Tag - Encryption
You can't know everything. Unfortunately, try telling that to your family -- who've heard about encryption now, and want you to explain it to them. This new series, MacNN: Technically Speaking just lays things out for you. Everything you ever needed to know, but were too busy to ask. Everything that knowing a little bit extra about will help you greatly, or is just so interesting when you get into the details.
Seemingly backing off on statements before Congress, FBI Director James Comey suggested that more court action seeking to circumvent smartphone encryption is likely coming. Speaking with reporters at the agency's Washington DC headquarters yesterday, Comey also claimed that the agency is trying to figure out how to re-utilize the tool that the agency used San Bernardino iPhone 5c in other cases.
A court in Brazil has ordered for WhatsApp to be blocked on the country's carriers for a 72-hour period, as part of an ongoing dispute between the country and the Facebook-owned service over encryption. Judge Marcel Montalvao of Sergipe made the demand to carriers after WhatsApp failed to provide chat logs that could help law enforcement in a drug-related investigation, with the service claiming it does not have the capability of seeing the messages in their unencrypted form.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives