Supreme Court Gives Government More Time to Curb Child Pornography Sites

Supreme Court Gives Government More Time to Curb Child Pornography Sites

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the government more time to suggest ways and means for blocking child pornography in its all forms as it was told that due to Holi holidays, the required meeting of officials with National Commission for Women (NCW) could not take place.

Granting two weeks’ time as Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand said the meeting of the officials with NCW has yet to take place, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh asked the government to address the submission by the petitioner Kamlesh Vaswani that government, after passing an order blocking 450 child porn websites in 2014, revoked it later.

Asking the government to suggest the ways to curb child pornography, the apex court on last hearing on February 26 had said it could, if it wanted, seek suggestions from the National Commission for Women and “we are sure the said Commission would give its suggestions to the Union of India”.

The court had also said that “the innocent children cannot be made prey to these kind of painful situations, and a nation, by no means, can afford to carry any kind of experiment with its children in the name of liberty and freedom of expression”.

“Watching pornography or compelling watching pornography can’t come with the freedom of expression, speech and thought,” it said, asking Anand to “file an appropriate affidavit of the competent authority to suggest the ways and means so that these activities are curbed”.

Expressing its difficulty in dealing with the issue of clamp down on websites carrying child pornography, the government had told the court on February 26 that “as far as the child pornography is concerned, exercise has been undertaken and the central government shall come with the scheme so that appropriate directions in that regard can be issued”.

FBI Probing Virus Behind Outage at MedStar Health Facilities

FBI Probing Virus Behind Outage at MedStar Health Facilities

Hackers crippled computer systems Monday at a major hospital chain, MedStar Health Inc., forcing records systems offline for thousands of patients and doctors. The FBI said it was investigating whether the unknown hackers demanded a ransom to restore systems.

A computer virus paralyzed some operations at Washington-area hospitals and doctors’ offices, leaving patients unable to book appointments and staff locked out of their email accounts. Some employees were required to turn off all computers since Monday morning.

A law enforcement official said the FBI was assessing whether the virus was so-called ransomware, in which hackers extort money in exchange for returning a victim’s systems to normal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss publicly details about the ongoing criminal investigation.

“We can’t do anything at all. There’s only one system we use, and now it’s just paper,” said one MedStar employee who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to speak to reporters.

MedStar said in a statement that the virus prevented some employees from logging into systems. It said all of its clinics remain open and functioning and there was no immediate evidence that patient information had been stolen.

Company spokeswoman Ann Nickels said she couldn’t say whether it was a ransomware attack. She said patient care was not affected and the hospitals were using a paper backup system.

When asked whether hackers demanded payment, Nickels said: “I don’t have an answer to that,” and referred to the company’s statement.

Dr. Richard Alcorta, medical director for Maryland’s emergency medical services network, said he suspects it was a ransomware attack. He said his suspicion was based on multiple earlier ransomware attempts on individual hospitals in the state. Alcorta said he was unaware of any ransoms paid by Maryland hospitals or health care systems.

“People view this, I think, as a form of terrorism and are attempting to extort money by attempting to infect them with this type of virus,” he said.

Alcorta said his agency first learned of MedStar’s problems about 10:30 a.m., when the company’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore called in a request to divert emergency medical services traffic from that facility. He said that was followed by a similar request from Union Memorial, another MedStar hospital in Baltimore. The diversions were lifted as the hospitals’ backup systems started operating, he said.

MedStar operates 10 hospitals in Maryland and Washington, including the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, along with other facilities. It employs 30,000 staff and has 6,000 affiliated physicians.

Monday’s hacking at MedStar came one month after a Los Angeles hospital paid hackers $17,000 to regain control of its computer system, which hackers had seized with ransomware using an infected email attachment.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, which is owned by CHA Medical Center of South Korea, paid 40 bitcoins – or about $420 per coin of the digital currency – to restore normal operations and disclosed the attack publicly. That hack was first noticed Feb. 5 and operations didn’t fully recover until 10 days later.

Hospitals are considered critical infrastructure, but unless patient data is impacted there is no requirement to disclose such hackings even if operations are disrupted.

Computer security of the hospital industry is generally regarded as poor, and the federal Health and Human Services Department regularly publishes a list of health care providers that have been hacked with patient information stolen. The agency said Monday it was aware of the MedStar incident.

Google Search Now Lets You Easily Save, Sort Images on Desktop

Google Search Now Lets You Easily Save, Sort Images on Desktop

If you’re one of those people who likes to save the photos that they have come across on Google Image search results, you will be glad to know that Google is making it easier for you to do that. Three months after Google introduced a feature to allow users to Google Image search result photos to their phone, the Mountain View-based company is now allowing users to save directly to their desktop.

Late last year, Google introduced a feature that allows users to save photos in their mobile browser and also organise these images in different folders. Google announced on Monday that it is bringing this feature to the desktop as well.

Utilising this feature, you can save your favourite images – and when you get time and have a desire – sort these images into different folders so it is easier for you to find these images when you come looking for it later. The feature works the same way on the desktop as it does on the mobile device. You can click the star button to favourite an item, and from there you can add it to a collection. You can also add tags to different images. The feature is very similar to Pinterest.

“For example, if your yard is in need of some spring re-planting, just go to your desktop, search for an image and tap the star to save your potential new flowers, bushes, or even swimming pools,” the company wrote in a blog post. “When you’re at the store ready to start buying, you’ll be able to pull up your saved images on your phone and start building your perfect yard. You can also tag your saves to keep them organised.”

The feature is currently only available for users in the United States.