Although the FBI has apparently paused its battle with Apple over encryption, there's now another branch of the technological world under fire: burner phones. A new house bill, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), would essentially kill the anonymous prepaid phone industry.
The bill calls for retailers of prepaid phones to collect personal information on all buyers, including name, birth date and home address. The retailers would also be told to verify the info with a driver's license number, social security number or other suitable form of ID.
On the eve of his company’s court date with the FBI, where it will defend its right to not weaken the security of its own devices, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at a small theater in Cupertino to introduce a few new devices. The message of the event’s opening, though? Encryption matters. And soon, on iOS, it will matter even more.
While Cook’s remarks were brief, they were determined.
During a session at the South by SouthWest conference on March 11, President Obama was asked about his views on the Apple-FBI case—in which the FBI wants Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c cell phone used by San Bernardino County, Calif., shooter Syed Farook—in light of the fact that the president and his administration are at SXSW asking the tech community to help improve government overall.
As tensions heighten in the ongoing San Bernardino iPhone encryption case, some of Silicon Valley's top technology companies are said to be bolstering their own security measures.
The Guardian has it on good authority that WhatsApp is planning to encrypt in-app voice calls as it does with its secure messaging service in the coming weeks. Facebook, which purchased WhatsApp for around $19 billion in 2014, is also said to be considering tighter security for its self-branded Messenger app.
The US Department of Justice has opened another legal front in the ongoing war over easy-to-use strong encryption.
According to a Saturday report in The New York Times, prosecutors have gone head-to-head with WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook. Citing anonymous sources, the Times reported that "as recently as this past week," federal officials have been "discussing how to proceed in a continuing criminal investigation in which a federal judge had approved a wiretap, but investigators were stymied by WhatsApp’s encryption."