Think the following isn't a joke? NBC News reports:
"Microsoft announced on Friday that the company was standing by its decision to bid for “JEDI,” a U.S. government project aimed at redesigning the digital infrastructure of the Department of Defense, despite pushback from company employees. Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft, explained the company’s stance in a blog post. “First, we believe that the people who defend our country need and deserve our support,” Smith stated. “And second, to withdraw from this market is to reduce our opportunity to engage in the public debate about how new technologies can best be used in a responsible way. We are not going to withdraw from the future. In the most positive way possible, we are going to work to help shape it.”
Question to be asked is remarkably simple. How can the military trust Microsoft when their civilian operating systems are grossly overpriced and buggy? Designed to abrogate privacy?
Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk? Get what you truly deserve.
Delusionally believe the corporate management suite is not taking a deliberate, intentional, raucous, concerted, hard dump on privacy? Wake up. NPR reports:
"New laws in Europe and California are forcing tech companies to protect users' privacy or risk big fines."
About time. Past due. Time to rein in these clueless, hopelessly greedy bastards who care absolutely nothing for privacy. Other than lining their pockets off the misery of those they fleece.
"Now, the industry is fearing that more states will enact tough restrictions."
Positive move in the right direction, -- but not to the hopelessly greedy in the corporate management suite:
"So it's moving to craft federal legislation that would pre-empt state laws and might put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of enforcement."
Fox managing the goddamned chicken coop. Imagine that. Convenient, isn't it?
"Europe enacted a tough law in May which requires, among other things, that companies make data breaches public within 72 hours of discovering them."
Can't have that, can we? Did the right thing. Time for the same thing to happen here in the United States. Rein the bastards in. Do it now.
"That's why Facebook had to promptly announce last month that its systems had been hacked and at least 50 million user accounts were compromised."
Tough shit. When will they finally spend the money necessary to reduce the incidence of such bullshit? When?
"In June, California passed legislation that — if it is enacted as written — would go even farther, allowing users to sue for damages for exactly the kind of data breach Facebook suffered."
About time. Stick it to the bastards until they finally smarten up.
"They don't want to entertain the possibility that they would [be] liable to individuals for doing some sort of harm from all the data that they collect," says Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital advocacy group. Companies are weighing in now because regulation is coming from all fronts and they're trying to control it, he says."
Time to finally effectively stick it to the bastards.
"Early this summer, a who's who in tech attended a high-level, private meeting in San Francisco organized by the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade association for Silicon Valley companies. According to two people with knowledge of the meeting, it was there that Facebook's top lobbyist, Joel Kaplan, warned that an impending California privacy law posed a threat to everyone in the room. If the California law spread to other states, Kaplan said, it would present an even bigger problem than privacy provisions in Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR."
Doesn't your heart bleed?
"Just this year, [you have] a data broker law from Vermont, in addition to Europe and California," said the EFF's Falcon. "And then dating back even further, the state of Illinois has a biometric law that Facebook has opposed and has been trying to amend. So they are seeing a trend."
This remains so because the bastards on the federal level couldn't care less. They're bought and paid for, forget? Precisely, what the corporate management suite desperately wants and needs:
"That may explain why, soon after that San Francisco meeting, an industrywide effort emerged to not just get behind federal privacy legislation, but to actually write it."
Most convenient, isn't it?
"While there's no formal legislative language yet, the working drafts so far include two must-have provisions for tech companies, according to two people familiar with the process. The companies want a pre-emption clause to ensure federal law trumps any state privacy laws. And they want to put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of enforcing digital privacy laws."
So absolutely nothing is done to rein in these corporate misfits.
"Pre-empting state laws would allow the industry to avoid a patchwork of rules in different states. And tech companies would also get to work with a watchdog they know. Critics add that the FTC isn't particularly aggressive."
Added bonus, no? LOL.
"The FTC doesn't have authority to make [new] privacy rules right now," says Ariel Fox Johnson, policy counsel for Common Sense Media, an advocacy group. "I don't know what the FTC can do besides put out guides or try to go after people for violating statements that they've made in their privacy policies."
Most convenient, isn't it? You're being royally f--ked. Time to finally wake up.
Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk? Get what you truly deserve.
Google tracks your movements no matter what. CBS News reports:
"Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so. Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP's request.
"Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects - such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company will let you "pause" a setting called Location History. Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you've been. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored." That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking."
Report goes on and on, but you get the message, don't you? ... You don't?
Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk? Get what you truly deserve.
Think the following, if implemented by Walmart, won't be an egregious invasion of privacy? CBS News reports:
"Like it or not, employers have always been able to monitor workers. Company email isn't private, and phone calls often come with a familiar voice saying, "This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance." But today, the emergence of new technologies that lets businesses track, listen to and even watch employees while on company time is raising concern about "Big Brother" levels of surveillance. Life on the job, privacy advocates fear, is rapidly turning into life under a managerial microscope. Take Walmart, which recently patented a system that could take employee monitoring to a new level by letting the retail giant listen in on workers and customers. The patent filing, for a system Walmart calls "Listening to the Frontend," calls for the use of "sound sensors" to zero in on customers' shopping and check-out experience. It would also monitor specific noises, like the beeps of item scanners and rustling of bags, and even the conversations of workers and shoppers."
... A word to the wise. NPR reports:
"Taking a genetic test in your 20s or 30s could, indeed, affect your ability to get long-term-care insurance later — or at least the price you'll pay. And people who are considering enrolling in Medicare after age 65 would do well to read the fine print of the sign-up rules.
"In general, long-term-care insurers can indeed use genetic test results when they decide whether to offer you coverage. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act does prohibit insurers from asking for or using your genetic information to make decisions about whether to sell you health insurance or how much to charge you. But those privacy protections don't apply to long-term-care policies, life insurance or disability insurance.
"If the insurer asks you whether you've undergone genetic testing, you generally must disclose it, even if the testing was performed through a direct-to-consumer site like 23andMe, says Catherine Theroux, a spokeswoman for LIMRA, an insurance industry trade group. "You need to release any medically relevant information," she says."
Incredible, isn't it? Privacy? Means shit squat in Nazi America. Forget? Wake up. Corporate management suite and rest of the top of the food chain always come first. Always.
Highly reminiscent of our outrageously bought and paid for judiciary, Llano County prosecutors, Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following. It's appalling. Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for. No longer.
Think Amazon doesn't desperately need reining in? Doesn't contribute to the law enforcement problem? NPR reports:
"Facial recognition software sold by Amazon mistakenly identified 28 members of Congress as people who had been arrested for crimes, the American Civil Liberties Union announced on Thursday. Amazon Rekognition has been marketed as tool that provides extremely accurate facial analysis through photos and video."
Bullshit. Simply, not true.
"The ACLU tested that assertion by using the software to scan photos of every current member of the House and Senate in a database that the watchdog built from thousands of publicly available arrest photos. "The members of Congress who were falsely matched with the mugshot database we used in the test include Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and legislators of all ages, from all across the country," the ACLU stated. The test misidentified people of color at a high rate — 39 percent — even though they made up only 20 percent of Congress. One member falsely cited as a crime suspect was Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who first came to prominence as a civil rights leader."
Amazon lines its pockets. The public is f--ked over by law enforcement. Any questions?
"As part of the test, the ACLU said it used Amazon's default match settings. But a spokeswoman for Amazon Web Services said in an emailed statement that the ACLU should have changed those settings — and used a higher "threshold," or percentage that measures how confident Rekognition is in finding a match. "While 80% confidence is an acceptable threshold for photos of hot dogs, chairs, animals, or other social media use cases, it wouldn't be appropriate for identifying individuals with a reasonable level of certainty," she said. For law enforcement, Amazon "guides customers" to set the threshold at 95 percent or higher."
Disingenuous corporate bullshit. Here's why:
"ACLU of Northern California attorney Jacob Snow responded to that comment in an emailed statement: "We know from our test that Amazon makes no effort to ask users what they are using Rekognition for," he said."
Tell you anything?
"Snow doesn't think that changing the threshold changes the danger: "Face surveillance technology in the hands of government is primed for abuse and raises grave civil rights concerns."
Intentionally, so. It's how the criminal jackbooted bastards in law enforcement get their cookies off abusing power. How this corporation lines its pockets.
"Outcry from privacy and civil rights groups has not stopped law enforcement from pursuing the technology. The Orlando, Fla., police force tested Rekognition's real-time surveillance. The Washington County Sheriff's Office, near Portland, Ore., has used it to search faces from photos of suspects taken by deputies."
Jackbooted nazi motherf--kers. Law enforcement presents an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. We've lived in a de facto fascist police-state for decades, quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. No longer a democratic republic. In name only.
"This is partly a result of vendors pushing facial recognition technology because it becomes another avenue of revenue," Jeramie Scott, national security counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., told NPR. He compared facial recognition software to body cameras worn by law enforcement, which can be used for police accountability or, increasingly, public surveillance."
Raw, jackbooted nazism.
"He stressed the need for debate so that the technology doesn't become a poor solution for bad policy. "Because of the disproportionate error rate, and because of the real risk of depriving civil liberties posed by facial recognition technology, we need to have a conversation about how and when and under what circumstances this technology should be used by law enforcement, if at all."
Highly reminiscent of our outrageously bought and paid for judiciary, Llano County prosecutors, Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following. It's appalling. Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for. No longer.
Resistance grows. CBS News reports:
"Philadelphia will stop giving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to a real-time arrest database, accusing the agency of misusing the information to target people who are in the country illegally but are otherwise not accused of any crimes, Mayor Jim Kenney said on Friday. His decision means the city will not renew a contract that expires August 31. "Such practices sow fear and distrust in Philadelphia's great immigrant community, and make it more difficult for our Police Department to solve crimes. I cannot in good conscience allow the agreement to continue," Kenney said, according to CBS Philadelphia."
Excellent. Stand on principle.
"As a "sanctuary city," Philadelphia had already limited cooperation with immigration enforcement. It won't release inmates to ICE without a judicial warrant. The Trump administration wants to cut funding to the city as a result but has so far been blocked by a judge. "How anyone can define this as making America great again is beyond me," Kenney said."
Here's the problem:
"Anyone who interacts with law enforcement is entered into the database, including those who are arrested, victims and witnesses, with limits on what ICE officers can view. Kenney said the city's conversations in recent weeks with ICE only confirmed what he had feared. With access to the database, Kenney said ICE has been arresting otherwise law-abiding residents for immigration violations. He said it has also been targeting foreign-born residents for investigation even though there is no information on their immigration status."
Highly reminiscent of our outrageously bought and paid for judiciary, Llano County prosecutors, Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following. It's appalling. Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for. No longer.
Think we don't live in a surveillance state? Haven't for years? The Washington Post reports:
"Federal air marshals have for years been quietly monitoring small numbers of U.S. air passengers and reporting on in-flight behavior considered suspicious, even if those individuals have no known terrorism links, the Transportation Security Administration said on Sunday."
Fascist police-state. No warrant. No court order. No probable cause. Raw nazism.
"Under a sensitive, previously undisclosed program called “Quiet Skies,” the TSA has since 2010 tasked marshals to identify passengers who raise flags because of travel histories or other factors and conduct secret observations of their actions — including behavior as common as sweating heavily or using the restroom repeatedly — as they fly between U.S. destinations."
Nazism. Surveillance state. Perspiration and bathroom use are not probable cause a crime has, or is, about to occur.
"The Boston Globe first revealed the existence of the Quiet Skies program on Sunday. In response to questions, TSA spokesman James O. Gregory offered more details of the program’s origins and goals, comparing it to other law enforcement activities that ask officers to closely monitor individuals or areas vulnerable to crime."
That's the problem. A fascist police-state. 'Broken windows' repressive policing.
“We are no different than the cop on the corner who is placed there because there is an increased possibility that something might happen,” Gregory said. “When you’re in a tube at 30,000 feet ... it makes sense to put someone there.”
Goes much further than that. The neighborhood cop is not charged with creating dossiers as is the air marshal. The stated function of the air marshal originally was to provide security, not create dossiers, invade personal privacy.
"The TSA declined to provide complete information on how individuals are selected for Quiet Skies and how the program works."
They're covering their ass. The lack of transparency has nothing to do with security, everything to do with concealing the fact they're deliberately abrogating the privacy of passengers. Abusing power.
"According to the TSA, the program uses travel records and other information to identify passengers who will be subject to additional checks at airports and observed in flight by air marshals who report on their activities to the agency."
Why would anyone fly? Put up with this bullshit? Enable this abuse of authority by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue.
"The initiative raises new questions about the privacy of ordinary Americans as they go about routine travel within the United States and about the broad net cast by law enforcement as it seeks to keep air travel safe."
Nothing to do with safety, everything to do with getting their cookies off abusing power. ... Right, Sheriff?
"Gregory said the program did not single out passengers based on race or religion and should not be considered surveillance because the agency does not, for example, listen to passengers’ calls or follow flagged individuals around outside airports."
