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Cyber Attacks by Russians may target UK Elections, Warn Spies at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

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Cyber Attacks, VOA

London, March 12, 2017: Spies at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have called an emergency summit with Britains political parties after warning them that the next general election is vulnerable to cyber attacks by the Russians.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has written to leaders of all the main political parties offering expert help to strengthen network security, reported the Sunday Times.

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In his letter, Martin said: “You will be aware of the coverage of evnts in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system.”

He called a “technical seminar” on cyber-security for politicians.

“This is not just about the network security of political parties’ own systems. Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond this and can include attacks on Parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals’ email accounts,” Martin said.

Experts at GCHQ have made protecting the political system from foreign hackers as “priority work”.

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They fear that Kremlin-backed hackers could steal and leak internal emails or publish private databases of voters’ political views in an attempt to damage the standing of political parties with the public, according to the report.

A senior government source said GCHQ would help with the security of “personal datasets, including the electoral roll and voter identification data”.

Security officials stepped in after Russia was accused of helping Donald Trump win the US presidential ­election by hacking and publishing 20,000 emails from the rival Democratic Party.

Russia was also accused of infiltrating the German Parliament’s computer network in 2015. (IANS)

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Politics and Education: A Relationship that contributes a lot in shaping our Future

The 21st century has seen a remarkable increase in student potential and their early growth.

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Children studying in school, India, Twitter
  • Students have been the driving force for politics and nation building
  • The education that brings up the students of our country is of prime importance
  • Political systems are required to put more emphasis on education policies for the personal growth of the children

June 3, 2017: 

The political environment and the education system of the country are absolutely essential to its progress and the overall well-being of the society. It is however, complicated how they perceive each other. Education has served the political system without a doubt. After all, it is what the children are taught that ultimately shapes their outlook of the world.

Their ideologies are so strongly tied up with their personalities that they become curious to find the right answers. The political system has come a long way. From an absolute tyrannical sovereign to democracy. It is through education. Through what we have read. Through what our ancestors have left in writings for us and what they have warned us about.

And yes, the political system has returned that favor. Through constant support in the form of policies, funding, and infrastructure it has made sure that education of the nation runs smoothly. Politics has tried its best to provide for these young voters. As we shall see later, the type of political system has great influence on education quality.

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The relationship is thus mutual and it has to be that way for the society to sustain. Any loopholes that distance the two may be a threat to the very existence of this whole structure. Education consumed politics.

Political Science as we know became a field of study in itself because of the importance of the subject knowledge. Student Parties emerged as a result of inquisitiveness as well as willingness.

History tells us that during invasion or war certain things tend to happen. Men are killed. Women are raped to bring up the victor’s offspring. Country’s resources are exploited. And education is controlled. Burning/ banning books (or opinion at large) is an approach that the invaders use to suppress any revolutions. It is to suppress ideological opposition (political, cultural or even religious).

Knowledge is Power. Pixabay

In China, the Qin Dynasty after taking over the territory ordered for burning of books and killing of scholars. Confuscious’ works were destroyed. Valuable Chinese works were burnt that time. Alexander the Great had his army burn Zoroastrian Scriptures when they invaded the Persians. During the Soviet Russia, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s works were burnt and banned from public. Solzhenitsyn was an incredible critique of the Soviet Communism that claimed millions of lives and the absolute torture that the people had to go through. To burn the books was to stop the people from enlightenment that could reveal the true nature of the system that they depend on.

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On numerous occasions, politics has controlled the quality of education to serve those holding on to power. But education has massively helped the masses in realizing their right to self-determination. Decolonization was a product of the colonized people learning that they deserve their own economic and political system. Asians and Africans learned democracy from the colonizers and fought them. Nation building too was a product of quality education.

Decolonization was a product of the colonized people learning that they deserve their own economic and political system. Asians and Africans learned democracy from the colonizers and fought them. Nation building too was a product of quality education.

School Children in rural India. Wikimedia

Today, as the society we understand the value of good education. The students expect the quality of education to be premium, and they expect this from the government. The government itself wants the product of education to comply with the political system of the country.

The quality of education varies. It varies locally, domestically and globally. The curriculum may remain standard, but the approach and methodology adopted vary to a great extent.

Here is an interesting story from India. Last year (2016) a ridiculous incident took place. A girl had topped in humanities and arts in the Bihar State Board. During the celebrations and many interviews, she fumbled. She did not even know what Political Science was. Her extravagant marks were fraudulent. The reason behind this? Corruption, political contacts and the absolute mockery of education.

