I wonder what 3 letter US Government agency paid off Amazon?
Choices, choices. There are just so so many with 3 letters...
Amazon is warning customers that the latest version of its Fire OS will disable storage encryption in Fire tablets and Kindles. The cyber-bazaar says people who want to keep files on their gadgets encrypted should not install the latest Fire OS 5. While Apple fights the good fight, @Amazon removes encryption as option from …
In 2013 the CIA awarded a contract (then at $600M over 10 years) to Amazon for cloud services. After a bit of legal argy bargy with IBM Amazon got to keep the contract and started the build of the shiny new IC cloud. The US government is an important customer to Amazon. Its show piece role as a secure private cloud provider in an era of super-size government is a key marketing strategy.
OK, bit off topic, and really just a plug as I'm so impressed with mine (but it does have lovely marshmallow, working encryption and a good fit to replace a Fire as a media consumption device).
Main pitch is stupidly powerful processor, good screen, front-facing stereo speakers that go loud, SD card slot, working 'unified storage' (i.e. SD card can be used for any app), great reviews.
Also it's a bargain at £150 - which means it's playing in pretty much the same ballpark as the Fires, despite kicking them on every spec.
Fingerprint scanner aside, I can't think of any other android tablet at any price that's better.
One thing to note though, is that the tablet SKU is literally "just the tablet" - cover, stylus and even a charger are additional extras. I sprang for the cover, which *ahem* is a bit ipaddy in design, but with addition of magnets to allow more angles rather than relying on geometry of the folds.
Unfortunately, it won't, much as we might wish it would.
I think that your average tablet user doesn't really know anything about encryption and I'd further hazard a guess that those who own Fire tablets know less than the average tablet user over all (excluding those already using third party OSs on them).
The fire sales will end for users with at least adequate computer security awareness.
I had considered one for non-media purposes, but won't any more...
I refuse to get a Kindle too, because I detest the Amazon lock-in and the non-zero possibility of deletion of content!
I have minimal trust for most mobile device security anyway, so limit how much information I keep on them.
Corporate data on domestic product..
Lets see, maybe the pressure some people perceive to "instantly" respond to emails out of hours e.g when at home but the company does not provide them with a phone / tablet so they use their own.
Maybe there's a correlation between companies where implicit pressure to deal with work email at home & unwillingness to fork out for a device for the staffer to use at home?
Gotta agree with LaF here -- I consider the Fires as cloud-based media-consumption devices only. If a Fire breaks, toss/return it and log into another and you're good to go. When elderly relatives have questions or even real problems, just hit Mayday and video chat with helpful customer service.
It's already got all the benefits and intrusiveness drawbacks of cloud-based devices, so quibbling about device encryption seems moot. For personal/professional work and communications, I use a more standard tablet like a Nexus 7 or iPad -- works great.
As the Fire was originally sold with disk encryption, any removal of that ability would seem to render it "defective", and thus no longer meet the Product Quality portion of the Consumer Rights Act:
In the US, it's probably grounds for a class-action suit along the same lines.
US law doesn't obligate them to provide any OS updates, and neither does UK law AFAIK. So how are you going to sue them, unless the OS update is forced on you? You have a choice, they warn you of the consequences of making that choice, so you can't sue them for taking away the encryption it was sold with when it was you who made the choice to do it.
It is funny how the US has this sue-happy reputation, but it is always UK/EU folks who say "sue them" on The Reg. I know a lot of that has to do with their much better consumer protection laws, but it still makes me chuckle.
Maybe, maybe not. YMMV depending on how much companies have manage to get in the pocket of legislators.
Here in Australia, the consumer law allows you to get a repair or refund (vendors choice btw) for a major fault.
A product or good has a major problem when:
it has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they’d known about it
it is unsafe
it is significantly different from the sample or description
it doesn’t do what the business said it would, or what you asked for and can’t easily be fixed.
That is arguably 4 from 4 on the definition of major fault.
You are right to say that the upgrade is optional, but if they don't provide security patches on the older major version, that itself would be a major fault.
They should provide an documented API, pre boot support etc. to allow third party full device encryption to be installed. Currently this isn't possible on IOS or Android but they would have a good excuse, if they couldn't decrypt such data wouldn't they ?
Apple should consider this possibility too.
Apple's encryption relies on UIDs burned into the chips during manufacture, a secure element that operates independently of the device's main CPU/RAM and dedicated encryption hardware on the read/write path to storage.
You think opening all that up to a third party would INCREASE security? You're nuts.
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