NEWSLETTER: GOOGLE ALLO FOR PC & MEXICO’S QUESTIONABLE SURVEILLANCE

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“So, how do we know who’s human? If I was an imitation, a perfect imitation, how would you know if it was really me?” ~ Childs (The Thing)

GOOGLE ALLO ALL SET TO MAKE DESKTOP DEBUT

THE STORY

Google head of product provides a vague release date. Said shouldn’t be out for at least ‘Few More Weeks’.

WHAT IS GOOGLE ALLO?

This question might sound funny, but it truly shows the number of users for Google’s instant messaging app, Allo across the globe. Last year, we all witnessed Google Allo messaging client seeing daylight for smartphones. A lot of analysts also dubbed this as bad news for popular messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. In reality however, we’re forced to ask what ‘Allo’ is, after nearly 6 months of its launch. Despite its low popularity, Google earlier announced that they will soon present a desktop client for this app.

WHEN WILL IT LAUNCH?

Last we heard of Allo desktop client was in May, when its creators announced the release date to be in ‘a month of two’. Although that was too a vague timeline like the ‘couple of weeks’ announcement this time, it sure suggests that we’re closer to see its PC launch. This announcement by Google’s Head of Product Mr. Amit Fulay was tweeted following a question by a user. The user asked about how Google Allo for desktop was coming along and Mr. Fulay retweeted saying “On it….few more weeks”

HOW DOES GOOGLE ALLO WORK?

The PC client of Allo works pretty much like Whatsapp web, where user must simply scan a QR code or by entering a One-Time-Password to authenticate their account. It’s features include, SMS Fallback, chat backup and comes with Google Duo video calling client. Whether Allo regains the same glory and number of users as its successful predecessor Google Talk is still ambiguous. However, it can still pick up a number of users on PC and can also find place in offices.


GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO USING CYBERWEAPONS TO SPY ON CIVILIANS AND JOURNALISTS

THE STORY

Mexican government uses weaponized spyware to keep track on investigation concerning a case of human rights violation.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?

3 years ago, a staggering number of 43 students mysteriously disappeared following a clash with Mexican authorities in Iguala, Guerrero. This led to a worldwide incident and resulted in more than 80 incarcerations including 44 police officers. While the police records showed unreliable details on actual events, this led to nationwide protests and a lot of criticism by the international community. But what’s even more shocking is Mexican Government’s involvement in this horrific acts and they’re certainly trying to cover things up by any means possible.

WHAT DID THEY DO NOW?

Global criticism of this event led to the creation of an international panel of investigators that was sent to Mexico. Strangely, the investigators have backed out, claiming they are being intimidated and stonewalled by the government to prevent them from any further investigations. Moreover, they have also been sent emails laced with a weaponized spyware known as ‘Pegasus’ that Mexican government recently acquired from Israel.

WHAT DO MEXICAN OFFICIALS HAVE TO SAY?

Unsurprisingly, Mexican government has denied any claims of their involvement in this case in an interview with the New York Times saying, “As in any democratic government, to combat crime and threats against national security, the Mexican government carries out intelligence operations and deny any of our members engaged in surveillance or communications operations against defenders of human rights, journalists, anti-corruption activists or any other person without prior judicial authorization.”

Although investigators and protesters have totally debunked this claim as false, complications in solving this case have sure become slim. As there is no governing body that regulates cyber-weapon sale between governments, this sure could become a catalyst to a worldwide incident.

 

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *