More than 90 policy and rights groups around the world have published an open letter on Thursday urging Apple to drop plans to read messages and scan images on devices.
“While these capabilities are intended to protect children and reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material, we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threatening the privacy and security of people around the world, And there will be disastrous consequences for many children,” read the group’s letter.
Some foreign signatories of the letter are particularly concerned about the impact of the changes in nations with different legal systems, with some countries already hosting heated debates over encryption and privacy.
An Apple spokesperson said the company had addressed privacy and security concerns in a document released last Friday.
The document explained why the complex architecture of scanning software should resist efforts to destroy it.
Signatories of the open letter included several groups in Brazil, India, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Ghana, and Tanzania. Other signatories included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Privacy International, and the Tor Project.
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