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, guess what? It's a f--king duck. ... Right, Sheriff?
"But during in-flight observation of people who are tagged as Quiet Skies passengers, marshals use an agency checklist to record passenger behavior: Did he or she sleep during the flight? Did he or she use a cellphone? Look around erratically?"
None of their f--king goddamned business. Fascist police-state. Raw abuse of power.
“The program analyzes information on a passenger’s travel patterns while taking the whole picture into account,” Gregory said, adding “an additional line of defense to aviation security.”
Horse shit. What it is remains a fascist police-state where the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue get their cookies off abusing power.
“If that person does all that stuff, and the airplane lands safely and they move on, the behavior will be noted, but they will not be approached or apprehended,” Gregory said. He declined to say whether the program has resulted in arrests or disruption of any criminal plots."
Why the lack of transparency? If it's so successful, why not hail its benefits with proof, not bullshit hearsay. If nothing happened during the flight, why isn't all information destroyed after landing? Why are the jackbooted bastards creating dossiers on innocent passengers?
"Hugh Handeyside, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, called on the TSA to provide more information about the program to passengers. “Such surveillance not only makes no sense, it is a big waste of taxpayer money and raises a number of constitutional questions,” he said. “These concerns and the need for transparency are all the more acute because of TSA’s track record of using unreliable and unscientific techniques to screen and monitor travelers who have done nothing wrong.”
Need to be repeatedly sued.
"The TSA, which was created soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, screens on average more than 2 million passengers a day. While the agency is tasked with a weighty public safety mission, it has at times been publicly rebuked for being intrusive and abusive at airport checkpoints. It has been accused of doing little to enhance security while subjecting passengers to searches or questioning."
Precisely, why many of us will no longer fly. Refuse to put up with this horse shit.
Think Homeland Security is competent? Wake up. Get this:
"In 2015, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found that undercover agents were able to slip fake bombs past TSA screeners about 95 percent of the time. A year later, the flying public was in an uproar over long lines to move through security screening."
The public has itself to blame. Why fly if they insist on f--king you in the ass without the Vaseline? To get their cookies off.
"The agency has also been criticized for its treatment of Muslims and other minorities who have complained of being profiled while traveling. Earlier this year, media reports revealed that the agency had compiled a secret list of unruly passengers. Passengers may be selected for Quiet Skies screening because of their affiliation with someone on the government’s no-fly list or other databases aimed at preventing terrorist attacks."
“This program raises a whole host of civil liberties and profiling concerns,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. Critics say that government watch lists and databases are overly broad and include incorrect information. The no-fly list grew from about 16 people in September 2001 to 64,000 in 2014. But Patel, an attorney, said law enforcement officials are generally free to surveil individuals as long as they do not do so based on criteria such as ethnicity."
Precisely, the problem. The criminal jackbooted bastards in blue receive carte blanche to evade, ignore, abrogate all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. -- The fascist police-state quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich.
CBS News reports:
"A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) domestic surveillance program is drawing criticism for tracking information from U.S. citizens not suspected of any crimes. The program has drawn criticism within the agency, according to CBS News sources."
Good to see not all employees of this out of control nazi agency are goons. Encouraging, isn't it?
"Officials familiar with the program said "Quiet Skies" complies with security constraints and privacy requirements. One source said the "Quiet Skies" team has to be prepared to justify why an individual is being questioned if they are challenged."
Think so? Believe it?
"If a flyer is on the list for a certain amount of time and travels without incident, they are automatically removed from the list. Some in the security field believe this creates a certain level of risk because if the person being surveilled is a sleeper agent, they may succeed in flying under the radar. But congressional concerns about redress prompted the policy. The "Quiet Skies" program has been in existence since 2010 and the TSA says Congress and the airlines have been briefed on the program over the last 12 to 18 months."
Trust them? Think they're not abusing authority?
"At least one Air Marshal has filed a complaint the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's Office about the program, believing it is a waste of time, money and manpower."
Tell you anything? Anything at all?
Police are tracking. NBC reports:
"Picture a crowded street. Police are searching for a man believed to have committed a violent crime. To find him, they feed a photograph into a video surveillance network powered by artificial intelligence. A camera, one of thousands, scans the street, instantly analyzing the faces of everyone it sees. Then, an alert: The algorithms found a match with someone in the crowd. Officers rush to the scene and take him into custody. But it turns out the guy isn’t the one they’re looking for -- he just looked a lot like him. The machines were wrong. This is what some makers of this technology fear might happen if police adopt advanced forms of facial recognition that make it easier to track wanted criminals, missing people and suspected terrorists -- while expanding the government’s ability to secretly monitor the public."
"Despite “real-time” facial recognition’s dazzling potential for crime-prevention, it is also raising alarms of the risks of mistakes and abuse. Those concerns are not only coming from privacy and civil rights advocates, but increasingly from tech firms themselves. In recent months, one tech executive has vowed never to sell his facial recognition products to police departments, and another has called on Congress to intervene. One company has formed an ethics board for guidance, and another says it might do the same. Employees and shareholders from some of the world’s biggest tech firms have pressed their leaders to get out of business with law enforcement."
1984 on steroids. Nazi America.
“Time is winding down but it’s not too late for someone to take a stand and keep this from happening,” said Brian Brackeen, the CEO of the facial recognition firm Kairos, who wants tech firms to join him in keeping the technology out of law enforcement’s hands. Brackeen, who is black, said he has long been troubled by facial recognition algorithms’ struggle to distinguish faces of people with dark skin, and the implications of its use by the government and police. If they do get it, he recently wrote, “there’s simply no way that face recognition software will be not used to harm citizens.”
Already happening. Far worse to come.
"With few scientific standards or government regulations, there is little preventing police departments from using facial recognition to target immigrants or identify participants in a political protest, critics say."
No matter the scientific standards and/or government regulations, this technology will always be abused by tyrants. Always.
“There needs to be greater transparency around the use of these technologies,” said Rashida Richardson, director of policy research at the AI Now Institute at New York University. “And a more open, public conversation about what types of use cases we are comfortable with — and what types of use cases should just not be available.”
Not good enough. Nowhere near. Wake up. The Founders created a template for a democratic republic that is as close to perfection as it could be. Yet, tyrants have managed to bastardize the United States Constitution to the point where liberty no longer exists in our formerly great country. -- You have the freedom to do what you're told. Wake up.
"As the technology advances, “real-time” facial recognition — which involves the constant scanning of live video feeds to match moving faces with a database of still images — is starting to spread. Police in China are reportedly using it to pick suspects out of crowds, and retailers there are using it to identify customers and their buying preferences. U.S. security agencies are testing the technology in some airports and border crossings. And now systems are being designed for use by local police.
“This is a technology that is progressing so rapidly and is coming down in cost so rapidly that in the future we should expect it to be efficient, cheap and common,” said Gregory C. Allen, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank."
-- The frog lulled to sleep in a pot of water gently heating on a stove top. Wake up.
“We are at a moment where facial recognition is being marketed to communities while not being proven as public safety tools,” said Matt Cagle, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which uncovered efforts by Amazon to market its facial recognition technology to police departments,and then tested it, finding that it mistakenly matched faces of 28 members of Congress with police mugshots.“We think it’s harmful because it’s unproven and it’s been deployed in some places without any rules.”
This presents an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. No foreign power, no terrorist organization, not even the criminal element presents a greater threat to liberty and life itself than all levels and branches of this out of control, corrupt and abusive government. ... Right, Sheriff?
Think Putin's the only problem? Get this. NBC reports:
"Iranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyberattacks on U.S. and European infrastructure and on private companies, and the U.S. is warning allies, hardening its defenses and weighing a counterattack, say multiple senior U.S. officials. Despite Iran having positioned cyber weapons to carry out attacks, there is no suggestion an offensive operation is imminent, according to the officials, who requested anonymity in order to speak. Cyber threats have been a major theme of the 2018 Aspen Security Forum, with administration officials from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein all warning of the pervasive danger from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. In Aspen Thursday, Coats said that Russia was a more active cyber foe than Iran or China — "by far" the most aggressive, he said. While Russia may be the most aggressive, the U.S. officials said Iran is making preparations that would enable denial-of-service attacks against thousands of electric grids, water plants, and health care and technology companies in the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and other countries in Europe and the Middle East."
We're too damned connected. Why does a refrigerator need an Internet connection?
The following is appalling. True threat to privacy. NPR reports:
"To an outsider, the fancy booths at a June health insurance industry gathering in San Diego, Calif., aren't very compelling: a handful of companies pitching "lifestyle" data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like "social determinants of health." But dig deeper and the implications of what they're selling might give many patients pause: a future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance. With little public scrutiny, the health insurance industry has joined forces with data brokers to vacuum up personal details about hundreds of millions of Americans, including, odds are, many readers of this story. The companies are tracking your race, education level, TV habits, marital status, net worth. They're collecting what you post on social media, whether you're behind on your bills, what you order online. Then they feed this information into complicated computer algorithms that spit out predictions about how much your health care could cost them."
Shareholders are smartening up. Beginning to understand the danger. Risk to privacy. Worse? Exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. NBC reports:
"A group of Amazon shareholders are calling on the company to stop pitching its facial recognition tool to local law enforcement agencies, writing in a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos that the technology could pose a privacy threat and a financial risk."
No question. Clearly, on both counts.
"The letter comes amid mounting criticism of the tool, called Rekognition, from privacy activists and civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union. The groups have raised concerns that the tool could be used to build a system to automate the widespread identification and tracking of anyone."
Precise intention of the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue. ... Right, Sheriff?
"Rekognition is already being used by at least one law enforcement agency, the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, according to a customer testimonial page."
Direct threat to all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. Democratic republic, US. Constitution. ... Right, Sheriff?
"While Rekognition may be intended to enhance some law enforcement activities, we are deeply concerned it may ultimately violate civil and human rights," the shareholders said in the letter to Bezos, a copy of which was provided to NBC News by the ACLU."
Can and will. Already has. Presents an exigent threat to liberty.
"The shareholders who co-signed the letter also said they were concerned that facial recognition technology "would be used to unfairly and disproportionately target and surveil people of color, immigrants, and civil society organizations."
So, what else is new?
"The letter is signed by 19 Amazon shareholders, though they do not represent enough voting power in the company to force a change. Bezos, now recognized by Forbes as the richest living person, remains the largest individual shareholder in the company."
Imagine the power of this corporation. All data it collects on those of you who do business with it. Delusionally believe it doesn't sell and/or share that data?
"But in a written statement to the Associated Press last month, the company said it requires all of its customers to comply with the law and to be responsible in the use of its products."
Like entrusting a thief with your most valuable assets and expecting him not to steal them.
"The statement said some law enforcement agencies have used the tool to find abducted people, for example."
There is no way to ensure the use of this product will be reserved only for such purposes and not abused by the goddamned criminal jackbooted bastards in blue, right, Sheriff?
"In their letter to Bezos, the shareholders pointed to the recent "scrutiny" of Facebook over its data privacy policies. The social media company has been embroiled in controversy ever since the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm linked to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, harvested user data from Facebook's platform. "The recent experience and scrutiny of Facebook demonstrates the degree to which these news issues may undermine company value as the detrimental impacts on society become clear," the shareholders said.
About time. NBC reports:
"California enacted the nation’s strongest data privacy law on Thursday that could presage national changes to how big tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Amazon, collect and use personal data. The law, passed by the state legislature on Tuesday and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, requires companies to disclose the types of data they collect about consumers and with whom they share that information. Companies will be forced to let consumers opt-out of having their data sold. The law will also prohibit companies from charging a consumer or treating them differently because they opted out of having their data sold. Companies will also be required to secure customer data or risk being fined by California’s attorney general, according to the legislation. The Assembly just passed the most robust set of Internet privacy protections in the nation. A constitutional right to privacy is unique to California and has served as the basis for many groundbreaking privacy laws enacted over the years. The protections won’t take effect until 2020, meaning the fight between lawmakers, advocates and tech companies to further shape the regulations, or water them down, is still far from over."
Major Supreme Court ruling on privacy. NPR reports:
"In a major win for privacy rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that police must obtain a search warrant in order to get access to cellphone location information. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-to-4 decision, joining the court's four liberals. The majority declared that the Fourth Amendment guarantees an expectation of privacy and that allowing police to obtain moment-by-moment tracking of an individual's cellphone location is a kind of surveillance that the framers of the Constitution did not want to occur without a search warrant."
That's right. What took so long?
"The chief justice said that this sort of tracking information is akin to wearing an electronic ankle-bracelet monitoring device and that the citizens of the country are protected from that kind of monitoring unless police can show a judge that there is probable cause of a crime that justifies it."
Here's the caveat:
"He stressed, however, that this is a narrowly focused opinion that leaves intact other precedents when it comes to dealing with financial information, banking and office records."
