• Reasons why a Case Management Software is better for your firm

    Case Management Softwares (CMS) has become indispensable in today’s competitive market. Most law firms have abandoned the traditional pen and paper approach, and have chosen CMS for increased efficiency, firm-wide collaboration, and optimal client experience.

    These softwares, broadly provide threefold benefits to the user firms:


    • Increased efficiency, by saving time and promoting collaboration within the firm.
    • Reduced errors due to misplacement or loss of files or information, missing deadlines, and miscommunication.
    • Client satisfaction by meeting the standards and expectations, with the help of the tools and resources offered by these CMS.


    The traditional approach apart from being outdated has its many flaws. As individual attorneys employ their individualized processes according to their comforts and needs, a gap is created within the law firm, resulting in non-uniformity in documents, miscommunication, loss of important information, attorneys catching up with rules and procedures, multiple reviews of drafts and an overall wastage of time, all piling up to reduce the firm’s efficiency and adversely affect the client experience. With a CMS in place, you can ensure a great client experience, by increasing efficiency and collaboration, and at the same time reduce significant cost involved in the paper – pen approach. 

    Case Management Softwares help you save important time spent on unimportant routine tasks. Our system provides a well-structured overview of the general information of a case, the information of the attorneys working on the case, facilitates communication amongst them, helps you keep a track of deadlines and important dates with respect to a case, helps with e-discovery, provides up to date forms and templates, maintains a checklist for every case and most importantly, we also keep all your data safe, at all times.


    Save the time spent on manual work:

    In the competitive world, law firms cannot afford to waste time on mechanical tasks like scanning through heaps of data manually, trying to find relevant information; apart from being time-consuming and tiring, it is also money badly spent. Case Management Softwares’ comprehensive database will help you save 48% of the time you spend on these tasks so that you can utilize it in the most profitable manner. All your files and information are stored in a centralized location so that you don’t have to spend any time looking for them.


    Great client experience:

    Case Management Softwares help you maintain a great relationship with your clients by keeping them in the loop at all times. Your clients do not have to wait for important updates on a case as we keep them informed by providing all-time remote access. Through our system, you can share, communicate, and collaborate with your clients, while we keep a track of all the data you exchange. We help you meet the expectations of your clients with ready access to information, tools, and resources.


    Firm-wide collaboration:

    With a CMS in place, your firm can work collectively without having to waste time on the delay in communication. A CMS will keep your attorneys informed of the status and help them know when to step in. It provides a better and more efficient way for everyone at your law firm to access up-to-date legal information, communicate, and share knowledge and documents.


    Calendar sync:

    Make sure that you meet every deadline and never miss an important date or event, with our system as it also keeps a track of all the cases. You can use a CMS to schedule important deadlines and share them across the firm to ensure transparency.


    Up to date system:

    A Case Management Software keeps our system up to date with the changes in laws and the related rules and procedures, so that you have credible information and tools, your clients can rely upon. It is a reliable resource to assist you with keeping in pace with these progressions so you can envision and address your customers' needs. It's basic, in this way, that updates are constantly made to guarantee you have the data and tools that you need to be a trustworthy resource, the clients can trust and rely upon.


    Reduced errors:

    By taking over the manual tasks at your firm, a CMS do not just save your time for more valuable tasks, but also ensure great quality by reducing the occurrence of human errors. With paper and pen approach, there are more chances of misplacing or losing important information and documents. With an effective CMS in place, no information is ever lost. We keep your case files organized and help you access them with ease.


    Keep your data safe:

    We provide a secure cloud-based platform to keep your data safe. CMS also ensure the data is protected at all times to maintain the confidentiality of your clients. Auto data backup at regular intervals makes sure that even the smallest of the information is not missed and is safe. Your data, saved on cloud, is safe from any probable loss due to a hardware malfunction and can be accessed easily.




    CMS are the new essentials of the legal industry. Initially, firms were reluctant to invest in tech-based systems to manage their cases; however, slowly Case Management Systems have taken over the manual or pen and paper approach of case management, because of the advantages they bring to the table. 

    The traditional approaches have been made redundant with the familiarization of CMS in law firms. These software save firms the valuable time spent on a manual task, facilitate teamwork and communication, thus increasing efficiency and collaboration, they help maintain uniformity across the firm and keep everyone updated on important events and help maintain a great relationship with your clients by giving them easy access to important information on cases. They are intuitive programs, designed specially to give results immediately and provide 24 hours support to your firm.

