NSA Encryption Backdoors Privacy

The NSA has a brilliant stance on encryption

By on January 22, 2016 at 8:24 PM.

The NSA has a brilliant stance on encryption

Discussions about the U.S. government’s need for breaking encryption have intensified following the mid-November attacks in Paris. Law enforcement agencies including the FBI and politicians have challenged tech leaders from Silicon Valley to find ways to include backdoors in encrypted products. That way, surveillance operations targeting potential terror suspects might have a better chance of successfully intercepting relevant communication.

Tech leaders, meanwhile, have stood firm against crippling encryption with backdoors, with Apple and Tim Cook at the forefront of this argument. That doesn’t mean tech companies unwilling to help intelligence agencies address terrorist threats – but they’ll just do it differently for the time being.

With all that in mind, one can’t help but applaud the NSA’s brilliant stance on encryption while simultaneously feeling a chill running down your spine. More →

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iPhone Android Encryption Lockscreen Password

Never mind encryption, 1 in 3 Android devices don’t even use lock screen PINs

By on January 22, 2016 at 8:24 AM.

Never mind encryption, 1 in 3 Android devices don’t even use lock screen PINs

The encryption debate is heating up more than ever, with certain governments looking to obtain backdoors into encrypted devices like the iPhone to use them in the fight against terror. But new research shows that not all smartphone users are interested in protecting their sensitive data, especially those using Android.

A study that sought to examine Android device security among employees who access company data with personal devices found that one in three Android devices don’t have lock screen passcodes, which represents the first line of defense against prying eyes. More →

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Jeb Bush Police State NSA

Meet Jeb Bush’s police state: The NSA in charge of civilian data

By on January 15, 2016 at 7:45 PM.

Meet Jeb Bush’s police state: The NSA in charge of civilian data

Given the various recent terrorist attacks, it’s no wonder that hackers, cybersecurity, encryption and surveillance are all major topics of this year’s presidential campaign. Encryption was on the table during the sixth Republican debate on Thursday night, with Jeb Bush proposing a solution for guarding the American people that seems to be taken out of a George Orwell novel. More →

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iPhone Encryption Backdoors New York

New York bill would force Apple to include encryption backdoors in new iPhones

By on January 14, 2016 at 5:30 PM.

New York bill would force Apple to include encryption backdoors in new iPhones

Tim Cook might not like it, but lawmakers around the world are far from being done asking Apple to include backdoors in its iOS and OS X operating systems to allow law enforcement agencies to access user data. According to On the Wire, a bill is making its way through the New York state assembly that is seeking to require smartphone makers to include encryption backdoors in all smartphones manufactured on or after January 1st, 2016 and sold in New York. More →

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EX NSA Director Hayden Encryption

Ex-NSA chief defends end-to-end encryption, says ‘backdoors’ will make us less secure

By on January 13, 2016 at 12:57 PM.

Ex-NSA chief defends end-to-end encryption, says ‘backdoors’ will make us less secure

No one will ever accuse the National Security Agency of being champions of privacy. But General Michael Hayden, a former Director of the NSA, does see some value in preserving secure end-to-end encryption on the web without giving government agencies their own “backdoors” they can use to break it in the name of intelligence gathering. Per CNN, Hayden told a cybersecurity conference in Florida this week that breaking encryption would not make Americans safer even if encrypted communications do pose new challenges for intelligence and law enforcement agencies. More →

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iPhone Encryption

Tim Cook defends Apple’s stance on encryption: ‘We’re America, we can have privacy and security’

By on December 21, 2015 at 6:15 PM.

Tim Cook defends Apple’s stance on encryption: ‘We’re America, we can have privacy and security’

Appearing on 60 Minutes on Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook passionately defended Apple’s support of encryption on iOS devices. When asked about terrorists relying upon encrypted communications to steer clear of surveillance, Cook arguably danced around the question and said that Apple has no problem cooperating with authorities to combat terrorism.

