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Cyber crimes flourishing in the State, HP Police stands helpless

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A person lodged a FIR complaining that the FB account of his spouse has been hacked and being misused by the anonymous culprit. However, HP Police showed their inability to have any means of dealing with this complaint.

Along with writing to Mark Zuckerberg, what else would you do if someone hacks your Facebook account and starts misusing it; go to the police? That’s what a guy did when FB account of his spouse was hacked last week by some cyber miscreants. Unfortunately, the couple wasn’t smart enough to have written immediately to FB support asking them to deactivate the account, rather ran to the Police station, as any victim of a violation would do. However, HP police surrendered, as they haven’t been trained to tackle Internet related crimes.

Here is the story from the beginning. On 28th of last month, the husband of the victim, a local resident of Sumerhill, approached the Boileauganj Police Station with his complaint that was forwarded to the Sumerhill Police station on 30 November. When the complainer approached the station asking action on his complaint, he realized, the HP Police too, was helpless, as they barely know anything about ‘Cyber Crime’. Rather, one of the policemen told him that we don’t even have a computer in the stations, hence, it’s in vain to have any hope for some action in such a case . The police consoled him saying, “Here, in our departments, we doesn’t have trained & skilled personals to handle this sort of job ”.

As soon as the complainer wrote to us, we asked him to write to FB immediately. However, we too wondered as to what department we should forward the complaint. A state with a high rate of literacy is so backward in terms of IT education. How the Himachal government, itself living in darkness, aims light the path for the public. Why the vision of our policy makers is so limited that they couldn’t see the apparent culture of growing cyber crimes inspite of witnessing enormous cases of cyber crime all around the globe. While the world shops from home, HP Police haven’t got even computers at their stations.
As a ray of hope, now HP police has realized the need of a branch that would deal with the growing trends of cyber-crimes. A few days ago, State Police Vigilance, IG, Ashok Sharma admitted that due to lack of skilled manpower, the cyber crimes are suddenly growing unchecked. The establishment of a cyber crime lab has been proposed in Shimla, where trained police personals would deal with the challenges posed by cyber criminals, ensuring a effectivelyimplementation of the Cyber crime Act in the State.

However, we fear, the HP government is already far behind in the online race to tackle the cyber crimes and the time it would take to set a lab and train the official, adds to the distance. At the national level, the police and courts are even confused about the Section 66-A of the Information Technology (IT) Act. The arrest of two Mumbai girls for a comment and a like on FB, which was a big misuse of the act, is the hottest ongoing debate.
On the behalf of the public, we would like to poke the government and say, “wake up guys and try to keep up with the world. IT education and Internet are two most necessary facilities without which the true development of the State cannot be achieved.”

We are forwarding the copy of the grievance to the IT department and SP Shimla Police. We would update the status regarding the same as soon as we receive a reply.

How To Keep Your FaceBook Account From Being Hacked

The message also contained a tiny link to a pornographic video.
Turns out he didn’t send the message. His Facebook account had been hacked.
If you have received a similar message through Facebook or MySpace and you clicked on the link you may have been exposed to a virus and your social site is subject to being hacked.
Other messages may read,
“your name” sent you a message.
Subject: hey
Woww! Is thhat reallly you in thaat videoo?
or
“Hey, I have this hilarious video of you dancing. Your face is so red. You should check it out”
Have you experienced unauthorized activity in your facebook account? Has it been hacked by someone you do not know?

How To Avoid Being Hacked on Facebook.

In this Notes, I’m going to tell you how your facebook account is hacked and how to KEEP IT FROM being hacked. This information could save you a lot of problems in the future, not to mention the embarrassment of sending out elicit links to your friends and family.
How FaceBook Is Hacked

The main way your Facebook account is hacked is by someone obtaining your password.
Hackers gain unauthorized access through fake apps or website links. This is commonly know as phishing.
When you click on a link to a Web site which looks identical to the Facebook log-in page you automatically enter your username and password. The hacker now has immediate access to your account. Now all he has to do is use his newly found credentials (yours) to log in and send a personal message to all of your friends. When your friends click on the link he gains access to their accounts also.

Hackers can also gain access to your Facebook account by retrieving your saved passwords from your browser. They send out emails that contain malicious software embedded in them. If you open the email, you send your information back to the hacker.

If you”re a moblie phone user you may also be susceptible to hacks since in some countries the network signal is not encrypted. The hacker can possibly enter into the data stream that flows between the mobile and mobile operator and gain access to all of the information that you are sending out.

Facebook Viruses

Since most hackers use sophisticated software to place a virus on your computer once it’s hacked I am including a small amount of information about Facebook Viruses-
The “Koobface” virus- This virus comes through an e-mail sent by one of your social networking site friends inviting you to view a video.
Just don’t open any tiny links to videos that you don’t know anything about and you’ll avoid being exposed to this virus.
PC World has an article outlining more details to the “Koobface” virus. “

The Bredolab Virus- According to mxlab, the email includes downloadable files which include the trojan virus: Bredolab. If you receive an email requesting a “Facebook Password Reset Confirmation” email you should delete it right away.
A sample email may look like this:
Hey (your name), Because of the measures taken to provide safety to our clients, your password has been changed. You can find your new password in attached document. Thanks, The Facebook Team
Imitating official emails is a standard method for spammers. Always avoid downloading email file and attachments. For more information on the Bredolab virus you may want to view this article: New Bredolab Virus Targets Unsuspecting Facebook Users

More information on How Facebook Viruses work.
I also found an article called Beware of Facebook Virus by KDVR FOX 31 Denver Newsthat tells how a malicious virus can affect your computer if your interested in more information about what a Facebook virus can do to you computer.

Has Your FaceBook Account been Hacked?
How To Keep Your Facebook Account from Being Hacked
Now that you know how your Facebook account is hacked and about Facebook viruses , I’ll cover a few steps to take to avoid having your account hacked.

1. Protect Your Password and Secret Answer
Remember, the most common cause of account hacking is by obtaining your password.
Is your password easy to remember?
Here are a few ways to protect your password:
Change your password to something with numbers, letters, and/or special characters (if you can).
Don”t make it too easy to guess. Don’t use your pet’s name or your birthday.
Don’t Trust anyone, No exceptions, don’t tell your password to ANYONE, including your friends.
How To Protect your “secret answer”:

Birthdays and Pet’s names are not the best secret answers. A great approach is to realize that there’s nothing that says your answer actually has to correspond to the question, so pick an unrelated answer that has nothing to do with you.
Maybe you can use something off the wall for your birth date such as “mayonnaise”. As long as you can remember it, it doesn’t matter what it is.
You may even consider using another password to protect your password.
Change your password every month or so to ensure that even if someone did figure it out, they will have to figure it out again to access your account.Consider getting an alternate email address. It’s easy to set up anther account using gmail , hotmail, or some other online service especially for passwords.
Consider using a special service or software to protect your passwords. I useLastpass. It’s free and it also includes a password generator.

2. Avoid using Facebook Apps you are unfamiliar with.

One of the great things about Facebook is the access to all the applications. It’s nice to have fun, but don’t trust all the invitations for apps that you don’t know anything about. That’s why Facebook always asks if you want to give permission to access a new application.

3. Don’t fall for password recovery schemes or fake emails.

If you receive an email that asks you to change your password, delete it.It’s that simple.
I almost never click on links that are in my junk folder because my gmail account does a pretty good job of filtering fake emails.
You will never be taken to some random site unless you click on a fake link.
When you simply open a fake e-mail you will send your private details to a hacker. Don’t open emails you are unfamiliar with. Once opened, the damage already has been done.
4. Take precautions using mobile apps.

If you use a mobile phone application to access your facebook account check to make sure the signal is encrypted.
In the Unite States most operaters use an encrypted signal but be aware that other countries may not use a protected wireless signal. To avoid any problems always check with the mobile carrier you are accessing.

5. Finally, Change Your Facebook Password Today

I just changed my Facebook Password today since I figure this article will make me a target for a Facebook hack. You may want to do the same. Just use the advice that I included in this article. You may consider installing Lastpass or one of the other password organizers listed under “P” on my internet business resources page to aid you in forming a secure password.

Do you have more advice about how to keep your Facebook Account from being hacked?

If you have more advice on how to keep your Facebook account from being hacked please let everyone know using the comment form below. If you found this article helpful I’d also appreciate your comment below.

Information Source: FaceBook

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Report bursts myth about ‘big encroachers’ in Himachal’s tribal areas

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Big encroachers in tribal himachal

Shimla-Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective in collaboration with Zila Van AdhikarSamiti, Kinnaur, released its report titled, ‘Who Gains from the Forest Rights Act, 2006?’. The study conducted in the tribal district of Kinnaur, assessed 1351 Individual Forest Right (IFR) claims of 22 Forest Rights Committees (FRC) in the district where 132 FRCs have been formed.

The study found that 96.5% of these IFR claims were for less than 10 bighas of land and only 6 claims out of 1351 claims being of more than 20 bighas.

Jiyalal Negi, president of Zila Van AdhikaarSamiti, Kinnaur said,

The data shows that people are making genuine claims of land under their occupation mainly for their survival and not for grabbing land as is the notion that the administration holds.

The study looked at the landholding data of 417 claimants of the total 1351 showing that 67% of these have existing private land holdings under 10 bighas.

Negi further added that close to 26% of the claimants are in the category of Scheduled Castes, whereas they form only 17.53% of the total population.

The report also revealed that the average size of land claimed under FRA by the SC community is slightly more than the average land claimed by ST community. Prakash Bhandari from Himdhara Environment Collective emphasized,

If the IFR claims of 417 SC claimants studied are recognized, then the average land holding size would increase from 8.86 bigha to 11.47 bigha,

showing that a fair and just implementation of this Act could play a critical role in reducing land ownership inequities in the region.

The Forest Rights Act, 2006 was legislated to support the survival of tribal and other communities living in areas where dependence on ‘forest lands’ is high. The act recognizes the individual as well as community uses of forestland dependent communities.

The study by Himdhara Collective was carried out to challenge certain arguments posed by the administration in Kinnaur as well as some other areas, questioning the individual claimants on the grounds that they belong to already landed communities and would be grabbing more land.

With such arguments dominating political and bureaucratic discussions, the implementation of the Act has remained poor, where only 129 individual claims have been approved across the state

, said SonamTargay and Rigzin, representatives from Lahaul-Spiti.

The representatives from both districts recommended that it is high time that the pending files with State and District level Committees be expedited. They also emphasized on the urgent need of training that should be conducted for both the administration and political representatives to remove misconceptions about this very important act.

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Watch: Baddi’s Kenduwal dumping yard exposes hypocrisy over Swachh Bharat

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Baddi solid waste management plant

Solan: The government agencies in Himachal Pradesh are quite infamous for disrespecting court orders, especially those relating to environmental protection. This time, we have a case where the local civic body first created an illegal dumping yard on a site selected and cleared for an integrated waste management facility and now covering it with soil and mud after the matter reached the State High Court.

In fact, the government does only what the court orders it to do after activists or the common people file petitions. There is a very clear hypocrisy going on over the Swachh Bharat campaign, which is often used to gain political mileage.

So far, the government has given no sign about being serious when it says, “The government is committed to protect and preserve the environment and ecology of the State.”

The ground-level situation of Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Himachal Pradesh can be best used to demonstrate this hypocrisy by both the current and succeeding governments and the public itself. There is no limit to the callousness of the government agencies at both local as well as the state levels.

Baddi MC waste

If we take up a particular case, then Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area in Solan district is perhaps in the worst state. The Municipal Council of Baddi and BBN Development Authority (BBNDA) are responsible for the collection and scientific disposal of waste generated in the area. Both agencies had joined hands with a proposal of managing waste disposal in the BBN area.

The MC and BBNDA were supposed to establish a facility where collected waste could be disposed of scientifically. They had obtained the clearance for the same on August 13, 2015, and were allotted 42 bighas and 13 Biswas of land in Kenduwal.

However, as expected, the facility never came into existence. Instead, the MC and BBNDA began dumping MC waste at the selected site and turned it into a big open dumping yard. Within a couple of years, the life of the locals residing very near to this illegally created dumping site became a hell as every day they faced foul smell, flies, mosquitoes.

The nearest house is located merely at a distance of 30 meters while the Sirsa river floodplain is not far at about 100 meters from the dumping site. The locals, supported by an environmental group Himdhara Collective, approached the local civic body and the district administration several times with their grievance. None of the two disappointed the locals and, as usual, didn’t move a muscle.

About 1200 villagers wrote to the President of India after they were disappointed by their own government. 

The State Pollution Control Board confined itself to issuing repeated notices to the local bodies to solve the grievance of the locals. While the MC and BBNDA didn’t care about these notices, the HP PCB did not proceed to take proper action.

Very recently, the matter reached the State High Court pleading for justice.