These precedents also present severe problems desperately needing redress.
"Roberts noted that the decision also allows for warrantless cell-tower location information searches in emergencies and for national-security purposes."
The latter leaves the door wide open for continued abuse by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue, right, Sheriff?
"The four dissenters were led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was joined by the court's three most conservative members, justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. In a rare move, they each filed separate dissents.
"At oral arguments in November, the justices seemed torn about whether to break with the so-called third party doctrine. Adopted decades ago, that doctrine says that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when an individual shares information with a third party — for example, the phone company, which knows what telephone numbers the individual calls and receives. Therefore, police do not have to get a search warrant to gain access to those numbers. But in recent years, the justices have expressed discomfort with that rule of law as applied to the modern digital age, when cellphones carried in a person's pocket can track locations day and night, and when email and text addresses tell a huge amount about an individual's contacts and lifestyle."
CBS News reports:
"The Supreme Court says police generally need a search warrant if they want to track criminal suspects' movements by collecting information about where they've used their cellphones. The justices' 5-4 decision Friday is a victory for privacy in the digital age. Police collection of cellphone tower information has become an important tool in criminal investigations. The outcome marks a big change in how police can obtain phone records. Authorities can go to the phone company and obtain information about the numbers dialed from a home telephone without presenting a warrant."
The latter was one of the earliest bastardizations of privacy by the judiciary. Give the jackbooted bastards in law enforcement an inch, they take a mile. Took it as carte blanche to track vis a vis cellphones.
"Roberts said the court's decision is limited to cellphone tracking information and does not affect other business records, including those held by banks. He also wrote that police still can respond to an emergency and obtain records without a warrant."
This leaves the door ajar for police to continue doing precisely what they've done to date, just a bit more cautiously, careful not to get caught. ... Right, Sheriff? Remains exceptional abuse of power that is nowhere near resolved.
ZTE receives special treatment. NPR reports:
"Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China. "This is a pretty strict settlement, the strictest and largest fine that has ever been brought by the Commerce Department against any violator of export controls ," Ross said in an interview with CNBC."
"The agreement was immediately criticized by senators of both parties. "The Trump administration is giving ZTE and China the green light to spy on Americans and sell our technology to North Korea and Iran, as long as it pays a fine that amounts to a tiny fraction of its revenue," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement.
"Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted: "I assure you with 100% confidence that #ZTE is a much greater national security threat than steel from Argentina or Europe. #VeryBadDeal"
No problem with the above or the following?
"The U.S. had imposed sanctions on ZTE for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea, but the Chinese company agreed to take corrective action. When U.S. regulators found that ZTE had not complied with the terms of the agreement, they cut off the firm from its U.S. parts suppliers. The move was described as a "death sentence" by the company, which employs 70,000 people in China. But last month, President Trump tweeted that "too many jobs in China" were being lost because of the U.S. action and that he had instructed the Commerce Department to find a solution."
In another article, NPR reports:
"Days after the Trump administration agreed to restore Chinese telecom firm ZTE's access to its U.S. parts suppliers, a bipartisan group of senators moved to block the deal. An amendment sponsored by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., added language to the National Defense Authorization Act to reinstate a ban on ZTE buying U.S. components. That sanction was put in place after the Chinese company violated the terms of an earlier agreement to punish it for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea."
Finally, bipartisan agreement to stand up to the nazi fuhrer. About time.
"Late Monday, the senators announced they had written language into the defense package that keeps the penalties against ZTE in place. The amendment also bans U.S. government agencies from buying or leasing equipment from ZTE and its Chinese rival, Huawei, and bars U.S. loans to the companies. Sen. Cotton explained on Twitter that ZTE has extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party and a record of doing business with North Korean and Iran. He said the threat posed by the mobile phone giant and its rival, Huawei, "is too great to ignore."
the amendment I introduced with @ChrisVanHollen & @SenSchumer is included
in the NDAA. The threat Huawei & ZTE pose to our national security
is too great to ignore. This amendment will help keep Americans' private
info out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) June 11, 2018
"Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio added that the amendment was "Great news!"
news! Our bipartisan amendment restoring penalties on #ZTE is included
in the #NDAA bill the Senate will be advancing to later this evening.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 11, 2018"
This bipartisan action was desperately needed. Timely.
"The NDAA is considered a must-pass defense package; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Monday that it is "the top item on our to-do list. And we'll tackle it this week." The authorization must pass both houses of Congress."
Facebook continues to have problems. CBS News reports:
"As many as 14 million Facebook (FB) users had their posts shared with a broader audience than they intended. The social-media giant says a software glitch for 10 days last month switched privacy settings to "public" for millions even if they had wanted only friends to see their posts. "We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time," Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said in an emailed statement. "We'd like to apologize for this mistake."
Think that's good enough?
"The disclosure is the most recent in a long-running bout of privacy blunders by Facebook, still reeling from March revelations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had accessed information on some 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. More recently, Facebook is facing scrutiny from lawmakers for its deals with Chinese companies."
Think Facebook doesn't have continuing privacy issues? NPR reports:
"Facebook is embroiled in a snafu that exposed users' private postings and made them public, the company admitted Thursday. For four days, between May 18 to 22, Facebook tested a new feature that inadvertently switched the default settings for 14 million users from private to public allowing anyone on the Internet view status updates that were intended only for private audiences. "We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts," Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan, said in a statement."
Our government still has done nothing about the following issue repeatedly covered here and elsewhere. The Washington Post reports:
"A federal study found signs that surveillance devices for intercepting cellphone calls and texts were operating near the White House and other sensitive locations in the Washington area last year. A Department of Homeland Security program discovered evidence of the surveillance devices, called IMSI catchers, as part of federal testing last year, according to a letter from DHS to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on May 22. The letter didn't specify what entity operated the devices and left open the possibility that there could be alternative explanations for the suspicious cellular signals collected by the federal testing program last year."
What does it take to investigate this? Think NSA and the FCC don't know what's going on?
"The discovery bolsters years of independent research suggesting that foreign intelligence agencies use sophisticated interception technology to spy on officials working within the hub of federal power in the nation’s capital. Experts in surveillance technology say that IMSI catchers — sometimes known by one popular brand name, StingRay — are a standard part of the tool kit for many foreign intelligence services, including for such geopolitical rivals as Russia and China."
Also used by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue right here in Nazi America. Without a warrant. A fascist police-state quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich.
"A DHS spokesman confirmed the contents of the letter to Wyden but declined further comment."
Why? The public has a right to know.
"This admission from DHS bolsters my concern about stingrays and other spying devices being used to spy on Americans’ phones," Wyden said in a statement on Thursday. "Given the reports of rogue spying devices being identified near the White House and other government facilities, I fear that foreign intelligence services could target the president and other senior officials."
Not only a foreign threat, but perpetrated as well by our own goddamned government on its citizens.
Never ends. CBS News reports:
"Facebook is pushing back against a media report saying that it provided extensive information about its users and their friends to third parties like phone makers. The New York Times reported Sunday that Facebook struck data-sharing deals with at least 60 device makers, including Apple and Amazon, raising more concerns about what users give up when they use Facebook. Facebook says it disagrees with reporting by the paper regarding software it rolled out 10 years ago that helped get Facebook on to devices like iPhones. Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships, said in blog post that Facebook has maintained tight control over the technology, known as application programming interfaces, or APIs, and that it is not aware of any abuse by the companies that it teamed with. The Times report says Facebook allowed the companies access to the data of friends of the user without their explicit consent, a practice that landed the company in the crosshairs of Congress during the Cambridge Analytica scandal."
In follow up to the last edition, CBS News reports:
"Amazon (AMZN) is drawing heat on multiple fronts as a result of its facial-recognition technology. Days after being blasted by civil-liberty advocates for being in the government surveillance business, the retailer found itself at odds with a city pilot-testing the software."
Tough, isn't it? What could Orlando possibly been thinking involved in this shit in the first place? Clearly, privacy, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties mean nothing to these jackasses. When called on it, suddenly get their shorts in a wad? Give me a break.
"Records publicized by the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday showed the Orlando (Florida) Police Department was trying out Amazon's facial-recognition service, dubbed "Rekognition." Stories, including one by CBS MoneyWatch, included references to a video showing Ranju Das, director of Rekognition at Amazon, describing how Orlando was using the service. "They have cameras all over the city. The authorized cameras are then streaming the data," he said. "We analyze the video in real time, [and] search against the collection of faces they have." The depiction didn't go over so well in Orlando, leading city officials to scramble to contain the damage."
What the hell did these achingly clueless assholes expect? The public is growing increasingly tired of this crap.
"In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, an Orlando police spokesman said the department's use of Rekognition is limited to eight city-owned cameras and that no images from the public are being used in the pilot."
Believe it? Think so? Only a matter of time. ... How do you know a police spokesman is lying? His lips move.
"To be clear, this partnership with Amazon includes testing to see if the technology even works," the spokesperson told the newspaper. "As it is still very early on in this process, we have no data that supports or does not support that the Rekognition technology works."
Who the hell cares whether or not it works? The problem is the principle. Too damned aggressively stupid to understand? Delusionally believe the public wants to live in a surveillance state? -- Which is exactly what has been happening for quite some time now. -- Cameras nearly ubiquitous. Now this? Facial recognition. F--k this goddamned government.
"The video featuring Das at a recent developer's conference in South Korea now includes the following clarification from Amazon: "Between minutes 31:29 and 32:19 of this video, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) spokesperson got confused and misspoke about the City of Orlando's use of AWS technologies. The City of Orlando is testing Amazon's Rekognition Video and Amazon Kinesis Video Streams internally to find ways to increase public safety and operational efficiency, but it's not correct that they've installed cameras all over the city or are using in production. We apologize for any misunderstanding."
What misunderstanding? Absolutely nothing to do with public safety. Crock of shit. Only a matter of time before this goddamned technology is fully in place, uses drivers license photos and others to track in real time. A de facto fascist police-state quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. Hear the rumble? An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming.
Think facial recognition is the only exigent threat to privacy, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties? NPR reports:
"Among the lawmakers' concerns: How Facebook might make up possible abuses to its users — and whether Zuckerberg himself is telling the truth when he promises to obey Europe's privacy laws. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took questions from members of the European Union Parliament on Tuesday about allegations that personal data of European Facebook users was misused. The testy session ended with several members of Parliament complaining that Zuckerberg had failed to address their most pressing questions."
So what else is new? The crafty son of a bitch earlier failed to do so right here in front of Congress recently. Forget? It's the money, stupid. Privacy means shit squat to the corporate management suite.
"Zuckerberg conceded that Facebook had not been ready [to] fight off fake news that spread quickly on its site. And he apologized for the improper use of millions of users' data to help political campaigns, after an analytics company gained information that had been collected by a quiz app."
Meaningless apology. Rings hollow. It's how the bastard and his corporation line their pockets. Market your private data. Their business model. Wake up. You've been bamboozled. Hoodwinked. F--ked over.
"Whether it's fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people's information, we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibilities," Zuckerberg said. "That was a mistake, and I'm sorry."
Sorry doesn't make it. Truly sorry? Resign in disgrace. Donate your stock to charity. Otherwise, your apologies mean shit squat.
Zucherberg embarrassed himself:
"One unanswered question centered on whether Facebook cross-references data from its users and users of WhatsApp. But many others were also passed by, including anti-trust questions and queries about how the company treats its users. "Will you allow users to escape targeting advertising?" Belgian Philippe Lamberts said as the meeting was nearly over. A leader of the Greens party, Lamberts added, "I mean, I asked you six yes or no questions — I got not a single answer. And of course, well, you asked for this format for a reason."
Certainly, did. For damned good reason. Make it easier to obfuscate. LOL.
"I'll make sure we follow up and get you answers for those," Zuckerberg said."
Think so? LOL.
One thing for sure. The Europeans are no push over. Didn't tolerate his bullshit like our bought and paid for politicians recently did:
"Britain's Syed Kamall of the European Conservative Group asked Zuckerberg, "How can non-users stop Facebook collecting their data?" He also asked how Facebook commercializes that data. Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian leader of the centrist Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, opened his remarks by comparing Zuckerberg to the CEO of an "out of control" big data company in novelist Dave Eggers' book The Circle."
"It seems to me, very near to reality," Verhofstadt said, noting that the fictional company's data was also used to affect elections. He added, "also the fact that maybe you have less control, or no control, about your own company for the moment, because you have to apologize now – I think in total you apologized now 15 or 16 times" in the last decade."
Meaningless talk. Empty rhetoric. Disingenuous phony bullshit.
