NetAlly Spins Out of NETSCOUT to Further Drive Innovation in Handheld Network Testing Market

Company's first product enhancements include AirCheck G2 Wi–Fi 6 support and new Link–Live cloud platform updates that centralize tester management and data visibility for network engineers and technicians

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today marks the launch of NetAlly , a new company comprised of a team that has been developing highly recognized and respected brands of portable network test solutions for over 25 years. Formerly a business unit of NETSCOUT , and previously part of Fluke Networks , the company is now an independent provider of handheld testing solutions including the LinkSprinter Pocket Network Tester, LinkRunner Network Auto–Tester, OneTouch AT Network Assistant, AirCheck G2 Wireless Tester, and AirMagnet Mobile solutions. As part of the launch, the company is also announcing Wi–Fi 6 support for AirCheck G2, as well as new updates to its centralized cloud platform, Link–Live, that dramatically improve data analysis and collaboration for network engineers and technicians.

"Our testers are sought–after by networking professionals around the world, and our mission is to continue to serve those responsible for planning, deploying, validating and troubleshooting access networks and the devices connected to them," said Mike Parrottino, CEO at NetAlly. "We're dedicated to simplifying the complexities of network testing, providing instant visibility for efficient problem resolution, and enabling seamless collaboration between site personnel and remote experts. Our testing technology has a rich DNA and we're excited to build on that heritage to deliver testing customers can trust, from a new ally."

NetAlly is a 100% channel–focused company, relying on their established global partners for local representation of their award–winning products; customers can contact info@netally.com immediately for information or see a complete list of resellers on their website at www.netally.com. Existing customers with active support contracts have already been transferred over to AllyCare, NetAlly's service and support program, which offers technical assistance, instrument repair, documentation, and training videos from a dedicated team of expert engineers.

New AirCheck G2 and Link–Live Features

NetAlly is releasing version 4.0 of its software for the AirCheck G2 Wi–Fi tester. This adds visibility of Wi–Fi 6 (802.11ax) networks for installation, validation and troubleshooting. It also makes AirCheck G2 the first tool to integrate with new Link–Live Cloud Service enhancements. Link–Live is a centralized management workspace for network test results and site data capture, and offers results management, site data management, and user and tester management. The service now includes new data analysis and sharing features so network engineers and technicians can better coordinate field testing and verification, including:

  • Wi–Fi and iPerf Analysis "" Analyze a richer and broader set of uploaded data for better centralized management and visibility by remote engineers and project supervisors. Go beyond static tables to filter by text for channel and SSID, generate a filtered list of access points (APs), drill down into data instantly, and more. This ability to review connection and roaming test logs makes it easier than ever to collaborate while troubleshooting connectivity and roaming problems. In addition, users can automatically upload and document iPerf performance test results, quickly generating reports that provide Pass/Fail information that can be used to easily validate network upload and download speeds from anywhere, at any time. All of this results in faster mean time to repair (MTTR), and simpler documentation and collaboration.
  • Link–Live API "" New API allows for data extraction into an organization's network management database or trouble–ticketing system for better data sharing and collaboration.

“These testers set the standard in the industry, and as a network analyst, I rely on them for accurate insight when testing today's complex networks. I'm excited by the new NetAlly brand, and know their team is dedicated to delivering innovative new features and technologies," said Mike Pennacchi, President and Owner of Network Protocol Specialists LLC, a network consulting company. "The new data analysis and sharing features are a perfect example of that innovation. This helps engineers better manage, analyze and share the test data, validating networks faster and solving problems more quickly."

For more information about the new Link–Live features and to stay updated on NetAlly product and company news, visit https://netally.com/.

About NetAlly
NetAlly offers testing you can trust, from your new ally. Our family of network test solutions have been helping network engineers and technicians better deploy, manage, and maintain today's complex wired and wireless networks for decades. From creating the industry's first handheld network analyzer in 1993 to being the industry pacesetter "" first as Fluke Networks , then as NETSCOUT "" NetAlly continues to raise the bar for portable network analysis. With tools that include LinkRunner , OneTouch, AirCheck and more, NetAlly simplifies the complexities of network testing, provides instant visibility for efficient problem resolution, and enables seamless collaboration between site personnel and remote experts. To learn more and see why NetAlly delivers the best in handheld network test visit https://netally.com/.

PR Contact
Anthony Cogswell
Voxus PR
ajcogswell@voxuspr.com
253.444.5980

Rules of War Widely Flouted, 70 years on: Red Cross

The first Geneva Convention protects wounded and sick soldiers on land during war. Courtesy: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

By James Reinl
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 14 2019 – World governments are not doing enough to stop armed groups from committing mass rape, torture and other war crimes, the head of the Red Cross aid group head Peter Maurer said on Tuesday.

Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that 70 years after their adoption, the Geneva Conventions were being breached and urged world powers to clamp down on those who commit atrocities.

As he spoke, fighting raged in Syria, Libya, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other hotspots in which United Nations investigators have warned of widespread civilian casualties and other likely war crimes.

“It is clear by the obvious terrible suffering in today’s conflicts that [the Geneva Conventions] are not universally respected,” Maurer told the U.N. Security Council via video link at an event to mark their 70th anniversary.

“Too often, ICRC sees the impact on people when international humanitarian law is violated — indiscriminate killing, torture, rape, cities destroyed, psychological trauma inflicted.”

The four Geneva Conventions are international treaties that deal with the treatment of injured soldiers in the field and at sea, the treatment of medics and prisoners of war and how to protect civilians.

They were adopted on Aug. 12, 1949, after lengthy deliberations.

For Maurer, they are increasingly tested by modern-day conflict, in which big powers frequently partner with local groups, fighting is concentrated in towns and cities and drones and other hi-tech military gear are deployed.

“There is no doubt that the modern battlefield is a complex arena; urbanised warfare, an increasing number of armed groups, partnered warfare are posing new and difficult dilemmas,” Maurer said.

“Rapidly developing technologies are creating new front lines in cyberspace, as well as new ways to fight, for example, autonomous weapon systems and remote technologies.”

U.N. diplomats pointed to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russian airpower, are accused of torture, bombing civilians and using poison gas as they claw back rebel-held territory in the country’s eight-year civil war.

In Yemen, both the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition seeking to restore a U.N.-supported government have reportedly attacked civilians, schools and hospitals and recruited child soldiers in the protracted conflict.

Elsewhere, investigators have probed violations of international humanitarian law in Libya, the occupied Palestinian territories and in several African hotspots, including DRC, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Governments should sign up to humanitarian law treaties, pass domestic legislation, train more war crimes sleuths and raise the ethical standards of soldiers, said Maurer, a former Swiss ambassador.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said military field commanders needed to know that pulling the trigger on an ethnic cleansing campaign could well see them end up in the dock of The Hague. 

Czaputowicz, a pro-democracy activist during Soviet times, said the rules of war were “not sufficiently observed” in such conflict zones as Libya, South Sudan, and the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

The “Syria regime definitely used chemical weapons and should be held accountable,” Czaputowicz said in answer to a question from IPS.

The original Geneva Convention, which covered the “amelioration of the condition of the wounded in armies in the field”, was adopted in 1864 in after a proposal by Henry Dunant, who founded the ICRC.

In the years leading up to the second world war, the ICRC drafted extra treaties to expand protections for civilians who got caught up in combat, but governments did not commit to the new rules. 

The horrors of the second world war galvanised momentum and governments agreed to revise and update the conventions in 1949, adding a fourth to protect civilians and property in wartime. Two extra protocols were added in 1977.

The conventions are largely universal, having been ratified by 196 countries, including all members of the world body and observers like Palestine, the most recent authority to sign up to the treaties in 2014.

Women Pastoralists Feel Heat of Climate Change

Members of the Samburu tribe in Kenya. Samburu women pastoralists are affected by climate change.

By Sharon Birch-Jeffrey, Africa Renewal
NAIROBI, Aug 14 2019 – For many people, climate change is about shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels, longer and more intense heatwaves, and other extreme and unpredictable weather patterns.  But for women pastoralists—livestock farmers in the semi-arid lands of Kenya—climate change has forced drastic changes to everyday life, including long and sometimes treacherous journeys to get water.

Faced with an increasingly dry climate, women pastoralists now must spend much more time searching for water. That takes time away from productive economic activities, reinforcing the cycle of poverty.

 

A marginalized group

“Women are the ones who fetch water and firewood. Women are the ones who prepare food. Women are the ones who take care of not just their own children but also the young ones of their animals as well,” Agnes Leina, a Kenyan human rights activist and pastoralist, told Africa Renewal.

Leina established the Il’Laramatak Community Concerns organisation in 2011, because women pastoralists have inadequate land rights, are excluded from community leadership and are often not involved in decision making, despite the responsibilities they shoulder.

This year, Leina was invited to the Commission on the Status of Women at UN headquarters in New York, an opportunity she used to promote the rights of the Maasai, seminomadic pastoralists of the Nilotic ethnic group in parts of northern, central and southern Kenya.

Climate change has made their situation worse, she says.

“Women are the ones who fetch water and firewood. Women are the ones who prepare food. Women are the ones who take care of not just their own children but also the young ones of their animals as well,”
Leina’s organisation addresses the loss of earnings women incur due to climate change by creating programmes that teach them how to make and sell beads, mats, and milk products. It also helps foster girls’ resilience by giving them the tools to set goals for themselves.

