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Month: November 2015

The secret American origins of Telegram, the encrypted messaging app favored by the Islamic State

The secret American origins of Telegram, the encrypted messaging app favored by the Islamic State

An encrypted communications app called Telegram has been in the news a lot this week, amid fears that the Islamic State has adopted it as its preferred platform for messaging. On Nov. 18, Telegram reportedly banned 78 ISIS-related channels, “disturbed” to learn how popular the app had become among extremists. Those extremists had used the app both to spread propaganda, according to an October report, and to crowdfund money for guns and rockets, according to Vocativ. Telegram makes an obvious…

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Encryption Debate Erupts Post-Paris Attacks But Don’t Expect Any Change Soon

Encryption Debate Erupts Post-Paris Attacks But Don’t Expect Any Change Soon

Despite the lack of evidence, the Obama Administration has revived the encryption debate, pointing to encryption as an aid to the terrorists behind the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. Investigators from France and the U.S. have conceded that there has been no evidence backing up their conclusion that the terrorist behind the attacks relied on the latest, high-level encryption techniques being offered to consumers by Google and Apple. Yet, the debate over government-grieving encryption is back in high gear. Decrypting the…

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Paris attacks reignite debate over encryption,surveillance and privacy

Paris attacks reignite debate over encryption,surveillance and privacy

WASHINGTON — Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris have revived the debate over whether U.S. tech companies should be required to build “backdoors” into encrypted phones, apps and Internet sites to let law enforcement conduct surveillance of suspected terrorists. There has been widespread speculation among law enforcement authorities and the media that the Islamic State terrorists who attacked Paris were using some kind of encryption technology to communicate. However, American and French authorities have said there is no hard evidence to…

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Paris attack stokes the flames in fight over US data encryption

Paris attack stokes the flames in fight over US data encryption

Last week’s terrorist attack on Paris sounded a call to arms for hawkish U.S. officials seeking broad oversight of encrypted digital communications, some of whom used the opportunity to rekindle discussions with Silicon Valley technology companies. In an interview with MSNBC on Monday, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Silicon Valley companies, particularly those marketing secure Internet messaging services, should help government agencies protect the homeland by allowing controlled access to encrypted data. “They have apps to communicate on that cannot…

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Microsoft releases encryption tech for bioinformatics

Microsoft releases encryption tech for bioinformatics

Allows researchers to work on data securely. Microsoft has released tools that allow bioinformatics researchers to work on genome data sets securely to protect privacy. Genomic data is becoming available in increasing amounts as gene sequencing becomes easier, cheaper and faster, and is used for several new applicaitons such as predicting the occurrence and survival of cardiovascular disease. Hospitals, clinics, companies and other insitutions are faced with handling large amounts of such data securely, to ensure the privacy of subjects,…

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Apple’s Encryption Fight Turns To The UK

Apple’s Encryption Fight Turns To The UK

After a major victory in the United States, Apple is facing an another threat to its encryption efforts on a different front: the United Kingdom. The Cupertino-based tech giant typically shies away from taking firm stances on specific legislation and works through lobbying groups representing technology companies’ interests. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook today told students in Dublin that the company is opposed to a new British proposal that would require it to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted data….

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Snowden Never Told Us About Ransom Encryption

Snowden Never Told Us About Ransom Encryption

While Edward Snowden is the source behind the largest scandal on the internet, he sure didn’t warn us that hackers would put ransoms onto their spyware. A special ransomware virus was discovered which targets Linux-based systems specifically, and it’s telling us hackers are expanding to web browsers for their vicious attacks. This specific malware, labeled Lunix.Encoder.1, it breakes all files and goes through specific directories, encrypting home directories, the MySQL server directory, logs, and Web directories of Apache and the…

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Investigatory Powers Bill could allow Government to ban end-to-end encryption, technology powering iMessage and WhatsApp

Investigatory Powers Bill could allow Government to ban end-to-end encryption, technology powering iMessage and WhatsApp

The new Investigatory Powers Bill could ban WhatsApp and iMessage as they currently exist and lead to the weakening of security. Introducing the Bill this week, Home Secretary Theresa May said that it didn’t include a controversial proposal to ban the encryption that ensures that messages can’t be read as they are sent between devices. But it does include rules that could allow the Government to force companies to create technology that allows those messages to be read, weakening encryption….

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New U.K. online surveillance proposal could have international reach

New U.K. online surveillance proposal could have international reach

A new surveillance proposal in the United Kingdom is drawing criticism from privacy advocates and tech companies that say it gives the government far-reaching digital surveillance powers that will affect users outside the nation’s borders. The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill released by British Home Secretary Theresa May Wednesday would force tech companies to build intercept capabilities into encrypted communications and require telecommunications companies to hold on to records of Web sites visited by citizens for 12 months so the government…

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This Snowden-Approved Encrypted-Communication App Is Coming to Android

This Snowden-Approved Encrypted-Communication App Is Coming to Android

Since it first appeared in Apple’s App Store last year, the free encrypted calling and texting app Signal has become the darling of the privacy community, recommended—and apparently used daily—by no less than Edward Snowden himself. Now its creator is bringing that same form of ultra-simple smartphone encryption to Android. On Monday the privacy-focused nonprofit software group Open Whisper Systems announced the release of Signal for Android, the first version of its combined calling and texting encryption app to hit…

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