"Are you capable to fix it?" Verhofstadt asked Zuckerberg. Before mentioning the way public regulations cover banks – which often say they will fix their own problems. He then moved on to equally pointed questions. "Are you telling the truth, in fact, to us?" he asked the Facebook CEO about the company's pledge to adhere to Europe's privacy laws."Since the outbreak of Cambridge Analytica, you have massively transferred European data of non-European citizens out from Europe, away from European servers," Verhofstadt said. "I have to tell you, that's against the regulations," Verhofstadt said, wagging his finger. He added that the company had taken the same step with data it has collected about Europeans who are not Facebook users. He then asked, "Will you compensate the European Facebook users?"
Clearly, the Europeans are asking the right questions, ferociously pointed questions, proverbially holding this lying bastard's feet to the fire. Unlike our own goddamned useless, worthless politicians, both parties.
Coup de grace? Get this:
"Verhofstadt asked Zuckerberg whether Facebook will open its books to show whether the company is a monopoly – and how it might resolve that question." "I really think we have a big problem here," Verhofstadt said. "You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered," he said, looking at Zuckerberg: "As one of the three big Internet giants, together with Steve Jobs ... and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies – or at the other hand, in fact, [as] a genius who created a digital monster, that is destroying our democracies and our societies."
No kidding. These improperly regulated corporations remain out of control top-down, bottom-up. Have become a systemic cancer tearing at the very root of what is supposed to be a democratic republic. A democratic republic, now, in name only.
Things are indeed changing in Europe vis a vis protection of privacy. NPR reports:
"The U.S. takes credit for creating the Internet, and the European Union seems determined to govern it. On Friday, a sweeping new directive goes into effect called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Taken together, its 99 articles represent the biggest ever change to data privacy laws. The new rules have implications for U.S. Internet users too."
Eventually, will likely be implemented here, to at least some extent, since will be extremely difficult for the corporate management suite to maintain different standards for Europe and the rest of the world community including the U.S..
"It's a new law that protects residents of the EU — people living there, including Americans. (If you're a European and live in the U.S., you're not protected.) Under GDPR, all companies that have an Internet presence — including large American companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook — have to comply. At the most basic level, GDPR expands what counts as personal data and your rights over that data."
Desperately needed here as well. Again, will likely eventually happen since it will be exceptionally difficult for world-wide corporations to maintain and implement two different standards. Should they make a mistake, European fines imposed will be enormous. ... Doesn't your heart bleed?
"The directive says people have to give permission for a company to collect their data. A company can't just sign you up without explicitly asking. And the more personal the data — say, biometrics, which is considered a special category under the law — the ask must be even more clear. Europeans have a right to have their data deleted if they don't want a company to keep it. Companies have to delete the data without undue delay, or face a penalty."
Desperately needed here as well:
"If you're American, you're probably getting a lot of emails and push notifications from your apps and maybe even newsletters you forgot you signed up for. For example, new privacy notices from Spotify and eBay say you can request to delete personal data they've stored. "But there's nothing binding about it," says attorney Michael R. Cohen, who is based in Minneapolis. "In the U.S., the business model is pretty much, companies can do what they want, so long as there isn't a specific law prohibiting it." The U.S. has laws protecting data privacy for health and financial records, and and for children. "Other than that, we're pretty much the Wild West," Cohen says."
It's how these bastards make money. They sell your personal data. -- Don't agree to their terms and conditions? Get denied access to their 'services.' These greedy sons of bitches truly believe they own your data, you don't. This needs to change.
"That's how as many as 87 million Facebook users had their profiles land in the hands of a political operative. Last month, in testimony before Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he'd give Americans all the same controls Europeans have."
He lied. The following is bullshit:
"We believe that everyone around the world deserves good privacy controls. We've had a lot of these controls in place for years. The GDPR requires us to do a few more things, and we're going to extend that to the world," he said."
"In reality, Zuckerberg isn't offering the same protections. For Facebook users, there is a big difference between Europe and the U.S. when it comes to what is collected by default. In Europe, Facebook has to get permission to do facial recognition — and it's not the default setting. But in the U.S., it is. American users have to click through screens to opt out."
Can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit. ... Right, Mr. Zuckerberg?
"One side argues that GDPR will be terrible for competition, giving big businesses a leg up over small ones. Small companies won't be able to afford the millions of dollars in expenses that come with managing and protecting data. So they won't survive."
Did it ever occur to the business community they truly don't need this data? That a different business model is desperately called for?
"Another camp argues that consumers don't trust businesses on the Internet anymore anyway (as evidenced by the rise of ad blockers). If that's the real problem, the laws will make a difference by making businesses think more deeply about what data they collect and why, and GDPR may improve the quality of the Internet."
The public is clearly tired of endless, relentless marketing, -- and more importantly, methods used. Including invasion of privacy.
Think privacy isn't egregiously abrogated? Believe it's not intentional? NPR reports:
"As secret recordings go, the Portland couple's conversation was pretty mundane: They were talking about hardwood floors. But their Amazon Echo was listening and recording their discussion. The device then sent the recording to someone in their contacts — without the couple's knowledge. The wife, identified only as Danielle, told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that they learned something was amiss when they received a phone call from the husband's employee who lived in Seattle, telling them what he had inadvertently received. He told them to unplug their Alexa devices right away. Danielle says she and her husband went around the house unplugging their devices — which they had in each room, controlling their home's temperature, lights and security. The employee sent the couple the sound file that the Echo had sent to him, and they were shocked to realize they had essentially been bugged."
"I felt invaded," Danielle told KIRO. "A total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, 'I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it.' "How did this happen? Here's Amazon's explanation of the unsettling episode: "Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'Alexa.' Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a 'send message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right'. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely." That's right — at least five times in a row, Alexa heard background conversation and misconstrued it as very specific directives. And it all happened without the people in the room knowing that the device was listening, much less recording their conversation and shipping it out, supposedly on their behalf."
Unintentional? Think so? Wake up. Get this:
"Last year, a North Carolina man said the same thing had happened to him: His Echo recorded 20 seconds of his conversation and sent it to his insurance agent without his knowledge. Why was the Echo recording the conversation in the first place? "Amazon's Echo uses seven microphones and noise-canceling tech to listen out for its wake word," Washington Post technology columnist Geoffrey Fowler explains. "Doing so, it records about a second of ambient sound on the device, which it constantly discards and replaces. But once it thinks it hears its wake word, the Echo's blue light ring activates and it begins sending a recording of what it hears to Amazon's computers."
Convenient, isn't it?
"While "home assistants" such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod have been big sellers in the past few years, they've brought with them a litany of privacy and practical concerns. There was the time an Echo ordered a $170 dollhouse for a 6-year-old who asked Alexa for one."
California, despite home to Silicon Valley, is considering standing up for digital privacy. NPR reports:
"As Europe's sweeping new privacy law went into effect on Friday, California voters may get to decide on strict privacy laws for their state. An initiative likely headed for November's ballot in California would be one of the broadest online privacy regulations in the U.S. and could impact standards throughout the country. One of the initiative's biggest backers is Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco real estate developer. Mactaggart has put more than $2 million of his own money into getting the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 on the ballot. The initiative hasn't been officially certified by the state, but it has gotten more than 600,000 signatures, nearly twice what it needs to qualify."
Step in the right direction.
"Mactaggart recalls the moment about four years ago that turned him into a privacy advocate. He asked a Google engineer at a cocktail party whether he should be worried about his privacy. "He said, 'Oh if you just knew how much we knew about you, you'd be really worried,' " recalls Mactaggart. Mactaggart says he and a small group of his neighbors consulted with academics, lawyers and technologists to write a bill they hope will curb privacy abuses. "What people are concerned about is misuse of their data," Mactaggart says, "and so we give people the right to say, 'Stop selling my information.' " If voters approve the measure, businesses will be required to have a "clear and conspicuous link" on their website's homepage titled "Do Not Sell My Personal Information." The link would take users to a page where they can opt out of having their data sold or shared."
Has to send a chill up the gutless spine of the hopelessly greedy corporate management suite.
"Mactaggart says the proposed law would not prevent Facebook, Google or a local newspaper from collecting users' data and using it to target ads to them. But users will have a right to stop companies from sharing or selling their data. And businesses would be required to disclose the categories of information they have on users — including home addresses, employment information and characteristics such as race and gender."
Certainly, nowhere good enough, but indeed a step in the right direction:
"The measure has the backing of consumer advocacy groups, such as Consumers Union. Justin Brookman, Consumers Union's director of privacy and technology policy, says Europe's new law is stricter. "This ballot initiative is actually pretty modest," he says. "In some ways, I wish it would go further." Still, if the California act passes, it will be one of the broadest privacy laws in the U.S. because it will affect anyone who goes on the Internet in California. And because California is the fifth-largest economy in the world, Brookman predicts many companies will implement the same standards nationally."
Are they kidding? CBS News reports:
"Facebook is expanding its fight against revenge porn with a pilot program that asks users to send their naked photos so Facebook can block the photos before someone else shares them. Facebook's been testing the system in Australia and is extending the trial to the U.S., Britain and Canada, BBC News reports."
Think they won't get sold, passed on, shared, etc.? LOL.
"In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Facebook's Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis said the company was updating its pilot program targeting the non-consensual sharing of images on the platform. Rather than having to report an image after it's already been shared around Facebook (the company already has a system in place for reporting and removing those images), Facebook will let users upload an image before it's been seen by others, CNET reports."
In follow up to a recent edition, more of the same. The public needs to stand up. The Washington Post reports:
"Amazon has been essentially giving away facial recognition tools to law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Orlando, according to documents obtained by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, paving the way for a rollout of technology that is causing concern among civil rights groups."
For damned good reason. Direct threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. A de facto fascist police-state quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. These bastards at Amazon are traitors. Willingly lining their pockets off forfeiture of civil and constitutional rights and liberties.
"Amazon is providing the technology, known as Rekognition, as well as consulting services, according to the documents, which the ACLU obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. A coalition of civil rights groups, in a letter released Tuesday, called on Amazon to stop selling the program to law enforcement because it could lead to the expansion of surveillance of vulnerable communities."
Precisely, the intention. To be followed with ubiquitous surveillance of all communities. Orwell's 1984 comes to fruition.
“We demand that Amazon stop powering a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a grave threat to customers and communities across the country,” the groups wrote in the letter. Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey did not directly address the concerns of civil rights groups. “Amazon requires that customers comply with the law and be responsible when they use AWS services,” she said, referring to Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud software division that houses the facial recognition program. “When we find that AWS services are being abused by a customer, we suspend that customer’s right to use our services.”
Not good enough. Nowhere near. The fact this woman would not directly answer concerns speaks volumes. Reinforces criticism by ACLU and others.
"She said that the technology has many useful purposes, and that customers have used it to find abducted people and amusement parks have used the program to find lost children. During the royal wedding this past weekend, clients used Rekognition to identify wedding attendees, she said. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.)"
This woman cluelessly puts lipstick on a pig. Expects the public to buy the bullshit. Such surveillance is a prelude to loss of liberty.
"The details about Amazon’s program illustrate the proliferation of cutting-edge technologies deep into American society — often without public vetting or debate. Axon, the maker of Taser electroshock weapons and the wearable body cameras for police, has voiced interest in pursuing face recognition for its body-worn cameras, prompting a similar backlash from civil rights groups. Hundreds of Google employees protested last month to demand that the company stop providing artificial intelligence to the Pentagon to help analyze drone footage."
Anything for a buck. Up to and including forfeiture of privacy, then liberty.
"Amazon publicly introduced Rekognition in November 2016, with the promise that its clients could benefit from artificial intelligence technology developed by the company’s scientists to analyze billions of images and videos daily. Marketers could use the image recognition software to recognize celebrities in their videos, while owners of dating apps could use the program to identify unwanted suggestive or explicit content, according to the company’s website."
Time for Congress to get up off its useless, worthless collective ass. This is a direct threat to liberty, no more than imposition of a surveillance state:
“Once powerful surveillance systems like these are built and deployed, the harm can’t be undone. We’re talking about a technology that will supercharge surveillance in our communities,” said Nicole Ozer, Technology and Civil Liberties Director for the ACLU of Northern California. She said the technology could be used “to track protesters, target immigrants, and spy on entire neighborhoods.”
Nazi America. Orwell's 1984. Orwell's mistake all those decades ago? Falsely believing the surveillance state would be communist. It's not. It's national socialist, fascist, nazi. Ironic, isn't it?
"The documents provide a detailed look at how Amazon is marketing Rekognition. It can identify up to 100 people in a crowd, the documents said."
Think law enforcement isn't already egregiously out of control?
"The sheriff’s office of Washington County, Ore., built a database of 300,000 mug shots of suspected criminals that officers could have Rekognition scan against footage of potential suspects in real-time. The footage could come from police body cameras and public and private cameras. The county pays Amazon between $6 and $12 a month for the service, a county spokesman said."
Blood money. Loss of privacy. Think these jackbooted sons of bitches won't add drivers license photos and others to the database?
"According to the documents, Amazon asked the county to tout its experience with Rekognition to other public sector customers, including a manufacturer of body cameras."
All the more reason to boycott Amazon.
"Deputy Jeff Talbot, public information officer for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said the program was not operating in the shadows and had been the subject of several news local stories. He pointed out that jail booking photos are already public and that the software simply allows officers to scan them instantaneously and in real-time, and compare them against footage of actual suspects, which is a valuable contribution to public safety. “Our goal is to inform the public about the work we’re doing to solve crimes. It is not mass surveillance or untargeted surveillance.”
Booking photos should not be made public until conviction. How many innocent people have been falsely accused by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue only to be exonerated at trial, or have charges dropped for lack of evidence? There is nothing to prevent these sons of bitches from adding drivers license photos and others to the database. Think that won't happen? It is mass surveillance by definition. For this jackbooted son of a bitch to claim otherwise is proof positive he is a congenital liar.
"He could not say how many crimes the program had helped solve and added that the software wasn’t always accurate. But he said officers were trained not to rely exclusively on the software to make decisions, and it was just an additional tool in the officer’s tool kit. For the cheap price Amazon was offering, he said it made sense to test out the service."
What it is remains out of control law enforcement egregiously abrogating its falsely sworn oath to uphold the United States Constitution. Amazon? Traitors. Anything for a buck. Think they won't eventually massively line corporate coffers as a result of this scourge?
"Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay area office, one of the groups that signed the letter, said many people who are booked into jail are not always charged with a crime or are proved innocent. She said that she worried that people’s civil rights are violated when law enforcement keeps their images in a database even after they are proved innocent or were never charged. She said Amazon was contributing to these violations by making it easier to scan people’s faces, repeatedly exposing them to surveillance. In addition to the ACLU, the coalition of about 40 groups included Color of Change, Human Rights Watch, Muslim Advocates and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Amazon is one of many companies selling artificial intelligence tools such as facial recognition and image-scanning to business clients. Microsoft offers a rival service, called Facial Recognition API. A crop of start-ups market the ability to scan the emotions on people’s faces as they walk in and out of stores. Such technology has been touted as a way to prevent shoplifting."
Raw nazism. Voodoo psycho babble. An exigent threat to all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.
The above quotes are courtesy of a most gifted insightful writer, Elizabeth Dwoskin.
"Tech companies are trying to sell police real-time facial recognition systems, which can track and identify people as they walk down the street. As NPR reported two weeks ago, American police have generally held off, but there's new evidence that one police department — Orlando, Fla. — has decided to try it out. What's more, Orlando ordered its facial recognition system from Amazon."
Time to boycott these goddamned traitors.
"This information was uncovered by the ACLU, which noticed that law enforcement customers were mentioned in the marketing of Amazon's "Rekognition" service. Until now, American police have used facial recognition primarily to compare still photos from crime scenes with mug shots. But now Amazon and Orlando are taking it further, by using facial recognition to spot people in real time."
"City of Orlando is a launch partner of ours," Amazon's Ranju Das recently told a developer conference in Seoul, South Korea. "They have cameras all over the city. The authorized cameras are then streaming the data ... we are a subscriber to the stream, we analyze the video in real time, search against the collection of faces they have." In this video presentation, Das is seen saying the system can be set up to notify the city if cameras see a "person of interest," and it could be used to reconstruct a person's past movements. He showed the conference a demo of real-time facial recognition using video from a "traffic cam that was provided by the city of Orlando."
How many innocent people will be harassed by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue as a result? Time to boycott Amazon and others engaging in this. If victimized, sue the living shit out of not only the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue, but these corporations as well.
"In a written statement, the Orlando Police Department called the Amazon facial recognition system a "pilot program" and said it "will be used in accordance with current and applicable law."
They're liars. Do as they please. Ubiquitous problem throughout all law enforcement.
"The statement also says the department "is not using the technology in an investigative capacity or in any public spaces at this time."
Believe it? If not yet, when?
"It did not say whether the system has been used that way in the past, or will be in the future. NPR tried to follow up, but OPD said it wasn't doing interviews on the topic."
Disingenuous, lying jackbooted bastards.
"Amazon also wouldn't do an interview with NPR. In a written statement, it pointed out that its visual analytics tools have a wide range of applications beyond policing, and that "[o]ur quality of life would be much worse today if we outlawed new technology because some people could choose to abuse the technology. Imagine if customers couldn't buy a computer because it was possible to use that computer for illegal purposes?"
More disingenuous bullshit. Safeguards could have indeed been built into all software and hardware to prevent this abuse of privacy. Have not been. Instead, these bastards line their pockets off the abuse.
"Amazon's statement added, "[W]e require our customers to comply with the law and be responsible when using Amazon Rekognition."
Jesus Christ. Crock of shit. Give me a break. These sons of bitches have absolutely no regard, no respect for the intelligence of the public.
"There are no laws explicitly barring law enforcement from using real-time facial recognition, and the constitutionality has not been tested by higher courts. Matt Cagle of the ACLU of Northern California says he's disturbed by what he sees as a lack of transparency and public engagement, as police and tech companies work together to bring this new tool to American streets. "Amazon is handing governments a surveillance system primed for abuse," Cagle says. "And that's why we're blowing the whistle right now."
Not good enough. Sue their asses. Get them into court.
"The ACLU filed public records requests for Amazon's communications with Orlando and another Rekognition customer, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, near Portland, Ore. Cagle says the resulting documents show a company eager to push law enforcement customers toward real-time facial recognition and connect it to other devices, such as officer body cameras. This is typical of companies that sell facial recognition. Most try to encourage customers to expand the applications and powers of the technology. What makes Amazon's offering different is the price. "We pay literally a couple of dollars a month to do this service," says Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy Jeff Talbot. His department uses Amazon's Rekognition to scan faces in photos of suspects taken by deputies in the field."
Again, time to boycott these sons of bitches and others who offer similar 'services.'
"The Washington County Sheriff's Office says it does not use Rekognition in real time and doesn't intend to. Cagle says that could easily change. The marketing of Rekognition to law enforcement is still in its infancy, but he's worried it could quickly become dominant, given Amazon's market clout as the world's leading cloud services company. "Activating a real-time facial recognition system, that can track people, if the technology is there, could be as simple as flipping a switch in some communities," Cagle says."
This is an exigent threat to liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. A threat to life as well. Forget? The criminal jackbooted bastards in blue are already murdering innocent unarmed civilians. Wake up. Before too late.
The above quotes are courtesy of a most gifted insightful writer, Martin Kaste.
The Trump nazi concerns himself more with Chinese business interests than the cyber security of the United States. The following is appalling. The Washington Post reports:
"President Trump’s surprising promise Sunday to help bring Chinese telecom giant ZTE back from the brink of collapse undercuts top law enforcement and intelligence officials, who have warned for years that the company’s products could be used for cyberespionage in the United States. ZTE has close ties with China’s government, and U.S. officials have raised concerns that its phones and other devices could be used as surveillance tools against Americans."
Clearly, Trump remains out to lunch.
"Lawmakers immediately pointed out the contradiction. “Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted at Trump yesterday. “You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs.” As Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) put it in a tweet this morning, the "problem with ZTE isn't jobs & trade, it's national security & espionage"
Wouldn't want to confuse our nazi fuhrer with the truth, would we?
"The head of the FBI and other intelligence chiefs in congressional testimony this year urged American citizens to steer clear of products from ZTE and its Chinese rival Huawei. And just two weeks ago, the Pentagon banned the companies’ phones from being sold on military bases, saying they “may pose an unacceptable risk to Department's personnel, information and mission.”
"President Donald Trump said Sunday he has instructed his Commerce Department to help get a Chinese telecommunications company "back into business" after the U.S. government cut off access to its American suppliers. At issue is that department's move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.
Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone
company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China
lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018"
Mark of a sane president? A man who hasn't betrayed his oath of office? Treasonously, traitorously, treacherously placed best interests of a foreign company that's compromised U.S. cyber security ahead of the best interests of the American public?
"The nation's top counterintelligence official told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that penetration of the U.S. market by the Chinese telecom firm ZTE could pose a national security risk to the United States."
Imagine that. Couldn't be, could it? LOL.
"His comments come two days after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was working with the president of China to help ZTE, which has been sanctioned by the Treasury and Commerce departments for doing business with Iran and North Korea."
Think Trump's not an idiot, -- or lining his pockets?
"Bill Evanina, who is facing a confirmation vote to head the newly created National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said he was not up to speed on the sanctions against ZTE, and he declined to say whether lifting them would be a good idea."
Jesus Christ. Isn't he allegedly "the nation's top counterintelligence official?" LOL. Give me a break.
"But under questioning by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Evanina said U.S. intelligence agencies are on record as assessing that Chinese telecommunication firms are used as a vehicle by the Chinese government to conduct espionage. And, answering a question from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., he said he would never use a ZTE phone."
He wouldn't? LOL.
"President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast," Trump tweeted Sunday. "Too many jobs in China lost."
Imagine that. LOL. ... Did they line your pockets, Mr. 'President?' -- Or, are you simply an idiot?
Think Facebook can be trusted? Consider the following. CBS News reports:
"Facebook has been secretly deleting some messages CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that hasn't been available to most of the social network's 2.2 billion users. The company says it has been removing Zuckerberg's messages from the inboxes of various people for several years. The recipients of Zuckerberg's messages weren't informed before that happened."
Couldn't be, could it? LOL.
"Facebook is making the acknowledgment Friday after TechCrunch first reported the tactic. Facebook says it began erasing the messages of Zuckerberg and a few other top executives in 2014 after computer hackers obtained and released emails from Sony Pictures executives. The Sony messages included disparaging remarks about movie stars and other people in the entertainment industry."
'Don't do as I do, do as I say?' LOL.
"Although the ability to automatically delete sent texts hadn't been previously available, Facebook says it now plans to make it available to all users. The company apologized for not doing so sooner."
Jesus Christ. Spare us. Continue to have a Facebook account? You're stupid. Get what you deserve.
Trust government? The Washington Post reports:
"The Census Bureau plans to ask people if they are U.S. citizens in the 2020 count of the nation’s population, igniting fears that the information could be used to target those in the country illegally."
Precisely, as intended by the racist AG Sessions nazi, and his fuhrer, the Trump nazi.
"The decision has become a lightning rod for controversy. More than a dozen states and at least six cities have sued to block the Trump administration from adding the question to the 2020 Census, alleging that it would depress turnout in states with large populations of immigrants. The decennial survey is key to determining how federal funding is spent nationwide. Census officials said the question is being reinstated for the first time since 1950 to help enforce the Voting Rights Act and that there are safeguards in place to prevent any abuse of the information. It is illegal to release information that would identify individuals or families."
Matters not. The bastards still do it. Have a history of doing so:
"But that does not mean that census data has not been used to target specific populations in the past. In fact, information from the 1940 Census was secretly used in one of the worst violations of constitutional rights in U.S. history: the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. In papers presented in 2000 and 2007, historian Margo J. Anderson of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and statistician William Seltzer of Fordham University found evidence that census officials cooperated with the government, providing data to target Japanese Americans."
No problem with this? None at all? Wake up. Who's next? Forget? When the rights of any of us are abrogated, the rights of all of us remain in severe jeopardy.
"The Japanese American community had long suspected the Census Bureau of playing a role in the push to banish 120,000 Japanese Americans, mostly living on the West Coast, into nearly a dozen internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, according to former commerce secretary Norman Mineta. Mineta, who lived in San Jose, was 11 when he and his family were sent to live in an internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyo. For decades, though, census officials denied that they had played any role in providing information."
Goddamned traitorous, treasonous, treacherous liars.
"According to Anderson and Seltzer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and military intelligence agencies began pushing in late 1939 to relax census confidentiality rules in the hope of accessing data on individuals. But the effort was opposed by Census Bureau Director William Lane Austin. After the 1940 presidential election, however, Austin was forced to retire. He was replaced by J.C. Capt, who backed efforts to remove confidentiality provisions. Capt’s efforts helped clear the way for other agencies to access the information on Japanese Americans. In 2000, Anderson and Seltzer found documents that showed officials with the Census Bureau had provided block-level information of where those of Japanese ancestry were living in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Arkansas. The revelations prompted Kenneth Prewitt, then director of the U.S. Census Bureau, to issue a public apology. Prewitt wrote: “The historical record is clear that senior Census Bureau staff proactively cooperated with the internment, and that census tabulations were directly implicated in the denial of civil rights to citizens of the United States who happened also to be of Japanese ancestry.”
Think the racist Sessions nazi and his fuhrer, the Trump nazi won't repeat history?
Too little, too late. The Washington Post reports:
"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed contrition for allowing third-party apps to grab the data of its users without their permission and for being “too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference” during the U.S. election, according to his prepared remarks published by the House Energy and Commerce Committee."
Rings hollow. Readers are reminded sharing and sale of personal data is precisely how Facebook makes money. A business model that remains incompatible with privacy.
