Following this week’s announcement, some experts think Apple will soon announce that iCloud will be encrypted. If iCloud is encrypted but the company can still identify child abuse material, pass evidence along to law enforcement, and suspend the offender, that may relieve some of the political pressure on Apple executives. 

It wouldn’t relieve all the pressure: most of the same governments that want Apple to do more on child abuse also want more action on content related to terrorism and other crimes. But child abuse is a real and sizable problem where big tech companies have mostly failed to date.

“Apple’s approach preserves privacy better than any other I am aware of,” says David Forsyth, the chair of the computer science department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who reviewed Apple’s system. “In my judgement this system will likely significantly increase the likelihood that people who own or…

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