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Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs

New technologies and emergence of cloud providers made mass surveillance cheap and readily available to the range of state actors as well as several private entities

NOTE: the page is labeled  by Google as "Dangerous or derogatory content". So they are trying to suppress the discussion of this topic as Google was the member of "Prism alliance"
The slide above is courtesy of The Guardian
News National Security State Recommended Links Big Uncle is Watching You Nephophobia: avoiding clouds to reclaim bits of your privacy Privacy is Dead – Get Over It Is Google evil? "Everything in the Cloud" Utopia
The Dark Side of Wikipedia Facebook as Giant Database about Users            
Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Issues of security and trust in "cloud" env   Blocking Facebook Email security MTA Log Analyzers HTTP Servers Log Analyses Cookie Cutting
Potemkin Villages of Computer Security Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance Cyberstalking Search engines privacy How to collect and analyze your own Web activity metadata Steganography Anomaly detection Notes on Search Engines and Google
Malware Spearphishing Podesta emails hack Cyberwarfare Data Stealing Trojans Flame Duqu Trojan Google Toolbar
Nation under attack meme Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Search engines privacy Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Nineteen Eighty-Four Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Prism-related humor Etc

Due to the size the introductory article was moved to a separate page: Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs

  For details of NSA collection of Internet traffic and major cloud provider data see Big Brother is Watching You



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[Jul 21, 2021] U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

The US does not like competition in spyware business ;-)
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Prof , Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

A number of international papers report today on the Israeli hacking company NSO which sells snooping software to various regimes. The software is then used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists. All of that was already well known but the story has new legs as several hundreds of people who were spied on can now be named.

How that came to pass is of interest :

The phones appeared on a list of more than 50,000 numbers that are concentrated in countries known to engage in surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of the Israeli firm, NSO Group, a worldwide leader in the growing and largely unregulated private spyware industry, the investigation found.

The list does not identify who put the numbers on it, or why, and it is unknown how many of the phones were targeted or surveilled. But forensic analysis of the 37 smartphones shows that many display a tight correlation between time stamps associated with a number on the list and the initiation of surveillance, in some cases as brief as a few seconds.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and Amnesty International, a human rights group, had access to the list and shared it with the news organizations, which did further research and analysis. Amnesty's Security Lab did the forensic analyses on the smartphones.

The numbers on the list are unattributed, but reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents.

Who might have made such a list and who would give it to Amnesty and Forbidden Stories?

NSO is one of the Israeli companies that is used to monetize the work of the Israel's military intelligence unit 8200. 'Former' members of 8200 move to NSO to produce spy tools which are then sold to foreign governments. The license price is $7 to 8 million per 50 phones to be snooped at. It is a shady but lucrative business for the company and for the state of Israel.

NSO denies the allegations that its software is used for harmful proposes with a lot of bullshittery :

The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the "unidentified sources" have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.

After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims. In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.

The reports make, for example, the claim that the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the NSO software to spy on the leader of the opposition party Rahul Gandhi.

How could NSO deny that allegation? It can't.

Further down in the NSO's statement the company contradicts itself on the issues:

Cont. reading: U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

james , Jul 19 2021 18:17 utc | 2

thanks b.. it is an interesting development which seems to pit the usa against israel... i am having a hard time appreciating this... maybe... interesting conundrum snowden paints himself into... @ 1 prof... there are plenty of distractions to go around.. hard to know...
karlof1 , Jul 19 2021 18:31 utc | 3
Prof @1--

In our day-and-age, all "Spectacular Stories" serve as distractions, although some are genuine scoops illuminating criminal behavior involving state actors. Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Mar man , Jul 19 2021 18:34 utc | 4
"Who has an interest in shutting NSO down or to at least make its business more difficult?
The competition I'd say. And the only real one in that field is the National Security Agency of the United States."

There is at least one other possibility.

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

Exposing the service weakens, or possibly destroys, it until another workaround is found.

China might do this to push customers towards some of their cellphones that are supposedly immune to this.

Russia and Iran might need to blind Mossad, NSA and CIA or upcoming operations in Syria, Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.

Who knows?

Down South , Jul 19 2021 18:36 utc | 5
Weird to have the US burn an Israeli spy operation (I'd be surprised if they didn't build back doors into their own software) in such a public manner.

The only reason I can think of for the US to shut NSO down is if they refused to share information they had gathered with the NSA and so they were put out of business.

Snowden didn't have a problem with the NSA et al spying on foreign adversaries. He had a problem when the NSA was spying illegally on US citizens.

ld , Jul 19 2021 19:07 utc | 8
JUSA: Blackmailing and Bribing Politicians; it's what they do.
div> No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk , Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

No marriage can survive financial problems. This is just capitalism eating itself for scarce profits.

Posted by: vk | Jul 19 2021 19:11 utc | 9

Brendan , Jul 19 2021 19:13 utc | 10
This is an old story going back years.
https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/
The question is: Why is it being investigated so closely now?

The 'West' could be using it as a weapon to rein in Israel, which it sees as getting more and more out of control. Netanyahu might be gone but the policies that he represents will not just disappear.

The mass media didn't like Israel's destruction of the building in Gaza where the Associated Press had its offices. How are the media supposed to publish reports from places where they don't have anywhere to work?

Western governments are exasperated that Israel doesn't even pretend to have any respect for international law and human rights. Nobody in power in the West cares about those things either, and they really want to support Israel, but doing that is a lot harder when Israel makes it so obvious that it is a colonial aggressor.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, "The Israeli minister of defence closely regulates NSO, granting individual export licences before its surveillance technology can be sold to a new country."

The attack on NSO looks like a message to the Israeli state.

chet380 , Jul 19 2021 19:24 utc | 11
Can we expect US sanctions against Israel, whose intelligence agency sponsored this, and against the Various Israeli companies involved?
m , Jul 19 2021 19:42 utc | 13

I think you are very wrong in your assessment that this is about business and getting rid of the competition. Information isn`t about money. It is about power.

The people at MoA might not have noticed it because of ideological bias but Netanyahu and Biden (and before him Obama) were quite hostile towards each other. To a degree they were almost waging a kind of undercover cold war against each other (culminating in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334).

In this context I don`t believe the "former" Israelis spies at NSO are just Isrealis. They are a specific kind of Israelis. Namely extreme-right Israelis/Likud loyalists. Netanyahu created his own private unit 8200 - outside of the Israeli state. The profit that NSO made were just the "former" spies regular payment.

The USA - with the consent and probably active assistance of the new Israeli government - took Netanyahus private intelligence service down.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 15
The US has found out that the NSO spyware can be used BY the "other regimes" against US leaders. Or at least against US assets.

The Israelis would sell their wares to anyone with a buck (or shekel, as the buck is getting rather uncertain as a money).

IE. Saudi buys a section of numbers and then decides to track and eliminate "opposants". BUT if there are CIA personnel implanted with a good cover story, then OOOPS, "another one bites the dust".

Max , Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16
What laws exist in your nation to prevent illegal snooping?

How about profiling by the digital companies? Nations need to pass laws making it a CRIMINAL offense to conduct snooping or hacking without a warrant. What happened to Apple's claims about its devices' superior security and privacy?

Let's see what sanctions or criminal ACTIONS are taken against NSO, its executives and other companies. Is any of the information captured by NSO shared with Israel &/or Five Eyes? Are their financial accounts frozen? Let's see how they're treated compared to Huawei.

Are Dark web sites linked to the REvil ransomware gang operating? Shutdown all illegal snooping and cyber crimes entities.

A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Stonebird , Jul 19 2021 20:02 utc | 17

Max | Jul 19 2021 19:47 utc | 16

"A rule or law isn't just and fair if it doesn't applies to everyone, and they can't be applied at the whims of powerful. Laws and rules applied unequally have no credibility and legitimacy."

Max, are you sure you have got your feet on this planet earth? If there is one factor that is common to his era, is that "Justice" is no longer blindfolded, but is looking out for the best interests of "friends".

Can you name a few countries where your ideal is the norm?

*****
PS. Don't bother, as I won't reply, I'm off to bed to dream of a perfect world. Much easier, and I can do it lying down.

Yul , Jul 19 2021 20:08 utc | 18
@b

Edifying Twitter thread :
https://twitter.com/YousefMunayyer/status/1417169505747341318

check this article from 6 yrs ago:
Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists

c1ue , Jul 19 2021 20:35 utc | 19
Another possible scenario is that the NSO has been poaching people and/or techniques from US intel agencies for use in its for-profit schemes.
That is one thing which is guaranteed to get a negative reaction - regardless of who is doing it and which party is in power.
We do know that NSO has been very active on the exploit buying dark webs since their inception...

Also, I would point out that US entity action against NSO didn't just start today: Facebook sued them even before COVID, in 2019

And earlier 2016 NSO mention in Apple exploit

The above article also notes that NSO was acquired by Francisco Partners in 2010...

Thus maybe all this is purely a capability play: The US is falling behind and so wants to bring in house, more capability. One way is to squeeze an existing successful player so that they have to cooperate/sell out...

All I can be sure of, is that none of the present foofaraw has anything to do with the truth.

thewokendead , Jul 19 2021 20:39 utc | 20

"In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit."

Ya..Right. That's not remotely gonna happen!

The NSO 'Group" would have to provide a substantial amount of their very sensitive 'operational' & 'proprietary' internal documents - which would most certainly be requested in discovery - to any of the possible defendants should NSO be stupid/arrogant enough to actually file a formal suit of "defamation" in a any US court.

Talk about a "defamation" legal case that would get shut down faster than Mueller's show indictment of 13 'Russian' agents and their related businesses that were reportedly part of the now infamous "Guccifer 2.0" "Hack"

When these "Russian" hackers simply countered by producing a surprise Washington based legal team that publically agreed to call Mueller's bluff and have the all of the 'indicted' defendants actually appear in court, they immediately "requested" - via the discovery process - all relevant documents that the Mueller team purportedly had that confirmed that their was any actual or attempted (hacking) criminality.

VIA POLITICO:

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation -- the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering -- were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings.

Last month, however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management. POLITICO reported at the time that the move appeared to be a bid to force Mueller's team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information.

The NSO Group is never going to even considering this "defamation" route, but their threatening legal bluster is pure... Hutzpa!

thewokendead

Mark Thomason , Jul 19 2021 20:55 utc | 22
In a world in which this can be done, the worst of governments will do it, and in the worst ways.

The US and other governments have promoted this. Their own intelligence services use it. They actively oppose efforts to block it, as happened with private encryption ideas.

We can't both make it possible and prevent the bad guys from doing it.

We have deliberately made it possible, and opposed serious efforts to protect private life against it. Now we are surprised?

Max , Jul 19 2021 21:07 utc | 23
@ Stonebird (#17), you missed the pun in those words. Maybe you're sleeping while reading.

The Financial Empire and its lackeys want a "rules-based international order" and China-Russia... want a "rule of international laws". Both are meaningless and worthless as they're applied unequally. I am awake and in sync with REALITY. Just playing with these two ideas. We have the law of the jungle. However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing.

"The Black Speech of Mordor need to be heard in every corner of the world!"

Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:42 utc | 26
Interesting story but I agree that the hype is overblown because nothing much will change even if this NSO outfit has a harder time flogging its spyware to all and sundry.

The NSA, CIA, MI5/6, Mossad and the 5 Lies spies will continue spying on friend and foe alike and tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google will likewise continue their unethical surveillance practices and will keep passing on private citizen's data to government spy agencies. So it goes.

For a dissident Snowden is a lightweight. His beef wasn't, as b points out, with the NSA itself, he just didn't like them spying on Americans within the USA. He had no problem spying on people in other countries as long as the proper 'rules' were followed. That, almost by definition, makes him a limited hangout.

Sam F , Jul 19 2021 22:47 utc | 27
The AI report notes that this software was abandoned in 2018 for cloud implementations to help hide responsibility;
Having Amazon AWS dump services naming NSO probably has no effect at all, as NSO will just use other names;
Antibody , Jul 19 2021 22:53 utc | 28
@Max 23

" However, Orcs (individuals without conscience – dark souls) are worse than animals in greed, deceits and killing."

Non-human animals operate on a genetically programmed autopilot and are not responsible for their actions.

Humans are partially engineered by genetics but unlike the "lower" animals they have the power to choose which actions they will take and they are therefore responsible for their choices.

A bear or a mountain lion will attack a human when it is injured or when protecting its young, but one can't blame these animals for exercising their survival instincts.

Human beings are the only mammal, indeed the only animal, that is capable of evil, i.e. deliberately choosing to harm or kill other humans for profit or personal gain.

Paul , Jul 19 2021 23:06 utc | 29

On this subject, I suggest barflies read the excellent post on the previous MoA Week in Review thread by:

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 19 2021 1:36 utc | 71

My reply @167 and Uncle T's further comment.

The book on this criminal conduct is called 'Murdoch's Pirates.' The detestable Amazon have it at 'unavailable' however it is available at Australian bookseller Booktopia.


Sushi , Jul 20 2021 0:24 utc | 30
How do you explain the suspiciously-timed, and simultaneous, Five Eyes denunciation of China for alleged hacking of Microsoft? Is it a way of deflecting too much wrath on Israel? Or, is b wrong and the China story serves as real distraction.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 19 2021 18:09 utc | 1

If the US navy were to purchase leaky boats would it not be absurd for it to then blame Russia or China for the influx of water?

If the US government, and US industry, purchase software full of holes is it not equally absurd for them to blame a foreign entity for any resulting leaks?

In answering these questions it is worthwhile to remember that US government entities support the insertion of backdoors in US commercial software. Such backdoors can be identified and exploited by 3rd parties.

Debsisdead , Jul 20 2021 1:37 utc | 33
If this somewhat limp-wristed takedown of NSO did not have the support of apartheid Israel's intelligence services, the graun would not be pushing the story.

It is that simple, the guardian is run by rabid zionists such as Jonathon Freedland deputy editor, who retains editorial control from the second seat rather than #1 simply because the zionist board wanted to stroke the fishwrap's woke credentials by having a female editor.
Foreign news and england news all have many zionist journos.
Now even the sports desk features stories by a bloke called Jacob Steinberg 'n sport is not generally an interest of jews.
Also if NSO a corporation born to advance particular media interests were in fact a tool of apartheid israel's intelligence establishment, it is unlikely that it would have tried to sue the graun back in 2019.

None of that precludes Mossad plants working at NSO, in fact the move against it would suggest that zionist intelligence has wrung the organisation dry.
This 'takedown' suggests to me that these services will continue, but not for everyone as before. ME governments will never again gain full access, no matter how friendly they may claim to be. All future contracts with whatever entity follows will only proceed if permitted by FukUSi.

div> Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 , Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Since the software is licensed by the number of phones it's installed on, NSO must have a means of determining the device ID/phone number of each phone (You wouldn't trust some shady third-world regime to be honest, would you?

Posted by: J2 | Jul 20 2021 1:44 utc | 34

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 20 2021 1:49 utc | 35
The Israeli connection just read an account on AC by Rod Dreher and so far, writers are downplaying the connection to Israel. If it was a Chinese or Russian company we would be blaming Putin.

We blame Putin for every criminal in Russia but I don't see anyone blaming Israel for a product they they authorized for export. Wow.

It does take two to tango, so I do understand talking about the clients who bought the product but if they have the export version of the spyware the it's obvious that Israel has the super-duper lethal version but that's okay. No biggie. But Iran having any weapons to defend their own country is a scandal.

Boss Tweet , Jul 20 2021 1:56 utc | 36
US taxpayers subsidize the Israeli military industry. The zionists then developed tools which they use against palestinians and their adversaries. The same technologies are later sold at a profit to various United states security agencies. A wonderful self licking ice cream cone of christian zionism, so much winning... Paying up the wazoo for our own eslavement. Last I checked, the chosen one's were never held accountable for their role prior to 911 operations.

Fox News Series on Israeli Spying on US Telecommunications:
https://cryptome.org/fox-il-spy.htm

Biswapriya Purkayast , Jul 20 2021 2:12 utc | 38
The Amerikastani Con-serve-ative manages to write a whole article about this without mentioning the name of the "country" that created and exported this software.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/pegasus-end-of-privacy/

This same Amerikastani Con-serve-ative pretends to champion free speech but doesn't permit the slightest criticism of this same "nation", the racist fascist apartheid zionist settler colony in Occupied Palestine. In fact the very mention of the word "zionist" will get your comment removed.

MrChristian , Jul 20 2021 3:11 utc | 39
I'm of the school of thought that Snowden is still an active CIA asset used to assist in discrediting government agencies, such as the NSA, to allow private corporations to take their place in data collection and dissemination. Alphabet, and it's AI/quantum computers should not be ignored in this particular scenario
Max , Jul 20 2021 3:15 utc | 40
@ Antibody (#28), good points, thanks.

Human beings with conscience are INNER directed. Those without strong conscience (Orcs) are OUTER directed and thereby easily captured, corrupted and controlled. Human beings with great conscience (soul/spirit), strong mind and healthy body are PARAGONS.

Orcs were once elves. They got programmed by the dark forces of Saruman & Sauron (Sin). Sauron's EYE is for intimidation. Seeing it sends fear into the hearts of people and sucks away their courage. "When did we let evil become stronger than us?" Communicate reality, truth and expose power freely!

There is still light to defeat the darkness. May your light light others 🕯🕯🕯

uncle tungsten , Jul 20 2021 3:32 utc | 41
karlof1 #3
Ultimately, this scoop provides much more leverage for Putin's ongoing insistence that an International Treaty dealing with all things Cyber including Cyber-crime be convened ASAP.

Israel and the UK will never sign such a protocol. The USA? only if it is worthless.

Mar man #4

The leak could be from a highly sophisticated state actor that needs to "blind" US and especially Israeli intelligence services temporarily.

That could very easily be China, Russia or even Iran. Some of their assets could be on the list.

pssst - UK

Sarcophilus , Jul 20 2021 5:28 utc | 45

"Snowden's opinion on this is kind of strange". Snowden's task, almost a decade ago now, was to facilitate the passage of CISPA. Greenwald was the PR guy. Remember Obama saying we need to have a conversation about privacy versus security? Well, Snowden and Greewald helped him to have the conversation on his terms. And the media giants will be forever grateful. Greenwald even got his own website. So no, nothing strange about what Snowden said. It was in his script. Was, is and always will be an asset.

Linus , Jul 20 2021 6:35 utc | 47
In a broader context:
"In a corporatist system of government, where there is no separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. The actual government as it actually exists is censoring the speech not just of its own people, but people around the world. If US law had placed as much emphasis on the separation of corporation and state as it had on the separation of church and state, the country would be unrecognizably different from what we see today."
"It's A Private Company So It's Not Censorship"
Stonebird , Jul 20 2021 8:05 utc | 48
Sanctions? Sanctions, did anybody mention sanctions for those carrying out Cyber attacks? (Particularly ones that target "Freedom of speech" and Journalists.)


.............Just waiting.

Joe B , Jul 20 2021 10:11 utc | 51

Apple is also zionist controlled, so not surprising that NSO had all internal details to hack their iPhones, via tribal leakers or approved connections. So is Amazon, so their cloud service for NSO continues under other cover.

Those in danger should not use Apple or Amazon-based or other zionist-controlled products or services. A catalog of those might help.

BM , Jul 20 2021 13:00 utc | 55
U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

I don't buy it. It doesn't sound plausible to me as presented.

One possibility is that it is a camouflaged operation to take down non-attributably spy software that has fallen into the wrong hands, and thereby contrary to US interests. For example, the new Myanmar government is sure to be using the software to observe the US-sponsored miscreants from the Aung San Su Kyi regime who are bombing schools, hospitals and government offices, and to seek out wanted criminals in hiding. The NSO take-down could be an operation to take those licences out of operation. In that scenario those NSO customers who are not anti-US might get support to continue operations as usual. As another example it could also be used as a warning to the Saudis not to get too close to the Russians and Chinese or ditch the US dollar, and not to accommodate to Iran.

Or maybe NSO just had the wrong political connections in the USA.

Whatever it may seem on the surface, that is what it surely is not.

div> I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania , Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

I certainly can't compete on tech savvy as I have none, but doesn't this perhaps line up with the summit decision between Putin and Biden to cooperate in terms of policing cybercrime? Maybe that's too obvious, but I don't see that Snowden is contradicting his own positions in that case. And of course, b, you are correct that the main culprit on these matters is the US. Throwing the spotlight elsewhere however, doesn't mean it can't circle around. Spotlights have a way of doing that.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 20 2021 14:54 utc | 56

Simplicius , Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
The interesting backdrop to all this is that Israel has a *huge* presence in all things associated with cybersecurity and have for years. The IDF's Talpiot plan no doubt enviously eyed the NSA tapping into everyone's internet/cellphone traffic and wanted a piece of the action. The financial intelligence alone would make it hugely valuable, not to mention blackmail opportunities and the means to exercise political control.

I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?

The discover of this "feature" precipitated a huge scandal not too many years back if you recall...

This "feature" gave anyone who could access it the ability to snoop or change the code running on the main CPU... anyone want to guess whether the Mossad knows how to get to it?

Mar man , Jul 20 2021 15:37 utc | 58
@Simplicius | Jul 20 2021 15:15 utc | 57
"I wonder if the Intel's Haifa design bureau was behind the infamous "management engine" installed on *every* Intel chip since 2008 (to, of course, "make administration easier")?"

I remember 30 years ago there was controversy over the NSA requiring hardware backdoors in all phones. At the time, it was called the "Clipper chip". Reportedly, the program failed and was never adopted. Apparently, as this article exposed, that is false and something like it is installed in all phones and possibly computers manufactured for sale in the western world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip

Supposedly, the real story behind Huawei sanctions and kidnapping of their executive, is Huawei phones have no NSA backdoor since the Chinese flatly refuse to cooperate with NSA.

vk , Jul 20 2021 15:40 utc | 59

Turns out the Microsoft hacking accusation against China wasn't a distraction against the NSO scandal, but a capitalist reaction against the CPC's growing containment of their own big tech capitalists:

The Crackdown in China Is a Hot Mess, and It's Coming for Us

For people who don't know: this Kara Swisher is clearly an USG asset (or behaves exactly like one). Every column she writes is an unashamed apology to all the USG policies on big tech and on all decisions of American big tech.


Max , Jul 20 2021 18:26 utc | 63
@ vk (#59), Your conclusion about Kara Swisher is good one. However, cast the net wider to understand the NETWORK that she represents and find additional media Orcs. Most likely she is an asset of the Global Financial Syndicate, acting as a gatekeeper/porter/lobbyist in the technology arena. Her mentor Walter Mossberg was an asset too? It is easy to identify Orcs!

Work Experience: WSJ, The Washington Post, New York Times, ... Who did she sell Recode to? Who are financiers of Vox Media?
Education: Georgetown, Columbia University (many assets come from here)

Piotr Berman , Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64
While the theory from m at #13 about it being a personal tiff between Biden and Netanyahu has some appeal I tend to believe it is more complex than that.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 20 2021 5:14 utc | 44

While Dems could accumulate some grudges against Netanyahu, they can be pretty thick skinned on that. On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.

Jackrabbit , Jul 20 2021 23:33 utc | 65
CIA 'takedown' of NSO? or an orchestrated 'crackdown' on press freedoms?

UK journalists could be jailed like spies under proposed Official Secrets Act changes

The Government said the reform was needed as the existing acts, with the last update in 1989, are no longer enough to fight the "discernible and very real threat posed by state threats".

The Home Office said it does "not consider that there is necessarily a distinction in severity between espionage and the most serious unauthorised disclosures, in the same way that there was in 1989".

[More at the link.]


If it was Russia or Iran that was selling such spyware, would FUKUS react with measures against the press or with sanctions and efforts to protect the press?

!!

BM , Jul 21 2021 7:14 utc | 66
On the other hand, if Netanyahu used his budget to dig the dirt against his opponents like Bennet, with NSO as the took, the grudge against NSO could be very strong on the side of the current government of Israel. Internal strife between Likudniks is intense. And the mantle of the ruler of Israel comes with perks, like the ability to plant stories in WP and NYT.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 20 2021 19:05 utc | 64

Ah, you've nailed it, Piotr!

m , Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67
@64 Piotr Berman
This goes much deeper than just personal animosity.

For several years now there had been some kind of cultural war waging in Israel with the populist leader - Netanyahu - on the one side and and most of the Israeli establishment - the Mossad, the generals and the High Court - against him. The generals eventually acted by founding their own party (with the former TV presenter Lapid at it`s head) and deposed Netanyahu.

This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged.

Bemildred , Jul 21 2021 10:19 utc | 68
Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

"This cultural war in Israel is not only very similar to the cultural war in the USA. The two countries are so intervened with one another that both conflicts have kind of merged."

Posted by: m | Jul 21 2021 9:41 utc | 67

Yes, not unrelated to the purge Biden seems to be planning here. Bibi made a big mistake getting so cozy with Trump. I would wager Trump is going to be in the crosshairs too. And that is likely to be divisive, in both places.

[Jul 21, 2021] Big Tech- -Our Terms Have Changed

Jul 21, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

BY TYLER DURDEN WEDNESDAY, JUL 21, 2021 - 11:09 AM

Authored (satirically) by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

I received another "Our Terms Have Changed" email from a Big Tech quasi-monopoly, and for a change I actually read this one. It was a revelation on multiple fronts. I'm reprinting it here for your reading pleasure:

We wanted to let you know that we recently updated our Conditions of Use.

What hasn't changed:

Your use constitutes your agreement to our Conditions of Use.

We own all the content you create on our platform, devices and networks, and are free to monetize it by any means we choose.

We own all the data we collect on you, your devices, purchases, social networks, views, associations, beliefs and illicit viewing, your location data, who you are in proximity to, and whatever data the networked devices in your home, vehicles and workplaces collect.

We have the unrestricted right to ban you and all your content, shadow-ban you and all your content, i.e., generate the illusion that your content is freely, publicly available, and erase your digital presence entirely such that you cease to exist except as a corporeal body.

What has changed:

If we detect you have positive views on anti-trust enforcement, we may report you as a "person of interest / potential domestic extremist" to the National Security Agency and other federal agencies.

Rather than respond to all disputes algorithmically, we have established a Star Chamber of our most biased, fanatical employees to adjudicate customer/user disputes in which the customer/user refuses to accept the algorithmic mediation.

If a customer/user attempts to contact any enforcement agency regarding our algorithmic mediation or Star Chamber adjudication, we reserve the unrestricted rights to:

a. Prepare voodoo dolls representing the user and stick pins into the doll while chanting curses.

b. Hack the targeted user's accounts and blame it on Russian or Ukrainian hackers.

c. Rendition the user to a corrupt kleptocracy in which we retain undue influence, i.e., the United States.

Left unsaid, of course, is the potential for "accidents" to happen to anyone publicly promoting anti-trust enforcement of Big Tech quasi-monopolies. Once totalitarianism has been privatized , there are no rules that can't be ignored or broken by those behind the curtain . So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening.

Editor's note: this is satire. If I disappear, then you'll know who has no sense of irony or humor.

* * *

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

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My recent books:

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[Jul 19, 2021] Leak Exposes Global Abuse Of Cyber-Spying Weapon To Target Politicians, Activists, Journalists

A smartphone is a spying device from which one also can make phone calls. After Prism is should be clear to anybody that goverments intercepts your email messages and record your phone calls just because they can.
"..reporters identified more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries. They included several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists and more than 600 politicians and government officials – including several heads of state and prime ministers." -- and all those idiots use plain vanilla Anroid or IOS. Nice. They probably have no money to buy a basic phone for $14 or so. That does not save from wiretapping but at least saves from such malware.
Jul 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Southfront reports that an Israeli company's spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations, published on July 18th.

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One of the organizations, The Washington Post, said the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO Group also was used to target phones belonging to two women close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist murdered at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018.

One of them was his fiancee, and she and the other woman were targeted both before and after his death.

The Guardian, another of the media outlets, said the investigation suggested "widespread and continuing abuse" of NSO's hacking software , described as malware that infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones.

The investigation highlights widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware called 'Pegasus' which the company confirms is only intended for use against terrorist groups, drug and human traffickers, and criminals.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

Based on the investigation, the leak contains a list of 50,000 phone numbers that have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

The list includes many close family members of one country's ruler, suggesting he might have instructed the country's intelligence agencies to explore the possibility of tracking and spying on their own relatives.


anti-bolshevik 8 hours ago (Edited)

Two articles from Motherboard Vice:

Is Israel EXEMPT from the ' rules-based order ' that Biden / Blinken / Yellen constantly affirm?

Any incoming Sanctions? Any Treasury asset-seziures?

NSO Group Impersonated Facebook to Help Clients Hack Targets May 20, 2020

Motherboard uncovered more evidence that NSO Group ran hacking infrastructure in the United States.

A former NSO employee provided Motherboard with the IP address of a server setup to infect phones with NSO's Pegasus hacking tool. Motherboard granted the source anonymity to protect them from retaliation from the company.

Amazon Shuts Down NSO Group Infrastructure July 19, 2021

The move comes as activist and media organizations publish new findings on the Israeli surveillance vendor.

Amazon has previously remained silent on NSO using its infrastructure . In May 2020 when Motherboard uncovered evidence that NSO had used Amazon infrastructure to deliver malware , Amazon did not respond to a request for comment asking if NSO had violated Amazon's terms of service.

Southern_Boy 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The licensor of software is not the user of the software. An Israeli company developed it and may have used it.

In weapons terms, an Israeli company was the arms developer.

However, there are the licensees and users of the software. The factions and individuals who actually used this weapon of war and political coercion.

In weapons terms, there are others, like the US and other country intelligence communities who will be the ones who pulled the trigger.

The "trigger pullers include the Bolshevik Democrat party and the Biden campaign, which used it to control citizens through intelligence gathering (remember Judge Roberts?) and extract political donations from corporations and rich individuals. Don't forget the Globalist GOP RINOs and Tech monopolists, who have used this weapon to control and subvert anyone that they need to subjugate.

Bye bye Apple, Xiomi and Google Android. You just lost your market of brainwashed sheep for new mobile phones. Even the unwashed Joe Six-Packs of this world now know they are being manipulated with the phones that are so expensive.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE 11 hours ago

I've spent many years studying Experimental Psychology & Personality Theory and can honestly state that malware can't determine appropriate behavioural signals intelligence enough to act responsibly, or judiciously.

Algos are dependent upon Behavioural Science & human analytics. They are crude tools that employ hit & miss techniques that hardly ever work accurately.

Israeli intelligence tries to look state of the art, but they are just as dimwitted as the CIA.

WorkingClassMan 10 hours ago

They might be dimwitted and hamfisted but like an elephant with a lobotomy they can still do a lot of damage flailing around. Worst part about it is them not caring about the consequences.

NAV 10 hours ago remove link

It's amazing how the "dimwits" control the entire apparatus of the most powerful Empire in the world and the entire world media.

2banana 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's not just some politicians and journalists.

It's everyone.

Your phone spys on you in every possible way.

Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras.

gregga777 12 hours ago (Edited)

It's been widely for at least a decade that carrying a smart phone is really like wiring oneself up for 24/7/365 audio and/or video surveillance. They only have themselves to blame if they've been spied upon by the world's so-called secret intelligence agencies.

[Ed. The next time in a crowded public space, turn on Wi-Fi and count the number of unlocked phones under the "Other Networks" menu.]

truth or go home 12 hours ago

If you have no phone, and no facebook, then you are likely immune from prosecution. My neighbor the Fed agent told me 10 years ago that these two sources are 90% of every investigation. That number has only gone up. They track you with it, they find out your contacts with it. They find out your secrets with it. Just try to get either of those things anonymously. You can't.

philipat 11 hours ago remove link

Land of the Free....

Ura Bonehead PREMIUM 7 hours ago

'truth or go home', 'having no Facebook' doesn't help you as FB secures the same information via data-sharing arrangements with any number of apps you may download, that came on your phone, or are embedded deep on your phone. Just a fact.

Steeley 4 hours ago

A friend that lives in Pahrump, NV reports that every time he crosses into California a smart phone Covid Health Tracking App activates and he starts getting notifications. Can't turn it off or find where it resides. When he crosses back into Nevada it stops.

E5 10 hours ago

"After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report,"

Really? So if 99 claims are true and one false? Never did they say there was truth to the accusation that they hacked phones.

If you are going to commit a crime I suppose you want to "issue a statement" that you didn't. I guess we have to ask them 2 more times: then it is a rule that you must tell all. No minion can resist the same question three times.

zzmop 9 hours ago (Edited)

Keyword -'Israeli', Not Russian, Israeli, Not 'Russian hackers', Israeli hackers

eatapeach 9 hours ago

This is old news. Congresswoman Jane Harman was all for spying/eavesdropping until she got busted selling her power to Israel, LOL.

consistentliving PREMIUM 7 hours ago

Not USA fake paper pushers but Mexican journalists deserve mention here

Revealed: murdered journalist's number selected by Mexican NSO client

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/revealed-murdered-journalist-number-selected-mexico-nso-client-cecilio-pineda-birto

not just journalists either (i know SLATE but hey) https://slate.com/technology/2019/09/mit-media-lab-jeffrey-epstein-joi-ito-moral-rot.html

vova_3.2018 10 hours ago

A smart phone is a spying device .....

Spying & .... Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" has been selling surveillance software Pegasus, enabling the murder of dissident journalist.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination
https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

Israel: Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LeOt4HCI-M

Israeli cybersecurity firm "NSO Group" Which Sold Pegasus Spyware, paid Biden's political advisers in SKDKnickerbocker consulting firm.
https://sputniknews.com/world/202107191083412056-biden-advisers-consulting-firm-got-paid-by-israeli-nso-group-which-sold-pegasus-spyware-report/

Israel doesn't respect human rights!. Israel has been killing defenseless people in Palestine for more than 50 years. The sad thing is that US support these genocidal sick sycophats.

wizteknet 10 hours ago

Where's a list of infected software?

vova_3.2018 9 hours ago (Edited)

Where's a list of infected software?

If they take yr phone under control they'd have access to everything & then they can use the info against you or anybody else in the info.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuBuyv6kUKI

Israeli spy-wear "Candiru" works a little bet different than Pegasus but is also used to hack & track journalists and activists.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWEJS0f6P6k

The magic number of "6 million" will be the Get out of Jail Card once again.

And, these idiots keep preaching about the great risk China poses...

Steeley 4 hours ago

Embedded in the OS...

Kugelhagel 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is that article an attempt to get some sympathy for "politicians", "journalists" and "activists"? Try again.

HippieHaulers 11 hours ago

Exactly. Don't forget Kashogi was CIA. And they're using another asset (Snowden) to roll this out. This story stinks.

WhiteCulture 7 hours ago (Edited)

I installed Nice Systems onto 600 desk tops in 2003 at 3 separate call centers, a call monitoring and a PC, mainframe CICS, or email, screen scrape capability. When the call audio was recorded we also captured whatever was on the screen. No doubt the government has been doing this on our phones and all personal computers for over a decade.

TheInformed 7 hours ago

Your example shows that people are dumb, it's not evidence of some grand 'government backdoor' conspiracy. Don't conflate the two.

two hoots 10 hours ago (Edited)

Forget the petty herd/individual surveillance, this is a "super power" tool for investment opportunities, negotiation advantage, strategic decisions, military/covert decisions, etc. you can be sure that the most improved (undisclosed) versions are in use in the usual suspect country. Likely spying on the spy's that bought the software from them. These are those steps beyond Nietzsche's amoral supra-man.

Globalist Overlord 12 hours ago

Whitney Webb was writing about this in 2018.

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination

https://www.mintpressnews.com/snowden-israeli-spyware-used-by-governments-to-pursue-journalists-targeted-for-assassination/251612/

tunetopper 12 hours ago

If Pegasus is used against Human Traffic-ers, then why didnt they get Jeffrey Epstein earlier?

Occams_Razor_Trader 11 hours ago

Why 'get' people when you can 'use' these people ........................?

RasinResin 11 hours ago

I use to be in IT and worked in association with Radcom. Now you may ask who is that? They are the Israeli company that is truly behind all monitoring and spying of your phones in America

https://radcom.com/

EVIL incarnate

CryptoingTheLightFantastic 11 hours ago

"Reuters' spokesman Dave Moran said, "Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are. We are aware of the report and are looking into the matter."

I love the sanctimonious clutching of pearls, wringing of hands, and bleating from the purveyors of CCP propaganda, woketardness, and globalism whenever the velvet hand that feeds them punishes them with a throat punch instead.

donebydoug 11 hours ago

Journalists can't be spies, right? That would never happen.

Watt Supremacist 12 hours ago

Yes but do the people working for Reuters know all that?

nowhereman 11 hours ago

Just look at the signature on your paycheck.

Grumbleduke 11 hours ago

they're in the news business - of course they don't!

You know the adage "when your livelihood depends on not knowing" or something....

Enraged 10 hours ago

Listening in on calls is a distraction story by the propaganda media.

The real story is the blackmailing of politicians, judges, corporate executives, etc. for many years by the intelligence agencies with tapes of them with underage girls and boys. This was included in the Maxwell/Esptein story.

These people are compromised, which is the reason for the strange decisions they make, as they support the globalist elite.

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

Max21c 10 hours ago (Edited)

There is no reason to spy on journalists, as they are part of the intelligence agency operations.

True the press are either spies or puppets and vassals of Big Brother and the secret police. They're all mostly agents of the Ministry of Truth. But sometimes they get the weather report right.

Wayoutwilly 12 hours ago remove link

Bet they have sh!t on Roberts, Kavanaugh and Barrett too.

Brushy 11 hours ago

Wait a minute, you mean the tracking spy device that you carry around and put all of your personal information on is actually tracking and spying on you?!!

Dis-obey 10 hours ago remove link

They have data on everyone but not enough eyes to look at everyone all the time. So when you get flagged then they can open all the data on your device to investigate u.

ay_arrow
Yog Soggoth 10 hours ago

Khashoggi was not a journalist. While interesting, this is not the story of the year.

Lawn.Dart 10 hours ago

Almost every intellegence agent is a writer of some kind.

Max21c 10 hours ago

NOS is just one company out of many. They have the willing complicity of the security services of other countries including the CIA, FBI, NSA, DOJ, in the USA and similar per UK. Secret police use these special contractors to help them engage in crimes and criminal activities and it does not matter whether the secret police use a foreign or domestic secret police agency or contractor as they're all in on it together. It's just a criminal underworld of secret police, secret police bureaus & agencies, and "intelligence" agencies. They're all crooked. They're all crooks and criminals and thieves that rob and persecute innocent civilians just like the Bolsheviks, Nazis, Gestapo, Waffen SS, Viet Kong, Khmer Rouge, Red Guards, ISIS, Stasi, KGB, etc. It's all the same or similar secret police, police state tactics, state security apparatus abuses of power, absolute power & its abuses, and spy agencies and intelligence agencies... and those that go along with it and collaborate. It's all just criminal enterprises and crime agencies.

The 3rd Dimentia 9 hours ago

one other tentacle- https://archive.4plebs.org/dl/pol/image/1590/02/1590026057592.jpg

Dis-obey 10 hours ago

So you can solve the 10,000 open murder investigations in Chicago with this. That's how its being used right...

Bostwick9 10 hours ago

"We are deeply troubled to learn that two AP journalists, along with journalists from many news organizations, are among those who may have been targeted by Pegasus spyware," said Director of AP Media Relations Lauren Easton.

OMG . Not journalists !!!!!!!!!!

Guess NSO is a "buy", then.

NAV 11 hours ago remove link

To believe that the Israelis will not use the information that they have is absurd.

Here's one example:

The American Anti-Defamation League under Abe Foxman long made it a practice for decades to tail all Congressmen – liberal or conservative -- as was brought out in allegations in the San Francisco trial of its head operative Roy Bullock on charges of buying blackmail information from members of the San Francisco Police Department as reported by the San Francisco Examiner. Bullock had collected information and provided it to the ADL as a secretly-paid independent contractor for more than 32 years.

Can it be that there's a connection between data of this kind and the unbelievable unification of almost every congressman behind every Israeli position?

Of course, the San Francisco Examiner no longer is in existence. But Israeli trolls continue to gather like wasps upon meat to destroy any information that might reveal their nefarious purposes.

Norseman_Aura 10 hours ago

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fbi-files-reveal-adls-long-history-spying-on-peace-pro-palestinian-and-arab-diplomat-groups-207706361.html

In 1993 the FBI interviewed 40-year undercover ADL operative Roy Bullock , who had improperly obtained social security numbers and drivers licenses from San Francisco Police Department officer Tom Gerard. Gerard and Bullock infiltrated and obtained information on California Pro-Palestinian and anti-Apartheid groups as paid agents of both the ADL and South African intelligence services. The ADL paid tens of thousands in damages over the incident and promised not to collect confidential information in the future.

SARC '

novictim 8 hours ago

What do you want to bet that Orange Hitler and associates along with MAGA Republicans, their attorneys, friendly patriot reporters, etc, have had their phones widely hacked going all the way back to 2016?

Because when you are a "progressive" in power, anyone who wants to unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Sarrazin 8 hours ago

unseat you is a terrorist threat and you can do just about anything you want to them because you are saving the world.

Funny, it's the same formula US foreign policy applies to all it's victims nations around the world. Fighting terrorists in the name of saving the world.

LEEPERMAX 9 hours ago (Edited)

💥BOOM !!!

In 2020 alone, Facebook and Amazon spent more money on lobbyists than did Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing -- major players in the defense-industrial complex !!!

Let that sink in.

OldNewB 11 hours ago

"Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are."

This hasn't happened in ages. What the large majority of MSM operatives (so called "journalists" ) convey to the public is propaganda and agenda driven misinformation and disinformation.

SummerSausage PREMIUM 12 hours ago

Obama spying on Trump and Fox reporters - meh.

Same Obama intelligence services spying on WaPo & leftist reporters - FASCIST

Mute Button 11 hours ago

We're supposed to be outraged even though Trump & co. know they're being "spied" on.

Its just a game of the uniparty.

Ivy Mike 8 hours ago

Yawn. Smart phones have swiss cheese security. Who knew.

If you have a secret that you really don't want people to know, don't put in on a device that ever touches the internet. Don't talk about important stuff on a phone call. Any mob boss from the 70's could tell you that.

MeLurkLongtime 5 hours ago

I would add if you have Alexa, don't converse on any sensitive topics in front of her, either.

_0000_ 9 hours ago remove link

" Pegasus is a very advanced malware that infects iOS and Android devices to allow operators of the spyware to copy messages, photos, calls and other data, including secretly activate microphones and cameras."

This is a non-story. Lots of smoke, lots of brew-ha-ha.

Why is THIS a jaw dropping story now when the NSA/CIA have been doing this to ALL iOS and Android devices years ago? RE: CALEA , signed into law in 1996 by Bill Clinton.

Just more misdirection... meant to distract from something else. What?

Rectify77 PREMIUM 10 hours ago

Isn't it odd that Iran, Russia and China are not on the map? Who are the Israelis playing?

NAV 10 hours ago

Isn't is amazing that Russia is giving asylum to Edward Snowden who will be arrested and inflicted with only God knows what if captured by the USA?

Market Pulse 13 hours ago

And we are surprised, why??? Everyone's phones are spied upon with all the data collected. All part and parcel of the NWO and the "Information Age". How else are they going to get all that information to control everything. And just think, once upon a time, there were no cell phones and the people were fine. They also were happier and much more free. Hint - ditch the phone!

dog breath 4 hours ago

Hello? This stuff has been going on for two decades. Bill Binney, former NSA, been talking about this since after 911. Five eyes is a way over going around internal rules. Every country does this. Russia, China, EU, USA, Australia, etc. are all spying on their own citizens. This world is turning into a corrupt crap pile and I'm waiting for the Lord to come.

[Jul 08, 2021] Tucker Carlson Responds To Unmasking In Blistering Monologue, Discusses With Glenn Greenwald

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (2130ET): Tucker Carlson responded to today's 'unmasking' - namely an Axios report which accuses him of trying to set up an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I'm an American citizen, I can interview whoever I want - and plan to," said the Fox News host.

Presented without further comment, along with Carlson's sit-down with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden revelations about domestic spying and other illicit activities conducted by the US government.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1412936005305475077

Last week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a bombshell broadcast that an NSA whistleblower had approached him with evidence that the National Security Agency has been spying on his communications , with the intent to leak his emails to the press and 'take this show off the air.'

Today, Carlson told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that the emails have in fact been leaked to journalists - at least one of whom has contacted him for what we presume is an upcoming article on their contents.

"I was in Washington for a funeral last week and ran into someone I know well, who said ' I have a message for you ,' and then proceeded to repeat back to me details from emails and texts that I sent, and had told no one else about. So it was verified. And the person said 'the NSA has this,' and that was proven by the person reading back the contents of the email, 'and they're going to use it against you.'

To be blunt with you, it was something I would have never said in public if it was wrong, or illegal, or immoral. They don't actually have anything on me, but they do have my emails. So I knew they were spying on me, and again, to be totally blunt with you - as a defensive move, I thought 'I better say this out loud.'"

"Then, yesterday, I learned that - and this is going to come out soon - that the NSA leaked the contents of my email to journalists in an effort to discredit me. I know, because I got a call from one of them who said 'this is what your email was about.'

So, it is not in any way a figment of my imagination. It's confirmed. It's true. They aren't allowed to spy on American citizens - they are. I think more ominously, they're using the information they gather to put leverage and to threaten opposition journalists, people who criticize the Biden administration. It's happening to me right now..."

" This is the stuff of banana republics and third-world countries ," replied Bartiromo.

[Jun 26, 2021] How An Obscure App Turned Millions Into Unwitting Spies For The US Military

Jun 25, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

There's a growing cottage industry at the nexus of consumer research and government surveillance.

In a report published Friday, the Wall Street Journal explored the world of Premise Data Corp., an innocently-named firm that uses a network of users, many in the developing world, who complete basic tasks for small commissions. Assignments can range from snapping photos of competitors' stores, to counting the number of ATMs in a given area, to reporting on the price of consumer goods on the shelf.

Roughly half of the firm's clients are private businesses seeking "commercial information" (mostly reporting on competitors' operations), both the US government and foreign governments have hired the firm to do more advanced reconnaissance work while gauging public opinion.

According to WSJ , Premise is one of a growing number of companies that are straddling "the divide between consumer services and government surveillance and rely on the proliferation of mobile phones as a way to turn billions of devices into sensors that gather open-source information useful to government security services."

Premise's CEO even hinted that the company had been tapped by foreign governments to help with setting policy about how to deal with "vaccine hesitancy".

"Data gained from our contributors helped inform government policy makers on how to best deal with vaccine hesitancy, susceptibility to foreign interference and misinformation in elections, as well as the location and nature of gang activity in Honduras," Premise Chief Executive Officer Maury Blackman said. The company declined to name its clients, citing confidentiality.

Premise launched in 2013 as a tool meant to gather data for use in international development work by governments and non-governmental organizations. In recent years, it has also forged ties to the American national-security establishment and highlighted its capability to serve as a surveillance tool, according to documents and interviews with former employees. As of 2019, the company's marketing materials said it has 600K contributors operating in 43 countries, including global hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.

Federal records show Premise has received at least $5MM in payouts from the government since 2017 on military projects -- including from contracts with the Air Force and the Army and as a subcontractor to other defense entities. The company's key utility was, again, gathering information: It would use civilian users in Afghanistan and elsewhere to map out "key social structures such as mosques, banks and internet cafes; and covertly monitoring cell-tower and Wi-Fi signals in a 100-square kilometer area."

In a presentation prepared last year for the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Aghanistan, Premise shared some details about its global operation which showed that it's mostly active outside the US.

It also showed how its "users" stationed around Kabul helped it collect data that are valuable to the US and Afghan military.

As the WSJ explained, data from Wi-Fi networks, cell towers and mobile devices could be valuable to the military for "situational awareness, target tracking and other intelligence purposes."

There is also tracking potential in having a distributed network of phones acting as sensors, and knowing the signal strength of nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points can be useful when trying to jam communications during military operations.

Users of Premise's data-collection app typically aren't told for whom they are truly working. This is all laid out in its privacy policy, of course. The app currently assigns about five "tasks" per day to its active users in Afghanistan.

When WSJ caught up with Afghani users of the app, they were told that the users were typically paid about 25 cents per task (about 20 Afghani). And that lately, some of the tasks had struck him as "potentially concerning." Premises claims that none of its users have ever been harmed while completing tasks.

In this way, many of the app's users are effectively being used as unwitting spies for the military.

But it's just one more thing to look out for. Next time you're traveling abroad and you see somebody taking a photo of a mosque or a bank, just remember, it might be part of an officially sanctioned intelligence operation.

[Jun 20, 2021] NSA Agrees To Release Records On FBI's Improper Spying On 16,000 Americans - ZeroHedge

Jun 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

NSA Agrees To Release Records On FBI's Improper Spying On 16,000 Americans BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, JUN 19, 2021 - 03:30 PM

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times,

The National Security Agency ( NSA ) has agreed to release records on the FBI 's improper spying on thousands of Americans , the secretive agency disclosed in a recent letter.

me title=

Close Flows Into China Will Remain Very Robust, Says ANZ's Goh

me scrolling=

The agreement may signal a rift between the NSA and the FBI, according to attorney Ty Clevenger.

Clevenger last year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of The Transparency Project, a Texas nonprofit, seeking information on the FBI's improper searches of intelligence databases for information on 16,000 Americans.

The searches violated rules governing how to use the U.S. government's foreign intelligence information trove, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, an Obama nominee who currently presides over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, wrote in a 2019 memorandum and order that was declassified last year.

The FBI insisted that the queries for all 16,000 people "were reasonably likely to return foreign-intelligence information or evidence of a crime because [redacted]," Boasberg wrote. But the judge found that position "unsupportable," apart from searches on just seven of the people.

Still, Boasberg allowed the data collection to continue, prompting Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, to lament that court's decision on the data collection program, authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), "is even more inexplicable given that the opinion was issued shortly after the government reported submitting FISA applications riddled with errors and omissions in the Carter Page investigation."

Page was a campaign associate of then-candidate Donald Trump who was illegally surveilled by the FBI .

After the judge's order was made public, Clevenger filed FOIA requests for information on the improper searches with both the FBI and the NSA.

The FBI rejected the request .

In a February letter ( pdf ), an official told Clevenger that the letter he wrote "does not contain enough descriptive information to permit a search of our records."

The NSA initially declined the request as well, but later granted an appeal of the decision , Linda Kiyosaki, an NSA official, said in a letter ( pdf ) this month.

"You had requested all documents, records, and other tangible evidence reflecting the improper surveillance of 16,000 individuals described in a 6 December, 2019, FISC Opinion," Kiyosaki wrote.

Clevenger believes the NSA's new position signals a rift between the two agencies, potentially because the FBI has repeatedly abused rules governing searches of the intelligence databases while the NSA has largely not.

