Report: The FBI Paid Some Dodgy Hackers to Unlock the San Bernardino Phone

I was kind of tired of the FBI vs. Apple story, but now it has a secret collective of morally ambiguous hackers, and I’m into it again. Read More >>

Trump Hotels is Investigating Claims That Hackers Stole Customers’ Credit Card Data 

Presidential candidate and sentient sac of millions of spiders Donald Trump—literally more spiders than you’ve ever seen—does not have a coherent stance on cybersecurity. In his business ventures, though, his cybersecurity record sucks. Trump has failed to encourage policies to prevent large-scale data breaches at the hotels that bear his name. Read More >>

The Pentagon’s Rewards Program for Hackers Has a Bizarre Loophole

The US Department of Defense launched a new programme last week, “Hack the Pentagon,” to reward hackers for pointing out security flaws in some of its public-facing websites. It’s a bug bounty, the same kind of programme that most big tech firms use to encourage hackers to help instead of harm. The programme budget is $150,000 (£106,026), so rewards will be small, especially compared to private bounties. Read More >>

Finding Your Passenger Rating on Uber Just Got Way Easier 

Want to know whether the drivers of Uber think you’re a complete dirtbag or not? Finding your passenger rating on the ride-hailing app is now a much simpler process. Read More >>

The US Ordered Google to Unlock Phones, and Google Didn’t Fight Back

The US government used the All Writs Act in a failed attempt to make Apple write software that would weaken its security to help unlock a seized iPhone. That case was vacated this month, after a dramatic public battle. But the US government is still using the All Writs Act to corral tech companies, including Google. Read More >>

The US Government Didn’t Need Apple’s Help Unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone After All

FBI vs. Apple is over. At least round one, anyway. The US government has confirmed that it was able to get the data off the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook without Apple, and it is dropping the lawsuit compelling Apple to write security-weakening malware. Read More >>

Libertarian Presidential Hopeful John McAfee Calls for Chinese-Style Cybersecurity State

John McAfee wants to run for president on the Libertarian ticket. He may or may not make that happen. But either way, he has some rather non-Libertarian ideas about cybersecurity. Namely, that all terrorist plots can be detected with the right technology. Read More >>

The Company Helping Unlock the San Bernardino iPhone Has a Long History of Selling Gear to US Police 

The company reportedly helping the FBI access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone data isn’t a household name in the US, but its data-extraction tools are all over the country. Cellebrite has been quietly helping US law enforcement bulk up its arsenal of surveillance gear for years. Read More >>

Four Theories About How the FBI is Cracking the San Bernadino Shooter’s iPhone

An anticipated courtroom showdown between Apple and the FBI was scheduled for yesterday, but that’s was rescheduled for April 5th. The hearing was postponed following an FBI court filing claiming a “third party” had shown the government an alternate method to unlock the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone, one that doesn’t require Apple’s assistance. Read More >>

CareKit is Apple’s New Ambitious Health Monitoring and Tracking Tool

Apple has introduced its most ambitious health service yet, an open-source app development platform called ‘CareKit.’ It’s basically a way to help people keep track of their medical treatment, and to share information with doctors remotely. Read More >>

Uber Did Something Good for Once 

Uber has done something good, which will make the service more convenient. Read More >>

Obama Just Made His Dumbest Comments on Encryption Yet 

President Obama celebrated attending SXSW this year by doing the most SXSW thing ever: an interminable and substance-lite keynote discussion. Obama talked with Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith about the current encryption debate—but admitted his stance boils down to “I’m not a technical expert, but let’s not be absolutists about this whole ‘backdoor key’ thing.” Read More >>

The Jihadist List Hyped as the ‘Biggest ISIS Intelligence Haul Ever’ is a Bizarre, Inaccurate Mess

Did Sky News receive the “biggest Islamic State intelligence haul” ever this week? Read More >>

US Responds to Apple: Stop Being a Baby

The US Department of Justice just responded to Apple in the ongoing court battle over what Apple must do to help the FBI unlock an iPhone—and the response is a 43-page document with an argument that can be summarised as “Apple is being a baby.” Read More >>

In Defence of Furries

I wrote a post about Disney’s efforts to market Zootopia to furries last week, and I really pissed off some furries by describing the community as “people who like to roleplay as animals for sex reasons”. The following missive is an email I received from a furry named Brooke, published with her permission: Read More >>