Draft Encryption Policy Withdrawn: 10 Reasons

Coming under tremendous public ire, the Indian government has already withdrawn its draft proposal that required users to share all the information they shared over online exchanges. If the proposal had seen the light of the day, it would have radically altered how people use social media, communication services like WhatsApp and Hike. Find out a 10-point cheatsheet to this huge story below:

I. IT Minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the earlier proposed National Encryption Policy was released to people for feedback without his knowledge. He also accepted that it was not done properly and that it is being reworked.

II. He also assured that any new rules would not hamper the lives of common people in any way and that the government is well aware of its duty to protect and promote freedom of the social media.

III. The draft proposal wanted apps and platforms to register with the government, the kind of encryption service they use or sign-up, and to use only those encryption services that are approved by the government.

IV. It must be noted that when a message is sent via services like WhatsApp, it gets automatically coded/scrambled and then decoded for the addressee.

V. The draft proposal wanted all users and businesses to save their communications through messages for 90 days and provide those to the government if demanded.

VI. After NDTV broadcast this news on Monday, a clarification note was issued by the government informing that the new National Encryption Policy would not regulate social media in any way.

VII. The new rules to unscramble data would not be applicable to e-commerce and Internet banking.

VIII. Experts even flagged the draft proposal saying the language was loose and could not be applicable for apps and message communication services.

IX. Some aspects of the proposal also suggested that services that do not register their method of message encryption with the government would be declared illegal in India.

X. In 2010, the UPA government had declared a ban BBM if BlackBerry did not give Indian security agencies access to snoop on their emails. Eventually, both of them came to an agreement that would let the government to intercept communications made on BlackBerry’s platform through emails or messages.… Read the rest

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WhatsApp Web Faces Threat From ‘MaliciousCard’; Developer Says Debug Patch Is Up And Active

Latest reports from security firm Check Point reveal that attackers can now target WhatsApp web users by tricking them to execute a mandatory code on their PCs. Ever since the reports have poured in, users all over the world—amounting to 200 million plus—are wary of the vulnerable position they have been pushed into. The official statement from WhatsApp says that their system engineers have already updated the Web client patch for the bug in the new version.

WhatsApp Web Faces Threat From 'MaliciousCard'The ‘MaliciousCard’ Issue

With the latest MaliciousCard vulnerability issue, users can be fooled once they receive a VCard or a contact card that contains a malware code to hack the account of the victim. The attacking source can infuse a command via the vCard file, which is separated by ampersand character.

The PC’s Windows will automatically run all lines part of the code. We do not know for sure if users of Mac are risked by the vulnerability. In case the user pops the contact card open, the ransom ware, bots and similar files are automatically distributed across the system. The biggest issue is that the sent V-card looks so legitimate that the users barely suspect it to contain malware.

What Check Point Says?

Check Point, the security firm also specified that WhatsApp had been informed about the glitch as soon as the bug was found. As a follow up, the app issued a brand new update on 21 August for bug fixing. Of note is the fact that the versions WhatsApp Web v0.1.4481 and the ones that came in later are not exposed to the vulnerable threat. The other version of WhatsApp does not validate this vCard format and all contents of the same. … Read the rest

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Is 900 mn Users Enough to Make WhatsApp a Feasible Economic Model?

The popular messaging platform WhatsApp has reached 900 million active users this week. Could this make the messaging app a real business model? Facebook board member and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum yesterday announced that they have reached 900 million users but did not give any hint on their plans to transform it into a business model.

Is 900 million users enough to make WhatsApp a feasible economic model?WhatsApp reaches 900 million active users

WhatsApp became tremendously popular since its introduction to the market in 2009. Of the 900 million registered users, 100 million registrations were made in just five months.

Though the company has achieved some great feats in the last few months, it has not been able to make a successful presence in the United States. If the company wants to grow as an economic model, it will have to increase base in the US as well.

 Facebook to monetize WhatsApp

Facebook’s US$19 billion deal with WhatsApp is always considered one of the significant acquisitions in Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerbarg has already mentioned that the platform would be monetized as and when it reaches 1 billion active users.

Though there is no confirmation from the company, it is believed that it will be clubbed with Facebook Messenger to make it feasible. WhatsApp has so far strictly followed, “No Ads, No Games, No Gimmicks” policy and is expected to retain that even after transforming it into an economic model. … Read the rest

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Apple Users Rejoice! WhatsApp For Web Is Now Compatible With iOS

The introduction of WhatsApp for the web was a welcome move but some users were not happy. WhatsApp on the web did not offer iOS support due to certain limitations set by Apple. However, users of Apple devices can now get WhatsApp for web as it has turned iOS compatible. It will now work with Safari on the Mac.

