Facebook accidentally ‘leaked’ moderators’ identities to potential terrorists

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San Francisco, June 17 :  A security glitch at Facebook has put the lives of its over 1,000 content moderators at risk by accidentally leaking their identities to suspected terrorists’ accounts on the social media platform.
According to a report in The Guardian on Friday, the security lapse that was identified in November 2016 has affected more than 1,000 workers across 22 departments at Facebook who used the company’s moderation software to review and remove inappropriate content, including sexual material, hate speech and terrorist propaganda.
This all started after Facebook moderators started receiving friend requests from people affiliated with the terrorist organisations they were scrutinising.
“The security glitch, which lasted for a month before Facebook was able to correct it in November, made the moderators’ profiles appear in the notifications of Facebook groups that are thought to be administrated by terrorists with ties to IS, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers Party,” the report quoted a moderator as saying.
It was later discovered by the company that the personal Facebook profiles of its moderators had been automatically appearing in the activity logs of the terror groups they were shutting down.
Around 40 workers were affected in counter-terrorism unit based at Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland while six of those were assessed to be “high priority” victims of the ‘glitch’.
“Within the high-risk, six had their personal profiles viewed by accounts with ties to IS, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers Party. Facebook complies with the US state department’s designation of terrorist groups,” the moderator added.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Guardian it had made technical changes to “better detect and prevent these types of issues from occurring”.
“We care deeply about keeping everyone who works for Facebook safe. As soon as we learned about the issue, we fixed it and began a thorough investigation to learn as much as possible about what happened,” the spokesperson added.
After the leak was detected, Facebook convened a “task force of data scientists, community operations and security investigators”.
The internal emails of Facebook revealed that the company warned all the employees and contracted staff it believed were affected, and also set-up an email address, nameleak@fb.com, to field queries from those affected.
“For those in the high-risk group, Facebook also offered counselling through its employee assistance program, over and above counselling offered by the contractor, Cpl. It also offered to install a home alarm monitoring system and provide transport to and from work to the six,” the report said.
However, one of the moderators who fled Ireland said that Facebook needed to do more to address their pressing concerns for their safety and families.
The moderator has filed a legal claim against Facebook and Cpl, seeking compensation for the psychological damage caused by the leak.

 

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6 policemen killed in J&K; Lashkar men gunned down

SRINAGAR: In another militant attack within three weeks, terrorists on Friday ambushed a police party on the outskirts of Anantnag district of South Kashmir and killed six policemen, including a station house officer, of Achabal area.

The attack took place when the police party was travelling in a jeep at Thujwara in Achabal area, some 65 km from summer capital Srinagar.

The militants laid an ambush on Anantnag-Achabal road near Kulgad village and fired at the police party. According to PTI, they fatally shot the policemen on their faces from close range, disfiguring them, and escaped with their weapons.

All the six policemen, including station house officer, Feroz Ahmed, died on the spot, senior police officials said. Army has been called out to undertake a combing operation in the area.

“It is an unfortunate incident to have lost six men, including sub-nspector Feroz, a resident of Pulwama. Their contribution to the police service will be remembered,” director general of police SP Vaid told PTI.

Feroz Ahmed, 32, a 2010 batch sub-inspector and a resident of Dogripura in Awantipora, was a father of two daughters aged six and two. The other deceased officers are constables Sharik Ahmad and Tanveer Ahmad (Budgam district), Sheraz Ahmad (Achabal), Asif Ahmad and Sabzar Ahmed (Anantnag).

Pakistan-based Lashkar-eTaiba has claimed the responsibility for the attack. Its spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi told a news agency that they attacked the police party in Achabal in which six policemen were killed.

Police said it seems they wanted to take revenge of the Arwani encounter on Friday morning in which their local commander Junaid Mattoo is believed to have died.

After the encounter at Arwani in Bijbehara area, all the three militants involved are believed to be dead. No bodies have been recovered so far.

Mattoo, who carries a bounty of ~10 lakh on his head, was involved in a day light attack last year on a police van in which three policemen, including an officer, were killed. His involvement is also suspected in the killing of a policeman in Kulgam on Thursday afternoon.

This is the second major attack on a police party. Earlier on May 28, militants attacked a police party at Phambai area of Kulgam in South Kashmir, killing five policemen and two bank guards.

The incident saw immediate reaction from political parties, including former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. “It seems that South Kashmir is slipping everyday from the hands of the state government. I hope somebody in New Delhi wakes up now,” Omar said. CPM leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami said the incidents in South Kashmir were a clear example of lawlessness prevailing in the entire area.

 

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Salem, 5 others convicted in ’93 Mumbai blasts case

MUMBAI: Six people, including Mustafa Dossa and gangster Abu Salem, were convicted on Friday of conspiring and carrying out a string of bomb blasts that ripped through the heart of Mumbai in 1993 and killed 257 people in what was India’s worst terrorist attack.

The Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) (TADA) Act court in Mumbai also convicted Firoz Khan, Karimullah Shaikh, Tahir Merchant and Riyaz Siddiqui. Abdul Qayyum Shaikh — who was accused of accompanying Salem to deliver arms — was let off.

However, all the seven accused were acquitted of the charge of waging war against the nation.

The court is now likely to hear arguments over the quantum of sentence from Monday.

According to provisions under which the convicts have been held guilty, the maximum punishment is death.

Salem, however, cannot be given the death penalty. When the gangster was extradited from Portugal, one of the conditions was he cannot be given capital punishment.

Dossa was convicted on charges of conspiracy and murder as well as for offences under the TADA act, the arms act and the explosives act. Dossa allegedly planned the landing of explosives, including Research Department Explosive or RDX, in India and sent some men to Pakistan to acquire arms training to execute the blasts.
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China stands by Pak after its citizens killed by ISIS

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Beijing/ Islamabad: China on Friday played down security concerns over its economic corridor passing through Pakistan after it emerged that two of its nationals were killed by Islamic state Militants.

A Chinese man and a woman – Teaching Mandarin in Balochistan, a region at the centre of the china Pakistan economic corridor – were kidnapped from Quetta in May, triggering alarm in Beijing.

“According to information from Pakistan, they (The two) may have already been unfortunately killed,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing.

She said the incident would not have any impact on the security of projects being constructed under the CPEC.

IS claimed responsibility for the abduction murder of the Chinese nationals though its Amaq news agency on Thursday.

” We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism and support Pakistan its fight (against terror) and for peace and tranquillity  in the region and beyond,” Hua said and clarified the two Chinese were not a couple”.

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