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Senate Bet Warns ‘Data Breach Nightmare’ In Philippine National ID System Following FOI Website Leak

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Senate Bet Warns 'Data Breach Nightmare' In Philippine National ID System Following FOI Website Leak

A former Philippine lawmaker and human rights lawyer have expressed concerns in the upcoming rolling out of the National ID System following the reports that the government-run FOI website was said to have been breached and left the submitted documents of the users out in the open.

Neri Colmenares, a senatorial candidate and former party-list congressman, warns that the National ID System could be a “data breach nightmare” because “it is not only violative of the people’s right to privacy but will even pose serious sovereignty and security implications to our country.”

Colmenares cites the history of the data breaches that have previously plagued the country as the basis for his warning saying that the existing regulation is not enough, and was not able to prevent the reported breaches.

“The Data Privacy Act is not defense enough to protect users as evidenced by the numerous data breaches like the Comelec, Grab, and now FOI data breaches,” the lawyer said in an interview.

The Philippines is set to roll out a national identification system as announced by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), the government agency tasked to managing and collecting census data in the country. According to the agency, the registration for and the release of identification cards under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) will start in September.

The agency is targeting an initial batch of about six million individuals for the national ID system, according to Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who led a House oversight committee hearing on early March. The agency aims to issue 100 million cards to all Filipino citizens and resident aliens by 2022.

GATHERING OF CITIZEN DATA

Filipinos and resident aliens who have been in their Philippine residency for at least five years may be able to register for the ID that would serve as a single and unified identification system in the country. The information that will be gathered for the new ID card would include biometrics (thumbprint, iris and face scanning), full name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, blood type, address, and if one is a Filipino or a resident alien. The agency said that information about marital status, mobile number, and email address are optional.

The registered citizen will then be given a unique PhilSys Number. The corresponding card will be issued days later after the information is authenticated.

With this amount of data the agency will be collecting from citizens, it is reasonable for the human rights lawyer to be wary of the new system. While the government agencies involved have said that they will thoroughly investigate the breach in the FOI website, Colmenares nonetheless warned them that data should be protected for the PhilSys roll out.

THE FOI WEBSITE BREACH

According to a local columnist, Wilson Chua, the ID he used on the government website www.foi.gobv.ph was leaked, and people can now search for it online using “eFOI ID.” The National Privacy Commission (NPC) is looking into the possible “gaps” in the interface of the website that may have caused the leak, one of the agency’s commissioner said Saturday. Mon Liboro, a commissioner from the National Privacy Commission said that the agency is looking at the website’s interface because there might be some gaps in the design, “in a way the process was offered or uploaded.

“It’s a case of our FOI frontliners, meaning the PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office), apparently overdid [the] transparency angle or aspect of this FOI service,” he said.

Colmenares said today that the breach might deter people from requesting documents under the FOI law. He said that the breach could be a potential cause of intimidation that would “subject well-meaning people to harassment or retaliation by powerful people who were the subject of their FOI request or their follower.”

“This will practically make people scared from employing FOI against corrupt public officials,” he added.

Lawyer Tristan De Guzman of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Legislative Affairs said that the Malacañan was investigating the possible data breach.

Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications Technology believe that the data leak is an isolated incident. Nonetheless, the government agency, tasked to regulate anything related to information and communication technology including the internet, does not rule out the possibility of holding some of the government officials involved in the FOI website’s development and management will be held liable for the data leak.

A Consumer Tech and Cybersecurity journalist who does content marketing while daydreaming about having unlimited coffee for life and getting a pet llama.

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Elephants, Lions Kill Poacher In Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Elephants and Lions

Animal poaching has been going on for decades anywhere in the world. If you’re not aware of the team “poaching,” it is the act of killing animals illegally especially those animals that are of great value and are close to extinction. This act has been considered by many as a hobby and credit themselves for hunting their big ones, and it’s hugely concerning.

Animal poachers receive rewards from particular organizations that support the activity. These animals are being exploited for fame, business, money, and pleasure. These are also under the illegal animal and wildlife trade care of the underground black markets.

Although unaccepted by law, people continue to do it without knowing the risk they are putting themselves and the environment. There are places where animal poaching often occurs like the forests and wildlife territories. And, animals like elephants and rhinos are the most common targets for poaching, specifically for their horns that are believed to possess medicinal use even though science proved that their horns do not contain any therapeutic substance. Other reptiles also face the same danger; there are birds traded as “exotic pets,” all for profit.

