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Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked
Saturday, 12 June 2021 04:29

HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 12 Jun 2021 02:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 12 Jun 2021 02:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a9f8bb01b000016d92608a000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 65df7bc69c7116d9-SYD Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked • The Register

Well, that's one way to do it


The government of Pakistan's Punjab region has a new weapon up its sleeve in the fight against vaccine hesitancy: blocking the mobile service of anyone who refuses to get jabbed.

As reported by local newspapers , and confirmed by the Punjab health authority, those who swerve the COVID-19 vaccine may find their mobile SIM "blocked" in response.

The move has come at a crucial juncture for Punjab's vaccine rollout, with shots now available to those over the age of 18.

Vaccine hesitancy is a major concern for the Pakistani government. The results of one Gallup survey published in March of this year showed 19 per cent of Pakistani health professionals would not take up the jab if offered [PDF].

When looking at the wider public, the number of people who say they would not accept a jab jumps to nearly 30 per cent, according to a survey fielded between December 2020 and January 2021.

According to research from academics in Spain and the UK, this reluctance has been fuelled partially by an incident where the CIA used a hepatitis B vaccine drive in its search for Osama bin Laden. The operation sought to obtain DNA samples from infants in order to find a genetic match with the fugitive terrorist leader.

According to the study, this led to a massive drop in vaccine uptake within regions with a tendency for religious conservatism. In the areas studied, vaccination rates for polio declined by 28 per cent, with a 39 drop in measles jabs administered.

As is the case everywhere else in the world, the phenomenon of fake news has also contributed to this widespread hesitancy, with social media and WhatsApp regular conduits for misinformation.

By threatening to block mobile access, the Punjabi government has effectively threatened to disconnect people from the internet, and thus massively disrupt their day-to-day lives. Traditional PC ownership in Pakistan is relatively low, according to a 2018 survey, with most people connecting via smartphones and feature phones.

Pakistan requires all SIM/IMEI based devices (dongle, mobile phones, smart watches, tablets etc) to be registered upon purchase [PDF].

Authorities in the US have attempted to increase vaccination rates by offering a variety of incentives, from entrants into statewide lotteries with million-dollar prizes, to free beer.

Here in the UK, the sole incentive to get the jab is a reprieve from pandemic lockdown life. Given the relatively high uptake levels, it's clear most Brits regard a slightly sore arm as a price worth paying for a return to "normality".

The Register has contacted the Punjab regional government to ascertain how it intends to put this new rule into practice, and whether it plans to introduce legislation that would enshrine it into law. ®


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The deal was proposed in February but required sign-off from the US trade watchdog. It arises from FTC charges that Amazon misrepresented both to Amazon Flex drivers and to the public what the company would pay for delivery work.

The tech giant launched its Flex service in 2015, promising drivers – which it classified as independent contractors and referred to as "delivery partners" – that it would pay $18-25 per hour for the delivery of goods from Amazon.com, Prime Now (household goods), Amazon Fresh (groceries), and Amazon Restaurant (takeout).

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Bohra was able to pocket these big gains because he got copies of Amazon's confidential financial figures from his wife, Laksha Bohra, who worked as a senior manager in the mega corp's tax department. Laksha had access to Amazon’s earnings before the numbers were publicly disclosed and reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her husband "obtained" this secret information, despite her being repeatedly warned to not leak the confidential data, and used it to favorably trade in Amazon stock and options.

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"Cloudflare is aware of, and investigating an issue which potentially impacts multiple customers," the company said on its status page on June 11, 2021, at 1617 UTC. "Further detail will be provided as more information becomes available."

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Publishing a consultation paper earlier this week [PDF], the regulator said that the integrity of Ireland's power grid was under threat as data centres continue to hoover up vast amounts of 'leccy.

In a stark warning, the CRU said: "When this is also considered in the context of wider system security… it is clear that measures must be implemented in order to encourage data centres to address some of these risks."

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S4104, which advances the Digital Fair Repair act, was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. At a virtual session, 51 senators approved the motion, with just 12 voting against.

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"The UK does not consider that States taking countermeasures are legally obliged to give prior notice (including by calling on the State responsible for the internationally wrongful act to comply with international law) in all circumstances," said the British submission to the UN GGE, made in advance of the G7 heads of government meeting in Cornwall this week.

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will take up a role in the design and development of Google's "Privacy Sandbox" proposals to ensure they do not distort competition.

