The Digest: Obama calls for stronger data privacy… and 4 other things people are talking about today

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Barack Obama calls for stronger data privacy laws | BBC News

“US President Barack Obama has unveiled new proposals on how consumers’ personal data is handled. Mr Obama called for legislation that will require firms to inform customers of data breaches within 30 days as well as protect students’ information. He said identify theft and other cyber attacks were a ‘direct threat to the economic security’ of Americans.”

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David Cameron’s plan to ban end-to-end encryption is catastrophic for internet freedom | The Next Web

“Earlier today, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plan to revive legislation that would allow the UK government to ban applications that use end-to-end encryption to ensure user security. In Cameron’s speech, he asked that ‘in our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?’ The answer: yes, we do. If the pledge to revive the legislation were to come into effect, services like WhatsApp, iMessage, Telegram, Cyberdust and more would ultimately need to make major changes to their services to ensure they could function in the UK. Depending on the specific wording, the law could extend to almost any encrypted service that the government finds worth targeting.”

MORE ON THIS STORY

What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry | BoingBoing
UK government could ban encrypted communications with new surveillance powers | The Verge
David Cameron pledges new ‘snoopers’ charter’ if he wins general election | The Independent
Spies should be able to monitor all online messaging, says David Cameron | The Telegraph
The Guardian view on mass surveillance: missing the target | The Guardian
Cameron calls for an end to privacy | Bit-Tech

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WhatsApp overtakes text messages | The Telegraph

“WhatsApp now handles 30bn messages each day sent by its 700m users, making it 50 per cent more popular than traditional text messages. Could this be the end for SMS?”

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft starting NOW | The Register

“Today, January 13th, is the day on which Windows 7 passes from mainstream support into extended support. The milestone is the first on the road to Microsoft pulling the plug on January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is a widely-admired version of Windows, as it is more stable than its predecessor Windows Vista and did not try to foist a confusing new UI on the operating system as happened with Windows 8. At last count, Windows 7 therefore ran on about 55 per cent of the world’s PC fleet, well ahead of Windows 8 and 8.1 combined.”

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Average broadband speeds dropped during 2014 | Broadband Finder

“Average broadband speeds in the UK dropped during the third quarter of 2014, according to a new report. Akamai’s latest ‘State of the Internet’ report revealed that average broadband speeds in the UK stood at 10.7Mb in the third quarter of 2014, showing a 3.4% drop. The study found that 81% of the country can access download speeds of 4Mb or more, with two-thirds of broadband users receiving 10Mb or more.”

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Stuart O’Connor