The Nexus 6 had a lot of fine qualities, but the sluggish storage performance was a disappointment. This was mostly due to the automatic device encryption, which was managed by software rather than hardware. In today's Reddit AMA, the Nexus team was asked about encryption support in the Nexus 5X and 6P. VP of Engineering Dave Burke responded, saying it's still software-based, but it should be even faster than hardware encryption this time. Read More
If you're in the market for the Turing Phone, you already know who you are. This is an Android phone designed around the idea of being completely unhackable. It doesn't even have a USB port or headphone jack that could be used to manipulate the software in some fashion. Niche products like this often have the feel of vaporware, but the company has posted a release and order timeline for the Turing Phone. So they're at least trying to make it happen. Read More
If you're a frequent ROM flasher (why does that sound mildly dirty?) and a OnePlus One owner, you might want to grab the latest build of TWRP. A Team Win developer says that it now supports Qualcomm's native encryption scheme in addition to Android's standard AOSP encryption. Why does this matter? According to Ethan "Dees Troy" Yonker and cited benchmarks, Qualcomm's encryption offers better performance when compared to Google's encryption applied to the same hardware.
...for slower encryption methods.
The hardware-based encryption offers an approximate 30% boost to read-write speeds over Android's software encryption, though it's still well below the performance of unencrypted flash storage. Read More
Google made news earlier this year when it announced that Android 5.0 Lollipop devices would ship encrypted by default. And indeed, the first few Lollipop devices (all Nexus) were encrypted out of the box. However, OEM Lollipop phones are not shipping with encryption enabled. It looks like Google is backing off on this requirement, pushing it to a future version.
Not long after British Prime Minister David Cameron did the same, President Obama said Friday that he opposes encryption methods that are inaccessible to law enforcement. Rather naively, he advocated that the technology should still exist, but with methods of access for approved entities like police and preferred spy agencies. This is his first clear issue stance on the matter, though it is not necessarily out of step with his previous actions and statements.
Of course, cybersecurity experts collectively groaned at the President's suggestion of strong encryption that is only accessible to authorities. Taking for granted that law enforcement can be trusted - and, of course, Edward Snowden and countless others have shown us it cannot - there are a host of problems. Read More
Who better to learn encryption from than the people who have actively tried to build vulnerabilities into encryption? Nobody, says the GCHQ, the British NSA equivalent that has released a free Android app called Cryptoy to teach children the basics of encryption. The app, designed for tablets, focuses on four basic techniques and allows users to create encrypted messages for sharing to friends to decode. Read More
Do you fret about vast government conspiracies, lizard people running the world, and the all-seeing eye of the NSA? Well, you might have a little problem with paranoia there, but you don't have to be paranoid to see the appeal of Telegram. This is a secure messaging app that has full end-to-end encryption, and with version 2.0, a new material design theme.
You may not use WhatsApp to send messages, but it's still the most popular messaging platform in the world. As such, it's a big deal when the switch gets flipped and all those messages are suddenly encrypted. That's what the company is doing now thanks to the just-announced integration of the TextSecure protocol from Open Whisper Systems.
At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default. The move is pegged as a step to prevent law enforcement officers from obtaining information from phones and tablets without an owner's consent. Apple just made the same change in iOS 8, released earlier today. Read More