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Legal filings reveal that Tii Technologies is said to have supplied 95,000 faulty jack test (JT) blocks to BT over a period spanning 2006-2016. The one-time state monopoly claims these faulty blocks led to a spate of ADSL outages in the mid-2010s that mainly affected Sky Broadband's customers – and cost BT more than £40m in engineer callouts to trace the problem's cause.

"In April 2016 (not for the first time), it was reported that the [JT] blocks were causing broadband faults and a complaint to that effect was made by Sky UK Limited, one of the Claimant's largest customers of ADSL broadband services," said BT in filings obtained by The Register.

Continue reading

HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 12 Jun 2021 02:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/75b4069743bb925db93214e2ffb1eb6ab06b146d/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 12 Jun 2021 02:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a9f8bb01b000016d92608a000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 65df7bc69c7116d9-SYD Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked • The Register

Well, that's one way to do it


The government of Pakistan's Punjab region has a new weapon up its sleeve in the fight against vaccine hesitancy: blocking the mobile service of anyone who refuses to get jabbed.

As reported by local newspapers , and confirmed by the Punjab health authority, those who swerve the COVID-19 vaccine may find their mobile SIM "blocked" in response.

The move has come at a crucial juncture for Punjab's vaccine rollout, with shots now available to those over the age of 18.

Vaccine hesitancy is a major concern for the Pakistani government. The results of one Gallup survey published in March of this year showed 19 per cent of Pakistani health professionals would not take up the jab if offered [PDF].

When looking at the wider public, the number of people who say they would not accept a jab jumps to nearly 30 per cent, according to a survey fielded between December 2020 and January 2021.

According to research from academics in Spain and the UK, this reluctance has been fuelled partially by an incident where the CIA used a hepatitis B vaccine drive in its search for Osama bin Laden. The operation sought to obtain DNA samples from infants in order to find a genetic match with the fugitive terrorist leader.

According to the study, this led to a massive drop in vaccine uptake within regions with a tendency for religious conservatism. In the areas studied, vaccination rates for polio declined by 28 per cent, with a 39 drop in measles jabs administered.

As is the case everywhere else in the world, the phenomenon of fake news has also contributed to this widespread hesitancy, with social media and WhatsApp regular conduits for misinformation.

By threatening to block mobile access, the Punjabi government has effectively threatened to disconnect people from the internet, and thus massively disrupt their day-to-day lives. Traditional PC ownership in Pakistan is relatively low, according to a 2018 survey, with most people connecting via smartphones and feature phones.

Pakistan requires all SIM/IMEI based devices (dongle, mobile phones, smart watches, tablets etc) to be registered upon purchase [PDF].

Authorities in the US have attempted to increase vaccination rates by offering a variety of incentives, from entrants into statewide lotteries with million-dollar prizes, to free beer.

Here in the UK, the sole incentive to get the jab is a reprieve from pandemic lockdown life. Given the relatively high uptake levels, it's clear most Brits regard a slightly sore arm as a price worth paying for a return to "normality".

The Register has contacted the Punjab regional government to ascertain how it intends to put this new rule into practice, and whether it plans to introduce legislation that would enshrine it into law. ®


Other stories you might like

The US Federal Trade Commission on Friday announced the approval a consent order against Amazon that requires the company to pay $61.7m to resolve charges that for two and a half years it took tips intended for Amazon Flex drivers and concealed the diversion of funds.

The deal was proposed in February but required sign-off from the US trade watchdog. It arises from FTC charges that Amazon misrepresented both to Amazon Flex drivers and to the public what the company would pay for delivery work.

The tech giant launched its Flex service in 2015, promising drivers – which it classified as independent contractors and referred to as "delivery partners" – that it would pay $18-25 per hour for the delivery of goods from Amazon.com, Prime Now (household goods), Amazon Fresh (groceries), and Amazon Restaurant (takeout).

Continue readingAmazon exec's husband jailed for two years for insider trading. Yes, with Amazon stock Couple now definitely past their Prime

The husband of an Amazon financial executive was sentenced on Thursday to 26 months behind bars for insider trading of the web giant's stock.

Viky Bohra, 37, of Bothell, Washington, reaped a profit of $1,428,264 between January 2016 and October 2018 by buying and selling Amazon stock using eleven trading accounts managed by himself and his family.

Bohra was able to pocket these big gains because he got copies of Amazon's confidential financial figures from his wife, Laksha Bohra, who worked as a senior manager in the mega corp's tax department. Laksha had access to Amazon’s earnings before the numbers were publicly disclosed and reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her husband "obtained" this secret information, despite her being repeatedly warned to not leak the confidential data, and used it to favorably trade in Amazon stock and options.