In the interregnum, we direct that no garbage shall be dumped into the land owned by the present petitioner or dumped at any other site, save and except, in accordance with law. We further direct the Senior Environmental Engineer of respondent No.3 to visit the site and after inspecting the same, submit his report with regard to the compliance of the statutory provisions,

a bench of then Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goyal had said in its order passsed on October 4, 2018.

However, both responsible bodies violated these orders as well and continued to dump garbage at the same site. The villagers captured videos of the same and wrote an application to the Superintendent of Police, Solan. The SP was informed regarding the violations of the court orders.

Letter to the SP Solan by Kenduwal petitioner

Letter written by villagers to SP Solan

The Court directed the Senior Environmental Engineer of the HP PCB to file a status report regarding this matter within four weeks

As per the report of the Chief Engineer dated October 15, 2018, the MC, Baddi and BBND hardly collect 30-40 percent of total solid waste generated, which is about 50 tons per day in this case. The collected waste is dumped at Kenduwal while remaining can be found scattered near the BBN area.

HP PCB has repeatedly directed the Municipal Council and BBNDA to dispose of the waste in a scientific manner in accordance with the provision of SWR,

2016, the report submitted to the court said.

The Municipal Solid waste is being collected unsegregated and transported to MSW site at Kenduwal where it is being dumped unscientifically. Most of the time it remains exposed in an open atmosphere and sometimes covered with soil layer, which is a breeding place for flies, mosquitoes, rats etc. The nearest human habitation is a house located at about 30 meters from the boundary of the dumping site, whereas the flood plain of river Sirsa is about 100 meters away from the site,

the report said.

The court concluded that despite having a clearance for the proposed facility to dispose of this waste scientifically, the MC and BBNDA failed to perform their duties.

We have gone through the contents of the report and are satisfied that prima facie, Municipal Council, Baddi, as well as Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh Development Authority (BBNDA), have failed to perform their duties towards collection of solid waste and its dumping in a scientific manner at the MSW disposal site at Kenduwal, for which requisite clearance has been already granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests,

a Bench of Chief Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel directed the MC and BBNDA.

The court also directed the local agencies to take immediate action on the report of the Senior Environmental Engineer.

We direct both the aforesaid Agencies to immediately act upon the report of the Senior Environmental Engineer and submit their respective compliance reports within four weeks. Any delay or defiance will be viewed seriously,

the court directed the MC and BBNDA.

However, the entire waste at the dumping site is being buried under mud and soil.

MC Baddi/BBDNA may be asked to transport the waste as per the past practice of disposing the waste to the Jaypee Plant in Sector 25 of Chandigarh or to Mars Envirotech Ltd. Lalroo (Dera Basssi), Punjab or setting up of ward level compositing/shredding machines till the erection, commissioning and time-bound setting up of Solid Waste Management facility at Kenduwal Baddi, for the cluster of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area,

the report submitted to the court said.

According to the 2011 Census, the total pollutions of the Baddi MC and BBNDA area were 29911 and 29293 respectively while the total amount of waste generated per day was 25.50 tons and 20.30 tons respectively. The number of migrant labourers or workers from other states was not included in this Census. The populations in both the areas have increased by 2018, which implies growth in a waste generation too. But the responsible government bodies, as well as the district administration, are completely blank when it comes to the chapter on waste management. The Solid Waste Rules, 2016, do exist but only in papers.

The report of the PCB Environmental Engineer aptly proves it.

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Watch: Tribals in Kinnaur village blow off HPPCL, police allegedly trying to fool them over hydro project

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Lippa villager tribals vs hppcl

Kinnaur: The Lippa Village in Kinnaur is one of the several villages including Rarang, Pangi and Telang that are facing pressure from the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) to allow them to start construction work on the 130 MW Kashang Stage II and III power project despite a stay given by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in May 2016.

As per the villagers, the NGT had held that no objection certificate should be obtained from the affected village gram sabhas before issuing a forest clearance. However, the gram sabhas never gave any NOC as their individual claims under the Forests Right Act 2006 were not settled yet. However, the HPPCL claims it possesses the NOC given by the villages and trying to re-open the construction work using various pressure tactics, allege the villagers. The villagers question the Corporation from whom did it obtain the NOC.

