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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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Himachal: Warnings of Delta Plus Virulence Fall on Deaf Ears, No Restriction on Visitors from Affected States  

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Shimla-Yesterday, the Centre government directed the state governments to take immediate measure in wake of the spread of more infectious Delta Plus variant.  As the Delta Plus variant is posing a threat of the third wave, the states were told to take steps like preventing crowds, increase testing, more focus on surveillance, contact tracing and put boosting vaccine coverage on a priority basis. Following it, Himachal Pradesh Government might have announced an alert over Delta plus variant, but there wasn’t any follow up on instructions passed by scientists and health experts to take strict restrictive measures ahead of the impending third wave. 

To make it worse, high rank officials and political leaders were seen flouting Covid-19 SOPs on several occasion, which sent wrong messages to the masses. The pictures and videos showing flouting of Covid appropriate behavior by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and Directorial General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, alongwith other staff for Anupam Kher is the most recent to mention. A group photograph and video of the same were widely circulated on social media and invited huge criticism from the people.  

So far, the state has not reported any case of the Delta Plus variant. But the neighboring states – Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir – reported their first cases yesterday. This puts the boarding areas, like in Una district, at a higher risk. Chief Secretary to HP Government, Anil Khachi, yesterday said samples have been sent for genome sequencing. 

Despite repeated warnings of Delta plus variant (B.1.617.2.1.), Himachal Pradesh has thrown its borders open to all and lifted all restrictions for inter-state travel in just one go. From June 23 onwards, the state government removed the condition for registering on the e-pass portal for visitors intending to enter the state. In the Cabinet meeting held on June 22, 201, the government first decided that e-pass restrictions would be removed from July 1, but later it changed the decision and instead implemented it immediately.

This haphazard decision is said to have come under huge pressure from the hospitality industry – the worst-hit sector, leading to financial crisis and mass unemployment among its stakeholders. Related associations had been approaching Chief Minister Jairam Thakur with their pleas to provide relief, but mostly faced disappointment. The stakeholders say the state government didn’t provide any significant relief, which is making the survival of the industry difficult.

Also Read: Read Eight Reliefs That Himachal’s Devastated Tourism Industry Seeks from HP Govt  

Also, stakeholder of the industry, especially hoteliers, had been demanding the removal of restrictions and conditions on the entry of tourists to Himachal so that they could fetch the remaining peak tourist season.

With its inability to offer relief, the HP Government took the chance to waive off restrictions in a haste.

At the same time, the state government has decided to conduct offline examinations for the undergraduate classes starting from July. A section of the students had been condemning the HP government for scheduling exams without vaccinating students. Some student bodies had been asking the government as to why online classes were possible but not online exams. 

The state government also waived off restrictions on timings for the opening of markets/shops.

As scientists and health experts warn of the virulence of the new variant and with neighboring states already on alert after reporting cases of the new variant, the HP government hasn’t even mentioned any intention to at least put a check on the visitor from the states where cases of Delta Plus are being reported. Carrying an RT-PCR negative report for visitors from such states/cities would have been a wiser step. 

Officially, the state is on alert, but no measures have been announced to check the entry and spread of the variant into the state. The state government does speak of preparing for the anticipated third wave, but there is hardly any long-term preventive strategy. The Covid appropriate behavior is hard to adopt when markets and tourist places are crowded with visitors.

Why Delta Plus is a Big Concern

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled the Delta variant as ‘Variant of Concern’.

The Centre and scientific/medical institutes in India also agree with that Delta Plus as a variant of concern and could be the cause of impending third wave. Last Tuesday, based on the findings of INSACOG, the Union Health Ministry had alerted and advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID19.

INSACOG had warned that the Delta Plus variant has increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

“Delta variant is more resistant to medication, treatment and vaccination. Therefore, people who have been vaccinated can still be affected by this variant and can go on to get a clinical illness, Archana Dhawan Bajaj, director, Nurture IVF, told a national English Daily.

“Neutralising antibodies against this variant post-vaccination seem to be nearly five times lower in people who have already been vaccinated than the other variants,” she said.

Further,  Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, ex-Head Scientist of Epidemiology and communicable diseases, ICMR, has also expressed concern over the reports that Delta Plus has reported pathophysiologic change and affecting different organs.  Dr Raman says that it could transfer from cell to cell and would more likely produce neurological symptoms as a common manifestation.

So far India has reported 51 cases of the Delta Plus variant.

Delta Plus variant is a variant of Delta with an additional mutation -B.1.617.2.1.

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Kullu Brawl: New Video Shows Farmers Expressing Discontent with CM Jairam Thakur-led Govt in Front of Union Minister

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Kullu-The Superintendent of Police, Gaurav Singh, 2013 batch IPS, and Chief Minister Jairam Thakur’s Security Personal, ASP Brijesh Sood, got into an ugly scuffle on June 23 and created an unruly situation. A verbal spat between the two officials of the HP Police led to slapping and kicking each other.

