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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

Environment

Group of Youth Try Cleaning Part of Shimla’s Jakhu Hill, Finds More Garbage Than Expected

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Trek A Tribe Cleanliness Driver in Shimla

Shimla-Every year on April 15, Himachal Day is celebrated to mark the day when Himachal Pradesh, among other 30 princely states, came into being as a centrally administered territory. Since the inception of this state, the people throughout the world have admired Himachal Pradesh owing to its tall standing mountains, forests, nature, adventurous trekking trails and the peace and serenity it offers.

However, during the last decade, this love and admiration from tourists have turned into filth and carelessness. Rivers and forests alike have been polluted by broken beer bottles, single-use plastic cups, water bottles, wrappers of crisps and biscuit. Not only do they harm the soil, but also poses a threat to the lives of animals like cows and dogs, who consume littered plastic, causing them extreme physical ailments.

The menace of littering continues despite the claims of the civic bodies as well as the government of India that Swachh Bharat has almost eradicated this ill practice.

As an initiative Trek A Tribe, a tours and travels company, organized a cleanliness drive at Shimla on April 15, 2019 to celebrate Himachal Day. Total 18 youth participated in the cleanliness campaign. As per this team, the campaign began from Sheeshe Wali Kothi and was supposed to end at Jakhu Temple. But they had to abandon their plan of going till the top since the amount of waste was much more than these youth had expected.

Just the starting point consumed over four hours of their drive. We collected 35 bags of garbage at the starting point of their drive,

the team said.

Most of the trash is the plastic left behind by youth who come to the forest to drink and eat, causing harm to the environment,

the team said.

The end solution, however, does not lay in repetitive cleanliness drives, but in the conscious awareness of the people. They should be aware enough to not leave their trash behind, it said.  

These cleanliness drives, the team said, do help in cleaning the surroundings but they do not solve the purpose if the people keep littering the same place over and again. The team said that the purpose of its cleanliness drive was also to raise awareness among the people by initiating a dialogue towards the protection of the environment. This drive urged people to raise voice against plastic pollution and to lead their lives more consciously. They need a more aware lifestyle.

The Municipal Corporation, Shimla, provided transportation and disposal facility for the garbage collected by these youth.

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Now, Himachal’s Private Schools Warn Govt of Protest, Term Ongoing Inspections Wrongful

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Himachal's Private Schools Inspection Report

Shimla-Under immense pressure from parents, who have been protesting for last one and half month, private schools in Himachal Pradesh are finally undergoing inspections from April 9, 2019.  As per reports, the committees formed by the Directorate of Higher Education, H.P., inspected dozens of schools in Shimla and took records related to fees charged during last three years, salaries of staff, number of students, facilities, qualification of teachers, expenditure on school etc. into possession.

Though the Department did not comment about these schools officially, the inspected schools of Shimla included St. Edwards, DAV Lakkar Bazaar, Dayanand Public School, Auckland House, St. Thomas, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Secret Heart Dhalli, DAV Totu, Mount Shivalik in Jubbarhatti, Rising High etc. There are over 150 private schools running in Shimla.

Internal sources from some of these schools, on the condition of anonymity, told Himachal Watcher that committees are executing directions of the Directorate strictly. The officials are not soft on the management. It has created a stir among these schools.

By issuing a notification, on April 8, 2019, the Directorate had formed committees and had asked them to file a report of private schools running in District Headquarters by April 13. However, inspections still continue and the Directorate has not received reports of all schools yet. The report of schools in subdivisions and others is expected by April 22.

As per the student-parent forum, total 1472 private schools are currently running in the State. Further course of action would be decided only after the data of all schools is available, the Director Dr Amarjeet Kumar Sharma  had told media.

Similarly, at least six teams were constituted for inspection of over 180 private schools in Kullu district. Reports from Bilaspur said there are over 80 private schools in Bilaspur and 20 percent of them had not provided data that the Directorate had sought two months ago. It is expected that now these schools would be made to comply with the orders strictly.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Directorate had asked schools to submit various data related to their fee structure, annual hikes, audit reports, funds etc. However, a large number of schools had not responded to it. Moreover, the Government appeared reluctant to take action for this non-compliance. But now the pressure from protesting parents now compelled it to take action.

