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Anti-Terror prosecutors from Four Nations Call for Access to Encrypted Data to counter Terrorism

Anti-terror prosecutors from four nations say they need greater access to encrypted data on smartphones and computers in the fight against terrorism

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Access to Encrypted Data
Flowers and American flags honoring the 14 victims of the Dec. 2, 2015, terror attack in San Bernardino, California, Dec. 29, 2015. Apple refused to help the FBI unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the assailants. VOA
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  • The prosecutors from France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco made their joint appeal in Paris after a two-day meeting
  • France and Belgium have both been hit by major terror attacks in recent months, prosecutors from the four countries have been working closely to prevent future incidents
  • The issue of accessing encrypted data is controversial, raising concerns about privacy and abuse

Anti-terror prosecutors from four nations say they need greater access to encrypted data on smartphones and computers in the fight against terrorism.

The prosecutors from France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco made their joint appeal in Paris after a two-day meeting. They’re seeking new tools to respond to a new age of terror and unlock encrypted messages used by groups like Islamic State.

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They issued a joint statement Friday to alert national and international authorities, internet providers, software makers and telecommunication operators about the obstacles posed by data encryption and the locking smartphones and computers, according to the Associated Press.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said protecting personal data is an essential right, but terrorism threats justified specialized judicial access to suspects’ data. Not having that, he said, has sometimes paralyzed investigations.

France and Belgium have both been hit by major terror attacks in recent months. Prosecutors from the four countries have been working closely to prevent future incidents.

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The issue of accessing encrypted data is controversial, raising concerns about privacy and abuse. In the U.S., for example, Apple refused to help the FBI unlock an iPhone belonging to a California assailant.

Joe McNamee, executive director of NGO European Digital Rights in Brussels, was critical of the prosecutors’ demands.

“A bad idea, badly explained,” he said. “We’re presented with a notion — in an environment when there is more data about more individuals than at any time in our history — that certain pieces of data are absolutely crucial …and on a very practical level that’s just not true. On a deeper level, the issue of encryption is about everyone’s security.”

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French and German authorities have issued similar calls for encrypted data to social media platforms popular with Jihadi groups. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)