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Human traffickers use Facebook, Tinder to hunt underage victims: Study

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New York, Oct 9: Human traffickers are exploiting social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat, as well as dating apps such as Tinder, Blendr and Yellow to hunt for potential underage victims, reveals a new study.

Traffickers educate themselves by studying what the victim posts on these sites to build trust, said the study by the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute of the University of Toledo in Ohio, US.

The study, which was requested by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, revealed how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media.

Grooming children for sex trafficking consists of convincing someone to send a risky picture and then using it to extort them.

The traffickers use fear of repercussions as a way to compel the youth to move from a monitored page to a less monitored page by saying, “You don’t want your parents to find out what we’re talking about”, the study suggested.

Technology offers traffickers ease in advertising multiple victims at one time.

“It is vitally important to educate parents, professionals and youth — especially our middle school or teenage daughters who may be insecure — about the dangers of online predatory practices used by master manipulators,” Celia Williamson, Professor of Social Work at the University of Toledo, said in a statement released by the university.

“Through this outreach and education, we can help save children from becoming victims of modern-day slavery,” Williamson added.

For the study, the researchers conducted 16 in-depth interviews with knowledgeable members of Ohio law enforcement, judges, direct service providers, advocates and researchers who engaged with victims who were trafficked online.

The study outlined how traffickers connect to vulnerable youth online, groom the children to form quicker relationships, avoid detection, and move the connections from online to in-person.

“The transition from messaging to meeting a trafficker in person is becoming less prevalent,” Williamson said.

“As technology is playing a larger role in trafficking, this allows some traffickers to be able to exploit youth without meeting face-to-face. Social media helps to mask traditional cues that alert individuals to a potentially dangerous person,” Williamson 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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