7 The best PCs for privacy-minded people Don’t expect to see FCC Chairman Ajit Pai brief the House Committee on Energy and Commerce anytime soon. Alex Edelman / Getty Images Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai won’t brief a Congressional committee Monday about mobile carriers’ ability to share their subscribers’ location data with third parties.Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, sought Pai for an emergency briefing after a Motherboard investigation revealed carriers are selling customers’ location data. But the committee was told the FCC boss wouldn’t appear due to the ongoing government shutdown.”In a phone conversation today, his staff asserted that these egregious actions are not a threat to the safety of human life or property that the FCC will address during the Trump shutdown,” the New Jersey Democrat said in a statement. 22 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Stronger data privacy laws may be coming to the US 1:41 Comments It noted that the investigation would continue once normal FCC operations resume.Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who questioned last May why cops can track any phone in seconds, reportedly slammed Pai for tweeting “cat videos and tired memes” instead of briefing Congress.”It’s a new low for someone who has spent his tenure at the FCC refusing to do his job and stand up for American consumers,” Wyden said in a statement to Gizmodo.One of the third parties using the location data is credit reporting company Microbilt, which is offering to “track down delinquent debtors” via its Mobile Device Verify service.Ajit Pai on net neutrality: Congress was right not to restore the regulations, the FCC chairman says.A boost for 5G and Wi-Fi: The FCC votes to make more wireless spectrum available. FCC Privacy Security Politics Share your voice Pallone noted that Pai is still working, even though the shutdown resulted in the FCC ceasing most of its operations on Jan. 3.”There’s nothing in the law that should stop the Chairman personally from meeting about this serious threat that could allow criminals to track the location of police officers on patrol, victims of domestic abuse, or foreign adversaries to track military personnel on American soil,” he said.The FCC, however, stood firm in an emailed statement.”The Commission has been investigating wireless carriers’ handling of location information,” a spokesperson wrote. “Unfortunately, we were required to suspend that investigation earlier this month because of the lapse in funding, and pursuant to guidance from our expert attorneys, the career staff that is working on this issue are currently on furlough.” Tags
Apple set to hire from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay this yearReutersIf you are in India and have often dreamt about how cool it would be to work for global tech giant Apple Inc., here’s some good news. The Cupertino, California, based firm is set to hire employees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, this year.While the tech giant has been in talks with several IT institutes for the same for a while now, it has confirmed that it intends to hire from the Powai campus and has also started giving out application forms for it.”The tech giant is offering positions for coding profile and most computer science students and some enthusiasts from other streams have signed up for the test,” a source from IIT-Bombay told the Times of India.Even though a source has confirmed Apple’s participation in placements this year, IIT-B is yet to officially announce the news. Instead, it said: “We don’t want to comment whether Apple is participating or not.”Students who applied for the roles and were short-listed by Apple will now reportedly take up a test in the last week of November. The selected candidates will mostly be placed in the firm’s India facilities in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.The students at IIT-B are clearly thrilled with the opportunity to land a job with one of the most-loved brands and a student said: “The chance to be a part of the powerful ecosystem at Apple is so enticing that many of us have registered for the test and hope to be short-listed.”Meanwhile, Apple is yet to confirm if students from other institutes will also be hired and other IITs have said that they will need an answer in the next two to three days, failing which they would not be able to accommodate the tech giant. “Our schedule is very tight. There are three to four preliminary short-listing tests taking place everyday and if we don’t hear from Apple in the next two to three days, we will not have any slot to accommodate the company,” an institute’s placement head told the daily.Amid all the placement buzz, Apple seems to be irked with the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, after an announcement that the firm was set to hire talent from its campus.”We are elated that Apple has decided to come for our campus placements this year. We are not sure of the kind of profiles that the company will be offering. However, it will provide an opportunity to the graduating students to showcase their skills before representatives of the firm,” TV Devi Prasad, head of placements at the institute, had earlier told the daily.Apart from Apple, many other global brands including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google have been eyeing employees in India for a while now.
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the US Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. Reuters file photoChina and Russia have agreed to take further unspecified “countermeasures” in response to a US plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.The countermeasures “will be aimed at safeguarding interests of China and Russia and the strategic balance in the region”, Xinhua said, citing a statement released after a China-Russia security meeting.China and Russia held a joint anti-missile drill last May after Washington and Seoul began discussions over installing the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to counter any North Korean threats.THAAD is now due to be deployed on a South Korean golf course, unsettling Moscow and Beijing, which worry that the system’s powerful radar will compromise their security and do nothing to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula.China and Russia said in October they would hold a second drill this year.“China and Russia urged the United States and South Korea to address their security concerns and stop the deployment of THAAD on the Korean Peninsula,” Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.North Korea’s drive to develop nuclear weapons capability has angered China, Pyongyang’s sole major diplomatic and economic supporter. However, Beijing fears THAAD and its radar have a range that would extend into China.On Thursday, South Korea’s trade minister said the South might complain to China about actions perceived to have been taken in retaliation for its decision to deploy the US anti-missile system.
