Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Facebook Removes Several Ads Placed by US Senator, Restores Later

The ads directed users to a petition on Warren's campaign website urging them "to support our plan to break up these big tech companies."

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Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Facebook removed several ads placed by US Senator and Democratic candidate for President Elizabeth Warren on its platform that called for breaking up tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

According to a report in Politico news on Monday, Facebook later said it has restored the ads that it had taken down.

“We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo. In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Warren tweeted after Facebook removed the ads.

“Curious why I think FB has too much power? Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power.

“Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor,” she tweeted.

facebook, iphone, new york
FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

The ads announced her plans to unwind “anti-competitive” tech mergers, including Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.

“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google,” read Warren’s ads.

Stressing that tech giants have too much influence over our lives, Massachusetts Senator Warren also said she wanted Apple to surrender control over the iOS App Store or cease selling its own apps within it.

Also Read- Micro-blogging App Twitter Testing Prototype App ‘Twttr’ with New Features

The ads directed users to a petition on Warren’s campaign website urging them “to support our plan to break up these big tech companies.”

The Democratic Senator, who recently launched her 2020 presidential bid, is in favour of passing laws that prevent large e-commerce platforms with a global annual revenue of $25 billion or more, from owning both the platform and any sellers on it.

“This would not be the first time in US history that this kind of arrangement had to be broken up,” Warren stressed, comparing the tech majors to the railroad barons who dominated the US commerce during the 19th and early 20th centuries. (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.

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)