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Traders’ body asks Modi government to ban WhatsApp, Facebook over new privacy policy

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NEW DELHI: Traders’ body CAIT on Sunday wrote to Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanding that the Narendra Modi government restrict WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy or impose a ban on the messaging app and its parent company Facebook.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) claimed that through the new privacy policy, “all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information of a person who is using WhatsApp will be acquired by it and can be used for any purpose by WhatsApp”.

In the communication to Prasad, CAIT has demanded that “government should immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook”, the traders’ body stated.

CAIT said Facebook has more than 200 million users in India and enabling it to access data of every user can pose serious threat to not only the economy but even to the security of the country.

However, in an email response to PTI, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp.

“Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp.”

The spokesperson further said that the update does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook and does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world.

“WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people’s privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month,” the spokesperson added.

An email sent to Facebook seeking comment on the issue did not elicit a response.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said, “The changed privacy policy of WhatsApp is an encroachment on privacy of an individual and runs against the basic fundamentals of Constitution of India and therefore the CAIT has demanded immediate intervention of the government.

Source: Press Trust of India

Mobile Services

Pakistan temporarily suspends all social media platforms

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Friday temporarily suspended the services of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to stop their use to organise demonstrations following violent protests by a radical religious group that has now been banned by the government.

The government banned Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on Thursday following three days of violent protest by it to force the government to expel the French ambassador over a blasphemous caricature published in France last year.

The TLP had launched the country-wide protest on Monday after the arrest of its chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

The TLP supporters clashed with the law enforcement agencies in several towns and cities earlier this week, leaving seven persons dead and over 300 policemen injured.

To stop the protests after Friday prayers, the Interior Ministry directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend social media services for four hours from 11 am to 3 pm.

The PTA said in a notification that complete access to social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Telegram) may be blocked.

The reason for the suspension of the services was not stated by the PTA but official sources said that it was feared that protesters could use social media to organise demonstrations.

Suspension of internet and mobile phone services is a common practice in Pakistan to forestall protests and acts of terrorism.

But this time only social media has been particularly targeted as the TLP was reportedly using it effectively against the government action.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed warned the TLP against using YouTube to upload propaganda videos. The TLP came to prominence in November 2017 when it staged a sit-in at the Faizabad interchange near Islamabad and cut off the capital from the old international airport.

Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in the government then and Imran Khan, the current prime minister, and his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party had supported the protest.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Spectrum Auction 2021: Telecom Department assigns frequencies to successful bidders

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NEW DELHI: Department of Telecom (DoT) today (16.04.2021) successfully completed the assignment of frequencies to successful bidders of the Spectrum Auction, 2021. Frequency assignment letters were issued to successful bidders today.

The frequency assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonization exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made contiguous with the spectrum blocks already held by them, wherever possible, in various bands in different Licensed Service Areas (LSAs).

The harmonization of spectrum was accomplished in 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 8 LSAs in 900 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 1800 MHz band, 3 LSAs in 2100 MHz band, and 16 LSAs in 2300 MHz band.The harmonization exercise facilitates more efficient utilization of spectrum held by TSPs, leading to improved Quality of Service for consumers.

As a part of the frequency assignment, the Government has also accepted the request of two TSPs – M/S Bharti and M/S Reliance Jio, for assignment of immediately available unsold spectrum blocks in place of spectrum blocks in the same band and LSA assigned to them from later dates. An amount of Rs. 2306.97 crore (Rs. 157.38 crore from M/s Bharti and Rs. 2149.59 crore from M/s Reliance Jio) has been received immediately by the Government, rather than in August/ September, 2021.

It may be recalled that a total quantity of 855.60 MHz of spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands was acquired by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the Spectrum Auction, 2021, conducted on 1st and 2nd March, 2021.

The total amount payable by the successful bidders for the total quantity of spectrum acquired is Rs 77820.81 crore.

Of this, an amount of Rs 21918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the TSPs on 18th March, 2021, as per terms and conditions of the Notice Inviting Applications.

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Appointments

LTI appoints Anil Rander as its Chief Financial Officer

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has appointed Anil Rander as its Chief Financial Officer.

Anil is a seasoned finance leader with more than 27 years of multifaceted experience in driving business performance and growth. His expertise ranges across business and financial strategy formulation, fiscal management, corporate accounting, investor relations, pricing, risk management, internal audit and financial controls.

Sanjay Jalona, CEO & Managing Director, LTI, said “The role of CFO is evolving rapidly, and I am pleased to welcome Anil to our leadership team at this critical juncture in our journey. His financial leadership and business acumen will enable us to chart the next phase of growth for LTI. We remain committed to pushing industry benchmarks on business excellence.”

Anil joins LTI from Tech Mahindra where he was the Senior Vice President for Finance and Legal functions and Global Head of Finance for BPS. Before this role, Anil was with Hutchison Max Telecom Ltd where he looked after management accounting. His other stints have been with Alpic Finance and A.F. Ferguson & Co.

Anil is a Chartered Account, Cost Accountant and a Company Secretary. He has won multiple industry accolades for outstanding contributions during his illustrious career. He will be based out of LTI’s headquarter in Mumbai, India.

 

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