The messaging app Confide got a big publicity boost from Donald Trump’s using it. It does seem like a useful thing for highly confidential communication, if it works well. (Also for evading public records requirements.) It lets you read a message only once, a line at a time, with no going back. But it’s valuable only if it’s really secure, and some people have disputed that.
Continue reading Confide is eyes-only communication, but is it secure?
Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Jefferson Sessions as Attorney General. This was a key appointment in Trump’s campaign to consolidate his power, and bad for liberties of all kind, including data privacy.
In general, he’s a vile person. Sessions “has been the fiercest, most dedicated, and most loyal promoter in Congress of Trump’s agenda.” Stephen Bannon says so. He isn’t going to stand in the way, as his Sally Yates did, when Trump issues illegal and unconstitutional orders.
Continue reading What does Jefferson Sessions mean for tech liberties?
There is a big push for news organizations to adopt HTTPS, because it will make it harder for snoopers to observe what people are reading. In countries where information is seriously censored, this protection could save people from unpleasant consequences. Just how much privacy does HTTPS give us, though?
Continue reading How private is HTTPS?
Here’s a summary of recent news related to technology and freedom. If I find enough links, I’ll make this a regular Friday feature in addition to the Tuesday and Thursday posts, under the Newsbits category.
Continue reading Friday news roundup
The Internet has torn down communication borders, in spite of the efforts of governments. It’s easy to send an email message to or have a voice conversation with someone in a distant country. It costs next to nothing to make an international Skype call. Compare that to 1927, when a three-minute call from New York to London cost $75 in much bigger dollars than today’s. If you choose the right messaging system, you get the benefit of privacy. It’s extremely difficult for anyone to eavesdrop on your communications.
The New York Times tells us that millions of people who leave for a new country use WhatsApp to keep in touch with their families and friends back home. Even people with limited assets can get a cheap smartphone and install a messaging app on it.
Continue reading Communication without borders