Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Google It Is Facebook’s Turn To Adopt Censorship

It seems the guys at Google and Facebook have nothing better to do than messing up with accounts of their users. While Google demoted my block after its initial censorship, Facebook has altogether blocked me from my account.

Surprisingly whenever companies like Google or Facebook have to adopt measures that are neither strictly legal nor in conformity with their own policies, they always invoke the trump card of “spam communications”. Of course, spam is a violation of terms of services (TOS) of any company, including Google and Facebook, but a resource must actually be spam to invoke such penalty.

We have been experiencing censorship by various online platforms from time to time. This may be due to the critical and bold analysis that we make from time to time. Critical analysis is definitely protected under Indian and US constitution as freedom of speech and expression. If a post or resource is well within the limits of constitutional right to speech, it cannot and should not be curtailed.

It seems commercial interests and draconian laws are forcing companies like Google and Facebook to censor users’ accounts, posts and messages. Clearly this is an illegal and unconstitutional act on their part and they must cease to indulge in these practices.

While I am still continuing my blog, it seems time to say goodbye to Facebook has arrived. All those individuals who were following my activities there and wish to continue to do so are invited to the Priyanka Sharma Daily. It seems to be a better alternative to Facebook and is more comfortable and user friendly.

However, this episode of Facebook has reminded me of the statement by Julian Assange that Facebook is an “appalling spying machine” and its insistence upon mobile number is sufficient proof of the same. It is better to leave Facebook than giving a mobile number, so goodbye Facebook.

It is well known that spy agencies and intelligence agencies world over use social media for open source intelligence (OSINT) purposes. US even plans to use, perhaps already using, fake virtual people botnet and persona management software to gather inputs from social media websites. Time has come to question the dubious practices of social media websites and blogging platforms so that they can be sterilised from malicious people violating civil liberties of netizens.

Virus Attack On ICICI Bank Transactions: A Cyber Security Lapse

The online banking system of India is not cyber secure. Take the recent example of virus attack upon ICICI Internet banking transactions. It proved that Internet banking system and mechanism of ICICI bank is not cyber secure. It is not even clear whether ICICI bank has appointed a chief information officer (CIOs) to manage its Internet banking functions that has been made compulsory by the Reserve Bank of India.

Cyber security of banks in India is in bad shape despite mandatory guidelines by RBI in this regard that has asked Indian banks to ensure cyber secure due diligence for banks in India.

The cyber law due diligence in India requires Indian banks to ensure compliance with information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) otherwise stringent penal and pecuniary penalties can be imposed.

Similarly, cyber due diligence for Indian companies is now a well known responsibility. A failure to observe cyber due diligence by banking companies in India is neither good for their business nor for their customers.

Surprisingly, till now ICICI bank has not officially come forward to repudiate this claim of the security professional Yash who has claimed to discover this vulnerability in the Internet banking system of ICICI.

Internet banking risks in India are increasing and cyber security of Internet banking in India must be strengthened by various banks. In fact, Internet banking cyber security in India needs to be strengthened so that customers’ confidence can improve.

Now the Indian banks may use two methods to solve this problem. They may use dubious and illegal methods of false complaints and pages/websites/blogs removal requests to various hosting companies like Google, Facebook, etc and thereby remove the negative reporting about their business. Or they may improve the cyber security of their systems and thereby gain more respect and trust of their customers.

Unfortunately, many prefer the former option that is seldom productive and is injurious to own interests in the long run. What is more surprising is that Internet intermediaries like Google, Facebook, etc are in fact acceding to these requests and are messing up with accounts of their users. Let us hope things would change very soon on all fronts.