The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs wants the Government to Ban VPN Services in India

According to a report by the Times of India, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has recommended that the Indian government “permanently block VPN Services in the country”.

The TOI report says,

Terming Virtual Private Network (VPN) services as a threat to counter cyber threats and other nefarious activities, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs reportedly wants the Indian government to ban VPN services in the country. As per a report by MediaNama, the committee explained that the reason why VPN services should be banned in India is because VPN apps and tools are easily available online and these allow “criminals to remain anonymous online.”

I’ll recommend that you go read the entire report to understand how ridiculous it all sounds.

But in an effort to put things into perspective, I rewrote the article by changing just a few words here and there.

Terming knives as a threat to counter deadly threats and other nefarious activities, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Kitchen Affairs reportedly wants the Indian government to ban knives in the country. As per a report by MediaNama, the committee explained that the reason why knives should be banned in India is because knives and tools are easily available online and these allow “criminals to attack and kill anyone.”

For those unaware, knives are used by most households in India to assist them in cooking and making food. Also, knives became all the more important during lockdown when employees were forced to work from home and thus also cook from home. While knives allow users to cut through things that aren’t actually food and also stay “protected” to a certain degree outside, the benefits of knives is immense for anyone when it comes to making food. The committee also proposed “to put a check on the use of knives and scissors.”

According to the report by MediaNama, the committee recommended permanently blocking knife sales in the country with “the help of e-commerce service providers” across India. ““The Committee notes with anxiety the challenge posed by knives and scissors, that can allow criminals to attack or kill anyone. As of date, knives can easily be purchased, as many websites are providing such facilities and advertising them. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Kitchen Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Hardware Tools to identify and permanently block such knives with the help of e-commerce service providers.”

It further suggested that “a coordination mechanism should also be developed with international agencies to ensure that these knives are blocked permanently.” The report by MediaNama also said that the committee wants “the Ministry to take initiatives to strengthen the tracking and surveillance mechanisms by further improving and developing the state-of-the-art technology, to put a check on the use of knives and scissors.”

I wish those in power actually had the power of logical thinking.

Chaitali Chakravarty & Writankar Mukherjee reporting for the Economic Times:

One of Amazon India’s largest sellers Cloudtail India is going to stop operations from May 2022 with the company’s joint venture partners Amazon and N.R. Narayana Murthy-owned Catamaran Ventures will not renew the seven years old partnership when it comes up for renewal next year.

Cloudtail India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prione Business Services. Prione is a joint venture between Catamaran and Amazon. The two partners are going to exit from the business at a time when there is stricter surveillance on the operations of the foreign e-commerce marketplaces in the country.

The two partners have mutually decided to not continue their joint venture beyond the end of its current term ending on May 19, 2022.

I really hope Appario Retail survives.

Mikhail Madnani, writing for The Mako Reactor:

This merchandise includes mugs, glasses, water bottles, and more. Pre-orders for all the items are also live on Games The Shop with shipping beginning next month as revealed on the product pages.

That official PlayStation glass looks good.

Mike Isaac, reporting for The New York Times:

The lawsuit, filed by WhatsApp in the Delhi High Court, seeks to block the enforceability of the rules that were handed down by the government this year. WhatsApp, a service owned by Facebook that sends encrypted messages, claimed in its suit that the rules, which were set to go into effect on Wednesday, were unconstitutional.

Yes, Facebook is evil, but the current Indian Govt. is riding the same boat. It’s good to see WhatsApp challenging these ridiculous new rules (may even be unconstitutional), and I hope other companies join the suit.

That said, this doesn’t absolve WhatsApp from their new Privacy Policy changes. Scumbags.

The BMC said it is starting six more vaccination centres today. Matoshri Sports Club at Sundar Nagar HP (JVLR), BMC Community Hall (Jogeshwari), Aadhar Kendra (Vile Parle), Gadkari HP Videocon Atithi (Chembur), Yoga Kendra (Ayodhya Nagar), and Najambaug (Dongri) are the centres. Apollo Spectra in Deonar and Saifee Ambulance in Bhendi Bazar are two private vaccination centres that will also start today.

We really need more vaccination centres for 18-44 north of Jogeshwari

Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter India and Nick Caldwell, VP of Twitter Engineering, writing on the Twitter Blog:

Expanding the team in India aligns with our overall belief that having more employees at Twitter, living and working in places that are representative of all perspectives and cultures, and sharing local context about these conversations will help us build a better service and company. By committing to hire and develop local engineering talent, we will play an important role in the company’s journey to become the world’s most diverse, inclusive, and accessible tech company. The engineering team in Bengaluru, which has expanded rapidly over the past two years, will continue to focus on building more daily utility for new and existing audiences, with capabilities ranging from product development, research and design as well as data science and machine learning.

Ax Sharma, writing for BleepingComputer:

A large BGP routing leak that occurred last night disrupted the connectivity for thousands of major networks and websites around the world.

Although the BGP routing leak occurred in Vodafone’s autonomous network (AS55410) based in India, it has impacted U.S. companies, including Google, according to sources.

You should also read Anurag Bhatia’s fantastic analysis here.

Time and again, these companies prove that initiatives like this one and this one need to be taken a lot more seriously for the Internet to become a better place.

Apple today announced that it’s not possible to enroll into the Apple Developer Program through the Developer app on iPhone & iPad using local payment methods in Canada, France, India, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, and Spain.

Developers can start and finish their membership purchase with local payment methods on iPhone or iPad. And since membership is provided as an auto-renewable subscription, keeping it active is easy.

I still remember the days when you had to FAX a enrollment form to the US to enroll into the membership.