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London bridges blocked by environment protest, 70 arrested

LONDON: British police said they arrested more than 70 people at an environmental protest on Saturday, after demonstrators blocked five bridges across the River Thames in central London. Organizers of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ event said they wanted to put pressure on Britain’s government to take greater action to slow climate change and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The protest centered for several hours on Westminster Bridge, near Britain’s parliament, but there was also disruption to traffic on four…

Mass action against Google over iPhone data blocked by London court

LONDON: London’s High Court on Monday blocked an attempt to bring legal action against Alphabet’s Google over claims it had collected sensitive data from more than 4 million iPhone users although it said the company’s actions had been “wrongful”. The claimants had said Google had illegally accessed details of iPhone users’ internet browsing data by bypassing privacy settings on the Safari browser between June 2011 and February 2012. Richard Lloyd, a consumer activist who was behind the “Google You Owe Us” court…

US appeals ruling that Trump could not block Twitter followers

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday that it would appeal a federal judge’s ruling that President Donald Trump may not legally block Twitter users from his account on the social media platform based on their political views, according to a court filing. A lawyer for the seven plaintiffs who sued, Jameel Jaffer, said that the @realdonaldtrump account on Monday had unblocked the seven plaintiffs. The White House and the Justice Department did not immediately comment. “We’re pleased that the White…

6,149 websites blocked in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A total of 6,149 websites have been blocked last year by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on recommendation of Web Evaluation Cell (WEC) established by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony. Web Evaluation Cell (WEC) has been assigned to scrutinize websites promoting sectarianism and containing objection-able materials. WEC has so far evaluated as many as 46,200 websites. Out of which the complaints of 15,481 were sent to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). And as a…

Some US news websites blocked by EU data law

WASHINGTON: Several major US news websites including the Los Angeles Times were blocked in Europe on Friday after the EU's new data protection laws came into effect. The LA Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun and Orlando Sentinel websites all displayed the same message saying they could not be accessed. "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries," the message read. "We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range…

China’s WeChat blocked in Russia

BEIJING: Chinese internet giant Tencent said Saturday its messaging app WeChat had been blocked in Russia, adding it was in touch with authorities to resolve the issue. WeChat, known as Weixin in China, is the world’s most popular messaging service, with 889 million global users by the end of 2016. As well as messaging, it also offers payment, ride-hailing and other services, and Tencent has ambitions to spread the app beyond China. It is unclear how many users WeChat has in Russia. “We’re experiencing a block…

Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia website

Turkish authorities on Saturday blocked access to online encyclopedia Wikipedia, an internet monitoring group said, the latest in what government critics say is a crackdown on free speech on the internet. A block on all language editions of the Wikipedia website was detected at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, monitoring group Turkey Blocks said on its website. "The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country," it said. When attempting to access the webpage using Turkish…

US says concerned over Russia blocking access to LinkedIn

MOSCOW: The US government said on Friday it was deeply concerned over Russia's decision to block public access to networking site LinkedIn, saying it created a precedent that could be used to justify blocking other sites operating in Russia. LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked under a new law that requires firms holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers on Russian soil. Internet services analysts say other tech firms, including Facebook …

Russia starts blocking LinkedIn website after court ruling

MOSCOW: Russia's communications regulator ordered public access to LinkedIn's website to be blocked on Thursday to comply with a court ruling that found the social networking firm guilty of violating a data storage law. LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate. It has over 6 million registered users in Russia. The Kremlin said that the decision was legal and that…