Monthly Archives: August 2014

 President Barack Obama signed a bill into law Friday that aims to make it legal for consumers to “unlock” their cell phones in order to change their cell phone service providers without paying for a new phone.
The bill is known as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which orders the U.S. Library of Congress (LoC) to allow cell phone owners to “unlock” their devices – typically “locked,” to a specific service provider like AT&T or Verizon – for its use on other networks without the permission of their service provider.

As long as their phone is compatible and they have complied with their contracts, consumers will now be able to enjoy the freedom of taking their mobile service – and a phone they already own – to the carrier that best fits their needs,” the White House said in a statement.

UNLOCKING Vs. JAILBREAKING
Unlocking means the device can only access the network of a particular telecomm, like AT&T or Verizon.
When consumers buy a cell phone or tablet, the cost is often subsidized in exchange for a two-year contract with a network carrier. The operating system inbuilt in the phone encrypts or locks devices so that they cannot be used with any other network.
Jailbreaking, on the other hand, is the process of removing limitations on iOS devices. Jailbreaking permits root access to the iOS file system and manager, allowing a cell phone owner to install tweaks, hacks, and mods that aren’t allowed in the App Store. Rooting Android is almost the same thing as Jailbreaking iOS.
PRESIDENT OBAMA PRAISES
After Congress approved of legislation to make the action legal again, President Obama praised the move and is looking forward to sign it.

The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget,” the president said last week, when the bill cleared Congress. “I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

LoC MADE ‘UNLOCKING’ ILLEGAL
Under an amendment to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Librarian of Congress (LoC) made ‘unlocking’ illegal last year.
This new bill is made totally against the last year decision made by the LoC that said it was legal for customers to jailbreak a phone but illegal to unlock any devices, whether a smartphone or tablet. This gives legal authority to service providers to keep a consumer’s phone “locked,” in which the cell phone owner faces large costs in switching carriers or attempting to link to other carriers overseas while traveling.
THE BILL HELP PROMOTE CONSUMERS CHOICE
Many politicians and consumer groups have said the new bill into law will help promote consumer choice in the wireless market, since it now freely allows consumers to take their mobile phones to other carriers.
This bill ensures that consumers will be able to do what they rightfully expect to be able to do with phones they have purchased: use them on whatever network they like,” Laura Moy, an attorney at advocacy group Public Knowledge, stated after last week. Moy added that the bill will also “keep millions of devices out of landfills.
CARRIERS TO PROVIDE UNLOCKING CODES 
Though the law makes unlocking legal, it does not order wireless carriers to provide customers the unlock codes without a valid reason. Consumers who are still under a previously-signed service contract with their service providers, have to first satisfy the terms and period of that ongoing contract before being allowed to unlock their device.

[This] effort began with a digital petition on the White House’s We the People site, an online platform where citizens can offer ideas for the Administration to take action on important issues facing our country,” Senator Patrick Leahy and President Obama’s economic advisor Jeff Zients wrote on the White House blog.

The petition drew an extraordinary response, with more than 114,000 citizens making their voices heard. And within two weeks, the White House answered with a call to action, laying out steps the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), industry, and Congress could take to ensure copyright law would not undermine wireless competition.” he added.

Earlier this month, the founder of the Social Networking giant highlighted the future of universal Internet access, the dream that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to fulfil, in an effort to make Internet access available to everyone across the world just like a service as essential as of 911 in the case of an emergency.
Dream comes true! Facebook Inc. (FB) in partnership with Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) of India today launches its first Android and web application with free data access to a wide range of services, according to Guy Rosen, a product management director at Facebook.

This new offering from Facebook is launching in Zambia before coming to other developing countries eventually, and provided through a mobile application known as Internet.org, named after a project developed by the world’s biggest social networking site to expand Internet access to the developing world.

“Right now, only 15% of people in Zambia have access to the internet, Zuckerberg said via FB post. “Soon, everyone will be able to use the internet for free to find jobs, get help with reproductive health and other aspects of health, and use tools like Facebook to stay connected with the people they love.

According to Zuck, today 2.7 billion people, just over one-third of the world’s population, have access to the Internet, and the adoption has been growing at a very lower rate, by less than 9% each year. The rest of the world’s 5 billion people who do not have access to Internet are lacking access due to issues such as high costs or improper infrastructure and he thinks that 90% problem of the world’s population isn’t a lack of a network but lack of affordable data plans.
Internet.org—a global partnership launched by Zuckerberg last year, along with other major information-technology leaders as well as nonprofit organizations and local communities—plans to bring those 5 million people who are without Internet access into the Digital Age.
Internet.org app will offer some basic services to Airtel customers without incurring any data charges. It will include access to Facebook, Messenger, Wikipedia, and Google Search, along with Accuweather, local news, health information and employment services.

Over 85% of the world’s population lives in areas with existing cellular coverage, yet only about 30% of the total population accesses the internet,” Internet.org product management director Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post. 

Affordability and awareness are significant barriers to internet adoption for many and today we are introducing the Internet.org app to make the internet accessible to more people by providing a set of free basic services.

Although the service is limited only to Airtel users in Zambia, but according to Facebook it’s just an initial move, the bigger approach is yet to come. The goal of the biggest social networking site is to bring the service all over the world.

This is a big step forward in achieving the mission of Facebook and Internet.org,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re looking forward to bringing free basic services to more countries soon.

On the whole, it is reasonable to expect that giving poor people access to Internet and possibility of connecting with people anywhere around the world will be socially transforming the life in a very positive way.

 

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While the rest of the world was engaged in cyber security and privacy, an Indian patriotic hacker targeted 43 major Pakistani Government official websites, including ‘President of Pakistan’, ‘Government of Pakistan’, ‘Ministry of Defence’, and whole Ministry of Pakistan.
Indian hacker Godzilla claimed responsibility to hack into one of the main proxy server of the Pakistan Government, which is being used to manage all the government websites. Once the hacker gained the access to the proxy server, he managed to take down those websites.
The attack on the websites are supposed to be severe as it has been over 24 hours and the websites are still down at the time of writing.
The hacker posted a message on his Facebook profile saying, “Poor Pakistan no matter how hard you try we can bypass those security anytime we want. Before making a statement in media against India think twice.
Godzilla aka G.O.D is the same hacker who launched a cyber attack last year on a number of servers owned by the Pakistani government, causing a number of official departmental websites, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Information Technology and Ministry of Economic Affairs & Statistics, to crash.
This is not the first time, the hacker was also responsible for hacking Pakistan government and Bangladesh government websites multiple times in past.
The following websites are currently affected as a result of the security breach:

http://www.pakistan.gov.pk
http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk
http://www.mod.gov.pk
http://www.railways.gov.pk
www.cabinet.gov.pk
www.moitt.gov.pk . . . . . . and many more.

The compromised websites have been posted on the Pastebin.

 

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