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A conspiracy theorist who thinks the government killed Kurt Cobain has once again failed to persuade judges that graphic photos of the Nirvana frontman’s death should be released. A Seattle court of appeals ruled against Richard Lee this week, saying the photos were exempt from Washington state’s Public Records Act…
Two Louisiana lawmakers say they regret getting into a bar fight over legislation. Rep. Stuart Bishop says Sen. Norby Chabert punched him several times at a downtown Baton Rouge bar, but he didn’t strike back. They left before police arrived, and no arrests were made, the AP reports. The News-Star…
Malaysia’s Immigration Department said Saturday that former scandal-ridden Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife are barred from leaving the country, shortly after he announced plans for a short holiday. A leaked flight manifesto shows Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor were due to leave on a private jet on…
Viber may be treated like Telegram if security services are not able to obtain its encryption keys, Russia’s telecom minister said. The app offers end-to-end encryption, and is the most popular messenger in several Eastern European countries. Recently, its CEO, Michael Shmilov, said the company would not be able to hand over the keys.
“Can’t Give What We Don’t Have”
Russian authorities may try to block Viber if the Federal Security Service (FSB) does not gain access to its encryption keys, according to comments made by the Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov. “This matter concerns the FSB which has the powers to implement an order to provide the encryption keys. If the security services have problems with acquiring the keys, they can turn to the court and obtain a similar decision,” Nikiforov said, quoted by ITAR-TASS.
The minister was confronted with a question about the future of Viber after Russian authorities have been trying to block Telegram since April 16, following a decision by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow from April 13. So far, their attempts have been unsuccessful but the messaging service, widely used within the crypto community, has been experiencing issues while trying hard to circumvent imposed restrictions.
In March, the chief executive officer of Viber Media, the operator of the messenger, told RBC that Viber would not be able to fulfill a request to hand over the encryption keys. Michael Shmilov said the company cooperates with law enforcement agencies in many countries but stressed that it would not do certain things. And, handing over encryption keys is one of them. “We cannot give them something that we don’t have. They can ask the users for their keys. We can’t see them, and we don’t stored them,” he explained.
End-to-End Encryption Offered
Viber was launched as an instant messaging and voice over IP service in 2010. The software was originally developed by the Israel-based Viber Media, which was bought by the Japanese company Rakuten in 2014. Last year the corporate name was changed to Rakuten Viber. The company is currently based in Luxembourg.
The messenger, which claims to have 900 million users, is very popular in Eastern Europe and is the top messaging app in countries like Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. In Russia, it’s currently the second most popular application, after Whatsapp. According to a survey conducted by the Russian Modern Media Research Institute in January, Facebook owned Whatsapp has a share of 59% of the Russian users, while Viber is used by 36%. The messenger of the Russian social network Vkontakte is third, with 32%. Telegram is used by 19% of the Russians, and Facebook Messenger – by 14%.
What’s Next, Whatsapp?
The clampdown on private messaging in Russia started when the country’s telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, tried to restrict access to Telegram by blocking IP addresses used by the app. Despite some interruptions in its services, authorities have not been able to completely prevent the use of the massager. Roskomnadzor blocked about 20 VPN and proxy services which offering access to Telegram servers.
IP-addresses of ordinary Internet users may be blocked as a result of the conflict between the messenger and the regulator, warned Dmitriy Marinchev, Russia’s Internet Ombudsman. “Sooner or later, Telegram may switch to a peer-to-peer network and Roskomnadzor will have to block all their users’ IPs,” he explained. Marinchev added that everything now depends on how far Telegram will go in rewriting its software.
Skype is a messenger which started as a peer-to-peer and client-server system, features that were part of its appeal. After changing hands several times, however, the platform hasn’t kept much from the original P2P concept. In 2011, Skype was acquired by Microsoft which transformed it into a centralized service based on MS’s cloud computing platform Azure. Leaked documents revealing mass surveillance of global communications showed that the company had granted American intelligence unrestricted access to Skype. This year, the messenger announced it is going to offer end-to-end encryption for audio calls, text and multimedia messages through Private Conversations. The feature, however, will not be set as a default option and won’t be available for video chats.
