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Don’t panic! But you should stop using PGP for encrypted email and switch to a different secure communications method for now.

A group of researchers released a paper today that describes a new class of serious vulnerabilities in PGP (including GPG), the most popular email encryption standard. The new paper includes a proof-of-concept exploit that can allow an attacker to use the victim’s own email client to decrypt previously acquired messages and return the decrypted content to the attacker without alerting the victim. The proof of concept is only one implementation of this new type of attack, and variants may follow in the coming days.

EFail: Encrypted Email Has a Major, Divisive Flaw

An attack called eFail overcomes the protections of encrypted email standards PGP and S/MIME.

A group of researchers have published a paper and associated website describing a clever attack on encrypted email that potentially allows an attacker to read encrypted emails sent in the past as well as current and future emails; EFF has recommended switching off PGP-based email encryption for now, to prevent attackers from tricking your email client into decrypting old emails and sending them to adversaries.

If you’re interested in Canadian media — and who among us is not — you probably already listen to Canadaland, the flagship show of Jesse Brown’s growing podcast empire, which dives into the nation’s journalism issues. I was happy to appear on the show to talk digital news strategy in 2016, and Jesse just had me back for today’s episode, where — contrary to the doom and gloom that accompanies most discussion of the technology’s impact on the media.

Aided by Palantir, the LAPD Uses Predictive Policing to Monitor Specific People and Neighborhoods

Police stops in Los Angeles are highly concentrated within just a small portion of the population, and the Los Angeles Police Department has been using targeted predictive policing technology that may exacerbate that focused scrutiny. That’s according to a report put out this week by the research and activist organization Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which draws from the testimony of city residents and newly released police documents to paint a picture of a “racist feedback loop” where a “disproportionate amount of police resources are allocated to historically hyper-policed communities.”

How the Mysteries of the Vatican Secret Archives Are Being Revealed by Artificial Intelligence


Somewhere within the Vatican exists the Vatican Secret Archives, whose 53 miles of shelving contains more than 600 collections of account books, official acts, papal correspondence, and other historical documents. Though its holdings date back to the eighth century, it has in the past few weeks come to worldwide attention. This has brought about all manner of jokes about the plot of Dan Brown’s next novel, but also important news about the technology of manuscript digitization. It seems a project to get the contents of the Vatican Secret Archives digitized and online has made great progress cracking a problem that once seemed impossibly difficult: turning handwriting into computer-searchable text.

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