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Government of India is considering a ban on WhatsApp Calls

Will this actually prevent militants from communicating?

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WhatsApp and many other Instant Messengers have been in the crosshairs with governments around the world due to the misuse of available onboard encryption. End-to-end encryption protects the user’s messages from snooping eyes, but at the same time, the technology has been abused by terrorists and criminals to protect themselves from law enforcement authorities.

According to NDTV, a meeting was held in New Delhi yesterday where the Home Ministry expressed its concern over anti-national elements in the country using social media apps to carry out their activities. It was highlighted that detained terrorists had revealed to the Jammu and Kashmir police that they were taking directions from across the border via WhatsApp calls during the Nagrota army camp attack in 2016, in which seven army men were killed.


The authorities have now expressed a desire to monitor social media apps including messaging apps like WhatsApp. Top officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), as well as those from security agencies and J&K police, agreed that WhatsApp is “the preferred medium of communication for anti-national forces.”

It is highly unlikely that WhatsApp or any other major player will hand over the encryption keys to the government, hence the authorities are trying to bring these services under Indian jurisdiction by establishing new policies. WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook is already in hot water after data of more than 50 million users was shared with third parties without consent. Telegram stood by its users and declined to share the keys with the Russian Government a few months back and the app has been banned in the country since then.

The authorities are also considering taking inspiration from Gulf countries like the UAE where VoIP calls are strictly banned over major players like WhatsApp. Currently, the officials are meeting with representatives of social media platforms for compliance.

Apps

Dr. Mario World is coming to Android and iOS in a few weeks

A classic coming back to life!

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Image credit: Nintendo

After a week from E3 2019, Nintendo has announced the release of its latest mobile game. The Japanese game company has been reviving its classic titles lately and the newest one coming to our phones is Dr. Mario World.

The new Nintendo game for mobile will be available for iOS and Android on July 10 for free. Pre-registration is already open on the App Store and Play Store.


A new trailer for Dr. Mario World gives us our first look at the game. From the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty different yet familiar. Instead of a Tetris-style gameplay where the capsules fall down the screen, Dr. Mario World will require players to drag the capsules on the playing field. Since the game will be played on phones with touchscreens, this approach makes better sense than left-right buttons.

Like most free-to-play titles, the game will have in-app purchases that’ll help players progress in the game. The game also has countdown timers and character customizations.

The original Dr. Mario game came out in 1990 and it instantly became one of the best Nintendo titles. It was originally developed for the NES. It was ported and remade for multiple platforms after.

Source: Nintendo

SEE ALSO: Nintendo reveals new Pokémon games for the Switch

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New Huawei phones are suspended from having Facebook out of the box

Another blow to Huawei, but this is minimal

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Huawei Y9 2019 | GadgetMatch

Here’s more news about the US trade ban against Huawei. The latest American company to take action is Facebook. The popular social networking company is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones.

The latest blow to the Chinese tech giant doesn’t necessarily mean users won’t be able to access Facebook. According to a report by Reuters, customers who already bought Huawei phones will still be able to use Facebook apps and receive updates. Although, new Huawei phones will no longer have Facebook pre-installed. Other Facebook-owned apps are also affected including WhatsApp and Instagram.


If you purchased a Huawei phone lately, you might have noticed that your phone came with a few apps pre-installed — aside from the native apps, of course. Usually, smartphone vendors have deals with developers like Facebook to make their app widely available. Aside from Facebook, Huawei phones also come pre-installed with Twitter and Booking.com in many markets.

While Facebook’s move to stay away won’t badly hurt Huawei, it could affect the partnership sales outlook. Again, the Facebook ban only affects Huawei phones that have yet to come out of the factory. Also, Facebook can still be downloaded from the Google Play Store assuming Huawei will not lose access to it soon.

SEE ALSO: Huawei inks a 5G developmental deal with Russia

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Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat

Could lead to less secure apps

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For three weeks, Huawei’s biggest concerns were the loss of Android and ARM architecture support. The recent Trump ban created pandemonium for the Chinese company. Since the ban’s announcement, Huawei has struggled with solutions and appeals. Unfortunately, the company’s troubles are not stopping.

In a Financial Times report, Google argues that Trump’s ban will ironically open Huawei to more cybersecurity issues. Likewise, an Android ban will cascade down to the operating system’s supported apps. Users will likely resort to less secure installation methods for their lost apps.


Google further explains that using an Android hybrid (since the platform is open-source by nature) could result in more holes in the system’s security. Huawei’s alternative — either their own custom OS or a forked Android variant — will not offer the same amount of protection.

In related news, Facebook has banned their app’s pre-installs on their future smartphones. Currently, Huawei’s phones come installed with Facebook’s slew of apps — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Arguably, all three apps are essential pieces of a smartphone’s ecosystem. As such, smartphone makers often strike pre-installation deals with app developers, allowing devices to come with these essential apps.

Of course, Huawei users can still install them manually through the Google Play Store. However, this method is also in jeopardy. By August 19, Google is forced to sever support for Huawei, pending a permanent resolution. The ban can feasibly take the Play Store with it. If that happens, Huawei users can no longer install Facebook through the usual means. Users will start resorting to Huawei’s own store or APK installs.

Huawei’s continued dealing with bans rings an ominous death knell for the Chinese company. Without a conclusive resolution, the world’s number-two smartphone manufacturer is facing an uncertain, dangerous future for its phones, inside and out.

SEE ALSO: Huawei inks a 5G developmental deal with Russia

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