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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”<> 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 .


A good idea but 2 B suspect?

50%4 votes
37%3 votes
12%1 votes

| 8 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  yes like the NY police force (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Give it a think (0+ / 0-)

    Did it ever occur to you that Apple may have done this so the "feature" wont be implemented?  Apple figure out how to do this.  They realize its potential for harm.  They patent it.  Now if someone actually tries to do this they can go after them for patent infringement.

    Just a thought.

    *FULL DISCLOSURE* I am an Apple share holder

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:46:17 AM PST

  •  I think that the argument... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, Hey338Too

    ...that this feature would be a good thing with regard to protecting intellectual property is sound, but there's so much room here for mischief that I can't see getting behind it.  And I really, really don't like bootleggers and pirates.  Find some other way to shut them down, I say.

    •  I could see them monetizing this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      By building additional technology that would allow people with properly equipped phones to prevent others from taking their pictures or recording their voices when in their vicinity. Thing is, LW activists tend to be a pretty tech-savvy and anarchistic lot, and if these technologies were implemented, not only would LW techies know it, but they'd eventually develop ways around it, involving rooted phones and such. And even if new phones came out with anti-rooting firmware that could not be defeated, with so many older phones around, it would be moot. They'd just stick to using the older phones, even if it meant breaking the law if used to comminicate. Or will authorities then take the even more drastic step of jamming all WiFi and Bluetooth frequencies at public events?

      See how crazy this can get?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:04:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  About Patents (0+ / 0-)

    A patent does not "allow" the patent holder to practice the subject matter of the patent.  It allows the patent holder to stop others from practicing anything covered by the claims.  And filing an application for a patent does not mean that Apple will get a patent.  They may well never get it, and even if they do get it, having a patent does not mean they can actually do it.

    •  Apple's Patent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A quick read of the claims indicates this patent appears to cover what Apple does all the time to people's iPhones, namely modifying their function.  It certainly appears to cover such Orwellian modifications as "shutting down protesters' phones", but it doesn't seem to be "about" that.  And, as I mention above, just because their claims cover shutting down protesters' phones does not give Apple the right or the power to do that.

    •  The author is much too focued on the patent (0+ / 0-)

      The issue is not whether Apple will be issued a patent, but rather does Apple already have this technology and plan to embed it in its phones? Is this technology already in some Apple phones? Apple doesn't need a patent to implement this technology. While the patent application has been useful to disclose this technology to the public, from a privacy/civil rights point of view the patent does not matter.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:21:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably filed a Patent (0+ / 0-)

        as this functionality may be required by some governments and some companies.

        Apple would therefore want the patent for both offensive and defensive purposes.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:39:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm, pretty scary stuff (0+ / 0-)

    People need to be made aware of this. I suggest you rewrite the diary a bit, with line spaces between paragraphs and tighter writing, maybe some proper links and block quotes. As it is it's kind of hard to read.

    In any case, I'm not at all surprised that some people would want this capability. I already assume that anything that I do on my smartphone, including using it to connect my laptop to the internet, can be and is being monitored, not only by Google and other companies, but by the government. Not that I do anything even remotely illegal or potentially embarrassing online, but it's still wrong. This just means taking smartphone technology to the next level, not only using our phones and online activity to their benefit, but preventing us from using it to our benefit, in certain ways that might hurt them, like organizing and bearing witness.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:57:01 AM PST

  •  I read this part and it got me thinking... (0+ / 0-)
    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.
    Is shooting a video or taking pictures at concerts really a violation of COPYRIGHT laws?

    Is it APPLE's job to prevent copyrighted material (that they don't even own) from being copied?

    Not to mention, how would APPLE know when you're using your device to, lets say, record a movie in theaters, as opposed to take pictures or video from the movie theater?

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:01:48 AM PST

  •  OK, so this sounds big-brotherish (0+ / 0-)

    ...and it is.

    ...and I trust Apple with this about 0%.

    BUT, this is a serious problem - lots of companies and governmental agencies need to lock down people walking around with cameras for security reasons.  This would be a big help for them.

    •  Sloth - currently if you enter a secure area (0+ / 0-)

      companies will take your phone and you pick it up when you leave. It would actually be beneficial if they could just turn off the camera but you could keep your smart phone and receive calls and emails.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:47:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  good news for users of non-iDevices! (0+ / 0-)

      Given Apple's aggressive use of patents to bash its competitors, Android and WP8 devices probably won't have this wonderful "feature".

      Another thought: this should be a big hit in China.

      "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

      by quill on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:42:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may cross the line as an "infernal machine" (0+ / 0-)

    Which is unpatentable under the law. I can't patent the electric chair, or a guillotine.

    Something that can allow nefarious operations by government may be unpatentable.... however, with out any patent, the technical ability exists NOW this second for this.

    How do we know the phone companies and police arent engaging in these actions right now?

    We need a simple federal law.... interfering with telecommunications (jamming, fiddling, etc) is a felony, a felony even if it is the police doing it. It's already an FCC violation for jamming, but this work in concert with the phone companies themselves needs to be addressed.

    Another element of "Big Brother" falls in place with this.

  •  This is another reason to NATIONALIZE .... (0+ / 0-)

    the Cell Phone system. For national security, and public safety the private sector has proven in capable of being trustworthy.

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