Encryption

AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

Encryption has become a very thorny subject of late, particularly in but not just limited to the US, which isn't that surprising considering most of the tech companies of the world call the country their HQ. Although it has since slightly weakened its formerly strong language, the US government stands by its position. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that position. The US doesn't want encryption back doors. They just want access to encrypted systems through another door that isn't the front. So maybe a side door perhaps.

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California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

Another US state has added itself to the roster of those fighting for requiring encryption keys to be provided to aid in criminal investigation. Or as others call it, "weakening encryption". California assemblyman Jim Cooper proposed a new bill that eerily sounded like a similar proposal being made in New York City. The difference, however, is that the purpose isn't to fight terrorism but to crack down on human trafficking specifically. Still, it's basically the same mantra that's being repeated in the US, UK, and France, requiring companies to provide governments with keys when they need them.

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France goes against the flow, rejects encryption backdoor law

France goes against the flow, rejects encryption backdoor law

While the US, particularly New York, and the UK are on a crusade to legally mandate the creation of backdoors on otherwise tightly secure encrypted systems, the French government is doing the opposite. It has recently rejected a proposed amendment that would practically require companies to install such backdoors and give government the keys in case of a criminal investigation. This rejection is almost ironic considering it was the recent Paris attacks that are being used by other government to justify their push for encryption backdoors.

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Apple might lose its encryption battle in New York

Apple might lose its encryption battle in New York

While Apple is still fighting any nationwide attempt to have backdoors installed in otherwise secure devices and Internet services, it might already be losing ground just in New York state alone. The state assembly has proposed a bill that, if approved and enacted, would force smartphone manufacturers and operating system provider, like Apple in both cases, to unlock and decrypted devices or risk being fined a hefty $2,500 per related device. This would, in turn, force Apple to weaken its encryption system and maybe even turn it off all together.

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China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

The US and the UK have only been planning and talking about it for years, but China has already done it. Unsurprisingly, despite strong criticism and outcry from the US and tech companies, China has passed a law that practically requires technology companies to have backdoors to encrypted systems and to hand the Chinese government keys to those doors should they be required by law. Almost ironically, the US' arguments against that law sound similar to the ones used by tech companies against the US' similar proposal.

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Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple, and many privacy advocates, might be facing a losing battle against governments pushing for a backdoor to encrypted devices and Internet services. The UK might be on the verge of passing a proposed Investigatory Powers Bill into law, which would require even non-UK companies like Apple to hand over keys to its otherwise well-protected products, even if such keys do not technically exist. If matters do take that turn, Apple will be forced to completely disable encryption on iPhones and iPads, iMessage, and FaceTime, which could have severe and adverse implications in more ways than one.

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Signal encrypted messaging platform arrives on desktops

Signal encrypted messaging platform arrives on desktops

Secure and encrypted chatting on mobile devices is well and good, but sometimes you do need to use all ten (or just 8 or 9) fingers to better express what you have in your head. For that reason, Open Whisper Systems is bringing its Signal messaging app to desktops and laptops after being available first on iOS and, just last month, on Android. Now you can be sure that your super secret messages remain super secret, even from the government's prying eyes and ears.

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Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

The violent events that befell Beirut, Paris, and most recently Nigeria, has once again given rise to the US government's favorite debate topic with the technology sector: encryption. On the one hand, you have the government calling for a backdoor into all encrypted devices and services. On the other corner, you have tech companies insisting on how dangerous that would be for the very people the government claims to protect. The irony of the matter is that both sides are claiming to fight on the side of security, both personal and national.

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App encryption in the dock post Paris attacks

App encryption in the dock post Paris attacks

Messaging apps with encrypted communication are being criticized for allowing the Paris terrorists a way to scheme while keeping security services out. The apps, including Telegram and others, have been blamed before over how they prioritize the privacy of users above providing access for agencies like the CIA and NSA to dig through chats to spot potential attacks such as those in France last week.

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Gmail to begin warning users of unencrypted emails

Gmail to begin warning users of unencrypted emails

Google is about to up its email security game when it comes to Gmail. The company has revealed it is currently working on an alert system to warn users when they've received an unencrypted email, and reduce the risk that comes with opening it. While using Gmail in the browser already uses HTTPS by default to connect to the server, there is still a significant number of emails that are sent unencrypted when moving between different providers. In a blog post, Google details some of its research into the current state of email security, and how it hopes to improve things.

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Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

Signal secure messaging lands on Android, endorsed by Snowden

When it comes to staying away from the prying eyes and eavesdropping ears of spies and hackers, perhaps no one knows better than Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has spilled it all and is now also trying to stay away from said people's reach. So when he openly endorses on Twitter (yes, he is on Twitter, of all places) WhisperSystem's Signal app, now on Android, then you know, with a bit of confidence but perhaps also a grain of salt, that your text messages and voice calls will be secure and private.

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Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

It seems that Apple won't be able to take a breather even after a case it has been dragged into has practically been closed. In a drug-related case in Brooklyn, federal Judge James Orenstein formally asked Apple's input regarding the Department of Justice's request to order Apple to unlock the defendant's iPhone. Apple naturally argued against it. The whole matter would have been moot since the defendant plead guilty to the charges, but the DOJ hasn't retracted its application and the judge himself is puzzled by it.

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