New York district attorney calls for federal law to unlock seized iPhones

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iPhone 7 back
Law enforcement officials still want Apple to hack the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.

The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.

Apple denies store employees were fired for stealing customer photos

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Brisbane's Apple Store is center of controversy.
Photo: Wikipedia/KGBO CC

Apple is denying claims that customers were victims of a “photo-sharing” ring in which its retail store employees in Brisbane took and circulated photos of female customers and staff.

The employees were fired for the inappropriate behavior, which included ranking the victims out of 10.

Snowden’s iPhone case tells you when you’re being spied on

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Edward Snowden is building his own iPhone case.
Photo: PubPub

When you think of Edward Snowden the first phrase your mind goes to probably isn’t “quality iPhone case manufacturer.” Nonetheless, the famed NSA whistleblower today announced that he has presented just such a smartphone accessory at an event at MIT’s Media Lab.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to the case’s unique selling point?

4 clever things you can do with a burner phone number [Deals]

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KeepSolid offers 3 fully encrypted phone lines or
KeepSolid offers 3 fully encrypted phone lines or "burner numbers", no contract required
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When you think about it, a phone number can be a liability — you can be reached by anyone who punches the right digits into their phone. It’s an identifying number, a source of spam, a potential avenue for identity theft or even harassment. That’s why separate “burner” numbers are gaining popularity. You probably have a junk email address, why not something similar for your phone number? Here are 4 reasons you might consider getting a burner number, followed by a couple ways you can actually get one.

Here’s how Steve Jobs answered a question about government snooping in 1981

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Apple-at-40-What-Steve-Jobs-Said-About-Computers-in-1981
Check out the hipster beard on Steve!
Photo: ABC

Apple turns 40 today and, while a lot has changed since the company’s early days, it seems that questions about government snooping have not.

ABC News today released footage from a vintage interview in which a very young Steve Jobs debates computers on a 1981 episode of Nightline.

In addition to trotting out his “bicycle for the mind” metaphor, Jobs also talks about how best to stop the government from snooping on your computer, a topic that seems very timely in the aftermath of Apple’s battle with the FBI.

Check out the Steve Jobs interview below.

Apple’s ‘privacy czars’ stop devs from getting their hands on your data

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Apple FBI encryption
Apple takes privacy pretty darn seriously.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Are you a third-party dev, advertiser, or Apple employee hoping to use targeted ads or personalized recommenders based on Apple customer data? There’s an app for that. Good luck with that!

That’s according to a new report, which states that Apple has an internal committee consisting of three expert “privacy czars,” who have have to sign off on any and all collection of Apple user data.

And if you thought the App Store review process could drag on, you’ve got another thing coming: debates over individual uses of data at Apple can, in some cases, continue for upwards of one year.

How to keep creepers off your WhatsApp profile

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I don't always use WhatsApp, but when I do I make sure it's locked down.
I don't always use WhatsApp, but when I do I make sure it's locked down.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp is a messaging app popular with people all over the globe, but you probably don’t want it to turn into a tracking app for your stalker.

Plus, it probably has private information in it that you’d rather not have other people know about, right?

Here’s how to lock it all down so you can keep creepers off your WhatsApp profile.

Eddy Cue: Apple will fight FBI all the way to the Supreme Court

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Home Sharing coming back to iOS 9, says Apple's Eddy Cue.
Eddy Cue explains why encryption is so important.
Photo: Apple

Apple is ready to take its fight to protect user privacy all the way to the Supreme Court, says Eddie Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a newly-published interview with Spanish-lanugage television channel Univision News.

“We’re willing to take it wherever we have to — and such an important event needs to be settled by the Supreme Court,” Cue said.

U.N. backs Apple, calls encryption fundamental to freedom

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Your iPhone will always need to be recharged everyday.
Security isn't a feature, it's a right.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The United Nations is standing behind Apple in the company’s fight against the FBI over whether the federal government can compel the iPhone-maker to create a backdoor into iOS.

In a letter written in support of Apple’s case, U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye says that if the feds are successful, it would infringe on citizens’ right to freedom of expression.