India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including the hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. The ban, which comes in the backdrop of the current stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh with Chinese troops, is also applicable for WeChat and Bigo Live.
The Information and Technology Ministry in a statement said it has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
“There have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country,” the statement said, adding that the ministry had received many complaints from various sources.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement said.
Which are the apps banned?
TikTok (which has over 200 million users in India), Likee and Vigo Video are popular short video creation platforms, while Club Factory and Shein are e-commerce platforms that were looking at expanding their presence to compete with larger rivals like Myntra.
WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging and social media app that rivals WhatsApp.
CamScanner, with the same functionalities as Adobe scanner, is a popular app that allows users to scan images and share them.
SHAREit app allows users to share files between devices, while Helo is a social media platform owned by ByteDance, the parent firm of TikTok.
Alibaba’s UC Browser is a mobile Internet browser that has been available in India since 2009. It claimed to have registered 1.1 billion user downloads worldwide (excluding China) in September 2019, with half of its global installs from India. It also claimed to have 130 million monthly active users in the country at that time.
The government has also banned a clutch of apps of Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, including Mi Community and Mi Video Call. Xiaomi is India’s largest handset brand.
What are the data security concerns mentioned above?
Intelligence reports had earlier rang the alarm bell over 53 apps “extracting data to entities outside the country”.
Take the case of TikTok. It has been facing scrutiny in the European Union over data concerns. Bloomberg reported that EU authorities were, in May, investigating the app after the data-protection commission in the Netherlands opened a probe into the company’s policies to protect children’s data, saying the app is “clearly loved” by Dutch kids. The Beijing-based company had rejected claims it is being controlled by the Chinese government, or that data privacy was an issue.
A recent report by Telegraph had claimed that several apps, including TikTok, were caught accessing data on the clipboard of iOS14. “A security patch from Apple has suddenly exposed just how many smartphone apps are reading users’ clipboards every time they are on screen,” according to the publication. TikTok had responded to the report saying an updated version was already in place. “For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behaviour. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion,” TikTok stated.
How did the government ban the applications?
The Ministry of Information Technology blocked these apps by invoking section 69A of the Information Technology Act, and the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The clause allows the government to issue directions to block for public access of any information through any computer resource: “Where the Central Government or any of its officer specially authorised by it in this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.”
What happens next? Should you uninstall TikTok and other Chinese apps mentioned?
What happens next remains to be seen. However, a likely scenario:
Under section 69A, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be asked to block all of these apps. Google and Apple will be served notices to remove them from their online app stores. This invalidates the use of apps like TikTok which need an internet connection to operate; their use will be blocked.
For apps and functionalities that can work offline, the situation is a little more tricky. It is highly likely that further downloads will be blocked, and existing users could be served an advisory to refrain from using the applications further.
What are some similar apps that can be used?
There are numerous home-grown alternatives that can provide an option to the Indian audience. Take the case of ‘Chingari’, a TikTok alternative that has crossed more than 2.5 million downloads. The short video-sharing app reached the milestone from 5,50,000 downloads in just ten days, the free social platform said in a statement last week. Biswatma Nayak, co-founder of the Chingari App, said, “In the last few days, we have witnessed a 400 per cent growth in the subscribers of the app.”
Chingari said it allows a user to download and upload videos, chat with friends, interact with new people, share content and browse through feed. “Chingari pays a content creator on the basis of how viral the video becomes. For every video that one uploads on the Chingari app, you get points [per view] which can be redeemed for money,” the statement added. The app is available in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
ShareChat is an Indian vernacular social media platform, that has garnered huge popularity. ShareChat Director of Public Policy Berges Malu welcomed the move to ban Chinese apps. “This is a welcome move from the government against platforms that have had serious privacy, cyber security and national security risks. We expect the government to continue their support for the Indian startup ecosystem,” he said.
Prosecutors: Similar charges warrant 1 trial in Floyd death
Prosecutors handling the case associated with 4 Ex-Minneapolis officers charged for the death of George Floyd told the judge on Friday that these men need to face the trial together rather than going their separate ways, given the fact that multiple trials would traumatize the family and witnesses.
The evidence & charges are similar for all the officers, and hence it is justified that the trail should be a single one rather than going with multiple sessions. However, the defense attorneys vouched for different trails for each officer, mentioning that the prosecutors might offer antagonistic defense & the evidence piled up against one could affect another’s case.
On May 25th, Floyd, a man of Black origin, died after officer Derek Chauvin happened to press his knee up against the man’s neck leading to breathing issues. Floyd’s merciless death was recorded on camera by bystanders that started protests demanding equal rights for the black community. These protests were violent at times and slowly followed suit all across the globe.
The officers associated with the case were fired from their position right after Floyd died. Chauvin has been charged with 2nd-degree murder & associated crimes. Apart from this, other officers named J. Keung, Thomas Lane, & Tou Thao were charged with aiding & abetting this crime.
According to sportsgrindentertainment.com, Chauvin is being held in the state’s prison. However, the very first time he appeared was after attending the previous hearings held via videoconference in state prison. He refrained from making any possible eye contact while making his way to the hearing with the defendants. However, Kueng and Lane both glanced at their fellow officer as he crossed them in the pathway.