She says it used to take her about 30 minutes to fetch 20 litres of water from a river not far from her mother’s home, which was hardly enough to wash clothes and utensils and take a bath. That was until the river started receding.

The time she spent fetching water increased to “one hour, then two hours because, of course, there was no water and so many of us lined up for the little that was available. Then suddenly it completely dried up.”

Now, she says, “You have to travel to another river, which is like one hour’s walk, to fetch water.”

As a result, many girls between ages 14 and 16 run the risk of being attacked by wild animals or becoming victims of sexual assault while searching for water. They have no time to do their homework and, for fear of being punished, they miss school, she explains.

Other girls, discouraged by these realities, “settle for a man in town who has water and then marry him,”  Leina admits with regret.

Agnes Leina.

Climate change also increases the pressure for child marriages. In pastoralist communities, livestock is a status symbol. Losing cattle because the land is too arid for them to survive may compel a father to offer his young daughter’s hand in marriage in exchange for more cows as a bride price.

Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change. The UN Environment (UNE) projects that some countries’ yields from rain-fed agriculture will have been reduced by half by next year. Countries hard hit by land degradation and desertification include Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

“Most African women depend on rain-fed livelihood systems like farming and livestock keeping. Therefore, any shift in climate patterns has a significant impact on women, especially those living in rural areas,” concurs Fatmata Sessay, UN Women regional policy advisor on climate-smart agriculture for East and Southern Africa Region. UN Women’s mandate is to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Globally, nearly 200 million nomadic pastoralists make their livelihoods in remote and harsh environments where conventional farming is limited or not possible, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Glo.be, the online magazine of the Belgian Federal Public Service’s international development aid programme, reports that Kenyan pastoralists are responsible for up to 90% of the meat produced in East Africa. Kenya’s livestock sector contributes 12% to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.

Therefore, a changing climate has serious implications for the country’s economy.

In 2014, Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, with support from the International Livestock Research Institute and the World Bank, began a livestock insurance programme for vulnerable pastoralists. That programme has provided some relief to women pastoralists.

 

Technology to the rescue

UN Women is also mobilizing efforts to secure land tenure for women. It is working with the Standard Bank of Africa to help African women overcome barriers in the agriculture sector such as providing access to credit.

Technology is key to saving the water that disappears after a torrential rainfall, says Leina. Windmill technology, for instance, could allow women to access water 300 feet underground. The snag, she explains, is that it’s priced out of the reach of women pastoralists. She hopes authorities can help.

Houses in some rural areas of Kenya have thatched roofs that cannot channel water to household water tanks in the way that zinc rooftops can. Commercial water trucks can fill up household tanks for a fee of up to $60 per tank, but most rural households cannot afford that much.

The situation for women pastoralists is grim, which is why Leina hopes raising awareness of how climate change is threatening their livelihoods may get increased attention—and support—of the Kenyan government and its international partners.

Will Sanctions Undermine 1947 US Treaty with UN?

The UN General Assembly in session.

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 14 2019 – When Yassir Arafat was denied a US visa to visit New York to address the United Nations back in 1988, the General Assembly defied the United States by temporarily moving the UN’s highest policy making body to Geneva– perhaps for the first time in UN history– providing a less-hostile political environment for the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Arafat, who first addressed the UN in 1974, took a swipe at Washington when he prefaced his statement by saying “it never occurred to me that my second meeting with this honourable Assembly, since 1974, would take place in the hospitable city of Geneva”.

If Zarif is denied a visa, as expected, it will be a violation of the 1947 UN-US headquarters agreement under which Washington was expected to facilitate — not hinder– the smooth functioning of the world body

The Trump administration, which has had an ongoing battle with Iran, has imposed a rash of political and economic sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif — even as Washington, paradoxically, proclaims that the Iranian problem can be resolved only diplomatically while, at the same time, it keeps the negotiator-in-chief away from the US.

The sanctions on Zarif will also prevent him from being a member of the Iranian delegation – and also from addressing the six high-level summit meetings scheduled for late September.

If Zarif is denied a visa, as expected, it will be a violation of the 1947 UN-US headquarters agreement under which Washington was expected to facilitate — not hinder– the smooth functioning of the world body.

While the PLO was not a full-fledged UN member state, Iran is a founding member of the world body.

The Trump administration has already reneged or abandoned several international agreements, including the 2015 Paris Climate Change agreement, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, and most recently the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia which helped seal the end of the Cold War.

Will the US-UN headquarters agreement be far behind?

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif.

 

James Paul, who served as Executive Director of the Global Policy Forum (1993-2012), told IPS the Trump administration’s sanctions on Zarif at the end of July have dealt yet another blow to diplomacy and the settlement of dangerous disputes.

Zarif, he pointed out, is not only a highly-respected diplomat.  He is perhaps the person most able to help resolve the spiraling conflict between Iran and the United States.

