Tag - Encryption
This week on The MacNN Podcast episode 61, Mike and Charles briefly discuss how we've structured the leadership of this site modeled on the Dalek hierarchy, and in the tradition of the Daleks, the news is mostly bad -- and that's even before we get to the latest FBI/DOJ shenanigans, this week adding the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the cast of this drama, sadly on the side of authoritarianism over liberty. The parade of really not-thought-through attempts to modernize privacy laws in the era of digital encryption continues.
Tech companies have complained to the US government about a bill that aims to dramatically weaken the security of smartphones and other devices that rely on encryption. The open letter from the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, co-signed by three other groups, expresses "deep concerns" about the bill and other "well-intentioned but ultimately unworkable policies around encryption that would weaken the very defenses we need to protect us from people who want to cause economic or physical harm."
This week, The MacNN Podcast deals with an unusually wide variety of topics, ranging from serious (the future of encryption) to farcical (we'd daresay anyone listening could design a better theoretical Apple Car than what Motor Trend came up with). This is a pretty good week for Apple fans, a bad week for BlackBerry fans, and a goldmine for "what th--?" type news stories. We talk about what we'd do if we ran Apple, the latest DOJ-FBI shenanigans, and much more, along with a very unusual App of the Week.
While the San Bernardino "FBI vs Apple" case may have been dropped, the repercussions of both the FBI's initial aggression in the case, and its ultimate actions there, have had ripple effects; both on the national debate over encryption and privacy, as well as in other court cases where the agency -- along with the US Department of Justice -- continue to try and force Apple to disable or compromise its security. In a new filing arguing in favor of a Brooklyn court ruling that Apple was not obligated to crack its own iPhones, Apple points to the San Bernardino case in arguing that the agency has not "exhausted" all avenues, a key requirement of the All Writs Act the FBI is trying to use to force Apple to cooperate.
Canadian law enforcement has had backdoor access to BlackBerry devices, it has been revealed, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police obtaining the global encryption key for BlackBerry devices since 2010. Information revealed in court documents relating to a murder involving a Montreal crime syndicate shows law enforcement as being able to intercept and read approximately one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages as part of an investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has yet to find anything of "real significance" buried within the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino encryption row, according to a report. The iPhone, unlocked last month, is said to have provided very little data to the law enforcement agency as part of its investigation, which involved attempts to force Apple to cooperate in a very public battle, one the FBI cut short after seemingly finding its own solution.
The company thought to have beaten the encryption of the iPhone 5c, in order to help the FBI's investigation into the San Bernardino attack, is apparently "optimistic" it can do the same for the iPhone 6. Cellebrite, an Israeli forensics firm, is attempting to help an Italian architect see the photographs of his deceased son stored on a locked iPhone 6, and has reportedly advised the father that there's a chance the images can be accessed successfully.
Facebook updated its WhatsApp messaging service earlier this week to enable end-to-end encryption for all communications on the platform, protecting text-based messages, VoIP calls, and other items sent between users. Even though the extra security is likely to be welcomed by the majority of users, it appears that law enforcement agencies will still be able to gain access to some metadata relating to messages and calls, if not the content of the messages themselves.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is no longer keeping its method to unlock the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino encryption debate a complete secret, as it is reportedly telling senators how it was accomplished. Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has allegedly been informed of what was done to the iPhone to bypass the encryption, with the FBI also said to be briefing Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) on the same details in the near future.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is keeping quiet about how useful the information it pulled from the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino terrorist investigation. James Baker, general counsel for the FBI, advised the agency won't decide on whether or not to reveal what it had found on the smartphone until after the examination of the data and the investigation is compete, leaving observers of the debate waiting longer before being able to decide whether the unsuccessful legal wrangling against Apple was worth undertaking.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.64 ( -0.1 )
Ive opens Met Gala fundraiser in NYC
On Monday, Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive opened the press preview of the annual Met Gala fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Ive is serving as co-chair with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and Apple is helping sponsor the event, which is themed "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." He said the company is "thrilled" to participate in the Gala, and tied the company to the theme by saying that Apple's goal "has always been to try to create objects as beautiful as they are functional," adding that the company is "only starting" on its path of making products "more personal." http://bit.ly/1Y3EHKg
Tim Cook on CNBC Mad Money tonight
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be making an hour-long appearance on CNBC's investment show Mad Money this evening at 6PM ET. Slated for discussion, according to CNBC, are "Apple's future in China, Cook's outlook on innovation, what's next for iPhone, the Apple Watch, growth of Apple services and whether there are any potential acquisitions coming, among others."
Dev hacks Windows 95 onto Apple Watch
A developer has created a YouTube video that shows off a working version of Windows 95 running (very slowly) on an Apple Watch. Creator Nick Lee says that the OS takes about an hour to boot on the Watch because it is running in emulation rather than natively. While the project has no practical value, it does demonstrate how powerful mobile devices are in comparison to computers from the beginning of this century, as well as illustrating how far computing has come in the last 15 years -- long before smartphones, tablets, the cloud, and many more innovations that have come about since. http://bit.ly/1Y3AS85
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby