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Facebook Not to Launch Libra Until Regulators are Fully Satisfied

Facebook has reportedly reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US FTC in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations

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facebook, instant games
FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Facebook is not going to launch its digital coin Libra unless regulators are fully satisfied and all necessary approvals are in place.

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020.

According to David Marcus, Head of Calibra who is set to face Senate Banking Committee over Libra concerns on Tuesday, US and state regulators will be involved when it comes to regulating services that offer Libra, reports The Verge.

Facebook is treating Libra as a “payment tool, not an investment”.

States would montior Calibra as a money transmitter, with the US Federal Trade Commission overseeing consumer protections, said Marcus.

“The Libra Association won’t keep personal data beyond basic transaction info and Facebook won’t share Calibra wallet info with the rest of the company,” Engadget quoted Marcus as saying.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has raised “serious concern” over Libra.

Facebook, Libra, Bitcoin
Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee last week, Powell raised serious objections on Facebook cryptocurrency slated to arrive in 2020.

“I just think it cannot go forward without there being broad satisfaction with the way the company has addressed money laundering and other issues,” Powell told the House Financial Services Committee.

“Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability,” Powell added.

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In a letter sent to Facebook executives, US lawmakers have officially asked the social networking giant to cease all development of its Libra cryptocurrency.

Facebook has reportedly reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US FTC in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations.

The report of the $5 billion settlement, the largest ever by the FTC against a tech company over privacy issues after a $22.5 million settlement with Google in 2012. (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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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)