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Browser privacy bill amendment blows up over a single line




Support for an amendment that could have protected your browser history privacy tanked because of a line about who would be protected.

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

On Tuesday morning, an amendment to a bill intended to protect browser and search history privacy was riding a wave of support from privacy advocates and lawmakers, just a day before the amendment was expected to go to a vote. 

Then the full details of the proposed amendment were released, and by Tuesday night, support for the privacy protections imploded. The amendment’s downfall appeared to come from one line. 

It all hinged on the phrase “United States persons.”

The amendment was intended for the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act, legislation that would restore surveillance powers from the Patriot Act that expired in March. Those powers included the ability for US agencies like the FBI and CIA to search through browser history without requiring a warrant. 

Privacy advocates and lawmakers have been supporting changes to the new legislation to protect people from government surveillance. Your browsing history and search history can reveal a lot of sensitive information, and without protections, government agencies would be free to view it all without probable cause. 

Supporters of government surveillance argue that the measures are necessary to defend the US from foreign threats.

“Our nation continues to face an array of threats — whether from foreign intelligence services or terror organizations — and we need to ensure that the intelligence community retains the authorities needed to protect our country, while providing robust protections of Americans’ civil liberties,” House intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement. 

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The question is, where exactly to draw the line.

When Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, and Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio, drafted their amendment to the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act, it was intended to prevent the US government from gathering logs of people’s search histories, websites visited or videos watched without first obtaining a warrant. 

The amendment was drafted after a similar amendment proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, failed to pass by one vote on May 13. 

The Lofgren-Davidson amendment had many similarities to the Wyden-Daines amendment, but negotiations with Schiff caused a significant difference in the language, sources familiar with the new proposal said. 

The 12th line of the Lofgren-Davidson amendment specifies that the privacy protections are only applied to “United States persons.” Privacy advocates interpreted that phrase to mean that undocumented people living in the US would still be vulnerable to widespread surveillance. Lofgren and Davidson’s office didn’t comment on the definition of “United States persons” in their amendment.  

If the Lofgren-Davidson amendment passes without protections for undocumented immigrants residing in the US, it would mean up to 12 million people do not have privacy protections from the government looking to gather their search history. 

That specific language has tanked its support. 

“As written, the amendment would not prevent warrantless surveillance of internet search history and browsing history of individuals in the US,” American Civil Liberties Union senior legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said. “A clear bright-line rule prohibiting such surveillance is both consistent with the Fourth Amendment and critical to ensuring that the information of US citizens is not wrongly swept up.”

The original Wyden-Daines amendment did extend that protection, but it was taken out in the Lofgren-Davidson amendment. 

Privacy rights group Fight for the Future had also turned around on the Lofgren-Davidson amendment after seeing the details from the final text.

“Mass government surveillance is fundamentally incompatible with democracy and basic human rights,” Fight for the Future’s deputy director Evan Greer said in a statement. “It shouldn’t matter where you’re from. Everyone should have the basic right to due process and to be free from unreasonable and warrantless government intrusion into their lives.”

The proposed amendment has also lost steam among lawmakers over how Schiff has interpreted its language. While Lofgren and Davidson wrote the amendment to be a blanket protection against surveillance, Schiff has interpreted that the legislation will only prevent warrantless searches against specific US citizens.  

That change would mean that the FBI could still get logs of all visitors to websites or videos without a warrant — enabling a large dragnet while only preventing singled-out searches.

“The House Intelligence Committee chairman’s assertion that the Lofgren-Davidson amendment does not fully protect Americans from warrantless collection flatly contradicts the intent of Wyden-Daines, and my understanding of the amendment agreed to earlier today,” Wyden said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Wyden’s withdrawing was first reported by Gizmodo

Wyden is now calling for the House to vote on his original amendment rather than the Lofgren-Davidson amendment introduced on Tuesday. In a committee hearing on Wednesday morning, Lofgren and Davidson suggested the same. 

“Some comments have been made suggesting there is ambiguity in this amendment,” Lofgren said. “If the committee wants to make sure there is no ambiguity, they could revert to the original request Mr. Davidson and I made on May 20 — a mirror of the Wyden-Daines amendment.”

The Wyden-Daines amendment failed in the Senate by one vote, and two senators who likely would have voted to support it were not able to because they weren’t there. 

The Lofgren-Davidson amendment was originally identical to the Wyden-Daines amendment, but was changed after negotiations with Schiff, sources said. The amendment is still expected to go for a vote on Wednesday, but the added terms are likely to have gutted privacy protections for people’s browser histories. 

“This is Rep. Schiff and intelligence hawks working overtime to protect the surveillance state status quo,” Davidson said in a statement. “Hopefully everyone will wake up and defend the Constitution. It’s time for the House to protect one of Americans’ most basic freedoms — the right to privacy.”


Fauci says U.S. needs to ‘hunker down’ for fall and winter



As the U.S. makes its way to the flu season, the citizens can’t go easy in their fight against this ongoing pandemic, mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday. Even though the total number of latest daily cases for the COVID-19 disease in the United States has been slowly yet steadily declining in the past two weeks straight, the numbers are still fairly close to 200,000 deaths pertaining to COVID-19 along with 6 million+ cases of confirmed infections.

Fauci also mentioned that we have to be cautious & work through the winter and fall season. This is because things are in no way going to be survivable with a plethora of other diseases lurking in the background.

Fauci is the director for the National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases who spoke regarding the vaccine trials for COVID-19 as well as the chances of surges deemed to happen after Labor Day. He went on to note that when the United States manages to control the disease in a certain region, another one emerges as a hot spot.

