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US Department of Justice Demands Account Details of Facebook Users who ‘Liked’ Anti-Trump Pages

The administration claims it needs the information in connection to an examination concerning and persecution of activists captured in Washington DC as President Trump was confirmed as President

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Department of Justice
The Department of Justice has obtained search warrants; one of which was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump's inauguration (VOA).

Washington, September 29, 2017 : The Department of Justice has obtained court orders that could reveal data about a huge number of individuals who extended support to a resistance page on Facebook. The search warrants would allow government lawyers to access Facebook accounts operated by protesters against American president Donald Trump.

The Department of Justice has sought orders to acquire the passwords, personal messages, comments, status updates, photos and additionally, the deleted posts of two individual activists – Lacy MacAuley and Legba Carrefour, along with information about over 6,000 users who ‘liked’ an anti-Trump page on Facebook.

One of the three warrants was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump’s inauguration.

The administration claims it needs the information in connection to an examination concerning and persecution of activists captured in Washington DC as President Trump was confirmed as President on 20 January 2017. Thus, it has asked for data between November 2, seven days before the presidential decision, and February 9.

While the Facebook page is open to the public, executive Emmelia Talarico was quoted by CNN as saying that the Trump organization would have the capacity to get to the “private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page” if details of the account are turned over.

ALSO READ Zuckerberg Responds to Trump’s Allegations, says Facebook was Never Against You

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is fighting the warrants in court, described the requests as “a gross invasion of privacy”.

Lacy MacAuley also asserted that the page had details of her personal life and of people associated with it that the federal government need not know. “The primary purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to prevent this type of exploratory rummaging through a person’s private information” she said.

At the moment, none of the three activists in question have been charged with any offence in relation to Inauguration Day.

Previously, the Department of Justice had also attempted to arrange a web-host supplier to reveal the the IP addresses of 1.3 million individuals who went to the DisruptJ20.org site. However, this was quashed by Dream Host, the web facilitating organization.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : SohaKala

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No one Would Buy a Huawei Smartphone Sans Google or Facebook

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle

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FILE - A member of the media tries out new Huawei Honor 20 series of phones following their global launch in London, UK, May 21, 2019. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Be honest and ask yourself: Would you buy a smartphone that neither supports Android operating system and Google apps nor comes pre-installed with Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram? This is the scenario which Huawei (and its sub-brand Honor) smartphones stare at in the near future – and an imminent fall if the issue does not get resolved in the next one-two quarters.

Although the Chinese communications giant aims to launch its own operating system called “Hongmeng” to replace the Android OS on its smartphones but ‘abhi Dilli door hai’ as the OS has to see the light of the day and then users’ approval, which is the most critical part.

The absence of apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that truly define user experiences is a double whammy for Huawei.

Currently the second largest smartphone player in the world (powered by stupendous growth in non-US regions like Europe and Asia), Huawei has sensed the tough road ahead. A recent report in Nikkei Asian Review claimed that Huawei has “downgraded its forecast for total smartphone shipments in the second half of 2019 by about 20 per cent to 30 per cent from the previous estimate”.

According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Devices and Ecosystem, India and South Asia, IDC, almost half of Huawei’s smartphone volumes come from outside China with its wide smartphone portfolio which runs on Android with Google Mobile Services (GMS) – a collection of Google applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) that help support functionality across devices.

“China has its own ecosystem of apps which are hugely popular but only in China. Outside it, almost all popular Android apps are from Google or from US-based companies. These apps are the heart of experience of any smartphone user these days,” Singh told IANS.

“Without these apps present on its own OS, it will be very very tough for Huawei to pull in demand for its phones running on its own OS,” he added.

Sandwiched between the ongoing US-China trade war, Chinese telecom equipment major Huawei is frantically looking to salvage its prestige and fast cover the lost ground.

The company is also looking at the Indian smartphone market which has touched 450 million smartphone users and has a great potential to grow.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

“In India, they have never been really able to scale up to be a major player. But considering the growth potential in India, the decision by Google and Facebook has put a spanner in the Huawei’s possible aggressive plans for the country as the next growth market in next two-three years outside of China,” Singh told IANS.

Huawei pipped Apple as the second largest smartphone seller in the first quarter of 2019 after Samsung. It clocked 17 per cent market share in the global smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese tech giant, meanwhile, has denied reports that it has cut down smartphone manufacturing.

The company, however, is reassessing its target to become the world’s top-selling smartphone vendor by 2020, after the US trade ban was put in place.

On May 15, US President Donald Trump effectively banned Huawei with a national security order.

Huawei has filed a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of the US President Donald Trump’s order to ban it.

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According to reports, Google has also discussed with the US government about an exemption from the Huawei ban, saying it is bad for the company’s technology business.

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle.

Unless, a miracle happens. (IANS)