Posts tagged with: encryption
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    California and New York are working on bills that would prohibit (or severely restrict) encryption on phones. Why is encryption so important, and why are encryption laws that prohibit your ability to secure your devices and data such a bad idea? Back before these United States of America were recognized as a country, we were colonies of Great Britain. Pilgrims to the Americas were typically fleeing governmental or religious oppression, seeking a new start is a far-off land, free from the shackles and scrutiny of over-reaching governments and tyrants. That was a long time ago, and what ...

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    Uh, well this is interesting. The self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as Daesh, has taken advantage of the same mobile security measures that many of us lay people have to communicate under the law enforcement radar. Governments have been looking to force messaging services to provide decryption tools for investigators to use in accessing potentially useful exchanges. In the meantime, while Daesh operatives have had tough goes with finding a stable, accessible encrypted conversation medium impenetrable by investigators. With WhatsApp being pried open and an ally-made app called ...

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    The sky is falling! Smartphone users are actually protecting their phones with strong encryption (well, at least some of them), stymieing law-enforcement efforts to access the data contained within. Won't someone think of the children?!? If all the recent outrage over smartphone encryption sounds a bit disingenuous to your ears, you're not alone, but we may just be finding ourselves on the cusp of a major battle to retain the right to secure our phones against prying eyes. Last week we told you about a bill making its way through the New York legislature that looked to outright ban the ...

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    BlackBerry security and law enforcement investigations do not mix. In general, police have had trouble decrypting phones for investigations. Google, Apple and BlackBerry have been stalwarts in making available the option for its device users to encrypt their data and not have it get deciphered by even those companies. While laws may soon come to pass regarding the issue, the Netherlands Forensic Institute seems to have skipped a step in the snafu — and it comes to a potential punch to BlackBerry's reputation. The NFI, which assists police and other investigators with evidence retrieval, ...

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    It’s no longer just the UK government that wants backdoors implemented into all of today’s smartphones for “safety” and terrorism-opposing reasons, as soon enough, New Yorkers may not be able to buy or lease fully encrypted handhelds in the fourth-most populous American state anymore. If a piece of legislation currently in debate at the NY state assembly is ultimately passed, “any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January First, Two Thousand Sixteen, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating ...

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    "If you don't have anything to hide, why do you have curtains on your bedroom window?" - Anonymous Privacy, in these United States, is a fundamental Civil Right. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment enshrines that no unreasonable searches shall be performed without a warrant. This protects individuals from being targeted because of their beliefs, whether those are religious, political, ethnic, cultural, or anything else. As much as we'd like to deny that sort of targeting exists, history shows us that the British used unlawful searches to single out and victimize Colonists based on their ...

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    Samsung's smartwatches have come a long way since the first-gen Galaxy Gear, and beyond refinements to the hardware's design, we've also seen some big steps forward on the software front – perhaps most notably with the way Samsung's opened compatibility up to non-Samsung Android devices. And while officially the new Gear S2 may play nicely with phones running Android 4.4 or later and equipped with at least 1.5GB of RAM, there's more to the compatibility story than just that, and as owners attempt to install the recent Gear S2 software update, a very annoying restriction is getting in the ...

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    When you're working in law enforcement, smartphone security can be a double-edged sword. Sure, strong security measures can keep user information safe and reduce the value of stolen hardware, helping to deter thieves. But at the same time, sometimes that security is so good as to effectively lock the police out as well – a real problem for them when they suspect a handset is hiding evidence within. As we've already heard, Apple devices running recent software are quite secure, such that encrypted phones can't be accessed by Apple even if a court tried to compel the company. In case you ...

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    For many a modern-day hero, for some an old-fashioned anarchist and traitor, for all a seasoned computer professional obsessed with encrypted communication services. NSA whistleblower and former CIA employee Edward Snowden is a lot of things to a lot of people, but if you’re as anal as him about keeping your voice calls and texts away from prying ears and eyes, a free mobile app dubbed Signal should put all concerns to bed. Rolled out to iOS back in March, the private messenger client can now be installed on Android devices as well through Google’s Play Store. Hopefully, law ...

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    Law enforcement and tech companies are at odds on the subject of encryption. It's encryption so thorough that even the tech companies can't decrypt it. Encrypted phones from suspects and victims have stopped homicide investigations. But for those who refuse to incriminate themselves, the issue comes down to basic property and knowledge rights. It seems that the United Kingdom has taken to statute to force Silicon Valley-types into its hand on the topic of encrypted communications. The Investigatory Powers Bill gives law enforcement — from spy agency MI5 to the local police department ...

