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Amazon extinguishes encryption with Fire OS 5 update

Once again, the battle between the FBI and Apple is ruling tech headlines this morning. Yesterday, a host of big names in tech, including eBay, Reddit, Twitter, and Airbnb, finally voiced their support for Apple publicly, although it seems like it took them a while, doesn’t it? Now another important voice is joining the choir, and this one’s international and very official.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein is the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and he issued an official warning that if Apple were to grant government officials access to private citizen’s private information, as the FBI is asking Apple to do in the case of the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, it would most certainly open Pandora’s Box.

Al Hussein was quick to acknowledge that the events that took place that day were horrible, but he pivoted to point out that this issue is about fundamental human rights to privacy, not about protecting criminals. No offence to the high ranking official, but this is the same song being sung by everyone in support of Apple on this matter. However, it is notable that the world is watching, and they don’t like the potential outcome of the FBI getting its way.

As for the FBI, the agency has yet to detail what it is they hope to get off the phone. And it’s looking less and less like there’s anything specific there. The Sand Bernardino County DA, Michael Ramos, just argued he fears there is a “dormant cyber pathogen” hiding on the phone that could impact county computer systems. Folks, that isn’t a real thing — it isn’t a part of the computer science lexicon. And so, it seems, if the truth is out there, we haven’t heard it yet.

Speaking of encryption, if you own an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, be sure you aren’t storing any sensitive information on it. Apparently Amazon offered an encryption feature on the tablets, but nobody was using the feature, so they decided to ditch it. The latest OS updates removed the feature, and now any sensitive data can be easily accessed from these Amazon devices.

I don’t know that you’ve been keeping any state secrets on your Kindle, but if you have, you might want to store them elsewhere. Jury is out on whether or not an iPhone would be a good option.

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Just follow us on Facebook and you can enter as well.  That’s it for DT daily this week. Have a fantastic fun-filled weekend. We’ll see you again right back here on Monday.