Technology
SC junks PIL on WhatsApp decoder key
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking its direction to the government to seek a private key from WhatsApp and similar applications to decode and access their content in times of need.
 
A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar asked petitioner Sudhir Yadav to approach the appropriate authorities.
 
Yadav -- a Haryana-based Right to Information (RTI) activist -- said he was not asking for a ban on WhatsApp and other similar applications but wanted the government to ask them to share their private key if and when required.
 
He said this was similar to what the government had insisted vis-a-vis on BlackBerry.
 
Yadav said that in the absences of the private key, it would take the government years to access a message.
 
The petitioner in his public interest litigation said that WhatsApp has from April started to enable its every message with 256-bit encryption that cannot be broken into.
 
"Even if WhatsApp was asked to break through an individual's message to hand over the data to the government, it too will fail as it does not have the decryption keys," Yadav said in his petition.
 
Other messaging platforms such as Hike, Secure Chat, Viber and a few others are also using high encryption and constitute a threat to national security, Yadav contended.
 
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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New Zealand, Indian researchers to study health impacts of 5G networks
Researchers from New Zealand and India will jointly investigate the possibilities of adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation on human health caused by the next generation of telecommunication networks called 5G, a New Zealand researcher said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
Massey University will collaborate with India's Birla Institute of Technology and Auckland University of Technology on the project 'Analysing Harmful Electromagnetic Exposure due to Future Millimeter Wave Transmissions' over 2016-2017.
 
"If the future wireless signals are found to be harmless to the human health, this project would build consumer confidence in the future telecommunication services. However, if this project shows that the 5G network leads to, or potentially may lead to adverse health impacts, the industry would be required to modify the underlying wireless technology to ensure the human well being," principal investigator Faraz Hasan, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, said in the statement.
 
This project seeks to develop new techniques that allow the assessment of 5G wireless signals and their electromagnetic exposure to human beings. The findings will be compared against the existing thresholds that have been set aside by a number of regulatory bodies.
 
"With some industry giants predicting 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and with the employment of much higher transmission frequencies proposed for the 5G rollout, it is essential to determine how the future of telecommunications will affect the health of its user," Hasan said.
 
This research is one of the externally funded projects currently being carried out by the Telecommunication and Network Engineering research group under the Electronics Cluster at Massey University.
 
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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Toyota recalls 1.43 mn vehicles due to airbag defects
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation on Wednesday issued a global recall on 1.43 million of its top-selling hybrid Prius models and high-end Lexus CT200h hybrid sports hatchbacks due to a possible defect in the models' airbag inflator.
 
The Aichi-based automaker said the recall will span 743,000 vehicles in Japan, 495,000 in its North American and Mexican markets and cover 141,000 models in Europe, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
"The recall also includes the Prius plug-in models," Toyota said.
 
"In the vehicles being recalled, specifically those produced between October 2008 and April 2012, it is possible that there is a crack in a weld in the airbag inflator that could lead to the inflator chambers separating and the bags partially inflating, with the inflator itself being discharged into the vehicles' interior," Toyota added. 
 
Toyota said no deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of the latest airbag-related saga, and noted that the airbag inflators involved in the latest recall were not produced by embattled Takata Corporation.
 
Toyota has been mired in recall issues in recent times, including the recall of 6.5 million vehicles worldwide in October 2015 owing to a power window glitch that could potential trigger fires.
 
Toyota also doubled a recall order over faulty airbags to nearly 34 million vehicles in 2015, in a record-breaking recall move prior to the window glitch.
 
In 2014, the world's largest automaker also issued a recall on 1.9 million of its ubiquitous Prius hybrids, due to a computer problem that could cause the vehicle to suddenly stop without warning.
 
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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