New Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress to Block State-Level Efforts to Weaken Smartphone Encryption

A new bill introduced in U.S. Congress today by representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX) would attempt to block state-level efforts to ban sales of strongly encrypted smartphones, reports Ars Technica.

The federal bill will need to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and be signed by the president, in order to become law. If passed quick enough, the bipartisan legislation would set precedent over state-level bills.

California and New York assemblymen have introduced new bills over the past year that would require smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Google to create devices that can be decrypted or unlocked, or be subject to fines.

The virtually identical bills would require any smartphone manufactured after January 1, 2017 and sold in New York or California to „be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.“ Apple and others would face a $2,500 fine per phone in violation of the proposed law.

Apple is strongly against government efforts to weaken smartphone encryption. The company ceased storing encryption keys for devices on iOS 8, making it impossible for the iPhone maker to unlock content on passcode-protected devices under police request. Both iOS and Android share these default encryption settings.

In September, FBI Director James Comey expressed concerns that Apple and Google are „marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.“ Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes providing the U.S. government with back door access means the „back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.“

Read the full text of the „ENCRYPT Act of 2016“ for more details about the new house bill.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Encryption
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Apple Pay Gains Over 50 New U.S. Banks and Credit Unions

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 51 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 950 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

The newly added Apple Pay participating issuers are reflected below, although it’s worth noting that some banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple’s website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers:

Achieve Financial Credit Union

Advantage Federal Credit Union

Alloy Federal Credit Union

Altoona First Savings Bank

Altura Credit Union

Amalgmated Bank of Chicago

Associated Credit Union of Texas

Bank of Ann Arbor

Beehive Federal Credit Union

Brand Banking Company

Business Bank of St. Louis

Capitol Credit Union

Charlotte State Bank & Trust

Citizens Bank (AL)

Citizens Savings Bank

Community Credit Union

Credit Union of Texas

Earthmover Credit Union

Employment Security Credit Union

Family Trust Federal Credit Union

First Community Bank of Beemer

First Interstate Bank

First Service Federal Credit Union

First State Community Bank

Fort Community Credit Union

Georgia Bank and Trust

HomeStar and Financial Services

Houston Highway Credit Union

IDB-IIC Federal Credit Union

Katahdin Federal Credit Union

Lion’s Share Federal Credit Union

Mainstreet Community Bank of Florida

Marine Bank & Trust

Marine Federal Credit Union

Monona State Bank

Navy Army Community Credit Union

Northway Bank

Plaza Park State Bank

Reliant Community Credit Union

Security Bank and Trust Company

Silver State Schools Credit Union

Spencer County Bank

Summit Community Bank

Sundance State Bank

The Commerce Bank of Washington

Tioga State Bank

Torrance Community Credit Union

Total Community Credit Union

Triangle Credit Union

United Community Bank

USNY Bank

Apple is committed to an international expansion of Apple Pay, having launched the mobile payments service in Australia and Canada in November in partnership with American Express. Apple Pay is also coming to Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain this year, and the service will launch in China in early 2016 in partnership with UnionPay.

Apple Pay gained support for BJ’s Wholesale Club private label credit cards and 66 new U.S. issuers on December 15, plus nearly another 60 issuers on January 5. On the merchant side, Cinnabon, Chili’s, Domino’s, KFC and Starbucks will support Apple Pay in the U.S. starting this year.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Apple Pay Now Supports Tesco Bank and TSB in U.K., Over 90 New U.S. Issuers

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 95 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 750 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

Apple Pay now supports Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom

Apple also added Apple Pay support for two larger financial institutions Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom. Tesco Bank, which began emailing customers about incoming Apple Pay support earlier this week, currently supports Apple Pay for its MasterCard credit cards, while TSB supports debit cards and MasterCard and AMEX credit cards.

H&R Block, a large tax planning, preparation, and filing company, highlights the complete list of Apple Pay participating U.S. issuers. As a disclaimer, it should be noted that some smaller banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple’s website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers in the U.S. is ahead.Acme Federal Credit Union

Alpine Bank

Alpine Credit Union

Altier Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union

American Trust and Savings Bank

Ashland Credit Union

Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union

Avidia Bank

Bank Independent

Bank of New Hampshire

Bay Area Credit Union

Broadway National Bank

Calumet Bank

Camden National Bank

CapCom Credit Union

Century Bank & Trust

Citizens Bank of Edmond

Citizens Bank of Washington County

CoastHills Credit Union

Commercial Banking Company

Community Bank NA

Decatur Earthmover Credit Union

EverBank

F&M Bank

Farmers State Bank

First Atlantic Federal Credit Union

First Citizens Bank

First Command Bank

First Commerce Credit Union

First Florida Integrity Bank

First National Bank & Trust Co.