    A CMS is a fruitful investment for your firm; it will be a committed and reliable tool in the journey of your firm as you move forward, employing the software in your day to day business.


    This article is written by Shubhangi Tripathi, an Attorney Associate at Absolaw. For sales or other enquiries, please Click Here or write to us on admin@absolaw.com.

  • Impact of the Pandemic on Law firms

    Several industries are devastated because of the coronavirus induced recession in the economy. Industries such as Aviation, Tourism, Hospitality, etc have taken huge hits and currently have come to a screeching halt. Every sector of the economy is suffering because of the pandemic and the legal services sector is no exception. I am penning this blog after examining how the pandemic is affecting the business procurement and continuity at major law firms around the world. We will also be able to see if smaller law firms can weather out these times of crisis.


    There has been a huge impact of the pandemic on the customer demand which was earlier there in the market. For the Law Firms situated in the United States, there has been a notable shift in the dynamics, where the clients have preferred to pursue only those matters which are extremely crucial. Clients have become more high-strung about the practice area they are filing litigation for and are usually seen converging on some specific issues such as Labour, Employment, Healthcare, and Aviation related Laws. Overall, the entire industry, as far as the practice areas are concerned, has seen a negative impact of at least 18%, and litigation in some areas, such as Energy, Financial Services, Technology, Media and Telecom has seen a sharp decline of at least 22% this year. Also, an apparent decrease was observed in the Corporate M&A, Capital Markets, Venture Capital and Corporate Financing, with major law firms turning only towards some of the practices stated above.


    However, from previous periods of crisis, a trend has been observed that law firms and law practitioners are generally good at handling downturns in business and are at greater capabilities of weathering out the economic shifts. During the 2008-09 economic crisis, it was observed that the top 100 Am Law Firms were productive in countercyclical practice areas and were very good at making advances towards a wider range of scenarios. However, during the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, there has been seemingly perpetual retardation in the court systems, owing to the less technologically advanced state of affairs and the initial closure of courts for hearing, investigation, and dispute resolution. Law firms that have Global Finance as one of their major practice areas are more likely to get affected by the crisis because of the nature of the business. Firms that are more locally operated, such as the ones in the state of Texas and Washington have even observed profit gains. On the other hand, firms headquartered in New York are more likely to get affected by the crisis by losing a share from the profits by at least 3%.


    Keeping in mind the lessons learned from the previous crisis and the ongoing pandemic, there could be various things that the law firms could focus on, to maintain a grip on the market and to keep generating revenue. As a paradigm shift has been observed in several business practices, law firm operations should be more client-oriented, and law practitioners should more concentrate on how these unprecedented times are testing their client's businesses. Clients should be reached out at least once in a day by dropping them a personalized email if possible, even of a line or two, so that if there are any legal challenges faced by them, those could be uncovered and a clear nexus could be established between the client and the counsel. Lawyers should focus on learning more about crisis advisory and how the same could be turned beneficial for the clients.


    Lawyers could also make a difference by sharing relevant articles which contain intel for their customers regarding the various business and practice areas in which they operate. This would initiate the flow of information and also help the existing clients and new customers gain some trust in the law firm. New publications such as blog posts and newsletters should be circulated, free of cost so that the knowledge of all law firms in a particular practice area could be established and impacted to the masses.


    Another aspect by which the law firms could be more useful in these testing times should be the pricing that they are quoting to the clients and they should be very competitive about it. This plan of action if more relevant for the global law firms that are facing multifarious business outages, and by the means of competitive pricing, they may attract new customers and even venture into new practice areas. During the ongoing pandemic and a few more months to come, pricing can break the shackles of discipline and they should be more catered towards the needs of the clients and attracting new prospects. Firms may even offer one-time discounts such as Proof of Concept, Calibration Period, etc. so that they may venture into new markets and acquire new business.


    It is still highly uncertain till when these times are going to affect the business, but law firms can weather this crisis out by developing a far-sighted approach to tackle the situation, and it is also quite certain that these things are going to become the new normal and law firms should be keen in developing the practices where they may keep their existing clients and also acquire new customers from the market.

  • Big Tech Grilled on Antitrust

    When the internet was invented, it was meant for connecting people by providing them with services such as email, websites, chatting, etc. But as the market grew, it became more of a tool for selling products and services. The tech companies which were initially in this industry also rose to dominance. Companies such as Microsoft and Apple were key players already when the computers were being invented, and when people shifted towards the internet to get their daily needs sorted, companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon provided them with easy solutions. But the question that always arose was why these companies are providing such facilities to the users free of cost. For me, the answer is that these tech giants use the personal data of the individuals who use their platforms and sell them to the advertising agencies. But never did we know, that there could be so much more to this.