Keith Ellison, the Attorney General, whose office took the lead of the prosecution, was present in the court as well. On Friday, Cahill mentioned that 4 prosecutors from the Hennepin County, including Mike Freeman, the county attorney, are now disqualified from this trial as they had a meeting with the medical examiner for the discussion of the autopsy results.
Cahill also stated that they could function as witnesses given the fact that the reason for Floyd’s death is still disputed. Freeman has run out of any favors with the local activists, given the way the office had handled the cases against the police officers.
Prior to the hearing, more than a dozen protestors gathered out front by the courthouse with loud chants of “No Justice, No Peace.” While one carried a poster stating “Black Lives Matter,” others wore a black-colored helmet with the swim goggles moved back towards the head. As the hearing neared its end, a loud and large crowd gathered outside the court. While some started beating the drums, others started chanting anti-police statements and slogans. They jeered the defense attorneys loudly while they left this courthouse.
According to the prosecutors handling the court filings, the case needs to be tackled with 1 trail as opposed to multiple ones given the fact that the witness statements, policies, body-cam video evidence is the same for all of the accused officers. According to Neal Katyal, the special attorney designated for prosecution had a conversation with Cahill stating that multiple trials might bring in a heavy burden on these witnesses as well as the court. Not just that, justice could also be delayed for months and even for years. Further, the prosecutor also mentioned that bringing in a verdict during the initial trials might prejudice the judgment of the juries for the later trails.
Having a joint trail allows the community to take charge of the verdicts in one go rather than putting them through any trauma of 4 separate jury verdicts. Earl Gray, the Defense attorney representing Lane, mentioned that separate trails would acquit Chauvin, essentially clearing others of the charge. Officers have already started finger-pointing during the court filings. Lane & Kueng’s attorneys argued that their clients being rookies in the job, followed Chauvin for any criminal proceedings and didn’t question his decision. Bob Paule, Thao’s attorney, mentioned that his client’s involvement was completely distinct from others involved in the case. He was assigned for crowd control as others went on to restrain Floyd.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, wrote in his statement that the defense pitched in by his client would be a tad different. Other officers accused in the case have already started saying that in case Chauvin committed any crime, they had no idea about it and never assisted in the same. He also wrote that the entire blame narrows down to Chauvin.
However, Chauvin also had his fair share of finger-pointing in place. Nelson mentioned that Kueng and Lane were the officers who were the first to respond to this forgery call. The initial contact with Floyd was done by them, after which they called in the paramedic, believing that Floyd had been using something. They failed to elevate this call as an urgent one or gave any medical assistance. Nelson mentioned that Chauvin could easily argue that their inaction was the reason for Floyd’s death.
In case the EMS arrived about 3 minutes sooner, Floyd would have survived. However, Keung & Lane chose to de-escalate this matter instead of remedying it. If the officers recognized signs of opioid overdose, they should have rendered supportive aid by administering naloxone. This could have helped Floyd survive the scenario.
Ben Crump, the attorney representing Floyd and his family members, conversed with the crowd stating that the defense has been highlighting all the wrong aspects of the case, especially drug use, which wasn’t his eminent killer. Rather, Floyd was killed by an overdose of racism and excessive force by the MPD (Minneapolis Police Department).
The attorneys also requested the trial to be moved from the Minneapolis court to someplace else, given the fact that the pretrial publicity related to the case has made it particularly impossible for the accused to get a fair court trial. While Cahill deferred a major chunk of this discussion, he mentioned that he would want to send some questionnaires to the jurors at Hennepin County to understand whether or not they have been moved or affected in any way by the pretrial coverage.
Both the defendants and the prosecutors were split regarding the decision for the jury to remain anonymous. With regard to this, the attorneys mentioned that they had received some angry calls coming from people that think that their clients are completely guilty. They also expressed fear of the jurors being subjected to coercion in case their names go public during the trial.
Also, the prosecutors went on to file new documents that indicated their plan to bring in new evidence from the personnel files dedicated to Thao, Kueng, and Chauvin. The evidence shows instances confirming that the officers used restraints and even acted inappropriately.
According to the prosecutors, seven incidents could be listed in which the alleged Chauvin used neck & upper body restraints on the arrestees dating as early as 2014. Now, in 4 of these cases, the restraint was forced to a point beyond need, including the July 2019 incident, during which Chauvin put in neck restraint over a drunk main leading to complete unconsciousness.
Disney Plus’ Mulan 2020 Set to Hit TV Screens After All: (Release, caste)
Is the traditional movie-going experience under threat from digital streaming platforms? Disney’s decision to bypass cinemas and take its blockbuster Mulan directly to Disney+ could be a sign that the beginning of the end is already here.
Disney delayed the release of Mulan multiple times already, kicking the can down the street since the coronavirus pandemic first made its presence felt earlier this year. Months and months of frustration have passed with release dates moved, only to be moved again.
Hope springs eternal, so they say. Suppose hope things would go back to normal – sooner rather than later – was one of the underlying motivations behind Disney’s decision to delay releasing Mulan to the masses held captive at home by the global pandemic.
