News picks

Further to UZ’s post linking a NYT article on fighting email spam, the Guardian’s technology supplement today printed an article on a new front in the malware wars: programs which cripple your computer while demanding money from you. In this case, it’s companies using this to demand payment for debts supposedly incurred through visiting porn sites (imagine the effect that can have on a marriage), while an earlier article discusses “ransomware”, in which the aim is straightforward extortion by such means as locking the user’s data away until they come up with some money. Makes me glad I don’t use Windoze much.

Meanwhile, the paper’s comments section has two disturbing stories about two different corners of Muslimland. This one by Victoria Brittain tells the story of a British Asian who went to Mogadishu for the wedding of a family friend to a Somali woman, and ended up being tortured by the Kenyan police for supposedly helping the Somali ICU. Meanwhile, Mike Marqusee reflects on the fifth anniversary of the Gujarat pogrom, in which organised mobs attacked Muslims and their properties and places of worship using information provided by the state while the police looked the other way. He can’t visit the UK or USA (although he did visit the UK the year after the pogrom), but he is still in charge of the state and attracts both Indian and foreign business to the state with “hire-and-fire rights unique in India”.

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