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WhatsApp and Facebook will be regulated, Centre tells Supreme Court

The petitioners had claimed that the privacy of more than 157 million Indians had been compromised by the commercial use of their personal communication.

The Department of Telecommunications on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it had plans to set up a framework to monitor over-the-top services, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and WeChat, The Times of India reported. The apex court was hearing a case about the privacy policy of instant messaging service WhatsApp.

The government said the over-the-top communication services did not have a regulatory mechanism yet as they use the network of telecom service providers. WhatsApp dismissed petitioner Karmanya Singh Sareen’s doubts about its privacy policy, and said “over-the-top communication services are governed in some respect by the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000, and are not subject to the same regulatory mechanism that is enforced on conventional voice and messaging services provided by telecom service providers”.

WhatsApp’s legal representatives refuted concerns about the application’s privacy policy and said messages on the service had end-to-end encryption preventing even the company from gaining access to them.

The apex court had referred the matter for hearing to April 18 before a five-judge Constitution bench.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, which was unveiled in August last year, allows the company to share some user data, including phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook. A petition was filed by two users, alleging that the privacy of more than 157 million Indians had been compromised by the commercial use of their personal communication. On January 16, the Supreme Court had sought responses from the Centre and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had asked WhatsApp not to share user information with Facebook. In a ruling in September, the court had said that WhatsApp must delete the information of people who had opted out of its new privacy policy before September 25 last year.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.