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Iran Bans Government Bodies from Using Foreign Message Apps

Iran’s presidency has banned all government bodies from using foreign-based messaging apps to communicate with citizens, state media reported Wednesday, after economic protests organized through such apps shook the country earlier this year.

Chief among those apps is Telegram, used by over 40 million Iranians for everything from benign conversations to commerce and political campaigning. Iranians using Telegram, which describes itself as an encrypted message service, helped spread the word about the protests in December and January.

Telegram channels run on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri were already shut down Wednesday.

A report on the …read more

Russia Admits to Blocking Millions of IP Addresses

The chief of the Russian communications watchdog acknowledged Wednesday that millions of unrelated IP addresses have been frozen in a so-far futile attempt to block a popular messaging app.

Telegram, the messaging app that was ordered to be blocked last week, was still available to users in Russia despite authorities’ frantic attempts to hit it by blocking other services.

The row erupted after Telegram, which was developed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, refused to hand its encryption keys to the intelligence agencies. The Russian government insists it needs them to pre-empt extremist attacks but Telegram dismissed the request as a breach of …read more

More Than 100 Parts for NASA’s Orion Capsule to Be 3-D Printed

More than 100 parts for U.S. space agency NASA’s deep-space capsule Orion will be made by 3-D printers, using technology that experts say will eventually become key to efforts to send humans to Mars.

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin, 3-D printing specialist Stratasys, and engineering firm PADT have developed the parts using new materials that can withstand the extreme temperatures and chemical exposure of deep-space missions, Stratasys said Tuesday.

“In space, for instance, materials will build up a charge. If that was to shock the electronics on a space craft, there could be significant damage,” Scott Sevcik, Vice President Manufacturing Solutions at …read more

US, Global Tech Firms Vow Not to Aid Governments in Cyberattacks

Microsoft, Facebook and more than 30 other global technology companies on Tuesday announced a joint pledge not to assist any government in offensive cyberattacks.

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which vows to protect all customers from attacks regardless of geopolitical or criminal motive, follows a year that witnessed an unprecedented level of destructive cyberattacks, including the global WannaCry worm and the devastating NotPetya attack.

“The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. “This tech …read more

Tech Firms to Be Forced to Give Police Overseas Data Under EU Proposal

Technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook will be forced to hand over users’ data to European law enforcement officials even when it is stored on servers outside the bloc, under a law proposed by the EU on Tuesday.

The law would allow European prosecutors to force companies to turn over data such as emails, text messages and pictures stored online in another country, within 10 days or as little as six hours in urgent cases.

The European Union executive says the proposed law, which would apply to data stored inside and outside the bloc, is necessary because current legal procedures …read more