Secure Data Act would protect device manufacturers from having to create a back door

A new bill introduced in Congress, called the Secure Data Act, would prevent a government agency or a court order from forcing a manufacturer to add a backdoor to a device that offers encrypted communications. The bill has bipartisan support, and was introduced in the House by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

The bill would give manufacturers of encrypted phones, tablets, computers and software (including apps like WhatsApp) protection from being forced to weaken the encryption on their products. Not only would it prevent a law enforcement agency like the FBI from forcing a phone manufacturer from providing it with back door access to their devices, it would also prevent a court order from doing the same thing. There is one exception as mentioned in the bill. That would be for requests and court orders having to do with wiretaps under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.

The Secure Data Act is a reaction to the battle between Apple and the FBI that took place in early 2016. The FBI was able to procure a court order demanding that Apple unlock the iPhon 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Apple ignored the order, saying that it would have to build a special version of iOS to unlock the device. Cook told law enforcement officials that he was reluctant to create this software, dubbed Govt.OS, for fear that it would be leaked. That would endanger the privacy of all iPhone users globally. As it turned out, the FBI paid to have the phone unlocked by a third party only to find not one shred of worthwhile information inside it.

source: EFF

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium arrives with dual cameras and 4K HDR screen

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium arrives with dual cameras and 4K HDR screen

It is still Monday but Sony already delivered what will likely be the biggest announcement of the week. The Japanese company just introduced its first phone with dual cameras – Xperia XZ2 Premium. The phone has a 4K HDR screen, Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6 GB RAM and the ability to capture photos and videos in extremely low-lit environments.
The TRILUMINOS display is 5.8” with a resolution of 2160 x 3840 pixels in the standard 16:9 ratio. Wrapped between a 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 and a glass back, the phone follows the Ambient Flow design that was introduced with the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact at MWC 2018. The fingerprint is in the center of the back panel, positioned right under the biggest talking point – the dual camera. Read all here:

Oppo R15 Pro review

Oppo R15 Pro review

The Oppo R15 announcement was overshadowed by a massive media charade. A barrage of clickbait articles claiming this phone shows us what the OnePlus 6 will look like, took the spotlight off the actual product announcement and misfocused the attention on something else entirely. You won’t see any of that here, this review is all about the latest fashion-centric smartphone duo to come out of the Chinese company – the Oppo R15 and R15 Pro. Read all here:

Xiaomi’s gaming phone is here: Meet the Black Shark

Official renders of the Blackshark in Black

Xiaomi launched its gaming smartphone subrand today with the Black Shark coming to lead the charge. It is an entirely new device with customized hardware to bring out the best gaming performance out of a handset, including a new type of cooling system, new ISP, the latest Snapdragon 845 and a massive 4,000 mAh battery. A 5.99” 18:9 IPS LCD with Full HD+ resolution and 97% DCI-P3 coverage takes the front. The Snapdragon 845 chip comes with the usual Kryo 385 cores and Adreno 630 GPU. For optimal performance, Xiaomi equipped the phone with a multi-stage integrated liquid cooling system that brings the CPU temperature 8° C down. Read all here:

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s hands-on review

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s is finally official and it’s hard not to feel at least a little bit relieved that this particular hype train is finally at station. The Mi Mix 2s has been frequenting the rumor mill for months now, flaunting, what we know know was an overly-ambitions nearly bezel-free front panel and innovative selfie camera placement. Read all here:

Huawei P20, P20 Pro and Mate RS hands-on review

The company introduces two core new models this year – the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, both with notched screens. The regular P20 build on the successful P10 formula, while the P20 Pro is the carrier of the new jaw-dropping Leica Triple Camera. And then there was the company’s “One more thing” – the Mate RS Porsche Design. While using the Mate name, this one was actually built around the P20 Pro and its revolutionary snapper combo. Read all here:

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ hands-on review

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are here, official, unwrapped, and we go in full hands-on mode. We might be sending off another UNPACKED event preceded by weeks of overwhelming leaks, but we are surely heading towards a new chapter in the smartphone photography. Read all here:

Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact hands-on review

Unlike many of its big-brand competitors, Sony didn’t shy away from major announcements at MWC 2018. In fact, it took the wrappers of a shiny new pair of flagships, that boldly marry new design concepts with incremental hardware updates.In many ways, the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are a logical and incremental step up over their direct XZ1 and XZ1 Compact predecessors. A beastly Snapdragon 845 chipset powers both, HDR support is added to the new panels and video recording. Everything is now either bigger, louder or with more pixels. Read all here:

The Galaxy S9 leak looking lovely in lilac

The renders were tweeted by frequent mobile tipster Evan Blass, who later claimed that the full Galaxy S9 color lineup could include Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Titanium Gray and Coral Blue. Black and gray are common colors for Samsung’s Galaxy phones, but we’ve seen coral blue before and it’s gorgeous. In many markets, Samsung’s coral blue phones tend to be released as special editions. gs9-invite Enlarge Image Check out that purple 9. Samsung While we’ve seen purple Galaxy phones in the past, the lilac purple shade is a new one, and may be special for the release of the Galaxy S9. It’s worth noting that the official invite for the Galaxy S9 unveiling event on Feb. 25 included the number 9 in a shade of purple. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus review

So, no more Redmi Notes eh? The Redmi 5 Plus should clearly have been the Note 5, a successor of the Redmi Note 4, but Xiaomi wanted a fresh start. The fifth generation is trying to shake things up and the new look obviously called for a new name. So, Xiaomi retired the Note brand promoting the Plus from a mere qualifier to a proper name. The phablet lives on regardless, and goes all-in with a wide 6″ screen. Read more here: