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Articles Tagged:

encryption

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Viber Rolls Out End-To-End Encryption Verification, Hidden Messages, And Contact Authentication

It has only been a couple of weeks since WhatsApp made end-to-end encryption more visible and easily verifiable to all its users, and now Viber is following up in its footsteps.

The app, which messages seem to have been encrypted before (but not exactly end-to-end, apparently) will now show a padlock in conversations to confirm that your personal and group messages are end-to-end encrypted. All users need to have Viber 6.0 installed for the feature to work and the padlock to show up, which means that you'll probably need to wait a day or two before everyone's app updates on Android and iOS.

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WhatsApp's End-To-End Encryption Is Now Appearing For Users Everywhere

Staying private online is easier said than done, but a few services are popping up that promise to shield your conversations from prying eyes. The Signal messaging app, previously known as TextSecure, comes to mind. But the WhatsApp team has been working on securing its messages using some of the same code, and now, after testing things out last month, the service is ready to roll out end-to-end encryption to all users.

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[APK Download] Mr. Robot-Approved ProtonMail Gets An Official Android App, But For Some Reason It's Incompatible With Everything

Since Game of Thrones seems to revel in jerking us around and House of Cards is now disturbingly close to believable, USA's cyberpunk drama Mr. Robot is Android Police's pick for cable TV binge-watching. While it's not so deep in its own hacker lore that it's incomprehensible to the layman, it's surprisingly accurate in its realistic and often low-tech methods of showing hacking and counter-hacking techniques. One of those techniques is using ProtonMail, an encrypted email service that makes FBI analysts shake their fists like cartoon villains.

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Considering that ProtonMail claims over a million users for its secure email system, it's kind of amazing that it took them this long to create an Android mail client.

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After User Backlash, Amazon Says It Will Return Encryption To Fire OS Devices This Spring

You might have heard that Amazon disabled the option for software encryption in the latest version of its Android-based Fire OS for the Kindle Fire series of tablets. (This isn't new - Fire OS 5 has been rolling out to various tablets since last year.) And if you read news that isn't Android Police, you probably also know that it's not the biggest story involving encryption right now. After consumer backlash following the Apple-FBI encryption case, Engadget reports that Amazon says it will return software encryption in the next major update.

Customers might have had something to say about the loss of encryption capabilities even without the highly public spat between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino iPhone case.

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WhatsApp Starts Emphasizing End-To-End Encryption, Collapses Long Messages, And Tests Some Minor Interface Changes

You know WhatsApp's Android developers have finished hibernating when they start throwing one build after the other like a going out of business sale. In the past couple of weeks, they unleashed the new emojis on everyone then proceeded to launch an official Play Store beta program and update the latter with miscellaneous things before starting to test the new documents sharing option. In the latest incarnations of the app between 2.12.493 and 2.12.500, a few other interface changes snuck in, one of which points to an important shift in WhatsApp's way of doing things.

Emphasis on end-to-end encryption

First, if you're on version 2.12.498, you might notice a new message inside chat windows confirming that this chat is now end-to-end encrypted.

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US House Bill Would Prevent State Laws That Aim To Weaken Or Circumvent Smartphone Encryption

Two bills recently passed in the states of New York and California that aim to weaken smartphone security in order to combat crime. The laws would prevent the sale of smartphones with full-disk encryption that could not be unlocked by the manufacturer (at the request of law enforcement). In response, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Republican, have proposed a bill, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016, that would block state-level attempts to ban encryption on smartphones sold in the US.

The bipartisan bill addresses multiple issues.

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The Turing Phone Is Being Delayed—Folks Who Don't Cancel Their Pre-Order Will Get A Free Storage Upgrade For Sticking Around

The Turing phone, advertised as "unhackable," looks and sounds like a handset that would never see the light of day. Call it a work of science fiction, a fanboy's wet dream of a device materialized out of Robotech. But prototypes exist and pre-orders have gone live. Thing is, that promised shipment date of December 18th has been delayed.

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[Update: Nexus 5X Build Too] Team Win Recovery Project Now Supports Encryption On The Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X Coming Soon

The tireless developers at Team Win released their custom Android recovery for the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X last week, but at the time it didn't support decryption. This makes working with the stock software (which Google encrypts by default, gleefully thumbing their noses at the NSA and FBI in a show of customer protection) somewhat tricky. But ROM flashers and phone modders can now use the latest version of TWRP on the Nexus 6P with the encrypted stock software, or any other ROM that uses the feature. The latest version is 2.8.7.1.

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Android 6.0 Will Finally Require Manufacturers To Enable Full-Disk Encryption By Default On New Devices

With every major Android release comes a new version of Google's not-so-famous Android Compatibility Definition Document. As reading goes, it is roughly between the excitement level of "doing your taxes" and "doing somebody else's taxes." Which is to say, I am well-caffeinated this morning. Anyway, the newest version of the CDD for Android 6.0 contains a change we've been on the lookout for since Lollipop was announced last year: mandatory full-disk encryption.

Since the announcement of encryption being enabled by default of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Google has been on the encryption warpath (rightfully so!), and did in fact attempt to make this change in the initial Lollipop CDD back in January.

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Obama Administration Backs Away From Legislation That Would Give Law Enforcement Access To Encrypted Data

Since the Snowden leaks began back in 2013, there has been a justifiable increase in public scrutiny of the US federal government's attitudes towards surveillance and information access. So when President Obama voiced the opinion that encrypted files should be accessible to law enforcement (presumably via some kind of backdoor or exclusive decryption method), privacy advocates joined security experts in a nationwide groan. Thankfully the administration seems to have changed its tune nine months later.

According to a report by Reuters, White house spokesman Mark Stroh said that the administration is no longer looking to introduce encryption-weakening legislation to Congress.

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