The measures against Telegram have created difficulties for many Russians, even including those who are not using Telegram. Large Internet companies – including search engine, Yandex, and social media networks, Vkontakte, and, Odnoklassniki – have been affected. In April, Russian Viber users also complained about interruptions. According to the company, the issues were related to the blockade of Telegram. On May 1, Viber announced it had restored full access to its platform. Russian media have been asking the question “What’s next?” hinting about the most popular messenger in the country – Whatsapp. It uses end-to-end encryption for calls and messages in its latest versions.
Which messenger do you most often use for private conversations? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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The post After Telegram, Viber May Be Blocked, Russian Minister Says appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The little boy holds open his arms as he stands, satisfied, in front of a rainbow-colored line of toy cars he’s placed in the middle of a street.
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Wikileaks announced that Coinbase has blocked its official Wikileaks shop without notice or explanation. The organization will all for a global blockade of the cryptocurrency exchange and payment processor “as an unfit member of the crypto community.”
Coinbase Quits Wikileaks
Wikileaks announced on Friday that “Coinbase has blocked the official @Wikileaks shop from its platform without notice or explanation.”
The shop sells swag such as clothing, accessories, phone cases, stickers, posters, books, and has recently added Cryptokitties.
The organization also posted part of a letter they claim was sent to them from Coinbase which references the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen). The letter states that “Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business under Fincen,” and is “obligated to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms,” adding:
Upon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.
The letter then provides instructions for Wikileaks to withdraw its remaining balance. “We respectfully request that you follow the on-screen instructions presented when you log into your Coinbase account to send any remaining balance offsite to an external address.”
Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase
In response to Coinbase’s action, Wikileaks announced:
Wikileaks will call for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community. Coinbase, a large Californian Bitcoin processor, responding to a concealed influence, has blocked the entirely harmless @Wikileaksshop in a decision approved by management.
Best selling Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos commented, “We have come full circle. Many people’s interest in bitcoin started when Wikileaks was out under an extra judicial embargo by Visa, Mc, Paypal and banks. Now Coinbase has repeated history. Oops.”
He further elaborated, “It’s purely symbolic, unlike the first embargo. Now they have many options. But the symbolism is a pretty poignant reminder of what centralization and banking regulations mean.”
Antonopoulos is referring to the 2010 global payments blockade of Wikileaks which led the renegade news service to become one of the earliest and most public champions of Bitcoin. Six days before Satoshi Nakamoto mysteriously left the community, a debate broke out on the Bitcointalk forum between Nakamoto and those wanting Wikileaks to embrace Bitcoin. The event, described in Julian Assange’s book “When Google met Wikileaks,” is largely thought to be one of the reasons that Bitcoin’s creator left the project.
Recently, Coinbase also announced changes to its merchant services. The company will no longer support custodial merchant processing solutions, replacing them with a free, non-custodial solution. One vendor, Cheapair.com, has already announced that it is leaving Coinbase for this reason to seek a different payment processor for cryptocurrencies.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Andreas Antonopoulos, and Wikileaks.
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The post Wikileaks Calls for Global Blockade of Coinbase After Its Shop Was Blocked appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The UK has accused Syria and Russia of preventing independent chemical weapons experts from entering the city of Douma, hit by a suspected gas attack that Western leaders have blamed on the Syrian government.
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Manson family killer Leslie Van Houten’s slight whiff of freedom just got snuffed out by Cali Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown kept his streak going, and once again reversed the parole board’s recommendation Van Houten be released. Back in September the…
For years, Richard Spencer’s white nationalist think tank, the National Policy Institute, was able to accept donations online through its PayPal account and through credit card payments processed by San Francisco start-up Stripe.
And those online channels accounted for the vast majority of NPI’s…