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Apple patented blocking smartphone cameras

Sometimes the oddest things can have the strangest consequences.

Take this
Apple patent. An IR sensor receives a coded signal and disables the camera on a smart phone. Now at first glance, this might frustrate customers at concerts but it would make artists and music publishers happy. It's a tradeoff and customers will learn to accept it for their own good. After all, this is Apple we're talking about here.

Except, not quite.

Apple is usually about what the customer wants. Sometimes they goof. And sometimes Apple has to make compromises to get their product out there. It usually works out well.

Kinda. Sorta. Maybe.

Apple is saying that it could be used to block concerts. But not just concerts.
Sensitive events.

This time I can see some damn scary possibilities. And not just me. Also here and here (HT to Daring Fireball for those last two).

It turns out that police can be very critical and aggressive when citizens film what police do.
A Federal judge has ruled that filming police is not protected by the First Amendment. Yep. Police can seize your phone, even when you film them breaking the law. The are ways that could make the situation easier, but it's already tense. A little prep can go a long way here.

But if the police turn on a IR gizmo that disables your camera, then they don't have to deal with you. If this technology is introduced, do you really think police departments and Federal agencies won't find a reason to use it?

And of course it's for your own good. And public safety.

We already have agencies regularly
abusing or ignoring FOIA requests in direct violation of the law. Now imagine Federal buildings and offices with the IR gizmo permanently installed and permanently on. How long do you think it will take state and local agencies to do the same thing?

And politicos? Hillary Clinton is famous for
banning reporters from her campaign. She gives speeches where the press is closed out.

The two national parties have have designated "free speech" areas away from the action during the last few nominating conventions.

How easy it will be to put up the IR gizmos and not worry about any embarrassing videos on YouTube?

Of course the major news organizations will have exemptions. For the good of the nation, you see. Just because the news will be more spoon-fed when there aren't a bunch of angry citizens questioning the Official Story® with their own footage, well, that shouldn't be an issue, should it? The press will always look out for the little guy, right?

So don't complain, Citizen, this is for your own good. It's for the Nation. It's for security. It's for the American Spirit. It's for your freedom. Your own government will tell you so.

Relax Citizen, it won't hurt.

Much.

And after a while, you won't even notice.

Maybe I am overreacting.

The patent is real. The rest is speculation.

So far.


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