Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Indian citizen held in Pakistan for espionage

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Peshawar: Indian Citizen, Hamid Nehal Ansari has been jailed for three years for entering Pakistan illegally to meet his Pakistani girlfriend three years ago. He was caught for espionage.

A military court in Kohat city passed the sentence over the weekend in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. According to a recent report, he has been shifted to the Peshawar Central Prison and also has a right to appeal.

Hamid, who is 31 years of age and is a teacher at a Mumbai management college, confessed to illegally enter Pakistan from Afgha­nistan for espionage.

He was also reported to be found with “sensitive documents”. According to Dawn quoted unnamed officials, Ansari had seven Facebook accounts as well as around 30 email IDs.

Last month, the Pakistan defence ministry informed the Peshawar High Court that Ansari was in army custody and would face court martial.

After that, a two-member bench on January 13 disposed off a habeas corpus petition filed by Fauzia Ansari, the Indian’s mother, against his alleged illegal detention.

According to the recent reports, he was arrested in November 2012 and until last month his whereabouts were unknown.

His mother has also claimed that Ansari was in touch with a Pakistani girl who encouraged him to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan without the visa. She also said both became friends over social media and had gone to Pakistan to meet her.

Ansari’s lawyer earlier sent an application to the Pakistan Supreme Court’s Human Rights Cell, which forwarded the case to the Commi­ssion of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

The Commission had on April 10, 2014, directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home Department to set up a joint investigation team to trace Ansari.

He also told the police to register an FIR about his disappearance.(IANS)

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UK Parliamentary Report Highlights Facebook Acting as ‘Digital Gangsters’

The report highlights Facebook documents obtained by the committee relating to a Californian court case brought by US-based app developer Six4Three.

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Lashing out at Facebook for behaving like “digital gangsters” in the online world, a UK parliamentary committee concluded that the social networking giant intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws.

In its final report on Monday after an 18-month investigation into disinformation and “fake news”, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee of the UK Parliament called for stricter regulation to make Facebook end spread of disinformation on its platform.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use everyday,” Damian Collins, Chair of the DCMS Committee, said in a statement.

The report highlights Facebook documents obtained by the committee relating to a Californian court case brought by US-based app developer Six4Three.

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The now-defunct start-up Six4Three alleged that Facebook collected information on users and their friends through its apps. Pixabay

Through scrutiny of internal Facebook emails between 2011 and 2015, the report found evidence to indicate that the company was willing to override its users’ privacy settings in order to transfer data to some app developers.

The investigation found that Facebook was willing to charge high prices in advertising to some developers, for the exchange of data, and starve some developers – such as Six4Three – of that data, contributing to them losing their business.

The now-defunct start-up Six4Three alleged that Facebook collected information on users and their friends through its apps.

The report also named Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who refused summons to appear before the committee three times.

“By choosing not to appear before the Committee and by choosing not to respond personally to any of our invitations, Mark Zuckerberg has shown contempt towards both the UK Parliament and the ‘International Grand Committee’, involving members from nine legislatures from around the world,” the report said.

 

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The report also named Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who refused summons to appear before the committee three times. Pixabay

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies,” Collins said.

Launched in 2017, the inquiry intensified after the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal became public.

 

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In the 108-page report, the UK lawmakers accused Facebook of continuing to prioritise shareholders’ profits over users’ privacy rights.

“We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform,” Karim Palant, Facebook’s UK public policy manager, was quoted as saying by The Guardian. (IANS)