Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
You are here: Home / Customer Data / Facebook, Others Boost Encryption
Facebook, Google, Snapchat To Strengthen Encryption Protections
Facebook, Google, Snapchat To Strengthen Encryption Protections
By Shirley Siluk / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
As Apple prepares to face the U.S. government in court next week regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation's efforts to unlock the contents of an iPhone in its possession, other tech companies are reportedly looking to beef up their encryption offerings.

Facebook, Google and Snapchat are all working on new privacy and security enhancements for their users, according to a report published today in The Guardian. Facebook-owned WhatsApp also plans to offer encrypted voice calling as well as encrypted messaging, the article stated.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp could soon be facing a court challenge similar to Apple's, The New York Times reported yesterday. The U.S. Department of Justice has obtained a wiretap order to access real-time communications of a WhatsApp user as part of a criminal investigation, according to the report. However, the agency would likely need further assistance from WhatsApp to decrypt those communications.

The FBI is seeking to force Apple to write new code to help it unlock content in an iPhone belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook. On December 2, Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people at a holiday party attended by Farook's co-workers in San Bernardino, California. The two were later killed by police. Apple is scheduled for a court hearing on March 22 in its dispute with the FBI.

Actions Back Up Industry's Support for Apple

We contacted Facebook, Google, Open Whisper Systems, which helps WhatsApp provide encrypted text messaging, and the Justice Department but did not receive responses to any of our requests for comment.

According to The Guardian, Facebook-owned WhatsApp plans "within weeks" to begin offering encrypted voice calling as well as encrypted text messaging. It added that Facebook is also looking to enhance security support for its Messenger app. Both Snapchat and Google are also said to be working on ways to strengthen the security of their messaging and e-mail systems.

"The projects could antagonize authorities just as much as Apple's more secure iPhones, which are currently at the center of the San Bernardino shooting investigation," The Guardian stated. "They also indicate the industry may be willing to back up their public support for Apple with concrete action."

'Click-of-the-Mouse' Surveillance

A "prolonged standoff" between the Justice Department and WhatsApp could soon boil over into another Apple-like government-tech confrontation, according to yesterday's report in The New York Times.

"Some investigators view the WhatsApp issue as even more significant than the one over locked phones because it goes to the heart of the future of wiretapping," The New York Times reported. "They say the Justice Department should ask a judge to force WhatsApp to help the government get information that has been encrypted."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy and security advocacy group, yesterday praised both WhatsApp and Facebook for "standing strong in the face of orders . . . to do the impossible or to compromise our security for the sake of enabling click-of-the-mouse surveillance."

As one arm of the government -- the U.S. Department of Justice (the FBI is part of the Justice Department) -- looks for solutions in court, a different approach might be undertaken by the U.S. Congress. Reuters reported last week that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, California) and Senator Richard Burr (R, North Carolina) could soon introduce proposed legislation that would impose civil penalties on technology companies that don't help the government to unlock encrypted data in investigations.

Image credit: Facebook ; iStock/Artist's concept.

Tell Us What You Think


Posted: 2016-03-14 @ 10:11am PT
What I think is: 1. I am 88 years old; 2. I am technologically lame; 3. I keep getting hacked and I don't know what to do about it. 4. I have changed my password and I still get hacked. 5. I need HELP!

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter

Over the past decade, hospitals have been busy upgrading their systems from paper to electronic health records. Unfortunately, spending so much on EHR may have left insufficient funds for security.
The British government officially blamed Russia for waging the so-called NotPetya cyberattack that infected computers across Ukraine before spreading to systems in the U.S. and beyond.
© Copyright 2018 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.