Private Schools Terms Govt Inspections Wrongful

Reports from Mandi said that managements of several private schools expressed their anguish over allegations labelled by the student-parent forum. In a meeting with authorities of the Education Department, they claimed that annual fee hikes are not as high as alleged by the forum.  The schools said it’s absolutely wrong to term them as looters. Justifying annual hikes, they said that in order to provide facilities to students and to hike salaries of teachers every year, it becomes unavoidable to make hikes in school fees and funds.

Association of Private Schools in the State has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and warned that they would stage a protest at the Directorate of Higher Education, Shimla, if these inspections weren’t stopped. 

The Association alleged that the government did not provide them with any aid despite fulfilling criteria of reserving 25 percent seats for poorer section of society.

The Association argued that the government’s interference in deciding fees of these schools is unwanted and wrongful as they do not receive any funds. They also argued that parents send their children to private schools willingly.

The Association asked that if the schools are not running as per the government rules, then how they obtain renewable every year. The Association termed this action as a haphazard response to the protest of the student-parent forum. 

Management or owners of these schools termed it a favor to the society to make quality education accessible to them through private institutes.

Schools Targeting, Mentally Harassing Children: Student-Parent Forum

On Friday, the forum alleged that a reputed private school based in Khalini of Shimla targeted children of those parents who had participated in the protest held on April 8.  The convener of the parents’ forum Vijender Mehra alleged that children complained to their parents that they were threatened in the classroom. The forum demands that action should be taken against this school under the Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act 2005.  Also, it violates rights and protections given to children under Article 39(f) of the Constitution.

 Mehra, who had been leading back-to-back protests against various schools and the Education Department, terms it a victory of the parents who came together to protest. He expects that now parents would receive some relief.

The forum is demanding that the Department should ensure solid action at the ground level.  The forum has warned of more protests if the government tried to manipulate the situation to protect private schools.

Enrolling children to private schools is a huge financial burden on parents.  Deteriorating quality of education being provided in government schools has facilitated the monopoly of private schools. The people do not trust government schools when it comes to education and the future of their children. The government’s will to improve academic standards in public schools is absent. At the same time, the government had been avoiding regulation of private institutes in the State.

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Rafale Deal – Analysis of Petitions in the Supreme Court

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Rafale Review Petition Analysis

Shimla-A three judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously has ruled as admissible the ‘secret’ documents, containing file notes of the Defence Ministry, that had been annexed to the review petition that was filed in the case relating to the purchase of the Rafale aircraft.

The documents were released by the newspaper ‘Hindu’ and state took an objection in the Supreme Court that such documents may not be allowed , however the Hon’ble court rejected the contention of the Government and stated that admissibility of the secret documents, including a claim of privilege under Section 123 of the Evidence Act which was misplaced.


Further, the Hon’ble Chief Justice in his Judgement with respect to publication of the documents in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper, reminded us of the consistent views of the Supreme Court in upholding the freedom of the press in a long line of decisions commencing from Romesh Thapar vs. State of Madras and Brij Bhushan vs. The State of Delhi.

This means that these documents will now be treated like any other document for admission and the court will have the power to look into them. The review petition will now be heard on merits.

What does this petition alleges and what will the Hon’ble Supreme Court now be adjudicating upon;

The procedure for purchasing defence equipment is elaborately laid down in a Defence Procurement Procedure document which has been amended from time to time. However broadly from 2001 till date, the PROCEDURES in place provide the following:

  1. The Services Head Quarters have to give their requirements for the quality and quantity of the equipment that they need. This is called the Services Qualitative Requirement (SQR)
  2. Thereafter the matter goes to a larger body called the Categorisation Committee which then decides whether the equipment could purchased/ made domestically or would have to be purchased from abroad or a combination of the two.
  3. Thereafter an even higher body called the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approves the quantity, quality and whether the equipment should be purchased/made domestically or purchased from abroad or a combination of the two. The DAC gives it’s approval called the Acceptance of Necessity.

It is only then that tenders are issued.

