EFF ranks Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime as most secure mass-market messaging options

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF, a non-profit digital rights group, has investigated the security of various messaging apps and created a new Secure Messaging Scorecard, ranking messaging apps and tools like iMessage, FaceTime, BlackBerry Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, and more, based on seven different factors” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors.

“Apple’s iMessage scored five out of seven checkmarks, earning points for encrypting messages in transit and encryption that’s unreadable by Apple, but the messaging app was faulted for an inability to verify contact identities and the fact that Apple’s code is not open to independent review,” Clover reports. “FaceTime was scored in the same way as iMessage, also offering encryption but no contact verification/independent review capabilities. Outside of dedicated secure chat messaging apps, both FaceTime and iMessage scored higher than competing messaging platforms like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat, Kik, Google Hangouts, and BlackBerry Messenger.”

Clover reports, “According to the EFF, Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime products were the ‘best of the mass-market options,’ which is not much of a surprise given Apple’s unparalleled focus on user privacy.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013


    1. http://www.apple.com/privacy/government-information-requests/

      A tiny percentage of our millions of accounts is affected by national security-related requests. In the first six months of 2014, we received 250 or fewer of these requests. Though we would like to be more specific, by law this is the most precise information we are currently allowed to disclose.

      In its latest “Who Has Your Back?” report, the E.F.F. awarded Apple 6 out of 6 stars for our commitment to standing with our customers when the government seeks access to their data.
      – Apple

    1. While, as the article states, Apple’s systems are more secure than the vast majority of the systems out there, not verifying to whom the message is sent or what system is on the other end of the Facetime link is definitely something Apple could fix. Glossing over this and claiming it’s “not Apple [sic] fault” is ignoring the fact that Apple could implement this verification — and should.

      The other point — not allowing outside/independent review of the software source code — is something Apple will likely stick with forever. Apple does need to get a pass on this one.

  1. “Unparalleled focus on user privacy” is at least an overstatement and likely factually false. The writer should have said “compared to the main companies” and “regarding instant messaging services.”

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