A politically backed advocacy group in the U.S is campaigning to weaken Apple’s cloud storage system which employs a range of powerful encryption technologies in order to prevent child exploitation. Well funded “The Heat Initiative”, formed earlier this year is strongly campaigning against some of the privacy protections Apple provides to its customers.
In September this year, Apple launched its new flagship phones iPhone 15 and 15 Plus powerful encryption technologies that prevent hackers, spies, and any other third parties from accessing files from the phones.
There are other fears that terrorists are chatting in secret to child predators in trying to evade scrutiny by security personnel. The privacy battle is being waged between those who think that privacy is an absolute right and those who believe that it must be limited for expanded surveillance from law enforcement and other intelligence agencies.
“Dear Apple, Detect Child Sexual Abuse in iCloud” said a banner message in a full-page New York Times ad by The Heat Initiative. The pressure group seized the opportunity during the iPhone launch to use digital billboard trucks and went as far hiring a plane to fly over Apple headquarters with the banner message.
“Though not publicized, the Heat Initiative is a project of the Hopewell Fund, an organization that helps privately and often secretly direct the largesse and political will of billionaires,” said Sam Biddle in a media report. “ Hopewell is part of a giant, tightly connected of largely anonymous, Democratic Party-aligned dark-money groups, in an ironic turn, campaigning to undermine the privacy of ordinary people,” added Biddle.
“None of these groups are particularly open with me or other people who are tracking dark money about what it is they’re doing,” said Robert Maguire, of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
Maguire said the way the network operated called to mind perhaps the most famous right-wing philanthropy and dark-money political network: the constellation of groups run and supported by the billionaire owners of Koch Industries.
“ Crypto Wars,” is a decade long political and technological campaign pitting the U.S government and their state agencies, European Union and other governmental bodies around the world against privacy advocates, computer scientists, and cryptographers.
Edited by Virginia Van Zandt and Newsdesk Manager
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