Comey's 'No Absolute Privacy in America' Statement is a Threat to Encryption

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

FBI backdoor and iPhone cracked screen

Absolute privacy doesn’t exist in the United States, according to FBI Director James Comey. He says the courts can compel us to testify about private and privileged communications, and that the government should be able to access our personal encrypted data.

Apple Already Patched Most CIA Hacks From Wikileaks Report

· Jeff Gamet · News

iPhone and bug

According to the Wikileaks Vault 7 information dump, the CIA has been hard at work developing hacks to get into the data on our iPhones. Most of the exploits listed in the report, however, are already patched and Apple is working on taking care of the remaining few.

Wikileaks, CIA, and iPhone Hacks - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-08

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

With the Wikileaks report out saying the CIA developed hacking tools to get into our iPhones, John Martellaro joins Jeff Gamet to look at Apple’s security measures for our mobile devices. They also look at the negative message Apple is sending customers by not giving us solid information about the Mac, and Kelly Guimont drops by for a few minutes, too.

Amazon Goes with First Amendment to Protect Alexa Recordings

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Amazon Echo recordings targeted in police warrant for homicide investigation

Amazon filed a motion to block a search warrant demanding recordings from an Echo in its ongoing fight to protect user privacy. The warrant is part of a Bentonville, Arkansas homicide investigation, and Amazon says communication with the Echo and its Alexa voice interface are protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

Amazon's Echo First Amendment Rights Fight - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-24

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Amazon thinks smart home devices shouldn’t be used for government surveillance, and is going to court to keep Echo Alexa requests out of police hands. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at Amazon’s argument and the impact in-home listening products are having on freedom of speech and privacy.

Vizio's Spying TVs, UAC iPhone Connectors - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-07

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Vizio just settled an FTC lawsuit for using their smart TVs to spy on customers. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Vizio collecting viewing data on users without permission and the settlement with the FTC. They also look at the UAC connector that’s going to let headphones connect to Lightning and USB-C.

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on You, and the FTC Settled with a Wrist Slap

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Eye Spy on Your TV

Did you hear the one about the TV company that spied on its customers, sold that data to third parties, and got a slap on the wrist from the FTC? Bryan Chaffin has the details, and he’s pretty cranky about it.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Innovation Fellow for the TechCongress Dr. Chris Soghoian

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Chris Soghoian is an expert on the technology and politics of privacy. Most recently he’s been the Principal Technologist with the ACLU. In 2017, he’s one of three Innovation Fellows for the TechCongress where he’ll assist in federal policymaking. Chris earned his Ph.D. with a research focus on the role internet and telephone companies play in enabling government surveillance, and he’s also known for his work with the FTC and the Do Not Track initiative. Chris started life as a tech geek, and computers were always a part of his life. That led to an undergraduate degree in computer science. Then he interned at Apple and IBM. But a significant event changed his direction in life, and he gained a newfound appreciation for attorneys. Chris makes some interesting observations about today’s assaults on our privacy.

Amazon Echo, Police, and Privacy - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-28

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

With police getting search warrants for Amazon Echo recordings questions about personal privacy are on the rise. Dave Hamilton and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at what Amazon’s Echo hears and records, what our other smarthome devices may be logging, and what that means for our privacy and police investigations.

Congressional Encryption Working Group Backs Encryption (with Mixed Message)

· Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

iPhone with Encryption Backdoor

The Congressional Encryption Working Group (EWG) released a year-end report this week stating specifically that, “strong encryption is essential to both individual privacy and national security.” This leaves Bryan Chaffin with hope, even though the report contained a few mixed messages.

Uber Location Privacy, AirPods Followup - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-23

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Uber is in the spotlight again over privacy concerns. Bryan Chaffin and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to look at how Uber is collecting location data and how we can block that, plus Adam shares his AirPods experience.

How to Setup a VPN on iPhone with iOS 10

· Andrew Orr · Tips

Your VPN Is Ready

You might (or might not) know about using a VPN to keep your Mac secure. But did you know you can also use a VPN on your iPhone? Here’s how to set one up.

macOS Sierra: Enabling Your Mac's Firewall and Stealth Mode

· Jeff Gamet · How-To

macOS Sierra firewall and Stealth mode protect your Mac from local network hackers

Your Mac is pretty safe on your private home network, but what about when you’re surfing the Web in coffee shops? Anyone with a computer and rudimentary hacking skills could target you, which is why it’s important to make sure your Mac’s built-in firewall is enabled—and that Stealth Mode is turned on, too. Read on to learn how.

Thoughts About Apple's Secret iPhone 7 Chip

· John Martellaro · Editorial

FPGA

An intriguing chip has been discovered in the teardown of the iPhone 7. We know that it’s a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), but we don’t know what it’s intended to do. Speculation abounds. John has a SWAG.

Get Ready for the FBI's New Encryption Back Door Push

· Jeff Gamet · News

iPhone encryption

The FBI’s fight for government mandated backdoors into our encrypted data and devices is far from over, and Director James Comey says he plans to bring that back to the forefront next year. Mr. Comey says it’s time for an “adult conversation” on the topic, and that law enforcement needs an easy way to access our private data for criminal investigations.

WhatsApp's New Privacy Policy is a Big Trust Killer

· Jeff Gamet · News

Facebook WhatsApp data collection

When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, the WhatsApp team promised nothing would change for its users. Fast forward to today where WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to start sharing some information with Facebook. That feels like a betrayal to at least some users, and at a minimum it sure sounds like Facebook—the company with a reputation for playing fast and loose with our privacy—is about to have a link into our WhatsApp data.

How to Opt Out of WhatsApp's Facebook Data Sharing

· Jeff Gamet · News

WhatsApp open padlock

WhatsApp changed its privacy policy so it can share information with Facebook. The idea is that by sharing some information about you, Facebook can display more relevant ads. If that doesn’t sound like anything you’re interested in, don’t dispair because WhatsApp lets you opt out. Read on to learn how.

Apple Patches Critical Zero-Day Data Security Exploit in iOS 9.3.5 Update

· Jeff Gamet · News

iPhone and bug

Apple released iOS 9.3.5 on Thursday to address a big security flaw that could expose iPhone and iPad user’s personal data. The threat could be used to exploit information from email, contacts, text messages, phone calls, and more—and it looks like NSO Group has been doing just that so governments can spy on journalists and people they classify as dissidents.