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Following in the rickety footsteps of Fastly, bedeviled by a bug earlier this week, network services biz Cloudflare briefly stumbled on Friday as an elevated error rate interfered with connectivity for customers in Chicago and Los Angeles.

"Cloudflare is aware of, and investigating an issue which potentially impacts multiple customers," the company said on its status page on June 11, 2021, at 1617 UTC. "Further detail will be provided as more information becomes available."

Sixteen minutes later, the biz said it had identified the problem and was working on a fix.

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Attendees at this week's Women In Technology Online Festival were trying to watch keynote speaker Michelle Obama when the stream crashed within seconds of starting, leaving many unable to see the former US First Lady at all.

When conference screens began flashing up 502 gateway errors and network error messages during Wednesday's feature conversation, chat functions filled up with attendees' advice to events organiser Ascend Global Media on how to correct issues that affected the livestream.

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Ireland could be facing frequent power cuts following a warning from the country's Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) that data centres are having a "major impact on the Irish electricity system."

Publishing a consultation paper earlier this week [PDF], the regulator said that the integrity of Ireland's power grid was under threat as data centres continue to hoover up vast amounts of 'leccy.

In a stark warning, the CRU said: "When this is also considered in the context of wider system security… it is clear that measures must be implemented in order to encourage data centres to address some of these risks."

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The New York State Senate has approved landmark right-to-repair legislation which forces original equipment manufacturers to provide schematics, parts, and tools to independent repair providers and consumers.

S4104, which advances the Digital Fair Repair act, was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. At a virtual session, 51 senators approved the motion, with just 12 voting against.

Some distance remains before the bill ultimately becomes law. It must win the approval of lawmakers from the lower house, the New York State Assembly, which is currently considering its own version of the bill (A7006).

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Comment Britain has told the UN that international cyber law should allow zero-notice digital punishment directed at countries that attack others' infrastructure.

A statement made by UK diplomats to the UN's Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing Responsible State Behaviour in the Context of International Security (UN GGE) called for international law to permit retaliation for cyber attacks with no notice.

"The UK does not consider that States taking countermeasures are legally obliged to give prior notice (including by calling on the State responsible for the internationally wrongful act to comply with international law) in all circumstances," said the British submission to the UN GGE, made in advance of the G7 heads of government meeting in Cornwall this week.

Continue readingDealing with the pandemic by drinking and swearing? Boffins say you're not alone While social media gets a portion of the blame for COVID-19's initial spread

The impact of lockdowns during a global pandemic appears to be making itself known in a variety of ways – subtle and otherwise – including increased drinking and swearing. Or, as we like to call it, "the weekend".

There's no denying that the pandemic has been tough, and the IT industry was far from immune. We've seen numerouseventscancelled, supplychainissues and the joys of looking terrible on camera – and those were all in the first three months.

How did we react? Well, we drank. And swore.

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The UK's competition regulator intends to keep a weather eye on Google as it works to address concerns around its proposals to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome web browser.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will take up a role in the design and development of Google's "Privacy Sandbox" proposals to ensure they do not distort competition.

While the commitments aim to address concerns raised in Blighty, they are likely to have implications for Google that stretch across the globe.

Continue readingShuttered call centre sours Capita's £58m contract extension with Tesco Mobile Communication Workers Union believes 'scores of employees' will be placed 'at risk' under proposals

Tesco Mobile has extended its customer management contract with Capita for another three years as part of ongoing plans to streamline the grocer-cum-telco's customer service operation.

The deal – worth £57.6m over three years starting September 2021 – bolts on to the £140m five-year deal inked in 2016.

Back then, those involved said the deal would "enhance" Tesco's already "award-winning customer service propositions" to keep punters happy.

Continue readingBT sues supplier for £72m over exchange gear that allegedly caused wave of ADSL outages Tii Technologies claims hamfisted BT bods caused problems, not their kit

BT is suing a supplier for £72m after it delivered nearly 100,000 defective landline connection blocks that caused ADSL broadband outages, London's High Court has heard.

Legal filings reveal that Tii Technologies is said to have supplied 95,000 faulty jack test (JT) blocks to BT over a period spanning 2006-2016. The one-time state monopoly claims these faulty blocks led to a spate of ADSL outages in the mid-2010s that mainly affected Sky Broadband's customers – and cost BT more than £40m in engineer callouts to trace the problem's cause.

"In April 2016 (not for the first time), it was reported that the [JT] blocks were causing broadband faults and a complaint to that effect was made by Sky UK Limited, one of the Claimant's largest customers of ADSL broadband services," said BT in filings obtained by The Register.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/2Ss4kNP