San Jose, Dec 11 (AP/UNB)— Google is still having trouble protecting the personal information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to shut down a little-used social network created to compete against Facebook.
A privacy flaw that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google Plus users last month convinced Google to close the service in April instead of August, as previously announced. Google revealed the new closure date and its latest privacy lapse in a Monday blog post .
It's the second time in two months that Google has disclosed the existence of a problem that enabled unauthorized access to Plus profiles. In October, the company acknowledged finding a privacy flaw affecting 500,000 Plus users that it waited more than six months to disclose.
Google moved more quickly to own up to the most recent privacy problem on Plus. This time around, the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of the affected Plus users were exposed for six days in November before it was fixed. No financial information or passwords were visible to intruders, according to Google. The company also said it hasn't seen evidence indicating that unauthorized users who accessed Plus through the inadvertent peephole have missed used any of the personal information.
Even if the latest privacy gaffe on Plus didn't cause any major damage, it nevertheless marks another embarrassing incident for Google. The company's business model relies on it being seen as a trustworthy guardian of the personal information it collects about the billions of people who use its search engine, Gmail, Chrome browser, maps, and Android software for smartphones.
Like Facebook, Google makes most of its money by selling ads that draw upon what the company learns about the interests, habits and locations of people while they're using its free services.
Google's privacy issues on Plus are likely to be a topic that U.S. lawmakers delve into Tuesday, when company CEO Sundar Pichai is scheduled to appear before a House committee. Pichai's appearance comes more than three months after he turned down an invitation to testify in August, to the consternation of some lawmakers. Some members of Congress are now mulling whether tougher regulations to curb the power of Google, Facebook and other technology companies are needed in addition demanding tighter controls over digital privacy.
Facebook has had even more trouble guarding the personal information that it scoops up on its social networking service, which now has more than 2.2 billion users. The most glaring breakdown emerged in March when Facebook acknowledged the personal information of as many as 87 million of its users had been shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm affiliated with President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
The desire to peer into people's lives is one of the reasons that Google launched Plus in 2011. It was supposed to be a challenger to Facebook's social network, but Plus turned into a digital ghost town that Google began to de-emphasize several years ago.
Vancouver, Dec 11 (AP/UNB) — A jailed Chinese technology executive will have to wait at least one more day to see if she will be released on bail in a case that has raised U.S.-China tensions and complicated efforts to resolve a trade dispute that has roiled financial markets and threatened global economic growth.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of its founder, was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport Dec. 1 — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in the trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.
The U.S. has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.
After a second daylong session, Justice William Ehrcke said the bail hearing would continue Tuesday.
In urging the court to reject Meng's bail request, prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley noted the Huawei executive has vast resources and a strong incentive to flee as she is facing fraud charges in the United States that could put her in prison for 30 years.
Gibb-Carsley later told the judge that if he does decide to grant bail it should include house arrest.
David Martin, Meng's lawyer, said Meng was willing to pay for a surveillance company to monitor her and wear an ankle monitor but she wanted to be able to travel around Vancouver and its suburbs. Scot Filer of Lions Gate Risk Management group said his company would make a citizen's arrest if she breached bail conditions.
Martin said Meng's husband would put up both of their Vancouver homes plus $1 million Canadian ($750,000) for a total value of $15 million Canadian ($11.2 million) as collateral.
The judge cast doubt on that proposal, saying Meng's husband isn't a resident of British Columbia — a requirement for him to act as a guarantor that his wife won't flee — and his visitor visa expires in February.
The prosecutor said her husband has no meaningful connections to Vancouver and spends only two or three weeks a year in the city. Gibb-Carsley also expressed concern about the idea of using a security company paid by Meng.
He said later that $15 million Canadian ($11.2 million) would be an appropriate amount if the judge granted bail, but he said half should be in cash.
Meng's arrest has fueled U.S.-China trade tensions at a time when the two countries are seeking to resolve a dispute over Beijing's technology and industrial strategy. Both sides have sought to keep the issues separate, at least so far, but the arrest has roiled markets, with stock markets worldwide down again Monday.
The hearing has sparked widespread interest, and the courtroom was packed again Monday with media and spectators, including some who came to support Meng. One man in the gallery brought binoculars to have a closer look at Meng, while outside court a man and woman held a sign that read "Free Ms. Meng."
Over the weekend, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned Canadian Ambassador John McCallum and U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad.
Le warned both countries that Beijing would take steps based on their response. Asked Monday what those steps might be, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said only, "It totally depends on the Canadian side itself."
The Canadian province of British Columbia has already canceled a trade mission to China amid fears China could detain Canadians in retaliation for Meng's detention.
