Monday April 23, 2018
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Google doodle celebrates start of Special Olympics

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Los Angeles: Internet giant Google on Saturday created an innovative doodle celebrating the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games that will run here from July 25 to August 2.

Mayumi Kudaka runs in the 30-meter dash while participating in the Kadena Special Olympics at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 6, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Edwards/Released)

In the doodle, animated athletes are seen kicking a football, swimming, stretching, lifting weights and even swinging a golf club.

More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 different sporting disciplines, including cycling, handball, power lifting, softball, volleyball, judo, tennis among others. The 10-day event is expected to attract some 500,000 spectators.

The Special Olympics World Games is an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This year it will also have approximately 30,000 volunteers.

The Games will take place at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

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Google’s ‘Chat’ service a gift to cybercriminals: Amnesty

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier

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The logo of Google.
Google Chat is gift cybercriminals. Pixabay

Google’s decision to launch a new messaging service called “Chat” without end-to-end encryption shows utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and has handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, Amnesty International has said.

Communications on the new “Chat” service will not be sent over the Internet but through mobile phone carriers, like SMS text messages, according to reports.

Google Chat is becoming more famous.

In a statement to The Verge this week, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the new service will not use end-to-end encryption and that Google is “pausing investment” in its existing mobile messaging app “Allo” which has an option for end-to-end encryption.

“Not only does this shockingly retrograde step leave Google lagging behind its closest competitors — Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp both have end-to-end encryption in place by default — it is also a step backwards from the company’s previous attempts at online messaging,” Joe Westby, a technology and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, said on Friday.

Also Read: Google Will Take Action If Apps Violate Its Policies

Amnesty International considers end-to-end encryption a minimum requirement for technology companies to ensure that private information in messaging apps stays private. End-to-end encryption is a way of scrambling digital data so that only the sender and recipient can see it.

When it is in place, even the company providing the service is unable to access the content of communications. “Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognised as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers,” Westby said in a statement.

A Google picture.
The Chat is a security threat. VOA

In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Westby said that Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy. “Google should immediately scrap it in its current form and instead give its customers a product that protects their privacy,” Westby suggested.

Google is going all in on building the Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is more rich, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia. IANS

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