Stories about edward snowden

Nothing can save ‘The Circle’ from its circle of destruction

With the advent of information technology, the debate about privacy protection has raised numerous questions concerning law, policy making and moral principles. The disclosures of Edward Snowden have proven that privacy threats are genuine. The internet and social media are also being frequently used for global electronic surveillance programs.  The 21st century cinema is thrilled to cover stories of global scandals and the risks associated with the use of advanced technology. The various techno-thrillers and sci-fi dramas, with near-future science imaginary tales have already covered plentiful digital conspiracy and apocalyptic stories. The Spectacular Now (2013) and The End Of The Tour (2015) famed film director and screenwriter, James Ponsoldt’s latest venture is also about ...

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Jason Bourne is a worthy successor to the Bourne franchise

Jason Bourne (2016) is the fifth instalment in the Bourne film franchise and also the direct sequel to the much acclaimed The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). It is based on the popular novel of the same name written by Robert Ludlum and is directed by Paul Greengrass, who has directed several other Bourne films in the past. Matt Damon returns in the titular role as Jason Bourne, who is a former black-ops CIA operative cum assassin on the run. He is also suffering from amnesia and long term memory loss. Matt DamonPhoto: IMDb Jason Bourne is a modern thriller movie, ...

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How far is the state willing to go to police the internet in Pakistan?

It is unfortunate that every time activists engage the government in a discussion regarding the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB), with the aim of protecting civil liberties in cyberspace, the government in turn makes the law more complex and open to multiple interpretations. In recent days, an extensive round of deliberation was carried out with the senate’s standing committee and sub-committee on information technology. This time, digital rights organisations somehow managed to push legislators through, with the help of a few sane voices, in the senate for removing and/or improving the sections contravening the essence of democracy vis-à-vis civil liberties. Pakistan has ...

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It doesn’t matter if it’s Trump, Clinton or Bernie, we still have to prepare for the worst

Donald Trump comes off as an obnoxious racist who is not only capable of mocking a disabled journalist, but talks about banning Muslims from the US and introducing Nazi style ID cards to track Muslims. But he is not solely to blame for this. Trump is a product of a society that has been subjected to virulent anti-Muslim propaganda for over a decade. This has been witnessed through news reports, Hollywood movies and dramas – backed up by right wing think tanks and politicians. Various Wall Street bankers have looted the country to the extent that over 45 million Americans are living on food stamps ...

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WhatsApp end-to-end encryption: Should our information really be hidden from the authorities?

Amidst the battle between Apple and FBI over accessing one’s private phone, WhatsApp decided to take a bold step and began encrypting all of its user messages. This encryption has recently been the topic of heated debates, especially after Apple’s refusal to comply with FBI’s demand of letting it access the phone of a terrorist involved in the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015. Tim Cook, after succumbing to the Bureau’s demands, issued a statement pointing out that hacking an individuals iPhone would require a software to that could potentially become, “A master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks.” [caption ...

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Should Apple give the FBI access to all our iPhones?

Considering how public opinion can sway important legal matters, there is perhaps nothing more perilous than irresponsible journalism. Unfortunately, in an age where click-bait is the name of the game, reporters unfamiliar with their subject matter often spread misinformation. This, sadly, is especially true for information technology. You may have recently heard from various news sources that Apple previously ‘unlocked’ iPhones for the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) ‘70 times’. Some even claimed that Apple is refusing to do so now as part of a marketing strategy. This has also been gleefully echoed by the FBI itself. Some of the sources ...

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Why do jihadists hate women but love pornography?

One of the defining aspects of our culture right now, though it is rarely acknowledged and discussed, is the problem of the young man. We often reflect as a society on the way in which our culture, especially as it is articulated in the media, has very strong and very negative consequences for our young women. From the way in which our media is affecting our cultural understanding of normal body image, to the psychiatric disorders (including but not limited to eating disorders) that ravage a shocking proportion of our teenage daughters, to the ways in which this new ...

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Of drone strikes: “Did we just kill a kid?”

“Did we just kill a kid?” asked Bryant, a drone sensor operator. “Yes, I guess so!” replied the drone pilot. Brandon Bryant’s recent exposé of drone operations killing hundreds of innocent civilians during his service, which led to his post-traumatic stress and retirement, explains the dark side of the CIA led US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Adding to Bryant’s shock and surprise, his peers believed that they had killed a dog and not a kid that day, and thus it was nothing to worry about. Bryant worked as a drone sensor operator for the USAF from 2006 to 2011, mainly operating from a dark container ...

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Does David Cameron want to spy on the companies spying on us?

David Cameron recently pledged to potentially block encrypted online messaging platforms such as Whatsapp and iMessage. He claimed that the British government should not have to tolerate companies that encrypt their users’ data to the extent that even the national security agencies could not access user communications. While this proposed idea by Cameron might seem radical at first, it is more of a tactical ploy out of frustration in an effort to gain bargaining power over the companies. And this is not exclusive to England alone. Commercial entities such as Whatsapp currently take information from consumers without knowledge or meaningful voluntary consent. These companies ...

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Why ban Skype, Viber and WhatsApp when you can monitor like India and China?

As electronic technology becomes increasingly complex and sophisticated, the internet has allegedly become a breeding ground for terrorists for mobilising their activities.The Sindh government’s solution to this menace, without examining any alternatives, is a proposal to temporarily ban multi-platform messaging and video applications including Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. This comes as another unfortunate move for the general public of the country, especially since other nations have combated similar issues through less drastic means. A fairly recent incident was the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, after which the Indian government made demands to Gmail, Skype and Blackberry to share encryption keys ...

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