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ACLU gives Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API a mixed reception

Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API gets mixed review

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has praised some aspects of the Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API, while saying that the companies need to do better in three areas.

The ACLU says that any electronic contact tracing needs to respect six principles. The Apple/Google API makes “a strong start” with these, it says, but it has three criticisms …



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ACLU accuses FBI of gambling with cybersecurity as it fails to disclose iPhone hack details to Apple

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The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the FBI of gambling with cybersecurity by failing to disclose to Apple the method used to access the San Bernardino iPhone, reports the WSJ.

Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, said the FBI is facing “a million-dollar question, and really what it comes down to is, does the FBI prioritize its own surveillance needs, or does it prioritize cybersecurity.’’

The longer the FBI keeps the security flaw to itself, he said, “the more they are gambling that no other entity will discover this flaw.’’ 

A former FBI official said that the agency’s decision on whether or not to reveal the method would likely depend on how many iPhone models it is able to unlock …



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ACLU, United Nations watchdog, & others file court briefs siding with Apple in encryption case

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A day after Apple testified before the House Judiciary Committee, a handful of privacy groups have officially filed that they support the company in its fight against the FBI. While the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has previsouly expressed its support for Apple, it today filed an amicus brief with the court, officially acknowledging its stance. Furthermore, three other privacy groups, Access Now, the Wickr Foundation, and a United Nations free speech group have also filed briefs with the court echoing the ACLU’s sentiments.



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Civil rights groups and tech companies express support for Apple’s stand against the FBI

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Civil rights organizations have expressed strong support for Apple’s resistance to a court order instructing it to create special firmware that would allow the FBI to break into an iPhone – with tech companies doing the same, albeit in a weaker fashion.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) posted a statement in which it said that it applauded Apple for standing up for the rights of its customers, and would be making its views known to the court.

Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security […]

EFF applauds Apple for standing up for real security and the rights of its customers. We have been fighting to protect encryption, and stop backdoors, for over 20 years. That’s why EFF plans to file an amicus brief in support of Apple’s position.

The Verge notes similar support from both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Amnesty International …



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