Apple’s plan to have your devices snitch on you violate a fundamental trust and create a terrible precedent: that your device is not yours and that it does not work for you. This is not about protecting children, it is about gay people and other persecuted minorities, activists, etc., who will eventually be prosecuted in certain jurisdictions. It backdoors e2e encryption.

The Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights has never been more relevant.

(There are two easy ways to backdoor end-to-end encryption if you control either the signaling or one of the ends.

The first, if you control the signaling, is to simply add another end into the conversation and not tell anyone about it. Any centralised messaging service can implement this.

The second, if you control one of the ends, is to do what Apple plans to do: look through the data after it has been decrypted and have the end take some sort action based on what you find.)


Basically, if Apple implements this, it means your phone is no longer your own.

Every iPhone and iPad will come with parental controls activated. The parents, in this case are Apple, and your national government.

If you, yourself, are a parent, you will have the option to activate a second level of parental control for your children so you are notified if they share nude images. In some cultures this will lead to a stern taking to. In others, it will lead to honour killings.

When I wrote the Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights, I wanted to get people thinking about the kind of constitutional protections we would need to protect personhood in the digital and networked age.

I didn’t think we’d need them so soon. I thought we had more time.

But where do you even begin to get legislators to understand and act on such a thing in the here and now?



@aral Does anyone have any book / video recommendations for if one is interested in the Cyborg Rights stuff?

Feeling very much under-informed on what the current body of theory is on this subject but it feels like it is worth reading up on

@seedlingattempt Good question, I don’t know. When I talk about this topic people look at me like I’m reciting science fiction or something.

@aral I've never minded a good sci-fi recommendation.

Most I can find is 'Natural-Born Cyborgs' by Andy Clark from `04, which looks like it's taking the same stance as you do? I have a feeling it'd be a bit dated considering he's writing at a time in which 'Smartphone' doesn't yet exist in the vocabulary.

Recently read 'Mechanical Mind' by Tim Crane, but that only covers the extent of personhood very briefly

Will keep looking, need something about the metaphysics of this phenomenon.

@aral @seedlingattempt
Let them remember Donna Haraway's *Cyborg Manifesto* as a theoretical precedent and a practical background that thinks what you say in Article 1 and the Declaration itself.

@aral good luck making photos of mass protests and riots on your IPhone in year 2025+.

I don't think, iPhones were ever possessed by the customers. The software at least was in Apple property at any time.

And just to state clear: Microsoft Windows is not better. Especially Windows Home:
"there is an update to be installed" - "I'm working on something, wait please" - "my bad, restarting now"

@aral The fun part is, that the standard for "appropriate" pictures vs. "inappropriate"/pornographic pictures varies from culture to culture. The US being more uptight than the average about it.

@carl @aral So true. I don't think any "nude" image will trigger it.

Has much been written about how images land in the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database? I believe this database of NeuralHashes is being used for matching?

@edsu @aral
Again, US-centric. The US company Apple fails to acknowledge that the US may not have The One And Only Standard (tm) of the world.
The whole concept is utter crap.

@edsu @carl See “slowly boiling frogs.” Also: jurisdiction and scope creep.

@aral Indeed, how many people will die for @Apple 's choice, whether false positives ruining lives that drive suicides, or those executed for accusation of "impure thought" crimes. I suspect the Taliban and the house of Saud would love to work with #apple on this.

@aral To be fair, iPhones have never been ours. It comes with iOS, which is licensed for our use (not given to us), and Apple actively fights jailbreaking, so yeah. But hopefully this shows, more and more, that we don't own much of our technology.

@aral so you're implying that "your" phone is yours if Apple won't implement this?

Does this mean you can install whatever you want?
For instance replacing parts with free and open software.

@antifarben So I’ve been coding since I was 7 and working specifically on privacy-preserving technology for almost a decade now. Do you think that’s what I’m implying?

No. I’m saying this is a new line. And one that must not be crossed.

Read this if you’re genuinely interested in my thoughts and approach:

@aral I'm sorry in case this really sounded like I would believe that you'd imply that. 😉

I just thought that "if Apple implements this, it means your phone is no longer your own" might not be the best way to describe this.

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