360° Coverage : Volume of encrypted email rising amid spying fears

2 Updates

Volume of encrypted email rising amid spying fears

Jun 4 2014, 8:24pm CDT | by

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The volume of email cloaked in encryption technology is rapidly rising as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major Internet companies try to shield their users'...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

12 weeks ago

Volume of encrypted email rising amid spying fears

Jun 4 2014, 8:24pm CDT | by

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The volume of email cloaked in encryption technology is rapidly rising as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major Internet companies try to shield their users' online communications from government spies and other snoops.

Google and other companies are now automatically encrypting all email, but that doesn't ensure confidentiality unless the recipients' email provider also adopts the technology.

In an analysis released Tuesday, Google Inc. said that about 65 percent of the messages sent by its Gmail users are encrypted while delivered, meaning the recipient's email provider also supports the technology. That's up from 39 percent in December. Incoming communiques to Gmail are less secure. Only 50 percent of them encrypted while in transit, up from 27 percent in December.

Encryption reduces the chances that email can be read by interlopers. The technology transforms the text into coding that looks like gibberish until it arrives at its destination.

Google and other Internet services rely on a form of encryption known as Transport Layer Security, or TLS. Security experts say that encryption method isn't as secure as other options. But encryption that is tougher to crack is also more complicated to use.

Gmail, with more than 425 million accounts worldwide, was one of the first free email services to embrace TLS. Yahoo, Facebook and AOL also are encrypting their email services. Microsoft Corp., whose stable of email services includes the Outlook, MSN and Hotmail domains, has started encrypting many accounts as part of transition that won't be completed until later this year.

Less than half of the correspondence from Hotmail accounts to Gmail wasn't encrypted as of late May, Google said. Security is even worse at Comcast.net and Verizon.net, where less than 1 percent of the traffic coming to and from Gmail is encrypted, according to Google.

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said the Internet service provider plans to start encrypting email to and from Gmail accounts within the next few weeks. Microsoft reiterated that it is still rolling out encryption in its free email services.

Verizon didn't have an immediate comment on Google's statistics.

The Google report comes a year after the first wave of media reports about the U.S. government's intrusive techniques to monitor online communications and other Internet activity. The National Security Administration says its online surveillance focused on people living outside the U.S. as the agency tried to defuse threats of terrorism.

After lashing out at the government spying, Google and other Internet companies began encrypting email and other online services in an attempt to reassure users worried about their privacy. The Internet companies are hoping their efforts to thwart government surveillance will make Web surfers feel comfortable enough to continue to visit their services. The companies make more money from online ads if their audiences keep growing.

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked documents revealing the online espionage, is among critics who believe the encryption methods deployed by Google and it peers are inadequate. In a March appearance at a technology conference, Snowden described TSL encryption as "deeply problematic" because U.S. government operatives merely needed to obtain a court order or hack into data centers to obtain users' emails and other information.

Like many privacy activists, Snowden prefers "end-to-end" encryption, a more complicated step that requires a key to decrypt the information contained in emails. Theses encrypted keys are only held by an email recipient, making it virtually impossible for an unauthorized user to know what's in the message. This form of encryption takes more technical expertise to do right and can cause more headaches if passwords are forgotten because they can't be reset. That raises the risk of the email being inaccessible even to the recipient.

Google hopes to make end-to-end encryption easier by releasing an extension for its Chrome browser later this year. The company released the coding for the planned extension to security specialists Tuesday in an effort to detect any weaknesses before making it available to everyone.

___

Online:

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/saferemail

 
Update
2

2 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Now, 'electronic nose' to detect diarrhoea
London, Sep 1 (IANS) In what could lead to faster diagnosis of diarrhoea and stomach cramps, researchers have developed an "electronic nose" that can sniff the highly infectious bacteria that causes these diseases.
 
 
Japan has committed $35-bn investment in India: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday signalled a new era of ties with Japan and welcomed the commitment made by his host and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to invest $35 billion in India over the next five years.
 
 
New blood test to reliably detect TB
London, Sep 1 (IANS) A new blood test has been developed to provide a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children.
 
 
Japan announces 3.5 trillion yen investment to India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Japan Monday announced public-private investment of 3.5 trillion yen (Rs.2.03 trillion) in India.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

IS committing crimes against humanity in Iraq: UN
Geneva, Sep 1 (IANS/EFE) Violence carried out by militants of the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation in Iraq, including murders, executions, abduction, sexual violence and torture, amount to crimes against...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Iran vows to free Al-Aqsa mosque from Israel
Tehran, Sep 1 (IANS) Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Monday vowed to liberate the Al-Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem from the Israeli forces and spare no efforts to help the Palestinian people, state-owned...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
200,000 Indians granted Saudi visas in one month
Riyadh, Sep 1 (IANS) More than 200,000 Indians, mostly domestic helpers and labourers, were granted visas by Saudi authorities in one month, an official said Monday. "Since we resumed bringing in Indian workers at the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Number of SAARC regional centres to be slashed
Kathmandu, Sep 1 (IANS) SAARC member states have agreed to bring down the number of the association's regional centres from 11 to five in order to end the duplication of work and to reduce expenditure. A meeting of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Now, 'electronic nose' to detect diarrhoea
London, Sep 1 (IANS) In what could lead to faster diagnosis of diarrhoea and stomach cramps, researchers have developed an "electronic nose" that can sniff the highly infectious bacteria that causes these diseases....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Japan has committed $35-bn investment in India: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday signalled a new era of ties with Japan and welcomed the commitment made by his host and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to invest $35 billion in India over the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Indian in UAE unable to pay bills, hospital says go home
Abu Dhabi, Sep 1 (IANS) An uninsured Indian man has run up more than $160,000 in medical bills after he suffered a brain haemorrhage and spent about six months in an Abu Dhabi hospital, a media report said. The...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Abe wants 'special strategic' ties with India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Monday said ties with India should be elevated to a "special strategic partnership". "We have to fundamentally improve our ties in every field to elevate our...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
New blood test to reliably detect TB
London, Sep 1 (IANS) A new blood test has been developed to provide a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children. About one million children develop tuberculosis (TB) globally each year but detecting...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Talks on for civil nuclear deal with Japan: Modi
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said negotiations were on for a civil nuclear agreement with Japan, indicating that the deal is not likely to be sealed during his ongoing five-day visit to the...
Read more on Politics Balla