WhatsApp Stops Processing Requests for User Data From Hong Kong Authorities

WhatsApp has suspended its processing of requests for user data from Hong Kong law enforcement agencies, in response to China’s imposition of a new national security law on the city, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The company is “pausing” such reviews “pending further assessment of the impact of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with human rights experts,” a WhatsApp spokeswoman said in response to a Wall Street Journal query on Monday.

The decision by WhatsApp comes after China fast-tracked legislation that allows local authorities to supervise and regulate the city’s previously unrestricted internet. The controversial new law, which took effect on Tuesday, criminalizes acts that were previously considered protected speech under Hong Kong law.

As the report notes, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter have operated freely in Hong Kong for many years, allowing residents of the semi-autonomous metropolitan area to express political views online, outside the grip of China’s “Great Firewall” that restricts internet use on the mainland. The fear is that the new law brings Hong Kong another step closer to the authoritarian digital censorship that ringfences mainland internet users.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have been blocked in China for years, with the country’s government favoring home grown alternative services that it can more easily regulate. Encrypted messaging service Telegram was also blocked inside China after it became popular with the country’s human rights lawyers, while several domestic VPNs – which are commonly used to evade censorship and access services abroad – were shut down after authorities said they were unauthorized to run.

Western powers have condemned the imposition of the new security law in Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom considers it to be a “clear and serious” violation of the Joint Declaration that was signed between the two countries when the former colony was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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.

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Google Photos Stops Backing Up Social Media Folders By Default

Google Photos has stopped backing up images and videos from folders created by social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and TikTok (via Android Police).

Previously, Google’s photo app would automatically upload all media saved to an iOS device, including any files saved in folders originating from social and messaging apps.

Google says it’s now turning off this aspect of its cloud photo backup service “to save internet resources” as people share more photos and videos amid the ongoing global health crisis.

Users can reverse this change and re-enable backup of photos and video from social media and messaging apps by following these instructions.

Other digital services including YouTube and Disney+ adopted similar measures to reduce bandwidth strain caused by the global health crisis several months ago.

Tag: Google Photos

This article, “Google Photos Stops Backing Up Social Media Folders By Default” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Stops Signing iOS 13.5 After Releasing iOS 13.5.1 With Jailbreak Patch

Following the release of iOS 13.5.1 on June 1, Apple has stopped signing iOS 13.5, which means downgrading to that version of iOS is no longer possible.


iOS 13.5.1 included a fix for the vulnerability that enabled the unc0ver jailbreaking tool that was released on May 24. The unc0ver jailbreak was compatible with all versions of iOS up to iOS 13.5, but since it has been patched in iOS 13.5.1, it is not possible to jailbreak a device running the iOS 13.5.1 update.

Apple released a similar security fix for tvOS, watchOS, and macOS, patching the vulnerability across all devices.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.

iOS 13.5.1, with the security fix, is the only current publicly available version of iOS that can be installed on iPhones and iPads. Apple has also seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.5.5 updates to developers and public beta testers.

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Apple Stops Signing iOS 13.4.1 Following Release of iOS 13.5

‘Apple Glass’ Rumored to Start at $499, Support Prescription Lenses, and More

Front Page Tech host and leaker Jon Prosser today shared several alleged details about Apple’s rumored augmented reality glasses, including an “Apple Glass” marketing name, $499 starting price, prescription lens option, and more.
The marketing name will be “Apple Glass”
The glasses will start at $499 with the option for prescription lenses at an extra cost
There will be displays in both…

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Zerodium Temporarily Stops Purchasing iOS Exploits Due to High Number of Submissions

Zerodium this week announced that it will not be purchasing any iOS exploits for the next two to three months due to a high number of submissions. In other words, the company has so many security vulnerabilities at its disposal that it does not need any more.


Zerodium is an exploit acquisition platform that pays researchers for zero-day security vulnerabilities and then sells them to institutional customers like government organizations and law enforcement agencies. The company focuses on high-risk vulnerabilities, normally offering between $100,000 and $2 million per fully functional iOS exploit.


In an explicit tweet, Zerodium CEO Chaouki Bekrar said iOS security is in bad shape, noting that there are at least a few persistent zero-day security vulnerabilities affecting all iPhones and iPads. “Let’s hope iOS 14 will be better,” added Bekrar.

Apple has its own bug bounty program that offers between $5,000 and $1 million for security vulnerabilities in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS.


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Apple Stops Signing iOS 13.3.1 Following Release of iOS 13.4

Following the release of iOS 13.4 on March 24, Apple has stopped signing iOS 13.3.1, which means downgrading to that version of iOS is no longer possible.

iOS 13.3.1 was a minor update that added a toggle for disabling the U1 chip in Apple’s iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.

iOS 13.4 is the current publicly available version of iOS, with the update bringing a new Mail toolbar, iCloud Folder Sharing, new Memoji stickers, trackpad support on iPad, and more.

Developers can also download iOS 13.4.5, an upcoming update with bug fixes and a new option to share Apple Music songs on Instagram Stories.
This article, “Apple Stops Signing iOS 13.3.1 Following Release of iOS 13.4” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Stops Displaying Security Warnings in Microsoft Edge, No Longer Recommends Switching to Chrome – Disposable mail news

Google has stopped advising Microsoft Edge users to switch to Chrome for a more secure experience as the browser extensions crafted for Google’s Chrome web browser are also suitable for the new Microsoft’s new Edge browser based on Chromium.

It appeared like Google stoked the flames of browser wars when it subtly encouraged Edge users to shift to Chrome by displaying warnings of potential security threats. The alert displayed by Google read that it “recommends switching to Chrome to use extensions securely”. A developer at Edge revealed that the new Microsoft Edge is designed to effectively safeguard its users from malicious extensions, that said, Edge already had Windows Defender Smart Screen and Unwanted Application protection built-in.

Whenever a user visited the Chrome Web Store via the new Microsoft Edge, Google displayed a message in yellow at the top of the webpage recommending users to switch to Chrome in order to use extensions with added safety. However, seemingly, as soon as Google realized that greeting users with a warning message which clearly implied that Microsoft Edge is less secure of a browser is not making them look good, the tech giant softened and decided to take the alert down. Not only that, Google went a step ahead and replaced the previously displayed warning with a fresh one that tells users that now they can add extensions to Microsoft Edge from the Chrome Web Store.

However, still, officially only a few extensions are supported by Microsoft Edge as the installation of all these extensions for the first will seem to be a bit complex. Users need to enable ‘allow extensions’ from other stores via the settings page. On attempting to do that, Microsoft warns that it doesn’t verify extensions downloaded from third-party stores and cautions that doing the same may cause performance issues in Edge. Then it suggests users get verified extensions from Microsoft Edge add-ons site. As soon as the users allow extensions by clicking on ‘Allow’, they will be able to add extensions to Edge from Chrome Web Store.


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