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Facebook data breach: Senator asks US Congress to take action

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>Washington, Sep 29: After Facebook admitted that it was hit with a fresh data breach that affected nearly 50 million users, Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has called for a full probe into the incident.

Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, Warner said it was high time the Congress stepped up and took action to protect privacy and security of social media users.

“The news that at least 50 million Facebook users had their accounts compromised is deeply concerning. A full investigation should be swiftly conducted and made public so that we can understand more about what happened,” the Democrat said in a statement late on Friday.

In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook on Friday admitted hackers broke into nearly 50 million users’ accounts by stealing their “access tokens” or digital keys.

This allowed them then use the tokens to take over people’s accounts.

Warner said the disclosure is a reminder about the dangers posed when “a small number of companies like Facebook or the credit bureau Equifax are able to accumulate so much personal data about individual Americans without adequate security measures”.

“As I’ve said before – the era of the Wild West in social media is over,” he said in the statement.

Facebook also said it was taking precautionary step to reset access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the 2017.

As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back into Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook login.

Indian-origin FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra also tweeted on the incident, saying “I want answers”.

In July, Warner published a policy paper, outlining why regulation is necessary for social media companies.

Reacting to the new data breach, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “While I’m glad we found this, fixed the vulnerability, and secured the accounts that may be at risk, the reality is we need to continue developing new tools to prevent this from happening in the first place.”

Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have faced a couple of hearings at US Congress over Cambridge Analytica data breach that affected 87 million users.

Facebook has also admitted that the phone numbers that its users provide for security purposes were being used to target them with ads.

“We use the information people provide to offer a better, more personalised experience on Facebook, including ads,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying by TechCrunch on Thursday.

The social network specifically uses a phone number that users provide for two factor authentication (2FA) — a security technique that provide a second layer of authentication to help keep accounts secure, the report added.

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India

PM Narendra Modi Lauds Successful BrahMos Launch

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated scientists and engineers for the successful test launch of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos with an indigenous booster from a test facility off the Odisha coast.

“Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile has achieved yet another milestone with successful test launch showcasing enhanced operational capabilities and additional indigenous technologies. Congratulations to all the scientists and engineers,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

The BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous booster and airframe section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested for designated range from the ITR in Balasore, marking one more major step in enhancing indigenous content.

The launch has paved the way for serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System.

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CBDT clarifies on 1% TDS on e-commerce transactions

It would also not apply to transactions in electricity, renewable energy certificates and energy saving certificates traded through power exchanges, circular added.

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : Providing clarification on the 1 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on e-commerce transactions, the CBDT on Tuesday said that that the payment gateway will not be required to deduct the tax under section 194-0 of the Income-Tax Act on a transaction, if the tax has been deducted by the ecommerce operator under the section concerned of the Act, on the same transaction.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Tuesday issued guidelines for applicability of TCS (tax collected at source) provision which requires an e-commerce operator to deduct 1 per cent tax on sale of goods and services with effect from October 1.

The CBDT circular noted that in e-commerce transactions, the payments are generally facilitated by payment gateways.

It is represented that in these transactions, there may be applicability of section 194-0 twice, once on e-commerce operator who is facilitating the sale of goods or provision of services or both and once on payment gateway who also happen to qualify as e-commerce operator for facilitating service.

“In order to remove this difficulty, it is provided that the payment gateway will not be required to deduct tax under section 194-0 of the Act on a transaction, if the tax has been deducted by the ecommerce operator under section 194-0 of the Act, on the same transaction,” it said.

Elucidating its implementation, the circular said: “If ‘XYZ’ has deducted tax under section 194-0 on one lakh rupees, ‘ABC’ will not be required to deduct tax under section 194-0 of the Act on the same transaction. To facilitate proper implementation, ‘ABC’ may take an undertaking from ‘XYZ’ regarding deduction of tax.”

The CBDT also said that the new introduced TCS provisions would not apply to transactions in securities and commodities which are traded through recognised stock exchanges or cleared and settled by recognised clearing corporation, including recognised stock exchanges or recognised clearing corporation located in International Financial Service Centre.

It would also not apply to transactions in electricity, renewable energy certificates and energy saving certificates traded through power exchanges, circular added.

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Airtel narrowing gap with Jio on 4G in India: Report

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

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New Delhi: Airtel has come closer to challenging Reliance Jio which continues to reign supreme on 4G availability and 4G coverage experience in India, says a new report by mobile analytics company Opensignal.

While the average proportion of time that Jio users spent connected to 4G has increased by 0.5 of a percentage point since the last report to reach an impressive 98.7 per cent, Airtel saw its score increase by 1.1 percentage points.

“As a consequence, Jio’s lead has dropped from 3.7 percentage points to 3.1,” said the report.

In regional analysis of 49 cities, Airtel came close to challenging Jio’s dominance on 4G availability in a majority of the cities although Jio continued to win almost all awards, said the report.

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

However, for the second report in a row, Airtel has won four of the awards outright — video experience, games experience, voice app experience and download Speed experience, while ownership of the upload speed experience award smoothly passed from Vodafone to Vi.

This is the first report in which Opensignal treated Vodafone and Idea as a single operator — Vi — in line with the combined operator’s new branding that was announced on September 7.

For the report, Opensignal examined the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators in India: Airtel, BSNL, Jio and Vi, over a period of 90 days beginning May 1 to see how they fared, and further delved deeper into 49 of India’s largest cities, comparing the experience users received on these four operators.

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