This spike in the number inevitably appears whenever the states happen to lift their restrictions related to social distancing. As per Fauci, this transition from a controlled area to a hot spot is actually a depressing sight, given the fact that we already know what is responsible for the same.

One among the leading researchers for AIDS since the year 1980s, Fauci, also happened to warn about how dangerous it could be when people start undermining this virus. He also went on to compare this new pandemic to that of the initial days of the HIV virus that started with some gay men & decades later; there were 70 million+ infected individuals with millions dead of the disease.

He mentioned that the people have been through a pandemic of this intensity before, and underestimating its potential would only bring disastrous consequences. Fauci’s comments related to the requirement for scientists and doctors to approach this disease with complete seriousness came just after the President was heard saying that the pandemic seriousness has been minimized as per Sports Grind Entertainment.

President Donald Trump has been highly criticized for the response made by him with regard to this virus. According to the President, he was playing down the scenario, given the fact that there was no need to create panic.

Although Fauci didn’t actually mention these statements provided by the President, he surely reflected on the lessons learned from this mistake. He also added that we had no idea about the virus from the very first day. However, as we learn more about it, we need to be flexible and change the recommendations, policies, guidelines, as well as other mandates as per the information obtained.

Fauci also mentioned that these vaccine trials have been progressing particularly well. He repeated his caution and added it with optimism stating that a vaccine might be ready as we approach the end of 2020. However, he made no comment related to the vaccine trials being conducted at the University of Oxford that was paused for the week after one participant in the United Kingdom happened to develop an issue in the spinal cord area. When enquired about the possibility of a 2nd wave for the cases in the United States, Fauci mentioned that he isn’t debating about the 2nd surge given the fact that we haven’t yet overcome the first one. While the country is ridden with fear of the speculations of an influenza season that might start in the month of October, it might overwhelm the country’s health care protocol, which is overrun with COVID-19 patients.

Although there is some good news coming in from Australia, things are looking good for the United States. Australia experienced the lightest influenza cases due to the social distancing protocol in place for COVID-19 infection.

However, it isn’t clear whether the United States would experience a similar fate in this regard. To this, Fauci commented that he has no idea of the situation and its future, so he wouldn’t want to predict anything positive or negative related to the pandemic.


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IT ministry banned 118 more apps including PUBG: Here’s the full list



The Indian government once again banned 118 Chinese applications. The name of PUBG is also included in these apps. 118 other mobile applications of China have been banned by the IT Ministry.

The Ministry of Information Technology had received several complaints from various sources, stating that users’ data is being stolen incorrectly through some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms. 

Here is the full list of apps banned by the government on September 2:

Other Apps which are banned by the Government are :

21.Tencent Weiyun


23.WeChat Work

24.Cyber Hunter

25.Cyber Hunter Lite

26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!

27.Super Mecha Champions


29.Dawn of Isles

30.Ludo World-Ludo Superstar

31.Chess Rush

32.PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik


34.Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade

35.Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon

36.Dank Tanks


38.Game of Sultans

39.Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos

40.Smart AppLock (App Protect)

& 10 Bands Equalizer


61.Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer

62.Web Browser – Secure Explorer

63.Music Player – Audio Player

64.Video Player – All Format HD Video Player

65.Lamour Love All Over The World

66.Amour- video chat & call all over the world.

67.MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community

68.MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor

69.APUS Message Center-Intelligent management

70.LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers

91.Murderous Pursuits

92.Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology

93.Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese

94.HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream

95.Little Q Album

96.Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords

97.Hi Meitu

98.Mobile Legends: Pocket

99.VPN for TikTok

100.VPN for TikTok

101.Penguin E-sports Live assistant

102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices


104.Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie

105.Parallel Space Lite – Dual App

106.”Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC

107.MARVEL Super War NetEase Games

108.AFK Arena

109.Creative Destruction NetEase Games

110.Crusaders of Light NetEase Games

111.Mafia City Yotta Games

112.Onmyoji NetEase Games

113.Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games

114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded

115.Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games

116.Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games

117.Soul Hunters

118.Rules of Survival

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PUBG Banned In India : India’s Third Surgical Strike On Chinese Apps !!



The Indian government banned PUBG 

A ban is imposed on PUBG as well as on 118 Chinese applications.

The Ministry of Information Technology had received several complaints from various sources, stating that users’ data is being stolen incorrectly through some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms. Let me tell you that even before that 57 applications of China were banned, including Tiktok’s name.

India’s 3rd Surgical Strike on Chinese Apps

The Indian government has conducted another digital strike against China. The Ministry of Information and Technology on Wednesday banned 118 mobile applications, including the mobile game PubG. This is India’s third digital strike on China’s mobile apps. Earlier, at the end of June, India had banned 47 apps from China including Tiktok, and then 59 Chinese apps at the end of July. The government has cited national security behind this decision.

Why PUBG is banned in India Now?

The statement said that the government has banned 118 such apps which are a threat to India’s sovereignty and integrity, defense of India, the security of the state, and peacekeeping. It said that the Ministry of Information Technology (IT) has received several complaints from various sources. The complaints also include reports of some mobile app users (users) on platforms such as Android and iOS being stolen and stored on servers outside the country.

It is said in the statement that such information is being compiled, analyzed, etc., which are a threat to national security and the defense of India. These ultimately pose a risk to India’s sovereignty and integrity. This is a very serious issue, which required quick action.

According to data analytics firm Senser Tower,

PUBG Mobile is the world’s highest-grossing gaming app. PUBG Mobile’s lifetime collection is about Rs 22,457 crore. 

PUBG VS Free Fire: Reasons Why Free Fire is Getting More Popular Than PUBG

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