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Fear of being tracked is forcing People to use IP obfuscation Tools: Study

Perceived threats from other individuals, groups of people and governments are forcing internet users to turn to IP obfuscation tools

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Internet, (Representational image). Pixabay
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October 16, 2016: Perceived threats from other individuals, groups of people and governments are forcing internet users to turn to IP obfuscation tools, such as the onion router, says a study.

“The most common concern voiced by participants was a fear that their online communication or activities may be accessed or logged by parties without their knowledge or consent,” according to the authors.

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This threat, which became very real for many Americans after Edgar Snowden revealed the extent of the National Security Agencies surveillance and monitoring practices, has been ever-present for users in other countries for some time.

More recently, an investigation by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California found that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provided user data access to a developer of a social media monitoring product that helped police monitor racially charged protests in Baltimore, Maryland.

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The new study led by researchers at Drexel University set out to gather the stories of people working on collaborative projects online — like editing Wikipedia — and concerned about their privacy and taking steps to protect it.

The researchers interviewed 23 people, from seven countries ranging in age from 18-41, who either use anonymity tactics or consider how to protect their privacy while participating in open collaborations, like Wikipedia.

Twelve of them access the internet for online collaborations using Tor software to mask their IP address, which means the location of their computer cannot be ascertained and logged by the sites they visit.

People who want to be online without being traced have been using Tor — the onion router — for more than a decade. While it has the reputation of being a service for people to do nefarious deeds online, many reporters and political dissidents turned to the anonymity network following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s invasive online monitoring activities.

The study’s central finding is that perceived threats from other individuals, groups of people and governments are substantial enough to force users below the radar in order to protect their reputation, themselves, and their families.

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“Wikipedia editors are volunteers who are trying to build a comprehensive free information resource for everyone on the planet. Tor users are often not seen in those positive ways. But these two organisations are actually committed to the same things — a free global exchange of information with everyone able to participate,” said lead author of the study Andrea Forte, Associate Professor in Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics.

The study, entitled “Privacy, Anonymity, and Perceived Risk in Open Collaboration: A Study of Tor Users and Wikipedians,” was published in advance of its presentation at the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing to be held in Portland, Oregon in February, 2017. (IANS)

 

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)