WhatsApp for web is now compatible with iOSApple users can now access WhatsApp from the Web

To access this new service, users need to update their devices with the latest version of the app. They need to scan the QR code on the desktop using the mobile app to get started.

Once the function is activated, users can access their WhatsApp messages from a laptop, desktop as well as phones. However, those who want to use WhatsApp in a shared PC environment are better keeping their web notifications off. Else, others may get access to their personal data.

In a recent blog post, the company has mentioned the ease of using WhatsApp on web without worrying about the loss of data. The blog post says the web version is just a mirror format of the phone and users need not worry about the loss of message from phone once they check it from a PC.… Read the rest

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WhatsApp Web Version Could Be Coming Soon

whatsapp web versionGood news is in store for WhatsApp lovers. The messaging service is likely to be available as a WhatsApp web version soon. These rumors gained ground after Pavel Durov, the co-founder of Telegram, another app-based service told TechCrunch that he thought that WhatsApp was working on a web version. He said Whatsapp! had tried to hire web development from Telegram.

Though WhatsApp has still to make any official announcement to this effect, a team from AndroidWorld.nl also confirmed Durov’s thoughts. They found that a recent code of WhatsApp update has a mention of “WhatsApp Web”.


10 Reasons Why BBM for Android Fails in Front of WhatsApp – See more at: http://www.techthirsty.com/latest-technology-news/top-news/10-reasons-why-bbm-for-android-fails-in-front-of-whatsapp/#sthash.rH79wW3m.dpuf

Besides the mention of WhatsApp Web, the code also has references of logging into a web service and has references that help in tracking of its status online. Though all these facts cannot be taken as a certain proof but it does hint at WhatsApp is working on a web-friendly model.

Interestingly, WhatsApp is the only messaging service that does not have a web version. WhatsApp is the largest messaging service and has a user base of over 600 million. This is in contrast to other messaging services such as Viber, Line, Telegram and WeChat that come in both mobile and web versions.… Read the rest

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It Could Be A Case of Big Fish Eating The Small One: Why Would Facebook Buy Whatsapp?

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has announced its plans to buy fast-growing messaging service Whatsapp in a $19 billion deal in cash and stock. This is an unprecedented purchase as the deal one can consider closest to this was done by Microsoft when they bought Skype at a price of $8.5. Incidentally, Facebook also took over Instagram at only $1 billion last year, while Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten bought Viber at a modest $ 900 million.

So, why would Facebook buy Whatsapp, and at this price?

Industry insiders and M&A experts say that Facebook acquisition of Whatsapp–even Instagram–suggests their inability to develop such good apps. This deal is more than the amount Facebook raised in its own IPO and has left investors worrisome.

Many recent news reports and jokes floating in cyberspace suggest that Facebook was turning into a network for the ageing. Its population of active teenage users was fast depleting. With the acquisition of Whatsapp, they are likely to get the attention of their young users as well.

Whatsapp is clearly leading many other messaging apps such as Line in Japan and WeChat. It has acquired a massive market in America, Asia and Europe.

Zuckerberg has also released an interesting statement to explain why Facebook would buy Whatsapp. WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook already has its own messaging app but it’s not widely used.

Also read this: Twitter’s Vine Vs Facebook’s Instagram: The Rivals Take The Brawl To Another Level

 … Read the rest

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Nokia Asha 210 Gets Catapulted In The Market With A Free WhatsApp And Facebook Button

Its success with Windows Phone 8 notwithstanding, Nokia’s busy adding to its lineup of low-cost mobile phones. The newest entrant in this range is the Asha 210 which comes with an exclusive key for WhatsApp for the Asian and African markets, and a Facebook button for the European and Latin American markets.

The phone comes in many colorful options including yellow, blue, magenta, white and black and has 2 SIM card slots. The Asha 210 has a QWERTY keypad design, similar to the Asha 308 and 309 launched last year. Priced at $72 for Asia and Africa, owners get free lifetime access to WhatsApp, offering a promising time for the app as well.

The Asha 210 for Europe and Latin America comes with a price tag of $40 with a dedicated Facebook button. In addition, there’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook preloaded into the phone. The phone has a 2.4-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 320X240 pixels, 64 MB of internal memory and a microSD card slot. There’s a 2 MP camera and WiFi support as well.… Read the rest

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