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Police forces in America have been asking residents to upgrade to the iPhone iOS7 it has emerged.

In New York City, the NYC Police Department (NYPD) were stopping people and handing them a Public Awareness Notice” for “Apple users”.

This notice was trying to convince people of the “security benefits” of upgrading to iOS7 iPhone and iPad devices.

According to the NYPD, this will add security features that will keep these devices from being reprogrammed without an Apple ID and Password. These notes go on to suggest that “additional information on iOS 7 features” can be found at Apple’s homepage.

The notes handed out by the NYPD also suggest that users register their devices with the NYPD’s Operation Identification Program. This program is outlined by NYC.GOV in their Crime Prevention program listing as follows:

Operation Identification is offered free of charge by the New York City Police Department. The program involves engraving an identifiable serial number with the letters N.Y.C. on all portable valuables such as computers, fax machines, copiers, etc and registering only the number and the owners name and address with the Police Department.

This program can be implemented by contacting your local Precinct’s Crime Prevention Officer. The officer will loan you an engraver, which is used to mark all equipment. Benefits from this program include:

Special New York City Police Department decals are issued which are affixed to windows alerting people that all property contained within, has been registered in this program.

The marked property is more difficult for a thief to sell.

Stolen property in the possession of a thief is easily traceable to its rightful owner. Found property can easily be identified and returned to the rightful owner.

The phone also comes with a fingerprint scanner which can store your fingerprints on the Apple database, which will undoubtedly make the job of police and other authorities much easier. Apple has also patented technology which would allow the government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

However, the company claims that the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations.

It will also help ‘enhance security’ for the authorities as it will give police greater control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event. The technology also allows Apple to track those who update content and software on their phone.

The advent of camera phones has allowed people to take pictures of events and incidents on the spot and upload it in seconds. This has often been the case with protests and demonstrations. However, this exciting new piece of technology from Apple would effectively allow the authorities to conduct a media blackout of public events and demonstrations, thereby reducing any potentially ’embarrassing’ footage.

Apple says, “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.”

The statement led many to believe that authorities and police could now use the patented feature during protests or rallies to block the transmission of video footage and photographs from the scene, including those of police brutality, which at times of major events immediately flood news networks and video websites. The Rodney King incident is perhaps the most famous of these.

Apple patented the means to transmit an encoded signal to all wireless devices, commanding them to disable recording functions.

Those policies would be activated by GPS, and WiFi 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.

The company’s listed “sensitive” venues so far include mostly meetings, the presentation of movies, religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, academic lectures, and test-taking environments.


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