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Apple patent not only c-blocks you, but rats you out as well  (Source: Motivated Photos)
Patent outlines a system to block objectionable words and alert other users that the words were used

Apple has one of the most popular smartphones on the market today and as such there are users all around the world that use the device for keeping in contact with loved ones. Many of those people who live a long way from each other undoubtedly use the phone for some racy subject material such as sexting.

Apple has been granted a patent (first applied for in 2008) that is titled "Text-based communication control for personal communication device" according to
Tech Crunch. That sounds rather plebeian until you dig into the subject matter of the patent and realize exactly what the patent does and the opportunity for censorship that will anger some.

The verbiage seems docile and welcome on some levels stating in the background info, "[Currently there is] no way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”

The patent outlines an application that would allow the parent to determine words that a child using the phone can't send or receive texts that contain those words. The patent also outlines a way that the application could alert other people like parents or administrators in a business setting when patents with these objectionable words are sent using the phone.

The patent reads, "If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication."

It's unclear if the patent will cover a system that automatically censors objectionable words and inserts other words all the time by default or if it is an opt-in service. If the patent is a system that will only allow those who own the devices to set word filters, there will be few parents or network administrators that won’t like the newfound control over how an iPhone can be used. 



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Can we Say First Amendment?
By cyberdunks on 10/13/2010 10:26:22 AM , Rating: 0
The 1st Amendment does apply to everyone, not just adults. Giving people the ability to control what others are saying is setting them up to violate their Constitutional rights, does it not?

To me this seems like a bad idea, for everyone. It will let "the cat out of the bag" on free communication, and as stated before its not restricted to just kids. All it would take is quietly enabling it by default on Apples part to show other companies they can do the same thing.




RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By Motley on 10/13/2010 11:01:32 AM , Rating: 5
That would be incorrect, on a number of counts. First, this isn't a 1st amendment issue, other than to say that obscene messages aren't protected AT ALL under the 1st amendment. The 1st amendment guarantees freedom of expression, but ONLY guarantees that freedom from congress (and later state). As "sexting" is over a commercial network, the 1st amendment doesn't apply at all, but if it did, it still would likely fail because obscenity/pornography specifically isn't covered as a freedom of expression.

You are probably a minor based on your stance, however, minors only have very limited protection under the 1st Amendment, many things override a minors "right" to freedom of expression.


RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/13/2010 4:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree on most of your points except that pornography is covered under the 1st amendment. pornographic websites are created all the time on the premise of the 1st amendment. The point I do agree with is minors have limited 1st amendment rights. If a parent does not want there child to see something or read something that is their parent's right to do that. A minor does not have the right to send or say whatever they want


RE: Can we Say First Amendment?
By kingmotley on 10/13/2010 8:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, websites might be able to say it's a freedom of the press issue, but not freedom of expression/speech. Different portion of the 1st amendment. It would be hard to say that sexting should be covered under freedom of the press.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007











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