Stocks around the world fell Monday over investor concerns about the continuing U.S.-China trade dispute, as well as the cloud hanging over Brexit negotiations after Britain's prime minister postponed a vote on her deal for Britain to quit the European Union. In the U.S., stocks were volatile, tumbling in the morning and then recovering in the afternoon.
The Huawei case complicates efforts to resolve the U.S.-China trade dispute. The United States has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, charging that China steals American technology and forces U.S. companies to turn over trade secrets.
Tariffs on $200 billion of those imports were scheduled to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent on Jan. 1. But over dinner Dec. 1 with Xi in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Trump agreed to delay the increase for 90 days, buying time for more negotiations.
Bill Perry, a trade lawyer with Harris Bricken in Seattle, said China's decelerating economy is putting pressure on Xi to make concessions before U.S. tariffs go up.
"They need a trade deal. They don't want the tariffs to go up to 25" percent, said Perry, who produces the "US China Trade War" blog. "This is Damocles' sword hanging over the Chinese government."
Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies, has become the target of U.S. security concerns because of its ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. has pressured other countries to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.
Lu, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, accused countries he didn't cite by name of hyping the "so-called" threat.
"I must tell you that not a single piece of evidence have they ever presented to back their allegation," he said. "To create obstacles for companies' normal operations based on speculation is quite absurd."
Canadian officials have declined to comment on Chinese threats of retaliation, instead emphasizing the independence of Canada's judiciary and the importance of Ottawa's relationship with Beijing.
Dhaka, Dec 10 (UNB) - Hours after unblocking 58 news portals, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Monday night blocked 54 of them again.
Emdadul Haque, secretary general of Internet Service Providers’ Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), told UNB that BTRC asked them to block 54 websites again.
He, however, said four of the websites that were unblocked earlier will remain open. These are poriborton.com, priyo.com, risingbd.com and dhakatimes24.com.
Earlier in the day, BTRC unblocked the 58 news portal after blocking those on Sunday.
BRTC Senior Assistant Director (Media) Jakir Hossain Khan said the websites were unblocked after 5pm as per government directives.
On Sunday, BTRC ordered the International Internet Gateway (IIG) operators to block the access to 58 news portals as per the recommendations of the government and law enforcement agencies.
“We gave the order based on recommendations from the government and law enforcement agencies,” Jakir earlier told UNB.
BTRC had cited security concerns for the decision but had not elaborated the reasons.
bdpolitico.com, pagenews24.com, reportbd24.com, rarenews24.com, bnpnews24.com, prothombangladesh.net, dailyamardesh.xyz, dnn.news, razniti24.com, rbn24.co.uk,
sangbad247.com, deshbhabona.com, amardesh247.com, analysisbd.com, awaazbd.com,
badrul.org, bnponlinewing.com, en.bnpbangladesh.com, bnpbangladesh.com, bnponlinewing.com, banglamail71.info, atv24bd.com, banglastatus.com, bbarianews24.com,
sheershanews24.com, shibir.org.bd, news21-bd.com, 1newsbd.net, newsbd71.com, justnewsbd.com, expressnewsbd.com, dailybdtimes.com,
mymensinghnews24.com, muldharabd.com, cnnbd24.com, dailymirror24.com,
deshnetricyberforum.com, alapon.live, diganta.net, moralnews24.com, potryka.com, dawahilallah.com, alehsar2.wordpress.com,
aljamaah1.wordpress.com, bangladarsulquran.wordpress.com, gazwah.net,
jongimedia.wordpress.com, maktabatulislamiabd.wordpress.com, millateibrahimbd.wordpress.com, myquranstudyoneayahaday.com,
shuhadarkafela.wordpress.com, defenseupdatebangladesh.wordpress.com, defbd.com, and bangladeshdefence.blogspot.com
Dhaka, Dec 6 (UNB) - Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) on Thursday signed a contract with an Australian firm to conduct a feasibility study in the area under its jurisdiction to replace overhead power cables with underground ones.
As per the deal, Energytron will do the job at a contract value of Tk 22.54 crore within the next one year.
The job includes conducting survey, feasibility study, preparing underground distribution system design, billing materials and estimating the cost to take the 132 kV, 33 kV, 11 kV and 11/0.4 kV electric cables underground.
Addressing the contract-signing ceremony held at the Bidyut Bhaban in the city, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said it will be a biggest challenge for the Australian firm as overhead power cables pass through very narrow locations in the DPDC area.
He also urged Energytron to complete the work in the stipulated time. “You should appoint very efficient people to do the job as the nature of the areas is different from Sydney or any other Australian city. So, it needs people having communicative skills to make proper design of the job,” he said.
Nasrul Hamid urged all other power distribution utilities to take initiatives to replace overhead power cables with underground ones, saying the government has planned to turn Dhaka city into a developed one.
He said the entire power distribution system should go underground maintaining safety and security.
