Tag - Encryption
The kernel code at the heart of iOS 10 is unencrypted for performance purposes, Apple has advised. Following after the discovery of the kernel being issued without encryption as part of the iOS 10 beta ahead of its general release this fall, Apple claims the change from using an encrypted kernel for this version was an intentional decision by the company for valid reasons, instead of a mistake in the mobile operating system's creation and distribution.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance continues his tirade against phone encryption with no backdoors yesterday. Speaking at a legal summit, the official decried Silicon Valley's choice to "engineer themselves out of criminal investigations" and noted that just in New York City, there were 270 phones that investigators sought to penetrate.
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.