On October 9, 2018, the HPPCL staff came to Lippa village with a heavy local police force to discourage villagers from protesting. What requires attention here that the district administration and the local police, thus the State Government, are assisting the Corporation in its bid to violate the court orders. Moreover, as seen in the video, a local police official was also seen arguing in support of the Corporation with the villagers when it wasn’t actually his job.

They definitely underestimated the villagers considering them mere bunch of tribals and tried to fool them.

However, they faced severe protests and demonstrations from the locals, united under the banner Paryavaran Sanrankshan Sangharsh Samiti. Eventually, the HPPCL staff and police force had to retreat after villagers stopped and reasoned with them.

Another fact that needs attention here is that the villagers reasoned with them legally. They were aware of all proceedings of the court as well as its directions to the Corporation. The Corporation and the police tried their best but couldn’t confuse villagers by flashing papers signed by the Deputy Commissioner of the Superintendent of the Police.

The work on the project cannot be started by HPPCL on account of the non-completion of the process under the Forest Rights Act 2006 in the area,

said members of the Samiti.

Watch Video

The National Green Tribunal on May 4, 2016, directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the State Government of Himachal to place the forest clearance proposal in front of the affected Gram Sabhas for their perusal. The judgment was passed in an appeal filed by Paryavaran Sanrankshan Sangharsh Samiti Lippa against the forest diversion for the said project.

Lippa village picture

Lippa Village in Kinnaur, Photo: Manshi Ashar

The appeal was made on the grounds that HPPCL had violated the provisions of the FRA Act, which require a mandatory NOC of the Gram Sabha of villages to be affected by the diversion of forest lands for the project.

The judgment had concluded that “the Gram Sabha shall consider all community and individual claims” in the process bringing under it the cultural, religious, environmental and livelihood impacts caused due to the loss of forests and water sources.

The process of filing claims on forest land under the Forest Rights Act was initiated by the Forest Rights Committee of Lippa, formed for verification of the claims in the year 2016 itself. As many as 47 individual claims and one community claim were sent to the sub-divisional level committee (SDLC) Pooh, the Samiti said. However, the process of settlement under FRA 2006 has been slow due to the apathy of the administration and the State Government, the Samiti alleges.

It said that last month the District Level Committee has recommended the Community forest rights claim of Lippa whereas the Individual claims were not yet recommended. No specific objection or reason has been stated by the SDLC held on August 31, 2018, as to why the individual claims were being returned and not recommended. The people are in the process of filing petitions to the DLC requesting the SDLC to state the reasons based on which they have not been recommended.

Meanwhile, the Samiti alleges, the company, instead of waiting it out till this process is complete has been pressurizing the villagers to allow them to start work on the project in the area for which the forest rights claims have been filed.

In 2017, the State of Himachal Pradesh falsely contested in front of the NGT that despite sufficient time the claimants (residents of Lippa) have not submitted their claims and have not been cooperating, said the Samiti.

Following submissions from the Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti that the claims were already under process, the NGT put on record in December 2017 and January 2018 that individual and community claims had, in fact, had been filed by the villagers.

It needs to be noted that the final judgment and subsequent orders of the NGT clearly state that the project proponent can approach the village for the consent of Lippa gram sabha on forest diversion for Kashang integrated project stage I and III only when the process of settlements of rights under FRA gets completed

Despite this, the HPPCL has used various pressure tactics on us to allow construction work. Various visits have been made by project authorities to the village to misguide and intimidate the people and begin work. On August 24, 2018, the Superintendent of Police, Rekong Peo issued a letter stating that the project proponent would have to be given police protection as they had completed all legal requirements as per the NGT orders. This is completely false,

said the members of the Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti.

We are extremely troubled that instead of waiting for the process under FRA to be completed and following the spirit of this act of the Parliament as well as the NGT order, the company is misleading the police and seeking police protection against the interests of the community,

the members further said.

The Paryavaran Sangharsh Samiti Lippa also sent a counter to the Superintendent of Police with a point-by-point response on the false objections raised. The counter also stated that “in case of any violation we will be forced to file a complaint under the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Amendment Act, 2018”.

The Section-3(g) of this act states that wrongfully dispossessing a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe from his land or premises or interfering with the enjoyment of his rights, including forest rights, over any land or premises or water or irrigation facilities…by a non-SC-ST person (without consent or against will) is a punishable offence.

Despite that, the police entered the village on October 9 to pressurize the villagers. However, after the protests and detailed deliberations, the official team and police were forced to return.

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