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Articles Tagged:

encryption

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Android Pie cloud backups now encrypted with user's lock screen password

Google automatically backs up some of your phone's data, like SMS messages (Nexus/Pixel only) and call history, to the cloud. That way, if you need to wipe your device or it gets lost/stolen, you're not completely out of luck. Android Pie includes changes to how these backups are stored, so not even Google can read your data.

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Sikur launches new encrypted phones, this time using Sony hardware

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard the Sikur name, with the security-focused company last seen in February promoting its “hack proof” SIKURPhone. The company had 20,000 units available for pre-order, but they weren’t scheduled to ship until August. Like all its phones, the device essentially amounted to a very secure messenger and cryptocurrency wallet with few third-party apps. 

Now Sikur is back, this time with Sony-branded hardware. The SIKURPhone XZ1 and the XA2 run SikurOS, which is a beefed up version of Android. Additional security is obviously the main selling point here, with Sikur advertising it as “the safest digital wallet on the market,” but the company can now can boast about the hardware design too.

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ProtonMail update adds address verification and full PGP encryption support

ProtonMail is an email service that prides itself on airtight security for its customers. The latest update (v3.14 for web and v1.9 for Android) adds full PGP support and address verification, both intended to further secure communications.

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The Secure Data Act would eliminate government-mandated backdoors on encrypted devices and communications

Image: EFF

Congress is set to vote on a bill that would prevent any government agency from requiring device manufacturers and software developers to implement backdoors in the encryption models for their products. Dubbed the Secure Data Act, this bipartisan initiative is a surprisingly good step toward keeping our data secure from unauthorized government access.

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Twitter is testing encrypted 'secret conversations'

It appears that Twitter is working on a 'Secret conversation' feature that would allow users to send encrypted messages to each other. This would bring Twitter in line with other messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram that already offer message encryption, and in the current privacy climate, it would surely be a popular move.

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Russia will block access to Telegram over continued refusal to let authorities read messages

A Russian court has ruled today that access to Telegram will be blocked in the country, Reuters reports. The messaging service has been facing trouble in Russia over refusing to share its encryption keys with state authorities, even after losing multiple legal cases.

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Telegram loses appeal to keep encryption keys from Russian government

Telegram is a popular messaging service in Russia, partially because of its encrypted communication capabilities. However, the company may be forced to disclose its encryption keys if a new court ruling stands. Russian Supreme Court Judge Alla Nazarova denied Telegram's appeal today, ordering it to hand over the keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

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[Update: Indictments in, assets seized] FBI busts Phantom Secure CEO for selling secured BlackBerry phones to drug cartels

There are several companies that offer encrypted and untraceable phones for use by the more private figures among us, and Canada-based Phantom Secure is one of them. However, its founder and CEO, Vincent Ramos, has been arrested by the FBI on several charges, all of which are related to selling locked-down BlackBerry phones to members of illegal organizations such as the Sinaloa drug cartel and the Hells Angels.

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Signal launches the Signal Foundation with $50 million in funding from WhatsApp co-founder

The encrypted messaging app Signal has become quite popular with millions of downloads on iOS and Android, and its underlying technology has been integrated with the chat platforms used by billions of people. Signal has done all this with only a handful of developers. Now, Signal is growing into the Signal Foundation. With $50 million in initial funding, this nonprofit will continue building on Signal's success to support private communication.

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Microsoft partners with Signal to bring end-to-end encryption to Skype

The Signal protocol—which powers the Edward Snowden-approved Signal Private Messenger—is being used to bring end-to-end encryption in Skype. The new "Private Conversations" feature is available to Skype Insiders running version 8.13.76.8, and is planned for a full rollout later this year. Naturally, both parties in a conversation must be running a supported Skype version for the feature to be usable.

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