Police forces around the world have had the problem that when their officers get a bit carried away and start pepper spraying tied captives there is someone on hand filming the event on their mobile phones.
While six police lay into prone grannies on the floor with long batons, the pictures can be on the net in seconds, meaning supervisors have to answer embarrassing questions.
But they may not need to fear scrutiny much longer – Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, whenever they like.
All the coppers have to do is decide that a public gathering or venue is deemed “sensitive”, and needs to be “protected from externalities” and Apple will switch off all its gear.
The police can then get on with the very difficult task of kettling protesters without having to worry about a few beating anyone to death.
Apple insists that the affected sites are mostly cinemas, theatres, concert grounds and similar locations, but it does admit that it could be used in “covert police or government operations which may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions”.
According to RT it could also be used to prevent whistleblowers like Edward Snowden from taking pictures and broadcasting them on the interent.
Apple said that the wireless transmission of sensitive information to a remote source is one example of a threat to security.
But it said that this sensitive information could be anything from classified government information to questions or answers to an examination administered in an academic setting.
Apple patented the means to transmit an encoded signal to all wireless devices, commanding them to disable recording functions.
The policies would be activated by GPS, and wi-fi or mobile base-stations, which would ring-fence (“geofence”) around a building or a “sensitive area” to prevent phone cameras from taking pictures or recording video.
Odd that the company made famous by its 1984 Big Brother video can’t really see what it is doing. Perhaps its own secretive culture and an overzealous security treatment of its staff have fostered sympathy for Big Brother after all.