data encryption

Confirmed: performance woes back Google off Android encryption

Confirmed: performance woes back Google off Android encryption

Over the past few days, news has surfaced that Google quietly stopped forcing full-disk encryption for Android devices. After loudly thumping their chest about security, Google silently removed the requirement. At the time of discovery, it wasn’t clear why Google would do such a thing. A study found that Android handsets performed much worse when encrypted, so it was believed that was the reason Google had for yanking the encryption. Now, Google has responded, and performance is confirmed as the issue.

 

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Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive includes physical keypad

Toshiba Encrypted USB Flash Drive includes physical keypad

The cloud and micro SD cards make toting data around easy, but sometimes a USB flash drive is the best choice. Protecting sensitive data on a flash drive has largely involved creating an encrypted partition or using an application like USB Safeguard. Toshiba is doing away with all of that via its new Encrypted USB Flash Drive, an ordinary flash drive with one big obvious difference: a physical mini-keyboard on the back. With this keyboard, users can enter their passcode and gain access to their otherwise secured content.

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Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Flip-flopping somewhat on his earlier stance against putting backdoors in software, US President Barack Obama took UK Prime Minister David Cameron's side in telling tech companies to give government agencies access to encrypted devices and communication. Of course, all in the aid of the fight against terrorism and in the interests of national security. The calls from the world's top government leaders came after two recent incidents that are directly related or being linked to encryption: the hacking of Sony computers last year and the shooting at newspaper Charlie Hebdo this month.

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MegaChat encrypted Skype rival imminent says Kim Dotcom

MegaChat encrypted Skype rival imminent says Kim Dotcom

Outspoken encryption enthusiast Kim Dotcom has promised the imminent arrival of his Skype rival, Mega's fully-encrypted video call and chat platform, which will be positioned as a pipeline for free-speech. The service, currently referred to as MegaChat, will support all the key features of existing popular messaging clients, only with the added promise of no backdoors being provided to the US government, Dotcom claims, pointing out that it's already in fact been used in public by high-profile leakers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. News of the app comes as fresh revelations from Snowden's NSA documents finger several services as being targeted by the spy agency.

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US DOJ: Encryption could get a child killed

US DOJ: Encryption could get a child killed

The US Justice Department may have tried to hit below the belt and appeal to emotion rather than reason by painting a gruesome future. Because while tech companies are working towards strengthening a user's privacy, the government is getting worried that they will be shut off from gathering personal information that could potentially save lives. In particular, the new encryption schemes being implemented by Apple in iOS and Google in Android could prevent law enforcers from getting their hands on a user's information in a timely manner.

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WhatsApp just gave 500,000 Android users encrypted messaging

WhatsApp just gave 500,000 Android users encrypted messaging

In a odd and surprising move, WhatsApp has just offered end-to-end encryption for all Android users. Relying on the Open Whisper System, and using open source code, WhatsApp just gave 500 million users totally encrypted messaging. The encrypted messages are accessed via the user’s device, using a key that only the account owner can access on the device. That means WhatsApp can’t access the messages, and neither can law enforcement. It’s not clear when an iOS version may be available.

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Wiper app now lets you make free encrypted calls

Wiper app now lets you make free encrypted calls

Secure messaging is a big deal to many, with ephemeral services like Snapchat a popular choice. Still, that service has been violated many times, leading some to search for a new path forward. The last time we talked about Wiper, the service was new, and pretty amazing. For a messaging platform, the encrypted app-to-app pipeline and ability to clear the chat on both ends is special. The company has recently released version 2.0 of their app, bringing the encrypted platform full circle.

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FBI director speaks out against consumer tech device encryption

FBI director speaks out against consumer tech device encryption

James B. Comey, the current director of the FBI, made statements on Thursday calling for America's tech companies to make their consumer devices more wiretap-friendly. He believes that the efforts from giants like Apple and Google to provide users with ways to encrypt data and communications on their mobile devices will lead to a future where those who commit murder or acts of terror could have an easier time escaping law enforcement.

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Facebook proactively searching for compromised user data

Facebook proactively searching for compromised user data

We see it a lot lately — some hacker makes a big data grab, then dumps the info in a dark corner of the web. The most recent victim of polarizing headlines about compromised data has been Dropbox. While claiming the username/password combinations taken were dated, they still faced a lot of furrowed brows at the data grab. Securing your own servers is a smart measure, but Facebook — perhaps the biggest data fish in the sea — is taking it a step further, and has taken to hunting in the deep waters.

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Google to implement encryption by default in Android L

Google to implement encryption by default in Android L

Following Apple's privacy policy statement yesterday, Google is reported to be coming out with a similar hard-line stance in its next Android release. Devices that will be running the upcoming Android L, sometimes called Android 5.0 or Lemon Meringue Pie, will have their phone's data encrypted and password-protected by default, which would hinder both authorities and miscreants alike from gathering users' private data.

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