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Social media should ban jihad-funder Shahid Uddin Khan and others

Mina Rani Farah, Mina Farah, Kanak Sarwar, Zulkarnain Saer Sami, Captain (Rtd) Shahidul Islam, Taj Hashmi, Mahmudur Rahman, Rita Rahman, Nazmus Sakib, Pinaki Bhattacharya, Ilias Hossain, Abdur Rob Bhuttow, NED, National Endowment for Democracy, Netra News, Shahid Uddin Khan, Bangladesh, Awami League, Sheikh Hasina, Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, IRGC Quds Force

Opinion

Social media should ban jihad-funder Shahid Uddin Khan and others

Big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube need to immediately ban jihad-funder and convicted fugitive Shahid Uddin Khan and few more individuals namely Mina Rani Farah, Kanak Sarwar, Zulkarnain Saer Sami, Captain (Rtd) Shahidul Islam, Taj Hashmi, Mahmudur Rahman, Rita Rahman, Nazmus Sakib, Pinaki Bhattacharya, Ilias Hossain, Abdur Rob Bhuttow and few more notorious people from using these platforms in spreading outrageous lies against the democratically elected and anti-militancy government in Bangladesh as well as country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and few other esteemed individuals.

For the last few years, a band of criminals, convicted fugitives, terror-funders and Interpol wanted culprits based in the United States, Britain, Sweden, France, Saudi Arabia, Canada and few other countries have been running vile propaganda against Bangladesh. Most surprisingly, some of these evil propagandists with affiliations with radical Islamic and jihadist groups are receiving funding from the United States Congress.

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Amongst these individuals, Shahid Uddin Khan, a sacked military officer and Islamic State funder; Kanak Sarwar, a paid propagandist of Pakistani ISI and pro-jihadist Bangladesh Nationalist Party; Ilias Hossain, an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami, defender of war criminals and opponent of Bangladesh-US and Bangladesh-India friendly relations; Mahmudur Rahman, so-called journalist and editor of Jamaat-e-Islami funded vernacular newspaper and a diehard supporter of Pakistan, Al Qaeda, and Iran’s notorious IRGC Quds Force; Mina Farabi alias Mina Rani Farah, a paid agent and propagandist of Jamaat-e-Islami and “contact” of Pakistani spy agency ISI; Pinaki Bhattacharya, a long-time agent of Pakistani ISI are using social media and video-sharing platforms such as Facebook and YouTube in baseless rumors and propaganda with the nefarious agenda of illegally unseating the democratically elected government in Bangladesh.

Tasneem Khalil receives large amount of grant from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to a credible source in the US Capitol, although every year NED is paying US$ 0.7 million to Netra News for “promoting democracy”, this dubious website of crooks has been vigorously publishing baseless stories clearly with vendetta against Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other esteemed members of the government and civil-military bureaucrats.

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According to Bangladesh Army, Zulkarnain Saer Khan (featured as Sami in the bogus report of terror-broadcast network Al Jazeera), is an ex-cadet expelled from Bangladesh Military Academy on charges of drug addiction.

But according to our sources, Zulkarnain is also the owner of an Indian restaurant named ‘Curry House’ located at District, VIII., 1. Horánszky Street – Budapest, Hungary. The manager cum kitchen’s chief of this restaurant is an Indian national named Kumar Deepak Negi. Other members of the team are: Saurabh Mathur (Head bartender – Indian national), and Shyam Shrestha (Chief chef – Nepalese national). This restaurant was opened on October 6, 2013.

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A team of investigative journalists from BLiTZ found Saer Khan’s Curry House being a regular meeting place of the members of mega-terror outfit Hamas and Hezbollah as well as sleeper cell members of Islamic State in Hungary.

Shahid Uddin Khan, a convicted terror-funder, money-launderer, tax evader and proven criminal is under investigation by Interpol’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Center (IFCACC), United Kingdom’s National Investigation Agency and Indian intelligence agencies for his direct connections with notorious terror don Dawood Ibrahim and for his involvement in terror-finance, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

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According to information, following publication of a number of reports in BLiTZ and British newspaper the Politicalite, IFCACC is supposed to begin an investigation into the case of Shahid Uddin Khan and members of his family. Meanwhile, a number of leading newspapers in Britain also are currently running investigation into the case of Shahid Uddin Khan. Talking to this correspondent, a senior reporter with UK’s popular daily said, they already have gathered substantial information on Khan and would publish series of investigative reports on this matter. The reporter further said, authorities concerned in Britain are also being contacted by the newspaper for update on the matter of extraditing Shahid Uddin Khan.

Back in 2019, prestigious British newspaper The Sunday Times published an investigative report on illegal activities of Shahid Uddin Khan.

Influential Indian newspaper The Organiser, an official mouthpiece of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) political ally of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also exposed illegal activities of this convicted fugitive.

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Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA, Commission Date: 10-06-1983) and his wife and daughters entered Britain with millions of dirty cash. In 2009, Shahid Uddin Khan invested millions of pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of obtaining immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. The family had laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the United Kingdom via United Arab Emirates and few more countries, while Shahid Uddin Khan had invested over 18 million pounds for buying citizenship under Britain’s scandalous ‘Golden Visa’ scheme.

