Will govt seek explanation from WhatsApp over user-privacy row?

Agencies
January 14, 2021

Government tells WhatsApp to provide details regarding breach of security

New Delhi, Jan 14: WhatsApp, earlier in the month, released revised terms of service and user privacy policy to its messenger app subscribers. The company said the users must comply with the new change or else they are free to uninstall the application.

WhatsApp clarified that the one-to-one and group chat with friends and family are fully encrypted, but said that the conversation between the users and business/shop owner on the messenger app may be used by its parent company Facebook and subsidiaries for marketing ads and promote its services.

This apparently angered users and lead to the mass migration of subscribers from WhatsApp to rival messenger apps. In the last three days alone, millions of users shifted their base to Telegram and Signal.

Now, the Indian government has stepped in to see if WhatsApp's revised terms of service violate the user-privacy of the citizens and also may seek an explanation from the Facebook-owned company, reported The Times of India.

It has come to light that WhatsApp has a different version of terms of service with the European Union, where all conversation on the messenger is encrypted by default in all types of communication including people-to-business chat. It won't share any data with Facebook or any other sister firms.

Even Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma highlighted the double standards of WhatsApp and slammed the company on Twitter.

How long we will be taken for granted by such blatant double standards ?
Self claimed ad claiming respect of our privacy v/s actual policy.

For India 🇮🇳 For Europe 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/bT45XwvsO1

— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) January 13, 2021

It remains to be seen what steps the Indian government will take to see if there is any loophole in WhatsApp's terms of service and if there is, rectify it. 

Also, it would be great if the company confirm that the user privacy policy introduced in India is on par with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 21,2021

india.jpg

Lucknow, Feb 21: In a shocking incident, a farmer in Bijnor district destroyed his standing wheat crop on his six-bigha farmland to mark his protest against the new farm laws.

A video clip showing Sohit Ahlawat, 27, riding a tractor over his wheat crop at Kulchana village in Chandpur tehsil went viral on messenger apps.

The incident took place on Saturday.

Two days ago, during a Kisan Mahapanchayat, the Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, Rakesh Tikait, had urged farmers to give importance to the agitation and, if need be, destroy their crops.

On Saturday evening, Tikait said Ahlawat's video had pained him but more farmers would do the same "if the government does not listen to us".

"The government has forced us into a situation where farmers are destroying crops, which is not a good sight. I was personally pained to see the video, but this is not what I meant when I asked farmers to be ready to sacrifice one season's crops. 'Is tarah nuksan ka matlab nahin banta hai' (one shouldn't incur losses like this)," Tikait said at Uttar Pradesh Gate.

Ahlawat, whose father Sanjeev Kumar owns over 40 bigha farmland, is heard saying in the video, "You can see my standing wheat crop. I am destroying it in front of everyone in support of the ongoing farmers' protest. I do not want these farm laws to be imposed upon us."

State president of BKU's youth wing Digambar Singh alleged, "The cops have started harassing the farmer who destroyed his standing wheat crop. But farmers will not bend before the government and its police."

The local police refuted Singh's allegations, saying they only went to the farmland to "check the site".

Bijnor Superintendent of Police Dharamveer Singh said that there is no pressure on the farmers in the district.

Chandpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate P.K. Maurya said, "We had sent revenue department officials to check and talk to the farmer's family. They said that it was a symbolic protest against the farm laws. We are on alert and trying to talk to everyone."

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 25,2021

Joe Biden revokes Donald Trump-era ban on issuance of green cards | World  News – India TV

Washington, Feb 25: President Joe Biden has lifted a freeze on green cards issued by his predecessor during the pandemic that lawyers said was blocking most legal immigration to the United States.

Former President Donald Trump last spring halted the issuance of green cards until the end of 2020 in the name of protecting the coronavirus-wracked job market a reason that Trump gave to achieve many of the cuts to legal immigration that had eluded him before the pandemic.

Trump on December 31 extended those orders until the end of March.

Trump had deemed immigrants a risk to the US labour market and blocked their entry to the United States in issuing Proclamation 10014 and Proclamation 10052.

Biden stated in his proclamation on Wednesday that shutting the door on legal immigrants does not advance the interests of the United States".

To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world," Biden stated in his proclamation.

