U.K. spy agency wants to listen in on encrypted chats

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iMessages in iCloud is coming in iOS 11.3.
Apple has been a strong proponent of encryption.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The U.K. government has an idea for getting around the thorny issue of tech companies creating a backdoor for encrypted services: just let government agents be able to listen in on encrypted communications.

That’s the so-called “ghost proposal” being put forward by officials from Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a close surveillance partner of the U.S. National Security Agency. The proposal would make it possible to inject hidden participants into secure messaging services.

Zuckerberg explains benefits of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger

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It won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — but says it probably won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.

In a fourth-quarter earnings call this week, Zuckerberg also explained the reasons behind the plan, such as increased security with end-to-end encryption. Many questions still remain unanswered, however.

Kruptos 2 can encrypt every sensitive file on your Mac for just $13 [Deals]

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file encryption
Keep your sensitive files safe with this 256-Bit encryption.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Everybody knows web security is of primary importance at all times. So would it surprise you to learn that one of every 10 digital files is entirely unprotected? It should surprise you — especially because the real number is more than twice that. Yep, 21 percent of the world’s files have no security coverage at all.

Apple joins tech giants in speaking out against Australia’s anti-encryption law

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Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Apple continues to speak out about the importance of privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple has joined other tech giants — including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others — in speaking out against the anti-encryption law recently passed in Australia.

The country’s controversial law means that law enforcement officials are allowed to access encrypted messages when required. Unsurprisingly, tech’s biggest titans are none too happy about it.

Score top-rated VPN protection for a third the usual price [Deals]

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This top tier VPN offers online anonymity and data security, and high bandwidth on 5 devices at once.
This top-tier VPN offers online anonymity, data security and high bandwidth on five devices at once.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Online life is risky, with countless threats to our identity and data security. That’s why we’re big advocates of connecting to the internet via a virtual private network, or VPN. So we’re excited to share this deal on a subscription to a top-shelf VPN.

How to download all the data Apple has on you

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Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Apple continues to put privacy front and center.
Image: Apple

Apple’s refreshed Privacy website is live, giving U.S. users the ability to download all of their data from Apple. The website explains how and why Apple products are “designed to protect your privacy.”

Apple stresses that “your data belongs to you” and insists that it never sells users’ info to advertisers or other organizations.

The website even gives users the ability to delete an Apple account — and all associated data — if desired.

Apple joins other tech giants opposing proposed anti-encryption law

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook is a strong supporter of privacy and encryption.
Photo: Apple

Apple has joined Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook in opposing a proposed Australian law requiring tech companies to let law enforcement access private encrypted data in suspected criminal investigations.

The law would seek to punish companies which don’t comply with $7.2 million fines, along with prison terms for individuals. It would make Australia one of the first nations to pass major legislation in this area, although other countries may be keen to follow in its footsteps.

Apple could face new encryption fight in Australia

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encryption
A bill in Australia could force tech companies to give law enforcement a "backdoor" to encrypted data that is part of a suspected crime.
Photo: orangesparrow/Flickr CC

Apple executives could face jail time and multi-million dollar fines if they refuse to hand over private encrypted data linked to suspected crime under a law proposed today in Australia.

The proposed change in telecommunication intercept law will be presented to parliament by Australia’s Ministry for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity. The law would require all technology companies, from Apple and Google to Microsoft and Facebook, to essentially create a so-called “backdoor” to access encrypted data.