Today’s Cache | Sam Bankman-Fried appeals prison sentence; iPhones assembled in India rack up $14 billion; Instagram introduces new feature to protect young users

April 12, 2024 03:07 pm | Updated 05:38 pm IST

Today’s Cache | Sam Bankman-Fried appeals prison sentence

Today’s Cache | Sam Bankman-Fried appeals prison sentence | Photo Credit: REUTERS

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Sam Bankman-Fried appeals prison sentence

The convicted ex-CEO of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, appealed his prison term around two weeks after he was sentenced to 25 years for fraud and multiple related charges. His legal team decided to appeal back on March 28 as he was sentenced, even though he had received a much shorter jail term than the maximum time limit of 110 years for his crimes. The FTX crypto exchange crashed in November 2022 after investors tried to pull billions of dollars of funds and revealed a liquidity shortage. It was later established that Bankman-Fried had been misusing their funds to support a sister trading firm called Alameda Research.

During trial, Bankman-Fried’s erratic behaviour frustrated even the judge as the former FTX chief seemed unable or unwilling to give straightforward answers to direct questions about his business operations. Bankman-Fried’s legal team spoke about his autism, and genuine intentions as a businessman.

iPhones assembled in India rack up $14 billion

In the last fiscal year, the value of the Apple iPhones assembled in India reached $14 billion, reported Bloomberg. This equates to about one in seven phones assembled in India, per the report. While the figure is still far behind that of China’s Foxconn, it indicates that Apple is steering towards countries with which the U.S. has better trade and diplomatic relations, in order to assemble its smartphones. The major iPhone assembly companies in India are Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp. The Tata conglomerate is also looking to enter the lucrative space, and bought Wistron last year.

As smartphones spread through the country more than a decade ago, Indian buyers initially focused on budget-friendly handsets that were largely manufactured by Chinese makers. In recent years, however, buyers are more willing to invest in iPhones as a status symbol. Apple officially entered India’s consumer sector last year by flagging off two stores in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Instagram introduces new feature to protect young users

Instagram has announced new tools aimed at protecting young people and combating sexual extortion, according to a report published by AP. These tools include a feature that automatically blurs nudity in direct messages. The social media platform is testing these features as part of its campaign against sexual scams and “image abuse,” aiming to make it tougher for criminals to contact teens. Sexual extortion, or sextortion, involves persuading a person to send explicit photos online and then threatening to make the images public unless the victim pays money or engages in sexual favours.

The nudity blur feature will be added to Instagram’s direct messages but won’t be available on Facebook and WhatsApp. Instagram said scammers often use direct messages to ask for “intimate images,” so it will soon start testing a nudity-protection feature that blurs any images with nudity and encourages people to think twice before sending such images.

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