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Facebook Alerts People to Vote on Maharashtra, Haryana Poll Day

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook on Monday activated its election notification feature for India, requesting people to go out and vote for their candidates in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls and post that they have voted.

Voting started in Maharashtra for the 288-Assembly constituencies, while over 1.83 crore voters in BJP-ruled Haryana are to cast their votes to elect the 90-member legislative Assembly.

Facebook began sending notifications from the morning to its over 300 million users in India, saying “get information about voting and share that you’ve voted.”

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The social networking giant in April joined other social media companies in a voluntary code of ethics for the elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

It included measures like a dedicated communications channel for notice and take down after receiving valid legal order, processing of valid requests in the blackout period ahead of voting and voter education efforts.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“Facebook recently launched two new products in India to help people learn about issues they care about and engage with candidates and elected officials in meaningful ways,” Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan said in a blog post.

“Candidate Connect” is designed to give voters accurate information and help people learn more about different candidates.

“Share You Voted” lets people share with friends that they’ve cast their ballots in the elections.

“The products have been customised, based on what we’ve learned from local research, including the community’s desire to hear directly from their candidates,” said Mohan.

Google has also introduced a series of steps to urge the netizens and first-time users in the country to register to vote in the country. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)