Signal Private Messenger for Safe and Secure Text, Voice, and Video Messaging

“Privacy is possible. Signal makes it easy.”

Signal is a very popular safe and secure replacement for cell phone text messaging systems. Best of all, it is available FREE of charge. If you have an Android device, an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch, Signal will supplement or replace your present text messaging app. Your cell phone will continue to send and receive normal text messages as it always has plus it will now securely send and receive private, encrypted text messages to and from anyone else who is using Signal.

Millions of cell phone users have installed Signal and use it every day to keep their communications secure and away from prying eyes. Users include many senior politicians in Washington, business professionals, newspaper reporters, movie stars, sports professionals, and private individuals alike worldwide. It blocks credit card thieves, identity thieves, nosey neighbors, and (probably) government agencies from tapping into your private communications.

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File under STUPID: Governments to Declare War on Mathematics and Dumb Criminals

Chris Duckett has published an interesting article in ZDnet entitled Governments to Declare War on Mathematics and Dumb Criminals. He writes about the attempts of several governments around the world to stop encryption or to create “back doors” in all encrypted information. Of course, these efforts will always fail because of some very simple truths. Namely, encryption is impossible to control or stop.

I don’t know who is dumber, the criminals or the politicians and bureaucrats.

In one brighter note, the U.S. bipartisan House Judiciary Committee & House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote, “Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security.”

If you want to read about futile efforts by politicians and bureaucrats, read Chris Duckett’s article at: http://zd.net/2rNc5uk.

European Parliament Committee Recommends End-To-End Encryption For All Electronic Communications

Governments worldwide are providing mixed signals about the rights of citizens to use encryption. The U.K. government has proposed banning encryption. (See my earlier article at http://bit.ly/2rFlB7K for details) while other branches in the same U.K. government have praised the use of encryption by individuals and corporations by writing, “Privacy is an essential prerequisite to the exercise of individual freedom, and its erosion weakens the constitutional foundations on which democracy and good governance have traditionally been based in this country. (See http://bit.ly/2splavi.) France and Germany have called for legislation banning encryption. (See  http://tcrn.ch/2rFGCPt.)

In the U.S., the various government agencies, including the FBI, have condemned encryption while other agencies have praised it. The bipartisan House Judiciary Committee & House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote, “Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security.”

Now the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament has released a draft proposal “in direct contrast to the increasingly loud voices around the world to introduce regulations or weaken encryption.” The committee of the European Parliament suggests that ALL personal communications should be encrypted. to protect to European Union citizens’ fundamental privacy rights. The committee also recommended a ban on backdoors.

You can read more at: http://bit.ly/2rtMyqN.

Keybase Chat: a Free, Seamless Encrypted Web Chat Service for Everyone

Keybase Chat provides an easy-to-use, end-to-end encrypted chat built into the producing company’s earlier Keybase encrypted file sharing software. Unlike other encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp or Signal, Keybase Chat works with public accounts and usernames you already have, so there’s no need to exchange phone numbers, email addresses or encryption keys.

Anyone can send a Keybase Chat message to anyone else on the internet — even if they haven’t signed up for Keybase yet. The Keybase Chat allows for 4,000-character messages and attachments, and includes some basic blocking and muting features.

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U.S. Senate Staff can now use Signal for Secure Messaging and So Can You

The US Senate just got a little bit more secure. You can also do the same: increase your security.

Without any fanfare, the Senate Sergeant at Arms recently told Senate staffers that Signal, widely considered by security researchers and experts to be the most secure encrypted messaging app, has been approved for use by all Senate staff members.

The news was revealed in a letter Tuesday by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a staunch privacy and encryption advocate, who recognized the effort to allow the encrypted messaging app as one of many “important defensive cybersecurity” measures introduced in the chamber.

I have written several times about Signal in past articles in this blog. See https://privacyblog.com/?s=Signal for those past articles.

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Cryptomator Encrypts Your Files Before Uploading to Dropbox or Other Cloud-based File Storage Services

Many people are afraid to use Dropbox, Google Drive, or other file storage services because of the fear that “someone might see my personal data.” Whether the fear is valid or not can be discussed forever but there is a simple solution that always avoids the problem: encrypt everything before sending any files to the file storage service. Encrypted files cannot be read by anyone who does not know the encryption key. The result is that your private information remains private.

Of course, you could always manually encrypt the files one at a time by using any of the dozens of available encryption programs. However, if you have hundreds or thousands of files you wish to save online, encrypting them one at a time entails a LOT of work. Luckily, there is a simpler solution and, best of all, it is free.

Cryptomator provides transparent, client-side encryption for your files to be stored in the cloud. Cryptomator provides a virtual drive. You can add, edit, or remove files as you’re used to with any other disk drive. Not only do the contents of files get encrypted, even the file names and folder names get encrypted. Only the encrypted files stored in the virtual drive are sent to the file storage service. Cryptomator runs solely in your computer and does not need any infrastructure or accounts under anyone else’s control.

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Senator Reveals FBI paid $900,000 to Hack the San Bernardino iPhone and Received Nothing in Return

During last week’s questioning of FBI Director James Comey, California Senator Dianne Feinstein inadvertently revealed the amount the agency paid to hack into a terrorist’s iPhone, the Associated Press reports at http://cnb.cx/2qTzBpB. The money was paid to break into the locked iPhone of a gunman in the San Bernardino, California, shootings. In return, the FBI received … nothing.

Even though the company the FBI hired was able to break into the phone and read its contents, nothing incriminating was found.

Details are available at http://cnb.cx/2qTzBpB.

I wrote about the attempt to break into the iPhone several times last year. See my previous articles by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+fby+iphone&t=h_&ia=web.