Amazon douses flames, vows to restore Fire OS fondleslab encryption

Under-Fire web biz finds reverse gear after outcry from Fire and Kindle owners


Amazon has U-turned on its decision to remove filesystem encryption from Fire OS, which powers its Fire and Kindle slabs.

We've been told that a version due out within the next month or two will return support for encrypting documents stored on the devices. This decision to restore the feature comes just days after it emerged that Amazon had axed the encryption from the latest build of its tablet operating system: Fire OS 5.

Removing the crypto sparked outcry from furious Fire and Kindle owners as well as the wider tech world. Amazon appears to have taken notice.

"We will return the option for full disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring,” a spokesman for the web bazaar told El Reg on Saturday.

The decision to remove the encryption was at odds with Amazon's public support [PDF] for Apple in the iPhone giant's battle with the FBI. Apple refused to comply with an order to help unlock a killer's encrypted smartphone, and has rallied the tech industry to back it against the Feds.

Amazon's decision to axe the encryption feature from Fire OS 5 was made well before the Apple-FBI legal case blew up last month. Amazon thought disk encryption wasn't being used by enough people to continue support for it. Soon it will let people switch the mechanism back on – and, I guess, in a way, we have the FBI to thank for that. ®

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