Court rejects lawsuit against Twitter over Daesh attack

A US federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit that sought to hold Twitter liable for the deaths of two US contractors in Jordan three years ago. (AP)
Updated 01 February 2018
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Court rejects lawsuit against Twitter over Daesh attack

SAN FRANCISCO: A US federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit that sought to hold Twitter liable for the deaths of two US contractors in Jordan three years ago in an attack for which the Daesh group claimed responsibility.
The lawsuit failed to establish Twitter accounts used by Daesh directly caused the men’s deaths, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling.
Lloyd Fields and James Creach were shot and killed in Jordan in 2015 by a Jordanian police captain while training law enforcement officers.
Their families argued that Daesh Twitter accounts were a substantial factor in the men’s deaths and that the company should have anticipated attacks. They said Twitter knew about the accounts and that the accounts helped Daesh to recruit, raise money and spread its message.
The group “used Twitter accounts to amass the resources needed for carrying out numerous terrorist attacks, including the November 9, 2015 shooting in Amman, Jordan in which Mr. Fields and Mr. Creach were killed,” Joshua Arisohn, an attorney for the families, said in a statement. He said he was considering an appeal.
An email to Twitter seeking comment was not immediately returned. The company said in court documents its service was available to anyone, and there was no allegation it provided any specialized platform to Daesh.
The 9th Circuit said the families had to show the Twitter accounts were a direct factor in the men’s deaths, not just one that was forseeable.
The court cited a lower court judge’s finding that the lawsuit showed no connection between the man who shot Fields and Creach and Twitter, or that the attack was impacted, helped or resulted in any way from Daesh’s presence on the social media site.


Pakistan is rapidly becoming a “digital-first country”, Google

Updated 25 min 31 sec ago
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Pakistan is rapidly becoming a “digital-first country”, Google

  • Pakistan digital growth is supported by population and increasing penetration of internet, IT experts
  • Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom to meet next week to draw comprehensive policy

KARACHI: Destine to become the fourth fastest growing economy by 2030, Pakistan, supported by a growing population, fast growing business and increasing penetration of Internet, is poised to grab first position among the digital economies, Information Technology (IT) experts say.
US technology giant, Google, says Pakistan is quickly becoming a “digital-first country”, which means there are new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers that may have previously been overlooked.
“It shows that Google has realized the marketing potential of the country and they are now encouraging businesses to focus on Pakistan as a potential market,” Badar Khushnood, vice president of growth at Fishry.Com and vice chairman of [email protected], commented.
According to Google, there are five reasons for “considering expanding your digital campaigns into Pakistan”.
Pakistan’s growing population is the first reason that makes the country attractive for the foreign and local investors to venture into the IT sector.
“Pakistan has a population of more than 202 million people, which means there are lot of potential consumers coming online every day. And the country is even more urbanized than neighboring India, with nearly 40 percent of total households living in cities,” writes Lars Anthonizen, head of large customer marketing, South Asia, Google.
Pakistan’s economy grew by 5.7 percent in fiscal year 2018. HSBC in is recent report published in September 2018 has projected Pakistan to become the fourth fastest growing economy by 2030.
Around 90 percent of the companies in the country are SMEs which are contributing more that 40 percent to the country’s 313 billion economy, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
Third attraction, according to Google, is the country’s growing smart phone users. Pakistan has 152 million cellar subscribers, and 60 million 3G/4G subscribers, according to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
This number will likely grow quickly as smart phone prices have dropped over the last few years. Pakistan also has some of the cheapest data prices in the world, which is helping to grow mobile app usage, according to Google.
However, experts say more work is needed to be done to fully utilize the existing potential. “We need to work on optic fibers, penetration of 4G, creation of data centers, telecom infrastructure and most importantly creation of awareness among masses,” Pervaiz Iftikhar, a member of the newly formed prime minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom, told Arab News.
Pakistan’s overall Internet penetration stands at 29.9 percent with 62 million broadband subscribers, a fourth attraction for the investor, as per Google. In spite of this, digital consumption in the country continues to grow quickly. YouTube watch time, for example, has seen over 60 percent growth over the last three years.
The Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the largest Chinese investment venture in Pakistan with around $62 billion, a fifth reason to look toward Pakistan.
The mega project under BRI is not only limited to the infrastructure and energy sector but it is also contributing to the growth of the IT sector in Pakistan.
“One of the first CPEC projects is to lay 820 kilometers of fiber-optic cable, connecting more Pakistanis to the Internet. This is in addition to ongoing investments in 3G and 4G network expansions from China Mobile, and the company has already announced plans to invest another $225 million in 4G expansion (bringing its total investment to $2.4 billion),” writes Lars Anthonizen.
“We have to connect every village through fiber optics that will not only create thousands of jobs but would multiply opportunities for the IT business countrywide,” Pervaiz Iftikhar added.
“A lot of potential exists in the IT sector of Pakistan with the young population turning to computers, smart phones and other digital means, and the country offers big market for local and foreign investors”, Jehan Ara, another member of the prime minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom and president of [email protected], commented.
Badar Khushnood, who is also former consultant of Google, Facebook and Twitter, called for comprehensive policy for the growth of the IT sector.
“Taxation systems should be rationalized, simplified, and encouraging for startups. The country also needs data protection laws, and broader cyber laws,” he added.
The first meeting of the prime minister’s Task Force on IT and Telecom is expected to be held next week in Islamabad. “Comprehensive strategy including short term and long term measures would be discussed in the upcoming meeting of taskforce because country needs a policy for the persistent growth of IT and Telecom sector”, Pervaiz Iftikhar informed.