After that an inquiry was done and ‘sufficient measures’ were taken to avoid this kind of neglect on the part of Education Ministry. The result? This year 2017, only 35% children passed the Bihar State Board Examination. 65% failed!

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The reason for highlighting this incident is to highlight the status of education quality. Children were passing through fraud. And when that approach failed, they failed. It highlights that marks are the ultimate aim of the student. Can it be the fault of the education policies?

Indian political system is often in disagreement with its universities. In the past three years, we have seen many events that highlighted the conflict between the central government and university students.

Presently, there is a debate on ‘moderation policy’ of central examination board that quite seriously had the students and parents sweat and stress unnecessarily. Just before the nationwide announcement of the result, a political debate started whether grace marks should be allowed or not. Just days before the result!

Students are seen participating in politics, USA. VOA news

In the USA, students are often worried about the student loans that they take for higher studies and the little scope that they have of paying it back. Students at large are demanding that interest on student loans be dropped. The university students are well active in political debates and social justice movements happening on college campuses.

The responsibility to provide good quality of education is with the government. This includes everything from policies to equality, and to combine it with further scope of employment. Education must make good leaders. After all, we are the ‘Young Turks’.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Global Education Services of Manipal University to offer master’s degree in Cyber Security and Data Sciences

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Cyber security, VOA

Bengaluru, April 13, 2017: Global Education Services of Manipal University would offer post-graduation course (Master’s degree) in cyber security and data sciences from the academic year 2017-2018 at its centre of excellence here, said an official on Wednesday.

The varsity has tied up with Deakin University of Australia to offer the post-graduation courses and short and long-term training programmes in the specialised subjects.

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“The tie-up with Deakin ushers an era of education partnership and a strong university relationship,” said Manipal University Vice-Chancellor H. Vinod Bhat on the occasion.

The joint agreement was signed by Manipal Group Vice-President A.P. Ramabhadran and Deakin Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander here.

The Group’s Data Science and Cyber Security Centre of Excellence will be set up soon in the Electronics City on the southern outskirts of this tech hub.

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The agreement envisages solving sector specific big data problems, developing knowledge and practices in complex problems and bringing methodological consistency relevant to the Indian context.

“The centre will work with solutions of the pattern recognition and data analytics centre at Deakin to solve analytics challenges faced in healthcare, IT and banking financial services and insurance (BFSI) sectors,” said Ramabhadran in a statement.

The centre will also investigate and address problems in key technology areas in the Indian ecosystem spanning health, insurance, banking, security and education.

“The courses are designed to get hands-on experience in sectors like BFSI, IT and manufacturing which are prone to threats,” added Hollander. (IANS)

 

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Americans shall not have expectations of “absolute privacy” : FBI Director

The Federal Bureau of Investigation chief also said that he planned to finish his term leading the agency

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FBI, VOA

Washington, March 9, 2017: FBI Director James Comey warned that Americans should not have expectations of “absolute privacy” after the disclosure of a range of hacking tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach,” Comey said at a Boston College conference on cyber security on Wednesday.

He made the remark as he discussed the rise of encryption since 2013 disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about sensitive US spy practices, CNN reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation chief also said that he planned to finish his term leading the agency, CNN reported.

“Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America… In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications,” Comey said.

But, he also said Americans “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes, in our cars, in our devices”.

“It is a vital part of being an American. The government cannot invade our privacy without good reason, reviewable in court,” Comey said.

Fresh concerns over personal privacy arose after WikiLeaks published what it called the first tranche of a larger body of data about CIA hacking, which it says was provided to the organisation by a whistleblower seeking to trigger a debate on the issue.

The CIA said it would not comment on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks material but issued a statement pointing out it was legally prohibited from using such surveillance tools in the US.

“The CIA’s mission is to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries. It is CIA’s job to be innovative, cutting-edge, and the first line of defence in protecting this country from enemies abroad. America deserves nothing less,” the statement said.

There is anxiety in Washington that the WikiLeaks release of what it called its “Vault 7” trove of data would make the hacking tools available to criminal or terrorist organisations, or foreign governments, according to reports.

Comey said that in the last four months of 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lawfully gained access to 2,800 devices recovered in criminal, terrorism and counter-intelligence investigations and the agency was unable to open 43 per cent of those devices.

Americans’ desire for privacy and security should never be viewed as incompatible, he said.

“We all value privacy. We all value security. We should never have to sacrifice one for the other,” Comey said.

“Our founders struck a bargain that is at the center of this amazing country of ours and has been for over two centuries.” (IANS)