This Diary title is quoted from the site at URL : and it is a current hot topic on a number of Cell Phone Forum sites as a Google Search quickly revealed to me.
I first ran across this bit of information on 11/06/2012 as I, in my laptop & cell phone computer ignorance sought help for use of my recently acquired Samsung Galaxy S3 Smart Phone. My preferred source of Forum help is “The Droid Forum”< http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-news/226258-new-apple-camera-patent-will-allow-remote-shutdown-your-phone-its-features.html> which currently offers an informative 2 ½ minute video about the “shut Down” situation.
Why do I think that this information is important to bring to the attention & hopefully to the interest of Daily Kos readers? Please read below the thingy immediately following to find out.
At this juncture, I ask readers to recall the Arab Spring revolutions of the recent past and the use of cell phones in them to not only facilitate the communications of persons with each other but also to take video photographs of human brutality & property distruction that was ensuing and to get those photos to the outside world. Even in the West's own Occupy protests, pictures and footage from smartphones have provided for a tool for citizen journalists in their efforts at documenting and revealing police adverse behaviour.
Persons concerned with Civil Rights warn that the new technology could limit the ability of concerned citizens to gather evidence of excesses in behavior by various governmental forces.
Here now to a focus on the Apple Company actions that underlie the concern of this Diary. “ Apparently Apple filed a new patent that would ultimately allow them or another third party to remotely deactivate/activate your phone or even just specific features of the phone. The patent is allegedly disguised as a way to remotely deactivate your camera at concerts or other venues where someone could potentially record copyrighted material illegally.
However, the patent is much broader in scope and functionality than just that. Based upon the way it is worded, it would actually allow any third party, like a governmental agency or a corporation to remotely control your phone. “Apple received a patent for a technology that could allow the police to disable protesters smartphones, it has emerged.
The new technology would act as a 'kill switch' for smartphones, disabling any cameras on the devices and blocking their connection to mobile networks.
Apple stresses that the function would be most likely used to prevent copyright theft, such as in cinemas, or to stop phone cameras being used in inappropriate places, like department store changing rooms.
However, It is certainly disturbing to me that it is reported that” in the filing for U.S. Patent No. 8,254,902, the Apple company adds that 'covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions'. “
The video mentioned above goes into a bit better detail in explaining it. Here is what the patent itself states, “
Apparatus and methods for changing one or more functional or operational aspects of a wireless device, such as upon the occurrence of a certain event. In one embodiment, the event comprises detecting that the wireless device is within range of one or more other devices. In another variant, the event comprises the wireless device associating with a certain access point. In this manner, various aspects of device functionality may be enabled or restricted (device “policies”). This policy enforcement capability is useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater), for preventing wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices (such as in academic settings), and for forcing certain electronic devices to enter “sleep mode” when entering a sensitive area.”
As DK readers can now see, the patent tries to sound quite harmless, but it's not too much of a stretch to envision virtual blackout areas and possibly a worry some future if Apple’s methodology is used by draconian forces .