What’s humiliating for the state police department was the fact that this unwanted incident occurred on an occasion where the Chief Minister had come to the Airport to welcome a Union Minister – Nitin Gadkari.

Also Read: IPS Gaurav Singh and CM’s Security Personnel Exchange Slaps & Kicks, Video Goes Viral, Inquiry Ordered

The video has appeared on national news channels and the incident made headlines, raising question over the professionalism of the state police. This part of the entire episode, is getting more attention from the media. But a new video has emerged adding another layer to the controversy, as when Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stopped the car and got out to speak to people who were holding a banner of “Four-Lane Sangharsh Samiti” and BJP flags. It turned out, that these people were farmers, who have been affected by the four-lane project as their lands were acquired for it. These farmers allege that before coming into power, the Bharatiya Janata Party, in its election manifesto, had promised compensation four times the circle rate if elected to power. These farmers also allege that after coming to power, the government didn’t fulfil this promise that also included employment to affected youth. These aggrieved farmers say they have been raising their grievance for the last four years, but the government didn’t lend an ear. With these grievances, the farmers had come to see the Union Minister.

Gadkari’s visit has come right before the by-elections in the state. He is supposed to inaugurate and dedicate some projects during this visit. This visit was supposed to leave a positive impact. The video also shows that the farmers’ group did not create any obstruction to the convoy of the Union Minister, neither they create any ruckus. They just stood outside the Airport with banners and posters in their hands. This halt was not scheduled for Gadkari and the Chief Minister was caught off-guard.

The farmers told Gadkari all about their grievance and also alleged that Chief Minister and the Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, weren’t even ready to listen to them. To discuss the matter, there and then Gadkari called for the Chief Minister, who rushed towards the spot from his vehicle.

Watch What Happened When Gadkari Spoke to Agitating Farmers

In the video, the farmers can be heard telling the Union Minister that they are BJP supporters and workers. Later, they were also seen chanting “Jai Shri Ram” for the Union Minister. They can also be heard saying that despite their party being in power at both Centre and the State, there is no hearing. This added to the humiliation for the Chief Minister as the party supporters were not at all satisfied with him.

The video also shows the Chief Minister losing temper when the farmers repeatedly kept saying that they had been agitating for the last four years over the same grievance. He was seen swiftly turning towards farmers with a hostile gesture of warning. The farmers were heard retaliating to this gesture and saying “ Gussa to hame bhi aa rha hai Thakur sahb (we are also angry Mr Thakur)”.

At the same time, farmers expressed their gratitude towards the Union Minister for stopping the vehicle himself and attending them. “This is his (Gadkari) greatness that he saw us and bothered to listened to us,” a farmer later said while speaking to the media.

The situation put both politicians in contrast while dealing with the same situation related to the people’s grievance.

This video aptly explains why the Chief Minister and his security were annoyed with the local police for allowing people to stand outside the Airport. Though the local police was not responsible for the halt of Gadkari’s convoy, the Chief Minister’s security triggered arguments over it. This argument eventually led to one of the most shameful moments for the HP Police. An IPS slapping another police officer is hard to justify or defend, but taking into account the history of an IPS officer like Gaurav Singh, the question as to what exactly caused him to lose his temper to such an extent that he dared to slap the Chief Minister’s security personal on an occasion where the Union Minister was also present.

Also Read: Who is IPS Gaurav Singh, the Officer in News for Slapping CM Jairam’s Security Personnel

Now, as it’s a well-established fact that the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections were fought with Narendra Modi as the BJP’s face, and so were the state assembly polls of Himachal Pradesh in 2017. Owing to the media and the IT cells, the very name and face of PM Narendra Modi won a majority for BJP not only in Himachal but in other states too. Therefore, the situation couldn’t get any worse for a Chief Minister who is serving his first term when the slogan “ Hamara PM Kaise Ho, Gadkari Jaisa Ho” was raised by the people.

What message this entire episode would send to the BJP High Command about Chief Minister’s capacity to contain the distress amongst its own party supporters and handle the officers? This doesn’t end here. The opposition has alleged that this incident clearly proves that the Chief Minister doesn’t have a hold on his officers, as well as, party sympathizers, especially from the farming community. The opposition is citing the current incident as an example of BJP’s anti-farmer attitude. Pertinent to mention that the current Centre government is at loggerheads with farmers who had been protesting for nearly one year against the contentious farm laws passed in 2020.

Himachal Kisan Sabha also released a statement in which it alleged that the Chief Minister was desperate to ensure that the farmers do not get to speak to the Union Minister. Further, the results of the recently held elections to the four Municipal Corporations of Himachal Pradesh – Solan, Mandi, Palampur, and Dharamshala-have already dented Jairam Thakur’s term.