    The top executives of the four tech-giants, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were asked to testify yesterday at the House Committee via video conferencing. The charges against the giants are that these tech companies are meddling with the competition, antitrust, and fair play in the market and hugely affecting their consumers, competitors, and, small businesses. This was a bipartisan meeting and both the parties took turns is beating down the arguments given by the tech giants and accused them and their companies of behavior which can be termed as notorious and borderline illegal.


    There are severe charges against the tech companies for meddling with the competition laws, antitrust laws, and fair supply management in the goods and services that they provide. These companies were also accused of keeping the personal data of the individuals associated with these companies and using them for advertising and sales. The committee also accused these executives of operating as a private government, take of concentration of power to themselves and defy various international laws. While facing a myriad of such questions, top executives, such as Tim Cook from Apple, Sundar Pichai from Google, Jeff Bezos from Amazon and, Mark Zuckerburg from Facebook tried hard to maintain their cool and patience throughout the meeting.


    The House grilled the tech executives of the various charges, but some of the answers given by these leaders of the tech companies were found inconsistent with the facts and some of them were even hard to believe. There were serious allegations from the lawmakers such as stealing the research information for the cure of Covid-19, stealing intellectual property ideas from young entrepreneurs, ripping of personal information of minors and selling them to the advertisers, and cloning technology from startups and small competitors. There was no satisfactory reply presented by any of the four leaders of the tech industry. Lawmakers also accused the Big Tech of contravening the competition law and antitrust, and said that even if such practices are not unlawful, they are highly objectionable and borderline illegal. Even the European Union has initiated three cases against Google for such practices and the cases are pending for hearings. The Big Tech was also accused of benefitting their products using the user data that they have.


    In my opinion, there could also be a positive side to such competition. These tech companies spend billion annually on research and such annual spending on R&D is even higher than what is spent by the National Science Foundation. Even though these companies are accused of meddling with the fair competition, these companies themselves face intense competition from other companies in the tech space and other small competitors, and hence it can be safely said that these companies are not working like monopolies like they are accused of working because being monopolistic would mean cutting off the supply of goods from all other competitors and then affecting the price of the goods for one's profit. Another argument, which can be given in the favour of the Big Tech is that if everyone is using the same platform, there is less disruption in the market and this ultimately leads to social welfare and not making people's lives worse.


    I can say that the House should carefully study how the Big Tech is not confirming to the antitrust and how some changes can be brought in the law so that there may be a limit to the dominance of these tech giants. Also, this matter should be carefully dealt with and the authorities in my opinion need a scalpel and not an ax.

  • Chinese Retaliate over Consulate Shutdown

    This blog is a continuation of another blog which I wrote a few days ago when the US ordered the shutdown of a Chinese Consulate in Houston. If you haven’t read the previous blog, read it here.


    The Chinese have retaliated to the shutdown of a Chinese embassy in Houston in the United States of America by ordering a shutdown of an American Consulate at Chengdu in China. The Chinese Communist Party has claimed that it has taken this step in conformity of the International Laws.


    Last week, the US ordered the shutdown of a Chinese Consulate in Houston citing allegations of espionage and intellectual property theft by the employees posted there. This escalated the already tense state of affairs between the two superpowers. Since late 2019, there has been a raging trade war between the US and China and the US has continually accused China of corporate espionage by conducting state-sponsored intellectual property thefts, hacking of medical research regarding the development of Covid-19 vaccine, and stealing military secrets.


    China also cited similar reasons for the shutdown order of the US Consulate in Chengdu. The CCP also claimed that this has been done in retaliation of the unlawful action taken by the US authorities by ordering the shutdown of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. Chinese external minister Wang Wenbin claimed that the responsibility of this action solely lies on the US side as they have escalated the tension to this level and the Chinese never wanted the state of affairs to take such a turn. He also stated that this conforms to the basic norms of International Law as well as the diplomatic conventions.


    On the other hand, the US authorities said that the action taken by the Chinese authorities are against International Law and should take necessary steps in ensuring peaceful bilateral relations. The US flag at the consulate at Chengdu was lowered at 6.18 AM on Monday 27 July 2020 after the local police barricaded the consulate and intensified the security in the area.


    The US employees were disappointed over the tit-for-tat move by the Chinese citing that the Consulate officials have always stood with the people of Sichuan, Guizhou, and Tibet for 35 years. The Consulate opened in 1985 and has since been operational in the area.


