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Google, Dish to Launch a Fourth Wireless Carrier in US

Meanwhile, carrier majors Sprint and T-Mobile are struggling with their $26.5 billion merger as there are three final hurdles to clear

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Reacting to this, Google said it only transcribes and uses "about 0.2 per cent of all audio clips", to improve their voice recognition technology. VOA

Search engine giant Google is exploring to help create a fourth wireless carrier in the US, even as carrier majors Sprint and T-Mobile battle to get their merger cleared with federal and state authorities.

According to Alan Mulally, a former chief executive at Ford Motor and a current Alphabet director, the company has recently been in discussions with satellite-TV giant Dish Network about a plan to create a fourth US telecom player, the New York Post reported on Sunday citing sources.

“The idea is for Alphabet-owned Google and Dish to launch a new wireless giant with the help of assets acquired from T-Mobile, which is now under pressure from the Department of Justice to aid such a project in order to get clearance for its $26 billion merger with Sprint, according to sources close to the situation,” the report added.

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Meanwhile, carrier majors Sprint and T-Mobile are struggling with their $26.5 billion merger as there are three final hurdles to clear. Wikimedia Commons

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However, the Internet giant has reportedly dismissed the claims. “Google is not having any conversations with Dish about creating a wireless network” the New York Post quoted a Google spokesman as saying who declined to comment whether Mulally was speaking to Dish.

Meanwhile, carrier majors Sprint and T-Mobile are struggling with their $26.5 billion merger as there are three final hurdles to clear. One is approval from the California Public Utilties Commission, another is a lawsuit filed by 14 state attorneys general in an attempt to block the deal, and the third bar to clear is obtaining Justice Department approval, according to the PhoneArena. (IANS)

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Google Remove Stalker Apps That were Available on its Play Store

In April, Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious. In 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has removed seven stalker apps that were available on its Play Store as apps for children’s safety or finding stolen phones but were being used to stalk employees, romantic partners or kids.

The apps were able to track the surveilled person’s location, collect their contacts, SMS and call history.

Mobile threat researchers at anti-virus company Avast detected the apps on Google Play Store that were all likely designed by a Russian developer.

Avast reported these apps to Google which then removed them from the Play Store.

The apps have been installed a combined 130,000 times, with the most-installed apps being Spy Tracker, and SMS Tracker, both with more than 50,000 installs.

“These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store,” Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast’s head of mobile threat intelligence and security, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“They promote criminal behaviour, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. We classify such apps as stalkerware,” he added.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

It’s hard to tell if your device has stalkerware installed on it as you will not see an app icon on your smartphone.

The apps require the person to have access to the phone they want to spy on. The person can download the apps from the Google Play Store and install them on the target device.

The app then prompts the person who installed the app to enter their email address and password. The spying app is sent there.

“Upon setup, there is no app icon, so the targeted person does not see any sign of the stalkerware app installed on their phone,” said Avast.

For example, the description of “Spy Tracker” app on Google Play read: “Find out more about your child’s life, interests, friends and plans. Parents are responsible for every step that their kids make. So this app is created to monitor them and protect them from dangers that can be revealed via cell phone.”

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According to SMS Tracker, “our app will help you monitor work time of your employees to save time and save money. Notify the users of work phones that you are going to install the app. It will teach your employees to use their time at work wisely, to reduce time spent on messengers and arrive to work in time”.

In April, Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious. In 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices. (IANS)