privacy

Judge: Apple can’t be forced to unlock iPhones under All Writs Act

Judge: Apple can’t be forced to unlock iPhones under All Writs Act

In a case unrelated but entirely relevant to the San Bernardino legal battle, a New York judge has just ruled that Apple cannot be forced to unlock an iPhone for the FBI under the All Writs Act, something George Washington himself had signed into law back in 1789. In this case, the matter revolves around an iPhone belonging to Jun Feng of Queens, New York. The DEA seized his phone while executing a search warrant on Feng’s home back in 2014. When it came time to search the phone, though, law enforcement was stopped by an increasingly contentious issue: the phone was, and still is, encrypted.

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FBI denies Apple case will set precedent

FBI denies Apple case will set precedent

Apple's contends that the FBI's San Bernardino case will have them unlock many phones in the future - the FBI does not agree. FBI Director James Comey spoke with a congressional panel this Thursday, suggesting that Apple's assistance in unlocking the phone of one San Bernardino shooter would not open the doors to future unlocking of devices as such. This situation, he said, was "unlikely to be a trailblazer" for other cases. Apparently Comey had not spoken to the NYPD before the panel.

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Apple’s Tim Cook explains that FBI request is like ‘software cancer’ in interview

Apple’s Tim Cook explains that FBI request is like ‘software cancer’ in interview

Apple CEO Time Cook appeared on ABC World News Tonight last night, and in a 30-minute interview with David Muir, he goes into detail about Apple's stance encryption, as well as why they will not give in to the FBI's demands for backdoor access into an iPhone that belonged to a terrorist. The television broadcast of the program only included a small portion of the interview, but ABC has now posted it online in full, and it's a must-watch for anyone closely following the Apple/FBI topic, as well as the larger issue of privacy and the government.

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In defiance, Apple works on making iPhone harder to hack

In defiance, Apple works on making iPhone harder to hack

Following the hoopla concerning Apple’s battle with the FBI over unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone comes a new report claiming the company is working on the development of new security measures that’ll prevent it — and the government — from breaching the phones. This will be a big blow for law enforcement and various government agencies, which have sought backdoors to the encryption.

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NYPD wants access to ALL iPhones (with a warrant)

NYPD wants access to ALL iPhones (with a warrant)

The New York City Police Department says they'd like Apple to unlock every iPhone currently subject to a court-ordered search. Once the San Bernardino doors are broken down by the FBI, the NYPD has made clear: they want in, too. That'd mean every iPhone entered into evidence in a court case and subjected to a search ordered by a judge could be forced open by law enforcement, courtesy of a piece of software they've forced Apple to create. That software would be an entirely new version of iOS which the FBI (then the NYPD, and every other law enforcement agency in the USA) would then install on each iPhone, bypassing Apple's security measures, opening the locks to access data. You might be asking yourself, "why is that so bad?"

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Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

The news about the FBI ordering Apple to offer backdoor access to an iPhone belonging to a terrorist, along with Apple's subsequent refusal, has been dominating headlines this week. On an issue that's sure to prompt ongoing debate about encryption and privacy, several other tech giants are voicing their support for Apple's stance. It took a bit of time, but Google's Sundar Pichai tweeted his agreement with Tim Cook's open letter on encryption, along with Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp. Now Microsoft has spoken up, albeit in a moderate way.

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3 simple mistakes that can break your iPhone

3 simple mistakes that can break your iPhone

Two iPhone hoaxes and one built-in security measure have popped up over the past week that you need to be aware of. For the most part, these warnings stick for whatever iPhone you happen to have: iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s - so don't take your chances. The first has to do with re-setting your clock to a date before Apple existed. Do not do this. Your iPhone will turn into a brick.

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Google pacifies Euro privacy advocates with Google.com fudge

Google pacifies Euro privacy advocates with Google.com fudge

Google's controversial "Right to be Forgotten" system will be expanded to the US version of the search engine, following a lengthy battle with privacy regulators. The tool launched back in May 2014, a way for European users to request personal details be removed from Google's index on the grounds that they were outdated or incorrect.

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Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

The fight for security and privacy, now embodied in the encryption of devices and services, has long taken a political flavor when the US government publicly advocated installing backdoors on such systems for the sake of criminal investigation. Now the story takes an interesting turn when two lawmakers cross the political divide to propose a bill that will preempt such proposals. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican from New York, have proposed a House bill that will prevent any state or local government from forcing OEMs to create such backdoors.

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France orders Facebook to stop tracking non-users, shipping data to US

France orders Facebook to stop tracking non-users, shipping data to US

Slowly and bit by bit, Facebook is losing legal ground in Europe over what many member states are now calling illegal practices that violate the privacy of users and non-users alike. The case it faces in France, however, is significant because of its timing and its root cause. The French privacy regulator CNIL has ordered Facebook to stop tracking the web activities of non-Facebook users, among other things, or face hefty fines. But in addition, it has called out Facebook for transferring European data to the US, which has basically been declared illegal in the EU.

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Microsoft Edge’s inPrivate browsing fails at being private

Microsoft Edge’s inPrivate browsing fails at being private

Most browsers these days include an "incognito" or private browsing mode, which, in theory, does not store anything related to your browsing activities on the computer they were used on. Its purpose is to add some level of privacy, especially for a computer that is accessed by multiple users. The newest web browser on the block, Microsoft Edge, also has that feature, which it calls "inPrivate" mode. However, it turns out that browsing in that mode might not be a completely private activity after all.

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Nest thermostat leaked unencrypted zip codes, now fixed

Nest thermostat leaked unencrypted zip codes, now fixed

It seems that Nest is again being made into the poster boy for everything that can go wrong with Internet of Things appliances. Remember the Nest Protect smoke detector fiasco of 2014? How about the more recent case of the cold shoulder from suddenly non-working thermostats? Now researchers from Princeton University have discovered how Nest, along with some other "smart appliances" might be leaking information, like the user's ZIP code, in an easily hacked, unencrypted way, leaving users exposed and even potentially in danger.

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