Steve Bannon says President Trump could ‘drop the hammer’ on Apple

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Steve Bannon says President Trump could 'drop the hammer' on Apple
Steve Bannon was formerly an advisor to President Trump.
Photo: CNBC

Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart chairman and President Trump chief strategist, warns that Trump will “drop the hammer” on Apple if it doesn’t work with authorities.

Bannon is referring to the current standoff regarding whether or not Apple should unlock iPhones used by the shooter who killed three people at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in December.

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Get a great deal on a VPN for your Mac with PureVPN.
Get a great deal on a VPN for your Mac.
Image: PureVPN

US senators threaten Apple with encryption regulations

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Apple takes privacy seriously
Apple isn't budging on its privacy stance.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

U.S. Senators grilled Apple and Facebook execs over encryption practices today, threatening to regulate the technology if the companies don’t take action on their own.

Republicans and Democrats appeared unified in their disdain for end-to-end encryption. The technology, which Apple uses for iCloud and other services, sometimes thwarts law enforcement officials’ investigations into child abuse and mass shootings. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the harshest critics, demanded that the companies add backdoors to their encryption keys.

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.