The massive scale on animal poaching has been affecting species’ diversity worldwide. Millions are being put to death yearly and poses a significant threat to their kind.

The Kruger National Park in Africa is one of the world’s largest game reserves. As South Africa’s National Park, it is a protected area for animal and wildlife. However, it is every poachers’ popular area for illegal work. Kruger National Park sustains many animal species and diversity. People can visit the park for leisure and experience (legally). But, somehow, some people love to cross the line.

This week, poachers at the Kruger National Park was attacked by elephants and then later killed by the lions of the park according to park officials. The dead man’s remains were found at the Crocodile Bridge area near the Crocodile river which is known to have a high concentration of rhinos and lions. According to a statement released by the search-and-rescue team, they were only able to recover the man’s skull and pair of pants—these are the only evidence that the lions left for them.

The other four poachers survived the attack and were arrested by the authorities that same day and will have to appear in court. They are also in custody until Friday with pending bail. The authorities did not release their identity to the public.

Animal poaching in Kruger National Park has been going on for years now, although, there has been a decline on rhino poaching over the last year, people still choose to do their illegal works in the area. There are already several poachers that were arrested by the Anti-Animal Poaching Unit, but as members of the underground black market, these people are strong-willed however uneducated by its effects on humanity.

Some organizations serve to protect animal wildlife with the help of the government. And according to them, ‘half of ALL’ poaching that happens around the world happen in Kruger National Park. Imagine if people allow this to happen just for today’s pleasure and experiment there will be no more left for future generations. As of now, animals are entering the gates of extinctions, and we will all someday lose them all. We might just only get a view of these animals on papers and pictures in a few years if this cruelty does not stop.

If people continue to believe that animals contain the “healing powers” and market profit, this underground black markets will still have the chance to keep their work. Every second of the day, in every part of the world, animals are being killed for food and adding animal poaching to the list makes no difference at all.

These animals are important. We need them to survive as much as we also need to sustain our days on earth. We hope each person becomes aware of these things to help our wildlife and environment.

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Lori Loughlin May Spend 2 Years In Jail After College Admission Scheme

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lori loughlin College Admission Scam

Two long years in prison, that’s what Lori Loughlin and husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are looking at after the crackdown on the alleged most massive college admission scheme in the country.

Reportedly, Loughlin, famous with her role in Full House between 1988 and 1995, paid a total of $500,000 for William Rick Singer’s services to get her two daughters—Isabella, 20, and Olivia, 19—to get admitted in the University of Southern California.

Singer, the head honcho of the scheme, bribed a USC coach to get both Olivia Jade and Isabella into the USC Crew Team. However, both of Loughlin’s daughters never participated in crew, competitively or otherwise.

They were passed off as competitive rowers and was even reported that one of Loughlin’s daughters were made to pose to be photoshopped as a competitive rower.

TMZ reports that both students were “average” students and were only pushed to enter USC to please their parents. Moreover, People magazine reported that YouTube star Olivia Jade Giannulli apparently knew about her parents’ scheme to buy her way into USC but went along with it because she trusted them.

But after the news broke, Entertainment Tonight reports that Olivia Jade was mad she even had to go to the school in the first place: A source said Olivia is “really angry with her parents because she told them she did not want to go to college and she was pushed.”

Her sister Isabella, meanwhile, was more sad to leave. Bella “was far more invested in college and would love to have completed USC,” ET‘s source said.

Furthermore, Olivia Jade was also involved in an online controversy regarding one of her YouTube videos where she rants about not being serious about college, saying “I don’t care about [it]” and only wants to go see university games and experience college parties.

On the other hand, regarding the topic about their current standing with USC, Us Weekly reported that: “USC has placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme,” the college said. “This prevents the students from registering for classes (until they have agreed to participate in the review of their case), withdrawing from the university, or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review. Among many factors, investigators could consider in reviewing each case are any developments in the criminal cases, including plea deals by parents. Following these case-by-case reviews, we will take the proper action related to each student’s status, up to revoking admission or expulsion.

Either way, both students have not been attending school either they don’t want to, don’t need to, or prevented from, may affect their current standing.

