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Thread: New Apple 'Camera' Patent Will Allow Remote Shutdown of Your Phone or its Features

  1. Editor in Chief
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    #1

    New Apple 'Camera' Patent Will Allow Remote Shutdown of Your Phone or its Features


    There is an incendiary topic starting to heat up the web right now. 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 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. In fact, specific wireless "zone hotspots" could be created in which your device automatically has certain functions shutdown when you enter that area. The implications of this patent and the potential misuse of it are staggering.

    The video above goes into a bit better detail 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 you can see, the patent tries to sound quite harmless, but it's not too much of a stretch to envision virtual blackout areas and a dystopian future. Of course, the intent may not be nefarious, but we thought the information was worth sharing with you so that we could hear your perspective.

    Thanks to our tipster, G-Man!
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    #2
    This is worrisome......
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    Not really, if they ever implemented it they would go out of business... No one would want a phone that could have features remotely deactivated.
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    #4
    I remember reading last year the music industry was firmly behind it for the prevention of loss of royalties and pirate prevention.
    I first read about it being developed to prevent mobile device cameras from being able to operate at music events like concerts. If memory serves , it was Apple that first introduced the idea for having "jammers" at the events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badtoy1986 View Post
    Not really, if they ever implemented it they would go out of business... No one would want a phone that could have features remotely deactivated.
    There are plenty of Apple sheeple that will trust that Apple would never ever do it to them. 90% of the population wouldn't even know its there because as long as it texts and gets them to facebook, they don't care about anything else. You, me, others on these sites are enthusiasts. We know about our phones and the OS on them more than the vast majority of people. Though I don't need any more reasons, this is another why I will never buy an Apple product. At least with Android, we have an amazing dev community and can strip that crap out of the OS if it ever gets put in there.

    I have a lot of respect for the police. There are however some bad/corrupt ones. What if you are recording an act of police brutality and they push a button that puts up a 100 foot radius wall that shuts off all cameras or data connectivity. I get disabling a camera in a cinema or something but i can see it being abused for illegal things too. Its a very scary thought.
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    makes me hate them even more..
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    #7
    this is crazy. leave it to Apple to come up with crap like this. pretty soon they are going to register to have their name changed to Skynet....

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    #8
    I am all for this if it will eliminate those people who think they are too important to sit through an entire movie without checking their FB or text messages.
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    #9
    The so-called disabling of the phone's camera for "copyright" protection is garbage. Anyone who wants to copy an event or movie for the purpose of redistribution isn't going to use an iPhone to do the capturing. There are far more covert and higher quality ways to accomplish the same thing and can be done without wireless communications as part of the process thereby eliminating this "remote shutdown" feature as a potential hindrance to those methods.

    This is nothing short of an attempt to move our right to freedom of speech and freedom to record public occurrences of things such as police brutality toward a police state where we are only as free as those who administer the "law" in that immediate area will allow us to be. The potential repercussions are massive and potentially harmful. What if someone suffers a heart attack in a crowd at one of these public events where the remote deactivation has been implemented? Now instead of anyone nearby with a cellular phone being able to call 911 for assistance, there is nothing anyone can do but watch that individual suffer and die. How about being able to protect yourself from an attack or otherwise? So instead of being able to take a picture of a suspicious person or offender for possible future identification, they can instead attack under the cloak of the remote deactivation of your phone?

    I really don't see this as being good in any situation or free country and only can foresee this being used by the government for political censorship in Communist China.

    Big Brother is alive and well in the minds of Apple.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sydman View Post
    I am all for this if it will eliminate those people who think they are too important to sit through an entire movie without checking their FB or text messages.
    except that they will still be able to do this, they just won't be able to instagram from the theater since the camera is disabled.

    i don't like the idea behind this, at all. this goes back to the fundamental thought process of whether or not a device is "yours" (unlocked bootloaders, rooting, et al). if the device is actually mine, you can't tell me what i can or cannot do on my phone, ever. if all of a sudden my phone isn't allowed to do certain things in certain places, then it no longer is "my phone".

    of course this can all be defeated by going with an offline recording device, or possibly something *gasp* analog


    edit: very well said FoxKat
    Last edited by jayman350; 10-09-2012 at 02:44 PM.
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