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Why Does Trump Separate Families, A Policy Or A Law?

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection

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In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018.
In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018. VOA

The Trump administration at least since April has been separating children and parents who enter the United States illegally at the border — that much is supported by the numbers. But much of everything else surrounding the practice has become mired in confusion.

Here is what we know:

In recent weeks, news stories of children in detention centers have circulated more widely, and the numbers of detained children have grown.

Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters Friday that between April 19 and May 31 of this year, nearly 2,000 (1,995) children were separated from their parents or other adults with whom they were traveling.

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection shows what appears to be humane conditions at a shelter site for children, but many worry that this video, the only video that has been released from within one of the detention centers, may not accurately depict them.

A policy or a law?

As criticism over the separation of parents and children at the border grows, the Trump administration has struggled to explain the policy.

Trump, himself, said the practice is the result of a law passed by Democrats, which has forced his administration into separating parents and children.

But there is no such law.

Rather in May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, which means that those detained entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged. This approach generally leads to children being separated from their parents because the law requires it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center's annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018, VOA

On Sunday, senior policy adviser to the Trump administration Stephen Miller told The New York Times that the crackdown “was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period.”

Administration officials, including Miller and Sessions, have defended the separation of families, saying that having children does not exempt anyone from the consequences of breaking the law.

“If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we’re going to prosecute you. … If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions told a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.

The administration has said the new practice is directed at combating a “surge” of unlawful border crossings. But the “surge” appears to be numbers marking a return-to-normal after a dip last year.

Not a new idea

Though the practice of treating all people who cross the border unlawfully as subject to criminal prosecution is new under the Trump administration, it is built on existing policies from the Bush and Obama administrations.

Amid a surge of unlawful migration from Central America to the United States in 2014, the Obama administration considered many plans to deter illegal border crossings, including separating parents and children. Ultimately, Obama decided against separations but did expand the detention of immigrant families. New facilities were opened along the border, which held women and children for long periods of time before their cases were processed.

Following widespread criticism after photos of detained women and children, accompanied by testimonies of people being held for extended periods, a federal judge in Washington effectively ruled that asylum-seeking mothers could not be held for longer than 20 days, leading to what has been called a “catch and release” system where adults were released with GPS ankle monitors tracking their movements until their cases could be heard in court.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.
=U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018. VOAU.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.VOA

But this “catch and release” system has been heavily criticized by Trump and his administration.

Also read: Trump Launched A New Attack On Mueller Probe In Russia

“This get out of jail free card for families and groups who pose as families has spread,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “The word of this has spread. The smugglers and traffickers know these loopholes better than our members of Congress. I’m sad to say that from October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country. This must stop,” she said. (VOA)

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Hire Hackers To Safeguard Your Data

Here's how hiring hackers can help you safeguard your data

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Hackers have become an invaluable extension of the most trusted security teams. Pixabay

At a time when cyber attacks on businesses across industries are multiplying as they go digital, joining hacker-powered bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programmes is the key to minimise such incidents and safeguard your key data, a top cyber security officer said on Tuesday.

Hacker-powered security is a technique that utilises collaboration with the hacker community to find unknown security vulnerabilities and reduce security risk. Popular examples include bug bounty programmes and vulnerability disclosure policies.

“Hackers have become an invaluable extension of the most trusted security teams, on a mission to find what others may have missed or could not see,” Alex Rice, Chief Technology Officer, HackerOne told IANS.

San Francisco-based HackerOne is a vulnerability coordination and bug bounty platform that connects businesses with cybersecurity researchers.

It develops bug bounty solutions to help organizations reduce the risk of a security incident by working with the world’s largest community of ethical hackers.

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Goldman Sachs is works with hackers to identify vulnerabilities in their consumer websites. Pixabay

Back in May 2018, Goldman Sachs became the first investment bank to launch a vulnerability disclosure policy.

“In the first year of their programme, more than 23 vulnerabilities, each representing real-world risk to their customers and data, were safely resolved,” Rice noted.

Today, Goldman Sachs is working with hackers to identify vulnerabilities in their consumer websites.

“On average, their internal security team has resolved vulnerability reports within two months, and have responded to bug reports in as little as one minute, further resolving reports within one hour,” said Rice who co-founded HackerOne in 2012.

Food delivery platform Zomato has paid more than $100,000 (over Rs 70 lakh) to 435 hackers to date for finding and fixing bugs on its platform.

With the help of HackerOne’s bug bounty programme since July 2017, Zomato has successfully resolved 775 vulnerabilities report.

“Zomato security team is tasked with protecting sensitive information for over 55 million unique monthly visitors,” said HackerOne.

Hackers are no longer anonymous guns-for-hire. They are being embraced by everyone — from the insurance industry to government agencies.

In August, HackerOne revealed that hackers earned $21 million in just a year reporting vulnerabilities via various bug bounty opportunities as governments’ efforts to fix malware increased a whopping 214 per cent globally.

According to Rice, research continues to show us that most breaches occur from basic lapses in security hygiene.

“It is important that organisations have layered defences, and use basic cyber hygiene principles such as multi-factor authentication and password best practices, followed by a security programme that focuses on covering your entire attack surface,” Rice told IANS.

Software is eating the world and software has bugs.

“All organisations — financial institutions, healthcare organisations, e-commerce companies, big box stores, media companies, practically anyone — are going digital and are equally at risk. We’re all in this together and are more alike than we realize,” he maintained.

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Zomato has paid more than $100,000 (over Rs 70 lakh) to 435 hackers to date for finding and fixing bugs on its platform. Pixabay

On the bright side, the number of hacker-powered security programmes is rapidly growing all over the world.

According to HackerOne’s “2019 Hacker-Powered Security Report”, Latin America saw record growth of 41 per cent over the previous year and Asia Pacific grew 30 per cent.

Today, six of the top 10 financial services organisations in North America, and companies like Goldman Sachs, PayPal and Lending Club, are working with HackerOne.

Rice said that in terms of vulnerabilities, it’s really important that organisations have an efficient system in place to identify vulnerabilities and apply patches in a timely manner.

“Unpatched machines are still the most common attack vector for cybercriminals. Outside of basic hygiene practices such as applying timely security updates, the most effective means of doing so is to leverage the power of the friendly hacker community or what we call ‘hacker-powered security’,” Rice noted.

To tackle cyber attacks from nation-state bad actors, government agencies around the world are launching bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure programmes – like the European Commission, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, Singaporean Government Technology Agency, the US Department of Defense, including the Army, the Air Force and the Marine Corp.

Also Read- Cyber Threat Landscape To Worsen In 2020

In 2018, the number of hacker-powered security programmes in the federal government sector grew an impressive 214 per cent, according to HackerOne. (IANS)