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Russian aircraft disintegrates in midair before crash over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

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Cairo: The Russian aircraft disintegrated in midair before it crashed over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, state-run Ahram newspaper reported on Sunday.

Ahram said an official with Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee said in an interview with Russian RIA-Novosti news agency that the disintegration happened in the air and the fragments are strewn over a large area.

Russian Chief of invitation panel Viktor Sorochenko said it was too early to determine the cause of the tragic accident.

Sorochenko leads an international committee made up of experts from Russia, Egypt, France and Ireland to probe into the incident. The investigation has begun early on Sunday, starting with analyzing the plane’s two black box data recorders, which have been recovered late Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority (FMA) started to deliver the bodies of the victims of the Russian plane to the Russian Embassy in Cairo and victims’ relatives.

As many as 187 dead bodies were found so far in the scene of the crash, the official MENA news agency reported.

Initial investigation showed that there were no eyewitnesses despite some videos of the accident posted online that were found fake.

The Egyptian cabinet said on Sunday that the search was widened after finding bodies scattered across eight square km.

A Russian airliner, with 224 passengers and crew, crashed into a mountainous area in the restive Sinai on Saturday.

A militant group affiliated to the Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the crash, but the claim could not be verified.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Saturday it was impossible to determine the cause of the Russian plane crash until the black box was examined.

“Experts asserted that a plane flying that high technically cannot be shot down,” Ismail said, adding that no “irregular” activities were believed to be behind it.

 (IANS)

(Photo: CNN)

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS