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A “private” car plate number

This guy took the idea of having a special number to a whole new level!

via Cheyef 7alak

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MoT to start collecting all mobile subscribers information

I just heard an announcement on the radio that all mobile subscribers will be soon required to submit their personal information (a copy of their ID + a recent photo) to the ministry of telecommunications in order to keep track of who’s using each an every mobile number in Lebanon.

Mobile shop owners will be responsible for collecting the information of those who buy new phone lines, while existing subscribers will have to submit their information within a few months from now, and their lines will be automatically deactivated if they failed to comply with the deadline (I’ll update the post with the exact date as soon as I know it).

I guess this will be so annoying especially when you decide to sell your phone line, since you will have to make sure the buyer registers it under his name so that you don’t hold responsibility of anything he/she does with it!

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Help books find a home

If you have got some books to give away but don’t know whom to give it to, then you might be interested in the campaign Antoine Online is launching to donate books to NGOs, public libraries, and organizations.

There are already boxes available at all Antoine branches to leave your used books into on conditions that they are in a good condition, more or less recent, and neither scholar books nor magazines will be accepted.

In case you have no books to give, you can still donate gift vouchers to an organization of your choice by visiting the campaign’s page here.

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More on the data requested by the Information Branch

I just noticed Elnashra has published some classified communications between the interior miniter Marwan Charbel and prime minister Najib Mikati showing the data the Information Branch has requested following the assassination of General Wissam El Hassan.

In all of those documents the Information Branch is requesting the below types of data from the two mobile operators in Lebanon (Alfa and Touch), while there’s no mention of any ISP such as Cyberia, IDM, and the alike.

  • List of websites we visit along with all the information we submit to these websites including usernames and passwords. (It’s relatively difficult to obtain these information if HTTPS is enabled)
  • Copies of exchanged e-mails and chat sessions.
  • Recordings of calls made through VoIP applications.
  • List of downloaded apps.
  • Call detail records
  • SMS records.

So unlike what has been circulating in the past few days, and judging from the content of these communications, the Information Branch is only interested in data logged by mobile operators and not ISPs. In addition, there was no explicit interest in obtaining Facebook credentials as the media was reporting.

Anyway I still find it disturbing to know that mobile operators might not be only keeping track of visited websites, but also of submitted information, e-mails, chat sessions, and even VoIP calls recordings! And it seems like they’re really doing so since the telecommunications minister never claimed those records do not exist and instead is just rejecting the Information Branch’s requests.

P.S: I found it weird that some communications were dated August 18th 2012, and got received by the office of the prime minister on the same day, even though they’re requesting data from the period starting September 13th 2012 and ending November 10th 2012. It’s like asking for data from the future!

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First Blood at Movenpick Hotel Beirut

For those of you who are interested in mixed martial arts, an event called “First Blood” will be held at Mocenpick Hotel on December 15th, in which fighters from Russia, Canada, and Lebanon will be competing.

Tickets can be purchased from Virgin Ticketing, and you may check this facebook page for more information about the event.

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The information branch wants your passwords!

According to this article in Lebanon Files today, it seems that the intelligence-oriented Information Branch has asked the ministry of telecommunication for all SMSs that has been exchanged over the two months that preceded the assassination of General Wissam Al-Hassan back in October 19th, in addition to our internet accounts and Facebook passwords!

ذكرت صحيفة “السفير” ان شهية الأجهزة الأمنية ولا سيما شعبة المعلومات، فُتحت من جديد على “داتا” شبكة الاتصالات الخلوية في لبنان، مع فارق خطير هذه المرة، تمثل في عدم الاكتفاء بطلب تسليمها حركة الاتصالات، كما كان يحصل في السابق، ليصل الأمر إلى مستوى غير مسبوق، في خطورته وتداعياته، مع طلب الشعبة الاطلاع على محتوى كل الرسائل النصية الخلوية المتبادلة بين جميع المواطنين، على مدى الشهرين اللذين سبقا اغتيال اللواء وسام الحسن، إلى جانب الحصول على كلمات المرور (باسورد) لشبكات الإنترنت والفايسبوك التي يستعملها اللبنانيون.

وفي هذا السياق , أكد وزير الاتصالات نقولا صحناوي للصحيفة ان الوزارة تلقت طلباً بالحصول على محتوى الرسائل النصية وكلمات المرور (باسورد) لشبكات الإنترنت والفايسبوك العائدة إلى اللبنانيين، على مساحة كل لبنان، محذراً من أن الموافقة على هذه الاستباحة ستجر المزيد لاحقاً.

وأكد أنه رفع هذا الطلب إلى الأمانة العامة لمجلس الوزراء من أجل درسه، “مع توصية من قبله برفضه ورده، آخذاً على الهيئة القضائية المختصة بالنظر في طلبات الأجهزة الأمنية أنها تكتفي بتسجيل موقف عابر، بينما المطلوب أن تكون أكثر فعالية في صون الدستور وحقوق المواطنين.

It’s weird that the Information Branch is asking for our Facebook password since that means ISPs in Lebanon are actually keeping a log of all passwords we input! Anyway, I hope the government rejects this request and instead agfrees on supplying data related to specific people and during a reasonable time frame.

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Bird hunting in Lebanon

Birds hunting season has been on for a while now, and unfortunately Lebanese hunters are shooting at anything that flies, just as in every year.

Check out this article from Wildlife Extra about hunting in Lebanon and the massacres hunters are committing by shooting very large quantities and targeting some rare species.

The Lebanese Eco Movement says “All kinds of birds are being hunted, and most of hunters are indifferent to the matter of protected birds. We are witnessing the murder of many protected birds, mainly soaring birds (aquatic birds and raptors), including pelicans, storks, cranes, raptors.”

“As for the birds that can be hunted, there is no respect for the numbers and limits. We are witnessing birds being killed in thousands. A single hunter may kill more than one thousand birds. Hunters are of all ages; they may be as young as 10, even though Lebanese law prohibits holding weapons for ages less than 18.”

“Hunting mainly takes place during weekends, but hunters can be seen any day of the week, at any place, even inside cities and between houses.”

via Haytham Elkhoja

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Videos from Sting’s concert in Beirut

Check these two videos by Joe from Sting’s concert at BIEL which was part of his “Back to Bass” 2012 tour. I did not attend, but judging from the tweets I was reading I guess everyone had a blast that night!

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My Last Valentine in Beirut to stop showing in Cinemas

After the order of nurses in Lebanon filed a lawsuit against My Last Valentine in Beirut for showing an actress wearing a provocative nurse outfit, it seems that the film director Salim El-Turk decided to stop showing it in Lebanese cinemas instead of waiting for the General Security to take a decision about the lawsuit, as per Lebanon Files a while ago.

Still, I don’t know why I’m feeling like the movie will keep showing, and that the producers are just spreading these news to get as much people as possible to go watch the movie now.

Update:

The movie is now showing again in theaters after it stopped for a while.

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Loan wala kel el alwen

Seriously?!

via @stephanienour

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