"Zuckerberg plans to open his remarks with a familiar recitation of the social media platform's ability to link far-flung people together but then pivot into an acknowledgement of Facebook's increasingly visible dark side."
For years, Zuckerberg and cohorts ignored the inevitable. Despite all handwriting clearly on the wall.
"It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well," Zuckerberg plans to tell lawmakers."
An impossible, unsolvable conundrum, -- when your business model is sharing and sale of personal data.
"That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here."
Then do the right thing. Resign in disgrace. Take personal responsibility for the ruse Facebook has clearly turned out to be.
"The company has been reeling since the November 2016 election during which phony news reports spread widely on its platform and Russian operatives mounted an ambitious campaign to divide American voters, damage Democrat Hillary Clinton and bolster the chances of Republican Donald Trump."
The greatest problem with all this is the fact there were no controls in place to quickly identify and combat this problem. Facebook was too busy lining its pockets, expanding with no thought as how best to proceed. Then again, when your business model is based on sharing and selling, marketing personal data, what true alternative is there to egregious invasion of privacy?
Corporate excesses nearly always come back to figuratively bite the corporate management suite hard on the ass:
"Facebook appeared to be recovering from those controversies until last month’s revelation that a political consultancy hired by Trump and other Republicans improperly gained access to data on 87 million Facebook users, including 71 million Americans. The company acknowledged last week a separate problem in which “malicious actors” were able to identify and collect data on Facebook users on such a massive scale that most of the company’s 2.2 billion users were affected."
More frightening? Data breaches yet to be discovered and/or reported. Hard to believe this is the end of it. Here's why:
Not good enough. Nowhere near. Heads need to roll. People belong in prison.
"Zuckerberg also plans to appear before a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday. Those remarks are expected to be similar. "It’s not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure those connections are positive," Zuckerberg plans to say in his testimony. "It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too."
Impossible. There is no way to prevent developers from lining their pockets. Forget? Greed rules. Only viable way to protect data is not collect it. Not possible when the business model is sale, marketing of that data. Precisely, why determined effort of Facebook executives to limit image damage remains so achingly disingenuous, pointless.
"Facebook has announced a series of measures in recent weeks to tighten how handles user data, bring new transparency to who's behind political advertising and work more openly with outside researchers, who long have complained that the company's platform was walled off from meaningful analysis of its content and impacts."
Non-sequitur. At best, Band Aid on an arterial wound.
"There are a lot of regrets coming out of Silicon Valley these days as the dark side of the tech revolution becomes increasingly apparent. From smartphone addiction to the big scandal involving the misuse of personal information from some 87 million Facebook users. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expressed her regrets in an interview last week with NPR. "We know that we did not do enough to protect people's data," Sandberg said. "I'm really sorry for that. Mark [Zuckerberg] is really sorry for that, and what we're doing now is taking really firm action."
Again, rings hollow. Precisely, how Facebook made its money, grew exponentially. ... By selling and sharing, marketing user data. Still think it doesn't?
"But the remorse coming out of Silicon Valley isn't just from high-profile leaders like Sandberg and Zuckerberg. Investors and people who worked to build some of the problematic technologies are also taking the blame; some are even turning their attention to fixing the problems."
They're all to blame. Got filthy rich. Sharing and selling, marketing data. More to the point and ferociously pointedly? How do you fix the problem when the horse is already out the barn?
"When Sandy Parakilas went to work for Facebook in 2011, he says, he deeply believed in its mission of bringing the world closer together and building community. At the time, the Arab Spring was in full bloom and social media companies were getting credit for helping to launch a revolution."
What revolution? In reality, what they were truly doing was empowering the corporate management suite and their bought and paid for shills in government to enslave the work force and the citizenry. How could they have been so achingly naïve? What planet did they live on? How many of us were questioning this every step of the way as privacy intrusion exponentially grew? Did so unchecked. Unquestioned. For the most part, unaddressed.
"I was extremely excited about the power of social media to advance democracy all over the world," Parakilas says."
Direct opposite occurred. Regimes grew more repressive, more controlling of Internet access. So did Google and others who blocked Tor and VPNs in a determined effort to track, steal data:
"But his optimism would be tempered by the reality of Facebook's hunger for raw data about its users. He didn't like the direction it was going. "They have a business model that is going to push them continuously down a road of deceiving people," he says. "It's a surveillance advertising business model." Parakilas says he tried to warn his managers at Facebook that they were at risk of putting private information into the wrong hands. But the company was growing fast and making money. Its leaders believed connecting people was inherently good."
Disingenuous crock of shit. What they were truly doing was lining their pockets off sale and sharing of personal data. Marketing private data.
"Many of its earliest investors believed in its mission too. But now Roger McNamee, who helped mentor Zuckerberg, says he feels bad about what's happened, "because at the end of the day these were my friends. I helped them be successful. I wanted them to be successful."
None of this was thought through. None of it. Just the bottom line. Ultimate ramifications? Irrelevant to those supremely concerned with seemingly boundless profit. Fabulous wealth.
"As part of his penance, McNamee helped found the Center for Humane Technology. The center is trying to "realign technology with humanity's best interests." Parakilas has also joined the effort as an adviser. While Facebook may be in the headlines now, there is plenty of regret going around Silicon Valley from people who were part of other companies. Guillaume Chaslot joined Google/YouTube in 2010. He too started as a true believer. "We could only make things better if people were more connected," he says. "If everybody could say what he wanted to say, things would naturally get better." But Chaslot says he noticed the main goal at YouTube wasn't to inform people; it was to keep people watching videos for as long as possible. "This goal has some very bad side effects and I started to notice the side effect as I worked at YouTube," he says."
This problem has been an issue for years. Is now only coming to a head?
"Among the side effects he noticed: People tended to get only one point of view on a topic — and not always the right one. For example, a search for "moon landing" might bring up videos from conspiracy theorists arguing that NASA faked the whole event. Chaslot tried to create an algorithm that would show people different points of view. But, he says, his bosses weren't interested."
Why would they be? Forget? 'It's the money, stupid.' Gotten so perverted and ass backwards our narcissistic nazi president now falsely claims accurate reporting is 'fake news.' Even Fox News itself, separate from the talking heads, has now become no more than an infomercial for the Trump nazi and his henchmen.
"A spokesperson from the company says it has updated its algorithms since Chaslot left. According to the company, it no longer just tries to keep people on the site for as long as possible; the goal is to measure through surveys how satisfied users are with the time they spend on the site."
Jesus Christ. Give me a break. If what you're saying is indeed true, why do you continue to block Tor? So you can track? Line your bottomless pockets?
Wake up. Your personal data on Facebook is being misused. Latest example? Get this. The Washington Post reports:
"Late on Friday, Facebook made an unexpected announcement: The data firm Cambridge Analytica, hyped as integral to President Trump’s election, was suspended from the social network for using data collected improperly from Facebook users."
Much more on this as the story develops. Reportedly, Mueller is also looking into this.
CBS News reports:
"We're used to operating through different vehicles in the shadows, and I look forward to building a very long term and secretive relationship with you." That's what Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix told undercover reporters from the U.K.'s Channel 4 News who posed as potential clients over a span of several months. Nix and two of his colleagues described a variety of underhanded methods they could use to influence elections, including but not limited to staging, filming and publishing fake bribery or sex worker stings against opponents, using former spies to conduct intelligence-gathering on political foes and various shades of online voter profiling."
Think you haven't been bamboozled? Fed a steaming shovelful?
"The network aired the exposé Monday evening -- its reporters spoke with senior members of the company, including Nix, managing director Mark Turnbull and chief data officer Dr. Alex Tayler. "The two fundamental human drivers when it comes to taking information on board effectively are hopes and fears, and many of those are unspoken and even unconscious -- you didn't know that was a fear until you saw something that just evoked that reaction from you," Turnbull explained in a meeting with a reporter posing as "Ranjan," a prospective client from Sri Lanka. He continued, "And our job is to get, is to drop the bucket further down the well than anybody else to understand what are those really deep-seated underlying fears, concerns. There is no good fighting an election campaign on the facts because actually it's all about emotion."
Think these tactics acceptable in an American presidential election? Have no problems being manipulated by a candidate and his/her henchmen?
"Turnbull said the data firm often digs up damaging information on politicians for its clients and discreetly pushes the information on the Internet. "We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again like a remote control," he said. "It has to happen without anyone thinking, 'that's propaganda', because the moment you think, 'That's propaganda', the next question is, 'Who's put that out?' So we have to be subtle." To hide its involvement, Turnbull said Cambridge Analytica often uses subcontractors to cover its tracks. "It may be that we have to contract under a different name -- a different entity with a different name so that no record exists with our name attached to it at all," he explained."
No problem with this? Deception okay? Underhanded tactics appropriate in all American elections?
"The company came under fire after Facebook suspended the data firm accusing it of violating its terms of services and storing data extracted from tens of millions of Facebook profiles. Facebook alleges that users' data was taken without their permission, but in reality, it was extracted using a loophole in Facebook's app ecosystem at the time. Cambridge Analytica said a researcher built an app that provided a personality quiz to Facebook users, but Facebook claims the researcher then "lied to us" and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build "psychographic profiles" about voters. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has announced that her office is launching an investigation into the data usage. Politicians in both the U.S. and the U.K. are demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain how the data theft occurred and how the company plans to protect consumers."
The Washington Post reports:
"A British television station broadcast video Monday apparently showing the head of the data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Trump’s 2016 campaign, talking about using bribes, traps involving sex workers and other unethical tactics to swing elections around the world. The broadcast by Channel 4 News offered no evidence that such methods were used during Cambridge Analytica’s work for the Trump campaign, which paid the firm at least $6 million. But the broadcast sparked a fresh round of questions about a company already embroiled in controversy about its use of personal information from tens of millions of Facebooks users — the vast majority of whom had no idea their names, likes and work histories had been collected for political purposes."
If Trump and his henchmen had no intention of using such tactics, why would they have paid this company $6 million?
CBS News reports:
"Facebook (FB) shares fell nearly 7 percent Monday amid controversy over how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump's 2016 campaign, was able to harvest personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users. The 6.8 percent drop lopped nearly $40 billion off Facebook's market value. Facebook says it initially gave out the data to a researcher who claimed it would be used only for academic purposes. Facebook claims the researcher then "lied to us" and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build "psychographic profiles" about voters. Investors are worried about the fallout for Facebook from prosecutors, regulators, and advertisers."
"Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey wrote on Twitter that her office is launching an investigation into the data usage. "Massachusetts residents deserve answers immediately from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," Healey wrote. Politicians in both the U.S. and the U.K. are demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain how the data theft occurred and how the company plans to protect consumers."
Wake up. Facebook is selling you out.
"Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, on Monday urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook, in a tweet calling the company's policies to protect consumer data a "hollow promise." He also urged Congress to examine what he described as links between Cambridge Analytica and "Russian state interests."
should immediately investigate and sanction apparent breach by Facebook
of its 2011 agreement guaranteeing protection of consumer info - now a
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 19, 2018"
They're lining their pockets. You're getting royally f--ked. In the ass. Without the KY. Any questions?
In another article, CBS News reports:
"Amid the fallout over the revelation that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, obtained personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission, Facebook and some of its executives objected to the use of the phrase "data breach" to describe the controversy. Nicholas Thompson, a CBS News contributor and editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, said on CBSN on Monday that Facebook was "very upset" about the use of the word "breach" in a headline in the British newspaper the Guardian, which first broke the story over the weekend."
A f--king is a f--king no matter what you call it. No matter how the bullshit gets spun.
"The newspaper has continued to refer to the incident as a breach in subsequent stories. Their reporting exposed how Facebook users' data was initially obtained through an app that collected information on people who took a personality quiz and all their Facebook friends, supposedly for academic research purposes only. The data was then provided to Cambridge Analytica, which helped the Trump campaign during the 2016 Republican primaries."
Don't think you've been hoodwinked? Worse, don't care?
"Facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth defended the company Saturday morning and denied that any "data breach" took place. "This was unequivocally not a data breach," Bosworth said. "People chose to share their data with third party apps and if those third party apps did not follow the data agreements with us/users it is a violation. no systems were infiltrated, no passwords or information were stolen or hacked."
The son of a bitch is so goddamned Aryan arrogant he and his company won't take responsibility. What does that tell you?
