In light of recent data collection scandals, Yahoo has been girding up its loins and strengthening the security of its services. Now the company is reporting what it has so far accomplished, which practically consists of applying HTTPS on almost all aspects of its Internet presence.
Twitter has decided to stop work on a project to encrypt its users' direct messages. The project would have helped ensure user messages sent in private would remain that away, encrypted against both snooping governments and hackers. The project has reportedly been nixed indefinitely, though it is possible it could be finished in the future.
No company or web service is probably as painfully aware of the need to keep data safe and private than the likes of Facebook, who holds a virtual copy of a good portion of their users' lives in their hands. Facebook is now sharing part of that knowledge by releasing Conceal, a set of Java APIs that will help other app developers keep their own users' data secure.
Recent events in the US and elsewhere have given rise to renewed and more mainstream interest in cryptography. But while the more popular methods are slowly proving to be inadequate, a stronger option might soon be available in the form of DissidentX, a software made by Bram Cohen, more popular for having created the BitTorrent file sharing protocol.
Matias has put its new wireless keyboard, the Secure Pro, up for pre-order on its website. With the keyboard, which is compact in nature and has a no-nonsense business design, comes wireless connectivity and 128-bit AES encryption to keep data away from prying eyes, which the company says is the strongest encryption you can get with a wireless keyboard.
In December, it was reported that security firm RSA -- according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden -- was paid millions by the NSA to put a back door into its encryption products. A couple days later, the company denied having a secret contract with the government agency, and said that it never knowingly put a back door in its offerings. That didn't stop some companies from gravitating away from RSA, however, and one such company was Wickr. The company's founder, Nico Sell, announced this change at an RSA Security Conference, during which she made it clear her company would not have a back door and that users' security was important. Immediately after, an FBI agent approached her with a request -- to add a backdoor on behalf of the agency.
Coinbase has released Coinbase Merchant, a point-of-sale app for accepting payments in Bitcoin. The app functions like a traditional POS app (like Square, for example) except it works for the cryptocurrency of note. The app appeared Sunday in the Google Play Store.
The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.
Word surfaced not too long ago that the NSA could have a backdoor for a specific type of encryption algorithm popularly used by developers. Today RSA Security, which offers this encryption to its customers by default in a toolkit, has sent out a notification advising those users to stop using it for the time being, as well as instructions for different options.
The documents provided by Edward J. Snowden seem to be never-ending: today's drop is a set of secrets surrounding the NDA's full code-breaking abilities on the internet: essentially speaking on how much they're actually able to see of any and all web-based data. This information was reportedly restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program that went (or still goes) by code-name "Bullrun" - this information coming from Snowden-sent documents given to the New York Times. It's there that it suggests that the NSA has broken into - or gotten around - "much" of the security used on the internet today, and has been working to do so for the past 13+ years.