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Facebook, Twitter, Google failed to tackle terrorism: British panel
In the first-ever widespread criticism of US technology giants and social media platforms, the British Home Affairs select committee has slammed the internet behemoths of becoming a "recruiting platform for terrorism" and "passing the buck".
 
Led by Keith Vaz, the British parliament's longest-serving Indian-origin MP, the panel rapped Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, saying the companies were deliberately failing to stop terrorists from using their platforms to promote their sinister agenda, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
 
"Huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter, with their billion-dollar incomes, are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror," Vaz was quoted as saying.
 
According to the committee report, "It is alarming that these companies have teams of only a few hundred employees to monitor networks of billions of accounts and that Twitter does not even proactively report extremist content to law enforcement agencies".
 
They specifically mentioned the case of hate preacher Anjem Choudary, stressing that Twitter and Youtube refused to remove his posts praising violent extremism despite repeated requests by the police.
 
Choudary, 49, was convicted of terror offences last week and faces up to 10 years in prison. He was set to be questioned by French and Belgian security services over his links to Islamic State (IS)-affiliated terrorists.
 
The British panel also warned that social media platforms are becoming the "vehicle of choice" for spreading terrorist propaganda.
 
"If they continue to fail to tackle this issue and allow their platforms to become the 'Wild West' of the internet, then it will erode their reputation as responsible operators," the report added.
 
Reacting to the report, Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook UK, was quoted as saying: aceTerrorists and the support of terrorist activity are not allowed on Facebook and we deal swiftly and robustly with reports of terrorism-related content."
 
Last week, the micro-blogging website Twitter has announced it had suspended an additional 235,000 accounts for violating its policies related to promotion of terrorism in the last six months.
 
Twitter had announced the blocking of more than 125,000 accounts earlier this year which were primarily related to the IS terror group.
 
"This brings our overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015. As noted by numerous third parties, our efforts continue to drive meaningful results, including a significant shift in this type of activity off of Twitter," the company had said in a blog post.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Clinton e-mail scandal: FBI discovers 15,000 more e-mails
The FBI has discovered almost 15,000 unrevealed documents linked to the e-mail scandal surrounding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, US media reports said on Monday.
 
The documents were found during the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013, Efe news reported.
 
Some 30,000 documents linked to the scandal were already turned over by Clinton's attorneys to the Department of State in 2014.
 
The State Department has promised to publish the documents and on Monday assured federal Judge James E. Boasberg, who is hearing the case, that the department is "giving priority" to reviewing the new e-mail messages.
 
However, it is still not known if the e-mails will be published before the Nov 8 election, in which the former first lady is contesting against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
 
The e-mail controversy erupted in early 2015, when US media revealed that during her four years heading the State Department, Clinton always used a personal -- and not an official -- account for her communications, including a private server, Efe news added.
 
Clinton acknowledged at the time that it would have been "smarter" to use an official account and handed over for publication 55,000 pages of e-mails from her tenure at the State Department, but the case raised questions about whether classified government information was improperly handled on her personal account.
 
The State Department identified around 2,100 e-mails from Clinton's server as confidential, although it said that many of them were not considered classified at the time they were sent, but had been designated as such during the review.
 
The scandal also brought accusations from Republican lawmakers about Clinton's handling of the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which then-Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US government officials died.
 
Several months ago, Clinton appeared before Congress for more than 11 hours to explain what occurred during that attack, and in early July the lawmakers' final report on the incident was made public, a report that concluded that no evidence incriminating her had been found.
 
Thus, later in July the FBI recommended to the Department of Justice that no charges be filed against the Democratic candidate after the e-mail investigation, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch followed that advice and closed the case.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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US swimmer Feigen fined USD 10,800 for lying about attack in Rio
Brazil's justice system imposed a fine of 35,000 reais (around $10,800) on the United States swimmer James Feigen so that he could leave the country after falsely stating he had been a victim of an armed assault along with three of his other teammates in Rio de Janeiro, local media reported on Friday.
 
According to information announced via television channel Globo, Feigen was accused of "communicating a false crime" and after testifying for four hours before the court, Feigen agreed to pay the set fine. The money will go towards a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that teaches judo to children and teenagers in a Rio de Janeiro slum, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
Feigen, along with his teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and 12-time Olympic medal winner Ryan Lochte testified to having been attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning while returning to the Olympic Village in a taxi after attending a party.
 
Repercussions from the case led to Brazilian police investigating and proving that the swimmers lied about what happened. The swimmers actually caused a fight in a gas station close to the Olympic Village as they arrived drunk and ended up brawling with the security guards after damaging property inside the shop.
 
Due to suspicion surrounding what really happened, the justice system asked for the four swimmers to hand over their passport but Lochte, who made the initial allegation, was already back in the United States when the request was made.
 
Bentz and Conger were banned from flying back to the US on Wednesday evening and after providing a police statement admitting that the original accusation was a lie.
 
In their statement, Bentz, Conger and Feigen blamed the more famous and absent Lochte for inventing the story even though he had previously appeared on US television to talk about the alleged assault at gunpoint in Rio, where the swimmers had been competing in the Olympics.
 
Through the justice system, Feigen apologised to the Brazilians and the authorities that had been involved in solving the case which has generated a lot of controversy in Brazil.
 
The US Olympic Committee (USOC) also apologised to Brazil for the swimmers' behaviour.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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