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Tag Archives for " encryption "

The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone

At least 2,000 law enforcement agencies have tools to get into encrypted smartphones, according to new research, and they are using them far more than previously known.

At least 49 of the 50 largest U.S. police departments have the tools, according to the records, as do the police and sheriffs in small towns and counties across the country. And local law enforcement agencies that don’t have such tools can often send a locked phone to a state or federal crime lab that does.

With more tools in their arsenal, the authorities have used them in an increasing range of cases, from homicides and rapes to drugs and shoplifting, according to the records.

Source: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone – The New York Times

Five Eyes governments, India, and Japan make new call for encryption backdoors

Members of the intelligence-sharing alliance Five Eyes, along with government representatives for Japan and India, have published a statement over the weekend calling on tech companies to come up with a solution for law enforcement to access end-to-end encrypted communications.

The statement is the alliance’s latest effort to get tech companies to agree to encryption backdoors.

The Five Eyes alliance, comprised of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have made similar calls to tech giants in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Source: Five Eyes governments, India, and Japan make new call for encryption backdoors | ZDNet

The EU’s Timetable for Dismantling End-to-End Encryption

Lobbying of “lawful access” to end-to-end encrypted services has moved from the U.S. to the European Union—where advocates for anti-encryption laws hope to have a smoother ride.

The public signs of this shift in the EU—which until now has been largely supportive toward privacy-protecting technologies like end-to-end encryption—began in June with a speech by Ylva Johansson, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Source: Orders from the Top: The EU’s Timetable for Dismantling End-to-End Encryption

European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More

The malware that French law enforcement deployed en masse onto Encrochat devices, a large encrypted phone network using Android phones, had the capability to harvest “all data stored within the device,” and was expected to include chat messages, geolocation data, usernames, passwords, and more.

As well as the geolocation, chat messages, and passwords, the law enforcement malware also told infected Encrochat devices to provide a list of WiFi access points near the device.

Organized crime groups across Europe and the rest of the world heavily used the network before its seizure, in many cases to facilitate large scale drug trafficking.

Source: European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More

IRS offers grants for software to trace privacy-focused cryptocurrency trades

Grants of up to $625,000 will be issued in exchange for cryptocurrency tracking technologies.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is soliciting proposals from contractors that believe they can develop technologies able to shatter the privacy surrounding cryptocurrency transactions.

Prototypes and suggested methods to trace cryptocurrency transactions should including tracking capabilities for law enforcement, predictive analytics, and should have as little reliance on vendor-specific technologies as possible.

Source: IRS offers grants for software to trace privacy-focused cryptocurrency trades | ZDNet

Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

With government agencies getting more savvy at tracing blockchain transactions, laws like the EU’s GDPR may play a role.

The GDPR has led to changes that complement the ethos of crypto’s early days, as it has proved crucial for fighting the questionable data handling practices of public and private sector players alike. It has also done wonders to nurture a privacy culture even among people with no prior interest in protecting their information.

Regulators and blockchain and crypto users also have a common goal: to ensure that both cryptocurrencies and the technologies underlying them are used in a way that’s not deceptive in its promise. Which might just be what the long-awaited, wider adoption of digital currencies needs.

Full article: Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

Atlassian says encryption-busting law has damaged Australia’s tech reputation

Startup darling has taken further aim at the TOLA Act, echoing calls for the warrant process to have independent oversight.

Atlassian believes Australia’s encryption-busting legislation continues to have a negative impact on the country’s technology sector, both from the perspective of partnering with an Australian company and attracting tech talent down under.

Source: Atlassian says encryption-busting law has damaged Australia’s tech reputation | ZDNet

Researchers propose Falcon, a privacy-preserving communication protocol for AI training and inference

Researchers hailing from Princeton, Microsoft, and Technion propose Falcon, a secure communications protocol for AI inferencing and training.

They claim that it’s the first secure C++ framework to support high-capacity AI models and batch normalization, a technique for improving both the speed and stability of models. Moreover, they say that Falcon automatically aborts when it detects the presence of malicious attackers, and that it can outperform existing solutions by up to a factor of 200.

Full article: Researchers propose Falcon, a privacy-preserving communication protocol for AI training and inference | VentureBeat

Quantum entanglement breakthrough could boost encryption, secure communications 

Using quantum entanglement, a team of researchers has developed a new way to communicate via particles of light.

A team of researchers has published details of a new way to reliably create particles that are well-suited to use in quantum communications, which could lead to the unhackable communication protocols that have long been pitched as one of the most useful applications of the technology.

Source: Quantum entanglement breakthrough could boost encryption, secure communications | ZDNet

Proposed US law is “Trojan horse” to stop online encryption, critics say

Child-exploitation bill could dissuade companies from using end-to-end encryption.

Two Republicans and two Democrats in the US Senate have proposed a law that aims to combat sexual exploitation of children online, but critics of the bill call it a “Trojan horse” that could harm Americans’ security by reducing access to encryption.

The EARN IT (Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies) Act “would create incentives for companies to ‘earn’ liability protection for violations of laws related to online child sexual abuse material,” an announcement by the bill’s supporters said.

Source: Proposed US law is “Trojan horse” to stop online encryption, critics say | Ars Technica

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