Snowden calls for boycott of Google’s newest messaging app Allo

google-allo-duo-messenger-app

http://www.afr.com/technology/technology-companies/google/edward-snowden-calls-for-boycott-of-googles-newest-messaging-app-20160522-gp16rq

Google has announced a new messaging app with strong encryption, meaning that your communications can’t be wiretapped. But there’s a catch: You have to turn on that feature yourself.

The tech titan’s plan to launch Allo this summer without end-to-end encryption by default has drawn withering criticism from some quarters.

But other privacy advocates are more positive.

“I, too, would prefer that Allo be encrypted by default,” said Kevin Bankston, director of New America’s Open Technology Institute. But, he added, “all in all, this is going to be a net increase in the amount of encrypted messaging out in the world. And that is ultimately a good thing.”

The chairman emeritus of New America is Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet.

With Allo’s debut, Google is taking a step toward joining the growing number of tech firms embracing “end-to-end” encryption, which protects the privacy of text messages and voice and video calls in such a way that even with a warrant, the government can’t access them.

But by requiring users to turn on the feature, Google is lowering the odds that average users will avail themselves of the option, critics such as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden say.

“Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe,” Snowden tweeted. “Avoid it for now.”

Apple’s iMessage launched in 2011 with default end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp, Facebook’s messaging app, last month announced it had full, end-to-end encryption by default on all platforms — including Android, iPhone and ­BlackBerry. Apple also launched its video call FaceTime feature in 2010 with default strong encryption. That means that even when served with a warrant, these firms cannot provide law enforcement access to WhatsApp and iMessage chats.

FBI Director James B. Comey has endorsed the benefits of encryption. “I love strong encryption,” he said in a speech last month. But, he said, “what’s changed in the last few years is that it’s now become the default, covering wide swaths of our lives and covering wide swaths of law enforcement’s responsibilities.” He has called for a balancing of privacy and public safety needs in which firms maintain a way — usually with a key — to get the government access to the communications it seeks.

So Google’s move on balance is welcome, said one law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue on the record. “Having this as an opt-in feature is certainly useful to us.”

———–

“With Allo’s debut, Google is taking a step toward joining the growing number of tech firms embracing “end-to-end” encryption, which protects the privacy of text messages and voice and video calls in such a way that even with a warrant, the government can’t access them.”

so what is the problem?

“Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe,” Snowden tweeted. “Avoid it for now.”

a catch22..

401

~ by seeker401 on May 31, 2016.

5 Responses to “Snowden calls for boycott of Google’s newest messaging app Allo”

  1. Reblogged this on A Unity Consciousness World.

  2. While I don’t like megalithic, octopus-tentacled companies like google, I really don’t see ehat the problen is with having to turn on encryption. Do you have to do it with every individual use, or what?
    As always, the best form of security is to say nothing self-incriminating online, and save that stuff for face-to-face communications…if you have anything incriminating to say at all, that is.

  3. such a fucking non-issue.

    it’s fucking google. google is spelled en ess eh. so what does it fucking matter if their dumbfuck encryption is turned on?

    snowden is fake as fuck.

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