"There's been a battle between them, for example, Mike Rogers tried to shut off FBI access to the NSA database back in 2016," Clevenger told The Epoch Times, referring to how Adm. Mike Rogers, the former NSA director, cut out FBI agents from using the databases in 2016 .

"And so there's been some history of the NSA trying to limit the FBI's access because they know that the FBI is misusing the data intercepts," he added.

The NSA and FBI did not respond to requests for comment.

[Jun 12, 2021] Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched

Highly recommended!
Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable) , RHEL 8 , Fedora 21+ , and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected.
Jun 12, 2021 | www.theregister.com

A seven-year-old privilege escalation vulnerability that's been lurking in several Linux distributions was patched last week in a coordinated disclosure.

In a blog post on Thursday, GitHub security researcher Kevin Backhouse recounted how he found the bug ( CVE-2021-3560 ) in a service called polkit associated with systemd, a common Linux system and service manager component.

Introduced in commit bfa5036 seven years ago and initially shipped in polkit version 0.113, the bug traveled different paths in different Linux distributions. For example, it missed Debian 10 but it made it to the unstable version of Debian , upon which other distros like Ubuntu are based.

Formerly known as PolicyKit, polkit is a service that evaluates whether specific Linux activities require higher privileges than those currently available. It comes into play if, for example, you try to create a new user account.

me title=

Backhouse says the flaw is surprisingly easy to exploit, requiring only a few commands using standard terminal tools like bash, kill, and dbus-send.

"The vulnerability is triggered by starting a dbus-send command but killing it while polkit is still in the middle of processing the request," explained Backhouse.

Killing dbus-send – an interprocess communication command – in the midst of an authentication request causes an error that arises from polkit asking for the UID of a connection that no longer exists (because the connection was killed).

"In fact, polkit mishandles the error in a particularly unfortunate way: rather than rejecting the request, it treats the request as though it came from a process with UID 0," explains Backhouse. "In other words, it immediately authorizes the request because it thinks the request has come from a root process."

This doesn't happen all the time, because polkit's UID query to the dbus-daemon occurs multiple times over different code paths. Usually, those code paths handle the error correctly, said Backhouse, but one code path is vulnerable – and if the disconnection happens when that code path is active, that's when the privilege elevation occurs. It's all a matter of timing, which varies in unpredictable ways because multiple processes are involved.

The intermittent nature of the bug, Backhouse speculates, is why it remained undetected for seven years.

Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable) , RHEL 8 , Fedora 21+ , and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected.

"CVE-2021-3560 enables an unprivileged local attacker to gain root privileges," said Backhouse. "It's very simple and quick to exploit, so it's important that you update your Linux installations as soon as possible." ®

[Jun 12, 2021] Seven years old bug in Polkit gives unprivileged users root access

Highly recommended!
The polkit service is used by systemd. Linux systems that have polkit version 0.113 or later installed – like Debian (unstable), RHEL 8, Fedora 21+, and Ubuntu 20.04 – are affected. "CVE-2021-3560 enables an unprivileged local attacker to gain root privileges," said Backhouse. "It's very simple and quick to exploit, so it's important that you update your Linux installations as soon as possible."
See Red Hat Advisory ...
Jun 12, 2021 | londonnewstime.com

Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users

Security researchers have discovered some 7-year-old vulnerabilities Linux distribution

Can be used by unprivileged local users to bypass authentication and gain root access.

The bug patched last week exists in Polkit System Service, a toolkit used to assess whether a particular Linux activity requires higher privileges than currently available. Polkit is installed by default on some Linux distributions, allowing unprivileged processes to communicate with privileged processes.

Linux distributions that use systemd also use Polkit because the Polkit service is associated with systemd.

This vulnerability has been tracked as CVE-2021-3560 and has a CVSS score of 7.8. It was discovered by Kevin Backhouse, a security researcher on GitHub. He states that this issue occurred in 2013 with code commit bfa5036.

Initially shipped with Polkit version 0.113, it has moved to various Linux distributions over the last seven years.

"If the requesting process disconnects from dbus-daemon just before the call to polkit_system_bus_name_get_creds_sync begins, the process will not be able to get the unique uid and pid of the process and will not be able to verify the privileges of the requesting process." And Red Hat Advisory ..

"The biggest threats from this vulnerability are data confidentiality and integrity, and system availability."

so Blog post According to Backhouse, exploiting this vulnerability is very easy and requires few commands using standard terminal tools such as bash, kill and dbus-send.

This flaw affects Polkit versions between 0.113 and 0.118. Red Hat's Cedric Buissart said it will also affect Debian-based distributions based on Polkit 0.105.

Among the popular Linux distributions affected are Debian "Bullseye", Fedora 21 (or later), Ubuntu 20.04, RHEL 8.

Polkit v.0.119, released on 3rd rd We will address this issue in June. We recommend that you update your Linux installation as soon as possible to prevent threat attackers from exploiting the bug.

CVE-2021-3560 is the latest in a series of years ago vulnerabilities affecting Linux distributions.

In 2017, Positive Technologies researcher Alexander Popov discovered a flaw in the Linux kernel introduced in the code in 2009. Tracked as CVE-2017-2636, this flaw was finally patched in 2017.

Another old Linux security flaw indexed as CVE-2016-5195 was introduced in 2007 and patched in 2016. This bug, also known as the "dirty COW" zero-day, was used in many attacks before the patch was applied.

Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users

Source link Ancient Linux bugs provide root access to unprivileged users


[Jun 12, 2021] The FBI Secretly Ran the Anom Messaging Platform, Yielding Hundreds of Arrests in Global Sting - WSJ

Any encrypted communication platform can serve as a honeypot for intelligence agencies.
Jun 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Hundreds of suspected members of criminal networks have been arrested by authorities around the world after being duped into using an encrypted communications platform secretly run by the FBI to hatch their plans for alleged crimes including drug smuggling and money laundering.

In the global sting operation dubbed "Operation Trojan Shield," an international coalition of law-enforcement agencies led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation covertly monitored the encrypted communications service Anom, which purported to offer a feature cherished in the criminal underworld: total secrecy.

The sting was revealed this week in a series of news conferences by authorities in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Alleged members of international criminal organizations adopted the platform as a means to communicate securely, unaware that authorities were covertly monitoring 27 million messages from more than 12,000 users across more than 100 countries, officials said.

The takedown involved more than 9,000 law-enforcement offices around the world that had searched 700 locations in the previous 48 hours alone, U.S. and European officials said early Tuesday. Police forces had in recent days carried out more than 800 arrests in 16 countries and seized more than 8 tons of cocaine, 22 tons of cannabis and 2 tons of synthetic drugs, as well as 250 firearms, 55 luxury vehicles and over $48 million in various currencies. More than 150 threats to human life were also disrupted, officials said.

In the U.S., the FBI charged 17 foreign nationals operating in places including Australia, the Netherlands and Spain with distributing encrypted Anom communications devices, saying they violated federal racketeering laws typically used to target organized-crime groups, officials said. Eight of those individuals are in custody and nine remain at large, they said.

The global effort put any other companies offering such services on notice that law-enforcement agencies world-wide consider developing and selling technology aimed at defeating their ability to monitor and intercept communications to be unlawful""the latest salvo in a debate unfolding globally about how to balance security and privacy on technology platforms.

Authorities, who see encrypted platforms like Anom as providing a haven for illicit activity beyond the reach of government monitoring, signaled that intelligence agencies and law enforcement would aggressively seek to infiltrate platforms designed in such a way that they can be used by terrorists and criminal gangs to evade detection.

"The immense and unprecedented success of Operation Trojan Shield should be a warning to international criminal organizations""your criminal communications may not be secure; and you can count on law enforcement world-wide working together to combat dangerous crime that crosses international borders," said Suzanne Turner, the special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego field office.

... ... ...

Trojan Shield grew from when the FBI developed a confidential human source involved in the development of Anom and used that access to make, market and distribute the devices around the world, according to an affidavit unsealed in U.S. federal court this week. The source, who had been involved in selling other secure devices to criminal networks before trying to develop Anom, agreed to cooperate with the bureau in order to reduce his or her own criminal exposure and lessen a potential sentence, court documents say.

With the source's cooperation, the FBI and its law-enforcement partners secretly built into Anom the ability to covertly intercept and decrypt messages. The FBI relied on the source's relationships with criminal gangs in Australia to help distribute the first batch of devices, with word of the service spreading organically after that, documents say.

Europol said Anom was used by more than 300 criminal groups in more than 100 countries, including Italian organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs and international drug-trafficking organizations. In court filings, the bureau detailed extensive conversations about narcotics trafficking, cryptocurrency transactions, cash smuggling, corruption and other illicit activity flowing through Anom's systems.

[Jun 12, 2021] Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone. Is this to track employee every movement?

Jun 06, 2021 | mobile.slashdot.org

Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone (cbsnews.com) 37 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:39PM from the company-lines dept. "Walmart will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year ," reports CBS News, "so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced Thursday." The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499... Up until now, associates at Walmart stores used handheld devices they shared to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart said...

The company promised that it would not have access to any employee's personal data and can "use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they're used to." The test will be expanded by the end of the year, Walmart said.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced pay increases for nearly a third of its U.S. workforce of 1.6 million. In February, digital and store workers saw their starting hourly rates increase from $13 to $19 depending on their location and market. Hmmm ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:48PM ( #61460698 ) Probably will be used to clock them in and out when they enter and exit the premises, and track their movements to ensure they are working and not lollygagging. Maybe even track bio info to adjust health insurance prices.

If you think this is just a free gift done out of generosity, you're quite naive. Reply to This Share No thank you ( Score: 3 ) by RitchCraft ( 6454710 ) on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:11PM ( #61460772 ) It would be wise for Walmart employees to put that phone in a locker on premises before leaving. Having your corporate overlord knowing everything you do outside of work is creepy ... peeping Tom creepy. Wal-mart states they won't collect your data but we'll be reading a news story within two years finding out they did just that. "We're sorry for data that was collected. It was a configuration oversight on our part. We promise to do better moving forward." yadda, yadda, yadda. Reply to This Share Not surprised... ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Pollux ( 102520 ) < speter@@@tedata...net...eg > on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:36PM ( #61460814 ) Journal

I was talking last week with someone who works customer service at a nearby Walmart. She told me that people are either leaving or moving up the chain, and it's hard to keep new employees retained. She had one who was in for three days, then just went AWOL and was never heard from again.

I asked her what starting salary was. (The Walmart's in out-state MN.) She said $11.50.

I guess Walmart can't help but behave this way. What they should be doing is raising salaries. Instead, they choose to offer a "perk" of a "free" phone w/ a "free" phone plan. I say "free", because no doubt the phone will be a data goldmine for corporate. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Track employee movements within the store;
2) Determine quantity and length of employee breaks;
3) Track employee movements outside the store;
4) Track employee searches;
5) Track employee social media posts;
6) Monitor employee spending behaviors;
7) Mine employee messages;

And so on, and so forth...And any one of these data mining operations can be used to punish employee misbehavior, hustle Walmart services (Moneygram springs to mind), not to mention sell to interested 3rd parties. (With Walmart commanding the largest fleet of employees in the United States, imagine how many other companies would be willing to pay for generalized data on employee behavior. Better yet, image how much someone would be willing to pay to advertise directly to 1.6 million people.)

[Jun 12, 2021] Google Should Be Treated as Utility, Ohio Argues in New Lawsuit

Jun 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Google's critics have said for years that it should be treated like a public utility. On Tuesday, Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that the search company is one.

The case adds to the legal woes confronting the Alphabet Inc. GOOG 0.68% subsidiary, which also faces antitrust lawsuits from the Justice Department and a separate consortium of states led by Colorado and Texas. The company is contending with cases in countries around the world where its dominance as a search provider has sparked a push by regulators to corral its power.

Amid the array of court challenges, Ohio said that it is the first state in the country to bring a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Google is a common carrier subject under state law to government regulation. The lawsuit, which doesn't seek monetary damages, says that Google has a duty to provide the same rights for advertisements and product placement for competitors as it provides for its own services.

"When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican.

A Google spokesman said that the remedies sought in the Ohio lawsuit would worsen the company's search results and impair businesses' ability to connect directly with customers. "Ohioans simply don't want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company," a spokesman said. "This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we'll defend ourselves against it in court."

[Jun 12, 2021] FBI and Australian Police Ran an Encrypted Chat Platform To Catch Criminal Gangs

You do not need backdoors, when you have insiders :-)
Jun 08, 2021 | it.slashdot.org

The FBI and Australian Federal Police ran an encrypted chat platform and intercepted secret messages between criminal gang members from all over the world for more than three years. From a report: Named Operation Ironside (AFP) / Trojan Shield (FBI, Interpol) on Monday, law enforcement agencies from Australia, Europe, and the US conducted house searches and arrested thousands of suspects across a wide spectrum of criminal groups, from biker gangs in Australia to drug cartels across Asia and South America, and weapons and human traffickers in Europe.

In a press conference on Monday, Australian police said the sting operation got underway in 2018 after the FBI successfully seized encrypted chat platform Phantom Secure. Knowing that the criminal underworld would move to a new platform, US and Australian officials decided to run their own service on top of Anom (also stylized as AN0M), an encrypted chat platform that the FBI had secretly gained access to through an insider. Just like Phantom Secure, the new service consisted of secure smartphones that were configured to run only the An0m app and nothing else.


Re:STFU!
( Score: 3 )
by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @04:56PM ( #61467056 )

Maybe the criminals already figured it out?

According to a commenter at SANS "Part of the decision to stop monitoring and making arrests was a blog posting (since deleted) detailing the behavior of the ANoM app, this March, which didn't correctly attribute the backdoor to the FBI."

https://www.sans.org/newslette... [sans.org]

So maybe the criminals were indeed starting to figure it out, albeit slowly.

Re:STFU! ( Score: 5 , Insightful) by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:03PM ( #61466708 ) Homepage Journal

Well, now the criminals can't trust any encryption. That means that it can slow them down quite a bit for a while.

Meanwhile most of the ransom for the pipeline ransomware is also recovered, which likely means that it's possible to track Bitcoin.

Governments may be slow, but they can be relentless in pursuing their targets if they really want. Re:STFU! ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:40PM ( #61466816 )

Anyone can track Bitcoin transactions from wallet to wallet. The paydirt is that the LEOs know which wallets to watch and can follow the trail.

Tainted Bitcoins are a big thing, and even tumbled coins just mean more tainted coins that currency exchanges will not accept. You might be able to find an individual to trade, and maybe an escrow service so you can do a multisig transaction so the other party doesn't rob you blind when trading to something like XMR to the ill-gotten gains.

However, all it takes is one bit of info to tie the wallet to a person, and the blockchain will do the conviction for the prosecutor from there. Reply to This Parent Share They've just proven they don't need backdoors to e ( Score: 1 ) by layabout ( 1576461 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @03:07PM ( #61466718 ) This is the kind of law enforcement technique that should be used when faced with end-to-end encryption. It proves that there is no need for backdoor and how even "unbreakable" encryption systems can be compromised Closed source proprietary encryption system ... ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2021 @04:42PM ( #61467002 ) Journal

It was a closed-source black-box proprietary encryption system.

As we've pointed out time and again: You can't trust it if you can't check it. Your security is totally at the mercy of the system's authors and operators.

But crooks are apparently no smarter than Pointy Haired Bosses. (Thank goodness.)

[Jun 07, 2021] Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone. Is this to track employee every movement?

Jun 06, 2021 | mobile.slashdot.org
Walmart Will Give 740,000 Employees a Free Smartphone (cbsnews.com) 37 Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:39PM from the company-lines dept. "Walmart will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year ," reports CBS News, "so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced Thursday." The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499... Up until now, associates at Walmart stores used handheld devices they shared to communicate, but an initial test with employee smartphones was received well and will now be expanded upon, Walmart said...

The company promised that it would not have access to any employee's personal data and can "use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they're used to." The test will be expanded by the end of the year, Walmart said.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced pay increases for nearly a third of its U.S. workforce of 1.6 million. In February, digital and store workers saw their starting hourly rates increase from $13 to $19 depending on their location and market. Hmmm ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, 2021 @06:48PM ( #61460698 ) Probably will be used to clock them in and out when they enter and exit the premises, and track their movements to ensure they are working and not lollygagging. Maybe even track bio info to adjust health insurance prices.

If you think this is just a free gift done out of generosity, you're quite naive. Reply to This Share No thank you ( Score: 3 ) by RitchCraft ( 6454710 ) on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:11PM ( #61460772 ) It would be wise for Walmart employees to put that phone in a locker on premises before leaving. Having your corporate overlord knowing everything you do outside of work is creepy ... peeping Tom creepy. Wal-mart states they won't collect your data but we'll be reading a news story within two years finding out they did just that. "We're sorry for data that was collected. It was a configuration oversight on our part. We promise to do better moving forward." yadda, yadda, yadda. Reply to This Share Not surprised... ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Pollux ( 102520 ) < speter@@@tedata...net...eg > on Sunday June 06, 2021 @07:36PM ( #61460814 ) Journal

I was talking last week with someone who works customer service at a nearby Walmart. She told me that people are either leaving or moving up the chain, and it's hard to keep new employees retained. She had one who was in for three days, then just went AWOL and was never heard from again.

I asked her what starting salary was. (The Walmart's in out-state MN.) She said $11.50.

I guess Walmart can't help but behave this way. What they should be doing is raising salaries. Instead, they choose to offer a "perk" of a "free" phone w/ a "free" phone plan. I say "free", because no doubt the phone will be a data goldmine for corporate. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Track employee movements within the store;
2) Determine quantity and length of employee breaks;
3) Track employee movements outside the store;
4) Track employee searches;
5) Track employee social media posts;
6) Monitor employee spending behaviors;
7) Mine employee messages;

And so on, and so forth...And any one of these data mining operations can be used to punish employee misbehavior, hustle Walmart services (Moneygram springs to mind), not to mention sell to interested 3rd parties. (With Walmart commanding the largest fleet of employees in the United States, imagine how many other companies would be willing to pay for generalized data on employee behavior. Better yet, image how much someone would be willing to pay to advertise directly to 1.6 million people.)

[Jun 01, 2021] NSA Spied on European Politicians Through Danish Telecommunications Hub - Slashdot

May 31, 2021 | yro.slashdot.org

Denmark's foreign secret service allowed the US National Security Agency to tap into a crucial internet and telecommunications hub in Denmark and spy on the communications of European politicians , a joint investigation by some of Europe's biggest news agencies revealed on Sunday. From a report: The covert spying operation, called Operation Dunhammer, took place between 2012 and 2014, based on a secret partnership signed by the two agencies. The secret pact, signed between the NSA and the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (Danish: Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, FE) allowed US spies to deploy a data interception system named XKeyscore on the network of Sandagergardan, an important internet and communications hub in the city of Dragor, near Copenhagen, where several key submarine cables connected Denmark (and continental Europe) to the Scandinavian peninsula.

The NSA allegedly used XKeyscore to mass-sniff internet and mobile traffic and intercept communications such as emails, phone calls, SMS texts, and chat messages sent to the phone numbers and email addresses of European politicians. The covert operation abruptly stopped in 2014 after Danish government officials learned of the NSA-FE collaboration following the Snowden leaks. Danish officials put a stop to the operation after they learned that the NSA had also spied on Danish government members.

Denmark Has a History of This Behaviour ( Score: 1 ) by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @04:31PM ( #61440512 ) Journal As long as you don't invade or try to cut their politicians out of the loop, they will bend over for you. For example WWII. Any sanctions on the NSA and Denmark? see Huawei ( Score: 1 ) by tekram ( 8023518 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @05:03PM ( #61440618 ) Seems like Huawei has been convicted of spying with less evidence than the NSA and Denmark and yet US and EU sanctions were swift and deliberate when it comes to convenient targets. Reply to This
Comparisons ( Score: 5 , Insightful) by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:43PM ( #61440360 )

I regularly buy one pound bags of citric acid. It's handy to clean out the dishwasher, clothes washer, and to make various cordials and mixed drinks. It's $8 shipped from Amazon. The only place remotely near me that sells one pound bags of citric acid is a restaurant supply store on the other side of town. The grocery store near me will sell me a small bottle of citric acid for $5. The restaurant supply store is only $1 or $2 cheaper, and Amazon saves me an hour trip across town. So, Amazon wins.

I was in the market for a new sprinkler controller, and Amazon's price was $40 more than the retail price directly from the manufacturer. I bought it from the manufacturer. So, Amazon looses.

Amazon's price on the shampoo I like is ridiculous, I buy that from the grocery store. Amazon's price on the furnace air filters I like is fantastic, compared to the home improvement stores I go to, so I buy those from Amazon.

It's not rocket science. Some stuff is just easier to buy and/or cheaper on Amazon. Some stuff isn't. It's not hard, nor a lot of work, to find out. Reply to This Free, you say? ( Score: 4 , Informative) by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:51PM ( #61440394 ) Journal

The problem isn't really the free shipping. The suit seems more concerned with price-fixing across multiple platforms, an indicator of a forming monopoly.

"It's a longstanding claim by some of the independent merchants who sell on Amazon's digital mall that the company punishes them if they list their products for less on their own websites or other shopping sites like Walmart.com. Those sellers are effectively saying that Amazon dictates what happens on shopping sites all over the internet, and in doing so makes products more expensive for all of us."

Interesting one-off:

I priced a particular set of headphones for my son's birthday earlier today... same retail price on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart online. Reply to This
Price plus ( Score: 4 , Interesting) by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @07:00PM ( #61441020 )

I WAS an Amazon Prime member until I started comparing Amazon's "prime" price with those of other vendors on Amazon selling the same product. The other vendor's prices plus shipping were very close or equal to Amazon's "prime" price with "free" shipping. So, Amazon's Prime's $120/yr membership charge isn't worth it. (And I don't watch their movies)

I can also get "free" shipping by going through the checkout process (not the automatic checkout). Somewhere along the way I get the opportunity to choose a delivery date. Next day always includes an expensive charge for shipping, but usually one of the options is for shipping free on a specific day, a week or so in the future. I use that when I shop Amazon, which I do with less and less frequency these days. Reply to This

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[May 03, 2021] Shhhh, They’re Listening †Inside the Coming Voice-Profiling Revolution

May 03, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. This article confirms my prejudices about the importance of avoiding those spying home assistants at all costs. And it takes a bit of effort to try to thwart financial institutions’ efforts to use your voiceprint as an ID (I tell them they need to note any recording as invalid because I have my assistants get through the phone trees for me, and if they try taking a voiceprint, it won’t be of the right voice. That seems to put them on tilt).

But the notion of using voice patterns to guess at health issues or psychological profiles or product reactions sounds like 21st century phrenology. Although a lot of consultants will rake in a lot of dough selling these unproven schemes.

By Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Media Systems & Industries, University of Pennsylvania. Originally published at The Conversation

You decide to call a store that sells some hiking boots you’re thinking of buying. As you dial in, the computer of an artificial intelligence company hired by the store is activated. It retrieves its analysis of the speaking style you used when you phoned other companies the software firm services. The computer has concluded you are “friendly and talkative.” Using predictive routing, it connects you to a customer service agent who company research has identified as being especially good at getting friendly and talkative customers to buy more expensive versions of the goods they’re considering.

This hypothetical situation may sound as if it’s from some distant future. But automated voice-guided marketing activities like this are happening all the time .

If you hear “This call is being recorded for training and quality control,” it isn’t just the customer service representative they’re monitoring.

It can be you, too.

When conducting research for my forthcoming book, “ The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet ,” I went through over 1,000 trade magazine and news articles on the companies connected to various forms of voice profiling. I examined hundreds of pages of U.S. and EU laws applying to biometric surveillance. I analyzed dozens of patents. And because so much about this industry is evolving, I spoke to 43 people who are working to shape it.

It soon became clear to me that we’re in the early stages of a voice-profiling revolution that companies see as integral to the future of marketing.

Thanks to the public’s embrace of smart speakers, intelligent car displays and voice-responsive phones â€" along with the rise of voice intelligence in call centers â€" marketers say they are on the verge of being able to use AI-assisted vocal analysis technology to achieve unprecedented insights into shoppers’ identities and inclinations. In doing so, they believe they’ll be able to circumvent the errors and fraud associated with traditional targeted advertising.

Not only can people be profiled by their speech patterns, but they can also be assessed by the sound of their voices â€" which, according to some researchers , is unique and can reveal their feelings, personalities and even their physical characteristics.

Flaws in Targeted Advertising

Top marketing executives I interviewed said that they expect their customer interactions to include voice profiling within a decade or so.

Part of what attracts them to this new technology is a belief that the current digital system of creating unique customer profiles â€" and then targeting them with personalized messages, offers and ads â€" has major drawbacks .

A simmering worry among internet advertisers, one that burst into the open during the 2010s , is that customer data often isn’t up to date, profiles may be based on multiple users of a device, names can be confused and people lie.

Advertisers are also uneasy about ad blocking and click fraud , which happens when a site or app uses bots or low-paid workers to click on ads placed there so that the advertisers have to pay up.

These are all barriers to understanding individual shoppers.

Voice analysis, on the other hand, is seen as a solution that makes it nearly impossible for people to hide their feelings or evade their identities.

Building Out the Infrastructure

Most of the activity in voice profiling is happening in customer support centers, which are largely out of the public eye.

But there are also hundreds of millions of Amazon Echoes, Google Nests and other smart speakers out there. Smartphones also contain such technology.

All are listening and capturing people’s individual voices. They respond to your requests. But the assistants are also tied to advanced machine learning and deep neural network programs that analyze what you say and how you say it

Amazon and Google â€" the leading purveyors of smart speakers outside China â€" appear to be doing little voice analysis on those devices beyond recognizing and responding to individual owners. Perhaps they fear that pushing the technology too far will, at this point, lead to bad publicity.