According to Indian news agency IANS, intelligence agencies in that country currently were probing a deep-rooted nexus involving underworld mafia don and notorious terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and a London-based fugitive sacked officer of Bangladesh Army named Md. Shahid Uddin Khan.

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The news agency claimed that Indian intelligence agencies suspect that Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, who is involved in gun running, trafficking in narcotics and money laundering has links with Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld activities operating from India’s northeastern borders.

IANS news agency said, Shahid Uddin Khan migrated to London in 2009 under mysterious circumstances along with his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters named Shehtaz Munasi Khan, Parisa Pinaz Khan and Zumana Fiza Khan. Members of this family are having business operations in Dubai as well as in Britain. As per the latest dossier on the Dawood Ibrahim gang, the D company is involved in smuggling counterfeit Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and contraband narcotics. The illegal activities are being operated from Nepal and Bangladesh.

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European Union promulgates law to stop abuse of social media

Big tech companies like Google and Facebook parent Meta will have to police their platforms more strictly to better protect European users from hate speech, disinformation and other harmful online content under landmark EU legislation approved on April 23, 2022.

European Union officials clinched the agreement in principle on the Digital Services Act after lengthy final negotiations that began Friday. The law will also force tech companies to make it easier for users to flag problems, ban online ads aimed at kids and empower regulators to punish noncompliance with billions in fines.

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The Digital Services Act, one half of an overhaul for the 27-nation bloc’s digital rulebook, helps cement Europe’s reputation as the global leader in efforts to rein in the power of social media companies and other digital platforms.

“With the DSA, the time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ is coming to an end”, said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

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EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager added that “with today’s agreement we ensure that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services can pose to society and citizens”.

The EU continues to set the global standard for bridling Big Tech

The act is the EU’s third significant law targeting the tech industry, a notable contrast with the US, where lobbyists representing Silicon Valley’s interests have largely succeeded in keeping federal lawmakers at bay.

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While the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have filed major antitrust actions against Google and Facebook, Congress remains politically divided on efforts to address competition, online privacy, disinformation and more.

The EU’s new rules should make tech companies more accountable for content created by users and amplified by their platforms’ algorithms.

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The biggest online platforms and search engines, defined as having more than 45 million users, will face extra scrutiny.

Breton said they will have plenty of stick to back up their laws, including “effective and dissuasive” fines of up to 6 percent of a company’s annual global revenue, which for big tech companies would amount to billions of dollars. Repeat offenders could be banned from the EU, he said.

The tentative agreement was reached between the EU parliament and the bloc’s member states. It still needs to be officially rubber-stamped by those institutions, which is expected after summer but should pose no political problem. The rules then won’t start applying until 15 months after that approval, or Jan. 1, 2024, whichever is later.

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“The DSA is nothing short of a paradigm shift in tech regulation. It’s the first major attempt to set rules and standards for algorithmic systems in digital media markets,” said Ben Scott, a former tech policy advisor to Hillary Clinton whose now executive director of advocacy group Reset.

The need to regulate Big Tech more effectively came into sharper focus after the 2016 US presidential election, when Russia used social media platforms to try to influence voters. Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter promised to crack down on disinformation, but the problems have only worsened. During the pandemic, health misinformation blossomed and again the companies were slow to act, cracking down after years of allowing anti-vaccine falsehoods to thrive on their platforms.

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Under the EU law, governments would be able to ask companies take down a wide range of content that would be deemed illegal, including material that promotes terrorism, child sexual abuse, hate speech and commercial scams. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter would have to give users tools to flag such content in an “easy and effective way” so that it can be swiftly removed. Online marketplaces like Amazon would have to do the same for dodgy products, such as counterfeit sneakers or unsafe toys.

These systems will be standardized to work the same way on any online platform.

Germany’s justice minister said the rules would safeguard freedom of speech online by ensuring sites can be made to review decisions on deleting posts. At the same time, they’ll be required to prevent their platforms being misused, said Marco Buschmann.

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“Death threats, aggressive insults and incitement to violence aren’t expressions of free speech but rather attacks on free and open discourse,” he said.

Tech companies, which had furiously lobbied Brussels to water down the legislation, responded cautiously.

Bangladesh needs to take steps against the rogue propagandists

Talking to this correspondent, a senior EU official seeking anonymity said, while it is expected that people enjoy freedom of expression on social media, it is totally unacceptable that several individuals are abusing such privileges and using social media platforms in spreading lies, rumors and vile propaganda against some nations.

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She said, Bangladesh authorities can now approach the EU countries with specific complaints about anyone who is committing crime by spreading lies and disinformation against the country or its leaders, including civil-military bureaucrats.

The official further said, “There are legal ways of combating wrongful use of social media platforms by any individual. Bangladesh authorities can follow certain rules, which would result in ban on those individuals who are spreading lies, rumors, propaganda and disinformation against the country and individuals”.

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Tajul Islam is a Special Correspondent of Blitz.

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