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For many U.S. startups and their foreign-born employees, a kind of back-up plan may be starting to sound like a good idea right about now.

Yesterday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that administration officials have drafted a new executive order aimed at overhauling, among other things, the H-1B work-visa program that U.S.-based tech companies have long relied on to bring top foreign engineering talent into their ranks. Spicer said the possible executive order is “part of a larger immigration effort” related in part to Friday’s hot-button immigration ban targeting immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

According to Bloomberg, the draft proposal states that: “Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest. Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.” (The shorter version: companies have to try hiring U.S.-born employees first.)

 

Whether and when that executive order gets signed is an open question, but at least one small group of cofounders has banded together to make it easier for U.S. companies to create subsidiaries in Canada and to move their U.S.-based employees to a new, Vancouver-based office, and all within what they describe as weeks, not months. They haven’t created a nonprofit. They’ve instead formed a new company called True North that’s right now offering a $6,000 package that includes airfare for one person to Vancouver, two nights of accommodations, and a day with “world-class immigration professionals who will walk you through the process and answer any questions you have.”

The package is somewhat rich. For example, an employee could fly from the Bay Area to Vancouver, land accommodations, and talk with immigration attorneys for far less than what True North is charging. But the broader idea is interesting, and that’s for employees to keep their current jobs with their current employers but to have the option to work via a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary that can provide them with protected status in the event that the U.S. changes its employment regulations.

We talked about the genesis of this project with one of True North’s cofounders, serial entrepreneur Scott Rafer (who founded the API management vendor Mashery and an early blog community and analytics company MyBlogLog, among other companies).

Rafer has been interested in immigration issues for many years, he said, thanks in part to a close friend who was forced to escape from North Korea and eventually found safety with her family in Singapore. More recently, he has focused his financial efforts around helping Syrians refugees resettle on the Greek island of Lesbos. But following the U.S. presidential elections in November, it became clear to both Rafer and several friends, including Vancouver-based serial entrepreneur Michael Tippett, that immigrants in the U.S. would soon need greater attention, too.

Their big aim with True North? “To keep H-1B workers in one place rather than see them scatter. To point them to a more-than-decent city and airport where they can move their work and live happily and access great public schools. We have this community here in Silicon Valley that we want to preserve and if you look at a map, there are few places other than Vancouver that qualify for this kind of move.”

 

We “aren’t saying to move on spec but to have a ripcord,” adds Rafer.

TrueNorth is working with Ernst & Young, and the firm has advised True North that a subsidiary can be set up fairly quickly.

As Bloomberg noted in its report, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon already have offices in Canada where they often position workers while they wait for them to obtain clearance to live and work in the U.S.

Rafer suggests that people needn’t wait for their employer to legally form a Canadian subsidiary first — that they can and should apply to live in Canada in parallel (that it takes roughly the same amount of time). This Rolling Stone article suggests the process is relatively easy once someone has a Canadian job offer in hand.

Certainly, Canada’s technology community seems receptive to the idea of welcoming more tech talent. This past weekend, dozens of Canada’s tech CEOs signed a letter asking Canada to offer immediate entry visas to those hit by the order. Part of it reads:

The Canadian tech community supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message that Canada will and must remain inclusive to all nationalities. We also stand directly opposed to any and all laws that undermine or attack inclusion, and call on Prime Minister Trudeau and our political leaders to do the same.

The Canadian tech community also calls on the Canadian federal government to institute an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose. We encourage provincial and municipal governments across Canada to lend support as they can.

Rafer acknowledges that newly formed True North is limited in its ability. The outfit has already secured a “couple dozen desks” through its local network, he says, but “we aren’t set up to help thousands of people just yet.”

Of the cost, he’s aware that it’s high, saying it “isn’t friendly to bootstrapped startups by any means. We’d love to get it there fast, but we’re completely paranoid about making promises we can’t keep when people’s families are at stake.” He adds that his team is “working to bring [costs] down without putting ourselves in a position of becoming unreliable.”

The good news, says Rafer: the city of Vancouver “has the space, and we’re working with officials on [lining up as much of it as we can]. We may not look like the best customer service force in the world, but we’re also not going to screw with people.”

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/31/in-silicon-valley-plotting-to-get-foreign-born-workers-to-vancouver/

Categorized in News & Politics

Earlier this year, a security consultant from Telus Security Solutions, Milind Bhargava revealed that over 70,000 Canadian credit card numbers were listed for sale on a dark web market.

