Criticism of Apple’s requirement to scan U.S. customer phones and computers for images of child sexual abuse has led Apple employees to speak out internally.
Employees voiced concerns on an internal Slack channel that the feature could be used by repressive governments seeking other means of censorship or arrest.
Previous security changes at Apple have also raised concerns among employees, but workers say the scope and duration of the new debate are astonishing.
Core security employees did not appear to complain too much, and many of them said they thought Apple’s solution was an appropriate response to pressure to crack down on criminal material.
Some employees said they hoped the scanning would provide a direction toward full encryption of the iCloud for customers who want it, reversing Apple’s stance on the issue for a second time.
Last week’s announcement has drawn fierce criticism from outside supporters, who see Apple’s move as a rejection of a history of well-marketed privacy battles.
Experts on the matter said that within days, a coalition of political groups sent a letter of protest to Apple demanding that the plan be suspended. Two groups, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), issued new detailed objections to Apple’s plan Wednesday.
Apple declined to comment but has previously said it would reject requests from governments to use the system to monitor phones for material other than illegal child sexual abuse.
Apple said it would only scan devices in the United States and other countries would be added one by one only if images were inevitably uploaded to iCloud, and only for images identified by the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.