US Senator proposes new law aimed at limiting Apple data flow to China

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China
Tim Cook meeting with China's vice premier.
Photo: Tim Cook

One of tech’s biggest opponents in Washington D.C. proposed a new bill this week that could have huge implications on Apple and TikTok’s business operations if put into law.

GOP senator Josh Hawley from Missouri introduced legislation today that would prevent the Chinese company that owns TikTok from collecting information on American users and sharing it with the Communist Party of China. The bill would also stop American companies like Apple from storing user data in China.

macOS Mail bug exposes portions of encrypted emails

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MacMail
Your encrypted emails on Mac might not be as private as you think.
Photo: Apple

Apple failed to kill a bug in the Mail app for macOS for months despite its potential to expose private details in emails that the user thought was encrypted.

Security researcher Bob Gendler first discovered the flaw in July and notified Apple of it. Despite releasing four updates for macOS since that time, the privacy flaw still hasn’t been fixed. Apple says it’s working to resolve the issue soon though.

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You definitely shouldn't be sharing your passwords via email or text.
You definitely shouldn't be sharing your passwords via email or text.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Secure-erasing your Mac’s disks is no longer secure, Apple says

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secure erase
Encrypting your disk is way safer than trying to 'secure' erase it.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In the olden days, when you wanted to replace your hard drive with a bigger one, you’d run a “secure erase” on it to completely remove any personal data. This would write zeros to the entire disk, overwriting anything already there.

But now, thanks to advances in storage tech, this no longer does the trick. (Not that you can change your own Mac SSDs now anyway.) The new secure-erase, says Apple, is to just encrypt your disk.

Attorney General says tech companies should break strong encryption

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Apple: Keep Out, privacy
Barr's comments won't win him any friends in Cupertino!
Photo: Apple

Attorney general William Barr has a warning for tech companies using strong encryption: You need to be willing to break it.

In a keynote at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York, Barr stressed that it is important that law enforcement can crack encrypted messages when they need to do so. The comments are likely to win Barr no friends in Cupertino, given Apple’s stance on privacy.

Trump administration weighs banning end-to-end encryption

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hacking
Encryption could be the next big conflict between Apple and the White House.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has banged heads with the Trump administration before, but its biggest clash could be yet to come.

According to a new report, senior White House officials met this week to discuss banning end-to-end encryption. This would affect a number of tech companies — including Apple, which has long touted its focus on user privacy.

Keep your Apple device’s data secure with this VPN [Deals]

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This powerful, intuitive VPN is available at a massive discount, so there's no reason not to stay secure online.
This powerful, intuitive VPN is available at a massive discount, so there's no reason not to stay secure online.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Everyone knows that going online is risky business, so why don’t more people use a virtual private network? Maybe it’s the high cost of some VPNs, or the worry that securing your online anonymity will be a hassle.

With this massive deal on a powerful, simple-to-use VPN, neither of those excuses apply.

Free VPN app encrypts iPhone connection for safer browsing

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Cloudflare‘s 1.1.1.1 App with Warp adds encryption for safer iPhone internet access.
Cloudflare‘s 1.1.1.1 App with Warp adds encryption for more secure iPhone internet access.
Photo: Cloudflare

Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 App blocks your wireless carrier from knowing the sites you visit on your iPhone. An update adds encryption to all connections, while also promising faster access for all apps.

1.1.1.1 App with Warp will remain free, but Cloudflare is launching an even quicker version for a monthly fee.

Browse and torrent securely with a powerful VPN [Deals]

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Browse, stream, torrent, and more from unlimited devices and through unlimited bandwidth with this premium VPN.
Browse, stream, torrent, and more from unlimited devices and through unlimited bandwidth with this premium VPN.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

If you’re concerned about security and privacy online, browsing with a VPN is the only way to go. But if you need high speed connections for things like streaming or torrenting, details matter. So this deal on a year of Surfshark is a great opportunity for the performance-minded VPN users.