"Reporter April Glaser with the online magazine Slate posted to Twitter screenshots of tweets from Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos also taking issue with the phrase. The tweets appear to have since been deleted from Stamos' page. "The recent Cambridge Analytica stories by the NY Times and The Guardian are important and powerful, but it is incorrect to call this a 'breach' under any reasonable definition of the term," Stamos says in one screenshot. "We can condemn this behavior while being accurate in our description of it."
are @alexstamos now deleted tweets on the app Cambridge Analytica used
to harvest millions of Facebook users' data. pic.twitter.com/jPwRHUyW1w
— april glaser (@aprilaser) March 17, 2018"
CBS News reports:
"The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether revelations that data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested personal data from millions of Facebook users violates a previous order by the regulatory agency targeting Facebook, according to Bloomberg News. Under that 2011 agreement, Facebook said it would make changes to protect its users' privacy, including providing them with "clear and prominent notice" and asking for their "express consent" before their information would be shared beyond their privacy settings. "We are aware of the issues that have been raised but cannot comment on whether we are investigating," an FTC spokeswoman told CBS MoneyWatch. "We take any allegations of violations of our consent decrees very seriously as we did in 2012 in a privacy case involving Google."
The Washington Post reports:
"The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into Facebook following reports that a data analytics firm that had worked with the Trump campaign had improperly accessed names, “likes” and other personal information about tens of millions of the social site’s users without their knowledge. The FTC probe – confirmed by a source familiar with the agency's thinking and not authorized to speak on the record -- marks the most substantial political and legal threat yet to Facebook as it grapples with the fallout from Cambridge Analytica and its controversial tactics. And it could result in the U.S. government slapping Facebook with a massive fine."
Not good enough. Nowhere near.
"At issue for the company -- and at the heart of the FTC probe -- is a settlement they reached with the agency in November 2011, ending an investigation that Facebook deceived users about the privacy protections they are afforded on the site. Among other requirements, the resulting consent decree mandated that Facebook must notify users and obtain their permission before data about them is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. It also subjected Facebook to 20 years of privacy checkups to ensure its compliance."
Apparently, not good enough oversight.
"Recently, though, former FTC officials have said that Facebook’s entanglement with Cambridge Analytica may have violated the company's legal agreement with the federal watchdog agency. Whistleblowers in recent days contend that Cambridge Analytica collected information about users and their friends under a since-ceased policy governing third-party apps on Facebook – then kept that data even after Facebook asked that it be deleted."
Looks like this may turn out to be quite a legal nightmare for Facebook:
"About 270,000 users downloaded Cambridge Analytica's app. But the firm was able to obtain personal information about their friends, who likely had no knowledge that their data was being collected. Roughly 50 million people may have been affected. If the FTC ultimately finds that Facebook broke that agreement, it could fine the company $40,000 for each violation."
"The British government says it is seeking a warrant to search databases and servers belonging to Cambridge Analytica, the London-based company accused of using data from 50 million Facebook users to influence the 2016 presidential campaign. U.K. Information Minister Elizabeth Denham had demanded access to Cambridge Analytica's databases by Monday following reports that the company improperly mined user data from Facebook to target potential voters. However, after the firm missed the deadline, Denham told Britain's Channel 4: "I'll be applying to the court for a warrant."
Think Mueller isn't also looking into this?
"Cambridge Analytica has suspended its CEO, Alexander Nix. The London-based company, which is accused of using data from 50 million Facebook users to influence the 2016 presidential campaign, announced the move Tuesday afternoon — one day after the release of a video that appears to show Nix acknowledging the firm's engagement in political dirty tricks. "In the view of the Board, Mr. Nix's recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm," the company's board of directors said in a statement, "and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation."
"It's all a far cry from the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Cambridge Analytica waded into American politics with the goal of giving conservatives big data tools to compete with Democrats. Its big promise: developing detailed psychological profiles of every American voter, so that campaigns could tailor their pitches from person to person."
Have no problem being manipulated?
"We've been appealing to the same demographic on the same issue," Nix told NPR in February 2016, "yet how we nuance this engagement is completely different." No, Cambridge Analytica couldn't fully capture the personality of every single voter. But here's how Nix pitched the company's approach at the time. Cambridge Analytica worked with researchers to develop "a 120-question survey that seeks to probe personality," he said. "And we've rolled this out to literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people across America."
Think Trump and his henchmen got their money's worth?
"The company asked all sorts of questions about personality and behavior. Then it scored people on traits like openness, extroversion and agreeableness — aspects of the typical "big five" personality traits. Those results were mixed together with polls, voter records and online activity in order to create personality models for voters. Cambridge Analytica may not have talked to you, Nix said, but "if I talk to enough people who look like you, in terms of what data they have, I'd be able to quantify your personality based on the discussion I've had with other people."
No sense of intrusion? Personal violation?
"This week, the Times reported that Cambridge Analytica collected a lot of this information by breaking Facebook's rules. An outside researcher affiliated with Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan, developed an app for the company that required users to sign in using their Facebook accounts. Facebook's rules at the time allowed the app to suck up information about all those users and, even more importantly, information about their friends. That data included education, location, the groups and pages they liked, their relationship status, and where they worked. Kogan, who created the app, was allowed to collect all this information for academic purposes. What he wasn't allowed to do was pass the data along to a third party, instead of using it for research, as had been promised."
Still no sense of violation? Satisfied with how Facebook protected your personal data?
Apparently and unremarkably, seems "Screws Loose" Ted Cruz used their 'services':
"All this data went into the company's much-hyped psychological profiles. While Cambridge Analytica is now associated with Donald Trump's general election campaign, it was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who first employed the firm. The Cruz campaign went all-in on political science theory and big data approaches to campaigning, and divided voters into six different psychological profiles during the early primaries. The campaign reached out to voters it grouped as "timid traditionalists" with different messaging than it did for "temperamental" voters, even if the calls, emails, and flyers were about the same Cruz stances on the same topics. The psychological profiling got a lot of media attention after Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, especially after Nix publicly claimed credit for the win in a series of media interviews."
Apparently, Cruz's sick sycophants also don't seem to mind being similarly manipulated. LOL.
Here's what's so interesting:
"But as the campaign advanced, the Cruz campaign became skeptical of the approach. It ultimately phased out the psychological profiling attempts after the South Carolina primary, even though Cambridge Analytica staffers remained attached to Cruz's campaign."
The question is why. Certainly, not clear.
"In explicit contractual language, Cambridge Analytica affirmatively represented that all data used by them were obtained legally, that they would conduct their operations 'in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,' and that they 'hold all necessary permits, licenses and consents to conduct its operations,' " Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in an emailed statement this week."
How could they possibly know for sure? Certainly, not clear.
"Cruz ended his campaign for president after the Indiana primary. With Cruz out of the race and Trump on his way to lead the Republican ticket, Cambridge Analytica began working for the GOP nominee. This shift paralleled the migration of the Mercer family, major Republican donors with a significant financial stake in the company."
Fascinating, isn't it? Quite indicative of the fact those with enormous wealth can usually buy their way out of any scrape they find themselves in. Until, of course, the shit finally hits the fan. ... As now seems to be the case.
"While Cruz's campaign had embraced data science and was willing to experiment with political science theories that had never before been tested on the presidential level, the Trump campaign's data operation had been nonexistent. Shortly after winning the Republican nomination, Trump told the AP he viewed data as "overrated" in politics. Still, Cambridge Analytica staffers embedded with Trump digital strategist Brad Parscale in his San Antonio office, and played a key role in the campaign's online efforts."
Eventually, will likely become clear who was ultimately responsible for hiring this firm during the Trump campaign.
"People involved in both the Cruz and Trump campaigns say they never used the data Cambridge Analytica illicitly acquired from Facebook. And both campaigns ultimately soured on both the company and its CEO."
Be interesting to see if this is indeed confirmed by the Mueller investigation.
CBS News reports:
"Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of social media giant Facebook (FB), released a statement Wednesday afternoon breaking his silence about startling reports that the company mishandled the personal data of millions of users. He wrote in a post on Facebook that there was a "breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us" and said the company "made mistakes" on what he referred to as the "Cambridge Analytica situation." "We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again," Zuckerberg wrote."
Too little, much too late. Same old, same old every time there is a f--kup that sees the light of day. Wake up. Facebook makes its money marketing your personal data.
Just the beginning. Much more to come.
Equifax fiasco widens. NPR reports:
"Equifax has disclosed that an additional 2.4 million people were impacted by a massive cybersecurity breach last year, bringing the total to about 148 million people. The credit reporting agency says that the new consumers were identified during forensic examination of the breach. They were previously unidentified, the company says, because their social security numbers were not stolen. Their names and some of their driver's license information was taken, however. According to the company, "in the vast majority of cases, it did not include consumers' home addresses, or their respective driver's license states, dates of issuance, or expiration dates."
Bastards need to be sued.
Privacy remains under vicious attack in Nazi America. Think not? Wake up. NPR reports:
"When you open your email today, consider this: on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on a question that didn't exist just a few decades ago — does an email provider, faced with a search warrant issued in the United States, have to turn over a customer's email content when that data is stored outside the U.S.?"
Our nazi government truly believes its jurisdiction extends across the universe.
"The case, United States v. Microsoft, involves a federal drug-trafficking investigation in which law enforcement obtained a warrant for all the data associated with a suspect's Microsoft account. In response, Microsoft turned over the user's account identification information that is stored in Redmond, Wash., but refused to disclose the content of the emails, which were stored in a data center in Ireland."
Did the right thing. This goddamned government has no jurisdiction in Ireland.
"Microsoft argues that an international treaty between the U.S. and Ireland is the only correct way to obtain the emails, and Ireland agrees. The treaty is known as the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty."
This government believes it can do as it pleases:
"But the U.S. government argues that process is slow and cumbersome. Furthermore, it would prove highly problematic with providers such as Google, for example, which breaks up data and moves it around the world constantly."
"Siding with Microsoft in this case are a raft of major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. They point out that the public did not even have access to the Internet until 1989 and the "World Wide Web" didn't exist until 1991. Nor were emails stored after they were received. So Congress could not have intended to cover data that is stored forever in a cloud. The Supreme Court has established a strong presumption against the extraterritorial application of a statute unless Congress expresses a clear intent to reach outside the U.S."
Carefully, consider the above. Clearly, the Court has bastardized the Constitution in an effort to grant the Executive Branch power it does not enjoy. Founders? Spinning in their graves. How is it constitutional for the United States to extend jurisdiction across the universe?
"The company argues that allowing the U.S. to reach into foreign territory to retrieve a user's private emails, even with a warrant, would set a dangerous precedent for other countries to reciprocate. Disregard for another country's sovereignty could be seen as an open invitation to the rest of the world to look into American citizens' private emails, commencing a "global free-for-all."
Wouldn't want to confuse the nazi idiots on the Court with the truth, would we? LOL.
The Europeans are way ahead of us on personal privacy issues:
"The U.S. and European Union demonstrate different priorities when it comes to data protection. Privacy is enshrined as a fundamental right in Europe. Both the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognize a "right to the protection of personal data."
Not so in Nazi America. The Fourth Amendment has been determinedly bastardized over the decades to suit the purposes of repressive government.
The following clearly sums up the debacle:
"In a rare convergence of opposing ideologies and bitter competitors, Fox News, CNN, the ACLU, Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen, Apple and Microsoft agree: The U.S. government should not unilaterally seize data stored in a foreign country. Doing so, many say, would mark a disregard for the sovereignty of other nations and infringe on privacy laws that explicitly forbid such action. The U.S. government, on the other hand, dismisses these concerns, noting that when served with a warrant, Microsoft could, by tapping a few keys, transfer the information back to the U.S. from the stored data center in Ireland, thus avoiding international complications."
Blatant, achingly disingenuous bullshit. Raw nazism in a goddamned de facto fascist police-state soon to be transformed to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich.
Quotes above courtesy of a most gifted insightful writer, Nina Totenberg.
Think Trump and his henchmen will do anything about this continuing problem? Or, exacerbate it? CBS News reports:
"The Equifax data breach exposed more of consumers' personal information than the company first disclosed last year, according to documents given to lawmakers. The credit reporting company announced in September that the personal information of 145.5 million consumers had been compromised in a data breach. It originally said that the information accessed included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and -- in some cases -- driver's license numbers and credit card numbers. It also said some consumers' credit card numbers were among the information exposed, as well as the personal information from thousands of dispute documents."
Until the public rises up, demands change, guess what? This shit will continue unabated.
"However, Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. recently disclosed in a document submitted to the Senate Banking Committee that a forensic investigation found criminals accessed other information from company records. According to the document, provided to The Associated Press by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office, that included tax identification numbers, email addresses and phone numbers. Finer details, such as the expiration dates for credit cards or issuing states for driver's licenses, were also included in the list."
These assholes don't need this information. Why do you cooperate with this ongoing f--king? Cleverly designed to line the pockets of the top 1%.
"Equifax's disclosure, which it has not made directly to consumers, underscores the depth of detail the company keeps on individuals that it may have put at risk. And it adds to the string of missteps the company has made in recovering from the security debacle. Equifax spokeswoman Meredith Griffanti said that "in no way did we intend to mislead consumers." The company last year disclosed only the information that affected the greatest number of consumers and wanted to "act with the greatest clarity" in terms of the information provided the committee, she said."
