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Facebook tells US govt it won't remove encryption
Facebook''s letter came ahead of a Senate Judiciary hearing on encryption.

Facebook tells US govt it won't remove encryption

11 Dec 2019 | 10:51 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has clearly told US Attorney General William Barr that the social networking giant will neither remove encryption from its messaging apps nor will provide law enforcement agencies access to its encrypted services.

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San Francisco, December 11

Facebook has clearly told US Attorney General William Barr that the social networking giant will neither remove encryption from its messaging apps nor will provide law enforcement agencies access to its encrypted services.

"As a company that supports 2.7 billion users around the world, it is our responsibility to use the very best technology available to protect their privacy. Encrypted messaging is the leading form of online communication and the vast majority of the billions of online messages that are sent daily, including on WhatsApp, iMessage, and Signal, are already protected with end-to-end encryption," said WhatsApp head Will Cathcart and Facebook Messenger's chief Stan Chudnovsky, in a letter to Barr on Tuesday.

"The 'backdoor' access you are demanding for law enforcement would be a gift to criminals, hackers and repressive regimes, creating a way for them to enter our systems and leaving every person on our platforms more vulnerable to real-life harm," they wrote.

"People's private messages would be less secure and the real winners would be anyone seeking to take advantage of that weakened security. That is not something we are prepared to do".

Facebook's letter came ahead of a Senate Judiciary hearing on encryption.

The company said that it has more than doubled the number of people working in the area of security and privacy to over 35,000.

"WhatsApp detects and bans 2 million accounts every month based on abuse patterns and scans unencrypted information, such as profile and group information for abusive content, like child exploitative imagery," said the company.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October defended his decision to encrypt the company's messaging services.

Zuckerberg said child exploitation risks weighed "most heavily" on him when he was making the decision and pledged steps to minimise harm.—IANS

 

WhatsApp won't work on millions of devices from next year

WhatsApp won't work on millions of devices from next year

11 Dec 2019 | 10:01 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: WhatsApp will stop working on millions of older mobile devices globally as the company has withdrawn support for such phones.

Last remaining glaciers between Himalayas, Andes to melt soon: Study

Last remaining glaciers between Himalayas, Andes to melt soon: Study

10 Dec 2019 | 2:10 PM

NEW YORK: The last remaining glaciers in the Earth's tropical zone—between the Himalayas in the North, and the Andes in the South—will disappear within the next ten years, or possibly sooner, due to the ongoing climate crisis, according to a study.

US govt begins probe into Google’s labour practices

US govt begins probe into Google’s labour practices

10 Dec 2019 | 10:20 AM

WASHINGTON: The US government has launched a probe into Google over its labour practices following a complaint from four employees who have been fired by the tech giant.

WhatsApp now gets call waiting, but no call holding

WhatsApp now gets call waiting, but no call holding

08 Dec 2019 | 2:03 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook-owned WhatsApp has become the latest Voice over Internet Protocol services provider to support call waiting feature even as the company has skipped adding call holding for now.

Microsoft discovers 44 million accounts using breached user names, passwords

Microsoft discovers 44 million accounts using breached user names, passwords

08 Dec 2019 | 11:46 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft has discovered that over 44 million users of its Azure and Microsoft Services Accounts (MSA) are using leaked credentials to log into their accounts.

Discovery of tombs revives dream of finding Cleopatra, lover Antony

Discovery of tombs revives dream of finding Cleopatra, lover Antony

08 Dec 2019 | 3:17 PM

CAIRO: The discovery of a series of tombs of the rich and powerful from the last days of the Egyptian Empire revives the dream of finding the remains of Cleopatra and of her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony.

Weak Arctic ice sees 56 polar bears descend on Russian village

Weak Arctic ice sees 56 polar bears descend on Russian village

06 Dec 2019 | 3:34 PM

MOSCOW: More than 50 polar bears have gathered on the edge of a village in Russia's far north, environmentalists and residents said, as weak Arctic ice leaves them unable to roam.

iPhone 11 Pro shared location even when told not to

iPhone 11 Pro shared location even when told not to

06 Dec 2019 | 1:46 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple's iPhone 11 Pro has been found to continuously collecting and transmitting its users location data even when the user has blocked it from doing so.

Stress in early life extends lifespan in worms: Study

Stress in early life extends lifespan in worms: Study

06 Dec 2019 | 12:06 PM

WASHINGTON: Some stress at a young age may actually lead to a longer life, according to a study conducted in worms.