Facts

In 2007, after going through the above procedure tenders were issued by the Ministry of Defence for the purchase of 126 fighter aircrafts and it was specified in the Request for Proposal that 18 of these aircrafts would be purchased from abroad in a ‘fly-away’ condition and the remaining 108 would be manufactured in India in the factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with transfer of technology from the foreign vendor. Six companies had applied and after extensive trials by the Air Force two were short listed. After that the financial bids were opened and Dassault Company manufacturing the Rafale aircraft was declared the lowest tenderer and thereafter price negotiations began. These negotiations were at a very advanced stage (95% complete) by 25th march 2015.

Allegation

However within 15 days of this, the Prime Minister of India and the President of France announced a totally new deal jettisoning the virtually complete 126 aircraft deal and the Prime Minister on behalf of India agreed to purchase only 36 Rafale Aircrafts in a ‘fly-away’ condition without any transfer of technology and make in India. It later turned out that the new deal involved 50% of the value of the contract to be given as “offset contracts” to Indian companies and that the government informally told Dassault and the French government that the bulk of the offset contracts would have to be given to a company of Mr. Anil Ambani which had just been set up. When the final contract was signed after price negotiations, it transpired that the price of the aircraft had been increased to more than double to what was under consideration in the old deal of 126 aircrafts.

The Petitioners tried to file an FIR which was not registered by CBI. Ultimately, the petitioners filed the writ petition feeling aggrieved by this non-registration of FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a written complaint that was made to the CBI on the 4th of October, 2018 in relation to above-mentioned facts.

The Offences

According to the petition Offences under S. 7 and S. 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act are made out, these have been elaborated below;

  • That high ranking public servants, unilaterally, in violation of all mandatory procedures, without obtaining any SQRs from the IAF, or any decision of the Categorisation Committee or any Acceptance of Necessity from the Defence Acquisition Council, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the French regarding purchase of just 36 Rafale aircrafts, all in a ‘fly away’ condition with no Transfer of Technology and no Make in India.
  • That they did so after virtually scrapping the earlier procurement process for 126 aircrafts, which had followed all due procedures, and was in accordance with the specifications of the Indian Air Force. In the process, all important strategic objectives of the earlier procurement procedure that were on the basis of institutions authorised to do so, were eschewed. Consequently, just 36 aircrafts were arbitrarily purchased, with no make in India and no Transfer of Technology against the determination of IAF Services Head Quarters, the Categorisation Committee and the Defence Acquisition Council.
  • That under the earlier deal, HAL was to be the production agent for Dassault in India and there was no scope for Mr. Ambani to be a offset partner.
  • That this act of unilaterally changing the deal by bypassing all laid down procedures, was to ensure that Mr. Ambani could be brought in as an offset partner for the purpose of obtaining for him offsets worth thousands of crores.
  • That the French government as well as the Dassault Aviation company were told that this contract of 36 ‘ready to fly’ aircraft will be only given to Dassault Aviation, if they gave the major part of the offset contracts in this deal to Mr. Anil Ambani’s company.
  • That Mr. Anil Ambani’s recently incorporated company had no credibility or even eligibility to be an offset partner for Dassault. That therefore, the thousands of crores to be received by RAL through the offset contract are substantially in the nature of commissions.
  • That the price of the aircrafts in the new deal has been increased from approximately 700 crores per aircraft to over 1600 crores per aircraft without any legitimate public interest.
  • That the facts mentioned above show two things; (a) that Indian public servants asked Dassault to give the major offset contracts in this deal to Anil Ambani’s defence company as a condition for getting the contract; & (b) that the offset contracts worth tens of thousands of crores which have been awarded to Reliance are not and cannot be considered to be legal remuneration for services actually rendered or services which could credibly be rendered by Reliance Aerostructure Limited.
  • Therefore, these offset contracts and the payments made/to be made for them are at least in large part in the nature of undue advantage/illegal gratification/commissions to be paid to the Reliance under this deal. It is clear therefore that public servants in India have abused their positions to give an undue advantage to Anil Ambani’s Reliance company as a consideration for the discharge of his function as a public servant to award the contract of purchasing 36 Rafale jets from Dassault in a ‘fly away’ condition.

The Supreme Court can now order a CBI investigation if it finds merit in the claims of the petitioners.

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