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Parliamentary Committee to discuss Net Neutrality issue today

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After a long-running debate, the controversial net neutrality issue will be discussed today by a parliamentary committee in a special meeting. The gathering will also be attended by officials from telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

The main agenda of this meeting is to understand the views of telecom company officials on the topic that has been creating uproar for some time. In fact, even a number of MPs had spoken in favor of net neutrality in the Parliament during this year’s budget session.

According to sources, the views of telecom officials on net neutrality are very crucial for the proper understanding of the issue that triggered a storm after a consultation paper floated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last month suggested that net neutrality could end.

Amid controversies, the issue has united almost all the political parties in India, be it BJP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena or INC. Derek O’Brien from Trinamool Congress had even raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha regarding the subject of Internet equality.

When asked about his plans for today’s meeting, he said, “I am glad that Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed Calling Attention Motion on it (earlier this month). And I am glad that the matter has gone to the next stage.”

He also said that he hopes the government will see ‘some sense’ and not consider the TRAI consultation paper.

The government has made it clear that no decision has been taken on the matter yet, and has also promised to ensure ‘non-discriminatory access to Internet’ to all citizens.

During the parliament session, IT and Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, “Government stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to internet for all citizens of the country. It is committed to the fundamental principles and concept of net neutrality, keeping the internet accessible and available to all without discrimination.”

While replying to the Calling Attention Motion in Rajya Sabha raised by Derek O’Brien, Prasad said, “Connectivity to internet must go in an unhindered manner. I assure the House that the key principles of net neutrality will be followed while following concerns with a national outlook.”

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Indians Always on Social Media While on Vacations, Reveals New Survey

Social media is emerging as strong driving force in creating vacation happiness with Indians being number one in always taking selfies

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The new survey reveals Indians top the list of tourists glued to their phones while on vacation.(Representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 15, 2017 : Indians top ahead of Thailand and Mexico when it comes to using social media while holidaying, says a survey conducted by Expedia.

Indians love to be connected all the time, however, it also means that they do not disconnect from work much.

Indians are globally most anxious on not being able to access WiFi or internet to check work e-mail (59 per cent). In fact they lead in showing a preference for an airline that offers in-flight WiFi (33 per cent). Hence, 14 per cent Indians are always working on a vacation, #1 globally, followed by the US (seven per cent) and Brazil (six per cent).

ALSO READ India tops the list of fatalities caused by selfies

Social media is emerging as strong driving force in creating vacation happiness with Indians being number one in always taking selfies (22 per cent), posting photos on social media (22 per cent), “checking in” on social media (21 per cent) and connecting with others through social media (19 per cent), said the Expedia survey.

The survey included 15,363 respondents, across 17 countries (US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, India and Thailand)

The survey also highlighted that even though Indians are social media obsessed beach-goers who spend the majority of their time uploading pictures and video, 24 per cent of their compatriots find it very annoying, said the statement. (IANS)

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Saudi Arabia To Revoke Ban On Skype and WhatsApp Calls

Saudi arabia to remove ban on telecommunication like skype and whatsapp calls, but will keep monitoring it

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source: Pixabay

Saudi Arabia, September 22, 2017: Saudi Arabian government as part of economic reforms is to lift the ban on calls through networking apps Skype and WhatsApp, but will keep an eye on all the calls as stated by the government spokesperson.

The government in order to transform its economy that aids in enlargement of the business and broaden the economy to the low price of oil plans to provide access to other video and audio call services including Facebook messenger and Viber that fulfills the necessities of the regulation of the authorities.

The spokesperson of telecoms regulator of Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Adel Abu Hameed through, Arabiya TV said the idea behind imposing the regulation is to keep away the content that violated the laws of the region and also to keep intact the personal information of the user.

He also added that the apps, both local and global cannot be used in any way without being censored by CITC or monitoring.

The government although have not made it clear as to how they are going to undertake this regulation on end-to-end encryption apps like WhatsApp which do not allow anyone to read the customers’ messages event after the enforcement of the law.

Saudi Arabia banned the widely used services for internet communication from 2013 onwards stating them to be used by the activists against for the norms of the government. The government still keep a check on the restricted content such as gambling sites, pornography, and extremist material.

At the end of May 2017, Saudi Arabia blocked the access to the website of Al Jazeera after the country put an end to all the Qatar links over supporting terrorism and having ties with Iran.

ALSO READSaudi communication and IT authority blocked 68 Percent of 900,000 violated Internet Links in 2016.

However, it is believed that reversing the Saudi Arabian ban can adversely affect the three main telecom operators – Saudi Telecom Co (STC), Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi of Saudi Arabia, which has been generating major revenue from international calls.

The Gulf Arab neighbours have also raised concerned about the security in the usage of internet communications.

Censorship over internet increased in Saudi Arabia after ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in 2011.The authorities also claim that they have been using the IP addresses to block around 400,000 websites that could harm the public interest.

– prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire

 

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How Facebook is Helping Its Users Fight Identity Theft

Facebook has launched a new security feature for its Indian users, the Profile Picture Guard helps ensure safety from identity theft

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Facebook
Facebook. Pixabay
  • Facebook intends to build a safer global community
  • Profile pictures are now safeguarded by Facebook
  • These measures are taken to reduce the rising number of identity theft cases

New Delhi, August 02, 2017: Facebook is building a global community by launching features that provide aid to the users across the world, creating products that are targetted for specific regions. In one particular news segment at Facebook’s newsroom, they updated that Facebook profile pictures will now be protected with security guards, they have updated this feature for Indian users specifically, due to the rising demand to protect Identity.

India has a remarkably high number of identity theft cases, and this update by Facebook is indeed a commendable job. As it reads in their news headline “Giving people more control over their Facebook profile pictures.” Facebook promotes tools that provide its users to access the social media with an overall secure experience, Facebook’s promotional tools, and targeting a larger audience with their various other tactics serves well to their business.

“Profile pictures are an important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections. But not everyone feels safe adding a profile picture. In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos”, says Aarti Soman, Product Manager at Facebook India.

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“These tools, developed in partnership with Indian safety organizations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz, are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online”, she adds.

Even though Facebook provides safety features like – guards and watermarks for profile pictures, it doesn’t entirely protect us from the identity theft, it’s quite uncertain as to how they plan to protect other pictures uploaded on the social media?

Facebook launches safety features for protecting profile pictures Click To Tweet

Identity theft is a common practice in India and it is very easy to steal identity from any social media, by stealing a person’s basic identity like – Name, Pictures, Address or Date of Birth and use it for unfair practices. People can use this information and pose as the person they have stolen from and commit fraud or offenses.

But, is the practice only limited to India? It very understood that India has the highest concerns for identity theft and lack of safety but places like Australia and UK have observed a trend of identity theft as well, while they have stricter laws and a strong jurisdiction is followed and despite these laws, they have observed a marginally high rate of theft and unlawful practice in this case.

Facebook doesn’t guarantee a total protection from theft as it only provides 75% security, as the pictures could still be screenshotted from Andriod phones, while this is not possible in the case of IOS users. There is also no restriction for users who take a screenshot from their desktop or laptop browsers. While these security measures are not foolproof, they could well reduce identity theft and give Indian social media users some additional peace of mind. India is a test case and the feature will soon be available in other countries as well.

Social media companies could do more to build protections against identity theft and make users aware of the available tools. People should also use their discretion and not let their guard down in the social media hunting ground.

Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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