    While the Chinese Consulate in Houston has been accused of burning important documents before the US authorities took control of the building when the shutdown was ordered. Critics and researchers say that this may point towards a big cover-up which the Chinese employees were trying to do there.


    The United States is gearing up for the elections this year and both the countries are dramatically increasing the distance between each other which was not possible before because of the advent of globalization. The US may try to put some serious sanctions over China over the charges of espionage, infiltration, and intelligence activities when the new President takes the office after the elections.

  • Legal-Tech: A Need of the Hour

    We live in an era where technology is the way of life. Everything we do has something to do with technology. The phones that we use, the computers that we work on, the websites that we browse, or the transactions that we make online, are all intertwined with each other by technology only. Technology is the only factor that binds all these aspects together. But when it's about the legal industry, it has been said time and again that it is not very tech-savvy and is slow to adapt to the change.


    For countries, legal is one of the oldest industries thriving. Since the beginning of the 20th Century civilization, the law is the only aspect that has kept the things together. If there is no law, there would be anarchy and war. Hence, we understand how important it is to uphold law and order in society. But since the legal domain is very old, it has been seen that it is very slow to adapt to the changes which are happening in the technological arena. Law is full of people who like the things to take place in a conventional method and hence because of that, the penetration of the technology in this sector becomes a difficult task.


    There are various areas in the legal domain where technology has been successful and the benefits of such changes are being felt by the clients, customers, authorities, and lawyers. The benefits are discussed below here one by one.

    Ease of Access: Ever since the technology has penetrated the legal industry, one thing has surely taken place, i.e. ease of access. Now people can file complaints online, see the status of any existing application online, and see the listing of the cases at a particular case online. It was never that easy before the advent of tech in this sector.

    Uniformity: The arrival of tech in the legal industry has given us the gift of uniformity of procedure that one can see throughout the state. If filing an FIR in one county is in a particular way, the legal-tech makes sure that the same way is adopted to file FIRs in the other counties of the state. The spreads uniformity in the system and eliminates the need to learn different procedures for different geographies.

    Automation: While every aspect of the legal arena that shifts to the online mode, there will be huge automation which could be brought to the industry. There are people all around the world who run away from the possibility of a legal battle because they think that it's too tedious for them, but since the pandemic has taken place, there are people, legal processes such as pleadings, submissions, and discoveries are being done online and this has implied great automation. Also, clients now find it easy to take part in a legal battle because it can be done while sitting at the comfort of their homes with the help of video conferencing.


    While there are so many things technology has helped the legal fraternity achieve so far, there are also so many things that may be improved by adopting the latest tech trends in the market. This is where the role of Absolaw starts. Absolaw is a law startup that deals with the services where there is a strong nexus between law and tech. Services such as MDR and eDiscovery are some of the things that we do. There are so many things with which Absolaw helps its clients with the help of Legal-Tech.

    ML Reviews: Absolaw provides cutting edge solutions for the document review needs of their clients. We have the resources with which we can cull down data and remove unnecessary non-responsive documents with the help of the ML Review tools. We are experts in using Machine Learning features on platforms such as Relativity, NexLP, Brainspace, etc. which help us in culling down redundancy and only perform a manual review on the important documents as flagged by the system.

    AI-ML Clause Management: Absolaw helps in better Contract Management with the help of great AI ML tools such as Kira. The technology used in such CLM platforms gives us the ease of identifying the important clauses in the contracts and also bringing out the best risk management capabilities from the entire corpus.

    Innovation: Absolaw helps their clients with outstanding paralegal needs and helps them to get rid of expensive non-legal tasks from their workflow. We assist our clients with the best in class paralegal services and help them in keeping the costs to a minimum. This eliminates the need to hire more people for such non-legal tasks and ultimately helps in expediting the whole procedure with innovation.


    It is pretty clear how we can bring a great change to the legal industry by adapting the various concepts of legal-tech. Innovating from time to time and adopting various trends in the market is also a way lawyers may ensure the longevity of their business and getting their foot in the door with some new clients. It is a well-established principle that the better technology we have, the better equipped we are to take of future challenges.


    To get to know more about Absolaw's services or to get a quote, click here.