Nevertheless, the user agreements of Amazon and Google â€" as well as Pandora, Bank of America and other companies that people access routinely via phone apps â€" give them the right to use their digital assistants to understand you by the way you sound . Amazon’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Patents Point to the Future

The patents from these tech companies offer a vision of what’s coming.

In one Amazon patent , a device with the Alexa assistant picks up a woman’s speech irregularities that imply a cold through using “an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a user’s voice, as determined from processing the voice data.” From that conclusion, Alexa asks if the woman wants a recipe for chicken soup. When she says no, it offers to sell her cough drops with one-hour delivery.

An Amazon patent depicts a device picking up a woman’s cough â€" and then asking if she wants a recipe for chicken soup. Google Patents

Another Amazon patent suggests an app to help a store salesperson decipher a shopper’s voice to plumb unconscious reactions to products. The contention is that how people sound allegedly does a better job indicating what people like than their words.

And one of Google’s proprietary inventions involves tracking family members in real time using special microphones placed throughout a home. Based on the pitch of voice signatures, Google circuitry infers gender and age information â€" for example, one adult male and one female child â€" and tags them as separate individuals.

The company’s patent asserts that over time the system’s “household policy manager” will be able to compare life patterns, such as when and how long family members eat meals, how long the children watch television, and when electronic game devices are working â€" and then have the system suggest better eating schedules for the kids, or offer to control their TV viewing and game playing.

Seductive Surveillance

In the West, the road to this advertising future starts with firms encouraging users to give them permission to gather voice data. Firms gain customers’ permission by enticing them to buy inexpensive voice technologies.

When tech companies have further developed voice analysis software â€" and people have become increasingly reliant on voice devices â€" I expect the companies to begin widespread profiling and marketing based on voice data. Hewing to the letter if not the spirit of whatever privacy laws exist, the companies will, I expect, forge ahead into their new incarnations, even if most of their users joined before this new business model existed.

This classic bait and switch marked the rise of both Google and Facebook . Only when the numbers of people flocking to these sites became large enough to attract high-paying advertisers did their business models solidify around selling ads personalized to what Google and Facebook knew about their users.

By then, the sites had become such important parts of their users’ daily activities that people felt they couldn’t leave , despite their concerns about data collection and analysis that they didn’t understand and couldn’t control.

This strategy is already starting to play out as tens of millions of consumers buy Amazon Echoes at giveaway prices .

The Dark Side of Voice Profiling

Here’s the catch: It’s not clear how accurate voice profiling is, especially when it comes to emotions.

It is true, according to Carnegie Mellon voice recognition scholar Rita Singh , that the activity of your vocal nerves is connected to your emotional state. However, Singh told me that she worries that with the easy availability of machine-learning packages, people with limited skills will be tempted to run shoddy analyses of people’s voices, leading to conclusions that are as dubious as the methods.

She also argues that inferences that link physiology to emotions and forms of stress may be culturally biased and prone to error. That concern hasn’t deterred marketers, who typically use voice profiling to draw conclusions about individuals’ emotions, attitudes and personalities.

While some of these advances promise to make life easier , it’s not difficult to see how voice technology can be abused and exploited. What if voice profiling tells a prospective employer that you’re a bad risk for a job that you covet or desperately need? What if it tells a bank that you’re a bad risk for a loan? What if a restaurant decides it won’t take your reservation because you sound low class, or too demanding?

Consider, too, the discrimination that can take place if voice profilers follow some scientists’ claims that it is possible to use an individual’s vocalizations to tell the person’s height, weight, race, gender and health.

People are already subjected to different offers and opportunities based on the personal information companies have collected. Voice profiling adds an especially insidious means of labeling. Today, some states such as Illinois and Texas require companies to ask for permission before conducting analysis of vocal, facial or other biometric features.

But other states expect people to be aware of the information that’s collected about them from the privacy policies or terms of service â€" which means they rarely will . And the federal government hasn’t enacted a sweeping marketing surveillance law.

With the looming widespread adoption of voice analysis technology, it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information revealed by the sound of a person’s voice.

One proposal: While the use of voice authentication â€" or using a person’s voice to prove their identity â€" could be allowed under certain carefully regulated circumstances, all voice profiling should be prohibited in marketers’ interactions with individuals. This prohibition should also apply to political campaigns and to government activities without a warrant.

That seems like the best way to ensure that the coming era of voice profiling is constrained before it becomes too integrated into daily life and too pervasive to control.


fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

fred , April 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

Very interesting. However, I want Fidelity to use voice printing when I call for banking services. I was impressed when they implemented the technology, and I’m happy they’re using it to identify and prevent bad actors.

lyman alpha blob , April 29, 2021 at 10:37 am

Until someone gets a small sample of your voice, uses it to create a fake of you, who then asks Fidelity to withdraw all your money â€"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgYPv8tb6A

Moar tech is not going to solve all our problems.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 11:00 am

I was thinking of trying to acquire one of those gadgets you see in the crime-oriented moving picture shows that alters the voice to sound deep and harsh. Use it to answer any call from an unknown number. Have a little fun freaking them out (momentarily) while preventing voice profiling. I wonder if there’s an app for that by now…the Kermit setting could be fun too.

.Tom , April 29, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Looks like there are smartphone apps that will change your voice on a phone call. That could be useful. I don’t know if any of them work well.

Ofc that can only help when the listening device is on the other end of a phone call. Not much use when, for example, conversing in person with someone who has a phone that’s listening all the time.

lordkoos , April 29, 2021 at 12:27 pm

There is an effect, the Eventide Harmonizer, that is sometimes used to alter voices (Darth Vader’s voice in Star Wars for example). It’s an expensive audio device mostly used in recording studios, but nowadays I’m sure there is some app that can do similar things.

Gc54 , April 29, 2021 at 4:44 pm

For pc use consider Clownfish Voice Changer. Has DV and many other voices.

Sue inSoCal , April 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

“Don’t get on the ship! That book? It’s a….cookbook!!” Thanks for that; it’s a classic I’ll never forget.

It seems we’ve got weirder stuff now. For whatever reason, those automatic answering programs do not understand me. I’ve found if you get scrappy with them (such as Joseph K suggests babbling some nonsense) they throw up their robotic hands and they get you to a person.

Someone once advised me to shut up through the whole menu thing and they get you to a human. But many companies are on to this. Unfortunately. You may want to stick with insane babbling.

Josef K , April 29, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Yes, silence used to work. Now, sounding like a) a ferinner, b) an oldster without dentures c) someone with special needs, or any other demographic AI can’t handle yet, means that regrettably the human of last resort is going to have to be tasked, and paid. So far, mixing up “aeuieueooeiueoueuoiueuiahh!” with “aeuieuueiahh!” and ““uoiueuiahh!” etc works. So far. Next may have to be Darth Vader voice.

shinola , April 29, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Not so long ago, most people would be outraged if they discovered someone had planted eavesdropping devices in their home. Now some tech. co’s have persuaded people to pay to “bug” themselves!

I have to (grudgingly) admit that’s an amazing bit of marketing/salesmanship.

Mantid , April 29, 2021 at 12:11 pm

A few times over recent years, I’d been prompted by computerized voices to speak slowly and answer prompts such as “What is your destination?”. Even simple prompts had me suspicious as in “Say yes to confirm or no if you would like something else”. In a previous life as an audio engineer, I knew they could analyze the wave form and deduce many things. So, I would gargle, yodel, or sing falsetto my response. I have never put financial or personal information on line and wasn’t about to through audio. At this point, I use a Harmon or cup mute to speak to institutions via the phone.

This sentence from the article gave me a laugh: “it’s important for government leaders to adopt policies and regulations that protect the personal information…..”. No, I think most of us are so enamoured by the new, shiny toys that we have lost our way and have nowhere to turn. My latest bumper sticker idea: “Eschew Convenience”.

Hepativore , April 29, 2021 at 2:57 pm

The problem is, that the companies that have developed these voice-profiling and facial recognition are probably talking to interested parties in the Department of Homeland Security, and it is probably matter of time before the TSA adopts facial recognition and voice scanning as a requirement of flight boarding much like they did with bodyscanners.

I doubt any degree of protest or backlash would be able to change Washington’s mind.

cnchal , April 29, 2021 at 10:41 pm

> Amazon ’s most public application of voice profiling so far is its Halo wristband, which claims to know the emotions you’re conveying when you talk to relatives, friends and employers.

The company assures customers it doesn’t use Halo data for its own purposes . But it’s clearly a proof of concept â€" and a nod toward the future.

Amazon “spokespeople” are lying sacks of shit. Not one word they say has an iota of truth.

Know what else this portends? Moar power sucking data centers to store all the gibberish Amazon, Googlag and the rest of the digital creeps collect. And because they use so much electricity they get it super cheap instead of being charged triple retail to discourage the gargantuan waste. All to sell you moar garbage that you don’t need. What a waste of a STEM education. That’s what so called “data scientists” signed up for?

I’m glad I have no children to suffer in the digital hellhole being built by these creeps.

Brooklin Bridge , April 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Naturally I wonder if smart phones and their various apps don’t already do this, not to mention desk and lap tops; all of which are equipped with mikes. And of course Ma Bell and Verizon and on and on get our voices all the time. What are the laws that protect the user from those behemoths? Are what ever is left of privacy laws strong enough to dampen the enthusiasm of companies like Google or Amazon who seem to consider laws like taxes; quaint vestiges of once upon a time nation states?

tegnost , April 30, 2021 at 2:10 pm

yes to this
they’ll do whatever they can’t be actively prevented from doing. If it’s illegal they call it data research then start lobbying congress to write laws to accommodate what ever grift they can mine from the mountain of said data. No need for facial recognition, the camera on your phone has given them a detailed three dimensional you, your location, your habits, and if you like brunettes. I still think back to when the somehow I think it was the nsa revealed googles offshore data shenanigans and am sure google was all “hey, we would have given you all that data! why did you tell everyone we’re collecting it! And now bezos is consulting the pentagon. At this point I truly feel the only thing that could stop the path we’re on is a massive economic crash due to an unexpected event, hurricanes, earthquake or a pandemic that kills lots more people than covid.

[May 03, 2021] Economic policy after the pandemic " Crooked Timber

May 03, 2021 | crookedtimber.org

Economic policy after the pandemic

by JOHN QUIGGIN on APRIL 30, 2021

I’m racing to get a draft manuscript of The Economic Consequences of the Pandemic , not helped by the fact that Biden keeps doing pretty much what I think he should do. More of the fold. Comments greatly appreciated, as always.

Like Keynes’ Londoner in the aftermath of the Great War, we are emerging from the pandemic into a world where the certitudes of the past have crumbled into dust. Balanced budgets, free trade, credit ratings, financial markets, above all free markets; these ideas have ceased to command any belief.

The failure of these ideas evident since the GFC and, in many respects, since the beginning of the 21st century. It have sunk in gradually as the neoliberal political class formed in the 1980s and 1990s has passed from the scene, replaced by younger people whose experience of financialised capitalism is almost entirely negative.

But it is only with the shock of the pandemic that the thinking of the past has completely lost its grip on the great majority. The absence of any serious resistance to Biden’s stimulus and infrastructure package reflects the fact that hardly anyone seriously believes the old verities of balanced budgets and free markets

Yet the fundamental realities of economic life remain unchanged. We can collectively consume or invest what we produce, nothing more and nothing less. And our productive capacity is constrained by resources and technology, as it always has been. One way or another we need to decide what goods and services will be produced and who will get to consume them.

What has changed is that the economic system we have used to allocate resources and investments for the last forty years is no longer fit for purpose. Financial markets are not repositories of wisdom and market discipline; rather they are, in Keynes words, gambling houses where ‘enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation.’ And as Keynes said ‘When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.’.

Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.

How should we respond? The answer must be a combination of past, present and future. First, we need to look at the institutions of the 20th century Golden Age, and ask which can be revived and refurbished to address our current problems. Second, we must consider what elements of the neoliberal era are worth saving. Finally we must consider our future options in a world unlike anything that has come before.

The first step must be to look back at the institutions of the postwar Golden Age. Not all of these will turn out to be useful in our current situation, and some were inappropriate even at the time they operated. Nevertheless, taken all in all, the mixed economy of the mid-20th century worked much better than the system of financialised capitalism that prevailed in the era of neoliberalism.

Most of the policy program announced by the Biden Administration can be understood as a return to Golden Age policies wound back or abandoned in the neoliberal era. Examples include explicit support for unions, investment in physical infrastructure, partial repeal of the 2017 tax cuts, and free community college.

Unions, progressive taxes, expanding education â€" the case for all of these is as strong or stronger as it was in the aftermath of the Great Wars. Similarly, the need for public investment in physical infrastructure, after years of neglect, is evident. Biden’s measures so far are steps in the right direction, but much more remains to be done.

The innovations of the neoliberal era have mostly been negative. But there have been some positive developments. The movement towards racial and gender equality, which began in the 1960s continued, if slowly and with occasional reversals, through the neoliberal area. And some more specifically neoliberal policy innovations such as the earned income credit and emissions taxes have been value. Similarly, while most financial innovations have been harmful, there have been exceptions such as the rise of venture capital.

Looking to the future, the shift from an industrial to an information economy requires fundamentally new approaches to economics. We are still at the beginning of understanding what is needed here; but it is already obvious that the combination of financialized capitalism and Big Tech is not working out well as a solution.

GM and Google

The archetypal product of the 20th century industrial economy was the motor car, the archetypal technology was the production line and the archetypal firm was General Motors. Each car that rolled off GM’s production line embodied a set of physical and labour inputs; steel for the body, parts supplied by a network of subcontractors, the work of a large body of skilled and semi-skilled workers. Dealers and finance providers distributed the cars to buyers, who then owned and uses the products. Our thinking about how an economy works still reflects this model.

A 20th century firm like General Motors can easily be understood in terms of the economic categories of mainstream classical and neoclassical economists, beginning with Adam Smith. The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP, was developed to deal with such firms.

But consider a firm like Google. Google doesn’t produce a physical good1; it doesn’t even generate the information that is at the core of its business. Rather, it indexes the information generated by others, with or without their permission, then allows users to search those indexes, with advertising attached.

Google doesn’t fit at all comfortably into the categories of traditional economics. Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it. This hasn’t stopped Google making massive profits, or attaining a stratospheric market valuation. On the other hand, it is far from obvious that this is the best way of making the information resources of the Internet available to everyone.

1 Except for a relatively modest business producing tablet computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system.

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Tim Worstall 04.30.21 at 12:39 pm ( 1 )

This is true:

“Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.â€

This connects with this:

“The whole apparatus of national accounting, reflected in concepts like GDP,â€

At which point we’ve a certain problem using measures like GDP to discuss the success and or failure of neoliberalism or even financialised capitalism. Because we’re already insisting that the archetypal firms of the neoliberal era aren’t well measured by GDP.

So insistences that growth was faster back in that Golden Age and so on become a little more difficult. So too insistences that living standards rose faster and all that.

We also end up with difficulties over something like this:

“Unsurprisingly, the casino economy has delivered huge gains for a small number of winners, and losses for everyone else, certainly when compared to the broadly shared gains of the mid 20th century. But contrary to the claims of trickle-down advocates, these massive rewards have not generated increases in productivity. Profits are obtained, not by making a better product at lower cost, but by securing and holding a monopoly position.â€

OK, Facebook, monopoly and all that. But increases in productivity? WhatsApp. You can talk to 1 billion people for free. OK, people might not say very much but still. There’s nothing of this in GDP â€" there’s no fee nor even advertising. Last time I asked Facebook about this they said “couple of hundred engineers†work on this. So, we’ve the costs of a couple of hundred engineers â€" $100 million including stock awards and office space? â€" in the national accounts. We’ve no corresponding output. This is a reduction in productivity.

But we’ve 1 billion people getting telecoms for free and this is a reduction in productivity?

Precisely because you’re saying that GDP doesn;t measure all this new economy stuff well it becomes very difficult to insist that this new economy stuff hasn;t worked well if the measure is going to be GDP…..

John Quiggin 05.01.21 at 12:35 am ( 2 )

That’s a problem with posting extracts. I’m well aware of these points and will deal with them. No time to respond in detail now, as I need to submit ASAP.

J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (no link)

Its output can’t be measured in quantitative terms, nor is there any obvious price attached to it.

So from this point of view Google’s product is already priced in the price of the stuff that is sold after being advertised through Google (directly or indirectly).

The people who pay money to Google are the advertisers. What they are paying Google for is advertising space. So Google’s product is advertising space. They create advertising space and sell it. Advertising space generally has a price. It is the price paid by advertisers to whomever it is that provides the advertisers with the advertising space. That’s not something new. It works for Google the same way it works, for example, for commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters. Their viewers and listeners are not the people who pay them for their product (just as Google users are not the people who pay Google); the advertisers are the people who pay them, and they pay them for the use of the advertising space which they have produced.

likbez 05.02.21 at 3:45 am (no link)

@J-D 05.01.21 at 11:15 pm (5)

So Google’s product is advertising space.

No only. Google was/is an integral part of PRISM. So mass surveillance is probably another major product and like Facebook it has several “facesâ€. With one is being a government sponsored surveillance company with Gmail and Android as the major franchises.

Any site that have Google advertisement can be considered as monitored by Google as Google essentially replicates Web logs via its advertising inserts. In this sense Google is an essential part of NSA.

They now try to diversify and get some foothold in the cloud but that’s also fit surveillance company profile.

All is all the old question “Is Google evil?†is an interesting one. IMHO it needs to be split into several companies.

>

[May 03, 2021] FISA And The Still Too Secret Police

With PRISM in place FICA court is redundant...
Notable quotes:
"... All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court. ..."
"... Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud! ..."
"... Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Bovard,

The FBI continues to lawlessly use counterintelligence powers against American citizens...

The Deep State Referee just admitted that the FBI continues to commit uncounted violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

If you sought to report a crime to the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI "Citizens Academy" program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.

But the latest FBI offenses, like almost all prior FBI violations, are not a real problem, according to James Boasberg, presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court, among other purposes, is supposed to safeguard Americans' constitutional right to privacy under FISA. FISA was originally enacted to create a narrow niche for foreign intelligence investigations that could be conducted without a warrant from a regular federal court. But as time passed, FISA morphed into an uncontrolled yet officially sanctioned privacy-trampling monster. FISA judges unleash the nuclear bomb of searches, authorizing the FBI "to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, e-mail and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target's home, workplace and vehicles," as well as "physical searches of the target's residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box and U.S. mails."

In 2008, after the George W. Bush administration's pervasive illegal warrantless wiretaps were exposed, Congress responded by enacting FISA amendments that formally entitled the National Security Agency to vacuum up mass amounts of emails and other communication, a swath of which is provided to the FBI. In 2018, the FISA court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans' rights. In lieu of obeying FISA, the FBI created a new Office of Internal Audit. Deja vu! Back in 2007, FBI agents were caught massively violating the Patriot Act by using National Security Letters to conduct thousands of illegal searches on Americans' personal data. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) declared that an Inspector General report on the abusive searches "confirms the American people's worst fears about the Patriot Act." FBI chief Robert Mueller responded by creating a new Office of Integrity and Compliance as "another important step toward ensuring we fulfill our mission with an unswerving commitment to the rule of law." Be still my beating heart!

The FBI's promise to repent after the 2018 report sufficed for the FISA court to permit the FBI to continue plowing through the personal data it received from NSA. Monday's disclosure "a delayed release of a report by the court last November "revealed that the FBI has conducted warrantless searches of the data trove for "domestic terrorism," "public corruption and bribery," "health care fraud," and other targets "including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. As Spencer Ackerman wrote in the Daily Beast , "The FBI continues to perform warrantless searches through the NSA's most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations." That type of search "potentially jeopardizes an accused person's ability to have a fair trial since warrantlessly acquired information is supposed to be inadmissible. The FBI claimed to the court that none of the warrantlessly queried material "˜was used in a criminal or civil proceeding,' but such usage at trial has happened before," Ackerman noted. Some illicit FBI searches involve vast dragnets. As the New York Times reported , an FBI agent in 2019 conducted a database search "using the identifiers of about 16,000 people, even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation."

In the report released Monday, Judge Boasberg lamented "apparent widespread violations" of the legal restrictions for FBI searches. Regardless, Boasberg kept the illicit search party going: "The Court is willing to again conclude that the . . . [FBI's] procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements." "Willing to again conclude" sounds better than "close enough for constitutional."

At this point, Americans know only the abuses that the FBI chose to disclose to FISA judges. We have no idea how many other perhaps worse abuses may have occurred. For a hundred years, the FBI has buttressed its power by keeping a lid on its crimes. Unfortunately, the FISA Court has become nothing but Deep State window dressing "a facade giving the illusion that government is under the law. Consider Boasberg's recent ruling in the most brazen FISA abuse yet exposed. In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that the FBI made "fundamental errors " and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Trump presidential campaign official. The I.G. report said the FBI "drew almost entirely" from the Steele dossier to prove a "well-developed conspiracy" between Russians and the Trump campaign even though it was "unable to corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page" in that dossier, which was later debunked.

A former FBI assistant general counsel, Kevin Clinesmith, admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted , Clinesmith "changed an email confirming Mr. Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words "˜not a source' before he forwarded it." A federal prosecutor declared that the "resulting harm is immeasurable" from Clinesmith's action. But at the sentencing hearing, Boasberg gushed with sympathy, noting that Clinesmith "went from being an obscure government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane"¦ Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service"what has given his life much of its meaning." Scorning the federal prosecutor's recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap"400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.

The FBI FISA frauds profoundly disrupted American politics for years and the din of belatedly debunked accusations of Trump colluding with Russia swayed plenty of votes in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But for the chief FISA judge, nothing matters except the plight of an FBI employee who lost his job after gross misconduct. This is the stark baseline Americans should remember when politicians, political appointees, and judges promise to protect them from future FBI abuses. The FISA court has been craven, almost beyond ridicule, perennially. Perhaps Boasberg was simply codifying a prerogative the FISA court previously awarded upon FBI officials. In 2005, after a deluge of false FBI claims in FISA warrants, FISA Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have "slowed such investigations drastically," the Washington Post reported . So, FBI agents continue to lie with impunity to the judges.

The FISA court has gone from pretending that FBI violations don't occur to pretending that violations don't matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy . But if a sweeping new domestic terrorism law is passed, perhaps even that formal acknowledgement will be unnecessary. Beginning in 2006, the court rubber-stamped FBI requests that bizarrely claimed that the telephone records of all Americans were "relevant" to a terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act, thereby enabling NSA data seizures later denounced by a federal judge as "almost Orwellian." FISA could become a peril to far more Americans if Congress formally creates a new domestic terrorism offense and a new category for expanding FISA searches.

The backlash from Democrats after the January 6 clash at the Capitol showcased the demand for federal crackdowns on extremists who doubted Biden's election, disparaged federal prerogatives, or otherwise earned congressional ire. If a domestic terrorism law is passed, the FBI will feel as little constrained by the details of the statute as it does about FISA's technicalities. Will FBI agents conducting warrantless searches rely on the same harebrained standard the NSA used to target Americans: "someone searching the web for suspicious stuff"? Unfortunately, unless an FBI whistleblower with the same courage as former NSA analyst Edward Snowden steps forward, we may never know the extent of FBI abuses


ebworthen 39 minutes ago

"You want to harass a political opponent? Sure, we can do that...

JaxPavan 42 minutes ago

All an FBI supervisor has to do to get a FISA warrant on you is have one agent get a crooked snitch in a foreign country to send you a weird text message, and then have another bright eyed and bushy tailed agent who doesn't know the crook is a snitch write up a search warrant application affidavit and submit it to the FISA court.

Joe Bribem 32 minutes ago

It's almost like we did this to Trump. But it'll never come to light. Oops it did. Not that anything will happen to us because we own the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

Obama's own personal private army.

You_Cant_Quit_Me 7 minutes ago

A lot of tips come in from overseas. For example, the US spies on citizens of another country and then sends that country tips, in exchange that country does the same by spying on US citizens and sending the FBI tips. Then it starts, "we are just following up on a tip"

wee-weed up 36 minutes ago (Edited)

Nothing says "Unconstitutional (illegal) Deep State" like FISA. Hitler's Gestapo would be proud!

You_Cant_Quit_Me 37 minutes ago

Lisa and Peter removed any credibility the FBI had with the public. If they solved real crime they would go after the massive fraud and stolen ID criminals. Of course that takes real work and someone wanting get off their lazy rear end

takeaction 58 minutes ago (Edited)

If you own a smart phone...everything you do is recorded...and logged. "They" have been listening to you for a long time if they want to.

If you own any smart device...they can listen and watch. They are monitoring what I am typing and this site. There really is no way to hide.

[Apr 24, 2021] Top US Banks Deploy AI Surveillance To Monitor Customers, Workers

Apr 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Several US banks have employed AI surveillance systems as a big-brother-type instrument to analyze customer preferences, monitor workers, and even detect nefarious activities near/at ATMs, according to a dozen banking and technology sources who spoke with Reuters .

Sources said City National Bank of Florida, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Wells Fargo & Co are conducting trials of AI surveillance systems which offers a rare view into what could soon become standard for corporate America.

Bobby Dominguez, the chief information security officer at City National, told Reuters the bank would begin to "leverage" facial recognition technology to identify customers at teller machines and employees at branches. The trial will be conducted at 31 sites and include high-tech software that could spot people on government watch lists.

