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Balance of power starting to shift, says Edward Snowden

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Two years after disclosing that the National Security Agency was spying on their innocent citizens, Edward Snowden, in an New York Times opinion piece published on Thursday, made a striking remark that the “balance of power is beginning to shift.”

The former intelligence analyst claims that a “post-terror generation” is arising that refuses to justify the practice of mass surveillance out of fear.

Alluding to the present week’s ending of the bulk data collection program under the USA Patriot Act, Snowden said, “Ending the mass surveillance of private phone calls under the Patriot Act is a historic victory for the rights of every citizen, but it is only the latest product of a change in global awareness.”

Snowden said the goal was accomplished by “the power of an informed public.” He stated that the end of the mass surveillance of private telephone calls under the US Patriot Act was a “landmark victory for the rights of each citizen”.

“Since 2013, institutions across Europe have declared laws and similar operations illegal and imposed new restrictions on such activities in the future. The UN has said that mass surveillance was clearly a violation of human rights.”

“In Latin America, Brazilian citizens’ efforts have led to the adoption of the Marco Civil, the first declaration of the rights of the internet in the world. Recognising the essential role of an informed public in correcting excesses of government, the Council of Europe called for the adoption of new laws to prevent the persecution of whistleblowers.”

The former National Security Agency worker said, “Basic technical protection safeguards such as encryption … are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies such as Apple, which ensures that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private.”

However, he also warned that the right to privacy is still under threat.

“As you read this online, the United States government makes a note,” he added.

The computer analyst remains wanted by the United States for espionage following his sensational leaks that fetched him a title of a traitor in some political sectors. However, he was majorly regarded as a hero.

Snowden has been given temporary residency in Russia.

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Apple could acquire the entertainment company, Netflix

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Apple could acquire the entertainment company, Netflix
Apple could acquire the entertainment company, Netflix. IANS

San Francisco, Jan 1, 2018: Contrary to the reports of Apple launching a video subscription product in 2018 to counter Netflix, analysts from Citi have said that the iPhone maker could possibly buy the entertainment company by taking advantage of US President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut.

According to Citi analysts, Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant, there is a 40 per cent likelihood that Apple will acquire Netflix. Under the new taxing rules, the tech giant will be able to repatriate about $220 billion in cash to the US.

“The firm has too much cash — nearly $250 billion — growing at $50 billion a year. This is a good problem to have,” Suva and Merchant were quoted as saying.

“Historically, Apple has avoided repatriating cash to the US to avoid high taxation. As such, tax reform may allow Apple to put this cash to use. With over 90 per cent of its cash sitting overseas, a one-time 10 per cent repatriation tax would give Apple $220 billion for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or buybacks,” they added.

A report in business insider said that iTunes has been a huge hit for the company, but viewers have migrated increasingly to services like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu to watch their favourite shows leaving Apple struggling to offer a compelling TV or movie offering.

In September 2017, reports poured in that Apple might lease the Culver Studios in California as it plans to pour $1 billion into TV and movie productions.

The battle for best movie scripts and television projects intensified between tech giants in the Silicon Valley. Google-owned YouTube is already producing original television series and Amazon has won Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” show.

The iPhone maker has already hired top Hollywood talent Sony duo Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its Hollywood push and is reportedly developing a new TV show that will star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. (IANS)

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