Nonetheless, Cook explained why the company’s uncompromising stance on encryption isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

More →

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BlackBerry Apple iPhone Encryption

BlackBerry CEO rips Apple’s stance on privacy and encryption

By on December 17, 2015 at 7:45 PM.

BlackBerry CEO rips Apple’s stance on privacy and encryption

BlackBerry, a company whose smartphones most people haven’t bought for years, posted an unusual missive on user privacy and security earlier this week penned by CEO John Chen. What’s particularly strange about Chen’s message is that it seems like he’s both slamming and supporting Apple’s stance on privacy and encryption. More →

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FBI Encryption ISIS Terrorist

The FBI finally gives a clear explanation about its problems with encryption

By on December 10, 2015 at 6:40 PM.

The FBI finally gives a clear explanation about its problems with encryption

The FBI is still banging the drum for tech firms to give it a “backdoor” to encrypted devices and this time it’s offered a clear explanation of how encryption is preventing law enforcement from conducting certain investigations related to terrorist attacks. More →

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Obama ISIS Technology Encryption

Obama calls for better gun control, and for tech companies to help fight terrorism

By on December 7, 2015 at 8:00 AM.

Obama calls for better gun control, and for tech companies to help fight terrorism

President Barack Obama all but called out encryption in a 15-minute Address to the Nation speech on Sunday night. The President touched on various subjects related to the recent terrorist attacks, explaining what the U.S. is doing to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Part of the country’s strategy against ISIS involves the ability of intelligence agencies to spy on potential suspects, though Obama didn’t explicitly mention encryption in his speech. Similarly, he did not call out any specific tech companies that currently encrypt their software or online services. More →

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Spying Encrypted Internet Traffic

One country wants to spy on all its encrypted Internet traffic

By on December 4, 2015 at 6:50 AM.

One country wants to spy on all its encrypted Internet traffic

Western countries including the U.S. and U.K. continue to voice their concerns against encrypted devices and Internet services, saying they hinder the efforts of spy agencies looking to prevent things like the mid-November Paris attacks from happening. American tech companies, which are primarily attacked for their use of encryption, aren’t willing to budge and provide governments backdoors into encrypted devices so that they can be used for spying purposes.

It turns out that one country doesn’t even need Internet companies to get on board – not that this particular country would have any sway on American corporation – and plans to spy on all encrypted Internet traffic going in and out of the country. More →

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ISIS Cyber Manual Encryption

Reports saying ISIS created its own cyber manual may have been exaggerated

By on November 25, 2015 at 6:50 AM.

Reports saying ISIS created its own cyber manual may have been exaggerated

There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that the ISIS attacks on Paris were carefully planned and executed, with some degree of sophistication involved, at least when it comes to avoiding intelligence agencies. Immediately after the tragedy that hit France in mid-November, many speculated that terrorists relied on encrypted devices and apps to thwart detection, although that hasn’t been proved so far. Moreover, reports picked up by the media revealed that ISIS might have an advanced support team in place, that would offer its members round-the-clock guidance when it comes to the digital aspect of their operations.

The same report said that ISIS created its own training manuals detailing best practices for safeguarding one’s privacy, but it turns out that’s not the case. More →

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Tech Companies ISIS Encryption

No, Apple and the rest of Silicon Valley is not helping ISIS

By on November 23, 2015 at 1:48 PM.

No, Apple and the rest of Silicon Valley is not helping ISIS

Over the weekend, with all the terror attacks-related frenzy in the media, I happened to stumble upon what might just be one of the most ignorant stances on encryption I’ve read in a while, The Telegraph’s “Why is Silicon Valley helping the tech-savvy jihadists?” And yes, the story is related to the debate on strong encryption, the kind of data protection for Internet-connected devices and Internet services that intelligence agencies can’t crack.

Before we start, no tech company is helping tech-savvy ISIS members by creating such products. In fact, it’s still not even clear that encryption helps ISIS plan and execute sophisticated attacks such as the one in Paris on November 13th. More →

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