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Inspector General: FBI Chomping at the Bit for Backdoors to Encryption

For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been lobbying for backdoor access to the communications of every American. The Bureau has long argued it is “going dark” and can’t access communications protected by encryption. This concern was the basis of the famous Apple v. FBI case, where the FBI attempted to force Apple to break the encryption protecting the iPhone of San Bernardino, CA terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Now, a damning report released by the Department of Justice Inspector General casts significant doubt on that argument and the FBI’s honesty in making it.

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Opposing the Mandating of Kill Switches to Address Contraband Cell Phones

Citing the potential threat to law enforcement and the general public, correctional facility officials have pushed for the FCC to address the issue of contraband phone use in prisons. Now, the FCC is considering a mandate for hard kill switches on all wireless devices. This proposal would provide correctional facility officers with the ability to permanently disable (or “brick”) a phone upon request. CDT has joined our colleagues at the EFF in opposing this proposal and expressing our concerns in an ex parte filing to the FCC.

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EC Will Not Push For Encryption “Backdoors”, But Member States Might

The European Commission (EC) announced this week a package of counter-terrorism measures as part of its European Agenda on Security initiative. These include, among other things, “measures to support law enforcement and judicial authorities when they encounter the use of encryption in criminal investigations”. It is heartening that the EC restates its recognition of encryption as a crucial element in ensuring both cybersecurity and the right level of security for processing personal data. We welcome the explicit realisation that backdoors, or any form of weakening online security, would have disastrous consequences for online communications and commerce.

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Hotspot Shield VPN's Privacy and Security Promises Contradict Practices

As detailed in the complaint CDT filed today with the FTC, we believe Hotspot Shield Free VPN has employed unfair and deceptive trade practices. Among other concerns, the complaint details the ways in which Hotspot Shield’s marketing claims around privacy and security directly contradict its actual practices and policies. VPNs should be in the business of giving individuals a real option for confidential internet activity, and should not use deceptive claims to expose internet users to security risks or prey upon their limited ability to compare services.

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Working Together To Make the Entire Internet More Secure

CDT was invited by the Free Speech Coalition to be part of a panel that addressed the importance of moving all websites to HTTPS. The adult industry, along with the news industry, are the two main sectors in the top website rankings that lag behind in using HTTPS. The goal of the XBiz panel was to share the why and how of HTTPS with the business decision makers in the industry.

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How cyber secure are you? Find out!

We all need to take control of our own cybersecurity. It appears we are about to enter an era of increased threats to our democratic rights, which makes it even more important to take steps to ensure that your devices and digital communications are private and secure. CDT developed a quiz to help you assess how cyber secure you are and offer tips on how to improve.

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It’s Time to Move to HTTPS

You’ve heard us talk extensively about the importance of moving the web to HTTPS – the encrypted version of the web’s HTTP protocol. CDT has released a one-pager aimed at website system administrators (and their bosses!) that describes the importance of HTTPS. And we are excited to announce a partnership to increase HTTPS adoption for online adult entertainment.

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