#438 November 20th, 2015 – Isis Reaction Threatens Encryption

This week’s headline story: Isis Response threatens Encryption

FBI Director James Comey explains how ISIS and other terrorist groups are using encryption methods as a way to avoid federal investigators.
FBI Director James Comey explains how ISIS and other terrorist groups are using encryption methods as a way to avoid federal investigators.

In response to the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying by the NSA, many tech companies have ramped up the use of encryption technologies in an effort to win back public trust. Many of today’s cell phones and communication apps, now have encryption built in to safeguard communications over networks. In the case of the iPhone, only the owner is able to decrypt messages sent and received on a phone.

Last week’s deadly and coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris have prompted some law enforcement officials to renew their calls for back doors into encrypted communications. Some even claim that if it weren’t for encryption those terrorists attacks may have been derailed. But privacy and civil rights advocates say those arguments ignore technological realities and place blame where it doesn’t belong.

“The Paris attacks are horrific and reprehensible but the response should not be to undermine the cybersecurity of millions of people,” said Harley Geiger, advocacy director and senior counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Democracy and Technology. Outlawing encrypted communications wouldn’t prevent terrorist organizations from using their own “home-brew strong encryption.” However it would undermine the security and privacy of millions of law-abiding citizens.

Other Headline News…

  • Startup Pavegen has already installed floor tiles to harness the power of footsteps; now it wants to put that technology inside your shoes. [Technology Review]
    Soon your shoes may serve to charge your phone! Startup Pavegen has already installed floor tiles that harness the power of footsteps; now it wants to put that technology inside your shoes. With every step, energy is expended and lost. Considering that the average person takes around 216 million steps in a lifetime, it’s a significant waste. Pavegen is working to shrink it’s technology so that “You could walk from work and charge your phone en route instead of waiting to use a charger at home. Runners could charge their music players during a jog.”

in Information Security News…

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Revamps Google Plus To Make It More Relevant [NewsFactor]
    Far from abandoning Google+, Google is building on what’s hot at Google Plus with a redesign that brings Communities and Collections, clearly the two most popular features on the platform, to the fore. The result: a much simpler Google Plus that focuses on interests. Kessler said it’s also more mobile friendly.

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