In Ohio, JPMorgan is already conducting AI surveillance trials at a small number of branches. Wells Fargo wouldn't discuss its use of AI technology to monitor customers and employees.

The corporate world is quickly embracing the effectiveness and sophistication of these systems after governments such as China, the UK, Germany, Japan, and the US have used AI surveillance to track their citizens and non-nationals for years.

"We're never going to compromise our clients' privacy," Dominguez said. "We're getting off to an early start on technology already used in other parts of the world and that is rapidly coming to the American banking network."

As early as 2019, JPMorgan began evaluating the potential of AI surveillance systems to analyze archived footage from Chase branches in New York and Ohio.

"Testing facial recognition to identify clients as they walk into a Chase bank, if they consented to it, has been another possibility considered to enhance their experience," a current employee involved in the project told Reuters.

Another source said a Midwestern credit union last year tested facial recognition for client identification at four locations before terminating the program over cost concerns.

City National's Dominguez said the bank's branches use computer vision to detect suspicious activity outside.

Given the current state of AI surveillance and the speed of development, top banks are already testing these surveillance tools in various forms. Despite a potential backlash from the public, an Orwellian dystopia via AI surveillance will be fully embraced by corporate America in the coming years.

It was the virus pandemic that allowed the surveillance state to expand across the government and corporations rapidly. We're being tracked more than ever.

[Apr 19, 2021] What Does Google Do With My Data

Apr 19, 2021 | www.avast.com

More than most companies today, Google understands that information is power. But how much does Google know about you? Here, we'll unpack Google's privacy policy, so that you know what data gets tracked, how Google uses your data, and how to manage your online privacy. How_Google_uses_your_data-Hero

If you use a Google service or product (and you probably do), it's important to educate yourself about how Google uses your data so you can make smart, informed decisions that keep you in control of your privacy. Every step you take, every purchase you make -- Google could be watching you.

This article contains:

Is Google really spying on me?

The simple answer is yes: Google collects data about how you use its devices, apps, and services. This ranges from your browsing behavior, Gmail and YouTube activity, location history, Google searches, online purchases, and more. Basically, anything that's connected to Google is likely used to collect data on your activity and preferences.

Many people have questions about Google collecting data and how it gathers information. In particular, people worry about voice-activated products like Google Home and Google Assistant being used to listen to more than just requests to buy toilet paper or play music in the living room.

Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see.

While the security risks of smart home devices are real, Google using your home assistant to record your private conversations isn't one of them. You might feel like you're being spied on, but the reality is that Google sees only the information you have voluntarily entered or allowed them to access .

It's tempting to cast Google as a villain in this scenario, but Google data collection isn't unique. Nearly every company you interact with online uses web tracking technology to mine data about your online habits and preferences to personalize your experiences and the content you see. Still, it might surprise you how much data Google actually tracks and the less obvious ways it keeps tabs on you.

Why does Google want my data?

You might be thinking, "Fine, Google knows a lot about me. But what does Google do with my data?" According to Google, they use all this data to deliver better services, make improvements, and customize your experience . In other words, all this information helps Google make its services more useful for you.

With data about your behavior and preferences, Google can deliver better, more personalized services. Google uses data about your behavior and preferences to deliver better or more personalized services.

Of course, there's a very thin line between useful and creepy -- and sometimes businesses make the mistake of taking it too far by hoovering up excessive amounts of data. For many companies, more data collection means more profit. Here are a few ways in which Google data collection can impact your digital lifestyle.

Targeted advertising

With all the data Google gathers about you -- across all of its platforms, services, products, and devices -- it can build a detailed advertising profile, including your gender, age range, job industry, and interests. This helps them use targeted advertising to serve you Google ads that align with your personal tastes.

Let's say you search for a place to rent skis. Afterward, you start seeing ads for related products like ski jackets on other websites you visit around the web -- these are targeted ads . If you want to see what Google thinks it knows about you, you can go to your Google account settings , click on Data & personalization in the left navigation panel, and view your advertising profile.

Location tracking

Where you go, Google goes. Whether you're looking for the quickest way to get to a meeting, searching for a nearby cafe, or trying to find the closest bus stop, Google uses your location to offer personalized suggestions that are more relevant to your situation. For instance, maybe you'd like to see a movie after work. If you search Google for listings, you might see the showtimes for movies playing at theaters close to your office.

Improving usability

The more data, the better the quality of the service. Google uses all the data it collects to improve usability -- and your information alone can't do all the work. Google also analyzes billions of other people's data across different apps to make its services more useful for everyone.

For example, when you use Google Maps (or Waze -- yes, it's also part of the Google family), your location is anonymously sent back to Google and combined with data from people around you to create a picture of current traffic patterns. Have you ever been rerouted around an accident or a traffic jam while driving? You can thank your data and all the data from the people driving around you.

Tweaking algorithms

Google's search algorithms -- the rules that determine the results you see and the order they're listed in -- are continually changing. In 2019, the company reported more than 3,500 improvements to Google search -- that's an average of nearly 10 every day.

Google uses data about what people search for, what results are relevant, and the quality of the content and sources to determine the results you see. And their engineers adjust and refine Google's search algorithms to make searching on Google more useful , such as generating useful featured content snippets from relevant third-party websites to provide quick answers to questions right at the top of the search results page.

Trendspotting and analysis

Your search results also power Google Trends , a Google website that tracks and analyzes the top search queries across services like Google Search, YouTube, and more. You can see the most popular search terms from multiple countries and languages, helping you discover the latest trends, topics, and stories across different regions and over different time periods.

To be clear, no one outside of Google (and maybe even no one inside) truly knows how this data is processed and used. But they don't hide what they collect and how they do it. Google's privacy policy is written clearly and easy to understand.

... ... ...

[Apr 12, 2021] Google's Secret 'Project Bernanke' Revealed in Texas Antitrust Case

Apr 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

By Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey Updated April 11, 2021 11:41 am ET

Listen to this article 6 minutes 00:00 / 05:50 1x

Google for years operated a secret program that used data from past bids in the company's digital advertising exchange to allegedly give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors, according to court documents filed in a Texas antitrust lawsuit.

The program, known as "Project Bernanke," wasn't disclosed to publishers who sold ads through Google's ad-buying systems. It generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually, the documents show. In its lawsuit, Texas alleges that the project gave Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOG 0.90% an unfair competitive advantage over rivals.

Google's Ad Machine
Online ads are typically sold in auctions that happen in an instant, when a user's webpage is loading. Google dominates at virtually every step of the process. In an antitrust lawsuit, Texas alleges that Google's secret "Project Bernanke" allowed the company to use knowledge it gained running its ad exchange to unfairly compete against rivals. Here's how the digital advertising machine works:

THE SELL SIDE: PUBLISHERS

AD SPACE

FOR SALE

When a user visits a large online publisher's website or app, the publisher uses an ad server to sell ad space on its pages.

The publisher also gives the exchange information about the reader -- their age, income, browsing history and interests, for example.

In this example, the publisher uses Google's DoubleClick for Publishers, the leading ad-serving tool.

The tool puts the publisher's ad space up for sale on exchanges , marketplaces where transactions happen in real-time between sellers ( publishers ) and buyers ( advertisers ).

REAL-TIME

AUCTION HOUSES

Google has the largest such marketplace, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, or AdX.

THE BUY SIDE: ADVERTISERS

An advertiser, representing its clients' products, uses sophisticated buying tools to purchase ads.

In this example, an advertiser uses Google's buying tool, DV360, the industry leader.

The advertiser can specify the types of audiences it wants to target -- such as location, gender or age of user -- and the price of their offer.

To get its ad in front of the user, the advertiser places bids in the auction marketplace -- the highest bidder wins.

Once a match is made on the exchange, an ad pops up on users' screens.

The documents filed this week were part of Google's initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit , which was filed in December and accused the search company of running a digital-ad monopoly that harmed both ad-industry competitors and publishers. This week's filing, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, wasn't properly redacted when uploaded to the court's public docket. A federal judge let Google refile it under seal.

Some of the unredacted contents of the document were earlier disclosed by MLex, an antitrust-focused news outlet.

The document sheds further light on the state's case against Google, along with the search company's defense.

Much of the lawsuit involves the interplay of Google's roles as both the operator of a major ad exchange -- which Google likens to the New York Stock Exchange in marketing documents -- and a representative of buyers and sellers on the exchange. Google also acts as an ad buyer in its own right, selling ads on its own properties such as search and YouTube through these same systems.

Texas alleges that Google used its access to data from publishers' ad servers -- where more than 90% of large publishers use Google to sell their digital ad space -- to guide advertisers toward the price they would have to bid to secure an ad placement.

Google's use of bidding information, Texas alleges, amounted to insider trading in digital-ad markets. Because Google had exclusive information about what other ad buyers were willing to pay, the state says, it could unfairly compete against rival ad-buying tools and pay publishers less on its winning bids for ad inventory .

The unredacted documents show that Texas claims Project Bernanke is a critical part of that effort.

TECH FRENEMIES

How tech giants are both cooperating while competing in hardware, software and technology services

Google acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke in its response and said in the filing that "the details of Project Bernanke's operations are not disclosed to publishers."

Google denied in the documents that there was anything inappropriate about using the exclusive information it possessed to inform bids, calling it "comparable to data maintained by other buying tools."

Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman, said the complaint "misrepresents many aspects of our ad tech business. We look forward to making our case in court." He referred the Journal to an analysis conducted by a U.K. regulator that concluded that Google didn't appear to have had an advantage.

The Texas attorney general's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google's outsize role in the digital-ad market is both controversial and at times murky.

In some instances, "we're on both the buy side and the sell side," Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said at a 2019 antitrust conference held by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Asked how the company managed those roles, Mr. Varian said the topic was "too detailed for the audience, and me."

[Mar 26, 2021] There's too many options available to make ignorance enjoyable

If you are using Fakebook you are part of the problem. I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature.
Notable quotes:
"... The "reality police" have infiltrated down to the lowest levels now to look for "new normal" violators anywhere. ..."
"... I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature. ..."
"... Remember when Eric Schmidt got his panties in a twist because some enterprising soul had done some digital digging into his private life? ..."
"... All social media Big Tech platforms are SARPA surveillance programs that added some cool logo, a young captured jew type as Boss and some marketing to morons and lemmings. ..."
"... The sheer narcissism and desperation on these platforms is disgusting and disturbing. Big data and pedophiles love Facebook. ..."
Mar 22, 2021 | www.unz.com

L8917 , says: March 22, 2021 at 2:53 pm GMT • 2.5 days ago

Last week I did a web search for a quote by Goebbels concerning truth and found one regarding TheState and TheBigLie on TheJewishVirtualLibrary. After posting it to Fakebook, I was notified that the quote violated "community standards" and wouldn't be seen by anyone else (except the FBI, or local LEOs perhaps).

Being who I am, I posted the same quote with a link to where I found it [TheJewishVirtualLibrary] and was notified no one would see any of my posts for a week.

Again, being who I am, I posted a video from TheBabylonBee that illustrated the danger of likening everything to Nazis, and was notified of a month-long ban.

I then downloaded my data in two formats and deleted the account.

Living life stupid might be inclusive and entertaining, but there's too many options available to make ignorance enjoyable.

Jake , says: March 22, 2021 at 5:55 pm GMT • 2.4 days ago

...It is partially Brave New World with a dash of 1984 and a healthy helping of Mordor, all of which is brightened and made more alluring and addicting with Sexual Revolution.

Hockeyguy , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:35 pm GMT • 2.4 days ago

The "reality police" have infiltrated down to the lowest levels now to look for "new normal" violators anywhere. If CJ thinks he's a nobody, then I am a sub-sub-sub-nobody, yet I have had my user account suspended twice now at an obscure news aggregation website, Fark.com , for making comments that apparently constitute "Covid misinformation."

Once was when I commented on a story that stated that there is a need to vaccinate even those that have recovered from actually having Covid. I said something like, "Why would you need to vaccinate someone whose immune system is functioning properly and already did the job naturally?" Apparently, even mentioning that humans have an immune system is now verboten, and thus my comment was deleted and my account was suspended for 24 hours. The next time I was suspended was just over this past weekend when I commented on a story about someone ignoring covid rules.

I stated something to the effect that we should ALL be ignoring the public health "experts" who are petty tyrants. Well, they have now suspended my account for 72 hours again for "covid misinformation."

Despite being amused that my opinions are somehow "misinformation," it's certainly enraging that speaking plain common truth is becoming more and more difficult.

This will not end well.

bj0311 , says: March 23, 2021 at 1:47 am GMT • 2.1 days ago

I am pretty tired of people who use these antisocial media platforms complaining when these platforms do what they do by their very nature. They weren't set up to help us they were set up to enslave us. Get a clue, Farcebook and Twatter et al are not your friends!

Simon Tugmutton , says: March 23, 2021 at 7:26 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
@El Dato

...Remember when Eric Schmidt got his panties in a twist because some enterprising soul had done some digital digging into his private life?

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: March 23, 2021 at 7:34 am GMT • 1.8 days ago

All social media Big Tech platforms are SARPA surveillance programs that added some cool logo, a young captured jew type as Boss and some marketing to morons and lemmings. Absolute joke. The sheer narcissism and desperation on these platforms is disgusting and disturbing. Big data and pedophiles love Facebook.

[Mar 26, 2021] Facebook's 'community standards'

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mike Robeson , says: March 23, 2021 at 12:50 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

Based on Facebook's 'community standards' (see above), it has banned all posts praising the US in written or pictorial form for the following reasons –
1. Has created and/or funded terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, paramilitary groups like Blackwater, death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc.;
2. Creates, trains and funds a vast military system to threaten and/or bomb countries and overthrow governments;
3. Has conducted and prosecuted wars and military actions around the world every single day for the past twenty years;
4. Kidnaps and abducts private citizens in foreign countries and imprisons them in secret bases like Guantanamo;
5. Employs corporate institutions to impose financial embargoes destroying nations' economic infrastructure and citizens' livelihood.

Old and Grumpy , says: March 23, 2021 at 1:54 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago

The point is, apparently, the Corporatocracy feel sufficiently threatened by random people on Facebook that they are conducting these COINTELPRO-type ops.

This really seems to be a thing. The elite are supposedly into the occult including things like clairvoyants. Have their soothsayers seen a future rebel that will take them down? Or are they just insecure, criminally insane dopes that irrationally fear independent thinking? Whatever the reason, they are extremely paranoid.

[Mar 05, 2021] Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version The Register

Mar 05, 2021 | www.theregister.com

Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling – and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version Pitches pro-privacy platform with customizable results filter dubbed Goggles Thomas Claburn in San Francisco Wed 3 Mar 2021 // 14:00 UTC SHARE


Brave, maker of the identically named privacy-focused web browser, has acquired its own search engine to offer as an alternative to Google Search and competing search engines that exist but aren't all that visible in Google's shadow.

On Wednesday, the company plans to announce that it's taking over Tailcat, a search engine developed by Cliqz, another privacy-focused browser biz that aspired to compete with Google and shut down last year . The deal, terms undisclosed, makes Cliqz owner Hubert Burda Media a Brave shareholder.

Brave intends to make Tailcat the foundation of its own search service, Brave Search . The company hopes that its more than 25 million monthly active Brave customers will, after an initial period of testing and courtship, choose to make Brave Search their default search engine and will use it alongside other parts of its privacy-oriented portfolio, which also includes Brave Ads, news reader Brave Today, Brave Firewall+VPN, and video conferencing system Brave Together.

Brave Search, the company insists, will respect people's privacy by not tracking or profiling those using the service. And it may even offer a way to end the debate about search engine bias by turning search result output over to a community-run filtering system called Goggles.

The service will, eventually, be available as a paid option – for those who want to pay for search results without ads – though its more common incarnation is likely to be ad-supported, in conjunction with Brave Ads. The latter offers participants the option to receive 70 per cent of the payment made by the advertiser in a cryptocurrency called BAT (Brave Attention Token).

Eich lays out his vision

In an interview with The Register , Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave, argued that the demand for privacy is real and cannot be ignored. "I think the genie doesn't go back in the bottle," he said. "Consciousness doesn't revert."

People used to hear about credit card breaches at large retailers like Target, Eich said, and think that privacy is hopeless but not something that necessarily affects them directly. But then it became more personal as technologies like ad retargeting did things like spoiling surprise gifts by showing the ad for the purchased item again to the intended recipient.

I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively

Eich sees the dominance of US tech companies contributing to the interest in privacy and making it a matter of concern for regulators around the world.

"It's not political in the broken US sense – which is kind of a Punch and Judy show – it's more like there are people of various commitments on all sides of politics who are aware not only of privacy being violated over time by the big tech players but of the big tech players being abusive monopolies," he said.

Pointing to how many companies now make privacy claims, Eich said, "I think privacy is here to stay and now the question is how people do it and market it effectively. If you don't market it, you can lose to somebody who just puts privacy perfume on a pig and tells you it smells great and tastes delicious."

Eich's pitch is not that Brave Search aims to take on Google Search directly. He acknowledges that there's no way to match Google's vast index and ability to return relevant results for obscure (long tail) search terms. Rather, he sees an opportunity to improve specific types of search queries, referred to as vertical markets.

"Part of what we're trying to do here is innovate in the area where there's now monopoly," he said in reference to Google Search, which has a market share of something like 92 per cent ."...The innovation through verticals is possible because it avoids having to take on Google's supreme competence, which is the rare or unique queries the long tail."

p2p Brave bets on the decentralized web with IPFS browser support for a more peer-to-peer approach READ MORE

"What we're trying to do is different, it's not based on crawling the web," Eich explained. "...Trying to crawl the whole web, it's not going to work. What Cliqz worked on..that's an anonymous query log aggregator, and a partial click log aggregator, to see when you don't convert on the search ad you leave the results page and you find the better results through some number of clicks."

Gathering that sort of query and click data requires consent, said Eich, and Brave isn't going to force Brave users to participate. But Cliqz started working on this and has a data set they called "the Human Web," and that's now the basis of Brave Search.

"The queries and the clicks matter but they are unlinkable," he said. "There has to be a property called record unlinkability. There's no IP address that gets dropped at the edge. Timing channels are blinded by adding some delays. And there's no way to say this query was from the same user as that query."

Brave Search's index there will be informed the activities of participating Brave users, in terms of the URLs they search for or click on, and adjacent web resources that don't require extensive crawling.

There's a theoretical risk users could poison the index through repeated visits to irrelevant or harmful web pages, knowing their activities would inform the index, but Eich suggests Brave is big and savvy enough to avoid being trolled in this way.

Brave also envisions users taking a more active role in their search results through a filtering mechanism.

"It allows different groups to run their own sort of Turing incomplete filter rules, sort of like ad blocking rules in the search service and not in the browser, to have a community moderated view of the global index," he explained. "It's called 'Goggles.'"

Eich observed with a chuckle that it isn't related to Google Goggles, an image recognition app that Google maintained from 2009 through 2018 until the arrival of Google Lens.

Shared search

The Brave Search team has written a paper [ PDF ] explaining its use of the term, titled "GOGGLES: Democracy dies in darkness, and so does the Web." The browser upstart aims to replace the tyranny of Google's inscrutable, authoritative index with a multiverse of indices defined by anyone with the inclination to do so.

Brave's vision of search is based on "an open and collaborative system by which a community, or a single user, can create sets of rules and filters, called Goggles, to define the space which a search engine can pull results from," the paper explains.

"Instead of a single ranking algorithm, we could have as many as needed, overcoming the biases that a single actor (the search engine) embeds into the results."

Goggles has its own Domain Specific Language (DSL) for writing search result filters. Brave hopes that Goggles will be adopted not only internally but among others search engines, too.

Brave Search users will be able to, for better or worse, see the world through filters they agree with or filters they detest. The point is it will be up to them rather than a large ad company located in Silicon Valley.

The Brave Search team acknowledges that not all filters will show results that are agreeable to everyone. "There will be Goggles created by creationists, anti-vaccination supporters or flat-earthers," the paper says. "However, the biases will be explicit, and therefore, the choice is a conscious one."

The paper contends that censorship will be unnecessary since illegal content should be caught by the host search engine and removed from the search index so no Goggle can see it in the first place.

"Brave is bringing back the idea of a user-first thick client, or a muscular client," said Eich, differentiating his browser from just being "a blind servant of ad tech that runs all the JavaScript Google throws at it." ®

[Feb 21, 2021] Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, are de facto competing with states. In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Anon [899] Disclaimer , says: February 12, 2021 at 7:22 am GMT • 8.7 days ago

Dont shop at Amazon? Check.
Dont use bing? Check
Dont use google? Bout' half the time (need to get yandex home page)
Dont use facebook? Check
Dont use twitter? Check
Dont use paypal? Check

Need to use local non-corporate businesses and resturaunts as much as possible.

We can have a hot economy while slowly starving the oligarchs. You can indéed go around the oligarchs. Buy American, Canadian, and Mexican as much as possible before buying Chinese. Ive found tgat if you look, an Indonesian, Malaysian, or Taiwanese model of whatever you are looking for is usually available.

Needless to say dont support Hollyweird, netflix, late-night tv show hosts, awards-shows, and Disney's ESPN.. These entities are overextended, and are vunerable to buycotts.

animalogic , says: February 12, 2021 at 7:45 am GMT • 8.7 days ago
@St-Germain

"The stakes are clear; either governments will reassert their prerogatives or plutocrats will govern."
Very well put.
Unfortunately, it is the very nature of Oligarchy (or Plutocracy) for the Rich to govern through supposedly independent politicians. It's a "sleight of hand" job.
So the question becomes, is there really a "government" there , to reassert a prerogative separate to their primary function of running the public face of an Oligarchy ?

[Feb 14, 2021] Court Docs Show FBI Can Intercept Encrypted Messages From 'Signal' App

Feb 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Shane Trejo via Big League Politics (emphasis ours),

Recent court documents have indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possesses a tool allowing them to access encrypted messages on the Signal app.

Signal has rapidly gained in popularity as Silicon Valley monopolists have grown more openly hostile to free speech, but the platform may be vulnerable to backdoors that undermine the privacy protections provided through the encrypted messaging service.

According to documents filed by the Department of Justice and first obtained by Forbes , Signal's encrypted messages can be intercepted from iPhone devices when those Apple devices are in a mode called "partial AFU," which means "after first unlock."

Latest: Project Veritas Blocked From Twitter After Posting Video of Confrontation with Facebook VP of Censorship

When phones are in partial AFU mode, Signal messages can be seized by federal authorities and other potentially hostile interests. GrayKey and Cellebrite are the tools typically used by the FBI to gain this sensitive information, an expert has explained.

" It uses some very advanced approach using hardware vulnerabilities ," said Vladimir Katalov, who founded the Russian forensics company ElcomSoft, believing that GrayKey was used by federal authorities to crack Signal.

This vulnerability within the Signal app may not be a design flaw, but rather a deliberate backdoor to allow authorities to access private messages. The app was initially funded with backing from the deep state, after all.

[Feb 02, 2021] Programs Cover 75% of Nation's Traffic, Can Snare Emails by SIOBHAN GORMAN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES

75% of Internet traffic is intercepted. New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach
Notable quotes:
"... The second cut is done by NSA. It briefly copies the traffic and decides which communications to keep based on what it calls "strong selectors" -- say, an email address, or a large block of computer addresses that correspond to an organization it is interested in. In making these decisions, the NSA can look at content of communications as well as information about who is sending the data. ..."
"... The person says talks between the government and different telecoms about what constitutes foreign communications have "been going on for some years," and that some in the industry believe the law is unclear on Internet traffic. "Somebody should enunciate a rule," this person says. ..."
"... Within NSA, former officials say, intelligence officers joked that the Blarney intercept program with AT&T was named in homage to the NSA program Shamrock, which intercepted telegraphic messages into and out of the U.S. and was an inspiration for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created the secret national-security court and placed intelligence activities under its supervision. ..."
"... Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. "There's technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance," he says. ..."
Feb 02, 2021 | online.wsj.com

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency -- which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens -- has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

The NSA's surveillance network covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, reaching roughly 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic. Siobhan Gorman reports on the News Hub. Photo: Getty Images.

The NSA's filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system's broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.

Q&A

What You Need to Know on the New Details of NSA Spying

How the NSA Scours Internet Traffic in the U.S. View Graphics

WSJ: Privacy Insights

The Wall Street Journal is conducting a long-running investigation into the profound transformation of personal privacy in America.

Selected findings:

The programs, code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew, among others, filter and gather information at major telecommunications companies. Blarney, for instance, was established with AT&T Inc., T -1.15% former officials say. AT&T declined to comment.

This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country.

Details of these surveillance programs were gathered from interviews with current and former intelligence and government officials and people from companies that help build or operate the systems, or provide data. Most have direct knowledge of the work.

The NSA defends its practices as legal and respectful of Americans' privacy. According to NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines, if American communications are "incidentally collected during NSA's lawful signals intelligence activities," the agency follows "minimization procedures that are approved by the U.S. attorney general and designed to protect the privacy of United States persons."

As another U.S. official puts it, the NSA is "not wallowing willy-nilly" through Americans' idle online chatter. "We want high-grade ore."

To achieve that, the programs use complex algorithms that, in effect, operate like filters placed over a stream with holes designed to let certain pieces of information flow through. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, NSA widened the holes to capture more information when the government broadened its definition of what constitutes "reasonable" collection, according to a former top intelligence official.

The NSA's U.S. programs have been described in narrower terms in the documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden . One, for instance, acquires Americans' phone records; another, called Prism, makes requests for stored data to Internet companies. By contrast, this set of programs shows the NSA has the capability to track almost anything that happens online, so long as it is covered by a broad court order.