Safe road movement. Prothom Alo file photoPolice have yet to specify any charges against persons arrested during the students’ movement for safe roads. They say that no one has been accused of being guilty or innocent at this stage and they also do not know when investigations will be completed.As the investigations are still underway, those arrested during the movement, including 22 students of private universities, are having to appear in court every month. With cases filed against them, their studies and jobs are being hampered. A student, on condition of anonymity, told Prothom Alo, the university administraton has shown some sympathy towards them in the beginning, but not anymore. The exams are often held on the date they have to appear in court. They either have to take their exam and rush to court, or rush to the exams from court. They are also ridiculed and mocked.The safe road movement burst out when students took to the streets in protest, following two college students being killed by a bus in the capital city on 29 September last year. When the demonstrating students were attacked on 4 August, students of Dhaka University took to the streets the next day. Then on 6 August, students of North South University and other universities also took to the streets. And before they could take to the streets, the students of East West University were confined in their own campus. Reportedly, police as well as helmet and lungi clad persons assaulted them.Sixty cases were filed in connection to the safe road movement which continued for around a week in Dhaka City. Police in Badda and Bhatara filed cases against over a hundred persons, naming 32 specifically. And 22 students of private universities were arrested in those cases.Serious chargesThe charges brought against the students were serious. The charges filed by the Badda police station against the students include creating violence with dangerous weapons, obstructing government work, attacking the police, damaging police vehicles and setting fire to the Badda police station. A total of 19 per sons were accused in that case. Some former students were charged with instigation. The Bhatara police station brought charges against 13 students of North South University, Independent University of Bangladesh and Asian University, as well as against numerous unidentified persons. They were accused to obstructing government duties, attacking government personnel and injuring them, as well as halting and damaging vehicles. Six policemen were hurt in those incidents. Three arrested students – Fayez Ahmed, Masad Murtaza bin Asad and Azizul Karim were also injured.Those arrested for creating violence in Badda were accused of wielding eight three-foot long sticks, broken glass and broken bricks. No specific description was given of how they reportedly attacked the police station.Kakon Biswas, the main accused in case filed by the Badda police station, was said to have instigated violence. Kakon said he had passed out of university quite some time ago. On the day of the incident, he entered office at nine in the morning and left at six in the evening. He feels he has been included in this case because of his role in the 2015 movement against VAT for post-grad studies.Bhatara police station brought charges against students of North South University, Asian University and of quite a few other universities. Saber Ahmed of Asian University was arrested in this case. He told Prothom Alo, he had been in front of a bank on the day of the incident when a policeman summoned him. The policeman then handcuffed him and placed him in a prison van. He often contacts the investigating officer but has not been told when the charge sheet or the final report will be prepared. He has been aspiring to go abroad for higher studies but that has now become uncertain.Five others arrested in this case say they had been attacked by police and the helmet-lungi clad hoodlums without any provocation. At least 40 of those injured in this attack had to be admitted to Apollo Hospital. One of them, Ashraful Islam, had been grievously injured and was kept under intensive care for long at the hospital. These students are asking why cases have been filed against them instead of the helmeted attackers.The students, however, say the investigating officers have shown sympathy towards them. But no one can say when they will be released from these cases. Several police officers involved in the investigations told Prothom Alo unofficially that they are unable to do anything as they simply have to wait for orders from above.Drivers accuse, students accusedDuring the safe road movement, hundreds of the students were charged with damaging buses and a few were arrested. Bus drivers filed cases with the Motijheel, Paltan, Khilkhet, Cantonment and Kotwali police stations against the demonstrating students.22 case under section 57Last August 22 cases were filed regarding the safe road movement. Investigations have not been completed in any of the cases. The accused are having to appear in court every month.One of the students, on condition of anonymity, has said that the universities are not giving them any sort of concessions. Eden College student Lutfun Nahar Luma says she appeared in court on 16 April. A girl in a pink outfit had appeared in a video taken of the movement and she was arrested because she had been wearing a pink outfit too. Another 16 were arrested in that case and the 17 of them have to turn up in court every month.Officials of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s cyber crime division say the safe road movement had been hijacked. A rumour had been spread that students were killed and raped in the Awami League office. But no one knows who spread these rumours. It is speculated that the rumours were sparked off from outside the country.Chairman of the national human rights commission, Kazi Reazul Huq, says the safe road movement was a justified one, but it failed as other elements had entered the scene. It had been a movement of the general students, but they were arrested and harassed. He said the government should look into these cases and resolve them as soon as possible. *The report, originally appeared in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir
– / 7The Trust for Public Land says Houston improved four spots over last year’s ParkScore ranking, but still comes in at #77 on the list of the country’s 100 biggest cities.The study shows Houston has double the national average when it comes to park space. But the problem is accessibility, considering less than half the city’s residents live within a ten-minute walk from a park. Share View Fullscreen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X “The need for recreation is always a challenge and always an issue,” said Charlie McCabe, Trust for Public Land spokesman. “One of the challenges of the ten-minute walk is that you want a distribution of park land across the city.”On the plus side, McCabe said there’s increased investment by park conservancies and management districts.“The nice thing about all the work that nonprofit parks organizations are doing, thanks to a number of really generous donors across the City of Houston, is that they’re kind of filling the gap and they’re going after and trying to address the bigger needs,” said McCabe. “All of these efforts that are resulting in on-the-ground improvements as well as improvements to come.”The ParkScore study says Houston ranks high when it comes to amenities like park restrooms and splash pads, but still falls behind in the number of playgrounds and dog parks. Listen 00:00 /00:49