  • Suspected Ransomware Attacks Garmin

    In today's day and age, everything is managed online and all the data is also stored online. Whatever we do, be it booking a table for dining out, or making an online transaction for some money to be sent to one of our friends, it is all done online. While doing any activity, every website keeps a track of the data transferred by us. These are the little footprints we leave behind when we do some activity online. This is generally the data regarding our identity and the device/browser we used, and also the mode of transaction we used to complete that activity. And most of us also think that there's nothing very important in the data transmitted by us. I have always pressed the issue of the importance of cyber-security on my blogs and with this, I intend to educate as many people as possible to that people could understand the importance of data and try to keep it as safe as possible.


    Just a day ago, a major avionics manufacturer, Garmin was attacked by a ransomware. This is not a confirmed news, but sources say that a leaked email had a piece of information about the organization getting attacked by a ransomware. Garmin also tweeted yesterday that they are experiencing an outage that affects Garmin Connect, and as a result, the Garmin Connect website and mobile app are down. They also tweeted that their customer support centers are down too for the time being. Very recently, Twitter was also attacked by some cryptocurrency enthusiasts and they used the accounts of many celebrities asking for a donation. But the question arises, what is ransomware?


    Ransomware is malicious software that may transmit into a computer system through infected emails, attachments, and files. It usually attacks its victims, by tricking them that their system has suffered a data breach, and to get a hold of the data again, they need to make a payment some money to get it accessible again. Ransomware also sometimes lock a user out of their system by locking the screen with the help of a password set up remotely or encrypting the data which was in such a system, so that they could disable the user from getting the access to his data.


    Why is Ransomware a threat? I am writing this blog because just a day before Garmin's app to assist pilots got attacked by one such ransomware. It blocked the pilots' ability to file for a flight plan, and the entire website, Flygarmin was down blocking the pilots to access it. Garmin's Connext Services were also down, resulting in the outage of the weather data, CMC and position reports.


    Criminals are targeting more and more large corporations and I think that is because of the availability of large chunks of data. Very recently, car manufacturer, Honda was also attacked by one such ransomware. Attackers also misrepresent themselves as customer support services such as DHL, FedEx, or UPS, which can further intimidate the people into paying up a sum of money to get their data safe.


    There are many ways you can keep your data safe. One such way is by installing the security updates of the operating system regularly. Users may also protect their system by using a good quality anti-virus or anti-ransomware software, which are easily available in the market and are easy to install too. You should also have your IT team secure your firewalls so that they may protect the system from any potential attack. Lastly, it is very important to take regular backups of personal and official data so that no one can trick you into paying to get access to your data.


    How does Absolaw help? Absolaw can help the people who have suffered or might have suffered a data breach by examining the documents about such individuals and compiling a notification list of the data points which might have suffered a breach too. We, at Absolaw, understand the importance of personal data and concur with the GDPR elements, so that a good quality notification may be ensured.


    On a broader note, I hope the situation with Garmin gets resolved soon and all the services associated with it will be up and running soon. I also hope that the young generation should start taking the importance of personal data more seriously, so that they may prepare themselves on how to protect any such data, both offline and online.

  • Shutdown of a Chinese Consulate

    Just in my previous blog, I wrote about how China is meddling with its territorial limits in the Himalayan region and drawing big flak from the international community. Today, there is news from the international community which seems to be one aspect of that flak only. The news is how the US has ordered China to shut down its Consulate in Houston.


    During the past few weeks, the tension between the United States is on a continuous rise. It initially began when the US decided to not to let Huawei build the 5G network in the country. This came as a crushing blow to China's tech market which was already wounded when India banned 58 major mobile applications. The motive behind the US banning Huawei's 5G infrastructure has been told to be privacy concerns which are raised time and again against all the Chinese tech giants. Very recently, France has also banned Huawei's bid to build 5G infrastructure on their land.


    One more reason cited by the United States in the order of the shutdown of the Chinese Consulate in Houston is the Chinese sponsored theft of Intellectual Property, which costs the US anywhere between $300 Billion - $600 Billion annually. One out of every five companies in the United States says that their IP was stolen by China in some way or the other. Apart from the theft of IP, China is also notorious in stealing trade secrets from the US and is many times caught running corporate espionage programs. Since the last decade, more than 100 of such activities have been reported to various authorities such as the FBI and CIA.


    The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told yesterday that the Chinese Consulate in Houston has been a hub of spying. It was also reported that since the orders to shut down the consulate released, there were a bunch of important documents that were burnt at the Chinese Consulate in Houston, for which a fire brigade was also called in to put out the raging fire. It has been said that China is taking an approach full of lies and deceit so that it could gain more world dominance and with such actions, it has also bit the hands that fed it.


    Mike Pompeo also called the world to end this blind engagement with China. He has also urged countries like India and Australia to take advantage of the trade opportunities in the APAC. He also said, "If we bend the knee now, our children's children may be at the mercy of the CCP, whose actions are the primary challenge to the free world."


    In its reply to all of this, China said that this move by the United States has severely harmed the relationship between the two countries and China will retaliate to give a befitting reply to the US. China is planning to shut down the US Consulate in the South Western city of Chengdu, which is in the Sichuan province. It is also planning to shut down the Wuhan Consulate of the United States because it has been left unattended due to the abandoning when the COVID-19 broke out there. US President Donald Trump has also ruled out that this will be the only shut down of any of the Chinese Consulate in the US. So there could be more of such incidents.


    It is just my remark but I feel that China is posing a threat to the free world and the various democracies all over. I feel that there should be strict sanctions that must be put against China so that the CCP understands that the entire world is not like Tibet of Xinjiang where it could do whatever it pleases.

  • China is Bullying in the Himalayas

    I have written so many blog posts about recent activities by China, that I think my entire blog has become just an anti-China propaganda machine. Just kidding. I love China. It's a great country with great food and great people. China also has some of the most developed cities in the world and the development index of the country is soaring in the charts. But I think these are the only things which I could say positive about China. Rest is just what you see on the news these days.


    There have been so many issues on which China has been in the news recently. But apart from TikTok, it's only about how China is bullying its neighboring countries and how the international community is taking a stance against China.


    Starting from Hong Kong, it was the first instance where China used excessive force in meddling with the basic laws of one of its Special Administrative Region. From illegal arrests and unfairly influencing the elections from Beijing, we have seen it all. Then we also saw how China was furious about the United States supplying arms to Taiwan.  China has always claimed that Taiwan is essentially a part of China and Taiwan has always taken an opposite stance by saying that it’s an independent territory. It’s quite evident with all the media articles that if some country disagrees with China, it stirs things up a lot for them.


    One such major incident which was all over the news during June 2020 was about how China is trying to seize land from India, illegally, from the Indian Territory of Ladakh, which is situated in the Himalayas. And this is not the first time China has attempted to do something like that in the Himalayas. On the night of June 15th, 2020, Chinese military personnel had a deadly confrontation with the soldiers of the Indian Army at the high altitude Galwan Valley in India's Ladakh region. The PLA personnel came to meet Indian Army officers and it was supposed to be a peaceful meeting. But no one knows at what point the meeting went sour and the PLA soldiers attacked the Indian Army personnel present there with the help of makeshift weapons.


    The Indian soldiers quickly retaliated to this situation and attacked PLA's personnel present at the Galwan meet by beating them to a pulp, disfiguring their weak bodies, and throwing them in the nearby Shyok River. An estimated total of 43 PLA's personnel died in this confrontation and the Chinese state-run media didn't even acknowledge the death of their soldiers. On the other hand, the casualties on the Indian side were far less than the Chinese, and the Indian media also acknowledged that it has lost some soldiers too, giving voice to their gallant acts that night, making them martyrs in from of the whole country.


    This is not the first time China has been a part of a confrontation with India. China operates through a policy of aggressive territorial expansion and always meddles with the neighboring countries in the Himalayan region. One such incident took place in Doklam, which is a trijunction area between China, Bhutan, and India. Doklam is a part of Bhutan, which is an ally of India. In June 2020, Chinese troops began constructing roads at the Doklam plateau, which is though a part of Bhutan, is falsely claimed by China. This region is very close to Sikkim, which is an Indian territory. Indian troops after a few days crossed the border into Doklam as a part of the Operation Juniper and confronted the PLA's officials present there. They stopped the troops in constructing the road and because of that, there was a military standoff between India and China which continued for around three weeks. Finally, in August 2017, both the nations withdrew their troops from the region, which by the international media, termed as a big diplomatic win for India.


    China is also supporting Nepal in the incorrect map put up by them which shows an Indian Himalayan territory a part of Nepal. The international media is saying that China is doing this because it is giving immense support to the communist party of Nepal by taking part in virtual meetings. The Nepalese Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli was also seen making bizarre remarks about the Hindu God Ram that he was a Nepalese and the capital of Ram, Ayodhya was in Nepal, which stirred a nation-wide criticism in India sparking comments from political leaders to the general public. Oli's such remarks could have been the reason that he is trying to woo the Chinese Communist Party to support him, as he is taking a stance against India and is also said to forget the religious ties between both the countries.


