00:10 GMT +3 hours29 July 2016
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As Apple Battles FBI Over Privacy, Amazon Quietly Drops Encryption Feature

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As Apple refuses to back down to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over encryption and the right to privacy, Amazon appears to be doing the opposite, quietly taking away the ability to encrypt their devices.

Apple has been very publicly fighting the FBI regarding encryption, even resorting to an open letter alerting the public to the dangers of allowing surveillance agencies and anyone with the will and ability to gain full access to private data. While Apple gains industry support for their refusal, Amazon has removed the ability to encrypt devices running their Fire OS operating system.

Amazon released a belated statement which has not mollified angry users.

“In the fall when we released Fire OS 5, we removed some enterprise features that we found customers weren't using. All Fire tablets' communication with Amazon's cloud meet our high standards for privacy and security including appropriate use of encryption,” Amazon told ZNet.

The FBI, alongside its legal moves against Apple, has repeatedly taken their push to gain access to citizen data to more public forums, adopting an approach akin to asking the public to sympathize with the San Bernadino shooting victim’s families.

iPhone 5S
© Flickr/ Kārlis Dambrāns/http://bit.ly/1C1bFE9
Apple, with backing from privacy organizations, such as Fight for the Future, has accused the federal government of exploiting the tragedy in San Bernardino to push an agenda of weakening iPhone, and other device, security to enable easier surveillance.

"The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone's microphone or camera without your knowledge,” according to the Apple statement.

A federal court hearing in California has been scheduled for March 22 for the battle between the FBI and Apple.

Related:
French Parliament Rejects Fines on Apple Over Refusal to Hack Phones
Apple Files Appeal in San Bernardino Shooter Phone Hacking Case
FBI Says US Courts Should Deal With Pending Apple Case
US Judge Backing Apple Unlikely to Affect San Bernardino Case - White House
Apple Seeks US Congress Protection From FBI, Court-Ordered Snooping
Tags:
Fire OS, Encryption, Fifght for the Future, FBI, Apple, Amazon
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  • I never had a lot of respect for apple because of their chosen business model which excludes anyone or any app that does not totally buy into and pay tribute to the apple cult, however, apple has gained some respect for their stance against wholesale government surveillance. Bill Gates on the other hand has damaged Microsoft's corporate image with his support of the government. I now trust Microsoft products less.

    I have never trusted Amazon, if you read their privacy statement re their e-book readers, it specifically states that Amazon will track what books you read, what bookmarks you set and what notes you make - ostensibly "...to improve your e-book experience".
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