Sunday, 20 November 2016

China adopts tough law on cyber-security

China today adopted a tough cybersecurity law which it said was aimed at safeguarding sovereignty on cyber space and national security, and to deal with related risks at home and abroad.
The new law was passed by China's legislature, the National 
According to the new law, the government will take measures to "monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack, intrusion, disturbance and damage".
Efforts will also be made to punish criminal activities online and safeguard the order and security of cyberspace, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Under the new law, individual users and organisations are not allowed to jeopardise security on the Internet or use it to "damage national security, honour and interests".
Online activities that are attempts to overthrow the socialist system, split the nation, undermine national unity, advocate terrorism and extremism are all prohibited, according to the provisions, which also forbade activities including inciting ethnic hatred, discrimination and spreading violence and obscene information online.
The law was passed at the bimonthly session of the NPC Standing Committee, which concluded today, after a third reading.
China administers internet with massive firewalls to protect from outside interventions.
It also effectively banned social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and controls the local social media sites like Weibo through the firewalls blocking any content that harms the ruling Communist Party of China and the government.

Now Facebook users can automatically launch ''Safety Check''

Facebook will now allow its 1.2 billion users to automatically launch its crisis response tool, "Safety Check".

According to a report by on Thursday, this change will allow the community to decide the urgency of the nearby danger, something Facebook has struggled to grasp.

In the areas of immediate danger, Safety Check allows people to notify their family and friends that they are safe. This feature of Facebook has been used during natural calamities and terrorists attacks across world. 

"When Facebook had control of Safety Check, it had a high standard of what counted as a disaster. A typhoon in the Philippines might have six inches of water in your house, and in California, that'd be a big deal. But in the Philippines, we did research there, and people said this wasn't a big deal," quoted Peter Cottle, Facebook's lead engineer on crisis response. 

"In the past two years, Facebook turned on Safety Check 39 times. Compare that to 335 dangerous events flagged by its community-based Safety Check tool since the company began testing it in June. One of the first instances of a community-generated Safety Check was the Orlando nightclub shooting in June," the report said. 

Facebook considers an event as not being an emergency if the users ignore the Safety Check, which then fades itself. 

"We can tell how many people are spreading this and marking themselves safe, and how quickly it's growing. There's a real strong measure of urgency based on the rapidness of the people who are using the tool," Cotte said. 

However, Facebook has been criticised for being selective when it comes to launching Safety Check tool during a crisis. 

In November 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had responded with a facebook post saying, ""We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can." 

Reports said that Facebook was also testing out a Community Help page that "users can access after checking in as safe. There, users can post if they need shelter, food or supplies, or if they can provide any of those resources". 

The Community Help feature is expected to be available by January 2017.