Apple’s iPhone kill switch is a threat to human rights

FORWARDING a quick action item from

If you’re like me your first reaction to Apple’s plan to restrict what people can film with their iPhones, was: Another move by Apple to lock up content so they can keep media partners happy and profits expanding.

So what else is new?

Fortunately, a more thoughtful response from arrived the same day and made me think more about what such remote-control censorship over popular communication really means.

I hope it will open up the bigger picture for you, too.

What’s at stake is free expression: Do you decide what you communicate, or do you allow some corporation ( or repressive government) to decide that for you?

FreePress not only frames the problem correctly — they offer a means for effective mass response.

In under a minute you can send an intelligent, forceful protest to the attention of Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

Demand that Apple stop developing technology that harms democracy and free speech

The powerful don’t much care if you privately disapprove of their policies.

They start to care only when you join with many others to denounce those policies publicly, and oppose them with action.

Become Informed.

Then Act.

See FreePress action bulletin below.

Thanks for reading.

Act Now: Protect Your Mobile Rights

Apple wants to control the camera on your phone.

The maker of the iPhone wants to patent a sensor that would detect when people are using their phone cameras to do things like film concerts — and give corporations the power to shut them down.1

You think that’s bad? Imagine what would happen if this tool fell into the hands of repressive regimes. Thousands of people across the Middle East have used cellphone cameras to document violent government abuses. This kind of technology would give tyrants the power to stem the flow of videos and crack down on protesters with impunity.

Sign our letter to Steve Jobs: Demand that Apple stop developing technology that harms democracy and free speech.

Apple says this new technology was designed to stop concertgoers from taking unofficial video at live events. But you can bet that governments and corporations will take full advantage of it in other more dangerous ways – to silence the voices of protesters, political opponents or anyone else they dislike.

As Apple CEO Steve Jobs obviously knows, smartphones have become extensions of ourselves. They are incredibly powerful tools for communication, education, political expression, community organizing and just plain fun.

Tell Steve Jobs that WE control our phones: Neither Apple nor anybody else can dictate what we photograph and film with them.

Earlier this year, researchers discovered that iPhones recorded your every move for the past year in a hidden but unprotected file.2 The public was outraged, and Apple soon announced that it was updating its software to better protect users.

We must call out against Apple once again. This new camera blocking technology is a pre-emptive strike against free speech. If activated, it would be immensely harmful to our rights to connect and communicate.

Please take action now to urge Steve Jobs to pull the plug on this censorship technology.

Josh Levy
Online Campaign Manager
Free Press

1. “Now Apple wants to block iPhone users from filming live events with their smartphone,” Daily Mail, June 16, 2011:

2. “Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves,” O’Reilly Radar, April 20, 2011:

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