Tuesday, September 25, 2012


(For PCWorld Pakistan)

Iran Blocks Google

Iran will introduce its own domestic internet network to improve the cyber security in the country. This was stated by Government’s Deputy Minister who announced on State Television that Google and its email Services would be blocked ‘within a few hours’. The official identified as Mr. Khoramabadi said, “Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice.”

According to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), Google ban was linked to the anti-Islamic film posted on its video sharing site YouTube which has led to worldwide protests in the Muslim world. But there is no official statement regarding the ban.

The citizens fear it will further lessen their access to internet who believe the ban is imposed to prevent anti-government views on the internet. The country has one of the biggest internet filters of any country in the world, blocking the access of Iranians to countless sites which are deemed to be offensive or criminal according to officials.

The national Internet System would be isolated from the World Wide Web. Iran’s Deputy Communications and Technology Minister Ali Hakim-Javadi said, “In recent days, all governmental agencies and offices … have been connected to the national information network.”

He also added that the second phase will include adding common citizens to the network. The domestic Internet system is expected to be fully implemented by March 2013.

PTCL Introduces EVO Nitro Boost

Pakistan Telecommunication Limited has introduced EVO Nitro Boost offer. The offer will provide Nitro customers 9.3Mbps speed with unlimited downloads for Rs.2100 per month. Besides, it will provide incentive to the new Nitro customers to save Rs.900 per month on every new purchase. But the incentive will be valid till the promotion of the offer.

Facebook Removes Photo Tag Tool in Europe

Facebook Photo tag is one of the most popular activities on the social network but has come under investigation owing to growing concerns of privacy threats. In a response to this, Facebook will switch off its facial-recognition tool that enables photo tagging. The features will be removed in Europe by October 15.

Billy Hawkes, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), who launched the investigation, said he was happy that the site had agreed to remove the tool in Europe. “I am satisfied that the review has demonstrated a clear and ongoing commitment on the part of FB-I to comply with its data protection responsibilities: By doing so it is sending a clear signal of its wish to demonstrate its commitment to best practice in data protection compliance.”

In a statement, Facebook commented on the decision as, “In light of discussions with our regulator in Ireland, we have agreed to suspend the Tag Suggest feature in Europe.” The social network also said it is working with the Irish authorities ‘on the appropriate way to obtain user content for this kind of technology under European rules.’

Commenting on the decision, Europe-versus-Facebook which is an Austrian Campaign group fighting for clearer privacy policies on the site called it ‘a very surprising decision of the Irish authority’ and it ‘sounds like a big victory for users.’ The group also said on its website, “It looks like we might soon be able to drop our first complaint.”

New Victims of Hacking: KSE and Pak Army

Adding to the on-going cyber war between India and Pakistan, an Indian Hacker has recently claimed hacking of the official website of Karachi Stock Exchange and Pakistan Army. The claim is still to be verified by the officials.

The hacker claimed that he accessed the website and made a copy of the databases and downloaded them on his local machine. Identified as Godzilla a.k.a G.O.D as he calls himself, he has published the information of both the websites.

Some of the private email addresses of handlers at KSE are feared to be comprised. For the time being, the KSE website is working fine while the Pak Army website is reporting an application error message.

Though the hacking is still to be confirmed, there is less of concern for Pak Army website penetration compared to KSE which is believed to have stored critical users and company information.


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