Citizens' Issues
Rajnath Singh proposes online FIRs for railway crimes

To deal with the issue of states’ jurisdiction in filing of complaints, the union home minister has proposed online registration of FIR for railway crimes

 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has mooted a proposal for online registration of first information report (FIRs) for railway crimes to deal with the issue of states’ jurisdiction in the filing of complaints. The Minister also clarified that there is no turf war between Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) although there are “complexities” in that regard which need to be looked into. 
 
“Law and order is primarily the (individual) states’ responsibility. Complaints can be registered online and they can be referred to the state concerned for investigations to be expedited,” Singh said at a conference on railway security where he, however, stressed that there was “no dearth of coordination” in this area.
 
Though the minister noted that there are some complexities involved in the railway security system, he insisted that “there is no turf war between RPF and GRP. (But) some complexities are there which need to be looked into it."
 
Admitting that railways were becoming a soft target for Maoists, Singh said, “We have to ensure security for all modes of transportation. A strategy should be worked out to provide security to all forms of transportation.”
 
RPF is the security wing of the public transporter while GRP is under state government. RPF is empowered to protect railway property whereas GRP is responsible for maintaining law and order on rail premises.
 
There are complaints of non-cooperation from GRP and lack of coordination between RPF, GRP and state police when it comes to securing railway property.
 
“India has a federal structure and there are some complexities; but there is (also) a solution to it. There is a solution to every problem, why can’t there be a solution for this?” said Singh.
 
The conference was attended by the Union Ministers, high- ranking state police and railway officials.

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Saradha Scam: CBI says quizzing Mukul Roy is key to framing charge sheets

According to CBI, quizzing Roy, the former Railway Minister, would help in framing chargesheets against Minister Madan Mitra, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose and others in the Saradha scam

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday said that interrogating Trinamool Congress' all-India General Secretary Mukul Roy was critical for framing of charge sheets against the key accused who are now under arrest.
 
“We do not want to delay the case inordinately since the probe is in an advanced stage. So we want to interrogate Roy at the earliest so that charge sheets can be framed against the key accused in Saradha Realty case on time,” a CBI official told media.
 
Roy, a former railway minister, was served summons on Monday to appear before the investigating agency by this week but had sought for a 15-day extension for appearance.
 
He would be interrogated for his role in alleged criminal conspiracy for diversion of funds in the Saradha ponzi scam.
 
The source said that after much negotiation with Roy, he had been asked to appear before the CBI by 21 January 2015. “We also told him that we cannot delay,” the source said.
 
He said that quizzing Roy would help in framing charge sheets against Minister Madan Mitra, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose and others in the Saradha Realty case.
 
“If we are not able to file the charge sheet within the stipulated time after their arrests, then these persons will get default bail and we will be blamed unnecessarily,” the source said.
 
“Some things are time bound,” he added.
 

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Zombie Cookie: The Tracking Cookie That You Can't Kill
An online ad company called Turn is using tracking cookies that come back to life after Verizon users have deleted them. Turn's services are used by everyone from Google to Facebook
 
An online advertising clearinghouse relied on by Google, Yahoo and Facebook is using controversial cookies that come back from the dead to track the web surfing of Verizon customers.
 
The company, called Turn, is taking advantage of a hidden undeletable number that Verizon uses to monitor customers' habits on their smartphones and tablets. Turn uses the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies that users have deleted.
 
 

Does Your Phone Company Track You?
 

 

 

 

Click from your smartphone or tablet (with Wi-Fi turned off) to see if your telecom provider is adding a tracking number. We don't save any information.
 

Al Shaw and Jonathan Stray, ProPublica

 
 
"We are trying to use the most persistent identifier that we can in order to do what we do," Max Ochoa, Turn's chief privacy officer, told ProPublica.
 
Turn's zombie cookie comes amid a controversy about a new form of tracking the telecom industry has deployed to shadow mobile phone users. Last year, Verizon and AT&T users noticed their carriers were inserting a tracking number into all the Web traffic that transmits from a users' phone – even if the user has tried to opt out.
 
Users complained that the tracking number could be used by any website they visited from their phone to build a dossier about their behavior – what sites they went to, what apps they used.
 
In November, AT&T stopped using the number. But Verizon did not, instead assuring users on its website that "it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles" using its identifiers.
 
When asked about Turn's use of the Verizon number to respawn tracking cookies, a Verizon spokeswoman said, "We're reviewing the information you shared and will evaluate and take appropriate measures to address."
 
Turn privacy officer Ochoa said that his company had conversations with Verizon about Turn's use of the Verizon tracking number and said "they were quite satisfied."
 
Turn's actions were spotted by Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer, and confirmed by ProPublica's testing.
 
Turn and Verizon also have a separate marketing partnership that allows Verizon to share anonymized information about its mobile customers. In April, Verizon sponsored a Turn event in New York City called " Bringing Sexy Back to Measurement."
 
Turn, which calls itself a "Digital Hub," may not be a household name but it is a huge back-end processor of ads on websites.
 
It works like this: When a user visits a website that contains Turn tracking code, the company holds an auction within milliseconds for advertisers to target that user. The highest bidder's ad instantly appears on the user's screen as the web page loads. Turn says it receives 2 million requests for online advertising placements per second.
 
For its auctions to work, Turn needs to identify web users by cookies, which are small text files that are stored on their computers. The cookies allow Turn to identify a user's web browsing habits, such as an interest in sports or shopping, which it uses to lure advertisers to the auction.
Some users try to block such tracking by turning off or deleting cookies. But Turn says that when users clear their cookies, it does not consider that a signal that users want to opt out from being tracked.
 
"There are definitely people who feel that if they clear their cookies, they won't be tracked, and that is not strictly accurate," said Joshua Koran, senior vice president of product management at Turn.
 
Turn executives said the only way users can opt out is to install a Turn opt-out cookie on their machine. That cookie is not designed to prevent Turn from collecting data about a user - only to prevent Turn from showing targeted ads to that user.
 
ProPublica's tests showed that even Verizon users who installed the Turn opt-out cookie continued to receive the Turn tracking cookie as well. Turn said despite the appearance of the tracking cookie, it continues to honor the opt-out cookie.
 
Initially, Turn officials also told ProPublica that its zombie cookie had a benefit for users: They said they were using the Verizon number to keep track of people who installed the Turn opt-out cookie, so that if they mistakenly deleted it, Turn could continue to honor their decisions to opt out.
 
 
(Julia Angwin, Mike Tigas and Terry Parris Jr., ProPublica)
 
But when ProPublica tested that claim on the industry's opt-out system, we found that it did not show Verizon users as opted out. Turn subsequently contacted us to say it had fixed what it said was a glitch, but our tests did not show it had been fixed.
 
Either way, this fix does not address the respawning of cookies that have been deleted– since Turn says it does not consider that an expression of user intent.
 
"It is our absolute desire to honor people's choices," said Ochoa, Turn's chief privacy officer.
For more coverage, read ProPublica's previous reporting on Verizon's indestructible tracking and AT&T's decision to stop using the technique.
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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