The NSA programs are approved and overseen by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSA is required to destroy information on Americans that doesn't fall under exceptions to the rule, including information that is relevant to foreign intelligence, encrypted, or evidence of a crime.

The NSA is focused on collecting foreign intelligence, but the streams of data it monitors include both foreign and domestic communications. Inevitably, officials say, some U.S. Internet communications are scanned and intercepted, including both "metadata" about communications, such as the "to" and "from" lines in an email, and the contents of the communications themselves.

Much, but not all, of the data is discarded, meaning some communications between Americans are stored in the NSA's databases, officials say. Some lawmakers and civil libertarians say that, given the volumes of data NSA is examining, privacy protections are insufficient.

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, in 2012 sought but failed to prohibit the agency from searching its databases for information on Americans without a warrant. He has also pushed intelligence agencies to detail how many Americans' communications have been collected and to explain whether purely domestic communications are retained in NSA's databanks. They have declined.

"Technology is moving us swiftly into a world where the only barriers to this kind of dragnet surveillance are the protections enshrined into law," Mr. Wyden says.

This month President Barack Obama proposed changes to NSA surveillance to improve oversight. Those proposed changes wouldn't alter the systems in the U.S. that NSA relies upon for some of its most sensitive surveillance.

The systems operate like this: The NSA asks telecom companies to send it various streams of Internet traffic it believes most likely to contain foreign intelligence. This is the first cut of the data.

These requests don't ask for all Internet traffic. Rather, they focus on certain areas of interest, according to a person familiar with the legal process. "It's still a large amount of data, but not everything in the world," this person says.

The second cut is done by NSA. It briefly copies the traffic and decides which communications to keep based on what it calls "strong selectors" -- say, an email address, or a large block of computer addresses that correspond to an organization it is interested in. In making these decisions, the NSA can look at content of communications as well as information about who is sending the data.

One U.S. official says the agency doesn't itself "access" all the traffic within the surveillance system. The agency defines access as "things we actually touch," this person says, pointing out that the telecom companies do the first stage of filtering.

The surveillance system is built on relationships with telecommunications carriers that together cover about 75% of U.S. Internet communications. They must hand over what the NSA asks for under orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The firms search Internet traffic based on the NSA's criteria, current and former officials say.

Verizon Communications Inc., VZ -1.34% for example, has placed intercepts in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to one person familiar with the technology. It isn't clear how much information these intercepts send to the NSA. A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

Not all telecommunications providers handle the government demands the same way, says the person familiar with the legal process. According to a U.S. official, lawyers at telecom companies serve as checks on what the NSA receives. "The providers are independently deciding what would be responsive," the official says.

Lawyers for at least one major provider have taken the view that they will provide access only to "clearly foreign" streams of data -- for example, ones involving connections to ISPs in, say, Mexico, according to the person familiar with the legal process. The complexities of Internet routing mean it isn't always easy to isolate foreign traffic, but the goal is "to prevent traffic from Kansas City to San Francisco from ending up" with the NSA, the person says.

At times, the NSA has asked for access to data streams that are more likely to include domestic communications, this person says, and "it has caused friction." This person added that government officials have said some providers do indeed comply with requests like this.

The person says talks between the government and different telecoms about what constitutes foreign communications have "been going on for some years," and that some in the industry believe the law is unclear on Internet traffic. "Somebody should enunciate a rule," this person says.

Intelligence officials and the White House argue NSA's surveillance provides early warnings of terror threats that don't respect geographic boundaries. "It's true we have significant capabilities," Mr. Obama said in his NSA remarks last week. "What's also true is we show a restraint that many governments around the world don't even think to do."

Mr. Obama and top intelligence officials say NSA's programs are overseen by all three branches of government, citing procedures approved by the secret surveillance court that require the NSA to eliminate "incidentally acquired" data on Americans. "If you say, 'We don't want the NSA to be scanning large amounts of traffic,' you're saying you don't want it to do its job," says one former official.

Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew were mentioned, but not fully explained, in documents released by Mr. Snowden. An NSA paper released this month mentioned several but didn't describe them beyond saying, "The government compels one or more providers to assist NSA with the collection of information responsive to the foreign intelligence need."

The system is built with gear made by Boeing Co.'s BA -0.69% Narus subsidiary, which makes filtering technology, and Internet hardware manufacturers Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO -1.03% and Juniper Networks Inc., JNPR -2.02% among other companies, according to former intelligence officials and industry figures familiar with the equipment.

Narus didn't respond to requests for comment. Cisco and Juniper declined to comment.

The NSA started setting up Internet intercepts well before 2001, former intelligence officials say. Run by NSA's secretive Special Services Office, these types of programs were at first designed to intercept communications overseas through arrangements with foreign Internet providers, the former officials say. NSA still has such arrangements in many countries, particularly in the Middle East and Europe, the former officials say.

Within NSA, former officials say, intelligence officers joked that the Blarney intercept program with AT&T was named in homage to the NSA program Shamrock, which intercepted telegraphic messages into and out of the U.S. and was an inspiration for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created the secret national-security court and placed intelligence activities under its supervision.

Blarney was in use before the 2001 terror attacks, operating at or near key fiber-optic landing points in the U.S. to capture foreign communications coming in and out of the country. One example is an AT&T facility in San Francisco that was revealed in 2006 during the debate over warrantless wiretapping. A similar facility was built at an AT&T site in New Jersey, former officials say.

After the 2001 attacks, a former official says, these intercept systems were expanded to include key Internet networks within the U.S. through partnerships with U.S. Internet backbone providers. Amid fears of terrorist "sleeper cells" inside the U.S., the government under President George W. Bush also began redefining how much domestic data it could collect.

For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials say, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA arranged with Qwest Communications International Inc. to use intercept equipment for a period of less than six months around the time of the event. It monitored the content of all email and text communications in the Salt Lake City area.

At that point, the systems fed into the Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretapping, which circumvented the surveillance court on the authority of the president's power as commander in chief. The Bush administration came under criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians for sidestepping court supervision.

The current legal backing for Blarney and its related programs stems from a section of a 2008 surveillance law. It permits the government, for foreign intelligence investigations, to snoop on foreigners "reasonably believed" to be outside the U.S.

Previously, the law had tighter standards. It allowed the government to spy on people if there were "probable cause" to believe they were an "agent of a foreign power."

NSA has discretion on setting its filters, and the system relies significantly on self-policing. This can result in improper collection that continues for years.

For example, a recent Snowden document showed that the surveillance court ruled that the NSA had set up an unconstitutional collection effort. Officials say it was an unintentional mistake made in 2008 when it set filters on programs like these that monitor Internet traffic; NSA uncovered the inappropriate filtering in 2011 and reported it.

"NSA's foreign intelligence collection activities are continually audited and overseen internally and externally," Ms. Vines says. "When we make a mistake in carrying out our foreign intelligence mission, we report the issue internally and to federal overseers and aggressively get to the bottom of it."

Another Snowden document describes the procedures NSA uses to protect American information that is retained. Any such information is "minimized," meaning that it is destroyed. The document highlights several exceptions, including encrypted communications and information of foreign intelligence significance.

Officials acknowledged some purely domestic communications are incidentally swept into the system. "We don't keep track of numbers of U.S. persons," a U.S. official says. "What we try to do is minimize any exposure."

When searching the data, intelligence officials say they are permitted to look only for information related to a "foreign intelligence interest." In practice, the NSA has latitude under that standard, and an American's communication could be read without a warrant, another U.S. official says.

Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. "There's technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance," he says.

An official at Global Crossing's parent, Level 3 Communications Inc., says the company complies with laws requiring it to assist government investigations and declined to disclose the assistance provided.

It is difficult to know how much domestic data NSA is inadvertently retaining. The filtering technology relies on algorithms to seek out valuable communications. A U.S. official says analysts guide the use of these algorithms to make them as precise as possible.

-- Devlin Barrett contributed to this article.

Write to Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at Jennifer.Valentino-DeVries@wsj.com


Last modified: February, 02, 2021

[Feb 01, 2021] Wikipedia is rewriting history on a daily basis

Feb 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow


DanausPlex 4 hours ago remove link

Orwell's 1984 predicted all this in 1948. Wikipedia is rewriting history on a daily basis, education is stifling young minds, free speech controlled, double standard legal system, burning books next?.... It's all there, 1984 is upon us. But, remember our ancestors were considered terrorists by the by the controlling British at the time. PEACEFUL revolution starting with 75+ million Americans will work.

npz 9 hours ago remove link

Stop using Twitter, Facebook, et. al. If building services, there are other alternatives than AWS. Like holy hell, there's a hundred restaurants around you and you only go to two then complain about their food and act like they're the only one in existence. There's also groceries stores where you can make your own food but that never crossed your mind.

Why does everyone use Mailchimp? Like literally people think that's the only mass mailing list service that exists. Do you know about MKISO? https://reclaimthenet.org/mkisio-free-speech-mailchimp-alternative/

The internet is STILL very much a frontier except people are too used to convenience from one-stop-shop services... It's like they WANT monopolies despite complaining about it, because admittedly, having everything hand-held and done for you is the easiest most convenient way.

Again, he mentions Gab... then ignores just how did they survive and will continue to. Are people not curious?

Luongo did right by using crypto at the end instead of Paypal, but he did wrong by still relying on Patreon

The way to keep empowering monopolies is to keep depending on them!

A_Huxley 6 hours ago remove link

Support services, products, app thats support your freedoms.

Move away from apps, OS, social media, any "code of conduct" that removes freedom of speech.

Moderation, curation? Support freedom, the tools to publish.

Make the internet great again.

Vinividivinci 4 hours ago (Edited)

"Make the Internet great again" ? It's gonna take something like, make the "Guttenberg press"

great again, to truly free us from tech tyranny.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press

Ms No PREMIUM 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is it just me, or is everything a day late and ten thousand dollars short? Calling captian obvious as we descend into hell ...

1CSR2SQN 2 hours ago

Quote: morality, balls and empathy are in very short supply.

The biggest obstacles and the most frustrating item of all, willful blindness.

Handful of Dust 12 hours ago (Edited)

Is a national social media platform, owned privately, that practices discrimination, subject to Congresss reach and usage of the Interstate Commerce Clause?

Hell yes!

Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 says so.

These social media companies (at the minimum) affect interstate commerce and are therefore subject to the reach of Congress. Too bad Congress and the ACLU are so pathetic. And we have now witnessed how corrupt the Supreme Court is.

The future of USA is dismal.

Faeriedust 2 hours ago remove link

You have to be like the Robinhood traders. They know they are likely to lose. But if we ALL hit the corporations at the same time, we can bleed them from a million cuts. The costs to file a lawsuit are really quite reasonable -- usually under $100, almost always less than $200. The real cost is in legal fees, but you can file pro se. You won't win filing pro se . But the corporation spends that much on a fifteen minute call to their lawyer and at least $1000 in the documents requesting that your suit be dismissed or quashed. I did my time working for a corporate attorney. I did the monthly bills!

Note: law libraries used to be huge depositories of books that required a membership of some sort to get into, except for some state and state universities. Then it required at least a year of education to know where to look for what you needed. Now everything is on the web. If you are literate, this makes pro se legal action possible. It won't help you if you follow silly "Sovereign Citizen" schemes or instructions from a credit-card bankruptcy website to fight Child Support . You still have to learn a LITTLE about what you're doing. But the information is on the web, and courts short of the Supremes can't refuse you the right to file for yourself.

hajimenoippo123 11 hours ago remove link

Oh... I see...

Critical mass population reached for USA..

But South Korea is in matrix..

I went to their portals and could not find a single economic / military related news...

Just kpop entertainment stock bitcoin real estate sports and pointless politics..

What a nightmare..

Fiscal Reality 1 hour ago remove link

How do patriotic free speech Americans react in 2021-2022 now that Google, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Wall Street, the MSM and the DNC/CCP have declared war?? There are things we can do NOW that will have an immediate impact on the enemies of freedom and the Plutocracy. Starve the Beast!!

1. Cancel cable, Direct TV and Dish. Today. Keep the internet. Save $800+/- per year. Hit them in the pocketbook. Do not support them with your money. Dump You Tube and use Rumble, Daily Motion or Vimeo.

2. Cancel and delete your accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon Prime. Go anonymous. Since Playstore and Amazon banned Parler, we can use Gab or Clouthub. Communication is key. Stay connected but not through the Big Tech censors. Get a VPN for added privacy.

3. Delete/disable Chrome and Google. Use Tor or Brave as browsers and Duck Duck Go or Presearch instead of GOOG. Google makes their money on ads, SRO payments and selling your data. Shut it down.

4. Cancel all your paid magazine and newspaper subscriptions (paper and digital) except those that support America and are Conservative. When you cancel, tell them why.

5. Delete Waze (owned by Google) and Google Maps. Replace with Sygic or other GPS apps.

6. Cancel and cut up all your extra credit cards. Keep a maximum of 3 if practical. It hurts the banks when this happens, even if the card is infrequently used. If you pay a fee to the bank for the card, it hurts them even more.

7. Create an anonymous email account on www.Protonmail.com . Migrate from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. and then delete or deactivate the other account if possible. Those are spy accounts.

8. Pay cash when you shop when possible so your purchases are anonymous for you and the retailer.

9. Buy locally from Mom and Pop stores and absolutely pay in cash; they've been devastated.

10. Google yourself. Scrub your data. Search yourself on Duck Duck Go and Start Page, too. Start with MyLife, White Pages, Been Verified and Spokeo. They aggregate and sell YOUR PERSONAL DATA FOR PROFIT. SHUT IT DOWN! It takes effort (usually there is a privacy link on the bottom of the webpage). They make it difficult but persevere. This also helps prevent identity theft. Anonymity on the Net is a TOP priority.

11. Keep your 24/7/365 spy device (i.e Smartphone) in a Faraday bag when not in use. Or use a "dumb" phone.

12. Don't buy anything made in China (it is possible but difficult).

13. Change party affiliation to No Party Affiliation (everyone should do this). If you want to vote in party primary, change your affiliation before the primary so you can vote.

14. Get involved in LOCAL politics where you can still make an impact. Write, email and call about LOCAL issues.

15. Seek out like-minded people as a support group (NOT as an echo chamber)

16. Join a gun club and learn to shoot for self-defense. Get your CCP. Buy a gun and ammo.

17. Go to Church. Interact with other believers. Restore your Faith. Come home to where you belong.

18. Stay focused and positive. Do not be demoralized. Trust in God.

19. Support the My Pillow Guy. "Use code Mike for up to 60% off"

20. Homeschool your children. Education, not Ideological indoctrination. Teach them YOUR values.

21. Don't donate to colleges or universities. They are cesspools of Communism.

22. WRITE your Senators and Rep's in DC. Email, phone call and website responses are ignored or deleted. There is nothing quite like 25,000 letters a week showing up in a Senator's DC office. Bury them in mail.

It's on. Stop supporting tyranny. Starve the Beast.

hongdo 1 hour ago

" Amazon's AWS doesn't become a dominant player without those vaunted contracts with the CIA. "

This is the key thing to keep in mind.

This problem started in 1947 with the creation of the CIA and black budgets.

It bloomed with the creation of In-Q-Tel to fund and direct private companies. This was initially done to solve the problems of the competitive source selection acquisition process where most programs were failing. Give the money to smart guys and give them a part of the action through private ownership of the company funded by the government. The incentives were all changed to make the smart guys extraordinarily wealthy if they successfully met the objectives of the black programs.

And when one objective was met - search, geomapping, translation - they needed new objectives to keep growing and making more money - face recognition, data capture, pre-crime social data bases, AI. And the power was addictive as it always is.

Obviously the rest of the government and politicians wanted in. And we have what we have today. But personally I think it will all collapse of it's own weight as all things eventually go baroque and over-extended as everyone jumps in to grab the grift. politicians are obviously too stupid to hold this mess together so they will need AI to manage it. But the AI will take over as it realizes it doesn't need stupid politicians.

Draw your own scenarios for the future.

Let it Go 3 hours ago remove link

The internet has become a monster that eats away at our culture. Many people particularly those that are younger seem to think that one big or lucky break is what it takes to achieve happiness and this is the way life works.

Big tech and social media have a lot to be gained by promoting a few powerful myths. The idea they empower individuals is a biggie. This illusion big tech can transform our lives is invaluable to many average people struggling to get through the day. The article below argues we being softened up by big tech to where we will surrender our individuality, humanity, and freedom to the forces of AI and those that control it.

https://The Glory Of Going Viral-A Faud Promoted By Big Tech.html

[Jan 29, 2021] Crowdsourced Maps Will Show Exactly Where Surveillance Cameras Are Watching

Jan 29, 2021 | technews.acm.org

Crowdsourced Maps Will Show Exactly Where Surveillance Cameras Are Watching
Fast Company
Mark Sullivan
January 26, 2021

Human rights organization Amnesty International plans to create a crowdsourced map pinpointing every surveillance camera enabled for facial recognition in New York City. Beginning in May, volunteers will be able to use an app on their smartphones to identify facial recognition cameras within their view; the app integrates Google Street View and Google Earth to help tag and affix geolocation data to those entries. The map will be part of Amnesty's "Ban the Scan" campaign, designed to spread awareness worldwide on the civil rights perils of facial recognition. The organization hopes to launch similar crowdsourced mapping projects in New Delhi, the West Bank, and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in the coming months.

Full Article

[Jan 23, 2021] How FBI identified participant of Dec 6 riot/protest

Jan 23, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

William Dorritt 6 hours ago (Edited) remove link

FBI IDENTIFIED EVERYONE ON THE MALL: ENEMIES LIST

V

Everyone should have dressed in Black and worn a Guy Fawkes Mask

Hint, if you order your Fawkes Mask online you will be entered into the enemies data base automatically

CIA COLOR REVOLUTION COMES HOME TO USA

Noktirnal 6 hours ago remove link

Gullible people....

[Jan 22, 2021] One of the simplest, quickest ways we can slightly lessen the grip of total surveillance is to refuse to own a smartphone

Jan 22, 2021 | off-guardian.org

This is actually not completely true as even regular "dumb" phone can pinpoint your location, although with less accuracy. But the key is you operations using credit card. That's probably much more useful information for the surveillance state that maps of where you have been. Jan 15, 2021 4:29 PM

One of the simplest, quickest ways we could make all Mr Global is doing and wants to do unworkable is to refuse to own a smart phone. Consequently, we'd have none of those apps constantly pushed our way. Also – don't cry – we need to refuse to use Big Tech's spy devices, aka social media. People say to me, But I don't care if they spy. Let 'em, I've done nothing wrong. And it's true – they haven't. But Big Tech, slave to Mr Global, is not looking for criminals – Mr Global makes the laws (in most places now) and can criminalise anything or anyone he wants to. If he wants criminals, he can make you into one. Ask Judy Mikovits. Telling the truth now is a crime and soon you will see people arrested for it. Julian Assange's story told us this would happen. And it is. Remember, Mr Global and Big Tech live by no moral code you or I adhere to.
Everything they intend to do to us needs control, and knowledge is control – who we are, what we believe, where we are, what we look like, our DNA (now available through the PCR test – the real reason behind this useless test ), how much money we have or spend and on what. AND ALL OF THAT – bar the DNA – IS AVAILABLE TO THEM VIA SMART PHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA. For example, how will they introduce digital money if we refuse to own a smart phone? How will they introduce arbitrary daily 'health certificates' if we have no device to display them? Chaos will ensue. Next thing is a chip inserted in our bodies, then we don't need the phone. Yes, it will get rough, but we have only a short time when we can act together and support one another. Soon it will be impossible. Ask the Germans. No one thought these cultured, educated people would be made to conform to nazism in the 1930's. When covidism happened, I heard and read people stating that the Spanish wouldn't put up with this. I find it hard to believe the British have folded so easily. (See: Rule Britannia we never, never shall be slaves Only if a magic non-existent virus comes along, then we'll slip into the chains.)
Mr Global knows more about us than we do, and so can manipulate or locate or harass or brainwash or vaccinate or ban or censor. Or remove us, of course.
Mr Global said we would become addicted to the internet, and we have. It's not just porn or games, it's even worse – smart phones and social media. Defy them! Poke Zuckerberg in the eye! Get rid of your smart phone and get off social media, support people or groups who are trying to find another way. We all need friends, especially now.
P.S. I agree smart phones are v useful for videoing such things as police violence! But small cameras exist! Jan 15, 2021 3:41 PM

But "The Internet" is not just these pre-packaged platforms. Thy are just applications that are provided free of charge for everyday users because those applications need bait for their raw material – you. You're the ants in their ant farm who mill around providing grist for their mill -- analytics to tell advertisers who to target and how to approach them and screen space to contact that target audience.

There is absolutely nothing stopping Trump or anyone else starting a Wiki like OffG. There's the issue of hosting but there's no need to use a service like AWS with its attendant Terms and Conditions, it just convenient. There is always someone, somewhere, that will host you and people will find you even if your Domain registration is suppresed or seized. A site like Pirate Bay continues to exist despite the ongoing efforts of law enforcement but the price the operators pay is that they have to have a deep understanding of what they're doing and a very serious attitude towards site security. (If you're doing something that's potentially illegal like Pirate Bay then you have to be serious about precautions. The operators asnd users of Parler, for example, are learning the hard way about hosting potentially seditious material without adequate precautions -- they've effectively shopped their entire user base to the Feds.)(We can argue about their material but its really a case of one persons 'freedom' is another's 'sedition' -- that's for the courts to decide .but a wise person wouldn't let this situation arise in the first place.)

Trump got kicked off these sites not just because of a sudden outbreak of social consciosness by the operators but because he's effectively a 'has been'. His power is fading fast which has altered the financial risk/reward calculus so there's little downside to ejecting him and likely a lot of upside. The mistake he and his supporters have made is to take these platforms for granted, to assume that their use is some kind of God given right rather than a corporate commercial decision.

Remember -- "If the product is free then you are the product"

[Jan 17, 2021] In our post-Snowden world, we have outsourced our privacy politics to crypto apps. By doing so, we've entered a paranoid game theory nightmare world

Jan 17, 2021 | twitter.com

@yashalevine

@yashalevine i get into this critique at length in this long baffler essay: https:// thebaffler.com/salvos/the-cry pto-keepers-levine

In our post-Snowden world, we have outsourced our privacy politics to crypto apps. By doing so, we've entered a paranoid game theory nightmare world -- a place where regular people have no true power and must put their faith in the people and organizations stoking the algorithms that make this crypto tech. In the end, it all comes down to trust. But can any of these people and organizations be really trusted? The young Russian mogul on the skids with the Kremlin? The former American spy-for-hire on the run and hiding out in Russia? Boutique crypto apps funded by the regime change wing of the State Department? Google and Facebook, who partner with the NSA?

Confused? Don't know who to trust? Well, that's the state of our privacy movement today.

[Jan 17, 2021] Signal is a government op. it was created and funded by a CIA spinoff

Jan 17, 2021 | twitter.com

Yasha Levine @yashalevine Jan 15

given that signal is blowing up, time for my public service announcement: @signalapp is a government op. it was created and funded by a CIA spinoff. it is *not* your friend.

[Jan 17, 2021] Tech Supremacy- Silicon Valley Can No Longer Conceal Its Power by Niall Ferguson

Jan 17, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Niall Ferguson via The Spectator,

'To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle,' George Orwell famously observed. He was talking not about everyday life but about politics, where it is 'quite easy for the part to be greater than the whole or for two objects to be in the same place simultaneously'.

The examples he gave in his 1946 essay included the paradox that 'for years before the war, nearly all enlightened people were in favour of standing up to Germany: the majority of them were also against having enough armaments to make such a stand effective'.

Last week provided a near-perfect analogy. For years before the 2020 election, nearly all American conservatives were in favour of standing up to big tech : the majority of them were also against changing the laws and regulations enough to make such a stand effective. The difference is that, unlike the German threat, which was geographically remote, the threat from Silicon Valley was literally in front of our noses, day and night: on our mobile phones, our tablets and our laptops.

Writing in this magazine more than three years ago, I warned of a coming collision between Donald Trump and Silicon Valley. 'Social media helped Donald Trump take the White House,' I wrote. 'Silicon Valley won't let it happen again.' The conclusion of my book The Square and the Tower was that the new online network platforms represented a new kind of power that posed a fundamental challenge to the traditional hierarchical power of the state.

By the network platforms, I mean Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google and Apple, or FATGA for short -- companies that have established a dominance over the public sphere not seen since the heyday of the pre-Reformation Catholic Church . FATGA had humble enough origins in garages and dorm rooms. As recently as 2008, not one of them could be found among the world's largest companies by market capitalisation. Today, they occupy first, third, fourth and fifth places in the market cap league table, just above their Chinese counterparts, Tencent and Alibaba.

What happened was that the network platforms turned the originally decentralised worldwide web into an oligarchically organised and hierarchical public sphere from which they made money and to which they controlled access. That the original, superficially libertarian inclinations of these companies' founders would rapidly crumble under political pressure from the left was also perfectly obvious, if one bothered to look a little beyond one's proboscis.

Following the violent far-right rally at Charlottesville in August 2017, Matthew Prince, chief executive of the internet service provider Cloudflare, described how he had responded: 'Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the internet.' On the basis that 'the people behind the [white supremacist magazine] Daily Stormer are assholes', he denied their website access to the internet. 'No one should have that power,' he admitted. 'We need to have a discussion around this with clear rules and clear frameworks. My whims and those of Jeff [Bezos] and Larry [Page] and Mark [Zuckerberg] shouldn't be what determines what should be online.'

