Startup CEO Arrested for Child Abuse, Assault, and Attempted Murder

News broke on Friday that Zain Jaffer, ex-CEO of mobile ads startup Vungle, was arrested for child abuse (including a charge of oral copulation of a person under 14), assault, and attempted murder. 

The company replaced Jaffer as CEO a day before the allegations were reported in the tech press. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s website indicates that an inmate named Jaffer is being held at the Maple Street Correctional Center in Redwood City, California. 

Jaffer was featured as part of Inc.’s 35 Under 35 Coolest Entrepreneurs package in 2014.

A Vungle spokesperson wasn’t immediately available. Earlier today, a company representative told VentureBeat: “While we do not have any information that is not in the public record at this point, these are extremely serious allegations, and we are shocked beyond words.” The charges are “obviously so serious that it led to the immediate removal of Mr. Jaffer from any operational responsibility at the company,” the rep told VentureBeat.

Jaffer’s next scheduled court date is Nov. 1, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s records.

Tech

Twitter looks to toughen rules on online harassment, abuse

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc plans to toughen its rules on online sexual harassment and impose stronger penalties for misconduct, according to an email it sent to a group of safety advocates, academics and researchers that helps the social media service set its policies.

The new rules, which will likely be introduced in the next few weeks, are aimed at tackling one of Twitter’s biggest and long-lasting problems. They follow a series of tweets by Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Friday announcing plans to act more aggressively to limit the number of bullies and harassers using Twitter.

The new guidelines include immediate and permanent suspensions of any account Twitter identifies as the original poster or source of non-consensual nudity. The site’s definition of non-consensual nudity will also be expanded to include what it called “upskirt imagery, creep shots and hidden camera content.”

The rules were set out in a letter, which was seen by Reuters, to Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council from Twitter’s head of safety policy.

The micro-blogging platform is also looking to allow bystanders to report unwanted sexual advances, which previously had to be reported by users directly involved in the situation.

It also promised to publish more details on a change in policy which would include hate symbols and imagery in its definition of sensitive media.

Dorsey’s pledge to revamp Twitter’s guidelines came after some users boycotted the service for suspending actress Rose McGowan, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein, the producer who faces allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over three decades in the film business. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Twitter also faces scrutiny from lawmakers investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Last week, Twitter gave Senate investigators the profile names of 201 accounts it had determined were linked to an effort by Moscow to sow discord and divisiveness during and after the campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference, previously called Twitter’s cooperation as “frankly inadequate.”

Reporting by Angela Moon in New York and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington DC; editing by Patrick Graham

Tech

Boycott ISPs that abuse privacy, net neutrality

After Congress repealed the FCC’s broadband privacy rules two weeks ago, new Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai promised that the personal information they give to their ISPs would continue to be, well, private. Indeed, Pai said that he planned to work with the Federal Trade Commission to police ISPs around privacy issues.

However, many believe that this will not only fail to provide effective broadband privacy protections, but will also come at the cost of removing the FCC’s net neutrality rules. As you may recall, net neutrality prohibits ISPs like Verizon and Comcast from picking winners and losers on the open internet. Indeed, we could be heading for a day where the FTC actually won’t be able to regulate ISPs at all.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing