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CBI files case against UKs Cambridge Analytica for illegal data harvest of Indian Facebook users

Representational image

Representational image

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Friday, filed a case against United Kingdom based political consulting company Cambridge Analytica for the alleged ?illegal harvesting of personal data of around 5.62 lakh Facebook users from India.

 

The is the first time in the country that a criminal investigation has been launched against any company for illegal data theft.

 

CBI has also named another UK-based firm Global Science Research? (GSRL), in the same case.

 

In March 2018, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had filed a complaint with the CBI in regards with violation of right of privacy of social media users.

 

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had informed Parliament in July 2018, that there would be a CBI probe into the matter.

 

The IT ministry had also sent letters to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica demanding clarification on the issue.

 

In response to the CBIs queries, Facebook had informed that GSRL illegally collected personal data of around 5.62 lakh Indian users and shared it with Cambridge Analytica. It is alleged that the consulting firm then used the data to influence Indian elections.

 

The CBI probe revealed that Founder and Director of GSRL Dr Aleksandr Kogan had created an application thisisyourdigitallife. The app was authorized to harvest specific user data for academic and research purpose according to Facebook’s policy. However, the app also collected additional unauthorized data of users.

 

The data, including demographic information, pages liked and private chats, were collected illegally without the consent of app users.

 

According to Facebook, 335 users in India had installed the application, and data of around 5.62 lakh additional users, who were part of their friends network was breached and illegally harvested.

 

The CBI has filed the case under Sections 120 (B) (Punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and 66B (Punishment for dishonesty receiving any stolen computer resource or communication device), 85 (Offences by companies) and 43 (a) (Compensation for failure to protect data) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

 

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Crime

SHOCKER: 4 gang rape monitor lizard in Maharashtra, record act on phone; get arrested

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Radhika Dhawad | Ratnagiri

Monitor Lizard (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In the most unbelievable incident ever, four men were arrested for allegedly raping a Bengal monitor lizard in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR). The reserve is spread over four districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

The gruesome incident took place at Gothane village in Ratnagiri district on March 31 when the four accused illegally entered Chandoli National Park (part of the reserve). One of the four was also carrying a gun for hunting.

The Maharashtra Forest Department checked the mobile phone of one of the accused and that’s when he learnt about the incident. The officials found the recording of the act, which showed the accused allegedly gang-raping the monitor lizard.

A forest official said the four accused were identified as Sandeep Tukaram Pawar, Mangesh Kamtekar, Akshay Kamtekar and Ramesh Ghag.

The official said, “During the investigation, the forest officials found that the accused had allegedly raped a Bengal monitor lizard. Their act was also recorded in a mobile phone of one of the accused persons. We have recovered all the related evidence from the accused and they were granted forest department custody initially, but are out on bail now. They have been asked to mark their presence before the forest officer, who is probing the case, every Monday.”
“The four accused have been booked under various sections of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972,” said field director of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR), Nanasaheb Ladkat.

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Crime

ED attaches Sanjay Raut’s properties in ₹1034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case; Raut tweets ‘Asatyamev Jayate’

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

Sanjay Raut

Sanjay Raut

 

Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Tuesday, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), attached Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut’s property in ₹1034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case. The ED, in February, had also arrested his close friend Pravin Raut.

The ED attached Raut’s plot in Alibaug and one flat in Mumbai’s Dadar area.

After ED attached Raut’s properties, the latter tweeted, “Asatyamev Jayate (the lies win)”

 

The attachment is linked to a money laundering probe linked to an alleged scam related to the re-development of a chawl in Mumbai.

More details are awaited. 

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Crime

Wheelchair-bound Anil Deshmukh hospitalised at JJ Hospital after suffering shoulder injury

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

Anil Deshmukh

Anil Deshmukh

 

Wheelchair-bound former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is currently lodged at Arthur Road Jail, was hospitalised at JJ Hospital in Mumbai on Saturday after suffering a shoulder injury. The senior leader would undergo a surgery according to ANI.

 
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), today, reached Arthur Road jail to take custody of Deshmukh, his personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde in connection with an alleged money laundering case. 
 
Also, another team of CBI reached Taloja jail today to take custody of dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze vis-à-vis the same case. 
 
Amid opposition from Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court, on Thursday, transferred the investigation against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to the CBI. 
 
Param Bir Singh

Param Bir Singh

 
Singh is currently facing cases of extortion, corruption and misconduct. He was removed as Mumbai Police Chief owing to his alleged mishandling of the Antilia (Mukesh Ambanis residence) bomb scare case. 
 
There are as many as five alleged corruption and extortion cases against Singh. On May 4 last year, he went missing to avoid probe against him. 
 
Later, he appeared before the Mumbai Crime Branch to record his statement after the Supreme Court granted him relief on the grounds that he wouldn’t be arrested.
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