It's the barter that has been going on for centuries. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is attributed as saying, "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
For the most part, America has stood by this ideal. Unfortunately our general public's commitment to such standards seems to be waning.
Take the latest Apple iPhone software update for example.
The newest update now has the ability to scan your phone for what it will identify as illegal images.
For now, those images will be confined to what is known as "CSAM" or Child Sexual Abuse Material.
In its official statement, Apple said, "We want to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)". The statement went on and said, "Our efforts will evolve and expand over time."
Of course they will.
Today they will focus on CSAM material. Tomorrow, perhaps they will focus on "anti-vaxxers." Or maybe someone they determine to be affiliated with "the wrong" political party.
Child pornography and CSAM content is disgusting and abhorrent. It breaks the heart of God to see His young and most vulnerable being taken advantage of and abused. We should be dedicated to seeing it stopped.
And this program is setting the stage for more oversight, invasion of privacy and deterioration of freedoms. This is all but guaranteed.
Matthew Green is a cryptography researcher at Johns Hopkins University. Regarding these new Apple iPhone updates, he tweeted, "These are bad things. I don't particularly want to be on the side of child porn and I'm not a terrorist. But the problem is that encryption is a powerful tool that provides privacy, and you can't really have strong privacy while also surveilling every image anyone sends."
Alec Muffett, a security researcher and former Facebook employee, stated Apple's decision was a "huge and regressive step for individual privacy ... Apple [is] walking back privacy to enable 1984."
Muffett referenced the famous George Orwell book, 1984, where the government constantly monitored its citizens for illegal and undesirable behavior.
And that really brings us to the point.
As citizens continue to give up privacy and freedoms, how much longer can a populace go until there are no freedoms to give up?
Again, child pornography is disgusting and horrendous. Nothing that is being said here should minimize that reality. But we are plummeting toward a society where the collective good is crushing individual freedoms.
Those societies are not representative of the spirit in which our nation was formed. It more represents the dictatorships that our nation has fought with blood, sweat and sacrifice, in world wars that stretched over continents both east and west.
If nothing else, know this: You may be using your iPhone to watch different things. Your iPhone is now officially watching you.
Jeff Struss is director of content development at Charisma Media.
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