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You share your life on Facebook…

…and you’re worried about your Government? Somewhat related to the “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” argument. Facebook doesn’t know my date of birth, because I have chosen not to share it. Facebook doesn’t know my address because I’ve chosen not to share it. Facebook doesn’t know my postcode, my…

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Why I Moved from Signal to WhatsApp

Signal or WhatsApp?

Signal, created by Whisper Systems, allows you to send secure, encrypted messages to other Signal users, both text and voice. It’s probably one of the major contributors to making secure, encrypted, safe communication accessible to all. I recommend it to anyone, if you’re not already encrypting your communications. That said, I’ve recently dropped it in favour of…

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How Apple can Ethically unlock the iPhone for the FBI

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This is my proposal for how Apple could help the FBI unlock a phone, while ensuring security for all its users. I’d love your thoughts in the comments. Preamble The FBI want Apple to create a custom version of iOS, the operating system that the iPhone runs, that allows unlimited unlock attempts without delays between retries. I see…

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CitizenFour

I went to see CitizenFour last night. This review contains some minor spoilers which I don’t expect to detract from your experience of watching the film; something I highly recommend you do. Checkout the list of screenings here. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I’d been keeping up to date with the information Edward Snowden…

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Is Fingerprint Authentication Breeding Insecurity?

The latest iPhones have just been released, and the latest feature, available in the iPhone5S, is the fingerprint scanner. This funky bit of technology allows you to program your fingerprint in to the phone, and then unlock it with a touch. No more remembering security codes.

Apple say the fingerprint will be securely stored on the phone, but I’m not sure as yet whether a they store enough data to simply verify your fingerprint later, or enough to reproduce your fingerprint. They do, however, add that it will only be stored on the phone, not sent to Apple or stored in “the cloud”.

So, should you be concerned about the security implications of giving your fingerprint to your phone?

You guessed it; I say yes. I’d be very concerned. Let me give a few reasons.

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On Online Anonymity

A quote I saw recently reminded me of a conversation I had some time ago about online privacy. For the last decade or so, my handle on most internet-based services has been my real name. My partner asked me with some confusion why this is, given that I am steadfastly and acutely protective of my…

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When are Email Addresses Private?

“I think that email addresses aren’t really private, like a phone number or postal address. My partner thinks they are. Can you be the oracle for us?!” This is the question I received, from someone who’s friend was offered five cases of carbonated, aspartame filled drink, if he signs away his right to sue the…

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Personal Information: Undervalued Precious Commodity or Currency for Convenience?

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1 ElePHPant competition: to win, Ben must be accepted to present at the conference, be in attendance, and you must be in attendance. The ElePHPant will be given to a lucky attendee of one of his talks. Selection of an audience member may be via another competition. Actual ElePHPant might vary from the one pictured.