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Cambodia To Deport 19 Japanese Cyber Crime Scam Suspects

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PHNOM PENH, crime Cambodia – A Cambodian immigration police officer said Friday that nineteen Japanese men seized in Cambodia in January suspected of participating in organized crime phone and online frauds would be deported to their home country.

The Japanese Embassy in Cambodia is making arrangements for their repatriation, but no date has been established yet, according to Immigration Police spokeswoman Gen. Keo Vanthan.

According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Tokyo police have secured arrest warrants for the 19 Japanese people suspected of running phone scams from Cambodia targeting victims in Japan.

According to NHK, Cambodian officials searching the men’s hotel rooms “discovered a list of Japanese citizens suspected of being targets in a fraud scheme.”

The 19 were apprehended in the southern city of Sihanoukville on January 24 and transferred to the capital, Phnom Penh, where they are being held pending an inquiry by the interior ministry.

Keo Vanthan refused to say anything about the Japanese people who were being held or what they were accused of doing wrong.

However, police in Sihanoukville, known in recent years for crimes like internet and phone frauds, stated in January that they launched the case after receiving information on a crime-fighting hotline that roughly 20 Japanese men were being held and extorted for money.

cyber crime

Last year, cybercrime scams became a serious concern in Cambodia.

They discovered a group .of 19 Japanese men sleeping in a hotel near Sihanoukville, but the guys denied being detained against their will or extorted. They claimed to be visiting Cambodia legitimately and looking for a job, although they were not involved in any crimes or wrongdoing.

However, Sihanoukville police transferred them to Phnom Penh for additional investigation.

Last year, cyber crime scams became a serious concern in Cambodia, with several reports of people from various Asian nations and elsewhere being tricked into taking employment in Cambodia. They were, however, imprisoned in virtual servitude and frequently forced to participate in internet scams targeting people.

Often linked to international organized crime, scam networks are often set up in countries with weak laws and recruit smart young people by promising them big money. The workers are then isolated and threatened with violence unless they succeed in duping victims reached by phone into sending funds to overseas bank accounts.

Recent years have seen fewer operations in Sihanoukville, but they are still happening in other places, like Myanmar near the Thai border. In many cases, these operations are run by organized Chinese criminal syndicates.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Apple Gets Fined Nearly $2 Billion By The EU For Hindering Music Streaming Competition

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LONDON — On Monday, the European Union imposed its first antitrust penalty against Apple, fining the US tech behemoth almost $2 billion for unfairly favouring its own music streaming service by prohibiting rivals such as Spotify from informing users how to pay for cheaper subscriptions outside of iPhone apps.

Apple prohibited streaming services from informing users about payment options available through their websites, which would avoid the 30% fee charged when people pay through apps downloaded from the iOS App Store, according to the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm and top antitrust enforcer.

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Apple Gets Fined Nearly $2 Billion By The EU For Hindering Music Streaming Competition

“It’s illegal. And it has had an impact on millions of European consumers who were unable to freely choose where, how, and at what price to purchase music streaming subscriptions,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, at a news conference in Brussels.

Apple, which opposes the judgment, acted in this manner for a decade, resulting in “millions of people who have paid two, three euros more per month for their music streaming service than they would otherwise have had to pay,” she said.

It culminates a heated, years-long battle between Apple and Spotify for music streaming domination. Five years ago, a complaint from the Swedish streaming service sparked the investigation that resulted in the 1.8 billion euro ($1.95 billion) penalty.

The ruling comes the same week that new laws are implemented to prevent tech behemoths from dominating digital markets.

The EU has spearheaded global attempts to push down on Big Tech companies, including three fines totalling more than 8 billion euros for Google, charges against Meta for distorting the online classified ad market and forcing Amazon to reform its business practices.

The commission stated that Apple’s sanction is so hefty because it includes an additional lump sum to dissuade it from repeating the offence or other internet companies from committing similar offences.

It is not the only punishment that the tech behemoth could face. Apple is also attempting to resolve a second EU antitrust investigation into its mobile payments service by committing to open up its tap-and-go mobile payment system to competitors.

Apple fired back at the commission and Spotify, announcing it would appeal Monday’s penalties.

“The decision was reached despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast,” the business said in a press release.

It claimed that Spotify would gain from the EU’s stance, citing that the Swedish streaming behemoth met with the commission over 65 times throughout the probe, has a 56% share of Europe’s music streaming market, and does not pay Apple for using its app store.

“Ironically, in the name of competition, today’s decision just cements the dominant position of a successful European company that is the digital music market’s runaway leader,” Apple said in a statement.

Spotify hailed the EU penalties but did not answer Apple’s charges.

“This decision sends a powerful message — no company, not even a monopoly like Apple, can wield power abusively to control how other companies interact with their customers,” Spotify wrote in a post on its website.

apple

Apple Gets Fined Nearly $2 Billion By The EU For Hindering Music Streaming Competition

The commission’s examination was initially focused on two concerns. One example was the iPhone maker’s policy of forcing app developers selling digital material to utilize its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions.

