WASHINGTON: Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Microsoft and all other major tech companies are ready to team up and curb the spread of online “terrorist content”.
The major U.S. tech giants made the announcement on Monday, responding to pressure from governments around the world.
The announcement aims to use “digital fingerprints” to block or remove violent content or efforts to recruit social media users for attack cells.
“There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies,” said a joint statement issued by the firms.
“The companies would share data that would help identify potential terrorist content on the respective hosted consumer platforms,” it added.
However, the statement did not indicate what type of technology would be used in the new initiative, except to say it would be based on a shared industry database of “hashes” or digital fingerprints that identify violent content.
“Each company will independently determine what image and video hashes to contribute to the shared database,” the statement said.
“No personally identifiable information will be shared, and matching content will not be automatically removed. Each company will continue to apply its own policies and definitions of terrorist content when deciding whether to remove content when a match to a shared hash is found.”
Governments in the United States, France and elsewhere have been pressing online firms to do more to curb extremist content, especially videos that depict beheadings and other gruesome acts often used in recruitment efforts.
Arab space org. formed in UAE
DUBAI: Eleven Arab states have set up the Arab space organization here. Its first project will be developing a satellite to monitor environmental and climate changes.
UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum attended the ceremony of signing the charter for the Arab Group for Space Collaboration, held on the opening day of Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Mohammed said the group’s first project would be developing a satellite named as 813, the year the House of Wisdom in Baghdad reached the height of its reputation. The satellite will be developed in the UAE.
He noted that the House brought together scientists and translated books of knowledge, and became a place for the region to unleash its scientific energy. The Global Space Congress held on 19-21 March, is one of the key events bringing together space sector leaders of the Middle East and North Africa region. The UAE cabinet on March 11 adopted the National Space Strategy 2030, which includes 36 objectives and 119 initiatives benefiting more than 85 entities in the UAE. The strategy is seen as the general framework for UAE’s space industry and activities until 2030.
Venus probe to be launched in 2027
MOSCOW: A Russian-U.S. interplanetary probe to Venus will be possibly launched in 2027, said Lyudmila Zasova, co-chair of the bilateral scientific working group of the mission.
“We are discussing launch windows for 2026, end of 2027, 2029 and 2031. Even if the funding starts this year, there will be no time left for the first date. Most likely it may happen in 2027,” Zasova told RIA Novosti news agency in an interview.
The costs of Venera-D, a joint project to land on Venus, will be discussed in Moscow in October, she said. Japan and Europe are ready to join the project by providing their scientific equipment, Zasova said. The mission was first proposed in 2003 by the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2013, the United States became interested in the project and in the same year, a joint working group was set up.
But the project was suspended in 2014 due to Crimea and was resumed the next year with the launch of the probe preliminarily scheduled for 2026. The probe, involving Russian orbital and landing gear and a small U.S. scientific station, is expected to be launched by the Russian Angara-A5 heavy rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur Region.
EPTL produces electricity via Thar Coal
THARPARKAR: Engro Powergen Thar (Pvt.) Limited (EPTL) has successfully transformed the vision of producing electricity by means of Thar Coal today.
EPTL – the majority-owned company of Engro Energy Limited, tested and energized the first unit of 330MW of the combined 660MW power plant – located in Thar Block II.
The successful synchronization happened amidst the presence of senior officials of the Company and from China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) – the EPC contractor of the project.
The injection of the electrons produced for the very first time from Thar coal – regarded as the 7th largest coal reserve in the world with 175 billion tons of lignite coal – 1st 330 MW unit of EPTL Plant synchronized with National Grid at 1046 PM tonight!
Relevant: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah says Thar Coal Block II has started adding electricity to the national grid. Speaking to media in Tharparker after visiting Thar Coal Block II today, he said the slogan “Thar Badlega Pakistan” has now become a reality. The Chief Minister said through the production of electricity by coal deposits, the dream of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto has become true. The Chief Minister thanked the Chinese government on the achievement of this milestone. He said there are one hundred and seventy-five million tons of coal deposits in Thar and the royalty of the coal in Thar will be given to Thar Foundation. Murad Ali Shah said this 330 MW power plant will be formally inaugurated by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 10th of the next month. Electricity generation has started from Thar Coal and one power plant of 330 megawatts at Thar Coal Block-II and is being added to the national grid. Chief Executive Officer of Engropowergen Thar limited SM Zafar Syed in an interview told our Karachi correspondent Altaf Pirzado that another power plant of 330 megawatts will also start producing electricity from next month. He said Thar Coal Block-II has the capacity of producing five thousand megawatts of electricity which will be available on low rates. He said commercial use of the electricity being produced from Thar Coal will start in June this year.