    Very recently, the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that China's actions in the Himalayan region are not acceptable. Pompeo also appreciated India for banning 59 Chinese applications and taking a strong stance in Galwan Valley. He also suggested India decrease its dependence on China in terms of trade and commerce and start diverting the supply chains away from China with regards to telecommunications and medical equipment. This statement has come just a few days after the US stopped all of Huawei's involvement in the development of the 5G infrastructure in the country owing to national security concerns.


    As I have already said before, China is operating through an aggressive territorial expansion policy for the past many decades. It has shown a notorious behavior towards the citizens of Tibet, which it had arbitrarily grabbed a few decades ago. It is only a matter of time when more and more countries would start taking a stance against China and someday China would have to stop taking such arbitrary measures to gain more land.

  • Impact of Covid-19 on the Aviation Industry

    Flying. Humans are not supposed to fly. During the initial years of civilization, we were only restricted to slow modes such as carts and trained animals for our movement and transportations of goods. Then slowly, advancements in technology were made and after the mass popularity of cars, it was one of the most favorite modes of transportation among the people. Then the technology advanced some more and slowly the aviation industry came into the picture. As I have already said, humans are not supposed to fly, initially, but when we do fly, there is a certain cost involved in it.


    The reason behind the aviation industry's massive popularity is because it is the fastest mode of transportation available to the people and it is the safest also. The annual record for deaths due to any aviation incident is much lower as compared to any other mode of transportation like by road or by rail. This makes people rely on aviation more than any other mode of transportation. It helps them save some time and at the same time, it is safer than the other means. Especially on long journeys, such as international travel, people usually have the only option of flying because it is hassle-free and saves a lot of time.


    But due to the ongoing pandemic, there has been a complete halt on aviation services worldwide. The reason why aviation was halted because initially, where there were only a few countries which were the hotspots of the virus, it was believed that if the aviation services are halted between international destinations, there could be a decline in the number of people infected or at least the move was supposed to prevent the spread of the pandemic to other parts of the world. Soon, the entire world jumped onto this idea and closed its airspace, airports, and for some countries, their air cargo facilities too. But did this help in the prevention of the spread of the disease?


    Various studies show that initially, when the rate of spread of the virus was slow, shutting down airline service helped a lot in preventing the spread further, and to other territories. A prime example of such a case is India. India closed its airspace to all the incoming and outgoing passenger flights and from there, it was experienced that there was a sharp decline in the number of travelers who come into the country infected. That helped in keeping the numbers of the infected in a check. New Zealand is also one of the countries that closed its airspace to other countries and soon became one of the only countries which had zero cases of coronavirus.


    Due to all the travel bans which were put by the countries, the aviation industry has suffered a lot and has been witnessing a sharp decline in the number of travelers and revenue. There has been a more than 65% loss in the global revenue this year, as compared to the last year. Initially, when Italy was hit by the pandemic, most of the airlines that had flights to the region such as Qatar Airways, Etihad, Emirates, etc. had to shut down their operations in the region, incurring huge losses. The European Union is a densely populated region with a lot of potential for aviation, but when the people and tourists saw that the spread of the pandemic is rising, they were less inclined towards traveling, and slowly, the airlines serving these countries started to feel the pinch. Dubai based carrier, Emirates, halted all its passenger operation because of the pandemic and had to ground all its fleet in UAE.


    This global setback has also resulted in the cancellation of the huge orders the manufacturing companies had with them. Due to the rise of low-cost carriers in South Aisa and some parts of Europe, there had been placements of order in bulk for several aircrafts such as Airbus A320Neo, etc. Boeing was already feeling the pinch because of the grounding of its 737MAX aircraft because of two fatal incidents in Aisa and Africa. It has serious security concerns over the MCAS technology and airlines were canceling orders of this aircraft. But then the pandemic brought a huge blow to both of these manufacturers, which has resulted in huge revenue losses for these rivals.


    The effect of the pandemic has also been felt by the ground staff and the airport management companies. On major airports, such staff is still working for the maintenance of the cargo planes, but at the smaller regional airports, there have been zero movements of aircraft. This has resulted in lay-offs of the number of workers and furloughing of some employees for a certain period.


    The segment which is the worst hit is the airlines. Some had placed orders for new planes for their new routes but there are a few airlines, that had just got the delivery of the new aircraft and had to ground them immediately after the pandemic struck. That has resulted in huge losses for the airlines and they are forced to lay off their pilots also, citing that it's not economical to pay the pilots when the planes are not flying. On the other hand, some airlines are so hard hit by the crisis that they are seeking bailout packages from their country's central government. The factors that were initially driving the growth for the airlines, such as, an increase in the net disposable income all around the world, has suffered a downward shift, because of people losing their jobs and incurring losses in their businesses. Hence, they have traveled less and airlines are struggling to even refund the money travelers had earlier paid to travel during this period.


