Why Any Backdoor Would Be a Threat to Online Security

In regular intervals, Politicians demand that companies add backdoors to their end-to-end encrypted cloud services to enable law enforcements to easier persecute criminals. This demand ignores that any backdoor to encryption poses a severe threat to online security in general. An article in the Tutanota Blog explains why a backdoor is – and will always be – a stupid idea.

Check it out at: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/why-a-backdoor-is-a-security-risk.

ProtonMail Hits 5 Million Accounts and Wants Users to Ditch Google by 2021

ProtonMail, the Geneva, Switzerland-based encrypted email service, “wants you to be able to completely de-Google-fy your life,” according to CEO Andy Yen. “Come to ProtonMail, and have all the features, plus the security and the privacy that Google doesn’t provide you. So, that’s our long-term vision.”

ProtonMail is primarily different from your free email — Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. — because it encrypts your message and can’t scrape them for data. That encryption also protects them from being read by third-parties if you send an email from your ProtonMail account to another ProtonMail user. But what about encrypted docs, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations? That’s coming, too, Yen says.

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Yahoo and AOL Still Scan Your Emails… And Want to Sell Your Data to Advertisers

Oath — the owner of Yahoo and of AOL — is in talks with advertisers, promoting a service that scans the content of emails and provides a wealth of information about users.

The service would give advertisers access to data contained in over 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes. Email scanning would also apply to AOL Mail inboxes, also owned by Oath. Even the emails in Yahoo’s premium email service, which costs $3.49 a month, are subject to the analysis, unless users opt out. To opt out, you have to specifically head into the Ad Interest Manager here and select “opt out.” The page is not located in Settings, which makes it hard to find.

Details may be found in an article by Shannon Liao in TheVerge web site at: http://bit.ly/2wucrdR.

Gmail For Mobile Gets Confidential Mode but That’s Not Enough

If you use Gmail’s mobile app on your cell phone or tablet, you may soon notice changes that will be of interest to anyone interested in personal privacy. It lets users put a self-destruct mechanism to conversations to “protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.”

With Confidential Mode, users can set an expiration date to all emails, similar to a Snapchat message, and they can also revoke access to a confidential email at any time. The recipient can’t copy, forward, print, or download an email that’s marked as confidential, although there’s no preventing them from taking screenshots.

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Tutanota’s Open Source Email App Now Available on F-Droid

TutaNota is a secure email service that focuses on security and privacy. Tutanota’s encrypted open source email app recently became available on F-Droid, making it the go-to secure email service that enables everybody to stop using Google. To date, no other email service has published their Android app on F-Droid, the number one platform for free and open source apps.

NOTE: F-Droid is an installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The client makes it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates on your device. Since the applications are available on F-Droid, not on Google’s Play Store, they are not constrained by Google’s privacy-invasive policies. The main repository, hosted by the project, contains only free libre software apps. In addition, the source code is also available for all the applications available via F-Droid. The result is that anyone can examine the source code to verify there are no viruses or other malware (malevolent software) embedded in the apps.

With the app release on F-Droid, Tutanota now proves that it is possible to build a secure email service that is completely Google-free, giving people a real open source alternative to the data-hungry market leader Gmail. So far, Tutanota’s open source email service is the first Android app to get rid of Google and Google’s tracking mechanisms.

You can learn more in TutaNota’s blog at https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/open-source-email.

House of Representatives passes the Email Privacy Act

In a 351-66 vote, the House of Representatives passed a bill this week called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes the nation’s military and defense programs. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) used this opportunity to include as an amendment the Email Privacy Act, a piece of legislation long-favored by Electronic Frontier Foundation. If approved by the Senate and signed by the President, the new bill requires government agents to first obtain a probable cause warrant when seeking the content of communications stored by companies like Google, Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, and Microsoft.

You can read Rep. Yoder’s amendment at https://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/YODER_030_xml51818160527527.pdf.

If you are concerned about email privacy, please contact your Senator and ask him or her to support the bill.