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In Pakistan, man jailed for 13 years over ‘Facebook hate speech’

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Lahore: In a shocking case, a man in Pakistan has been sent to prison for 13 years by an anti-terrorism court for allegedly posting ‘sectarian hate speech’ on Facebook, a move that drew flak from rights activist.

32-year-old Saqlain Haidar, a Shia Muslim and an hotelier in the city of Chiniot in Pakistani Punjab was also fined Rs 250, 000 for “posting hateful material against companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)”, an official of the Counter Terrorism Department said while requesting anonymity, The Express Tribune reported.

Confirming the incident, local counter-terrorism official Abdul Majeed said, “The convict was arrested on October 27 after locals complained about him and he was charged for spreading sectarian hatred under various clauses of the anti-terrorism act.”

Bytes for All, a human rights group, expressed its deep concern over Haidar’s case.

“We are extremely concerned that an anti-terrorism court has been used to hear a case apparently related to online speech rather than to any violent activities.”

Ironically, banned terrorist groups like the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi continue to spread hatred on social media without any fear.

It was the first time someone was convicted for posting ‘sectarian material’ on Facebook, but that blasphemy charges were often brought against social media users, Bytes for All added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Stored Users’ Passwords in ‘Readable’ Form

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook on Thursday said it has fixed a security issue wherein millions of its users’ passwords were stored in plain text and “readable” format for years and according to reports, were searchable by thousands of its employees.

The report by KrebsOnSecurity claimed on Thursday around 200-600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees.

In a blog post later, Facebook said as part of a routine security review in January, it found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable.

“We have fixed these issues and as a precaution will be notifying everyone whose passwords we found stored this way,” wrote Pedro Canahuati, VP Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook.

The company, however, said these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook.

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

“We have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify this to hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are telling people so that they can change passwords if they choose,” Facebook tweeted.

Also Read- EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

Earlier this month, Facebook came under scrutiny for using phone numbers provided for security reasons — like two-factor authentication (2FA) — for things like advertising and making users searchable by their phone numbers across its different platforms.

“Consider enabling a security key or two-factor authentication to protect your Facebook account using codes from a third party authentication app. When you log in with your password, we will ask for a security code or to tap your security key to verify that it is you,” Facebook advised. (IANS)