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Apple censoring iCloud emails and attachments

Mark Hattersley | March 1, 2013
It has been revealed that Apple is now deleting, and refusing to deliver emails with the phrase "barely legal teen" in them.

In 2010 former Apple CEO Steve Jobs entered into conversation with Gawker's Ryan Tate. Tate asked "If Dylan was 20 today, how would he feel about the company? Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with "revolution?" Revolutions are about freedom."

Jobs replied "Gosh, why are you so bitter over a technical issue such as this? It's not about freedom. It's about Apple trying to do the right thing for its users. Users, developers and publishers can do whatever they like - they don't have to buy or develop or publish on iPads if they don't want to. This seems like its your issue, not theirs."

However, censoring the emails of personal individuals using Apple cloud services does seem to be another step on the ladder towards Apple control. People do not have to use Apple's iCloud service, there are plenty of rivals such as Gmail and Live, but Apple makes iCloud easy to set up and it still feels like a personal intrusion to have Apple's computers deciding what you can and can't say.

Barely legal is, as many people note, not the same as "illegal" so Apple has no legal requirement to enforce this rule, and appears to be doing it of its own volition. Apple's iCloud terms and conditions acknowledge Apple's ability to do this.

"You acknowledge that Apple is not responsible or liable in any way for any Content provided by others and has no duty to pre-screen such Content. However, Apple reserves the right at all times to determine whether Content is appropriate and in compliance with this Agreement, and may pre-screen, move, refuse, modify and/or remove Content at any time, without prior notice and in its sole discretion, if such Content is found to be in violation of this Agreement or is otherwise objectionable."

It would appear that Apple is now putting those terms into practice. We wonder what other terms are on Apple's iCloud mail blacklist?


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