Amazon's Kindle devices run a custom version of Android that, until today, supported full-disk encryption. Now they don't.
The latest update to Amazon's Fireos disabled full-disk encryption. If you run the update and then lose your device, whomever finds it will be able to see any private or sensitive information you've stored on it (if you don't run the update, you won't get patches and your device will be liable to being taken over by hackers).
The move comes as Apple and the FBI are fighting in court over whether the government can force companies to make tools to backdoor their own security measures, and as the US Congress is contemplating legislation that would ban effective encryption in US-manufactured devices.
Ironically, Amazon's Kindle/Fire platform does use encryption: Digital Rights Management. The company uses DRM to control how you use your ebooks (though publishers can opt out if they choose to), and refuses outright to carry audiobooks unless rightsholders allow them to encrypt them with Amazon's DRM.
For privacy and encryption advocates, this move goes against the recent trend to make encryption available by default, and puts Amazon customers’ data at risk, given that they won’t be able to protect the information in their tablets and phones with encryption.
“This is a terrible move as it compromises the safety of Kindle Fire owners by making their data vulnerable to all manner of bad actors, including crackers and repressive governments,” Ari Balkan, a coder, human rights activist, and owner of a Kindle Fire, told Motherboard. “It’s clear with this move that Amazon does not respect the safety of its customers.”
Amazon Quietly Removes Encryption Support from its Gadgets
For $170, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox bought SpyPhone Android Rec Pro, an Android app that you have to sideload on your target’s phone (the software’s manufacturer sells passcode-defeating apps that help you do this); once it’s loaded, you activate it with an SMS and then you can covertly operate the phone’s mic, steal its photos, and […]
Some employees with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who work in the Washington, D.C. area and in Philadelphia, PA were unable to access the DHS computer network on Tuesday, reports Reuters, citing “three sources familiar with the matter.”
A huge coalition of human rights groups, trade groups, civil liberties groups, and individual legal, technical and security experts have signed an open letter to the Department of Homeland Security in reaction to Secretary John Kelly’s remarks to House Homeland Security Committee earlier this month, where he said the DHS might force visitors to America […]
Having a luxurious bed isn’t just a fairy tale from a catalog; it is a real, affordable possibility with offerings like this Olive+Owen bedroom set. If you’re thinking of doing some “spring cleaning”, this bed set is an easy way to completely upgrade your room in one purchase.This 20-piece collection has all of the expected slumberland elements, […]
Python is immensely popular in the data science world for the same reason it is in most other areas of computing—it has highly readable syntax and is suitable for anything from short scripts to massive web services. One of its most exciting, newest applications, however, is in machine learning. You can dive into this booming […]
Learning new skills is a great way to improve your resume and stand out from other candidates. Especially in a workforce in which many job-seekers have a wide variety of qualifications. With lifetime access to Virtual Training Company, you won’t have to choose a specific focus. You can pick up new expertise whenever you deem it […]