Ahead of the by-polls in the state, the factionalism in the party is already a challenge for Thakur.

Last but not the least, the treatment given to bureaucrats and IPS officers by politicians which results in such ugly, unruly situations like these has also become a topic of debate.

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India’s Revised Vaccination Policy and Supreme Court’s Role Behind This Change in Approach

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Shimla-Free vaccine to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age would be available from 21st June onwards, the Government of India announced yesterday. The Centre has also announced that private hospitals would not be able to levy arbitrary charges for vaccination and the rate would be fixed. The government also rolled back its policy for procurement of vaccines, which was under heavy criticism not only from the opposition but also from the Supreme Court of India.

Though, the Centre claimed that the roll-back was a result of the demands raised by state governments, but some believe this decision came right after harsh judicial scrutiny of the government’s previous policy by the Supreme Court, whose initiation is being lauded by the citizens of India amid this pandemic.

“Many states came forward with a demand for reconsideration of the vaccination strategy and for bringing back the system that was there before 1st May,” the Centre said while defending the rollback.

Also, the Centre was even objecting to the court’s jurisdiction in matters related to policymaking and had termed it as an encroachment on the jurisdiction of the executive. However, very mindful of its jurisdiction, the court had mitigated this allegation of the Centre by explaining how policymaking is subject to judicial scrutiny. The court made the Centre aware of the ‘dialogic judicial review’, where the Court can question the executive and demand justifications from it over non-conformity of a policy to the constitutional rights.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court had grilled the Union government over its faulty and discriminatory policy as states were left on their own for the procurement of vaccines. In its orders passed on May 31, a bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat came down heavily upon the central government. The bench had termed the policy approach as “arbitrary and irrational”  because it did not provide free vaccination for the 18-44 year age group.  The bench had sought clarification on policy and dual pricing in which states were being made to procure vaccines directly from the manufactures and were invariably paying more for vaccines while the Centre procured the same vaccines at lower rates.

“Due to the changing nature of the pandemic, we are now faced with a situation where the 18-44 age group also needs to be vaccinated, although priority may be retained between different age groups on a scientific basis. Hence, due to the importance of vaccinating individuals in the 18-44 age group, the policy of the Central Government for conducting free vaccination themselves for groups under the first 2 phases, and replacing it with paid vaccination by the State/UT Governments and private hospital for the persons between 18-44 years is prima facie arbitrary and irrational” a bench observed while passing an order on May 31, 2021 concerning a Suo moto case on “Re-Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services During Pandemic”.

Further, the court had also expressed concerns over the digital divide which would make accessing vaccine equally difficult for a large section through online registration.

Earlier, in its orders passed on April 30, the bend had observed that this policy approach would be “detrimental to the right to life and health”. The bench had also observed that this policy requires rethinking, as it needs to be formulated in conformity with the provisions of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The bench aggressively went on to order the government to share all details of the vaccine purchase and distribution, as well as provide information on how the budget allocated for the vaccination (₹35,000 Crores ) was used.

Provisions of the New Vaccination Policy

  • Procurement of 25 per cent vaccinations which was earlier with states will now be undertaken by the Government of India.
  • The government of India will buy 75 per cent of the total vaccines produced and will provide it to the states free of cost. No state government would be spending anything on vaccines.
  • The system of 25 per cent vaccines being procured directly by the private hospitals will continue. Private hospitals can’t charge more than 150 rupees service charge over the decided price of the vaccines.

The Centre said that this policy would be rolled out in two weeks.

“In two weeks, the Centre and states will make necessary preparations as per new guidelines,” the Centre announced yesterday.

Till today, more than 23 Crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country.

To ward off the embarrassment caused by such a contentious policy which was not conforming with the constitutional rights of the citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without referring to the judicial review, blamed it on the state governments.

“As the corona cases started declining, questions arose about the lack of choice for states and some people questioned why the Central government is deciding everything,” he said.

“India’s vaccination program was run mostly under the Central government. Free vaccination for all was moving forward and people were showing discipline in getting vaccinated when their turn came, amid all these demands for decentralization of vaccination were raised, the decision about priority to certain age groups was raised. Many types pressures were exerted and certain sections of media took it as a campaign,” the PM said.

But with that being said the role of the judiciary in making the government roll back its policy in the interest of the people is being lauded as the victory of judicial review. Also, it has attracted positive response for the apex court which was being alleged of evading several matters related to the public interest under the pressure from the current political regime.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana Extended  Till Deepawali.

In another major announcement, the Central government announced the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Deepawali.

As per the announcement, till November, 80 crore people will continue to get a decided amount of free food grain every month.

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