In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 3rd November 2019
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How India should deal with cyber attacks on critical infrastructure
In response to a report from Kaspersky about a cyber attack, and a subsequent disclosure by a cyber security expert that it was on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, an official from the power plant hasn’t denied whether it faced any cyber attack, or was infected: only that the control systems are not connected to the Internet, and that the power plant units are operating without any operational and safety concerns. Read it here
What we know about the alleged cyber attack on the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant (and what we don’t know)
DoT Committee calls for papers to develop Indian AI stack
A committee under the Department of Telecommunications which has been formed for the standardisation of Artificial Intelligence technology has invited papers on Artificial Intelligence. These original papers should address different aspects of AI such as – functional network architecture, AI architecture, data structures required, etc. Read it here
Sweden permits police-use of facial recognition technology
Sweden’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) has allowed the country’s police to use facial recognition technology for identifying criminal suspects as it’s “far more effective” at identifying perpetrators than manual identification by police. Read it here
#NAMA: Is traceability enforceable? How does it impact intermediaries?
“If I [as a cloud service provider] get a notice today to share data even through a legal channel, I will have to contest it in court because I can’t implement what they [law enforcement] are asking me to,” said Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy from BSA – The Software Alliance. Read it here
#NAMA: Does traceability meet the Puttaswamy test? What kind of procedural safeguards do we need?
“Even though there is some equivocation in our judgements, I am going to take the maximalist position and say that the ‘necessity’ has been defined as necessary in a democratic society, one that respects the privacy of communications,” said Prasanna S, an advocate, on whether the demand for traceability meets the Puttaswamy proportionality test. “In this case, the question would be whether in such a society, the state can effectively order and establish a regime where corporations and non-state entities aid and abet state surveillance.” Read it here
WhatsApp sues Israeli spyware company NSO Group for planting spyware in users’ devices
WhatsApp is suing Israeli spyware developer NSO Group for exploiting a since-then fixed vulnerability in WhatsApp that allowed attackers to plant spyware in users’ phones just by ringing their target’s device. Read it here
Twitter bans all political ads on the platform
Twitter will no longer allow political and issue ads on the platform, CEO Jack Dorsey announced 40 minutes ahead of Facebook’s Q3 earnings call. The final policy on political ads will be released by November 15 and will be enforced from November 22, to give advertisers enough notice period. Read it here
Facebook’s continuing woes with regulating political ads
Unlike its smaller rival Twitter, Facebook has doubled down on its position to not moderate any political content — both ads and content from political candidate. On September 24, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications, announced that it would continue to exempt ads and content from politicians from fact-checking, even if they violated the site’s hate speech or rules or other policies, as such content is “newsworthy”. Read it here
Home Ministry gives no information to RTI asking if it bought Pegasus spyware
The Home Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied whether it purchased the Pegasus malware, in response to an RTI query. “It is informed that no such information is available with the undersigned CPIO”, says the response from the Cyber and Information Security Division of the Home Ministry. Read it here
Amnesty sued Israeli Defence Ministry over Pegasus in May 2019; Israel minister denies involvement
In May 2019, Amnesty International and New York University (NYU) had sued the Israeli Ministry of Defence (MOD) to get NSO Group’s export licence revoked. Israel’s security cabinet minister Zeev Elkin today denied any Israeli government involvement in sale of Pegasus by NSO Group, stating that “NSO Group is a private player” and “there is no Israeli government involvement”, according to a Reuters report. MediaNama has reached out to Amnesty International for comment. Read it here