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    Google's been taking serious steps to make Android a secure computing experience for ages now, and with last year's release of Android Lollipop, the company took one of its boldest stances to date: devices shipping with Android 5.0 were required to take advantage of the platform's full-disk encryption, securing user data even in the case of loss or theft. And while that may have been an admirable goal, it wasn't long before pressure (presumably from OEMs) forced Google to back down: earlier this year we saw the company admit that the performance trade-off inherent in encrypting and ...

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    We've spent hours on the subject of data transmission security and device security on this site. We've reviewed BlackBerry after BlackBerry and a Blackphone, too — with another one out there that we'd might want in our review labs. A lot of us treasure hiding data from our adversaries and our nightmares, whoever or whatever they are. But in the case of smartphone encryption, you could end up causing a nightmare for if not yourself, then your family and the people that would fight for you. Let's be clear that the majority of smartphones encrypted and picked up by law enforcement come from ...

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    Late last summer, before Android L was even formally Android Lollipop, we heard from Google about the bold step it was taking in making full-disk encryption the default for pure Lollipop devices. Such encryption had previously been a user-triggered option, but with phones and tablets that would ship with Android Lollipop, Google intended to require manufacturers to enable the feature. And indeed, short of some some bootloader hacking, you were stuck with mandatory encryption starting with the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. But now new Lollipop-out-of-the-gate devices are emerging, and not all are ...

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    T-Mobile may be the cool kid on the block, not messing with the Motorola Nexus 6 it sells in its stores, but not every carrier is committed to being so hands-off. As we looked at last week, the AT&T version of the phone has a few carrier-specific anomalies rendering it distinct from the unbranded model, but they're overly onerous. If you can't live with even those, enthusiasts have already worked out how to restore the AT&T Nexus 6 to a near-clean slate, as well as overcome the mandatory encryption (for the Nexus 6 on all carriers) we understand could be slowing down disk ...

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    In software, very rarely is an operation “free.” Want that menu to have a cute scroll-down animation when you tap it? Sure, but that's going to take up processor time: you can have a system without it that runs slightly faster, or keep the animation and suffer a tiny performance hit. Our desire for attractive, rich software is often compensated for by the arrival of increasingly powerful SoCs, but that still doesn't change the fact that the more we ask our phone to do, the slower the same hardware's going to run. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google is making its platform's full-disk ...

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    The latest smartphones, on both Android and iOS, are configured to enable device-level encryption by default; no longer is simply having one of these handsets in your possession enough to read the data stored within, requiring user authentication before information can be accessed. As far as smartphone users are concerned, this is a great development, securing our personal info against the prying eyes of both criminals and occasionally-over-reaching law enforcement. Unsurprisingly, the US government isn't quite so pleased about this practice, and it's wasting no time in pulling out the big ...

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    Personal privacy and device security are two ever-important concerns in an increasingly digital world. Where there is personal, private, and potentially important information being stored, there is always someone out there who seeks to use it for personal gain. Harmless or not, keeping your information and devices locked down is never a bad idea. It's always smart to keep wandering eyes out of your sensitive information, even if you have nothing to hide. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of ways to beef up security your mobile devices. Most of the security measures are ...

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    Smartphone users are continuing to make clear that device security is a big concern, and companies are responding. Earlier this week, we saw Apple share some of its latest privacy-focused developments, including news that iOS 8 would be using strong encryption that would prevent Apple itself from being able to read data on your handset, even at the request of law enforcement. Now Google is sharing similar news of its own, as it reveals that Android L will provide full-device encryption by default. While Android had offered such protection as an option in the past, Android L will make the ...

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    Some have referred to Blackphone as a smartphone for people who are "paranoid", I don't see it that way. Blackphone offers something that, as a society, we give away too freely: our privacy. Many will say "if you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to worry about", yet these people still close the door on the stall when using the restroom, and have curtains over their windows to keep people from snooping. That's what Blackphone does, only for your personal communications. How it does that is a little complicated, so let's walk through what kinds of security Blackphone ...

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    You're out on the town, you're having fun, and your smartphone is the furthest thing from your mind -- until you get home and check your pockets, and it isn't there. It's happened to the best of us, even some important people at Apple have left their super-secret prototype phones in bars. Though your device may be lost, there is something you can do to make sure your private information isn't compromised. Here's how you can use encryption to make your Android a little bit more secure just in case it gets lost somewhere along the way. Android Encryption We do a lot on our smartphones and ...

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