
    elijahgbaconstangnadrielkillroyAlex_V
  • Reply 9 of 47
    mobirdmobird Posts: 701member
    OK, so as to provide a PSA for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)-I present the link to the website.
    https://www.eff.org/
    xyzzy01nadrielkillroyAlex_V
  • Reply 10 of 47
    This is one idea Apple needs to abandon. Do the scanning server side. Don’t scan on device. Period. 
    baconstangxyzzy01muthuk_vanalingamNaiyasnadrielsdw2001
  • Reply 11 of 47
    Honestly the device side scanning was a privacy thing. They should just not encrypt iCloud photos and scan them for child porn of any kind like Facebook and Google already do. I’m tired of all these people acting like you deserve the right to privately rape kids. 
    ikirkillroy
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Client side scanning of content is a China-sized hole in their privacy story.

    This is just a little push away from looking for pictures of Winnie the Pooh, democracy demonstrations, or even written language patterns that could be critical of the current regime. CSAM should be discarded - if no backhole exists, it's harder to be pressed to expand it.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgblastdoorrcfabaconstangmartinxyz
  • Reply 13 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    tommikele said:
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    This is obviously the first time you heard of the EFF and have no idea of the work they do otherwise you wouldn't have made such a dopey comment. 
    I have heard of the EFF and know what they do.  They've done some decent and worthwhile campaigning in the past, but they're very close to being no-compromise privacy zealots.  And I doubt Apple are going to be much bothered to engage with people who cannot be reasoned with given the concurrent obligations Apple feels that it has.
    You may have "heard of them", but you clearly have no idea regarding what they do and know very little about them.
    Tell me then, oh enlightened one. Where do my words contradict the writings and doings of the EFF?
  • Reply 14 of 47
    crowley said:
    I have heard of the EFF and know what they do.  They've done some decent and worthwhile campaigning in the past, but they're very close to being
    no-compromise privacy zealots.  And I doubt Apple are going to be much bothered to engage with people who cannot be reasoned with given the concurrent obligations Apple feels that it has.

    "no-compromise privacy zealots" is how a lot of people would describe Apple.  Remember the San Bernardino case where they refused to help decrypt the shooter's iPhone? What about when the FBI asked for a backdoor to help fight crime?  In both cases, Apple has clearly said "NO, we will not help you hack our phones because it would compromise our users' privacy."  Beginning in MacOS 10.8, Apple added privacy checks that required applications to ask permission to read your personal data.  In Mojave (10.14), they ramped it up with the requirement to ask permission to use the camera and microphone, and in Catalina (10.15) they make apps ask permission to use screen recording or scan most files on your disk.  They have made an entire series of commercials about privacy.

    The one place, sadly, where Apple has "compromised" is in their dealing with China, where they contracted iCloud to GCBD, a company that is capable of being influenced the Chinese Communist Party.  Without this arrangement, the CCP would have embargoed ALL iPhone sales inmainland China.  Period.  This set a terrible precedent, and the EFF and others continue to give them flak for it.  The CSAM image scanning would be a bridge too far, because scanning and reporting rules could be enforced by foreign governments looking to silence dissidents for sharing memes or pictures that match a "known database" of images.
    edited September 2021 elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamnadrielrcfakillroyxyzzy01baconstangAlex_V
  • Reply 15 of 47
    Honestly the device side scanning was a privacy thing. They should just not encrypt iCloud photos and scan them for child porn of any kind like Facebook and Google already do. I’m tired of all these people acting like you deserve the right to privately rape kids. 
    This is an example of at least two logical fallacies: false premise, and straw man.  Just because the technology is used to scan for child pornography does not mean that people arguing against it are in favor of child pornography.
    muthuk_vanalingamnadrielrcfakillroyxyzzy01baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 47
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    crowley said:
    I have heard of the EFF and know what they do.  They've done some decent and worthwhile campaigning in the past, but they're very close to being
    no-compromise privacy zealots.  And I doubt Apple are going to be much bothered to engage with people who cannot be reasoned with given the concurrent obligations Apple feels that it has.

    "no-compromise privacy zealots" is how a lot of people would describe Apple.  Remember the San Bernardino case where they refused to help decrypt the shooter's iPhone? What about when the FBI asked for a backdoor to help fight crime?  In both cases, Apple has clearly said "NO, we will not help you hack our phones because it would compromise our users' privacy."  Beginning in MacOS 10.8, Apple added privacy checks that required applications to ask permission to read your personal data.  In Mojave (10.14), they ramped it up with the requirement to ask permission to use the camera and microphone, and in Catalina (10.15) they make apps ask permission to use screen recording or scan most files on your disk.  They have made an entire series of commercials about privacy.
    Apple has worked with law enforcement and provided iCloud data that it holds encryption keys for when served with appropriate warrants.  That's a long way from no-compromise.
    jony0
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Scenario A. User agrees to iCloud terms of service which grant Apple the right to scan files from apps the user chooses to back up in iCloud. All the files coming from those user designated apps are scanned on the server side.

    Scenario B. User agrees to iCloud terms of service which grant Apple the right to scan files from apps the user chooses to back up in iCloud. All the files coming from those user designated apps are scanned on the device.

    In both scenarios, the user has complete control over which apps/files are backed up and scanned. The files that get scanned are exactly the same. There is absolutely no difference at all in terms of user control or Apple's ability to scan files. 
    n2itivguyjony0
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Honestly the device side scanning was a privacy thing. They should just not encrypt iCloud photos and scan them for child porn of any kind like Facebook and Google already do. I’m tired of all these people acting like you deserve the right to privately rape kids. 
    This is an example of at least two logical fallacies: false premise, and straw man.  Just because the technology is used to scan for child pornography does not mean that people arguing against it are in favor of child pornography.
    Perhaps the EFF is indulging in a straw man argument as well? The user has to agree to Apple's terms of service AND personally choose to designate apps to be backed up in iCloud. As a result, the files that get scanned don't change regardless of where the scanning occurs. Where is the back door supposed to be? The same files will always be scanned.
    n2itivguyjony0
  • Reply 19 of 47
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    crowley said:
    Well that's a surefire way to get yourself sidelined.  If the EFF can't be reasonable and have a dialogue then they'll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.
    Haha! In some things, one can’t compromise.

    ”I want to shackle you on hands and feet, blindfold and gag you!”
    ”I like to retain my freedom!”
    ”OK, let’s compromise. I’ll only gag you, and put you on handcuffs. I’ll also turn off the lights and cover the windows. But you’re going to be free to walk about the room.”
    ”No, I like to retain my freedom!”
    ”Well, that’s a surefire way to get yourself sidelined. If you can’t be reasonable and have a dialogue, then you’ll be treated as unreasonable and unworthy of dialogue.”
    🤦🏻‍♂️

    There’s really no middle ground: either you do the on-device scanning, at which point it’s up to Apple’s policies what gets scanned for (and the policies are subject to all sorts of governments’ pressure), or you don’t. There’s simply no TECHNICAL boundaries that can be set that limit the scanning specific content, there are only the soft boundaries of maleable policies. And THAT’s why this has to go and EFF is 100% right.
    muthuk_vanalingambaconstang
  • Reply 20 of 47
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,872member
    The backlash on this has been so harsh that I doubt they will implement it as currently structured.  As another member said, just do it on the server side.  Scanning devices is never and was never going to fly.  
    muthuk_vanalingambaconstang
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