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US: Facebook will turn into “dream come true for child pornographers”

If Facebook implements encryption in Messenger

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Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay. The social media giant has always been a divisive point of contention for internet users.

Despite its accessibility, Facebook has controversially misused its users’ data especially in recent history. Following the Cambridge Analytica controversy, the giant tried to work around the issues, establishing a more robust and transparent social network. Part of this initiative is to eventually encrypt Facebook Messenger. The planned encryption will hopefully add a layer of security to the popular messaging app.

Unfortunately, not everyone wants that. Via a Reuters report, FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed his dismay at the idea. After encryption, Facebook will turn into a “dream come true for predators and child pornographers.” According to the director, encryption will make it harder for authorities to hunt down evildoers. Additionally, he also points at Apple’s already existing encryption. Apparently, Apple reported only 43 tips to the FBI about predatory behavior towards children.

From national security, the FBI has turned its focus towards more emotional targets that people can relate to, i.e. child exploitation. Behind the security issues, Wray has a deeper issue: privately owned encryption. Apple’s (and eventually, Facebook’s) encryption prevents third-party organizations — malicious and government-owned ones alike — from accessing the company’s data. Governments usually want more access to social media data for security and surveillance purposes. Privately owned encryption protects mainly against malicious parties. Governments are symptomatic victims of the same encryption.

In any case, encryption is always a plus for the user’s security. However, the owner of that encryption will always be a source of controversy. Who owns our privacy?

SEE ALSO: Facebook may soon stop showing the number of likes on a post

Gaming

PUBG Mobile has a host of surprise gifts this Diwali

Burst in-game crackers!

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Diwali is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar and is comparable to Christmas in India. With the onset of the festive season, everyone is on a shopping spree. Companies are gearing up to send out gifts and streets will be lit up with diyas and lanterns.

The country is also one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile, and the brand intends to leverage the festive season this year. The game has announced a plethora of in-game offerings as well as physical gifts.

Starting October 19, ‘Diwali Dhamaka Event’ will go live in the game and players need to complete daily missions to collect ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ which can be used to ‘Burst Crackers.’ Bursting these crackers will get you ‘Gift Tokens’ that can be redeemed for exclusive in-game items.

For reference, bursting crackers has been a tradition during Diwali. However, everyone is urged to refrain from bursting actual crackers because it leads to massive air pollution. A virtual celebration is best for everyone.

Progressing up the ladder, there will be three levels and each will offer you up to 25 tokens. Once all the Gift Tokens are collected, players will get a Diwali special in-game item for free. Additionally, few lucky winners will also stand a chance to win physical rewards like TVS Apache Bike, OPPO Phones, gold coins, and more.

In-game offering currently includes a Kurta Pajama Set (traditional clothes worn during Diwali), Cricket Costume, Future Policewoman set, Lobster Set, AWM/M416 gun skins, Crate Coupons, and more. The festivities will be available in-game till November 4.

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Gaming

Blizzard is banning pro-HK Twitch viewers

Don’t say “Free Hong Kong”

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Image source: Twitch

The war against Chinese favoritism continues. Following a massive controversy a few weeks ago, Blizzard shows that it has not learned its lesson at all. The video game publisher is reportedly banning pro-Hong Kong viewers from its Twitch channel.

Blizzard’s games are particularly popular on the streaming platform. Thousands of streamers play World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone on Twitch daily. Naturally, Blizzard has capitalized on this trend. Blizzard’s official Twitch accounts broadcast sanctioned tournaments regularly.

This year, Hearthstone’s official account (PlayHearthstone) broadcasted the Master Tour, an international Hearthstone tournament. The most recent European leg is currently ongoing on the platform. That said, the stream’s chatroom was (and is) a huge minefield. Thousands of viewers typed in pro-Hong Kong messages in chat. The outpouring comes from both Hong Kong supporters and dissenters against Blizzard’s blatant pro-China stance.

However, Blizzard already has Twitch on lockdown. As reported by Dot Esports, anyone who typed “Free Hong Kong” automatically received a 24-hour ban from the chatroom. (Though they can still watch, banned users cannot participate in the chatroom for the allotted time.) Moderators also instantly deleted the “offensive” messages.

Image source: Twitch

At the very least, Blizzard isn’t using an automated program to control the chat’s speech. Days after a live match, PlayHearthstone rebroadcasted the same match on the channel. Apparently, a rerun did not warrant enough moderation from Blizzard. During the rerun, thousands of pro-Hong Kong messages flashed in the chatroom without deletion or banning. Blizzard is still taking things manually.

Regardless, the company’s recent censorship is another nail in Blizzard’s made-in-China coffin. Previously, Blizzard penalized the winner of a Hearthstone tournament for including pro-Hong Kong protests in his victory speech. After an ambiguous apology note, the company eased on the punishment and reiterated that China was not involved in the decision.

SEE ALSO: Blizzard is taking their other titles to your mobile

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Motorola could launch a foldable Razr phone

Could be announced next month

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Remember the iconic Razr phone? Back then, a foldable phone had a different meaning and consisted of a hinge that separated the screen and keyboard. Today, thanks to bendable display technology, our definition of a folding phone have changed completely.

However, the feeling of picking up a call by opening the phone with a flip is unmatchable. And, Motorola may be bringing back all that nostalgia with a new “Razr” branded phone.

The company has sent out invitations to an event on November 13 that will feature a “highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon.” Accompanying the invitation was an animated gif depicting the original Razr phone hinge design.

The Razr reboot has become one of the most anticipated smartphone releases among gadget enthusiasts. Its iconic flip became a cultural icon which made everyone wanted a Motorola flip phone.

There is a possibility the phone could feature a bendable display that opens up vertically. A report by The Wall Street Journal early this year stated that Motorola could be working on a reboot and plans on making a limited number of units. Each could sell for as much as US$ 1,500.

These retro reboots have worked quite well for other brands like HMD Global, who’s popular for launching classic Nokia-branded phones with modern features. Even BlackBerry has been experimenting with its keyboard and launched the Key2 last year.

With Huawei Mate X delayed and Galaxy Fold having its own set of problems, Motorola could have a shot at taking on Huawei and Samsung.

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