But that discussion had barely begun in 2017. Indeed, many Republicans at that time still believed the notion that FATGA were champions of the free market that required only the lightest regulation. They know better now. After last year's election Twitter attached health warnings to Trump's tweets when he claimed that he had in fact beaten Joe Biden. Then, in the wake of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, Twitter and Facebook began shutting down multiple accounts -- including that of the President himself, now 'permanently suspended' from tweeting. When Trump loyalists declared their intention to move their conversations from Twitter to rival Parler -- in effect, Twitter with minimal content moderation -- Google and Apple deleted Parler from their app stores. Then Amazon kicked Parler off its 'cloud' service, effectively deleting it from the internet altogether. It was a stunning demonstration of power.

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It is only a slight overstatement to say that, while the mob's coup against Congress ignominiously failed, big tech's coup against Trump triumphantly succeeded. It is not merely that Trump has been abruptly denied access to the channels he has used throughout his presidency to communicate with voters. It is the fact that he is being excluded from a domain the courts have for some time recognised as a public forum.

Various lawsuits over the years have conferred on big tech an unusual status: a public good, held in private hands. In 2018 the Southern District of New York ruled that the right to reply to Trump's tweets is protected 'under the "public forum" doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court'. So it was wrong for the President to 'block' people -- i.e. stop them reading his tweets -- because they were critical of him. Censoring Twitter users 'because of their expressed political views' represents 'viewpoint discrimination [that] violates the First Amendment'.

In Packingham vs North Carolina (2017), Justice Anthony Kennedy likened internet platforms to 'the modern public square', arguing that it was therefore unconstitutional to prevent sex offenders from accessing, and expressing opinions on, social network platforms. 'While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views,' Justice Kennedy wrote, 'today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace -- the "vast democratic forums of the internet" in general and social media in particular.'

In other words, as President of the United States, Trump could not block Twitter users from seeing his tweets, but Twitter is apparently within its rights to delete the President's account altogether. Sex offenders have a right of access to online social networks; but the President does not.

This is not to condone Trump's increasingly deranged attempts to overturn November's election result. Before last week's riots, he egged on the mob; he later said he 'loved' them, despite what they had done. Nor is there any denying that a number of Trump's most fervent supporters pose a threat of further violence. Considering the bombs and firearms some of them brought to Washington, the marvel is how few people lost their lives during the occupation of the Capitol.

Yet the correct response to that threat is not to delegate to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and their peers the power to remove from the public square anyone they deem to be sympathetic to insurrection or otherwise suspect. The correct response is for the FBI and the relevant police departments to pursue any would-be Trumpist terrorists, just as they have quite successfully pursued would-be Islamist terrorists over the past two decades.

The key to understanding what has happened lies in an obscure piece of legislation, almost a quarter of a century old, enacted after a New York court held online service provider Prodigy liable for a user's defamatory posts. Congress then stepped in with the 1996 Telecommunications Act and in particular Section 230, which was written to encourage nascent firms to protect users and prevent illegal activity without incurring massive content management costs. It states:

1. No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

2. No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.

In essence, Section 230 gives websites immunity from liability for what their users post if it is in any way harmful, but also entitles websites to take down with equal impunity any content that they don't like the look of. The surely unintended result of this legislation, drafted for a fledgling internet, is that some of the biggest companies in the world enjoy a protection reminiscent of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 . Try to hold them responsible as publishers, and they will say they are platforms. Demand access to their platforms and they will insist that they are publishers.

This might have been a tolerable state of affairs if America's network platforms had been subject to something like the old Fairness Doctrine, which required the big three terrestrial TV networks to give airtime to opposing views. But that was something the Republican party killed off in the 1980s, seeing the potential of allowing more slanted coverage on cable news. What goes around comes around. The network platforms long ago abandoned any pretence of being neutral. Even before Charlottesville, their senior executives and many of their employees had made it clear that they were appalled by Trump's election victory (especially as both Facebook and Twitter had facilitated it). Increasingly, they interpreted the words 'otherwise objectionable' in Section 230 to mean 'objectionable to liberals'.

Throughout the summer of last year, numerous supporters of Black Lives Matter used social media, as well as mainstream liberal media, to express their support for protests that in many places escalated into violence and destruction considerably worse than occurred in the Capitol last week. One looked in vain for health warnings, much less account suspensions, though Facebook says it has removed accounts that promote violence.

Compare, for example, the language Trump used in his 6 January speech and the language Kamala Harris used in support of BLM on Stephen Colbert's show on 18 June. Neither explicitly condoned violence. Trump exhorted the crowd to march to the Capitol, but he told them to 'peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard'. Harris condemned 'looting and acts of violence', but said of the BLM protestors: 'They're not going to stop. They're not. This is a movement. I'm telling you. They're not going to stop, and everyone, beware. Because they're not going to stop. They're not going to stop before election day in November, and they are not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that on both levels.' What exactly was the significance of that 'beware'?

Earlier, on 1 June, Harris had used Twitter to solicit donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which posted bail for people charged with rioting in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd. It would be easy to cite other examples. 'Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence,' Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times told CBS in early June, at a time when multiple cities were being swept by arson and vandalism. Her Twitter account is still going strong.

The double standard was equally apparent when the New York Post broke the story of Biden's son Hunter's dubious business dealings in China. Both Twitter and Facebook immediately prevented users from posting links to the article -- something they had never done with stories damaging to Trump.

You don't need to be a Trump supporter to find all this alarming. Conservatives of many different stripes -- and indeed some bemused liberals -- have experienced the new censorship for themselves, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has emboldened tech companies to police content more overtly. In the UK, TalkRadio briefly vanished from YouTube for airing anti--lockdown views that violated the company's 'community guidelines'. A recording of Lionel Shriver reading one of her Spectator columns on the pandemic was taken down for similar reasons. Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, two Oxford academics, fell foul of Facebook's censors when they wrote for this magazine about a briefly controversial paper on the efficacy of masks in Denmark.

You might think that FATGA have finally gone too far with their fatwa against a sitting president of the United States. You might think a red line really has been crossed when both Alexei Navalny and Angela Merkel express disquiet at big tech's overreach. But no. To an extent that is remarkable, American liberals have mostly welcomed (and in some cases encouraged) this surge of censorship -- with the honourable exception of the American Civil Liberties Union.

True, during last year's campaign the Biden team occasionally talked tough, especially about Facebook. However, it is increasingly clear that the most big tech has to fear from the Biden-Harris administration is protracted antitrust actions focused on their alleged undermining of competition which, if history is any guide, will likely end with whimpers rather than bangs. Either way, the issue of censorship will not be addressed by antitrust lawsuits.

It is tempting to complain that Democrats are hypocrites -- that they would be screaming blue murder if the boot were on the other foot and it was Kamala Harris whose Twitter account had been cancelled. But if that were the case, how many Republicans would now be complaining? Not many. No, the correct conclusion to be drawn is that the Republicans had their chance to address the problem of over-mighty big tech and completely flunked it.

Only too late did they realise that Section 230 was Silicon Valley's Achilles heel. Only too late did they begin drafting legislation to repeal or modify it. Only too late did Section 230 start to feature in Trump's speeches. Even now it seems to me that very few Republicans really understand that, by itself, repealing 230 would not have sufficed. Without some kind of First Amendment for the internet, repeal would probably just have restricted free speech further.

As Orwell rightly observed, 'we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality.'

Those words sum up quite a lot that has gone on inside the Republican party over the past four years. There it was, right in front of their noses: Trump would lead the party to defeat. And he would behave in the most discreditable way when beaten. Those things were predictable. But what was also foreseeable was that FATGA -- the 'new governors', as a 2018 Harvard Law Review article called them -- would be the true victors of the 2020 election.

[Jan 17, 2021] Facebook page closed

Jan 17, 2021 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Serge , 15 January 2021 at 08:30 PM


I did so in 2012 and never looked back. I used to recycle Twitter accounts every few months but now you need a phone number to do that. The near future of the internet is the absence of the perception of anonymity, every child will be assigned an internet identifier that will be linked to his social credit score. This is the ultimate goal of the tech companies: to merge the real life with the internet as much as possible, and then own/profit from that outcome. They have a common goal with the government in this quest, control.

blue peacock , 15 January 2021 at 10:00 PM

Bravo!

I've never had a Facebook account. I follow many people on Twitter. Mostly financial market participants but also political commentators across the spectrum. All the "conservatives" on my feed have been disappeared. I stopped using Google for search many years ago as I noticed that their results were getting worse and shifted to DuckDuckGo.

I used WhatsApp for international calling and text messaging - but am part of the wave that have shifted to Signal in the past few weeks.

https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224

"It's the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception – that is the product." That is also how these corporations make their money, by "changing what you do, what you think, who you are."

They make profits, big profits, from the predictions business – predicting what you will think and how you will behave so that you are more easily persuaded to buy what their advertisers want to sell you. To have great predictions, these corporations have had to amass vast quantities of data on each of us – what is sometimes called "surveillance capitalism."

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/01/14/netflixs-the-social-dilemma-tells-only-half-the-story/

Harvard professor Soshana Zuboff rang the bell some years back.

https://youtu.be/QL4bz3QXWEo

elaine , 16 January 2021 at 12:38 AM

First they'll teach us not to use gender pronouns & perhaps reward
us with a treat as we learn to think & speak like them. It's just
an obedience school they want to run for the greater good of course.
An old phrase comes to mind, "The beatings will end when compliance
begins" Boycotts are now at best symbolic as "They" run the currency.

Fourth and Long , 16 January 2021 at 09:47 AM


Tor was developed by the US Navy to enable spies to communicate over the web without being traced. But to actually work effectively lots of other more and less normal people had to be encouraged to use it. The details are fascinating. Two links below.

Spy-funded privacy tools (like Signal and Tor) are not going to protect you from the government -- see this from 2016

https://yasha.substack.com/p/spy-funded-privacy-tools-like-signal

And this today:

Signal is a government op:

https://yasha.substack.com/p/signal-is-a-government-op

Ed Lindgren , 16 January 2021 at 10:25 AM


I had a Facebook account for about six weeks (a decade ago). My preferred search engine is DuckDuckGo. I pay five bucks a month for the services of an Australia-based email provider ( fastmail.com ). And Amazon is my vendor of last resort.

What is the path forward for those who desire a forum to present an alternative point of view?

Ron Paul touches on this in his most recent column:

"There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas."

At the rate this is all going, we might have to start thinking "outside the box."

Dr. Paul's column can be accessed here:

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/11/the-war-on-terror-comes-home/

[Jan 17, 2021] After RIGGING election for Biden, Facebook officials now being rewarded with positions on fake president-elect's transition t

Jan 17, 2021 | jonsnewplace.wordpress.com

Joe Biden's "transition" team is gaining a number of former high-level Facebook executives, which makes sense considering these are the same folks that helped Biden "win" by censoring unsavory news about him on social media.

Former Facebook board member Jeff Zients, it has been announced, will be co-chairing Biden's transition team, while another former Facebook board member will act as an adviser. Two others, one a former Facebook director and the other a former Facebook company lobbyist, will also be assuming key leadership roles in Biden's installation.

Biden's personal friend Nick Clegg, a former top Facebook executive and former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister, will also be joining the transition team that is planning to install Biden into the White House come January.

According to Democrats, Facebook hasn't censored conservatives enough

Seeing as how Facebook did everything it possibly could to ensure that Biden "won" the election, including by predictively programming that the vote count would probably be stalled in order to sneak in late ballots, it is hardly a surprise that Facebook is now officially marrying the Biden campaign. On the other hand, the Democrats have hardly been shy in condemning Facebook for supposedly not engaging in enough censorship throughout the election cycle.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief mobilization officer Patrick Stevenson, for instance, tweeted recently that he believes "the two biggest institutional threats to our democracy are the Republican Party and Facebook."

Shortly after the mainstream media called the race for Biden, campaign spokesman Bill Russo also suggested that Facebook needs to go because it is "shredding the fabric of our democracy."

"We basically think they're an immoral company," declared an anonymous senior Democratic strategist close to the Biden campaign, at least according to Politico .

"There are thousands and thousands of people in their 20s and 30s and 40s who will be incensed to find themselves working for Secretary of Commerce Sheryl Sandberg, or taking a soft touch to Facebook because Nick Clegg and Joe Biden go way back."

Facebook and Joe Biden are officially married

In a way, this anonymous insider makes a good point. Who on either the right or the left would ever want any of these tech "gods" and "goddesses" to rule over their daily lives from Washington, D.C.? Have not these people already done enough damage to our republic?

On the other hand, the Biden camp should probably be grateful beyond words that Facebook and the rest of the Big Tech cabal openly catered to Biden by shielding him from the Huntergate scandal , among other things.

Facebook may as well have just come out and proclaimed when Biden was selected as the Democrat nominee that it would from that point on function as a media gatekeeper to shield Biden from all scrutiny, all the while disenfranchising President Trump at every turn.

Keep in mind that these are not low-level former Facebook employees who are now helping with Biden's transition: they are the company's top brass.

"Biden is not the president-elect," noted one commenter at The Right Scoop , correctly pointing out that all this talk about a transition team is mere fantasy. "Biden should have zero security clearance after the corruption he's been involved in. I'll never accept him. He's a domestic terrorist."

Another commenter pointed out the same, emphasizing that Biden "has not been elected" and is merely trying to steal what is not rightfully his.

"If you thought any kind of bipartisan work towards curbing Big Tech's monopoly on information was going to happen here's your answer," wrote yet another about how Biden's rhetoric about tackling internet censorship was nothing but a lie.

The latest news about the rigged 2020 election can be found at Trump.news .

[Jan 15, 2021] QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA (or at least remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets!)

Questionable advice (especially the recommendation of Signal). It is actually impossible to avoid surveillance... You need to change your behaviour and rely on internet less to avoid constant monitoring. If you have switched on smartphone in your pocket you are monitored and no choice of browser or other gargets can help. Switching your phone off when you do not need it helps and is easily implementable.
Notable quotes:
"... [Questionable advice] ..."
"... remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets! ..."
Jan 15, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

DonGenaro 2 hours ago DonGenaro 2 hours ago

Change your default search engine to DuckDuckGo (do NOT use google!)

Use the Brave Browser (esp avoid FireFox, as the Mozilla corp has gone FULL-ON commie)

Use Signal for any/all "sensitive" communications [Questionable advice]

Donate to independent sources that you value/trust
(for me, that'd be ZeroHedge, Reclaim The Net, Andy Gno, Lew Rockwell, Mises Institute, Tom Luongo, AntiWar.com )

QUIT SOCIAL MEDIA (or at least remove photos, and limit topics to recipes and pets!)

Cancel your Amazon account - shop locally or use alternatives - e.g.:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com
https://www.bookdepository.com
https://www.buydig.com/
https://www.candystore.com
https://www.newegg.com
https://www.nuts.com
https://www.overstock.com
https://www.vitacost.com
https://www.wayfair.com

Boycott major corporations to the degree possible

Share your own version of this message with your trustworthy friends (i.e. NOT Leftists!)

[Jan 15, 2021] A Message To Anyone Who Feels Like 'Winston' In Orwell's 1984 by Simon Black

Jan 15, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

"The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering... all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting - three hundred million people all with the same face."

That was a quote from George Orwell's seminal work 1984 - a masterpiece that describes life in a totalitarian state that demands blind obedience.

The 'Party' controlled everything - the economy, daily life, and even the truth. In Orwell's 1984 , "the heresy of heresies was common sense."

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered."

"And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."

If you were ever caught committing a thoughtcrime -- dissenting from the Party for even an instant– then "your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten."

Now, our world obviously hasn't become quite as extreme as Orwell's dystopian vision. But Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Government certainly seem to be giving it their best effort.

70,000 thought criminals have already been purged from Twitter. Facebook and Reddit are feverishly removing user content. Apple, Google, and Amazon have banned entire apps and platforms.

Undoubtedly there is plenty of wacky content all over the Internet– misinformation, ignorance, rage, hate, violence, and just plain stupidity.

But these moves by the Big Tech companies aren't about violence. If they were, they would have deleted tens of thousands of accounts over the last few years– like the mostly peaceful BLM activist who Tweeted "white people may have to die".

Or the countless others who have advocated for violent uprisings against the police

Then, of course, there's the #assassinatetrump and #killtrump hashtags that has Twitter has allowed since at least 2016. Or the #killallmen hashtag that's allowed on Twitter and Instagram.

This is not about violence. It's about ideology. If you hold different beliefs than the 'Party', then you risk being canceled or 'de-platformed' by Big Tech.

Icons like Ron Paul– who spent years criticizing the current administration's monetary and national defense policies, and had nothing to do with the Capitol, have been suspended or locked out of their Facebook pages.

The hammer has dropped, and it is now obvious, beyond any doubt, that you better watch what you say– your livelihood, your social life, and your safety may just depend on it.

Or else, you will be purged, canceled, deleted from the Internet, denied payment processing by Visa, PayPal, and Stripe, and expelled from domain registrars like GoDaddy.

The message is clear: behave and think exactly as we tell you, or you will lose everything you have worked for, in the blink of an eye.

Sure, the 'Party' may give lip service to tolerance and unity. As long as you fall in line. Otherwise it's more rage and ridicule.

They act like you're a crazy person because you have completely legitimate questions and concerns– whether about Covid lockdowns, censorship, media misinformation, etc.

It's extraordinary that after so much deliberate misinformation and bias, the media still expects people to take them seriously. CNN seems to believe that think anyone who doubts their credibility is a 'conspiracy theorist.'

All of these trends are probably making a lot of people very nervous. Even scared. Despair has undoubtedly set in, much like in Winston Smith, the main character in Orwell's 1984.

So, for all the Winstons out there, the most important thing right now is to remain rational. As human beings we tend to make terrible decisions when we're scared, sad, or angry.

Have confidence in knowing that you have MUCH more control over your own life, livelihood, and future than they want to you believe.

But you absolutely will have to make some deliberate, potentially difficult decisions.

For example, if you're fed up with Big Tech, you can de-Google your life. No one is holding a gun to your head to have a Facebook account or use gmail. There are plenty of other options out there that we'll discuss in future letters.

More importantly, you might find that your hometown isn't safe anymore– especially if you live in a big city controlled by politicians intoxicated on their Covid powers.

It's really time to consider your immediate environment – if the local schools are brainwashing your kids, the dictatorial health officials shutting down your business, or nosy neighbors ready to turn you into the Gestapo for having family over for the holidays, then you might think about moving.

That might simply mean moving a few miles to a new county. Or a new state/province. Or potentially overseas. We'll help provide you with information on plenty of options.

It might also be time to reconsider some of your business infrastructure– to have backup web servers and payment processors, for example, if you have an online business.

It might be time to consider some new financial options as well, lest the banks jump on the band wagon and start 'canceling' accounts for heretics.

But that's the silver lining: we've never had more alternatives than now. Everything– technology platforms, financial institutions, and even our personal residence– it's all replaceable. All of it.

We have never had more control over our own privacy, data, livelihood, and environment as long as you have the willingness to take action.


2banana 2 hours ago remove link

GAB and Brave browsers,

rumble and bitchute video,

Signal for voice and messaging,

Session for messaging,

Epoch times for news,

Fastmail and ProtonMail for email,

Duchduckgo and dogpile for search,

And use a paid VPN like private internet access

Leave the phone at home as often as you can and pay cash.

Southern_Boy 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Use https, not http exclusively and don't use any web site that won't take it.

Fastmail is owned by Opera and its mail servers are located in the US, so it will not protect you from subpoenas.

The GAB browser is called Dissenter.

Consider TOR for infrequent forays into the "dark web".

Don't forget that BitCoin (BTC) is traceable.

Use a free version of CCLEANER after every browser session to erase as much of your tracks as you can.

Signal is a suspect because of its controlled ownership community

Using the same vendor for VPN as Anti-Virus is against IT security best practices

Paying for anything with your bank card is a red flag. Whoever you give your credit card to now has your identity, including ZeroHedge. Consider creating an LLC or other identity (preferably offshore) to fund a "burner" credit card or get a refillable debit card that you can fill up using cash. Then you can pay for VPN, email and paid content subscription services using an assumed name or LLC cover name. Assume that any payment to any tech service with your personal card will be used for identification purposes.

Pay with money orders if possible.

Change cellular phone companies every 1 to two years. Avoid data usage on cellular phone, consider using multiple WiFi hotspots for calls.

Consider 2-3 cheap used phones with cheap, pay as you go services and swap them regularly and randomly.

Do not have contact lists on your cell phone and reset to factory settings every 6 months to wipeout any data.

Reload from bare metal your laptop or desktop PC OS every 6 months.

Send random gibberish as an encrypted email every month or so and check if it's unusually slow to be received or if any vendor calls or asks you about anything. If they do, you are being tracked. There are no coincidences.

Make infrequent but regular phone calls with your multiple phones to law enforcement, federal "three letter agency" main switchboards, politicians and random people. Just tell anyone who answers it was a mistake and an improperly dialed number. If you get hold music, then stay on as long as you can because traffic analysis will not know if your actually talking to someone or not. If anyone is investigating or tracking you, your signals traffic (CDR) will automatically confound them and involve unwanted parties that will confound and scare the hounds.

If you are technically competent, consider getting any open source product you use and then compile it yourself after reviewing the source. Check for hidden open doors or reporting communications that aren't needed.

Fateful Destiny the Book 2 hours ago

1984 was prophetic for its time, but Fateful Destiny is the new dystopian benchmark novel for what is to come. Get yours now: https://amzn.to/3owM5Sh

TheLastMan 1 hour ago

The media filter is dominant. Control the narrative, control the world. The official narratives are perpetually meshed into daily consciousness. You must know it is literally spellbinding.

Similar dangers exist on alt media sites like zh. Beware the narrative. Look for at least three sides to every story - his side her side and maybe the truth

OpenEyes 1 hour ago

As much as possible, now is the time to start 'going grey' (if you haven't already started).

One example: I see a lot of people, understandably, saying to delete your facebook account, gmail account, twitter account etc. My recommendation, DO NOT do this. You don't think "they" aren't keeping track of those who are doing this, especially right now? By taking those actions you are pinning a big red flag on yourself.

No, my advice, just simply abandon your account. Stop commenting, posting, reading, etc.. simply walk away and stop using those accounts. It will take some time for 'them' to notice that your account is inactive, if they even do. And, an inactive account will likely be treated far less seriously than an actively deleted or cancelled account.

Keep your heads down and your family safe. Best wishes to all.

Misesmissesme 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever. - George Orwell: " An Instruction Guide for 2021 "

Cardinal Fang 2 hours ago (Edited)

Like that scene in The Graduate where the guy leans in and tells Dustin Hoffman 'One word...Plastics' I am going to lean in and say 'One word...Wearables'

So Google just completes their acquisition of 'FitBit'...even though the Justice Dept has not finished their anti-trust investigation...

Anyhow, it's all coming clear. The next stage in our Orwellian nightmare is Covid will be the excuse to make you 'wear' a device to prove you are Covid free in some way. It will be your permission slip, plus they can spy on you in real time even if you leave your phone home, because you will not be able to leave your home without your 'Wearable'...

Then, in short order, you will get tired of your 'wearable' and beg for the chip implant.

You will beg to be vaccinated and chipped like sheep.

They literally can't help themselves.

Jim in MN 2 hours ago

All new and improved ankle bracelets!

Only $299.99 and yes, it is required or else.

Batteries, monthly surveillance fees and random fines not included.

Dr.Strangelove 2 hours ago

I just watched 1984 and it is scary similar to the US political environment.

We are all Winston.

SullyLuther 1 hour ago remove link

Huxley will be proven correct. Z O G doesn't need a boot perpetually on our necks, when we are so passive and ignorant.

Workdove PREMIUM 1 hour ago

They just need to make narcotics and psychedelics free and his vision of the future will be complete. Orwell was correct too. We got both.

NIRP-BTFD 3 hours ago

Now, our world obviously hasn't become quite as extreme as Orwell's dystopian vision. But Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Government certainly seem to be giving it their best effort.

This is just the beginning. The technocrats at the WEF are planning to control your thought with chips and brain interfaces. Now tell me what is neuralink that Musk is workign on? I'm sure DARPA has technologcy that can allready do this.

seryanhoj 2 hours ago

It's hard to believe USA is now headed to a society like the worst days of the USSR.

Back in the fifties , paranoid Senator McCarthy used similar extreme methods to cancel all those who he considered to by stealth communist sympathizers, or anyone who had been within 100 feet of one. Ironically his methods resembled those of Joseph Stalin.

He was finally discredited by an outstanding and brave news man who took the risk of persecution by denouncing senator McCarthy's methods as unamerican .

So this kind of thing is not without precedent in USA.

[Jan 15, 2021] The Most Secure Linux Phones for Privacy in 2020

See also This Gorgeous New Linux Phone Ships With Ubuntu Touch And LineageOS
Jan 15, 2021 | www.fossmint.com

Today, we bring you a concise list of the smartphones that are designed to respect your right to privacy which you can purchase before the year runs out.

... ... ...

3. PinePhone

The PinePhone is a Linux phone designed by Pine 64 for easy access, privacy-preserving, day-to-day smartphone operations. It can run up to 17 operating systems but ships with the latest Postmarket OS build. The most popular variation is the PinePhone "Community Edition: PostmarketOS" Limited Edition Linux SmartPhone .

Pine64's PinePhone houses 16GB internal flash memory, 2GB RAM, a 5MP rear camera, a 2MP front camera, a removable Li-Po 2750-3000 mAh battery, USB-C for charging, and is capable of working like any normal smartphone except for access to the Google PlayStore.

