UK goes to war against encrypted messaging apps, because it wants to read everything

David Cameron
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that should he win the next general election, his party will introduce comprehensive legislation which allows intelligence agencies to gain access to private and encrypted communications sent over the Internet. The move is a response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, about which Cameron spoke at a campaign event this week.

He said, “Do we allow terrorists safer spaces for them to talk to each other? I say no we don’t – and we should legislate accordingly.” He went on to say, “I have a very simple principle which will be the heart of the new legislation. In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremis, with a signed warrant from the home secretary personally, that we cannot read? Up until now, governments have said no, we must not. That is why, in extremis, it has been possible to read someone’s letter, listen to someone’s telephone, to mobile communications. But the question remains: Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read? My answer to this question is no, we must not.”

Cameron clarified later he wants to gain access to communication data regardless of whether it’s by landline, mobile phone, or over the Internet. There are concerns the new legislation would force encrypted systems, software, and apps to provide “back-doors” for use by security services, and that those unwilling to open up software would be made illegal.

A ban on Snapchat and iMessage?

According to The Guardian, a senior Liberal Democrat minister said the prime minister appeared to be suggesting he would try to ban services such as Snapchat. The government hasn’t commented on services like the photo-sharing app, or how it will tackle Apple’s iMessage system, or web encryption tools including PGP yet.

There are fears this will ultimately see the reintroduction of the controversial communications bill, also known as the snooper’s charter, which ended up being blocked in 2014. One civil liberty advocate told the IBTimes it’s, “Wholly unacceptable for this tragedy in Paris to be used as a means co call for a return of the snooper’s charter.”

Cameron and his conservative government will need to win the general election in May in order to push the proposed legislation forward.

Gaming

‘Fortnite’ security flaw let hackers spy on players through microphones

A security vulnerability found in Fortnite allowed hackers to gain access to other players' accounts, potentially letting them spy on conversations using the in-game microphone. It has been addressed.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here's how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Mobile

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.