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Twitter warns ‘unusual activity’ from hackers in China, Saudi Arabia

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San Francisco, Dec 18: Twitter has warned of “unusual activity” from state-sponsored actors based in China and Saudi Arabia after it found a bug that could have revealed the country code of users’ phone numbers or if their account was locked.

The revelation led to Twitter stock dropping nearly 7 per cent on Monday.

In a statement, Twitter said it discovered the bug on November 15 and fixed it a day later.

“During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia,” said the micro-blogging platform, used by over 336 million users, on one of its support forms.

“While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors,” Twitter warned.

The bug, said the company, could be used to discover the country code of people’s phone numbers if they had one associated with their Twitter account, as well as whether or not their account had been locked by Twitter.

Twitter locks an account if it appears to be compromised or in violation of its rules or Terms of Service.

“Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data.

“We have directly informed the people we identified as being affected. We are providing this broader notice as it is possible that other account holders we cannot identify were potentially impacted,” Twitter said, adding it is “sorry this happened”.

A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch: “For our part, we are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services. We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter.”

IANS

Business

Airtel deploys Nokia’s open Cloud-based VoLTE network

According to Nokia, the network supports over 110 million customers, making it the largest cloud-based VoLTE network in India and the largest Nokia-run VoLTE in the world.

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New Delhi, July 6 : Nokia on Monday announced that its CloudBand-based software products have started powering Bharti Airtels Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network in India.

Finnish telecom gear maker firm Nokia in April bagged a deal worth more than Rs 7,500 crore from Bharti Airtel to deploy 5G ready network across the country.

According to Nokia, the network supports over 110 million customers, making it the largest cloud-based VoLTE network in India and the largest Nokia-run VoLTE in the world.

“Nokia”s carrier-grade cloud software solutions drive simplicity and flexibility and will further strengthen Airtel”s solid 5G network foundation and transition to innovative digital solutions that are customer and experience centric,” said Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software and Nokia Chief Digital Officer.

The cloud-based VoLTE deployment allows Airtel to provide its mobile customers faster and more reliable, cost-efficient call connectivity.

Nokia, which is the largest 4G vendor in Airtel network, will help lay the foundation for providing 5G connectivity in the future by deploying 300,000 radio units across several spectrum bands in all 22 telecom service areas expected to be completed by 2022.

Nokia”s VoLTE solution enables Airtel to free up spectrum by ramping down its 3G network, allowing the operator to utilize the freed up spectrum to deploy 4G/LTE services for better speed and capacity.

“We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Nokia to build a future ready and agile network. The country”s largest open cloud based VoLTE network is a major milestone in Airtel”s journey,” added Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel.

India currently is the second-largest telecom market in the world and is expected to reach 920 million unique mobile customers by 2025, which will also include 88 million 5G connections according to the GSMA.

The country is experiencing a massive increase in demand for data services with traffic increasing by 47 per cent in 2019 alone, according to Nokia”s MBiT Index 2020.

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PIL against Twitter in Bombay HC for promoting pro-Khalistan tweets

The petitioner also demanded for the regulation of social media platforms to tackle various anti-national and unethical activities on Twitter.

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New Delhi: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed against Twitter India Pvt. Ltd. and others by petitioner, Gopal Jhaveri before the High Court at Bombay with the prayer to direct the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take action against Twitter under various penal provisions of the law.

These include Section 39 the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; section 107, 121 A, 124A, 153A, 153 B, 34 of the Indian Penal Code, section 66f of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The petitioner also demanded for the regulation of social media platforms to tackle various anti-national and unethical activities on Twitter.

According to the petition, Twitter accepted blood money to promote Khalistan supporting tweets and is still promoting it knowingly. It is a well known fact that the Khalistan is a banned terror organisation even though they have blindly supported terror organisations to promote anti national agenda and therefore the authorized representative and all the persons involve in this activity shall be punished by Indian judiciary to set an example to those who are still having a goal to divide India and activiely supporting banned terror organisations.

The Chief Justice of High Court at Bombay in his order dated June 5, 2020 directed Twitter and their advocate to file their reply within three weeks, the reply is still pending.

The petition argues that the enquiry may be initiated by the National Investigation Agency, for fair, proper and speedy investigation as many of the users who promote massages in related to #Khalistan are from outside India and therefore shall be investigated by the National Investigation Agency.

It seeks an order or direction against the respondents thereby commanding them to make a mechanism to check contents and advertisements which are spreading hatred amongst the communities, seditious, instigative, separatist, hate filled, divisive, against the society at large and against the spirit of Union of India.

The petitioner came to know that Member of Parliament Anant Kumar Hegde made a statement about the support of Twitter in anti national agenda, the Petitioner further says that after enquiring about the issues, the Petitioner came to know that the Twitter server were used for the promotion of #Khalistan, still there are many users who are having there user name as Khalistan or similar to Khalistan just to promote ati national activity, the screen snap shot of various users who are promoting this anti National agenda is attache.

Another tweet done by Twitter user with name mentioned as Gurpatwant Singh Pannun through his Twitter handle @GPannun.

In the media reports, Anant Kumar Hegde writes to PMO against Twitter Inc.’s ‘anti-national acts’ The Lok Sabha member also suggested developing an Indian version of Twitter to prevent ‘digital colonisation’ of the country.

On April 28, 2020, Hegde has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising concerns about Twitter alleged interference in free-speech by targeting nationalistic accounts. Calling the micro-blogging site “detrimental to India’s strategic interest and democratic fabric of society,” Hegde presented six points to be considered by the PMO while investigating Twitter.

These points include selective targeting of nationalistic Twitter accounts and pro-Indian handles; suspension of handles belonging to elected representatives without notice; promotion of slanderous handles “spewing poison” about the Prime Minister, Home Minister and CMs via paid ads; no action against handles spreading discontent, fake news and objectionable content against any religion or the country. He also pointed out that Twitter didn’t receive pro-Khalistan tweets as harshly as the nationalistic ones.

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Let us code for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat: PM Modi

The Prime Minister said India’s tech ecosystem had made it proud and the pandemic had brought about disruption in the tech world.

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New Delhi, July 4 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here on Saturday, launched the Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge to identify the best Indian apps, already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale up and become world class.

The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology along with the Atal Innovation Mission have come up with this challenge, which will run in two tracks — promotion of existing apps and development of new apps.

“For the promotion of existing apps and platforms across the categories of e-learning, work-from-home, gaming, business, entertainment, office utilities and social networking, the government will provide mentoring, hand-holding and support.

“Track-01 will work in mission mode for identifying good quality apps for the leader-board and shall be completed in around a month,” said a statement issued the Prime Minister in his LinkedIn account.

For new apps, Track-02 initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping and rollout along with market access.

This challenge will help create tech products to find solutions to tech conundrums with mentorship. Interestingly, the challenge comes in the wake of India banning 59 Chinese apps citing national security considerations.

“I urge all my friends in the tech community to participate and help create an aatmanirbhar app ecosystem. Who knows, I may also use some of these apps made by you,” said the Prime Minister with a smiley.

The Prime Minister said India’s tech ecosystem had made it proud and the pandemic had brought about disruption in the tech world.

Connecting it with the ”self-reliant India”, he said, “Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it”s a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world.”

Stating that the goal is to Make in India for India as well for the World, the Prime Minister using the sectoral parlance said, “Let us code for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat!.”

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