That and, more importantly, a long-standing business model that underscores Hollywood blockbusters, which in truth handcuffs all other options. It’s a business relationship that has worked well for both parties for a very long time and in a dollars-and-cents perspective would be in all fairness a massive gamble to go against.
This song #Reflection always represents exciting and new chapters & energy for me. I hope you enjoy this fresh new take. My new rendition of @DisneysMulan’s #Reflection — out now! https://t.co/IzKDJZHE2m
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) August 28, 2020
Last year, global box office revenues hit $42bn, which marked an all-time record. And Disney, Hollywood’s biggest movie studio, made a record 13.2 bn in ticket sales the same year.
Understandably, high expectations preceded Mulan to deliver on the bottom line. The film cost a fortune to make – in the $200m region. Which doesn’t include apparently all other investments in marketing and advertising and so on. But the hype and buzz surrounding it promised smashing box office success and, potentially, even Oscar betting favoritism in various categories.
Only in late July, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore (SCOP), when speaking to CNN Business about the relationship between cinemas and studios alluded to the very ties that bind in a pragmatic way. “It’s both financial and symbolic,” he said in an interview.
Dergarabedian added that dismissing the relationship out of hand, in the midst of coronavirus-mandated measures that forced the shuttering of cinema theatres the world over and ground the film industry to a halt, would be akin to biting the hand that feeds you.
“It’s one thing if smaller or independent films go to digital, but blockbusters are a different animal. If they skip theatres, it shatters the setup the industry has had for decades, which has benefited both theatres and studios.”
Hollywood studios did experiment with digital releases during the pandemic, but mostly with lesser films. Films that may not have been expected to do great at the box office or films that studios have lost faith in the longer the public health crisis continued.
Trolls: World Tour going to digital was the first significant film to go straight to digital. The first installment of Trolls had brought $120m over a period of five months in theatres and taking it out of the hands of cinemas and straight to digital caused some waves.
In May, Universal Studios made the decision to give the DreamWorks-inspired Trolls: World Tour, a digital release at $19.99 a pop rather than delay its cinema release. To the surprise of many, the film made $100m in its first three weeks in the US!
As far as experiments go, Trolls: World Tour, did well under the circumstances. However, comparing it to Mulan…, well, it’s a bit apples and oranges, isn’t it? Production budgets, development costs, filming, logistics, actors, directors – the two films are poles apart on all those scores.
Touching on the comparison, Dergarabedian said, “with all due respect, “Trolls World Tour” wasn’t expected to bring in the ticket sales of a thriller from Christopher Nolan, arguably Hollywood’s most prominent director, and a movie based on an animated classic from Disney (DIS), Hollywood’s biggest movie.”
And yet, the inevitable came to pass after all: on August 4, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that due to the on-going coronavirus crisis, Mulan would after all hit a TV screen near you, on the Disney+ channel for the attractive price of $29.99 a pop.
Although Chapek insisted the decision wasn’t indicative of a planned future shift in Disney’s business model, it was nevertheless a watershed decision that went against the establishment and snatched the blockbuster out of the expectant reach of cinemas, sending seismic shockwaves through the industry.
Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Offer :How To Get Disney+Hotstar VIP Free Subscription For A Year??
Hey Streamers, There is a piece of good news for you all and it is coming from Reliance Jio. Like every year, Reliance Jio has now come up with its Cricket Dhan Dhana Dhan offer just before IPL.
Jio has launched two plans.
With this Cricket Dhan Dhana Dhan offer of Reliance Jio, customers will be having the benefit of exclusive free subscription of DISNEY + HOTSTAR VIP. Sounds Amazing, Right?
How To Get Free Disney+Hotstar VIP Subscription via JIO?
Yes, Jio is offering Disney+Hotstar subscription with its Rs 499 plan.
Its duration will be for 1 year, Yes-You heard it right!!
Not only this But also Customers will get unlimited cricket coverage in this plan.
This plan will get 1.5 GB data daily and the validity of this plan is 56 days, but a big problem with this plan is that you are not getting any calling facility.
Jio’s Rs 499 plan will get a free subscription of DISNEY + HOTSTAR VIP for one year, which costs Rs 399, however, Jio’s pre-paid customers will not be charged with this plan.
Quartly plan of Rs 777
In this plan also you will get a free subscription of DISNEY + HOTSTAR VIP for one year. In this plan also, 1.5 GB i.e. 131 GB data will be available daily. The validity of this plan will be 84 days. In this plan, you will get unlimited calling and subscription of Jio apps.
- Apart from this, the company has also introduced a cricket special plan of Rs 2,599, which has a validity of 12 months and in it, you will get a total of 720 GB data and unlimited calling.
- This plan will also get a free subscription of DISNEY + HOTSTAR VIP for one year.
In addition, the company has also introduced data add on packs of 612, 1,004, 1,206, Rs 1,208, which get 72 GB, 200 GB, 240 GB and 240 GB data respectively.
Of these, the calling of 612 rupees is getting 6000 non-live minutes calling, but no other plan has to call the facility.
Follow FilmyOne for regular updates !!
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