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More than Half the Global Population remains Unconnected to Internet, says United Nations Report

This year, 84 percent of the world's population had access to mobile broadband networks, but only 47 percent were actually connected

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More than half the global population remains unconnected to the internet, according to a United Nations report released Tuesday. This year, 84 percent of the world's population had access to mobile broadband networks, but only 47 percent were actually connected, mostly because high costs were a barrier to either service or owning a mobile device, according to the report by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The report analyzes information and communication technology, or ICT, development. The report noted, however, that the cost of mobile cellular plans has decreased steeply since 2015, noting a 20 percent fall in prices across countries it deemed "least developed." Broadband prices are also down, although they remained significantly high and "clearly unaffordable" in a number of the least developed countries. Progress was also noted for general connectivity, with nearly all of 175 countries covered by the index having improved their values on the ICT Development Index. The U.N. stressed the importance of internet and mobile access across the world, but also how ICT can be an indicator of education levels and socioeconomic status. "To bring more people online, it is important to focus on reducing overall socioeconomic inequalities," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "Education and income levels are strong determinants of whether or not people use the internet. ICTs will be essential in meeting each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals," he added, referring to a number of goals set by the U.N. to tackle poverty and inequality by 2030. VOA
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Nov 24, 2016: More than half the global population remains unconnected to the internet, according to a United Nations report released Tuesday.

This year, 84 percent of the world’s population had access to mobile broadband networks, but only 47 percent were actually connected, mostly because high costs were a barrier to either service or owning a mobile device, according to the report by the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The report analyzes information and communication technology, or ICT, development.

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[bctt tweet=”The cost of mobile cellular plans has decreased steeply since 2015.” username=””]

The report noted, however, that the cost of mobile cellular plans has decreased steeply since 2015, noting a 20 percent fall in prices across countries it deemed “least developed.” Broadband prices are also down, although they remained significantly high and “clearly unaffordable” in a number of the least developed countries.

Progress was also noted for general connectivity, with nearly all of 175 countries covered by the index having improved their values on the ICT Development Index.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

The U.N. stressed the importance of internet and mobile access across the world, but also how ICT can be an indicator of education levels and socioeconomic status.

“To bring more people online, it is important to focus on reducing overall socioeconomic inequalities,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “Education and income levels are strong determinants of whether or not people use the internet. ICTs will be essential in meeting each and every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” he added, referring to a number of goals set by the U.N. to tackle poverty and inequality by 2030. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?