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Pakistani Journalist barred from leaving the Country for Reporting on Civil-Military Spat

A Dawn newspaper reporter who reported major differences between Pakistan's civilian and military leadership has been barred from leaving the country

Newspaper. Representational image. Pixabay

October 11, 2016: A Dawn newspaper reporter who reported major differences between Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership has been barred from leaving the country, the daily reported on Tuesday.

After a third denial of the October 6 story by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Dawn said that staff writer Cyril Almeida had been put on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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The ECL is a system of border control maintained by Islamabad. People on the list are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.

“I am told and have been informed and have been shown evidence that I am on the Exit Control List,” Almeida tweeted.

His contentious report said that Pakistan’s civilian leadership had bluntly told the military to act against militants or face international isolation amid strained India-Pakistan ties.

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A statement from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Office said that the contents of the report were “a fabrication”. It was the third denial from the Prime Minister’s Office, Dawn said.

The Prime Minister’s Office contended that the report included “inaccurate and misleading contents which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts”.

Dawn said on Tuesday that it considered it a sacred oath to its readers to pursue its reporting fairly, independently and, above all, accurately.

“The story that has been rejected by Prime Minister’s Office as a fabrication was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.

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“Second, many at the helm of affairs are aware of the senior officials, and participants (at) the meeting, who were contacted by the newspaper for collecting information, and more than one source confirmed and verified the details.

“Therefore, the elected government and state institutions should refrain from targeting the messenger and scape-goating the country’s most respected newspaper in a malicious campaign.” (IANS)

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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?