Apple Patent To Block iPhone Users From Filming At ‘Sensitive Events’


Written by: Tiobe


Apple Inc. has patented a technology that would allow the user – businesses, governments or law enforcement officers – remotely disable features of wireless devices, such as taking or sending photographs or video footage.

The patented technology utilizes WiFi, mobile base stations or GPS to send an encoded signal to all wireless devices within a so-called sensitive area, disabling recording functions. The patent lists potential “sensitive areas” as theaters, concert venues or religious ceremonies, but proponents of free speech worry this technology could be used by police who do not wish to be filmed in acts of brutality, for example.

“As wireless devices such as cellular telephones, pagers, personal media devices and smartphones become ubiquitous, more and more people are carrying these devices in various social and professional settings. The result is that these wireless devices can often annoy, frustrate, and even threaten people in sensitive venues,” states the patent. “Additionally, the wireless transmission of sensitive information to a remote source is one example of a threat to security. This sensitive information could be anything from classified government information to questions or answers to an examination administered in an academic setting.”

To be clear, Apple has patented the technology, but it would remain up to businesses and government agencies how and when it would be used.

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  1. Now our goverment is controlling our right to video tape? They are really pushing there buttons now. I guess everyone will have to go andriod until that gets taken over as well. I cannot believe it.

  2. It is true that Apple has been granted a patent for technology that would allow remote ‘enforcement of policies upon a wireless device’. The patent description also notes that the technology might have applications for covert police or government operations that require ‘blackout’ conditions and for other security and control applications. Certainly, such technology is potentially open to abuse by oppressive regimes and corrupt police. However, the patent description discusses many other possible applications of the technology that are not related to police operations in any way. And, despite the glaring headlines in some of the reports, the technology has not yet been implemented and Apple is not developing it specifically for police to use. Nor is there any indication of when – or if – Apple will roll out the patented technology. Like many other emerging technologies, this patent does indeed raise privacy concerns. The public have a right to accurate and balanced information about the technology and its implications. But, paranoid and overblown reports claiming that ‘Apple is helping authorities to hide police brutality’ and ‘police can block video and photos whenever they like’ are misleading and counterproductive.

    • Perhaps a BETTER USE!!! Use this technologies in vehicles driving over 30km an hour. Or perhaps in Hospitals —(that’s right I shut my phone off still when I’m in a hospital I put it on “airplane mode” or shut it off) fuck off Apple I’m gonna start using a disc man and get me a Samsung

    • If it’s open to abuse, then it -will- be abused. Count on it. That is the reason right there to keep it from being used in the first place.

  3. Digital cameras that don’t use wifi. That’s what I use and have on me at all times. Go pros are another great thing to have on you at all times. We rely on one type of tech way too much. You have to be smarter than what you’re working with. Our gov THINKS they’re smart because they THINK they have control. They keep doing this kind of thing and ppl will start to NOT trust them. As long as ppl TELL THE TRUTH on their blogs and vlogs, others will see that. They will start looking to vloggers and bloggers for the truth and tell the gov to fuck off. No worries. They can’t stop truth.

  4. Dear Apple,

    Please forward the following link to your marketing manager: addiction is a serious issue and needs to be addressed. If it is your plan to destroy your app store by forcing third party stores to spring up replacing infected applications/Roms by all means continue on your current path. However considering the already pricey computer systems, do you really want to bring iphone to it’s knees? If you’re actually serious about implementing this I wish you the very best of luck 🙂 *oh look a winged pig* mmm bacon.

  5. They just keep coming with some sort of reason to take away our right to privacy ‘n’ our right to video tape…

    They don’t want their police officers to be seen in an act of police brutality.

    They’re all corrupted cowards.

  6. It’s probably refering to this patent, from 2012:

    This one is from 2014:


    Apparatus and methods for changing one or more functional or operational aspects of a wireless device, such as upon the occurrence of a certain event. In one embodiment, the event comprises detecting that the wireless device is within range of one or more other devices. In another variant, the event comprises the wireless device associating with a certain access point. In this manner, various aspects of device functionality may be enabled or restricted (device “policies”). This policy enforcement capability is useful for a variety of reasons, including for example to disable noise and/or light emanating from wireless devices (such as at a movie theater), for preventing wireless devices from communicating with other wireless devices (such as in academic settings), and for forcing certain electronic devices to enter “sleep mode” when entering a sensitive area.

  7. The creation of the Apple Patent to block is an unjustice approach of controlling media support towards violence against the public. If this technology is used I will boycott Apple products.

    • i agree and feel the need to file a preemptive first amendment violation lawsuit to prevent its use before it happens. There is no “greater good” served by this technology. Only the ability to suppress the truth by those the truth does not serve.

  8. So I guess apple doesn’t care about the first amendment of the constitution. This is a direct violation of our constitutional rights! “Abridging the freedom of the press”

    First amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

  9. This is flat out ridiculous. What happened to our right to record police activity in event that it is necessary to report their actions??

    • Or you could turn airplane mode one before hand, airplane mode is supposed to kill all wireless equipment in the device. so it might work until the find some way to leave one radio on to receive that signal they push out.

  10. Will the Feature Disabler Remote Technology be only licensed to certain departments and agencies for exclusive use? If so and that does happen, well.. to get even with them.. some of people could circumvent the patent, create a similar technology and open source license it to everyone. Then poof, its fair game to everyone.

    The truth is, any new patent or technology will be abused to some degree by some people. It’s human nature. Just try not to sugar-coat it and saying its okay or won’t be abused by police, blah blah… most of people aren’t that stupid. But though… if it is found out that the technology is being used exclusively by departments and / or agencies, then we will know for sure that Apple or the specific people behind the patent of technology have nefarious purpose(s). If the technology is going to be available to the rest of us people… then perhaps some of us could be content and cautious with that and rest easy knowing that it is fair game.

  11. So it sends a signal? In any event that you believe this MIGHT be at use simply put your phone into airplane mode. It can’t receive a blocked signal if the signal can’t get through. Then upload your content later. However it does make it harder to share situations live.


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