Snowden calls for boycott of Google’s newest messaging app Allo

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http://www.afr.com/technology/technology-companies/google/edward-snowden-calls-for-boycott-of-googles-newest-messaging-app-20160522-gp16rq

Google has announced a new messaging app with strong encryption, meaning that your communications can’t be wiretapped. But there’s a catch: You have to turn on that feature yourself.

The tech titan’s plan to launch Allo this summer without end-to-end encryption by default has drawn withering criticism from some quarters.

But other privacy advocates are more positive.

“I, too, would prefer that Allo be encrypted by default,” said Kevin Bankston, director of New America’s Open Technology Institute. But, he added, “all in all, this is going to be a net increase in the amount of encrypted messaging out in the world. And that is ultimately a good thing.”

The chairman emeritus of New America is Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet.

With Allo’s debut, Google is taking a step toward joining the growing number of tech firms embracing “end-to-end” encryption, which protects the privacy of…

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