Israel eases rules on cyber weapons exports despite criticism
Robie de Guzman • August 23, 2019 • 178
Israel, one of the world’s leading suppliers of spyware, is easing export rules on offensive cyber weapons, despite accusations by human rights and privacy groups that its technologies are used by some governments to spy on political foes and crush dissent.
The United Nations and rights groups are calling for stricter oversight, while in Israel, things seem to be moving in the opposite direction.
The government is offering exemptions in the export licensing process, it is planning a reform in regulation, and in general is trying to remove red tape for selling technologies abroad, government and industry officials told Reuters.
From around the world, teams come to Cybergym, a cyber-warfare training facility backed by the Israel Electric Corporation. There experts learn to defend utilities and critical infrastructure from a growing number of cyber attacks. Cybergym’s CEO, Ofir Hason, said Israel is a leader in the field, not just in thwarting such attacks, but also in offensive capabilities. And when it comes to exporting sophisticated surveillance technologies, he said, there is always a risk they will be misused.
Israel is not the only game in town but its surveillance technologies have been linked to allegations of foreign governments spying on journalists, dissidents and critics.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear he has no intention to over-regulate, even though he acknowledged the risks.
Global demand for offensive cyber systems is on the rise. Few countries are able to develop sophisticated surveillance tools on their own, so Israel’s expertise has enticed foreign governments. Israel would never acknowledge whether this includes countries without formal ties, although Israeli technologies have been linked to scandals in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Tel Aviv University Professor Isaac Ben Israel, the father of Israel’s cyber sector and chairman of its space agency, said there was nothing wrong with using these skills to form a bond with neighbours like Saudi Arabia that have shunned formal ties.
Asked if there have ever been problems with exporters, Ben Israel said there have been some instances when licensed companies “cheated a little bit” and withheld information such as which groups would be receiving the hacking tools.
The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency said cyber warfare is becoming more prominent in the global arena. But he called on private tech companies to coordinate closely with the government to make sure innocent people are not targeted. (Reuters)
Former UNTV Cup Season 5 champion PNP Responders must win against the multi-season finalist Malacañang-PSC Kamao on Sunday (October 20) at Pasig City Sports Center to keep their bid for the next round in the league of public servants.
As a winless team in Group B, the Responders share the bottom two spot with the GSIS Furies.
After the first-round elimination, only the top four from each group will advance to the next round. The lowest two teams in each bracket will go on vacation early.
Tough as it may seem, they cannot afford to lose their three remaining games. But what they will be facing are the unbeaten Malacañang-PSC which flashes solid offense and defense prowess in all of its 3 games, the GSIS Furies and the reinforced two-time champion Judiciary Magis.
The Responders will basically still rely on Ollan Omiping, Anton Tolentino with the support from Richard Villanueva and rookie Mariano Flormata Jr.
While the Raffy Gonzales-coached Malacañang-PSC Kamao will be led by Eric dela Cuesta, the Javier brothers, Visnu and Narayan, Myk Jimenez, Ian Garrido with solid supporting cast: Joseph Besa, Michael Ignario and rookies Joseph Roque, Jeff Punzalan.
The PNP- Malacañang-PSC bout will take place at 5:00 pm, Sunday.
An explosive 2nd game is also expected as the multi-season champion AFP Cavaliers will take on the revitalized Department of Agriculture Food Masters.
At the helm of the Food Masters team is PBA Legend Rodney Santos who takes pride of hard-fought victories in their first two encounters against PITC Global Traders and Ombudsman Graft Busters.
In the other games, rookie team SSS Kabalikat will take on sophomore UNTV Cup team PITC Global Traders at 2pm.
SSS Kabalikat, being win-less also, need to win all their remaining games to prevent early eviction.
UNTV Cup can be seen live at Pasig City Sports Center for free or via Facebook and YouTube accounts and of course via UNTV channel and UNTV website.
GROUP A AFP Cavaliers 3-0 Agriculture Food Masters 2-0 Ombudsman Graftbusters 1-2 PITC Global Traders 1-2 PhilHealth Plus 1-2 SSS Kabalikat 0-2
GROUP B Malacañan PSC Kamao 3-0 DENR Warriors 2-0 NHA Builders 2-1 Judiciary Magis 1-2 GSIS Furies 0-3 PNP Responders 0-2
The winless teams, PhilHealth Plus and GSIS Furies must defeat their opponents this coming Sunday as they are on the verge of early elimination being on the bottom two in their respective groups.
In the first game of the triple-header, GSIS Furies would have to breach the tough defense of Malacanang-PSC Kamao head-on.
It’s going to be a big task for the Rene Banzali and Roger Yap-led team to even demoralize their opponent because Coach Raffy Gonzales’ Kamao team has the perfect winning momentum; on the other hand they will come from two-straight sorry loses.
The battle between the President’s men and the government-worker insurers is slated at 2 pm at Pasig City Sports Center.
In the other game, PhilHealth Plus must triumph against the Ombudsman Graft Busters led by its big man tandem of Bernzon Franco and Samuel Ignacio and the reinforcement playing coach of Edsel del Rosario.
The Health Insurers and “Tanod Bayan” face off is scheduled at 3:30 in the afternoon.
And in the main card of UNTV Cup Sunday games, Judiciary Magis and NHA Builders are eager to get the win that will decide their ranking in Group B with both having a 1-1 record.
Judiciary comes from a victorious game against GSIS last September 29.
Coach Joey Yabut said, “Sabi ko sa mga players, kailangan nating manalo kasi kapag nadalawang sunod tayo, mahirap na tayo bumawi kasi tatlong malalakas pa yung kalaban natin.”
NHA Builders Coach Benett Palad says, “Kailangan naming manalo doon para pumasok kami sa taas … yung team ko kasi ngayon nagkakaroon na ng camaraderie at teamwork so mas gumaganda yung takbuhan. Konting konti na lang ang i-aadjust ko na mali nila.” — Bernard Dadis
Aside from NHA, the Magis is slated to face DENR and PNP.
While the NHA Builders are determined to bounce back from a disheartening loss from Malacanang-PSC Kamao two-weeks ago.
Nanay Teresita showed off her favorite dance moves on the newly renovated floor of their home in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
It was well-polished and better compared to their old floor.
Nanay Teresita, along with nine others, lives in one of the elderly homes of the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE). COSE is one of the beneficiaries of top radio station Wish FM that received P100,000 cash grant.
Because of the cash grant, COSE was able to further provide a comfortable home for these lolas.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios na mayroong may mga mabuting puso na nagdo-donate dito, (I am thankful to God for the kindhearted people who donated this)” Lola Conchita Salas said.
COSE is a non-governmental organization that aims to keep older people involved in the community.—AAC (with reports from Ninya Armillo)
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