Multiple Silicon Valley technology giants are working to strengthen encryption

By Shawn Knight
Mar 14, 2016
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  1. As tensions heighten in the ongoing San Bernardino iPhone encryption case, some of Silicon Valley's top technology companies are said to be bolstering their own security measures.

    The Guardian has it on good authority that WhatsApp is planning to encrypt in-app voice calls as it does with its secure messaging service in the coming weeks. Facebook, which purchased WhatsApp for around $19 billion in 2014, is also said to be considering tighter security for its self-branded Messenger app.

    Rival messaging service Snapchat is working on a secure messaging service as well, the publication said, adding that Google is looking into other uses for the technology behind an encrypted e-mail project.

    The report notes that engineers at several major technology players such as Twitter have looked into encrypted messaging products in the past. Unfortunately, many of those products were never fully developed as such products can sometimes be difficult to use or companies focused efforts on other consumer-facing projects instead. Now that encryption is such a hotbed issue, technology executives now view it as a legitimate business advantage rather than mere marketing fluff.

    It's worth pointing out that the publication claims the various encryption projects were in motion before Apple went to court with the Department of Justice regarding the aforementioned San Bernardino incident. The results of that case are still pending.

    Lead image via Drew Angerer, Getty Images

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  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    The government and their snooping has kinda brought this on themselves now everyone and their grandmother is looking to make their encryption a lot better and harder to crack.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,601   +369

    Yeah Streisand effect of the case... hilarious. Seriously what kind of *****s are in the CIA/FBI? They have created enormous public interest in seeing it is impossible for companies to comply with these court orders.

    Where to next? Well if they legislate backdoors in US tech, people are going to use tech developed overseas. John Oliver has a story on this one. 60% of almost 900 messaging applications available now are developed overseas. How much control and profit is the US govt going to get from that?
  4. JB Hickok

    JB Hickok Banned Posts: 29

    They can limit distribution in the US. I see no need to do it though, they can already open anything that can be closed. They just made a mis-step in the one case.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Warning sarcasm ahead! Don't let some terrorist using this encryption die, or else you will have to weaken it by order of NSA.
    Evernessince likes this.
  6. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +307

    When Snowden revealed the lengths the NSA would go to, like having their employees get jobs at companies to get backdoors/encryption keys when they wouldn't voluntarily hand them over, the fantastic became reality. Who to trust, who to watch those that watch over us?
  7. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,601   +369

    Legal distribution yes... That doesn't prevent people actually *using* encryption apps.
  8. Kasdeja

    Kasdeja TS Rookie

    I have two problems with the idea of giving government access to my encrypted information. First, I have personally encountered a search warrant that was issued by a judge that was based on a subpoena that was full of lies. When the warrant was executed, they found nothing. But what good is a Franks hearing, when you can prove the lies, but the officer attesting to the subpoena cannot be held personally responsible? And when there is nothing to suppress!

    My second concern is the cops don't even bother with a warrant and use the technology for fishing expeditions? NSA isn't the only agency conducting mass surveillance on cell phone traffic, including the actual voice comms and text messages. Then they lie about where the information comes from (parallel construction is what they call it) and deny they even know what a StingRay or dirtbox is. Now let's help them decrypt it as well.

    I call out Loudon County, Tennessee where the corrupt redcoats jam a pitchfork in every haywagon, just to see what they can find. Never mind the Fourth Amendment.
    Darth Shiv and cliffordcooley like this.
  9. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,601   +369

    Yep exactly. When the crooks are in charge...

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