An open letter circulated online asking Apple not to roll out new Child Safety tools to combat child sexual abuse material. Edward Snowden, an industry expert, is one of the signatories.
The document is more of an accusation than an open letter and summarizes Apple’s Thursday announcement. It also lists upcoming features that will detect CSAM.
Apple’s multi-pronged approach to protecting children from sensitive images via Messages uses on-device processing.
Although child exploitation is a serious problem, and there are many efforts to combat it, the letter says that Apple’s proposal creates a backdoor that could threaten fundamental privacy protections for all Apple users. ”
Apple’s system will match user images against a known CSAM database once it is implemented.
The letter stated that Apple’s methods are a problem as they bypass encryption at their end.
This letter states that both checks were performed on the user’s device and could bypass any encryption that would otherwise protect their privacy.
Apple has claimed that the new safety protocols do not create a backdoor to its hardware or software privacy features.
The letter includes criticism and commentary from experts such as Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins University professor of cryptography. Green was among the first to voice concern over the implications of Apple’s actions. Snowden is also a signatory. There are currently 19 organizations and 640 individuals who have contributed their mark via GitHub.
The letter also requests Apple to stop implementation.