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Policy groups ask Apple to drop plans to inspect iMessages, scan for abuse images – Financial Post

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More than 90 policy and rights groups around the world published an open letter on Thursday urging Apple to abandon plans for scanning children’s messages for nudity and the phones of adults for images of child sex abuse.

“Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material, we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children,” the groups wrote https://cdt.org/insights/international-coalition-calls-on-apple-to-abandon-plan-to-build-surveillance-capabilities-into-iphones-ipads-and-other-products in the letter, which was first reported by Reuters.

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The largest campaign to date over an encryption issue at a single company was organized by the U.S.-based nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT).

Some overseas signatories in particular are worried about the impact of the changes in nations with different legal systems, including some already hosting heated fights over encryption and privacy.

“It’s so disappointing and upsetting that Apple is doing this, because they have been a staunch ally in defending encryption in the past,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, co-director of CDT’s Security & Surveillance Project.

An Apple spokesman said the company had addressed privacy and security concerns in a document Friday outlining why the complex architecture of the scanning software should resist attempts to subvert it https://www.apple.com/child-safety/pdf/Security_Threat_Model_Review_of_Apple_Child_Safety_Features.pdf.

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Those signing included multiple groups in Brazil, where courts have repeatedly blocked Facebook’s WhatsApp for failing to decrypt messages in criminal probes, and the senate has passed a bill that would require traceability of messages, which would require somehow marking their content. A similar law was passed in India this year.

“Our main concern is the consequence of this mechanism, how this could be extended to other situations and other companies,” said Flavio Wagner, president of the independent Brazil chapter of the Internet Society, which signed. “This represents a serious weakening of encryption.”

Other signers were in India, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Ghana and Tanzania.

Surprised by the earlier outcry following its announcement two weeks ago, Apple has offered a series of explanations https://www.reuters.com/technology/after-criticism-apple-only-seek-abuse-images-flagged-multiple-nations-2021-08-13 and documents to argue that the risks of false detections are low.

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Apple said it would refuse demands to expand the image-detection system beyond pictures of children flagged by clearinghouses in multiple jurisdictions, though it has not said it would pull out of a market rather than obeying a court order.

Though most of the objections so far have been over device-scanning, the coalition’s letter also faults a change to iMessage in family accounts, which would try to identify and blur nudity in children’s messages, letting them view it only if parents are notified.

The signers said the step could endanger children in intolerant homes or those seeking educational material. More broadly, they said the change will break end-to-end encryption for iMessage, which Apple has staunchly defended in other contexts.

“Once this backdoor feature is built in, governments could compel Apple to extend notification to other accounts, and to detect images that are objectionable for reasons other than being sexually explicit,” the letter says.

Other groups that signed include the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Privacy International, and the Tor Project.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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Apple Card, Apple Pay, and iUP all fail on iPhone 13 pre-order day, exposing fragility of Apple's expansion into credit and payment services – eMarketer

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The news: iPhone 13 pre-orders went live early Friday morning. But buyers’ initial buzz of excitement at securing Apple’s latest smartphone was quickly replaced by frustration as those paying with Apple Pay, Apple Card, or using the iPhone Upgrade Program faced errors that stalled the checkout process, per 9to5Mac.

The problem: Customers using Apple’s own payments, credit, and iPhone upgrade services faced major issues that left many unable to complete their iPhone 13 purchases. Citizens One, Apple’s partner bank for the iPhone Upgrade Program, was also plagued with a variety of issues once preorders went live. Even buyers that were pre-approved for the yearly upgrade found their applications rejected by the website and Apple Store app.

  • Apple Pay in the Apple Store app and via the Apple Store website was also buggy— many users were unable to check out using their Apple Pay and had to enter their card details manually.
  • The Apple Card processing system went down with a variety of bugs. Users were unable to pay for their iPhone 13s using Apple Card—but other cards worked, which means Apple Card users missed out on the 3% Daily Cash incentive, a major feature of the service. 
  • Frustrated iPhone buyers opted to use other payment options like higher-interest credit cards or PayPal just to get an order in. Those that managed to get through later saw delivery dates pushed past mid-October.

What’s next: While new iPhone pre-order days are usually a big payday for Apple, the iPhone 13’s modest updates—as well as indications that only 10% of users plan to upgrade to the latest models—could result in an equally modest yield that may be further reduced by Apple’s pre-order fiasco. 

  • The collapse of its multiple payment and upgrade options on such a key day isn’t likely to show down iPhone 13 demand or sales, but its numerous frustrated customers could reflect poorly on Apple’s reputation.
  • Consumers’ difficulties in obtaining iPhone 13 orders using Apple’s own credit card, payments, and upgrade programs underscores the fragility of companies overextending their reach into complicated new segments like financial services. 

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What Happens Next With Oppo And OnePlus – Forbes

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OnePlus has laid out its new direction today, with further details on the integration of OnePlus and Oppo. This is the latest in a series of announcements following the news that OnePlus would be taken under the wing of sister company Oppo,

At the time this was seen as OnePlus and Oppo moving closer together to explicitly share resources behind the scenes with Oppo becoming the more dominant partner overall, while OnePlus’s customer facing activities would remain independent.

A few weeks after that announcement, OnePlus followed up with news that the two Android-based operating systems of the two companies, ColorOS and OxygenOS – would be merging much of the codebase while presenting the two different variants to their customers base; so OxygenOS remains for global devices and ColorOS for Chinese devices.

Today, OnePlus’ Co-founder Pete Lau has detailed the next step in the partnership with Oppo. Brandon it OnePlus 2.0, it reinforces the integration of ColorOS and OxygenOS, as well as keeping the distinctiveness between the forward facing parts. From a resources point of view, the benefits of having more commonality should be obvious while keeping granularity for the users. 

Lau has also presented a broad strokes timetable for the switchover. The new combined OS will launch in a OnePlus device with the 2022 flagship… i’d assume that is going to be the OnePlus 10 Pro, although there is an opportunity here to introduce a new brand name for the top end devices. Following that, the new OS will roll out across the OnePlus global devices along with 2022’s major Android upgrade.

How this will fit with the increased use of regional brands such as the OnePlus R handsets in India and the OnePlus Nord handsets in Europe remains to be seen. 

What can be seen is the OnePlus team keeping its community up to date with the changes. While its too early to go into precise details on the availability of upgrades (at least in public), the roadmap has been brought into focus a little bit more today.

Now read my review on OnePlus’ latest earbuds, the active noise cancelling OnePlus Buds Pro…

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M1 brings new iPhone 13 lineup, iPad models to Singapore – Telecompaper EN

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Singapore operator M1 has announced it will offer the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, iPad (9th generation) and iPad mini on the local market. M1 customers can now pre-order the iPhone 13 lineup, as well as the iPad mini and iPad. The devices will be commercially available starting 24 September.

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