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.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told a conference of law enforcement officials on Sunday that he and his colleagues have been unable to open nearly 7,000 digital devices in the first 11 months of the 2017 fiscal year.
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.
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.
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?”
“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.
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.
Computers are keeping secrets. A team from Google Brain, Google’s deep learning project, has shown that machines can learn how to protect their messages from prying eyes.
Researchers Martín Abadi and David Andersen demonstrate that neural networks, or “neural nets” – computing systems that are loosely based on artificial neurons – can work out how to use a simple encryption technique.
Facebook on Tuesday launched end-to-end encryption for all users of its Messenger mobile app, though the option isn't on by default, and comes with some other limitations.
"Secret Conversations" must not only be toggled on in the app's Settings, but manually enabled for each new conversation by tapping "Secret" in the top right corner of the "New Message" screen. Encryption can't be applied retroactively, and both the sender and the receiver must have the latest version of Messenger.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has publicly endorsed encryption, saying that it’s good for public safety.
During a yearly meeting for the Utah Technology Council in Salt Lake City, Cook said that “Encryption is one of the things that makes the public safe,” and reaffirmed his company’s unequivocal commitment to privacy and device integrity: