Encryption

EU recommends Signal messaging app to staff for privacy

EU recommends Signal messaging app to staff for privacy

This week, leadership at the European Commission (executive branch of the European Union) sent a staff-wide message pushing the secure messaging app Signal. This end-to-end encrypted messaging app was recommended on an EU internal discussion board for all staff. The message included, in part: "Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging." Why would the EU do this?

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Signal encrypted messaging app starts testing emoji reactions

Signal encrypted messaging app starts testing emoji reactions

Encrypted messaging app Signal has announced a new feature that is currently being tested with beta users: emoji reactions. The new feature mirrors a similar reaction system offered by Facebook Messenger and a number of other major messaging platforms. As you'd expect, Signal users can leave a smile, angry face, or other reaction on individual messages.

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iCloud backups are not fully encrypted because the FBI complained

iCloud backups are not fully encrypted because the FBI complained

For the past years, Apple has painted itself as a champion of user privacy, as long as said user is also a customer. Its privacy advocacy has become so central to its message that it has, after decades of formal absence, attended CES but only as a panelist in a privacy roundtable. There will always be some who will doubt a for-profit's ulterior motives and they may have just been given a smoking gun that implies Apple did secretly cave in to the US governments wishes to have easier access to iCloud users' unencrypted backups.

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Facebook WhatsApp encryption plans draw US government scrutiny

Facebook WhatsApp encryption plans draw US government scrutiny

After the almost unending litany of scandals that have rocked Facebook, many drawing intense criticism from the US government, the social networking giant is ready to turn a new leaf. Ironically, it is also receiving criticism from the US, specifically the Justice Department. In its efforts to begger protect the privacy of users that it has violated, Facebook is reportedly planning to introduce strong encryption in WhatsApp, Instagram, and its other messaging services. For Facebook, it is to protect users but the government insists it will be putting them in danger in the long run.

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Android Q will require storage encryption on all devices including TVs

Android Q will require storage encryption on all devices including TVs

For a long time, Android has supported encrypting the user's data through storage encryption. While the common way to protect data, encryption does come with a processing cost that only certain hardware is capable of. That's why Google hasn't strictly enforced storage encryption on Android devices that don't have the hardware necessary to make that painless and smooth. That changes in Android Q, however, thanks to a new technology that will let any and all such devices perform encryption no sweat.

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Google’s Adiantum encrypts Android in all forms

Google’s Adiantum encrypts Android in all forms

Adientum, not to be confused with the fictional metal alloy adamentium, is a newly detailed security system for Android. The folks at Google that've created this system made it so that all devices could use encryption techniques - not just those with new and advanced hardware for said purpose. With this system, the whole world can rest a little more easy knowing their data is slightly more secure than it was before this system was put in place.

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Lexar JumpDrive F35 USB protects your data with your finger

Lexar JumpDrive F35 USB protects your data with your finger

Almost all smartphones these days, even some budget-friendly ones, have a fingerprint scanner, though some are even moving beyond it now. Laptops are just getting started on that trend but those could only protect what's stored in the computer. Your data in external hard drives and USB flash drives? Ripe for the picking (unless they've been heavily encrypted). Enter Lexar's newest USB flash drive designed to protect your files in the same way that smartphones do: with your fingerprint.

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Skype end-to-end encrypted private chats now available for all users

Skype end-to-end encrypted private chats now available for all users

In January, Microsoft launched a new feature called Private Conversations that offers end-to-end encryption for helping keep data secure. That feature was only available to Insiders at the time, but Microsoft has now released an update that brings the encrypted chats to all users. The update is now live for desktop, Android, and iOS.

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DOJ asks Facebook to help it snoop on encrypted voice chats

DOJ asks Facebook to help it snoop on encrypted voice chats

The Department of Justice wants Facebook to give it access to encrypted voice chats as part of a criminal probe, according to a new report. The issue revolves around Messenger and its encrypted chats feature, which users can manually enable for specific conversations. The DOJ is reportedly seeking access to voice conservations made with the app.

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Office 365 Personal users get business-tier security tools

Office 365 Personal users get business-tier security tools

Microsoft is enhancing security for non-business Office 365 users, adding advanced Outlook.com email encryption tools and ransomware detection for Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions, among other things. With these changes, user data is better protected while keeping intruders from accessing the information. A couple features are rolling out today with the rest arriving in the next few weeks.

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Justice Department wants phone unlocking mandate for encrypted data

Justice Department wants phone unlocking mandate for encrypted data

The Department of Justice wants a mandate that would force tech companies to provide phone unlocking tools. The FBI is involved in discussions of potential legislation forcing the matter, according to a new report. Research currently underway by both entities allegedly indicates that a backdoor could be provided without leaving the devices more vulnerable to hackers. This is the latest development in the US government's long-running effort to get easy access to encrypted smartphones.

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Ex-Apple security engineer will unlock iPhones for a price

Ex-Apple security engineer will unlock iPhones for a price

Apple has always prided itself and its products for being on the side of protecting customers’ privacy, even when that goes against the demands of the government. As such, it has become a huge target, not just for government scrutiny and criticism but also for hackers who love a good challenge. Especially one that could make them rich. The latter seems to be the case for a never before heard Grayshift startup which claims they can unlock encrypted iPhones, thanks to having US intelligence contractors and an former Apple security engineer in their employ. And, of course, it doesn’t come cheap.

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