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Pakistan Passes Anti-honor Killing Bill: New Law ensures perpetrators will get 25-year Prison Sentence

In July, a social media star, Qandeel Baloch, was strangled and her brother confessed to the crime, citing what he described as Baloch’s “intolerable” behaviour

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FILE - In this picture taken on July 18, 2016, the mother of Pakistani slain social media star Qandeel Baloch mourns besides her dead body in Shah Sadderuddin, Pakistan. Baloch was killed by her brother for what he called “intolerable” behavior. VOA

October 7, 2016: Pakistan passed long-awaited legislation Thursday on so-called “honor killings,” removing a loophole that allowed the killer to go free.

Under the new law, perpetrators will get a mandatory 25-year prison sentence. Previously, killers could be pardoned by the victim’s family and be freed.

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In a statement issued late Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the parliament, civil society activists, academia and media for supporting the landmark passage of the anti-honor killing legislation.

“I urge the entire nation particularly enlightened and progressive voices in the country to support us in successful enforcement of the legislation and catch hold of those who have been targeting women through frivolous customs and practices that have nothing to do with Islam,” Sharif asserted and added: ”There is no honor in honor killing.”

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Human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed in Pakistan each year for allegedly bringing “dishonor” to their families.

In July, a social media star, Qandeel Baloch, was strangled and her brother confessed to the crime, citing what he described as Baloch’s “intolerable” behaviour.

Her death made headlines in local and international media for days, prompting a high-level probe into the killing. (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?