Amazon Dropped Device Encryption From Fire OS Before Apple-FBI Case

by

Amazon has removed the ability to encrypt data on its consumer devices in the latest update to its Fire OS operating system.

The change effectively kills local encryption on the company's range of Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and streaming media devices, leaving the data on these devices vulnerable to attacks and potentially accessible to thieves if the devices are stolen.

Kindle Fire, Fire Phone, Amazon Fire HD, and Amazon Fire TV Sticks are all affected after users accept the Fire OS 5 update. The Verge reports that Amazon forum members first flagged the encryption removal on February 21, before the change was picked up by Twitter user David Scovetta yesterday.

Amazon drops encryption


It's unclear why Amazon would choose to reduce the security of its devices, but the change is not a new development and was actually a decision made months ago, according to the company.

"In the fall when we released Fire OS 5, we removed some enterprise features that we found customers weren't using," an Amazon spokesperson stated to various press outlets. "All Fire tablets' communication with Amazon's cloud meet our high standards for privacy and security, including appropriate use of encryption."

The news comes amid Apple's high-profile dispute with the FBI over its refusal to comply with a court order compelling the company to create software that would unlock the phone of terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook.

Dozens of technology companies, industry trade groups, and encryption experts have been submitting documents to support Apple, all catalogued on Apple's website. Yesterday, Amazon also put its name to an amicus brief in support of the company's stance.

Update: Amazon has pledged to restore disk encryption security protection to its mobile operating system after the firm reversed its stance over the weekend. "We will return the option for full disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring," an Amazon spokesman told the BBC.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Nimrad Avatar
64 months ago
Now Trump will force muslims, mexicans, drug dealers and terrorists to use Amazon products. Great!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
naeS1Sean Avatar
64 months ago
lol, wow. They remind me of that nerdy kid in school that, when a bully walks up to them with a mean face, they instantly start crying and hand over their lunch and money. lol

(I was that kid)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
philosopherdog Avatar
64 months ago
Their devices stink big time. Amazon is showing their true colours. Imagine all of the jobs the West will lose in the long run if this weakening of security becomes the norm. The stupid are running the world. It's getting tedious.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
captain cadet Avatar
64 months ago
Good move when suddenly encryption is a hot topic Amazon...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thatanonymoususer Avatar
64 months ago
In other news, Amazon continues to use DRM encryption on their movies and books meaning that they care more about keeping their own content protected than they care about keeping their users protected.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
64 months ago
Can't can't even see where Amazon thought this was a good idea.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...