However, the EU later shelved that to focus on how Apple restricts app developers from informing their users about cheaper options to pay for subscriptions that do not require using an app.

According to the research, Apple prohibited streaming businesses from informing users about the cost of subscription offers outside of their apps, including links to pay for alternative subscriptions, and even contacting customers about alternate pricing alternatives.

“As a result, millions of European music streaming users were left in the dark about all available options,” Vestager stated, adding that the commission’s inquiry revealed that slightly over 20% of consumers who would have signed up for Spotify’s premium service did not do so due to the restrictions.

The fine comes just before new EU laws to stop big corporations from dominating digital markets are slated to take effect.

The Digital Markets Act, which goes into force on Thursday, imposes a set of do’s and don’ts on “gatekeeper” corporations such as Apple, Meta, Google parent Alphabet, and TikTok parent ByteDance, putting them under the prospect of heavy fines.

apple

The EU fines Apple nearly $2 billion for impeding music streaming competition.

The DMA’s restrictions are intended to deter tech titans from engaging in the type of behaviour at the centre of the Apple inquiry. Apple has previously stated that it will comply by allowing iPhone customers in Europe to use app stores other than its own and allowing developers to offer alternative payment mechanisms.

Vestager warned that the commission would closely monitor how Apple followed the new guidelines.

“Apple will have to open its gates to its ecosystem to allow users to easily find the apps they want, pay for them in any way they want and use them on any device that they want,” she said.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

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Google has been forced to publicly affirm that Gmail is “here to stay” after a hoax claiming it was shutting down went viral on social media.

A post on X, formerly Twitter, which has been read over seven million times, stated that it would close in August.

Google responded to the same platform to deny the bogus allegation.

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Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

A communications expert told the BBC that it was “a classic example” of the risks of misinformation.

“Most people believe what they see online, and there’s a lack of tools and processes to verify the facts,” said Richard Bagnall, CEO of CARMA, a communications evaluation organisation.

“Whilst social networks can act without responsibility and pump unfiltered, unverified information to their audiences, this Gmail incident won’t be the last case we’ll see.”

All social media sites struggle to combat misinformation, but X has been singled out for special criticism, with the EU saying in 2023 that it was worse than its rivals at propagating lies.

The corporation has previously stated that it is devoted to “tackling hate speech” while aiming to “protect free speech.”

The BBC has contacted X for comment on this scam, which appears to be based on an email from Google in 2023. It informed users that access to Gmail’s most basic HTML view would be disabled.

google

Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

The initial HTML interface was utilised when Gmail started in 2004 and would be unfamiliar to most individuals who use the service today.

“We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail,” the viral post states.

“After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

Gmail is the world’s most popular email service, with over 1.5 billion active users globally, according to Statista.

google

Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

Despite firmly denouncing the bogus claims in the hoax communication, Google has closed numerous services in recent years.

In 2023 alone, Google discontinued its Stadia gaming service and its Snapchat-like YouTube Stories feature and began deleting old and inactive Gmail accounts.

It has stated plans to close Google Podcasts however this service has been effectively replaced by YouTube Music, which it also controls.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

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Nvidia’s market value has reached $2 trillion (£1.58 trillion), marking a new milestone in the chipmaker’s meteoric rise to the ranks of the world’s most valuable corporations.

Shares of the Silicon Valley corporation gained more than 4% in opening trading on Friday before falling slightly.

The gains built on the company’s impressive earnings announcement earlier this week.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

The company is profiting from improvements in artificial intelligence (AI), which has boosted demand for its processors.

The company’s turnover doubled last year to more than $60 billion, and CEO Jensen Huang told investors this week that demand was “surging” worldwide.

The corporation, which became worth $1 trillion less than a year ago, is now the world’s fourth most valuable publicly traded company, trailing Microsoft, Apple, and Saudi Aramco.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

After shares fell from their early Friday highs, the company’s market capitalization ended the day just under $2 trillion.

Nvidia was founded in 1993 and was originally recognized for producing computer processors that processed images, primarily for computer games.

Long before the AI revolution, it began adding capabilities to its chips that it claims to aid in machine learning, which has helped it acquire market dominance.

It is currently regarded as a vital company to monitor how quickly AI-powered technology spreads throughout the commercial world.

The firm’s stock price has more than tripled the previous year, from less than $240 per share to about $800 in midday trading on Friday.

On Thursday, the day after its earnings release, purchasers snapped up shares, boosting its value by $277 billion, the greatest one-day rise in Wall Street history.

He research has also contributed to a larger market rise, appearing to persuade investors that, as Derren Nathan of Hargreaves Lansdown put it, the AI boom is “living up to the hype”.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

“It’s being used in automotive for design, in telecommunications for network planning, and in mainstream companies to figure out and get insights into data that they haven’t been able to get before,” Bob
O’Donnell, a technology analyst based in the United States, told the BBC earlier this week.

“This is now really starting to hit the kinds of companies across the board, not just specialized tech companies and that’s a real tipping point for the industry.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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