TMZ reported that the girls fear “vicious bullying” if they were still seen around campus. 

Lesser Prison Time

Two years may not seem enough after how Loughlin and Giannulli participated in a scheme that tilted the scales of justice towards their agendas, but there is a way for both of them to get reduced sentence.

Earlier this month, Desperate Housewives star, Felicity Huffman was reported to have accepted a guilty plea deal for her role in the college admission scheme, which allowed her only to face a possible four-month prison sentence. 

However, Loughlin and Giannulli may still face more; which is the right thing in my opinion. Unlike the couple, Huffman only participated in minimally compared to them. 

She paid a relatively low $15,000 to Singer to bribe proctors and let other people take her older daughter’s SAT exam to get a higher average. Also, Huffman was quick to accept a plea deal.

TMZ reported that about a dozen parents implicated by the scandal had been offered plea deals for a reduced sentence and with all of which requiring to serve prison time. The length of time varies, according to the amount they paid in bribes and whether they accept responsibility.

As of the moment, a reported 12 parents accepted the guilty plea deal.

After accepting the plea deal, Huffman said a lengthy emotional statement, “This transgression toward (my daughter) and the public I will carry for the rest of my life.” She adds, “my desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”

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Prince Harry Says, Children Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Play ‘Fortnite’

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Prince Harry, Fortnite

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and a member of the UK’s royal family, said that there is another activity which is more addictive than drugs and alcohol; and that’s the playing Fortnite.

The Duke has said that children shouldn’t be allowed to play Fortnite, during his visit to the West London branch of YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). His comments become viral not just in London but globally, emphasizing the effects of social media and violence these video games have brought on children.

“Social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol,” quoted by Prince Harry who added that Fortnite is becoming a trend nowadays to children ages seven years old and above. And what is more problematic is the fact that parents don’t have the complete control on how to devise a plan that will constrict their kids from playing too much Fortnite.

The Duke even challenged the parents by asking “What is the benefit of having it in your household?” He said that parents, most importantly, should take an active role in encouraging their children to interact with the world outside the Internet. Playing outdoor games and personal interaction with other kids is the best part of growing up and completing the child’s juvenile memories.

But the Prince is seeing the decline of personal interaction since the invention of social media which usually created online games that lure children away from the real world.

Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017 which is available in three distinct game mode versions. The games are very successful, and Fortnite Battle Royale becomes a resounding success, drawing in more than 125 million players in less than a year and earning millions of dollars per month.

Speaking about Fortnite, the game is created to the addict, which in the words of Prince Harry, “an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible.”

The Duke’s concern is no different from other countries. In the US, Fortnite addiction has been a big problem as well, which links to the increasing number of teens dropping out of school and a considerable decline in interpersonal communication among children. This is the most dangerous case today which mirrors how these online games affect not just the academic performance of kids nowadays but also their social interaction.

Although Prince Harry does not mention whether the game will be banned or a time restriction is going to be implemented, the United Kingdom is still lucky. Unlike China, PUBG Mobile, another online game which dominates almost every country, has been banned for kids under 13 years old, while India, barred PUBG in some of its primary schools. The game has a similar effect with Fortnite which most studies claimed that both harm their studies.

In January 2019, PUBG Mobile on Android and iOS is one of the most popular games in India which landed its fate on a pot of bother with the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association. The student body has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Governor to ban the game immediately due to its adverse effects on children’s examination results. The game is deemed to be very addictive the issue heightened when these youngsters spent 24 hours on the mobile phones playing the game and doing nothing.

Both games have been a cultural phenomenon which draws a lot of attention since the day it was launched. Although Fortnite came first, PUBG also made its way to stardom, creating millions of players in different countries. Prince Harry is a powerful force in awakening the negative impacts of these games to children, and although gaming companies have an explaining to do for not set restrictions on its mobile games, the responsibility does not only rely upon them.

Parents, among others, are in charge of giving disciplines to their kids. Playing mobile game has its advantages as well. One benefit people see that this game may provide its ability to offer an excellent recreational avenue for kids but with limitation and proper restriction. Also, good parenting does not only stop in giving them their basic needs, but social development in its more profound sense is needed for the holistic development of a child. The Government, school, and teachers will only give guidance, but the responsibility lies in the hands of effective parentage.

Photo: Arlington National Cemetery

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