To distance itself from allegations of collaborating with the secret surveillance program PRISM , Apple issued a statement on Sunday night that denies it granted the National Security Agency direct access to its servers. The company went one step further: Apple claimed it couldn't turn over certain data to the U.S. government, even if it wanted to. "Conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them," the statement reads . "Apple cannot decrypt that data." SEE ALSO: Wickr: Can the Snapchat for Grown-Ups Save You From Spies? Apple's announcement comes on the heels of denials from Google , Facebook , Microsoft and Yahoo . But Apple was more specific, stating that iMessages are encrypted; only the two iMessage participants can read any given conversation. If this is true, are iMessages beyond the grasp of the NSA and the FBI? In the past, security … [Read more...] about Are Your Apple iMessages Really Safe From Prying Eyes?
Slip disk exercise
The NSA is not the only government agency asking tech companies for help in cracking technology to access user data. Sources say the FBI has a history of requesting digital backdoors, which are generally understood as a hidden vulnerability in a program that would, in theory, let the agency peek into suspects' computers and communications. In 2005, when Microsoft was about to launch BitLocker , its Windows software to encrypt and lock hard drives, the company approached the NSA, its British counterpart the GCHQ and the FBI, among other government and law-enforcement agencies. Microsoft's goal was twofold: get feedback from the agencies, and sell BitLocker to them. See also: Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App? But the FBI, concerned about its ability to fight crime — specifically, child pornography — apparently repeatedly asked Microsoft to put a backdoor in the software. A backdoor — or trapdoor — is a secret vulnerability that can be exploited to break or … [Read more...] about Did the FBI Lean On Microsoft for Access to Its Encryption Software?