    In my opinion, governments across the globe should step into this situation, before the airlines get completely out of cash. On the contrary, if such relief is not announced, soon there will be aircraft, but there will be no money to buy the fuel and pay the pilots to fly them. Not just bailout packages, but the government should also nurture the airlines in such a way that the aviation industry stays ready for the time when they have their wings back and are in the sky.

  • The Twitter Fiasco

    It is all over the news from the past few days on how the accounts of some of the most prominent users on Twitter were hacked by some Bitcoin enthusiasts. While we sit behind our computers and smartphones, using some form of social media daily, we usually feel that our privacy and the data we share over the internet is safe. But this incident has yet again uncovered all the loopholes a typical social media website might have with the systems meant to protect your data. And even after that, these corporations claim that they have the necessary systems in place to protect our Personal Data.


    When we talk about social media, we get a picture in our mind which is usually limited to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Some people say YouTube also, but it's not a social media rather a video sharing platform. Netizens enjoy spending time over social media. Sharing locations on Facebook to sharing moments on Instagram and ranting about government policies on Twitter, this has all become a daily routine for us. But in this process, we often forget how easily we are risking all our data and letting big corporations judge us based on numbers and personal choices.


    I wrote a blog about how Twitter has become a major player in the social media arena in the past decade standing beside Facebook and Instagram. I wrote that blog to commemorate the 14th birth anniversary of Twitter. Little did I know, the time I was writing the blog, some people would have been very busy in breaking into, what might be one of the sophisticated computer networks in the world. Hackers broke into the systems of the employees of Twitter and tweeted from some of the most influential people of the world, saying that they are feeling generous and will double the amount which is sent to their bitcoin accounts. Individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Joe Biden were among the few whose accounts were hacked.


    Twitter instantly took action when it realized that something has gone wrong, and by action I mean it temporarily suspended the accounts of all these individuals and many others, who all had a 'Blue Tick' i.e. a verified account on Twitter. Twitter has said that it has fallen prey to a well-coordinated social engineering attack on its systems. But during this entire fiasco, the flaws in Twitter's systems were brutally revealed. And this is not the first time Twitter has got exposed to such humiliation.


    Back in 2017, a disgruntled Twitter employee deactivated Donald Trump's account for a few minutes. Last year, a few of Twitter's employees were accused of spying on the government officials of Saudi Arabia. It shows how the internal systems of Twitter might be flawed and how some people might take advantage of it in the future.


    The major concern here is not how some social engineers took advantage of the lackluster security at Twitter, but how this system could be influenced and used in someone's favor in the elections. The US is on the verge of a major election and social media plays a huge role in forming the opinion of the voters. Twitter is one of the social media platforms which is known for the presence of all the celebrity politicians, journalists, and a large user base. There is a major concern of another Cambridge Analytica kind of a targeted campaigning taking place, and this time with the help of Twitter's weak security.


    The question is why Twitter hasn't been able to update its internal systems and make them strong against the attacks by hackers. Twitter is funded by Elliott Management and there sure goes a lot of money in funding the research and development departments there. According to sources, a rough amount of around $700 Million was spent last year for this purpose, so that they may train its people against such attacks. Twitter's competitors, Facebook, and Instagram have hugely succeeded in the quest of making their systems hard to break into. Not just that, Facebook had also exponentially surpassed Twitter in terms of ad technology and is minting money with the help of ads on its networks and on the other hand, Twitter has failed to take advantage of its massive user base and turn it into an ad market to make more profits. Sure the investors would not be very happy after all such money spent into R&D and witnessing an attack of this magnitude.


    Twitter should understand the need of the hour and build a rock-solid fortress with its computer networks so that they may become impossible to break into. This will help it to retain its existing user base and it would also become attractive for new users who might want to join Twitter in the future. It would also spare Twitter some of this humiliation going forward and would make it a lucrative option for the customers to show their ads on. Elliott should also take charge of the situation now so that such incidents could be avoided in the future.


    In my opinion, it was a small social engineering attack where the hackers only wanted people to deposit cryptocurrency into their accounts. Had it been something that has the potential of starting a war, the situation would have been even worse. I will write another blog on how our data which we share on various social media platforms is not invulnerable these days.