Elaph news service hacked over Hariri article

Othman Al-Omeir, founder of Elaph.com, said the news source had its Facebook and Twitter accounts hacked.
Updated 07 February 2018
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Elaph news service hacked over Hariri article

LONDON: The Arabic news service Elaph.com had its social media accounts compromised early on Wednesday, with hackers spreading a “fake” apology for a controversial story about Lebanese premier Saad Hariri.
The London-based portal had its Facebook and Twitter accounts hacked but fought off a sustained attempt to compromise the website itself, said Othman Al-Omeir, founder of Elaph.com.
“We have no idea who attacked us. We are in contact with our providers and other specialists to find out,” Al-Omeir told Arab News.
The hack followed a story posted at Elaph.com about relations between Lebanon and Turkey. The analysis story claimed that Hariri was leaning toward Turkey while also distancing himself from Saudi Arabia.
Hackers apparently broke into the Elaph Facebook and Twitter accounts to post a fake apology to Hariri for the story.
Al-Omeir said Elaph is now back in control of its social media accounts and plans to take “action” when the perpetrators are known.
He added that such hacking attempts are common for a news agency. “This is part of the job,” he said.


French watchdog slaps Google with $57M fine under new EU law

Updated 12 min 7 sec ago
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French watchdog slaps Google with $57M fine under new EU law

  • Users have to take too many steps, “sometimes up to 5 or 6 actions,” to find out how and why their data is being used, the commission said
PARIS: France’s data privacy watchdog fined Google 50 million euros ($57 million) on Monday, the first penalty for a US tech giant under new European data privacy rules that took effect last year.
The National Data Protection Commission said it fined the US Internet giant for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent” regarding ad personalization for users.
It’s one of the biggest regulatory enforcement actions since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, came into force in May. The rules are aimed at clarifying individual rights to personal data collected by companies, which are required to use plain language to explain what they’re doing with it.
Even though many tech multinationals like Google are headquartered in the US, they still have to comply with the new rules because they have millions of users in Europe.
The commission said Google users were “not sufficiently informed” about what they were agreeing to as the company collected data for targeted advertisements.
Users have to take too many steps, “sometimes up to 5 or 6 actions,” to find out how and why their data is being used, the commission said. Google’s description of why it’s processing their data is “described in a too generic and vague manner,” it added.
The company’s infringements “deprive the users of essential guarantees regarding processing operations that can reveal important parts of their private life,” the commission said .
The commission acted on complaints by two data protection advocacy groups, NOYB.EU and La Quadrature du Net, filed immediately after GDPR took effect.
Google said in a statement it is “deeply committed” to transparency and user control as well as GDPR consent requirements.
“We’re studying the decision to determine our next steps,” it said.