The state minister said China has offered a substantial fund to take the overhead cables underground. “If the project proves to be successful, the other utilities will be encouraged to do so,” he said.
With DPDC chairman Shafiqullah in the chair, the function was also addressed by Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, PDB Chairman Khaled Mahmood and DPDC managing director Bikash Dewan.
Beijing, Dec 6 (AP/UNB)— China on Thursday demanded Canada release a Huawei Technologies executive who was arrested in a case that adds to technology tensions with Washington and threatens to complicate trade talks.
Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, faces possible extradition to the United States, according to Canadian authorities. The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing law enforcement sources, said she is accused of trying to evade U.S. curbs on trade with Iran.
The timing is awkward following the announcement of a U.S.-Chinese cease-fire in a tariff war over Beijing's technology policy. Meng was detained in Vancouver on Saturday, the day Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met in Argentina and announced their deal.
Asian stock markets tumbled on the news, fearing renewed U.S.-Chinese tensions that threaten global economic growth. Market indexes in Tokyo and Hong Kong by 1.9 percent and 2.8 percent and Shanghai was off 1.7 percent at midday.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said Meng broke no U.S. or Canadian laws and demanded Canada "immediately correct the mistake" and release her.
"The Chinese side expresses firm opposition and strongly protests this serious violation of human rights," said an embassy statement.
Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns. Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology.
The U.S. sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for Chinese spying and as commercial competitors that the Trump administration says benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.
Trump's tariff hikes this year on Chinese imports stemmed from complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. But American officials also worry more broadly about Chinese plans for state-led industry development they worry might erode U.S. industrial leadership.
U.S. leaders also worry that Beijing is using the growth of Chinese business abroad to gain strategic leverage.
"The United States is stepping up containment of China in all respects," said Zhu Feng, an international relations expert at Nanjing University. He said targeting Huawei, one of the most successful Chinese companies, "will trigger anti-U.S. sentiment in China."
"The incident could turn out to be a breaking point," Zhu said.
Last month, New Zealand blocked a mobile phone company from using Huawei equipment, saying it posed a "significant network security risk." In August, Australia banned the company from working on the country's fifth-generation network due to security concerns.
The Wall Street Journal reported this year that U.S. authorities are investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran. The Chinese government appealed to Washington to avoid any steps that might damage business confidence.
Huawei's Chinese rival, ZTE Corp., was nearly driven out of business this year when Washington barred it from buying U.S. technology over exports to North Korea and Iran. Trump restored access after ZTE agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, replace its executive team and embed a U.S.-chosen compliance team in the company.
Huawei is regarded as far stronger commercially than ZTE. The company based in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, has the biggest research and development budget of any Chinese company and a vast portfolio of tech patents, making it less dependent on American suppliers.
It also has a growing smartphone brand that is one of the top three global suppliers behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. by number of handsets sold.
Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained "on behalf of the United States of America" to face "unspecified charges" in New York, according to a Huawei statement.
"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng," the statement said.
A U.S. Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Huawei said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the United States and European Union.
Meng is a prominent member of China's business world as deputy chairman of Huawei's board and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer.
Despite that, her arrest is unlikely to derail U.S.-Chinese trade talks, said Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"I think too much is at stake for Xi Jinping. He desperately wants a settlement," said Lam. "So I don't think this will have a really detrimental impact on the possibility of both countries reaching a deal."
Longer term, however, the case will reinforce official Chinese urgency about developing domestic technology suppliers to reduce reliance on the United States, said Lam.
Trump has "pulled out all the stops" to hamper Chinese ambitions to challenge the United States as a technology leader, Lam said. That includes imposing limits on visas for Chinese students to study science and technology.
"If the Chinese need further convincing, this case would show them beyond doubt Trump's commitment," said Lam.
David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said U.S. and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.
"That's something we should be watching out for. It's a possibility. China plays rough," Mulroney said. "It's a prominent member of their society and it's a company that really embodies China's quest for global recognition as a technology power."
Mulroney said Canada should be prepared for "sustained fury" from the Chinese and said the arrest will be portrayed in China as Canada kowtowing to Trump. He also said the Iran allegations are very damaging to Huawei and China will push back hard.
The Chinese will view Meng's arrest on the same day as Trump's meeting with the Chinese leader as a planned conspiracy to do damage, said Wenran Jiang, a senior fellow at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.
"She was in transit though Vancouver. That means the intelligence agencies in Canada and the U.S. were tracking her and planning to arrest her for some time," he said.
Jiang foresees a crisis in relations between the three countries if Meng is extradited. Any talk of a free trade agreement between Canada and China would be over, he said.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasser, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services and Banking committees, said Huawei is an agent of China's ruling Communist Party and applauded Canada for the arrest.
"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran," he said.