Items tagged with EFF

Back in April, Google announced a redesign of the Gmail web interface along with some new features meant to provide more secure ways of sending emails. Now that users and security experts have had plenty of time to test out the new features, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is stating that Google is overselling its new Confidential Mode. The EFF says that there's really nothing "confidential" about these features at all and that nearly every aspect of its design is overrated or downright misleading to users. The civil liberties group says that for starters, the email still isn't end-to-end encrypted, giving Google the ability to still read the contents. In addition, while... Read more...
The jailbreaking community is alive and well, and people frequently install "unauthorized" software on their smartphones and tablets once they’ve cracked the bootloader. This practice is often frowned upon by device OEMs (especially Apple), but it is legal to do so under an exemption in Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), however, wants to extend the exemption to include another hot segment in the consumer electronics market: smart AI speakers. That would means that owners of devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod would be free to hack into these devices to see what makes them tick without fear of retribution.... Read more...
Apple released its iOS 11 operating system late last month, and users have already run into a number of problems with the operating system. There have been complaints about battery life, and two quick point releases have been issued during the first month of availability (iOS 11.0.1 and 11.0.2) to fix lingering issues. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is taking Apple to task over its toggle switches for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in Control Center (blue represents on, gray means off). In previous versions of the iOS, toggling either the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth switches would actually completely turn off those respective wireless radios. With iOS 11, however, flipping a toggle switch to off for... Read more...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) definitely has a lot of pull in the tech industry. Within 24 hours, the EFF’s public call-out of HP’s decision to brick third-party ink cartridges in customers’ printers has generated a sincere apology. HP Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jon Flaxman issued the apology in a blog posting, but not before explaining the company’s reasoning for bringing the ban hammer down on the ink cartridges in the first place. “We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers to ensure the best consumer experience and protect them from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges that do not contain an original HP security chip and... Read more...
Hewlett-Packard came under fire earlier this month when it was revealed that it was purposefully “bricking” third-party ink cartridges in customers’ printers. Customers were unaware that such trickery was even going on until printers around the globe starting throwing up error messages at the same time on September 13th. HP did acknowledge its actions, saying that its designed its printer firmware to “protect the printers and to protect the communication between the cartridge and the printer.” HP also stated that its actions were meant to “protect innovation and intellectual property, but also to improve the safety of products for customers.” When you have scores of customers that are upset about... Read more...
The Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling out Microsoft for disregarding user privacy in Windows 10. The foundation is concerned that in Microsoft’s race to get Windows 10 on a billion devices by 2018, it has put user privacy on the back burner. Microsoft first installed an app in users’ system trays that advertised the free upgrade to Windows 10. When this tactic largely failed, Microsoft bundled the Windows 10 update in a variety of security patches. Microsoft then tried to feature Windows 10 as a “recommended update”. Microsoft even decided to interpret a user’s click on the ‘X’ in the upper right hand corner as consent to update to Windows 10. The EFF stated, “Time after time,... Read more...
The FBI is determined to gain access to any and all electronic information from targeted devices whenever it wants, and by any means necessary (as we’ve seen in the drawn-out and very public battle with Apple over encryption). However, many feel that the FBI is really overstepping its authority with an expansion of the National Security Letter (NSL) statute. An amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), is set to go before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and would expand the FBI’s warrantless vacuuming of user data. Under the proposed amendment, the FBI could request internet browsing history (exact URLs that internet users... Read more...
All the hoopla surrounding T-Mobile's controversial Binge On program has the company's outspoken boss, John Legere, in the limelight more than usual. Drawn to defend the benefits of Binge On, both in social media and to news outlets alike, Legere is prone to lose his cool at times, and he regrets recent comments he made to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group. EFF stands as one of the critics of Binge On. Those who oppose to the program primarily take issue with T-Mobile's wholesale downgrading of video streams to 480P or greater, which they say is throttling. Legere has repeatedly stated reasons why he believes otherwise, and in part, it's become a war... Read more...
If you're a fan of online drama, grab a bucket of popcorn and get cozy, the show has already begun. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a showdown involving T-Mobile and its outspoken CEO John Legere versus everyone who doesn't agree with the wireless carrier's Binge On program, particularly the EFF. In case you haven't been following, T-Mobile recently rolled out a program called Binge On that allows customers who are signed up to a qualifying Simple Choice plan to download unlimited video streams without it counting against their data caps. Binge On debuted with two dozen video partners, including big names like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, and recently announced that a bunch more... Read more...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) caused quite a stir this week when it alleged that Google is using its Chromebook platform, which has made a significant impact in the education sector, to snoop on students. The charges were damning, with the EFF claiming that Google was violating its own corporate policies and using students’ personally identifiable browsing data/habits to refine its services, in addition to sharing that data with partners. "EFF bases this petition on evidence that Google is engaged in collecting, maintaining, using, and sharing student personal information in violation of the 'K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy' (Student Privacy Pledge),... Read more...
Google is no stranger to accusations of invading user privacy, but the latest one comes from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and relates to a highly sensitive market: education. Google would like to see its Chromebooks in the hands of as many people as possible, especially in education, so it's crafted a program that helps educators integrate the devices into the curriculum, and makes their jobs easier once devices are deployed. This includes a head administrator being able to login to an interface and adjust certain settings that will affect the entire fleet en masse. This is all fine and good. But what has everyone on edge is the fact that Google seems to be overstepping its... Read more...
As great as it was to win the battle for net neutrality, it would have also been great to experience the same victory with CISA. Alas, it has not happened, and the reality of it couldn't be more unfortunate, or perhaps discouraging. CISA stands for "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act", and its name doesn't leave much to the imagination. It allows corporations to share information with the government that's deemed important to national security, and is designed to prevent the sharing of irrelevant information - or, in better terms, "everything else." It's no secret, though, that the US government hasn't been adverse to intercepting such data anyway in the past. Flickr: James Manners The Electronic... Read more...
If you believe that your privacy is important - so important that the government can't even breach it - you're not going to like president Obama's latest comments. During a meeting at the White House with UK prime minister Dave Cameron, it was established that both leaders share the same stance on user privacy: you're fine to have it, as long as the government can peer in. With the latest release of Apple's iOS and Google's Android, both companies have proven that they believe that consumers have the right to their privacy. Both of the latest OSes have introduced encryption that they claim they can't even break through - not even if law enforcement comes knocking. Flickr: Barack Obama That move... Read more...
Just how secure is your favorite chat app? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found out and is sharing the results of its research as part of its battle against NSA surveillance. As you’d probably expect, it has some complaints about the security of certain mainstream chat programs, but there are a few surprises on the EFF’s Secure Messaging Scorecard.  A portion of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Secure Messaging Scorecard. Image Credit: EFF For one thing, Skype received poor marks, garnering only two positives (out of a possible seven). The video chat service encrypts communications during transit and doesn’t have a way to monitor the content of your chats, according... Read more...
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