Which surveillance company just released an encryption app for little ones? Response: GCHQ

British surveillance company GCHQ has launched an app teaching youngsters to recognize “basic encryption techniques”, regardless of its director getting criticised technological innovation firms for creating a lot more superior equipment obtainable to their consumers.

Cryptoy is a totally free app for Android tablets, with an iPad version anticipated to launch in 2015. It teaches kids about 4 encryption methods – shift, substitution, Vigenère and Enigma – as well as the historical past behind their use.

“This enjoyable and educational app teaches you about the mysterious planet of cryptography. It assists you to realize ciphers and keys, and allows you to generate encrypted messages that you can share with your friends,” explains its listing on the Google Perform retailer.

The app is aimed at Important Stage four college students in the United kingdom – these aged between 14 and sixteen many years previous – and was initially produced by students on a year’s placement at GCHQ, for the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Its release is part of the British government’s drive to motivate more young children to review STEM topics – science, engineering, engineering and maths – at GCSE level and past.

“Building maths and cyber skills in the younger generation is important for maintaining the cyber security of the United kingdom and developing a vibrant digital economy. That is why I am keen for GCHQ to give anything back through its work with college and universities,” mentioned the agency’s director Robert Hannigan, as the app launched.

“In specific, the Cryptoy app is a colourful, interactive way for college students and their teachers to investigate the fascinating globe of cryptography. The app was developed by GCHQ’s industrial placement college students and trialled at a number of science fairs. I hope it will inspire further review of this crucial subject, which has played this kind of an essential element in our past and is an invaluable portion of our future.”

Hannigan lately sparked controversy with his 1st public intervention in the surveillance debate because taking above as GCHQ director, when he attacked US technology businesses as “the command and manage networks of choice” for terrorists when they make strategies for encrypting and/or anonymising communications accessible.

Facebook just lately manufactured it less complicated for users of the Tor anonymising service to access the social network by launching a .onion deal with, whilst messaging app WhatsApp is introducing finish-to-end encryption, and Apple has made encryption a part of its iMessage support.

Encouraging youngsters to discover about the background of cryptography – Enigma integrated – whilst pushing back against technology companies’ moves to introduce end-to-end encryption is not necessarily a contradiction.

However, a single side-effect of Cryptoy may be to stimulate college students to request questions not just about historic encryption, but its contemporary variants: why technologies businesses are introducing them, and the function played in that procedure by agencies like GCHQ.

Cryptoy does not request permission to Android devices’ cameras, place or contacts info. In fact, the only permission its Google Perform entry lists is “Other” – a group that according to Google may possibly incorporate “custom settings supplied by your device manufacturer or application-specific permissions”.

Experts contact for return to human intelligence right after Snowden

Leave a Reply