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No decision yet to bring Facebook, Twitter servers in India: Government

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Keeping the security threat in mind related to unlawful content on the internet, the central government has decided not to set up the servers of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in India, despite a large number of people using these websites.

“The government has not decided to get servers of popular social networking sites, like Hike, Facebook, Twitter, etc. established within the country,” Communications and IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The government regularly interacts with these social media giants to resolve the issues of unlawful content surfacing from time to time on Internet, said Prasad.  He said that the security agencies are facing problem while dealing with encrypted communications administered by various service providers. World over service providers are administering services like WhatAapp, Viber, WeChat, Skype, Yahoo, Gmail  for sharing audio, video, image, data, and accessing other web services anytime and anywhere in a secure manner.

Prasad added that the security of these services is achieved through encryption technology, and the citizens from all over the world are mostly availing these services. “At times these services may also be used by anti-national and criminal elements, which pose a security threat,” the Minister said. The government had ordered all the telecom service providers to provide the lawful inception and monitoring details to the security agencies for all the services including WhatsApp, Viber etc., he added.

The lawful interception facilities provided by the telecom operators are helping the security agencies to intercept these encrypted communication services, but they are not able to decrypt some of encrypted intercepted communication to readable format.

“There are multifarious aspects involved in security enforcement agencies getting such encrypted communication in readable format such as technical, international relationship, legal and regulatory policy, commercial and security requirements etc.,” Prasad added.

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Facebook Tracking Location Data of Users Who Threaten its Employees

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

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Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties. Pixabay

Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

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Facebook CEO receives threatening comments from users.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. “That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

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Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. Pixabay

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Facebook Negotiating Multi-billion Dollar Fine With US Agency: Report

“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement. (IANS)