Arctic warming in last decade same as whole Earth’s in past century: Study

06 Dec 2019 | 10:30 AM

LOS ANGELES: The Arctic has warmed by 0.75 degrees Celsius in the last decade alone, whereas the Earth as a whole has warmed by nearly the same amount over the past 137 years.

Asia has at least 10 ancestral lineages, shows genome mapping

Asia has at least 10 ancestral lineages, shows genome mapping

05 Dec 2019 | 2:27 PM

BENGALURU: Asia has at least 10 ancestral lineages, whereas northern Europe has just one, says a study of global genetic comparison including genome sequence from 598 individuals belonging to 55 ethnic groups from India.

Birds are ‘shrinking’ because of climate change: Study

Birds are ‘shrinking’ because of climate change: Study

05 Dec 2019 | 2:14 PM

WASHINGTON: As the climate warms, many birds are shrinking in size while their wingspans are increasing, according to a study.

Saturn's moon may help decode climate change on Earth: Study

Saturn's moon may help decode climate change on Earth: Study

05 Dec 2019 | 12:12 PM

HOUSTON: Researchers have found that Saturn's largest moon Titan undergoes significant seasonal changes in its energy budget—the amount of solar energy it absorbs, and the the heat it emits—an advance that may lead to new insights about climate fluctuations on the Earth.

WhatsApp beta introduces 3 new options for dark mode

WhatsApp beta introduces 3 new options for dark mode

04 Dec 2019 | 4:33 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Dark Mode for WhatsApp has been in the news for long and now a new beta with the build number 2.19.353 has revealed some hidden features which will offer three options for activating the dark mode.

'Why people share fake news on social media decoded'

'Why people share fake news on social media decoded'

04 Dec 2019 | 6:48 PM

People may feel less unethical about sharing misinformation on social media if they repeatedly encounter the fake news item, even when they don't believe it, according to a study involving more than 2,500 people.

TikTok sued in US over alleged China data transfer

TikTok sued in US over alleged China data transfer

04 Dec 2019 | 12:10 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: A university student in California has filed a class-action lawsuit against video app TikTok, which she accuses of harvesting large amounts of user data and storing it in China.

Global carbon emissions slower than 2018, linked to India’s economic slowdown: Study

Global carbon emissions slower than 2018, linked to India’s economic slowdown: Study

04 Dec 2019 | 11:27 AM

LONDON: Global carbon emissions have grown more slowly in 2019 compared to last year, according to a study which suggests this could be due to several factors, including slower growth in coal use in China and India compared to recent years.

2010s hottest decade, 2019 among three hottest years ever: UN

2010s hottest decade, 2019 among three hottest years ever: UN

03 Dec 2019 | 2:30 PM

MADRID: This decade is set to be the hottest in history, the United Nations said Tuesday in an annual assessment outlining the ways in which climate change is outpacing humanity's ability to adapt to it.

Playing sounds of reefs can pull fish towards degrading corals

Playing sounds of reefs can pull fish towards degrading corals

01 Dec 2019 | 3:49 PM

LONDON: Young fish can be drawn to degraded reefs using loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy coral communities, according to a study which may lead to new strategies for restoring damaged corals.

WhatsApp snooping: Questions on how India tackling data breach

WhatsApp snooping: Questions on how India tackling data breach

01 Dec 2019 | 2:34 PM

NEW DELHI: The WhatsApp snooping row that involves privacy infringement of 121 Indian users out of 1,400 globally via third-party Israeli Pegasus spyware is now witnessing serious questions on the part of the government in handling such a crucial matter in the absence of a robust digital legal framework.

18,000-year-old frozen 'puppy' discovered in near-perfect condition in Siberia

18,000-year-old frozen 'puppy' discovered in near-perfect condition in Siberia

30 Nov 2019 | 3:53 PM

NEW DELHI/NOVOSIBIRSK: A puppy said to be buried for 18,000 years has been found in amazingly perfect condition in Siberia, though the scientists are unable to decide if it is a dog or a wolf, a media report said.

Indian researcher creates recyclable packaging material from banana plant

Indian researcher creates recyclable packaging material from banana plant

30 Nov 2019 | 1:39 PM

MELBOURNE: Scientists, including one of Indian origin, on Friday claimed to have developed a novel method to turn banana plantation waste into biodegradable and recyclable packaging material.

China bans ‘fake news’ created with AI, bots

China bans ‘fake news’ created with AI, bots

30 Nov 2019 | 12:41 PM

BEIJING: China has issued new rules banning online video and audio providers from using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technologies to produce “fake news”.

Once again, locked in a battle

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11 Dec 2019 | 9:21 AM
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Destination wedding?

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AR Rahman to open for U2

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