Encryption

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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Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor’s new Messenger app promises privacy over familiar networks

Tor, whose name amusingly once stood for The Onion Network, has become the software of choice when keeping your identity on the Internet anonymous and protected. As such, it has also become the bane of those, like some government agencies, who would prefer to have everyone's private comings and goings within their grasp. Adding to the project's arsenal of tools, which already includes a web browser, is Tor Messenger, an instant messaging software that tries to offer both convenience and privacy over an established network protocol like XMPP.

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DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

It seems that Apple and the US Department of Justice will once again be butting legal heads this Monday, a hearing that was supposedly set for October 22, over the two's favorite point of contention: encryption. The DOJ wants Apple to assist in unlocking an encrypted iPhone 5s. While Apple acknowledges that since the phone is still running something older than iOS 8, it can technically do so but has asked to court not to compel it to act. Naturally, the DOJ would have none of that.

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Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple: technically impossible to unlock newer iOS devices

Apple might have just scored some points with users but might have also further cemented the government's stance against encrypted devices. Responding to a Brooklyn federal judge's request for input, Apple revealed that it is impossible for it to unlock an iPhone or an iPad running iOS 8 or later due to stronger encryption methods. That said, it does admit that it can technically unlock devices running an older version, including the one involved in a current court proceeding, but advises the judge not to open that can of worms.

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Android 6.0 full disk encryption and other OEM requirements

Android 6.0 full disk encryption and other OEM requirements

Although Google didn't hype it as much, Android 6.0 is deserving of notice for its own fair share of major and substantial changes, like the new app permissions system and power saving doze mode feature that we've seen. But those changes aren't just for end users either. Google has just released the Compatibility Definition Document for Android Marshmallow which OEMs need to adhere to in order to be blessed by Google. And among those requirements is included the somewhat controversial Full Disk Encryption first found in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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