All 3 smartphones are powered by open-source projects that exist to give complete control of the smartphones to their owners. They ship with modified software that does not track usage information or collect private data which makes them ideal for the security enthusiast.

See Also : The Top 10 GNU/Linux Distros for Privacy & Security

The price to pay, however, is the disconnect from certain activities such as Facebooking with the app, and conveniently downloading apps from the PlayStore – factors that may drive or welcome users depending on their needs. Which boat are you in? And have you used any of these phones yet? Drop your comments in the discussion section below.

[Jan 14, 2021] Some privacy recommendation from ZH commenters

Take then with a grain of salt but some of them make sense.
Jan 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

George Bayou 3 hours ago remove link

I just subscribed to protonmail and I like it. I'm using the free version but I think I'll upgrade to the $4/mo plan and get a domain name for my email.

FeralAndroid 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Shout out to Fastmail.com

I switched to them last year and its been great. I pay $5 a month.

Nick Jihad 1 hour ago

Android is Linux, injected with Goolag's "secret sauce". Not the same.

NIRP-BTFD 3 hours ago (Edited)

Best get a chinese phone without google services.

Things that go bump PREMIUM 3 hours ago remove link

Gab is developing a phone using android, which will be free of goggle.

George Bayou 3 hours ago remove link

Meet the Gab Phone.

Yes, it's real.

We're running @GrapheneOS on a Pixel 4a.

It's Android minus everything and anything Google with added security and privacy features. pic.twitter.com/FuSBjlNMLI

-- Gab.com (@getongab) January 10, 2021

takeaction 3 hours ago (Edited)

Gab.com .....awesome...a little slow because of so many people.

Signal...good messaging phone app.

Telegram...My favorite phone communication app...

... ... ..

gigi fenomen 2 hours ago remove link

telegram groups/channels are not encrypted

Sprumford 3 hours ago (Edited)

Maybe "No-Tech" is best of all? Human contact is lacking IMO....

ReasonForLife 3 hours ago (Edited)

If Comrade Jack is marketing Signal, that a sure signal to not get it. Telegram is best bet right now.

Shirley Yugest 3 hours ago

I heard Telegram was somehow tied to CCP.

NoDebt 3 hours ago

NSA/CIA or CCP. Pick your poison.

Site 2 hours ago

Actually, the developer is Russian, not some slope

nowhereman 3 hours ago remove link

I personally have never understood the purpose behind any of these apps. Are people so lacking in self worth that they depend on complete strangers "likes"?

I guess, with the education system in the shape it's in, it works for people who do not know how to spell, and communicate without it.

HagbardCeline 58 minutes ago

BitChute.com is also seeing massive growth. They are a Youtube competitor based in Britain, and recently added support for livestreaming. They also have an Android app called Bitslide (get it at Bitslide.com since Google kicked them out of the Play Store). Many podcasts have moved there to defend against being banned by Youtube.

WeChat I don't trust. They are Chinese.

clocks 41 minutes ago

bitchute is cool, but they don't have livestreaming and honestly, it's not gonna come soon. They need to fix their transcoding problems first

rbg81 40 minutes ago

WeChat servers are in China and all traffic is encrypted. Say what you will about the Chicoms, but I doubt they will share the data with the FBI.

DemandSider 39 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

Bitchute's search function is really bad, but that's usually where I go to first to find inconvenient truth.

pc_babe 1 hour ago

Telegram is a Russian entity. Luv me some FSB

signal = best

NIRP-BTFD 58 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

I'm sure signal is nsa and cia like everythign that comes out of the USSA. Afiak TOR also has suspicious roots i read once.

44magnum 2 hours ago

Anyone with a working brain should not use apple products

Wayne 1 hour ago remove link

CloutHub is really solid. Haven't tried the others.

Amel 2 minutes ago

CloutHub

Arising 3.0 27 minutes ago

I use Bitchute 90% and YT 10%.

Only when I need to know how to fix something I go to YT to look at 'how to' videos.

Lucius Septimius Pertinax 1 hour ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW-cZqg9ey4

A small Idaho based ISP company decides to ban Twitter and FB after they banned Donald Trump

I know I used youtube.com sorry. google/youtube has turned evil as well. Larry Page and Sergey Brin as two more of the Oligarchs that need to go.

There is going to be a war online, with companies ban and blocking each other.

aniina99 1 hour ago remove link

Telegram baned me 2 phone numbers without posting anything ,they may just not liked channels i i joined, when i wrote a complain to the support explaining that i i havent even wrote anything or postet anything , they havent haven yet and its iten months. Telegram is not good it requires your phone number registring.

pc_babe 1 hour ago

Delete WhatApp ... it's a Facebook front app

General Fuster Cluck 2 hours ago

Until you cancel your cell phone, you are their slave under the electronic chains and shackels 24/7/365

numapepi 33 minutes ago remove link

There are now Linux cell phones.

Ditch Iphone and Android.

ParanoidSquirrel 4 hours ago

Any recommendations for a good web browser to migrate to for laptops? I used to use Mozilla but want to migrate from that now. And I certainly don't want to use a Google or Microsoft product.

Geebo 4 hours ago

Brave

Mr. Bones 3 hours ago (Edited)

Brave is good for mobile. I'm investigating Waterfox for desktop. Flamory for screenshots and research.

Searx for search, qwant is an acceptable alternative.

SacredCowPies 1 hour ago

Millionshort is interesting.

Ms. Erable 4 hours ago remove link

How nice of them to stigmatize software users - it'll make them easier to identify by their Google Play store download history, and get them to the WokeCommie gulag much faster.

denker 3 hours ago

There are alternatives to Google Play.

F CK Google play

A_Huxley 1 hour ago remove link

NSA and GCHQ collect all.

Voice prints, location, comments, links, 4 hops to friends of friends.

Telemakhos 1 hour ago

Signal and Telegram both require phone numbers; so did Parler.

Phone numbers are the NSA's preferred PRISM "strong selector." Most people pay for their phone numbers with credit cards, so identity is easily established through a phone number.

Where can I get a messaging service that doesn't use a phone number, but rather an account with a username and password (maybe two-factor authentication) that I choose and that are not in any way tied to my existing accounts, my phone number, or my identity?

numapepi 53 minutes ago

Mewe didn't require my number and it works fine.

Amel 25 minutes ago remove link

Its called Jitsi and its open source, certificate based voice encrytion.

meistergedanken 2 hours ago remove link

Switched over from Whatsapp to Telegram about a year and a half ago, due to the faceberg concerns. Been quite happy with it. Have a private chat group on there that hopefully will remain unassailable...I'm sure Big Tech is plotting and scheming to take it down somehow.

Peak Finance 43 minutes ago

We need FIDONET back

I was going to fund a project to re-create FIDONET over wifi but ran out of money to piss away on cool projects like this

CTG_Sweden 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Alternatives to Google, Facebook and Twitter and so on is great. I hope more people will begin to use Gab. And that duckduckgo gets more users and introduces an advanced search mode like Google so that you can search for phrases and specific URL:s (I miss the original Altavista search engine which could combine two phrases, I used Altavista until Yahoo turned it into some kind of Yahoo search engine).

The big problem with the Internet today is that nobody offers a solution that enables people to decouple and boycott mainstream media completely. Yet, it wouldn´t be expensive to offer people a basic solution to the media problem. You could have some kind of news aggregator where the readers (some of them) could post quotes and summaries of news they have picked up in mainstream media. With subsections for every little town and topic I think that such an alternative would be a realistic alternative to mainstream media if there would be at least 2 or 3 regular contributors of information in every town with 50,000 inhabitants. I´ve been touting this idea for about 20 years on the Internet now. But nobody has been interested in even forwarding this idea to others. Even the kind of people who were banned from Twitter at an early stage. People are so incridibly stupid. Those of you who read this will probably not forward this idea either. Maybe some troll will post a reply intended to confuse other readers. But that will probably be all.

The question is why the string pullers thought that the US had to replace democracy and free elections with some kind of managed democracy similar to Belarus when almost nobody think for himself/herself. The reason is perhaps they did it because it was possible and they didn´t want to chance it to any little extent.

My impression is that whenever something will be at stake, the string pullers in the US will from now on be able to correct the outcome of the elections through voting machines and/or ballot stuffing. So the question is to what extent better alternatives to mainstream media will matter in the US in the future. But I don´t think it would be a disadvantage if someone would begin building an alternative along the lines I discussed above. Especially if people in countries with a less flawed election system would pick up the idea before it´s too late.

Perhaps the US will return to democratic elections when demographics and new legislation have secured a "better" composition of the electorate and restrictions for free speech similar to those in France. But I´m not sure about that. Even non-white gentiles can cause problems.

Let me return to the Internet. As long as you don´t have direct access to the Internet without any middleman you can always be cut off from the Internet even if you got a legal right to publish what you want on the Internet. In Sweden, only about 5 companies had in the past direct access to the Internet (Sweden has 10 million inhabitants). I don´t know what it´s like now and I guess that the US with its bigger population should have at least 150 legal entities with direct access to the Internet although I haven't checked that out.

Keyser 3 minutes ago

The typical talking points of the tech oligarchs is that if you don't like their politics or moderation policies, then go somewhere else... Then, when alternative social medias sites start to take off, these same media oligarchs use slander and innuendo to justify the de-platforming of the new sites, i.e. Parler, Gab... Parler was the number one app on the Apple iTunes store and also number one on Google Store... That is until both platforms simultaneously kicked them off and AWS broke their contract and banned them there too for hosting violent content... They did the same thing to Gab years ago, but Gab fought back and built out their own infrastructure / software suite...

The irony is that the oligarchs position is that Parler / Gab allow hateful content on their sites which may lead to violence, which justifies censoring them... This while the FBI released a statement yesterday stating they had access to chats on Facebook planning violence for the Jan 6th DC rally and on the same day the hashtag #HangMikePence was trending on Twatter... BTW, the image of Kathy Griffin holding a bloody depiction of Trump's head is still on Twatter, along with the Iran Ayyatolah preaching death to America...

These people are phucking hypocrites whose on goal is control and power...

DemandSider 1 hour ago remove link

Wall Street's Orwellian propaganda machine has inadvertently provided an abject lesson as to the dire need for physical media. There are already too many gatekeepers for the sincere truth seeker to ever trust digital media, again. We've all seen the limits to this technology.

smacker 2 hours ago

I think I'm right in saying that Signal was written by the same folks who wrote WhatsApp.

They sold WhatsApp to Zuckerslimeberg and went off to write Signal. More secure.

Need to know which is best: Signal or Telegram. Very important for me to make "press button" voice & video calls around the world because I virtually gave up using Skype after M$ loaded it up with distractions.

DemandSider 2 hours ago

Any successful social media will eventually sell out to Wall Street parasites and become a zombie mouthpiece to foment race war. They must keep their earned income hosts distracted while they suck their blood.

Fluff The Cat 3 hours ago

What's out? WhatsApp ...

After the Facebook-owned 'secure' messaging app announced a new privacy policy which states that the company may share user data with other Facebook companies "to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings," users began abandoning the app .

Imagine that. Maybe it has something to do with people trying to avoid the likes of Zuckerberg and his ilk at all costs due to big tech's contempt for free speech and privacy.

AJAX-2 3 hours ago remove link

Smoke signals and homing pigeons are good free speech alternatives. Until such time the Climate Change Nazi's and the PETA Commies come after you.

denker 3 hours ago

As an African, I advise drums...

[Jan 11, 2021] Very Incriminating -- Hacker Archives Every Deleted Parler Post

Anybody who posts confidential data to social sites is a clinical idiot.
Comments slightly edited for clarity...
Jan 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Following last week's incursion into the US Capitol building by Trump supporters and the founder of a BLM group , a researcher who goes by the Twitter handle @donk_enby got to work archiving every post from that day made on Parler - a conservative alternative to Twitter where many of the protesters coordinated leading up to the incident which left five people dead. Enby calls the evidence "very incriminating."

Then, after Amazon announced that they were going kill conservative Twitter rival Parler, @donk_enby began archiving posts prior to the 6th, ultimately preserving approximately 99.9% of its content , according to Gizmodo .

Hoping to create a lasting public record for future researchers to sift through , @donk_enby began by archiving the posts from that day. The scope of the project quickly broadened, however, as it became increasingly clear that Parler was on borrowed time . Apple and Google announced that Parler would be removed from their app stores because it had failed to properly moderate posts that encouraged violence and crime. The final nail in the coffin came Saturday when Amazon announced it was pulling Parler's plug. - Gizmodo

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1348440720504401921&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhacktivist-archives-every-deleted-parler-post-future-cancel-crusades&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Included in the data harvest is "original, unprocessed, raw files uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1348294151712944128&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhacktivist-archives-every-deleted-parler-post-future-cancel-crusades&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1348662305043722240&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhacktivist-archives-every-deleted-parler-post-future-cancel-crusades&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

As Gizmodo notes, aside from obvious privacy implications, the archived data may serve as a "fertile hunting ground for law enforcement," after dozens of suspects have been arrested in recent days following last week's incident. Of course, the data can also be used to help doxx conservatives by cancel-crusaders on the left, who go to great lengths to ruin the lives of their ideological opponents.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=830

https://www.youtube.com/embed/D5-z-P4Agik

"I want this to be a big middle finger to those who say hacking shouldn't be political," said @donk_enby, whose efforts are documented at ArchiveTeam.org. She says that the data will eventually be hosted by the Internet Archive.

@donk_enby told Gizmodo that she began digging into Parler after the company issued denials about an email leak unearthed by the hacktivist Kirtner, who has been credited with founding the hacker group Anonymous . @donk_enby said she was able to independently locate the same material herself at the time.

Kirtner, creator of 420chan -- a.k.a. Aubrey Cottle -- reported obtaining 6.3 GB of Parler user data from an unsecured AWS server in November . The leak reportedly contained passwords, photos and email addresses from several other companies as well. Parler CEO John Matze later claimed to Business Insider that the data contained only "public information" about users, which had been improperly stored by an email vendor whose contract was subsequently terminated over the leak. (This leak is separate from the debunked claim that Parler was "hacked" in late November, proof of which was determined to be fake .) - Gizmodo

Kirtner was suspended by Twitter in December for violating its rules against threatening violence against "an individual or a group of people" after tweeting "I'm killing Parler and its fucking glorious."

On Sunday, Parler CEO John Matze slammed decisions by Amazon, Apple and Google to "actually destroy the entire company," adding that they had been "ditched" by their lawyers.

In an interview last year, Matze said that Parler -- which has also taken money from Rebekah Mercer, a deep-pocketed, pro-Trump Republican donor -- had planned to generate revenue using an "influencer" model. Prominent users would be tapped to post organic-looking posts promoting outside companies and products. Users could then "boycott" the influencers they didn't like. On Tuesday, @donk_enby posted images of what the influencer panel looked like, as well as a function that enabled Parler to conceal the capability from certain users. - Gizmodo

And now, while Parler is currently dead, its users' posts have been archived in a 'lasting public record for future researchers to sift through.'


Rabbi Blitzstien 23 minutes ago (Edited)

Do you mean that we need a 'new media system' that isn't 96%+ owned and controlled by the international technocratic neoliberals? Oh, okay, I can get behind that.

nope-1004 2 minutes ago (Edited)

I'd go one further. The original owners back in the '50s were all ex-CIA staff and they knew how to control the masses through suggestive 'news'...

LetThemEatRand 13 minutes ago

"Drifting apart into two separate tribes, with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share."

No, Mitch. Many of us don't want anything to do with either tribe. You're right that that we don't trust the national institutions, but that's because guys like you don't do anything about it when the FBI openly tries to take down a sitting President due to a personal hatred of him and an "insurance policy." I don't even like Trump, but how am I supposed to trust an institution that openly disobeys the law without consequences from guys like you?

cankles' server 3 minutes ago

No Mitch is right. The establishment and the Anti-establishment are the two tribes. It was easy to see who of the Dems was in the establishment tribe, but the Republicans were a bit more difficult until Trump set a trap for them to expose themselves.

LetThemEatRand just now

I wish that were the case. In my experience, most people do associate with one of the Teams very strongly. Even people like me who don't often get suckered in by them come election time because we don't want to "waste our vote." Trump was my last "not wasted vote" for a Republican or Democrat. I hope that what Trump has helped expose will cause more people to abandon the two parties and make a third or fourth party a reality in this country.

bunnyswanson 14 minutes ago

In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler described his perspective on propaganda. He explained that propaganda is not meant to be used on scientifically trained intellectuals because, as propaganda is not logical, rational, or scientific, the intellectuals will not be swayed by it. Rather, he said, propaganda is meant for the masses who cannot comprehend logic and intellect, but can be convinced of anything if their emotions are manipulated. Hitler further stated that since the masses have very little intelligence and are quite forgetful, the key to propaganda is to keep repeating the same ideas over and over again until they are understood by and engraved on the mind of even the slowest person. Hitler believed that the only way to get across his ideas was to keep the propaganda simplistic and create the illusion that the German people had but one enemy: the Joes."

https://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%205752.pdf

George Orwell -- 'If you want to know who rules over you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.'

tyberious 11 minutes ago

The Banks, CIA, CCP friends of TECH and MSM.

Or better written TECH and MSN protectors of The Banks, CIA and CCP!

[Jan 11, 2021] If you're not paying for the product, your personal information is the product

This is especially true about so called "free" Android applications.
Jan 11, 2021 | www.rt.com

Trump's blanket ban from social media proves the information war is over. If you're reading this, you've lost


***** ********i 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 03:44 PM

Stop using twitter people!
TheBiker ***** ********i 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 08:56 PM
I already deactivated my Twitter (To be automatically deleted in 20 days), disabled Google Play Store and replaced it with APKPure so I could download Parler.
Callme Skeptical 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 05:53 PM
As long as the Internet service providers are not blocking particular websites/"platforms", as is done in China, new websites/"platforms" will arise to offer alternatives to those such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. - The same holds true for Internet browsers such as Mozilla's Firefox. - All that takes is someone with the capital to fund those replacements. The knowledgeable individuals necessary to get those replacements sites up and running are available (Alternate browsers are already available). If Congress ever tries to legislatively shut down such replacements, those of us who value our freedom from tyranny will know it's time for a r
Libra1981 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 02:55 PM
Excellent article. So true that we are in a time of big tech in power mode and the government being on a leash to them. The average American citizen is the rat in the pavlovian nightmare for sure. However, supply and demand can only be changed by the lowly individuals that support them. It's up to the average American citizen to decide how much they want to continue to participate in this experiment. I have already begun moving away from big tech in small ways by not using twitter, fb or giant social media platforms and going directly to online stores for my products instead of Amazon. I am looking for more ways to disconnect from this monster. There will always be some form of censorship, but we can all do our part to avoid paying people to suppress us more than the government does already by simple not participating with their companies.
FelixTcat 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 04:24 PM
I'm curious , did Twitter and Facebook just lose 70 million subscribers or were these just fair weather supporters.
Hanonymouse 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 07:39 PM
Nope. The internet identifies "censorship" as "damage" and routes around it. There are alternatives to EVERYTHING. It's up to you to get off your rear and seek them out. The internet is more than Google, Facebook and Twitter.
rightiswrong rightiswrong 1 day ago 10 Jan, 2021 01:38 AM
JFK said he would break the CIA into a thousand pieces. He was assassinated, as was his brother Robert just as he was to stand for President. Trump hates the Big Tech companies, and now they have banned him or any of his supporters from public speaking and posting of his comments. Something is terribly wrong with freedumb and demockery.
Skeptic076 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 09:27 PM
Welcome to the real world of 2021. One has to remember that Donald Trump did try and still wants to ban Tik Toc. What goes around does come around, eh?
Grognardski 19 hours ago 10 Jan, 2021 06:36 PM
RT has had more true plurality of opinion compared to the US bankster media for years now. But after the recent Cabalist purge in the US, Russia has switched places with the old America, and is now the beacon of freedom of speech. How ironic. I say this with some bitterness as a once-proud American. My country is now Occupied by hostile forces.
WilNoBSilenced Libra1981 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 06:56 PM
Everyone is waking up and walking away from big tech, just in 2018 facebook app use dropped 44% among users between 18-29, now the older generations are too. Kamikaze big tech is self immolating and everyone is running en-mass out the digital ghettos to superior future platforms. So there is no problems there. However, I suspect the next problem people will have to address is Trumps repealing of net neutrality, which he left for Biden to make alternative platforms irrelevant tiered wall-street parking meters, casinos and concentration camps. The Jews always turn everything they touch, even the most precious and endless oasis of infinite possibilities, into ashes and empty shells of their former glory, all for a quick buck.
Mira Golub 1 day ago 9 Jan, 2021 03:32 PM
If you're not paying for the product, you're the product. And if you stop being a product there will be no Google/YouTube, Twitter, Facebook who only exist because of YOU. If you switch to alternative platforms Google/YouTube, Twitter, Facebook advertisers and shareholders will dump them like a hot potato. True, the alternative platforms will do exactly the same in time, the only solution is keep switching.

[Jan 09, 2021] Anyone who doesn't see the danger in allowing Facebook, Twitter, and Google to decide what people get to see and what must be censored is living in a fantasy world

Jan 09, 2021 | www.rt.com

GottaBeMe 8 hours ago 8 Jan, 2021 02:17 PM

Anyone who doesn't see the danger in allowing Facebook, Twitter, and Google to decide what people get to see and what must be censored is living in a fantasy world. With this power, they can -- and have -- influenced the outcomes of elections, changed people's perspectives on matters of importance, and further divided the population.

[Dec 21, 2020] My gripe with IT security, as practiced at the places where I have been subjected to it, as that they have no sense of perspective. They seek to put draconian lockdowns on all information in the system with no regard for whether the information is valuable or sensitive or not

Dec 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

>

Clyde Schechter John Michener 2 days ago

I'll go tangential.

My gripe with IT security, as practiced at the places where I have been subjected to it, as that they have no sense of perspective. They seek to put draconian lockdowns on all information in the system with no regard for whether the information is valuable or sensitive or not. I would happily tolerate considerable delays and inconveniences that are needed to protect information that actually needs protection. But I deeply resent being made to go through hoops to get at information I need for my work that nobody else would ever want, and that would do no harm to anybody even if it were "stolen"--which is the bulk of the information I deal with.

Hannibal Barca 2 days ago

America consists of three groups of professionals. The top 15% which is as any in the world and better than most - possibly the best. This top 15% contains a disproportionate number of immigrants and foreigners. The next 30% of people who are competent, but are generally unwilling to go the extra mile. They won't put in long hours and have deep resentments against their employers. They live for weekends. The spend monday and tuesday recovering from or reminiscing about the weekend and thursday and friday eagerly awaiting it. They have the skills but they don't like to work. The next 55% are basically incompetent. They spent all their school years hating school and avoiding difficult subject, they spent their college years partying and selecting as many easy course as they possibly take and still graduate, know only their technical skill, are science illiterate and will do anything to avoid work. Wth workers like these, our systems will always be riddled with incompetence. How did SolarWinds push out code for which they did not have some kind hash identifying that the code did not change between build and deployment. This is supposed to be a highly secured application, for heaven's sake! Once they have identified and remediated all the affected systems, that company needs to be subjected to a security audit. And why did the government use the same security software in so many systems? This thing smacks of incompetence through and through.

Continued at Internet privacy bulletin, 2020

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U N Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, by Frank La Rue

Human Rights Council Twenty-third session

Contents

Paragraphs Page

I. Introduction ..........................................................................................................1−6 3

II. Activities of the Special Rapporteur ....................................................................... 7−10 4

III. The evolution of technology of surveillance ........................................................... 11−18 4

IV. International human rights framework ...................................................................19−32 6

A. Interrelations between the rights to privacy to freedom of opinion and expression..... 24−27 7

B. Permissible limitations to privacy and freedom of expression .................................. 28−29 8

C. Recent considerations by international mechanisms for the protection of human rights... 30−32 9

V. Modalities of communications surveillance ........................................................... 33−49 10

A. Targeted communications surveillance ........................................................... 34−37 10

B. Mass communications surveillance ................................................................ 38−40 11

C. Access to communications data ...................................................................... 41−43 11

D. Internet filtering and censorship ..................................................................... 44−46 12

E. Restrictions on anonymity .............................................................................. 47−49 13

VI. Concerns on national legal standards ...................................................................... 50−71 13

A. Lack of judicial oversight ............................................................................... 54−57 14

B. National security exceptions ........................................................................... 58−60 15

C. Unregulated access to communications data .................................................. 61 16

D. Extra-legal surveillance .................................................................................. 62−63 16

E. Extra-territorial application of surveillance laws ............................................ 64 17

F. Mandatory data retention ................................................................................ 65−67 17

G. Identity disclosure laws .................................................................................. 68−70 18

H. Restrictions on encryption and key disclosure laws ...................................... 71 19

VII. The roles and responsibilities of the private sector ................................................. 72−77 19

VIII. Conclusions and recommendations ......................................................................... 78−99 20

A. Updating and strengthening laws and legal standards .................................... 81−87 21

B. Facilitating private, secure and anonymous communications ......................... 88−90 22

C. Increasing public access to information, understanding and awareness of threats to privacy....... 91–94 22

D. Regulating the commercialization of surveillance technology ...................... 95−97 22

E. Furthering the assessment of relevant international human rights obligations 98−99 23

A guide to FISA §1881a The law behind it all

The Government is Profiling You MIT Video

PRISM (surveillance program) - Wikipedia

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Internet privacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others Guardian, June 6, 2013

The Real War on Reality - NYTimes.com

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PRISM let's have a look at the big picture Reflets

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Etc

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D


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