First National Bank of Oklahoma

First Priority Bank

Florida Credit Union

Great Lakes Credit Union

H&R Block

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

Heartland Bank & Trust Company

Homeland Credit Union

Idaho Independent Bank

International Finance Bank

Iroquois Federal

Johnson City Bank

Kane County Teachers Credit Union

Kekaha Federal Credit Union

Kinetic Credit Union

Klerberg Bank

Lake City Bank

LaTerre Federal Credit Union

Leyden Credit Union

Marblehead Bank

Marshall Community Credit Union

MECU

Members First Community Credit Union

Members First Credit Union of New Hampshire

Metro Employees Credit Union

MidSouth Bank NA

Montgomery Bank NA

MountainOne Bank

NB&T

Nebo Credit Union

Neighbors Federal Credit Union

NewDominion Bank

Northeast Credit Union

Northwest Federal Credit Union

Oak Valley Community

OAS Staff Federal Credit Union

Oklahoma Central Credit Union

Oklahoma Employees Credit Union

OnPoint Community Credit Union

OUR Credit Union

PCM Credit Union

Peoples Bank (AR)

Peoples State Bank

Railroad & Industrial Federal Credit Union

RIA Federal Credit Union

River Works Credit Union

Rocky Mountain Credit Union

Sb1 Federal Credit Union

Seacoast Bank

SECNY Federal Credit Union

Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Sikorsky Credit Union

Southbridge Savings Bank

Southwest 66 Credit Union

State Bank of Southern Utah

SunWest Educational Credit Union

Texas Bay Credit Union

Tinker Federal Credit Union

Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union

TransWest Credit Union

Winslow Community Federal Credit Union

Woodlands Bank

Zeal Credit Union

Apple Pay launched in Canada today for American Express customers, with Australia to follow later this week. Apple is also partnering with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: United Kingdom, Tesco Bank, TSB
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Germany investigating Apple’s audiobook deal with Amazon

Apple’s just gotten to the end of its long and convoluted eBooks antitrust case, and now Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is reportedly investigating the company’s agreement with Amazon for purchasing audiobooks. Apple and Amazon are said to have a long-term agreement in place for purchasing audio books from Amazon’s Audible company to distribute via the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Opens Cryptographic Libraries to Third-Party Developers to Encourage Security

Apple announced yesterday that the company has opened up its cryptographic libraries so that third-party developers can build more „advanced security features“ into their apps (via VentureBeat). The cryptographic libraries being opened to developers are the same ones Apple uses to protect iOS and OS X, as Apple notes on its updated site.

Developers will have access to two of the company’s advanced security features, including Security Framework and Common Crypto. Security Framework gives developers tools for organizing certificates, public and private keys, and trust policies, ensuring that all sensitive information is stored privately in a „secure repository for sensitive user data.“ Common Crypto library provides additional support for symmetric encryption, hash-based message authentication codes, and digests.

Both Security Framework and Common Crypto rely on the corecrypto library to provide implementations of low level cryptographic primitives. This is also the library submitted for validation of compliance with U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 Level 1. Although corecrypto does not directly provide programming interfaces for developers and should not be used by iOS or OS X apps, the source code is available to allow for verification of its security characteristics and correct functioning.

Check out Apple’s official website for reference sheets, service guides, and links to the open source releases for Security Framework and Common Crypto libraries.
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iPad Pro one step closer after securing FCC approval

Apple’s super-sized iPad Pro is one step closer to going on sale after securing the approval of the Federal Communications Commission. Both the Wi-Fi and LTE-equipped options were given the green light this week. The FCC’s listing confirms the iPad Pro, which has the “A1652” model number, will have Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and Cat.4 LTE connectivity, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Pay Now Supports Citizens Bank, E-Trade Bank and Over 40 Other U.S. Issuers

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 46 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 500 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

Citizens Bank and E-TRADE Bank highlight the complete list of Apple Pay participating issuers, although it’s worth noting that some smaller banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple’s website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers:
Amplify Federal Credit Union
Bank of the Ozarks
Branch Banking & Trust
Bridgehampton National Bank
Capital Educators Federal Credit Union
Centra Credit Union
Charlotte Metro Credit Union
Citizens Bank
Coastal Federal Credit Union
Credit Union 1
„Dollar Bank, FSB“
Eglin FCU
ETRADE BANK
First Community Bank
First Community Credit Union (OR)
First Florida Credit Union
First National Bank of Waseca
Floridian Bank
Georgia United Credit Union
Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union
Kennebunk Savings Bank
Kirtland Federal Credit Union
Leaders Credit Union
Maine Savings Federal Credit Union
McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union
Merchants Bank
MIT Federal Credit Union
National Penn Bank
Navigant Credit Union
Nodaway Valley Bank
Nymeo
OU Federal Credit Union
Pacific NW Federal Credit Union
Power Financial Credit Union
Seaboard Federal Credit Union
SECU of Maryland
Southern Security FCU
Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union
Sterling Federal Bank
The Cape Cod Five Cent Saving Bank
The Focus Federal Credit Union
Trupoint Bank
UBI Federal Credit Union
Vinton County National Bank
Watertown Savings Bank
Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union

Apple Pay remains limited to the United States and United Kingdom, although Apple is committed to an international rollout of the mobile payments service in additional countries such as Canada and China in the future. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Apple is planning a November launch of Apple Pay in Canada.



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