Bhargava released the findings as part of a presentation that was aimed at providing insight on just how much personal information from Canada was available on dark web markets.

He announced this at a SecTor conference held in Toronto.

Credit Cards Were All From One Province

Bhargava’s division, which is usually tasked with monitoring dark web sites that deal in the sale of credit cards for their corporate clients, said that like any other credit and debit cards, Canadian credit cards were easy to identify using the first six digits on the card.

 

These identify the type of card and also the bank it is affiliated with. As it stands, no organization has claimed credit card theft.

In his presentation, Bhargava said that more than 70,000 Canadian credit cards were suddenly put up for sale on the dark web following the data breach.

Despite the cards being from multiple banks, the security consultant noted that they all came from the same province.

Bhargava noted that it was rare to find such a large amount of stolen credit card information coming from such a localized area. He refused to disclose the identity of the province in question.

Data Breach was Some Form of Contest

70,000 credit cards for sale on the dark web shaken the belief that Canada is immune to cyber and malware attacks rarely make it to the public eye.

 

The stolen Canadian credit cards were on sale for as little as forty cents to as much as $3. The expiry dates on the cards ranged from this year to 2020.

According to Bhargava, there is no clear indication as to how or when exactly the data breach occurred.

The only assumption that could be derived from the situation was that the data collection may have happened for at least over a year.

He also speculated that due to the fact that the cards were sourced from all over Canada, it was possible that the credit card data collection was hosted by some sort of an organization as a contest.

Cyintelligence Inc. Emphasizes on Diligence in Protecting Organizational Data

The CEO of Cytelligence Inc., Daniel Tobok, was not impressed by the figures, saying that the discovery of 70,000 Canadian cards on the dark web market was not that astonishing.

The former managing director of the forensics and security consulting division at Telus, who is now the current head of the Toronto-based digital security consulting firm Cytelligence Inc., divulged in an interview that an upwards of 400,000 different credit and debit cards from Canadian banks are currently on the dark web.

He confirmed the speculation that Canadian cybercrime is largely underestimated, saying that Canada is just as targeted by cyber criminals and malware attacks as any other country.

What’s more, these dark web criminals seek more than just credit card information.

 

Human resource department databases are often raided for personal data such as social security numbers and T4 income tax information, among other sensitive information.

As Tobok divulged in the interview, his firm had recently been investigating year-long data breaches that resulted in the thefts of approximately 18,000 records containing credit card information and T4 income tax information from a Canadian organization, which he refused to name.

The organization’s security was breached using a carefully executed phishing scam which included email spoofing to install malware in order to breach the organization’s security.

The organization in question was negligent, in Tobok’s opinion, as they had last carried out a thorough security audit two and a half years ago.

Stolen Information Unverifiable

In Bhargava’s presentation alongside Telus consultant Peter Desfigies, he highlighted the fact that despite the alarming amount of Canadian data available for sale on the dark web, there was no way to verify the legitimacy of the stolen data on offer.

However, the availability of Canadian Interac accounts from almost all the major banks in Canada, which came with all the necessary information such as usernames, passwords, and PIN codes, and even security questions spoke volumes about the legitimacy of the stolen information.

Bhargava is, however, sure that little can deter criminals from piecing together bits of data even without the assurance of verification.

He himself had previously been a target of a crime under the pretense of a Canadian government official who tried to extort him in connection with an immigration violation.

The anonymous caller had every bit of Bhargava’s information down pat.

 Source:  darkwebnews.com

Categorized in Deep Web

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is cautioning air passengers that they should not turn on or charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones while on board and they should not stow them in checked baggage, following reports that a few dozen of the phones' batteries have exploded or caught fire.

The extraordinary caution was published Thursday on the FAA's website. 

"In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage," the statement said.

Samsung's parent company announced last week it would exchange phones in 10 countries, including Canada, after disclosing 35 cases of Note 7s that had burst into flames or exploded because of defective batteries from one supplier.

Samsung Electronics Canada says there have been no confirmed incidents in this country, but it's offering a voluntary exchange program for its Canadian customers.

Owners of the phone in Canada can exchange a recalled device for a new one of the same model.

 

The company says customers can also exchange a recalled device for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge through the carrier or the retailer that sold the device.

Samsung says Note 7 owners can initiate the exchange by visiting CanadaNote7exchange.expertinquiry.com.

A toll-free phone number is also available: 1-800-517-3507.

Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faa-samsung-galaxy-note-7-1.3754208

Categorized in Internet Technology

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