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Google’s Sundar Pichai supports Apple against cracking shooter’s phone

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Washington: Indian American Chief Executive of Google, Sundar Pichai supported the rival Apple in its battle aginst a court order which will help the FBI access information on the encrypted iPhone used by a Pakistani-American shooter couple in San Bernardino.

Pichai on Wednesday directed followers to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s open letter Tuesday night arguing that helping the FBI try to get into the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook would sabotage the security of “tens of millions of American citizens.”

Farook and his Pakistani origin wife, Tashfeen Malik, gunned down 14 people at a social services agency Dec 2 in San Bernardino, California, before being killed in a shootout with police.

FBI Director James Comey said last week that investigators still haven’t been able to get at the information on Farook’s iPhone 5c.

A Riverside, California court Tuesday directed Apple to help FBI crack the phone by developing software to hack into one of its own devices.

In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Pichai argued that even that would essentially put tech companies in the position of hacking their own customers:

1/5 Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy.

2/5 We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism

3/5 We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders 4/5

But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent

5/5 Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue

The government, Cook contends, is asking Apple to create a “backdoor” to its own security systems.

“Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them,” Cook wrote in a letter published on the company’s website.

“But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

Reacting to Cook’s stand, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he was floored that Apple had not volunteered to aid the FBI. “Who do they think they are?” he asked on Fox News.

Speaking to reporters in South Carolina, Senator Marco Rubio said he hoped the tech giant would voluntarily comply with the government’s request, but acknowledged the court order is far from a simple issue.(IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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Pay Utility Bills With Google ‘Tez’

After users have linked their account, for most utility bills Tez would automatically fetch any available bills

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Google india launches 'Tz' to help people pay their utility bills. Wikimedia Commons
Google india launches 'Tez' to help people pay their utility bills. Wikimedia Commons
  • Now people can pay their bills via Google
  • Google India has launched new app ‘Tez’
  • Through this app, now people can pay utility bills online

Google India on Monday announced that people can now pay water, electricity, DTH and mobile bills with its “Tez” digital payment app without any transaction charges.

Now pay utility bills with google's Tez. Wikimedia Commons
Now, pay utility bills with google’s Tez. Wikimedia Commons

Built on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the “Tez” app will bring bill payments for over 80 billers for private and public utility service providers across the country.

“We are adding a specially-designed bill pay experience in ‘Tez’ which will enable users to make a wide range of bill payments, including electricity, water, gas, DTH and insurance from the app,” said Diana Layfield, Vice President, Payments and Commerce, Next Billion Users at Google.

The new bill pay feature would include major utilities like Reliance Energy, BSES and Dish TV and would cover all states and major metros.

Also Read: Google discloses security flaw in Microsoft Edge

Built to support “Bharat BillPay” system, “Tez” would send users a notification when their bill arrives and users would be able to check whether they have paid a bill by simply tapping the biller’s name on their “Tez” home screen.

Users would also be able to view all past payments grouped by bill, as well as manage bills from multiple accounts.

Customers can now pay bills using that app. Pixabay
Customers can now pay bills using that app. Pixabay

Once users have located their biller, they need to enter the number associated with their account to link it to the app and give it an easy name to remember.

After users have linked their account, for most utility bills, the app would automatically fetch any available bills. Users need to just tap on “New Payment” and then “Pay your bills”. IANS