“One important aspect of Washington’s move against Zarif has escaped notice: the impact on the United Nations,” he added.

There is a strong possibility that the US will violate its responsibilities as UN host country since the travel sanctions will block Zarif from attending UN functions, including the UN General Assembly opening session in late September (as well as subsequent sessions later on), he noted.

“Such a move would be in breach of the US-UN Headquarters Agreement of 1947,” said Paul, author of the book “Of Foxes and Chickens: Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council”.

Traditionally, he said, the opening session brings high-level speakers from around the world.  It is important not only as a moment for high-profile speeches, but also as a time for private discussions and negotiations, far from the public eye.

Asked for his response, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters August 6: “Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see what happens at the General Assembly”.

“I can’t predict, but the US has obligations under the Host Country Agreement, as have other countries that host UN Headquarters or host UN conferences.  And, as a matter of principle, we hope that every country that is under such obligations lives up to those obligations, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens,” said Dujarric.

Dr Ramesh Thakur, a former UN Under-Secretary-General and Emeritus Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra, told IPS there are three deep problems on the American side.

First, they unilaterally pulled out of a multilaterally-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The UNSC further called on all states to help implement the deal, to lift sanctions, and to assist Iran’s economic development. Therefore, by re-imposing unilateral sanctions, it is the US that is in material breach of the agreement and in violation of UNSC demands.

Second, the sanctions on Zarif contravene their stated position of a solution through diplomacy. You cannot engage in any diplomacy by placing a country’s foreign minister under sanctions, he argued.

The third is the General Assembly attendance implication.

“On this, yes, the UN spokesman is correct: it would violate the 1947 HQ agreement. But in the hierarchy of seriousness, violating the JCPOA is actually more serious and shows the complete toothlessness of the UN and UNSC to hold to account any of the P5 (the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, namely the US, UK, France Russia and China), said Dr Thakur a former Vice Rector and Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (1998–2007).

He said a similar example of this was when Bolton and Pompeo threatened to put the International Criminal Court (ICC) and all its personnel under sanctions, including the threat of criminal prosecution in US courts if they visited the US.

“As we know from the Meng Wanzhou case in Canada, the US can insist other countries honour US arrest warrants against third country nationals. And the UN meekly accepted the brazen US thuggery and the ICC judges dropped the investigation. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/05/17/commentary/world-commentary/end-international-criminal-court/

Paul said the Trump administration is keen to put further pressure on Iran and to further collapse the much-discussed nuclear deal, signed after years of delicate negotiations in 2018.

Apart from Israel and the UK, he pointed out, there is little enthusiasm internationally for closing the diplomatic doors to this important agreement.

“Governments world-wide also strongly oppose the Trump administration’s strong-arm tactics and the US disregard for an open UN, where all member states are able to speak,” he said.

“This would not be the only time that the US has refused entry to high-level foreign officials, but the push-back may now be especially strong.  In light of the support for the nuclear deal in Europe, Washington could anticipate intense opposition to US high-handedness”.

Zarif lived in the US as a university student and he is famously adept as a spokesman for Iran with his perfect command of English and courteous manner, said Paul.

This infuriates the White House and convinces the hawks there that he is a “threat.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Pompeo has accused Zarif of being “complicit in the regime’s outlaw behavior,” while National Security Adviser Bolton has hurled insults of his own at the soft-spoken Iranian diplomat.

“Will the hawks neutralize Zarif by banning him from the UN, or will the White House feel obliged to let Zarif represent his country at the UN, at least for the present?,’” asked Paul.

At a time when a US war with Iran remains an active possibility, and when secret negotiations at the UN over Iran could ease tensions, the headquarters treaty could have a very big impact on international peace and security, he declared.

Just before the sanctions were imposed, Zarif was in New York in mid-July to address the high-level political forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  But his travel in the US was strictly limited by the State Department.

The United States has rarely denied a visa to a head of state visiting the United Nations to address the General Assembly.

But it did so in November 2013, denying a visa to the Sudanese president, prompting the government to register a strong protest before the U.N.’s legal committee.

Hassan Ali, a senior Sudanese diplomat, told delegates: “The democratically-elected president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, had been deprived of the opportunity to participate in the General Assembly because the host country, the United States, had denied him a visa, in violation of the U.N.-U.S. Headquarters Agreement.”

Furthermore, he complained, the host country also applied arbitrary pressures on foreign missions, “depending on how close a country’s foreign policy is to that of the United States.”

“It was a great and deliberate violation of the Headquarters Agreement,” he said, also pointing to the closing of bank accounts of foreign missions and diplomats as another violation.

The refusal of a visa to the former Sudanese president was also a political landmine because al-Bashir remained indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But it raised a legitimate question: does the United States have a right to implicitly act on an ICC ruling when Washington is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the ICC?

The writer can be contacted at thalifdeen@ips.org