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NRI votes in panchayat, municipal polls can cater to change: Congress

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Panaji: NRIs can participate in democracy in the true sense only after they are allowed to vote in grassroots elections of representative bodies like panchayat and municipalities, Congress Goa unit president Luizinho Faleiro said on Monday.Voting

Faleiro’s statement came at a time when the union law ministry was examining a legal proposal submitted to it by the Election Commission to allow Non-Resident Indians to vote in the state and general elections by proxy voting and using e-ballot facilities.

“Only by participation in grassroots elections like the ones to panchayat bodies and municipalities can NRIs be truly assimilated in the electoral process of our country,” Faleiro told a press conference here.

Faleiro, a member of the Congress Working Committee, his party’s highest decision-making body, also said the party was in the process of filing a public interest litigation to enable NRI Goans to vote in local elections.

elections-polls-evm-voting

He said there were around 2.5 lakh NRI Goans residing in the Gulf region and another approximately 2.5 lakh NRIs from the state who were settled across the globe, mostly in Canada, Portugal, England, France and some African countries.

Addition of these NRI votes to the existing 10 lakh-odd existing vote base in Goa would change the manner in which politics, governance and elections are conducted, he said.

“The NRIs in many ways are more aware of what’s happening in the state than we are and are more eager for things to change for the better,” Faleiro said. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)