Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Encryption

Skype Now Offers End-to-End Encryption

Skype users can now make encrypted voice calls and text chats. The end-to-end encryption used by Skype means that your chats are encrypted from one end to the other, ensuring eavesdroppers can’t intercept your messages or listen into your conversation. It has taken a while for Skype to offer the feature, but it’s better late than never. However, be aware that encryption is an OPTION. Unfortunately, the default remains the […]

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U.S. Government Reportedly Wants to Wiretap Facebook Messenger

According to an exclusive report from Reuters, Facebook may be about to receive one of its stiffest challenges yet from the U.S. government. The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc. to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be […]

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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 […]

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IEEE Statement on Strong Encryption vs. Backdoors

A note in Bruce Schneier’s excellent Crypto-Gram newsletter  mentions the following: The IEEE came out in favor of strong encryption: IEEE supports the use of unfettered strong encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of data and communications. We oppose efforts by governments to restrict the use of strong encryption and/or to mandate exceptional access mechanisms such as “backdoors” or “key escrow schemes” in order to facilitate government access to encrypted […]

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A Report about Banning the Telegram Encrypted Messaging App in Iran

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Iran. The Center has released a report entitled Closing of the Gates – Implications of Iran’s Ban on the Telegram Messaging App. I would suggest this report should be required reading by every elected official, every bureaucrat, and every law enforcement official in every country. It […]

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Encryption Backdoors are Dangerous and Don’t Work

The Proton Mail Blog has an article that serves as a tutorial about backdoors in encryption and the dangers of using any encrypted data that contains a “backdoor” for use by law enforcement personnel and others. In short, the use of “backdoors” makes it easier for hackers, credit card thieves, and others to spy on you, not more difficult. The article states: “With appeals to ‘national security,’ governments around the […]

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The FBI Lied About the Number of Cell Phones Where Criminal Investigations were Blocked due to Encryption

For the last two years, the FBI has repeatedly claimed that thousands of phones linked to criminal investigations were inaccessible due to locks and encryption. Last year FBI Director Christopher Wray said it had failed to access 7,800 mobile devices, but tonight a Washington Post report reveals that number is incorrect. According to the Post, the accurate number is between 1,000 and 2,000, with a recent internal estimate putting at […]

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The Truth about PGP’s So-Called Email Bug: It Isn’t Much of a Problem

Word has been circulating in recent days that PGP has a major bug called Efail can can lead to encrypted emails being decrypted. Details about the problem have now been released and it seems the problem is not with PGP itself. It is with the way that some programmers implement PGP in their various email systems. PGP itself is not the problem. In fact, decrypting PGP-encrypted email messages with Efail […]

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Virginia Beach Police Plan to Encrypt Radio Channels, Supposedly to Stop the Public from Listening In

In city documents, Virginia Beach police said encryption is needed because criminals listen to police communications. It would greatly increase officer safety and help protect citizens, they wrote. You can read the details in an article by Robyn Sidersky, Amy Poulter, and Jane Harper in The Virginian-Pilot at: http://bit.ly/2I9rzlx. One has to wonder why some government officials are trying to block encrypted communications or else place “back doors” in all […]

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Russia Accidentally Hacks Its Own Internet

The latest Kremlin attempt to clamp down on Russians’ online activity and spy on its own citizens resulted in thousands of web sites becoming unavailable to Russian residents. Almost 16 million IP addresses belonging to Amazon and Google became unavailable to Russians. Many of these IP addresses were used by online services that pay Amazon or Google to host web sites in the Amazon or Google data centers. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of […]

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