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Online Advertising CEO of Arrested on Sex Trafficking Charges in Texas, US

CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested on a California warrant after arriving in Houston, Texas, on a flight from Amsterdam

This photo released by the Texas Office of the Attorney General shows Carl Ferrer. VOA

October 7, 2016: Police in Texas have arrested the CEO of online advertising website and raided the company’s offices on charges of prostitution and sex trafficking.

CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested on a California warrant after arriving in Houston, Texas, on a flight from Amsterdam. California Attorney General Kamala Harris accused Ferrer and his partners of setting up “the world’s top online brothel” and aiding criminals who used the site to advertise prostitutes.

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“Raking in millions of dollars from the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable victims is outrageous, despicable and illegal,” Harris said in a statement. is primarily used to host advertisements for adult escorts but is also used to advertise goods, services and jobs.

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Internal revenue reports obtained by the attorney general’s office show made 99 percent of its revenue between January 2013 and March 2015 from its “adult” advertisements, according to the statement. During that time, the company made around $51 million in revenue just in the state of California.

The charges came after a three-year investigation, in which the California Department of Justice used undercover agents to set up meetings with people who advertised in the “escort” section to confirm the meetings were arranged for commercial sex.

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Ferrer, along with Michael Lacey and James Larkin, controlling shareholders of Backpage, were all charged with conspiracy to commit pimping, a felony. Ferrer also received charges for pimping a minor, as some of the prostitution ads were for victims younger than 18, according to Harris’ office. (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 comes up with a new feature

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?