India Asks WhatsApp to Explain Privacy Breach

India has asked Facebook-owned WhatsApp to explain the nature of a privacy breach on its messaging platform that has affected some users in the country, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.A WhatsApp spokesman was quoted by the Indian Express newspaper on Thursday as saying that Indian journalists and human rights activists were targets of surveillance by an Israeli spyware. The company said it was “not an insignificant number” of people, but did not share specifics.WhatsApp’s comments came after the messaging platform sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across four continents including diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and government officials. NSO denied the allegations.“We have asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indian citizens,” Prasad said in a tweet.WhatsApp said it had no comment on Prasad’s tweet, but referred to a previous WhatsApp statement that the company believes people have the fundamental right to privacy and no one else should have access to their private conversations.Facebook’s WhatsApp Allows Users to Control Who Can Add Them to Group Chats

        Facebook Inc on Wednesday changed the privacy settings on its WhatsApp messaging platform, allowing users to decide who can add them to chat groups, as it tries to revamp its image after growing privacy concerns among users.

WhatsApp, which has about 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concerns that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or…
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with 400 million users. Globally, the platform is used by some 1.5 billion people monthly and has often touted a high level of security, including end-to-end encrypted messages that cannot be deciphered by WhatsApp or other third parties.In its lawsuit filed in a federal court in San Francisco, WhatsApp accused NSO of facilitating government hacking sprees in 20 countries, calling it “an unmistakable pattern of abuse.” 

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Рада ухвалила законопроєкт про відокремлення ГТС від «Нафтогазу»

Верховна Рада ухвалила 31 жовтня законопроєкт про анбандлінг «Нафтогазу», тобто про відокремлення газотранспортної системи України від НАК «Нафтогаз України», під управлінням якої вона зараз перебуває.

Відповідний законопроєкт підтримав 341 народний депутат.

Документ передбачає, що ГТС залишиться у державній власності, однак для управління нею буде створено окрему компанію-оператора, на яку «Нафтогаз» впливати не зможе.

Анбандлінг «Нафтогазу» одна з умов, які дадуть можливість Україні могла укласти новий контракт про транзит газу з Росією за європейськими правилами, зазначав раніше глава Міненерго Олексій Оржель.

У липні компанія «Нафтогаз» заявляла, що негайне проведення відокремлення оператора газотранспортної системи зараз неможливе через чинний транзитний контракт з російським «Газпромом».

 

Наразі «Нафтогаз України» здійснює повний цикл операцій розвідки та розробки родовищ, експлуатаційного та розвідувального буріння, транспортування та зберігання нафти і газу, постачання природного і скрапленого газу споживачам. Відокремлення функцій, зокрема, транспортування газу вимагає, серед іншого, так званий Третій енергопакет нормативних актів Європейського союзу, втілити які зобов’язалася й Україна. «Нафтогаз України» є одноособовим акціонером компанії «Укртрансгаз», яка займається транспортуванням газу.

Реформа «Нафтогазу» передбачає проведення демонополізації компанії. Оператор української ГТС має бути виділений в юридичну особу, не пов’язану ні з «Нафтогазом», ні з іншими підприємствами, які займаються видобутком і генерацією енергії.

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Rwanda Government Pushes Electric Cars, Bikes

KIGALI — Rwanda’s government is getting behind the “carbon neutral” movement by promoting electric cars and motorcycles. German automaker Volkswagen is demonstrating electric vehicles in Kigali, while a local company has begun selling electric bikes. But some ask whether the vehicles work in a city with a dense population and poor road systemOn a parking lot of the Kigali International Convention Center, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente stepped into a Volkswagen electric car, and maneuvered it around with no problems, like it was his own.His short drive officially launched a pilot program by Volkswagen. The company is putting four electric cars on the roads for Kigali residents to try them out through the Uber-like Move service.If all goes well, the automaker will roll out another 50 electric cars, to be powered by 15 charging stations.Ngirente said electric cars would be a step forward in Rwanda’s drive to become less dependent on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.“Rwandans are increasingly aware that protecting the environment is a top priority,” he said.Arrival of the e-cars follows the introduction of electric motorbikes in Rwanda. Because of a poor road system and dense population, 70% of Kigali residents rely on them to get around.Kigali-based Ampersand is one the companies hoping to see the public switch to electric-powered bikes. With their classy design, locals think they’re cool, and they are manufactured partly in India, partly in Rwanda. Their cost is around $1,000.Ampersand CEO Josh Wolf says that these e-bikes fulfill a need. “The motorcycles are simply cheaper to acquire and cheaper to operate while they actually have more power or more performance than the current fuel-powered motorcycles people use,” Wolf said.The e-bikes use a battery that lasts for about 75 kilometers of driving. Despite the limitations, Emmanuel Dayambaze says he’s happy with his. He says he loves the electric bike because it’s good, it requires little maintenance, and he says that compared with a fuel-powered motorbike it saves him money.Battery life is one of the challenges for Ampersand. They’re working on increasing the capacity and having more than the current two charging stations.Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure is monitoring the progress with the e-bikes. If found suitable, it will start promoting them, says ministry official Alfred Byiriangiro.“After realizing the electric motorcycle can be used on our terrain, which is a hilly terrain, we just sensitize people on the advantage of using electric bikes and electric motorcycles,” Byiriangiro.Ampersand hopes to have 500 e-bikes on the road next year. But they might feel competition from the electric cars, according to Volkswagen sub-Saharan Africa CEO Thomas Schaefer.“People are tired sitting on the back of a motorbike and having a bad helmet. It rains and the buses are sometimes full, so the take up is amazing,” Schaefer said.While for now fuel-powered motorcycles remain king of the road in Rwanda, e-cars and e-bikes are gaining ground, and may lead the country to an electric, carbon neutral future.
  

