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Russia, Stung By Intelligence Leaks, Plans To Tighten Data Protection

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Russia, Stung By Intelligence Leaks, Plans To Tighten Data Protection

Russia has drawn up draft legislation aimed at stopping leaks of personal information from state agencies, a step that follows publication of details of Russians allegedly involved in clandestine intelligence operations abroad.

The bill, produced by Russia’s communications ministry, bars unauthorized people from creating and publishing databases of personal data drawn from official sources, and fines anyone violating that rule.

It also requires that state agencies setting up systems for handling personal data consult with the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency.

The communications ministry did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The bill, published late on Thursday, says it is in response to a 2017 instruction from President Vladimir Putin and makes no mention of the spate of leaks.

However, Russian authorities have been embarrassed by leaks about two men Britain alleges were Russian intelligence agents who used a nerve agent to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Russia denies involvement.

The two men told Russian television they were innocent tourists who went to the English city of Salisbury, where Skripal was living, to view its cathedral.

But the Bellingcat investigative journalism website, drawing on leaked passport information, identified the two as officers with Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency.

In a separate case, a Russian accused in a U.S. indictment of conducting cyber attacks around the world was traced, via leaked official databases, to an address in Moscow that Washington says is a base for Russian military intelligence.

The legislation, comprising two draft laws and a draft government resolution, has been published for a 30-day period of public consultation, after which it will be submitted to parliament and the government for approval.

Russia has an active black market in illegal databases compiled using confidential information stolen from state-run registries. The data includes passport details, addresses, car registrations, flight manifests and even tax returns.

Releasing personal data in this way is already illegal under existing legislation, but Russian authorities have struggled to stamp out the practice. Many of the databases are openly available on the Internet.

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Business News

Experts Support Trade Multilateralism

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Experts Support Trade Multilateralism

Several experts from different countries have voiced their support for multilateralism in trade.  They particularly pointed to china’s actions to promote cooperation based on win-win results.

Sanusha Naidu, a foreign policy analyst based in South Africa, said the recent G-20 summit has told the world the significance of multilateralism in trade which has played an active role for the global economy.

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World News

150 Nations Sign International Agreement On Migration

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150 Nations Sign International Agreement On Migration

More than 150 nations have signed a landmark international agreement on managing migration.

The UN pact, which is not legally binding, was adopted at a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, but it has been shunned by some countries including the U.S., Australia and at least six EU nations.

Its objectives include the integrated management of borders and giving migrants access to basic services.

Critics fear it will increase migration but the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pact was based on co-operation and regulating migration.

He called it a source of “collective shame” that 60,000 migrants had died on perilous journeys since 2000.

All 193 UN members, except the united states, finalised the pact five months ago

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Nigerian News

Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

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Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

Nigeria still holds the unenviable position as the third most terrorized country in the world.

The 2018 global terrorism index, released on Wednesday, says  this is as a result of the spate of terrorism in Nigeria.  It also points to what it called the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists”.  The report says this is happening as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling..

Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, both in first and second positions.

This year alone, hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks by suspected herdsmen as well as clashes between the herders and farmers/communities.

States worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and others.

The report also noted that, compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths” in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

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