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Australian PM seeks access to encrypted messages

The Australian government says it wants new laws to force tech firms such as Apple and Facebook to provide access to encrypted messages. Some apps such as WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption, making messages unreadable if intercepted. Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that encrypted messaging apps could be used by criminals and terrorists. But security experts say strong encryption protects citizens’ privacy. What’s the issue? Many countries, including Australia, have laws in place that can force messaging services to hand over a suspect’s communications to police with an appropriate…

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House panel seeks to block FDA 'vaping' rules

A House panel is again trying to exempt increasingly popular e-cigarettes from new Food and Drug Administration rules. The legislation approved Wednesday by the Republican-controlled Appropriations Committee would prevent the FDA from requiring retroactive safety reviews of e-cigarettes already on the market. It would exempt some premium and large cigars from those same regulations. E-cigarette products introduced in the future would face the safety reviews. The development comes as the Trump administration has delayed enforcement of the new FDA rule and the e-cigarette industry is hopeful that efforts to roll…

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Qualcomm seeks Apple iPhone sales ban

Qualcomm, the world’s biggest producer of mobile phone chips, has appealed for the sale of some iPhones in the US to be blocked. It claims that iPhones using chips by rivals, such as Intel, infringe six of its patents. Qualcomm said it had asked the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to investigate and impose an import block. It is the latest move in a series of disputes and lawsuits between Apple and Qualcomm. In January, Apple filed two lawsuits against Qualcomm, claiming it had abused its dominant market position. It…

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May seeks to form minority government with DUP backing

Theresa May has visited Buckingham Palace to seek permission to form a new government, despite losing her Commons majority. She is seeking to stay in office on the understanding that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland will support her minority administration. With one seat left to declare, the Tories are eight seats short of the 326 figure needed to command a majority. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn urged her to quit, saying he is “ready to serve”. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said she “should be ashamed” and should resign “if she…

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Technology 

Civil liberties group ACLU seeks help using anti-Trump donations

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is turning to Silicon Valley after receiving a surge in funds from opponents of US President Donald Trump. The non-profit organisation received $ 24m (£19m) last weekend after a controversial immigration order was issued on Friday. ACLU is teaming up with Y Combinator – which usually works with start-ups – over how to best utilise the donations. Businesses and actors are among those who’ve contributed. The donations made online at the weekend were six times the yearly average the organisation receives, with ACLU executive…

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Trump seeks Mexican import tax to pay for border wall

President Donald Trump will seek a tax on goods imported from Mexico and use the revenue to build a border wall, the White House spokesman has said. The plan was announced just after the Mexican president cancelled a visit to Washington, amid a row sparked by the question of who will pay for the wall. Mr Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to create a wall on the US southern border with Mexico. Making Mexico pay for it was one of his key election campaign pledges. But President Enrique…

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