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Security Firm Says Chinese Hackers Intercepted Text Messages

Chinese hackers with a history of state-sponsored espionage have intercepted the text messages of thousands of foreigners in a targeted campaign that planted eavesdropping software on a telecommunications provider’s servers, a cybersecurity firm said.FireEye said in a report issued on Thursday that the hackers belong to the group designated Advanced Persistent Threat 41, or APT41, which it says has been involved in spying and cybercrime for most of the past decade. It said some of the targets were “high-value” and all were chosen by their phone numbers and unique cellphone identifiers known as IMSI numbers.
 
The cybersecurity firm would not identify or otherwise characterize the victims or the impacted telecoms provider or give its location. It said only that the telecom is in a country that’s typically a strategic competitor to China.The spyware was programmed to capture messages containing references to political leaders, military and intelligence organizations and political movements at odds with the Chinese government, FireEye said.FireEye’s director of advanced practices, Steven Stone, said that none of the known targets was a U.S. government official.The discovered malware, which FireEye dubbed MESSAGETAP, was able to collect data on its targets without their knowledge but could not read messages sent with end-to-end encrypted applications such as WhatsApp and iMessage.“If you’re one of these targets you have no idea your message traffic is being taken from your device because your device hasn’t been infected,” Stone said.FireEye said the hackers also stole detailed calling records on specific individuals, obtaining the phone numbers they interacted with, call durations and times.
A government representative at China’s embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.FireEye did not identify the maker of the equipment that was hacked or specify how the hackers penetrated the telecom provider networks.It said APT41 began using MESSAGETAP during the summer, which is around when pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong. The firm said since its discovery, it has found “multiple” telecoms targeted by the malware.FireEye said it has observed APT41 targeting four telecoms this year as well as major travel services and healthcare providers in countries it did not identify.Details of the espionage operation come as the U.S. tries to persuade allied governments to shun Chinese telecom equipment providers led by Huawei as they build next-generation wireless networks known as 5G, claiming they represent a risk to national security.The U.S. government already has banned government agencies and contractors from using equipment supplied by Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese company. It is now seeking to bar their use in telecom projects that receive federal funding.Huawei vehemently denies that it has allowed China’s communist rulers to use its equipment for espionage, and Washington has presented no proof of such. U.S. officials say a 2017 Chinese law requires organizations and citizens to help the state collect intelligence.

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На міжбанку переважають продавці валюти, гривня посилюється

Торги в парі гривня-долар на українському міжбанківському валютному ринку 31 жовтня розпочалися з активного продажу іноземної валюти, що на тлі низького попиту призводить до просідання котирувань. «Основна частина угод не перевищує поріг 500 тисяч доларів», – відзначає сайт «Мінфін».

«У гривні знову є шанс зміцнити свої позиції щодо долара, а основними драйверами поведінки учасників торгів будуть завершення місяця у клієнтів та банків та поведінка готівкового ринку і стан ліквідності в системі», – відзначили експерти сайту «Мінфін».

За даними сайту Finance.ua, станом на 12:00 котирування склали 24 гривні 81 – 84 копійки за долар, це нижче рівня відкриття торгів на 13 копійок.

Національний банк України опівдні оприлюднив довідкове значення курсу 24 гривні 83 копійки за долар, це на 17 копійок менше за офіційний курс на 31 жовтня.

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Миколаївська митниця заявляє про обшуки через можливу втрату 160 млн гривень

Миколаївська митниця Державної фіскальної служби заявляє про обшуки через можливу втрату 160 мільйонів гривень. На території митниці працюють співробітники Служби безпеки України та Державного бюро розслідувань.

«Мною особисто була подана інформація до ДБР щодо можливих неправомірних дій тодішнього керівництва митниці. Зокрема, мова йде про те, що через митницю було пропущено 17 партій з мінеральними добривами без начислення антидемпінгового мита. Внаслідок цього є підозра, що держава понесла збитки на суму 162,7 мільйона гривень», – заявив начальник Миколаївської митниці

За його словами, наразі правоохоронці проводять обшуки за ознаками правопорушення, передбаченого статтею 364 Кримінального кодексу України «Зловживання владою або службовим становищем».

Служба безпеки України та Державне бюро розслідувань наразі не коментували обшуки.

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