Computer scientists on the excruciating stupidity of banning crypto

A paper from some of the most important names in crypto/security history scorchingly condemns plans by the US and UK governments to ban "strong" (e.g. "working") crypto. Read the rest

EFF's new certificate authority publishes an all-zero, pre-release transparency report

EFF, Mozilla and pals are launching Let's Encrypt, an all-free certificate authority, in September -- but they've released a transparency report months in advance. Read the rest

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US CIO defies the FBI, orders HTTPS for all government websites

Tony Scott, CIO of the US government, has spit in the eye of assistant FBI director Michael Steinbach, who called on companies "to build technological solutions to prevent encryption above all else." Read the rest

If the FBI has a backdoor to Facebook or Apple encryption, we are less safe

It seems pretty clear the next battle in Congress will almost certainly be over encryption.

There was a David Cameron who swallowed a fly...

In my latest Guardian column, I talk about the real danger from the UK Tories' plan to ban effective cryptography: not the initial mandate forcing companies to help spy on their users, but all the things we'll have to do when that doesn't work. Read the rest

UN rapporteur sticks up for crypto and anonymity

Within days of David Cameron's Queen's Speech promise to ban the use of effective crypto in the UK, David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression effectively called this a plan to make UK into a rogue state. Read the rest

Hacktivist sees too much, FBI lock him up on child-porn charges, produce no evidence

Matthew DeHart, a veteran from a multi-generational military/intelligence family, ran a Tor hidden service server for his Wow guildies, members of his old army unit, and whistleblowers. Read the rest

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150 orgs, experts and companies tell Obama: hands off crypto!

The joint letter from human rights organizations, eminent cryptographers, tech companies and trade associations takes aim at the FBI's ever-louder calls to ban the use of effective cryptography. Read the rest

Smart Grid consortium rolled its own crypto, which is always, always a bad idea

When you make up your own crypto, it's only secure against people stupider than you, and there are lots of people smarter than the designers of the Open Smart Grid Protocol, who rolled their own (terrible) crypto rather than availing themselves of the numerous, excellent, free public cryptographic protocols. Read the rest

Computer scientist/Congressman: crypto backdoors are "technologically stupid," DA is "offensive"

Rep Ted Lieu (D-CA) is a USAF reserve colonel, former member of the Judge Advocate General Corps and holds a computer science degree -- he's one of the four members of Congress with any formal computer science qualifications. Read the rest

Encryption backdoors are like TSA luggage-locks for the Internet

In my new Guardian column, I look at UK Prime Minister David Cameron's election pledge to eliminate strong crypto and point out that we already have a forerunner of this in the "TSA-safe" luggage locks -- and it's a disaster. Read the rest

FBI's crypto backdoor plans require them to win the war on general purpose computing

The FBI wants backdoors in all your crypto, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron made backdoors an election promise, but as Stanford lawyer/computer scientist Jonathan Mayer writes, there's no way to effectively backdoor modern platforms without abolishing the whole idea of computers as we know them, replacing them with an imaginary and totalitarian computing ecosystem that does not exist and probably never will. Read the rest

Encrypting your laptop demystified

On The Intercept, Micah Lee follows up on his great primer on NSA-proof passwords with a soup-to-nuts tutorial on encrypting your laptop. Read the rest

Ransomware decryptor

If you or someone you love has been hijacked by Coinvault ransomware -- malware that encrypts your data and won't decrypt it unless you transfer Bitcoin to criminals -- Kaspersky may be able to help you (via Hacker News) Read the rest

Surveillance self-defense kit for LGBTQ youth

The latest addition to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Surveillance Self-Defense series is a set of tools and instructions aimed specifically at LGBTQ kids, who have unique threat models (being outed) and adversaries (homophobic friends, parents, pastors). Read the rest

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