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Current Affairs 15th April 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Doxxing

Context: A woman reported a man for sharing a non-consensual video of her dancing on X, leading to widespread harassment and highlighting the concerns over doxxing.

What is Doxxing?

  • Doxxing involves publicising personal details without consent. It can include addresses, phone numbers, private emails, medical records, social security numbers, etc., often obtained through hacking or theft.
    • Example: A person might allow a video of them smoking or drinking at a private event to be shared on a friend’s Instagram but not on public platforms like X or YouTube with potential negative consequences such as tagging their employer.
  • Impact of Doxxing:
    • Victims might need to relocate, manage emotional distress, clarify situations with employers, secure finances, improve internet security, monitor for stalkers, and handle threats.
    • Doxxing not only affects the individual but can also impact people around them, increasing risks like eviction or job loss.
  • Platform-Specific Measures:
    • Meta’s oversight board suggested stricter rules for Facebook and Instagram to protect against data leaks like home addresses.
    • Google allows removal requests for doxxing content.
    • X has in-app reporting for private information and a dedicated grievance officer.
    • Reddit offers a complaint forum.
    • Discord updated its policies, separating doxxing and harassment guidelines.
  • Legal and Regulatory Framework:
    • Social media platforms in India must comply with IT Rules, which facilitate prompt action when a cybercrime complaint is submitted.

Cryogenics

  • Cryogenics studies material properties at temperatures below -153°C.
  • It focuses on conditions where everyday gases like air, nitrogen, and hydrogen become liquids.
  • It relies on refrigeration technologies to achieve such low temperatures.
  • Helium and nitrogen are commonly used cryogenic fluids.
    • Nitrogen liquefies at -196°C and helium at -269°C.
  • Storage Requirements: Cryogenic fluids must be stored in vacuum flasks to prevent leaks and potential damage.

Properties and Uses of Cryogenic Materials

  • Hydrogen, as a cryogenic liquid, is an efficient rocket fuel used in ISRO’s LVM-3 rocket’s third stage.
  • Cryogenic hardening of steel at about -185°C increases its hardness due to more martensite in its crystal structure.
  • MRI machines employ cryogenic fluids to cool their magnets for operational efficiency.

Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP)

Context: The Moscow attack raised questions about ISIS, ISKP involvement, Russia’s accusations against Ukraine, and the evolving threat landscape.

About ISKP

  • The Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS–KP), also known as IS–K or ISIS–K, is a regional branch of the Salafi jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
  • Formation and Goals:
    • IS–KP emerged in 2014 when fighters defected from the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), al Qaeda, and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • The Islamic State dispatched emissaries from Iraq and Syria to meet with local fighters, including former TTP commanders.
    • In January 2015, IS formally announced the formation of its “Khorasan” province, with Hafiz Khan Saeed as the first IS–KP emir.
    • IS–KP seeks to destabilise and replace current governments within the historic Khorasan region (which includes parts of modern-day Iran, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan).
    • Their ultimate goal is to establish a caliphate across South and Central Asia, governed under a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

ISKP Attribution

  • Claimed by some pro-ISIS accounts after the initial escape claim failed.
  • Gained traction due to ISKP threats against Russia for torturing suspects.
  • ISKP activity:
    • Claimed/blamed for over 20 “external” attacks since 2015.
    • Claimed Kabul airport attack (August 2021).
    • Continued threats despite lower operational capability in Afghanistan.
    • Recruited Tajik nationals online in Russia for “Hijrah to IS territory” and training in Pakistan.

Emerging Threats and Concerns

  • Russian investigators suspect a mercenary group could be involved, raising questions about IS’s potential mercenary recruitment.
  • The Moscow attack introduces a ‘quick-damage-and-withdraw’ tactic, possibly inspiring copycat urban warfare attacks.
  • Calls for attacks on European football stadiums and the recent arrest by the FBI of a radicalised individual reflect a continuous threat.
  • While IS claims need careful scrutiny, the weakening of global counter-terrorism cooperation is a concern.
  • The article underscores the growing mistrust among countries, which is detrimental to effectively countering terrorism.

Examples, Data and Case Studies For Value Addition

  • Environment (GS 3): According to the latest data from the Global Forest Watch monitoring project, India has lost 2.33 million hectares of tree cover since 2000, equivalent to a 6 per cent decrease in tree cover.
    • Types of Forests Affected:
      • The country lost 414,000 hectares of humid primary forest (which constitutes 4.1 per cent of the total tree cover loss) between 2002 and 2023.
      • 95 per cent of the tree cover loss in India during the period from 2013 to 2023 occurred within natural forests.
    • Art and Culture (GS 1): Kuchipudi, a classical dance-drama performance originating from Andhra Pradesh, faces significant challenges in its survival due to a lack of patronage.

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About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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