Most immigrant visas were blocked by the orders, according to immigration lawyers.

As many as 120,000 family-based preference visas were lost largely because of the pandemic-related freeze in the 2020 budget year, according to the American Immigrant Lawyers Association. Immigrants could not bring over family members unless they were US citizens applying for visas for their spouses or children under the age of 21.

It also barred entry to immigrants with employment-based visas unless they were considered beneficial to the national interest such as health care professionals.

And it slammed the door on thousands of visa lottery winners who were randomly chosen from a pool of about 14 million applicants to be given green cards that would let them live permanently in the United States.

The blocked visas add to a growing backlog that has reached 437,000 for family-based visas alone, said California immigration lawyer Curtis Morrison, who represented thousands of people blocked by the freeze.

I'm thrilled for my clients who are now in a position that they can now enter the US," he said. But that backlog will take years if the administration does not take ambitious measures."

A federal judge last year issued a ruling that all but lifted Proclamation 10052 by allowing temporary foreign workers to enter the United States if their employers are members of the US Chamber of Commerce or several other large organisations that represent much of the US economy.

But Proclamation 10014 continued to block thousands of immigrants.

Immigration lawyers said they were surprised Biden did not immediately lift the freeze like he did with Trump's travel ban imposed against people from mostly Muslim-majority countries. As a result, some immigrants blocked by the travel ban found they still could not come to the United States because of the freeze.

Biden's actions come only days after thousands of visa lottery winners at risk of having their visas expire won a court order that put their visas on hold by the judge in the case. Now they will be allowed to use their visas to enter the country.

The United States makes available up to 55,000 visas a year for immigrants whose nationalities are under-represented in the US population. The visas must be used within six months of being obtained.

Meanwhile, Biden has proposed legislation that would limit presidential authority to issue future bans against immigrants.

The president has not said whether there will be any redress for visa lottery winners who lost out because of the pandemic-era policies. But he is calling for the US to increase the number of diversity visas available via the lottery each year from 55,000 to 80,000.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 23,2021

Shahjahanpur, Feb 23: Six people have been arrested by the Shahjahanpur police that has seized nearly 500 cloned fingerprints of beneficiaries along with their Aadhaar cards and bank passbooks.

The arrested persons include Gaurav, 26, a graduate who runs a photocopy shop in Kaant area.

Gaurav, who learnt fingerprint cloning using glue-gun and adhesive online, has allegedly hacked nearly 500 bank accounts of the beneficiaries of various government schemes such as PM Kisan Samman Yojana, old age pension, etc, in connivance with bank mitras.

"It takes just Rs 5 to clone a fingerprint," Gaurav told the police.

IG Bareilly range, Rajesh Pandey, said, "We are trying to gather more information about such gangs active in the state by sharing the information with headquarters."

The Shahjahanpur police unearthed the racket being run from Jalalabad area of the district after getting repeated complaints from several beneficiaries who had not received money from the government into their bank accounts.

SP, S. Anand, had handed over the case to the crime branch, which found that though the money was credited into the beneficiaries' accounts, it was later withdrawn through Jan Suvidha Kendras being run by bank mitras.

Further investigations revealed the names of Shivram, Sunil Tripathi, Dev Vratt, Sandeep Singh, Shehrun, Rajveer and Hukum Singh, all of whom are bank mitras.

After gathering information, four accused - Shivram, Sunil Tripathi, Dev Vratt and Sandeep Singh - were arrested with cloned fingerprints and several counterfeit stamps, while Gaurav was arrested later.

During interrogation, it was found that Gaurav used to clone fingerprints for the bank mitras using glue-gun and adhesive that would cost him less than Rs 5 per cloning.

Gaurav is suspected to be involved with other gangs in the district as well.

"They used cloned fingerprints to spoof biometrics to carry out financial transactions by hacking bank accounts. Most of the victims are illiterate. The technique used for cloning fingerprints is available online and it is often misused. We will see if such contents can be removed," the IG said.

Rohit Kumar, sub-inspector, crime branch, said, "The accused have been booked under sections 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 ( using as genuine a forged 1(document or electronic record) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code at Jalalabad police station."

A cash reward of Rs 25,000 has been announced for the team that cracked the case.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.