May 1, 2018

Amazon threatens to cut off Signal encrypted chat

Signal is a favorite app of dissidents and protestors worldwide, as seen in a 2017 Berkeley, Calif. protest. Photo: Elijah Nouvelag via Getty

The encrypted messaging app Signal said Tuesday it had been threatened by Amazon's cloud division after disguising Signal traffic as an Amazon site.

Why it matters: The Signal app, like most apps, used a trick called "domain fronting" to circumvent censorship measures by countries like Iran. Amazon banned domain fronting on Friday, leaving Signal and countless protesters worldwide in the lurch.

How it works: Apps running in the cloud can make it appear like their traffic comes from other servers using the same cloud infrastructure.

  • Domain fronting makes it impossible to filter out a single app from the rest of the apps and websites using the same cloud.
  • Amazon said appearing to come from an Amazon-owned domain violates Amazon Web Services' terms of service, according to Signal.

What they're saying: "The idea behind domain fronting was that to block a single site, you’d have to block the rest of the internet as well. In the end, the rest of the internet didn’t like that plan," Signal wrote in a blog post.

Amazon did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

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  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief — and televised coronavirus briefings that feature President Trump himself — present a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.