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Social Media Giant Facebook Announces First Browser API for Google Chrome

"We hope to continue driving new APIs and to ramp up our contributions to open source web browsers,”

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FILE - An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

Social networking giant Facebook has announced its first major API contribution to Googles Chrome browser that is focused on making user experience smoother and faster shortening the time between a click or keystroke and the browser reacting to that.

In computer programming, API is a set of functions and procedures that supports the creation of applications which later access features or data that is part of an operating system (OS), application or other service.

“We are excited to share that the ‘Chrome 74’ release will include the origin trial for our ‘isInputPending’ API. We hope to take developer feedback from this trial and use it to make the case for fully shipping the API,” Nate Schloss and Andrew Comminos, software engineers at Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Monday.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

This process of bringing its own API to the Chrome browser marks the new method of developing web standards at the company.

According to the post, Facebook’s “isInputPending” API is now part of a larger effort to build scheduling primitives into the web.

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The social networking giant would make trial of its new API on Chrome available for developers who “are looking to get rid of queuing delays and improve interaction and loading performance”.

“We hope to continue driving new APIs and to ramp up our contributions to open source web browsers,” Schloss and Comminos said. (IANS)

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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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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.

Also Read: Here Are Some Life Lessons That We Can Learn From Freedom Fighters this Republic Day

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)