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Australian government still pushing decryption magic bullet

posted onFebruary 21, 2018
by l33tdawg

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton has reignited the Coalition's push to access encrypted communications, touting decryption as fundamental in fighting terrorism, ahead of the Australia-ASEAN Special Summit next month.

Addressing the National Press Club on Wednesday, Dutton labelled "ubiquitous encryption" a "significant obstacle" to terrorism investigations.

"I am confident that the government has given our agencies the best tools to do the job, but as terrorists -- and other criminals -- evolve their tactics, so must we," he said.

Skype finally getting end-to-end encryption

posted onJanuary 11, 2018
by l33tdawg

Since its inception, Skype has been notable for its secretive, proprietary algorithm. It's also long had a complicated relationship with encryption: encryption is used by the Skype protocol, but the service has never been clear exactly how that encryption was implemented or exactly which privacy and security features it offers.

FBI director again laments strong encryption in remarks to Congress

posted onDecember 11, 2017
by l33tdawg

In recent testimony before Congress, the director of the FBI has again highlighted what the government sees as the problem of easy-to-use, on-by-default, strong encryption.

In prepared remarks from last Thursday, FBI director Christopher Wray said that encryption presents a "significant challenge to conducting lawful court-ordered access," he said, again using the longstanding government moniker "Going Dark."

The statement was just one portion of his testimony about the agency's priorities for the coming year.

Ditch All Those Other Messaging Apps: Here's Why You Should Use Signal

posted onNovember 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

Stop me if you've heard this before. You text a friend to finalize plans, anxiously awaiting their reply, only to get a message from them on Snapchat to say your latest story was hilarious. So, you move the conversation over to Snapchat, decide to meet up at 10:30, but then you close the app and can't remember if you agreed on meeting at Hannegan's or that poppin' new brewery downtown. You can't go back and look at the message since Snapchat messages have a short shelf life, so you send a text, but your friend has already proven to be an unreliable texter.

Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption?

posted onMay 28, 2017
by l33tdawg

Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data.

The Bizarre Quantum Test That Could Keep Your Data Secure

posted onMay 16, 2017
by l33tdawg

At the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, the basement of the physics building is connected to the economics building by nearly half a mile’s worth of optical fiber. It takes a photon three millionths of a second—and a physicist, about five minutes—to travel from one building to the other. Starting in November 2015, researchers beamed individual photons between the buildings, over and over again for seven months, for a physics experiment that could one day help secure your data.

Encryption Apps Help White House Staffers Leak—and Maybe Break the Law

posted onFebruary 16, 2017
by l33tdawg

In the four tumultuous weeks since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the White House has provided a steady stream of leaks. Some are mostly innocuous, like how Trump spends his solitary hours. Others, including reports of national security adviser Michael Flynn’s unauthorized talks with Russia, have proven devastating. In response, Trump has launched an investigation, and expressed his displeasure in a tweet: “Why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”

Cryptography: Security engineers announce Project Wycheproof

posted onDecember 21, 2016
by l33tdawg

“Many of the algorithms used in cryptography for encryption, decryption, and authentication are complicated, especially when asymmetric, public key cryptography is being used," said Peter Bright on Monday in Ars Technica. "Over the years, these complexities have resulted in a wide range of bugs in real crypto libraries and the software that uses them."

Bright was giving us a bigger picture view in light of the good news from Google. On Monday Google announced the release of Project Wycheproof. This should ease some pain.

The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption

posted onNovember 11, 2016
by l33tdawg

There is a growing desire to keep one’s messages private. Some users are concerned about hackers, or worry about foreign or domestic government surveillance, but most people just agree with the general principle that what you say in your chat conversations ought to stay between you and the people you chat with.