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Cracking on foreign funds? 8,975 NGOs lose their license for not filing annual returns

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The NDA government has cancelled the licenses of 8,975 NGOs saying that the organizations failed to file annual returns the years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The move came after the government in a crackdown had suspended Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of international environmental NGO, Greenpeace.

According to the cancellation order by the Home Ministry, the government had issued notifications to 10,343 NGOs on October 16, 2014 asking them to file annual returns within a month. The government also asked them to specify the amount of foreign funds received, their sources, their purpose and how they were utilized. However, only 229 NGOs replied.

“Out of the notices issued to 10,343 associations across India, reply from 229 associations have been received which are being examined on a case to case basis. No reply has been received from the remaining associations numbering 8,975,” the ministry order said.

Under FCRA, NGOs which receive foreign funds have to submit an annual report in Form FC-6. It has to include income and expenditure statement, receipt and payment account, balance sheet etc for every financial year beginning on the 1st day of April within nine months of the closure of the financial year.

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Spying Charges On 2 Ex-Twitter Employees for Saudi Arabia

2 former twitter employees were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

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Spying for Saudi Arabia
Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government. Pixabay

Raising concerns that American technology firms might be exposed to foreign governments, two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government and the Kingdom’s royal family, according to the US Justice Department.

The two former Twitter staffers, Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi national and Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime, the Justice Department said in a criminal complaint.

The case, unsealed in San Francisco federal court, underscores allegations the Saudi government tries to control anti-regime voices abroad. It also recalls a move reportedly directed by the country’s controversial leader to weaponise online platforms against critics, CNN Business reported on Thursday.

Spying
A US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime. Pixabay

One of the two people is reportedly an associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who the CIA has concluded likely ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” US Attorney David Anderson said in a statement.

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Another man, named Ahmed Almutairi, who is also from Saudi Arabia, allegedly acted as a go-between to the two Twitter staffers and the Saudi government, which according to the complaint rewarded the men with hundreds of thousands of dollars and, for one man, a luxury Hublot watch, the report added. (IANS)