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Following is a reprint from rt.com. One of the reasons it's of
relevance to readers of this list is as an example of how to
surgically defeat a sub-set of a network, ie. political demonstrators
would be disabled, while their (co-located) oppressors would remain
No shooting at protest? Police may block mobile devices via Apple
Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government
and police to block transmission of information, including video and
photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem ?sensitive?,
and ?protected from externalities.?
?In other words, these powers will have control over what can and
cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event.
And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly
cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc.
also says ?covert police or government operations may require complete
?Additionally,? Apple says,? the wireless transmission of sensitive
information to a remote source is one example of a threat to security.
This sensitive information could be anything from classified
government information to questions or answers to an examination
administered in an academic setting.?
The statement led many to believe that authorities and police could
now use the patented feature during protests or rallies to block the
transmission of video footage and photographs from the scene,
including those of police brutality, which at times of major events
immediately flood news networks and video websites.
Apple patented the means to transmit an encoded signal to all wireless
devices, commanding them to disable recording functions.
Those policies would be activated by GPS, and WiFi or mobile
base-stations, which would ring-fence ("geofence") around a building
or a ?sensitive area? to prevent phone cameras from taking pictures or
Apple may implement the technology, but it would not be Apple's
decision to activate the ?feature? ? it would be down governments,
businesses and network owners to set such policies, analyzes ZDNet
Having invented one of the most sophisticated mobile devices, Apple
now appears to be looking for ways to restrict its use.
?As wireless devices such as cellular telephones, pagers, personal
media devices and smartphones become ubiquitous, more and more people
are carrying these devices in various social and professional
settings,? it explains in the patent. ?The result is that these
wireless devices can often annoy, frustrate, and even threaten people
in sensitive venues.?
The company?s listed ?sensitive? venues so far include mostly
meetings, the presentation of movies, religious ceremonies, weddings,
funerals, academic lectures, and test-taking environments.
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