They're lying, corrupt, abusive, inept sons of bitches. Line their pockets off this shit. Wake up. You're being royally f--ked.
Think digital assistants aren't tracking? CBS News reports:
"Digital assistants from Amazon and Google are listening – possibly even when you think they aren't, according to a consumer watchdog organization. It studied patent filings from both companies and found Alexa and her high-tech counterpart Google Home could start recording more information than you realize they are."
Track. Invade your privacy to line the corporate bottom line.
"Google and Amazon, the leading companies that make these devices, say they only record your voice when you activate them with so-called "wake words." Those recordings are then transmitted back to Amazon and Google servers, where the questions are analyzed and answered. While they might work that way for now, some are worried that could change in the near future."
... If they haven't already done so:
"They're there to track you, to surveil you and to sell you," Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said. His advocacy group studied dozens of patent applications for possible future advances in Google and Amazon's smart home technology. "What these patents describe is that they're always watching, they're always listening," Court said."
Consider the following:
"One Amazon patent shows the company could instruct the Echo device to listen for designated trigger words, like a discussion of vacation destinations. It could then transcribe that conversation and use it to try to sell the device's user a related product."
Think this won't happen? Hasn't already? Trust the corporate management suite?
Republican national socialists in the House continue to take a raucous hard dump on all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. The Washington Times reports:
"The American Civil Liberties Union announced opposition Wednesday to the new House bill to extend the government’s chief foreign intelligence snooping program, saying it doesn’t do enough to protect Americans’ rights and could lead to new opportunities for government overreach."
Precisely what 'law and order' GOP nazis crave.
"The bill would extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for four years. Without an extension, the authority to scoop up communications of foreign targets would expire at the end of this month. But the ACLU said more reforms are needed before the powers are renewed, and warned lawmakers against accepting a bad bill in a deadline deal. “The last decade has demonstrated time and again that when surveillance laws are negotiated in secret and rushed through Congress with little debate, it often leads to abuse and constitutional violations,” said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel for the ACLU."
Nothing more than the hallmark of Republican nazis determined to eviscerate all civil and constitutional rights and liberties, perversely in the name of 'freedom.' Ersatz 'liberty.'
“Yet House leadership appears poised to repeat past mistakes and quickly push for a vote on this hastily drafted legislation without giving members of Congress or the public time to debate the important privacy interests at stake,” she said."
GOP national socialists have repeatedly demonstrated they have no regard for privacy. None at all. Precisely, why they will not rein in their corporate masters. Remain no more than bought and paid for shills for the corporate management suite.
"The bill includes some new limits on the use of Americans’ communications that are snared, but civil liberties advocates said there are too many loopholes left."
All a ruse. In a goddamned de facto fascist police-state, soon to be the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. ... Right, Sheriff?
Democrats? Absent without leave. Out to lunch since November 22, 1963.
The following is precisely why you should be using Tor as browser, -- one of many reasons. CBS News reports:
"A federal lawsuit earlier filed this week accuses Casper, the direct-to-consumer mattress startup, and a software company named NaviStone of illegally collecting information from visitors to the Casper website in an attempt to learn their identities. The 21-page suit, which is seeking class-action status, alleges that New York City resident Brady Cohen visited the Casper website several times over the past six months while he was shopping for a new mattress. He didn't know the company, which has disrupted a $14 billion mattress industry, was using NaviStone's technology to learn his personally identifiable information (PII), such as his name and postal address, without his consent. Cohen wound up not buying a Casper mattress."
Here is how it was apparently done:
"According to the court filing, Casper is able to observe the keystrokes, mouse clicks and other electronic communications and get detailed information on visitors' habits, thanks to secret NaviStone code embedded in its site, which functions as an illegal wiretap. The Nov. 28 filing says: "...when connecting to a website that runs this remote code from NaviStone, a visitor's IP address and other PII is sent to NaviStone in real-time. This real-time interception and transmission of visitors' electronic communications begins as soon as the visitor loads casper.com into their web browser." The filing added that "The intercepted communications include, among other things, information typed on forms located on casper.com, regardless of whether the user completes the form or clicks 'Submit.'"
Use Tor. It's free. Originally, developed by the U.S. Navy, now updated and improved continually by the Tor community. Your data is encrypted from your computer through your ISP and on to three different relays all over the globe before it is unencrypted, then goes on to and reaches its ultimate destination, making it difficult to track. Your IP address can appear to be anywhere in the world. You can change it every time you access a new URL. -- Don't commit crimes. ... You will ultimately get caught. Takes an enormous amount of effort and resources, but you will get caught.
--Some websites are blocking Tor because they want to track, sell your data. If blocked, run Tor through a free Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Also, along the lines of privacy, consider the following. NBC News reports:
"It sounds like such a fun holiday gift idea: a DNA test that can tell your sister-in-law whether she really has Native American ancestors, or one that promises to craft your friend a perfect diet based on his genes. Home DNA tests are likely a big seller for the next few weeks, but privacy experts say consumers should be cautious, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said this past weekend that he was asking the Federal Trade Commission to "take a serious look at this relatively new kind of service and ensure that these companies can have clear, fair privacy policies."
Here's precisely why this is so important:
"The problem is that when you send away a tube of your spit or a cheek swab, you are giving away your full genetic code. Every cell on that cheek swab carries the full sequence of your DNA, including the mutation pattern that makes it uniquely yours. “It’s the most valuable thing you own,” says Peter Pitts of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocacy group. Legitimate genetic testing companies promise not to sell or give this data away without consent."
That assurance can mean little to nothing:
"But usually, a broad consent is part of the initial contract a consumer makes with a company when he or she submits the test for analysis. “Obviously, there is a lot of fine print,” said Mary Freivogel, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. “Any time you do anything and you have a big, long agreement in front of you, I think so many of us are accustomed to just clicking ‘agree’.” Even if you do read the whole agreement, which can go on for pages, you may not understand what you’re giving the company permission to do, said Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford School of Medicine."
That's the problem.
“That analysis shows things about your health that the company never told you because that is not the business they are in,” he said. “They are in the genealogy business.” So here’s some potentially devastating information about your health and it’s in someone else’s hands, Greely said. “For a non-trivial percentage of us, there really are scary things in our genomes,” he said. That information may or may not be useful to someone else. “Maybe you’re doing it for fun or for laughs or for conversation at the holiday table but at the end of the day you may have a good time but the company now can sell that information 100 different ways,” said Pitts. “You don’t want that information displayed to other people,” he added. “Ultimately you don’t want an employer to have access to your information.”
Think it can't, or wouldn't be used against you?
"A 2008 law called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act forbids discrimination based on genetic information and that would include firing someone because they have a gene that predisposes to an expensive disease. But it would also be hard to prove an employer did that, said Pitts. Right now, it’s hard to identify anyone based strictly on their DNA sequence. But as people enter more and more information into databases, it could become easier. 23andme has an extensive questionnaire about health, lifestyle habits and preferences and while it allows customers to skip any questions they choose to, they can be contributing a lot of personal detail with their DNA sample."
Think that couldn't, or wouldn't be used against you?
"In 2013, a team at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research said they figured out the identities of 50 people from DNA donated anonymously for scientific study using easily available internet databases. That’s why companies do their best to strip away personal information from the genetic codes, but anyone who has been the victim of credit card fraud or identity theft know that anonymizing data is far from foolproof. “You cannot promise people absolute confidentiality,” Greely said. “The other side of it is that it’s possible that somebody will hack into a company database that does contain your information. My financial information has been hacked three times in two years. All that stuff is out there.”
A few additional things to think about:
"People may not want to help out a company trying to make a profit off their DNA, and may not associate “scientific research” with enriching a corporate bottom line. And people may think they are ready to get some interesting news about their disease risks, until they actually get it. “It has emotional consequences that go along with it, and family dynamic consequences,” said Freivogel. “If you have a positive result, you may need to share that with your five sisters. And are you prepared to do that?”
Installed apps on your computer or cellphone can be quite a security problem. Consider the following. CBS News reports:
"Personal data belonging to over 31 million customers of a popular virtual keyboard app has leaked online, after the app's developer failed to secure the database's server. The server is owned by Eitan Fitusi, co-founder of AI.type, a customizable and personalizable on-screen keyboard, which boasts more than 40 million users across the world. But the server wasn't protected with a password, allowing anyone to access the company's database of user records, totaling more than 577 gigabytes of sensitive data. The database appears to only contain records on the app's Android users."
Here's the problem, what you place at risk:
"A large portion of the records also included the user's phone number and the name of their cell phone provider, and in some cases their IP address and name of their internet provider if connected to Wi-Fi. Many records contain specific details of a user's public Google profile, including email addresses, dates of birth, genders, and profile photos. We also found several tables of contact data uploaded from a user's phone. One table listed 10.7 million email addresses, while another contained 374.6 million phone numbers. It's not clear for what reason the app uploaded email addresses and phone numbers of contacts on users' phones. Several tables contained lists of each app installed on a user's device, such as banking apps and dating apps."
Here is precisely how Aryan arrogant our traitorous government has become. How achingly indifferent to all cvil and constitutional rights and liberties.
"Government agencies that deal with cybersecurity, like the National Security Agency, have two competing interests. On the one hand, they want to protect America's online infrastructure and economy from cyberattacks. On the other hand, government agencies want to harness tools to attack opponents in cyberspace."
-- At the expense of the public, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties, which wind up in the balance ultimately.
"These goals come into conflict when government agencies discover or buy flaws in software, called "zero day" exploits, that the software's makers don't know about. The government can inform the company so the flaw can be patched — or it can save the secret weakness in order to use it to launch attacks against enemies."
That's when the public pays the price:
"There's a catch to hoarding the software flaws though: That same exploit could end up being used against Americans if hackers discover the flaw on their own."
Not only can this happen, it does.
Here's the problem:
"Recent hacks call into question just how well the government can actually keep its secrets, however. A hacking group called the Shadow Brokers stole and leaked "sophisticated, very sensitive, high-end, really weapons-grade computer code" from the NSA, former NSA General Counsel Matthew Olsen told NPR this week. "The agency regarded as the world's leader in breaking into adversaries' computer networks failed to protect its own," as The New York Times recently described it. "Created at huge expense to American taxpayers, those cyberweapons have now been picked up by hackers from North Korea to Russia and shot back at the United States and its allies."
This government has problems doing anything right. Cannot be trusted. Insult to injury? Defends withholding security flaws while egregiously unable, unwilling to protect this information from hackers. Anything wrong with this picture? Anything at all?
"There's a "tension between the government's need to sustain the means to pursue rogue actors in cyberspace through the use of cyber exploits, and its obligation to share its knowledge of flaws in software and hardware with responsible parties who can ensure digital infrastructure is upgraded and made stronger in the face of growing cyber threats," White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce wrote in announcing the guidelines."
In the clutch, guess who loses? Wake up. All a ruse.
Expanding on the above, Republicans are about to succumb to their corporate masters vis a vis net neutrality. Know what that means? Anyone using the Internet in this country is in for quite an ass f--king by the corporate management suite. Without the Vaseline.
The Washington Post reports:
"Federal regulators unveiled a plan Tuesday that would give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers can see and use, and at what cost."
Goddamned un-American. Right Wing nazi. Adolf and Benito? High-fiving on their fiery perches.
"The move sets the stage for a crucial vote next month at the Federal Communications Commission that could reshape the entire digital ecosystem. The FCC’s Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, has made undoing the government's net neutrality rules one of his top priorities, and Tuesday's move hands a win to broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. Pai is taking aim at regulations that were approved two years ago under a Democratic presidency and that sought to make sure all Internet content, whether from big or small companies, would be treated equally by Internet providers."
Can't have that, can we? Forget? Top 1% want and need to take it all. Republicans will certainly do all they can to facilitate it. Where are the Democrats? Out to lunch since November 22, 1963.
"The decision will be put to a vote at the agency's Dec. 14 meeting in Washington. It is expected to pass, with Republicans controlling three of the commission's five seats."
Here's the bottom line for consumers:
"Relying more heavily on Internet providers' own promises on net neutrality is a departure from the current rules, which lay out clear, federal bans against selectively blocking or slowing websites, as well as speeding up websites that agree to pay the providers a fee."
Fail to stand up to this bullshit? Let your voice be known? Get what you richly deserve. F--ked.
In follow up to earlier editions here and elsewhere vis a vis Equifax, CBS News reports:
"Indeed, that massive data breach was possibly one of the worst things that could happen to this global data-sensitive company. And then last Thursday, some more unpleasant news emerged: The IRS said it was temporarily suspending its $7.1 million data security contract with Equifax after malware was detected on some pages of the credit bureau's website."
Taxpayers and consumers are indeed double f--ked. Not only by IRS, but one of its corporate masters. Repeatedly. Ferociously.
Insult to injury? Get this:
"We believe Equifax's long-term financial model remains intact," said William A. Warmington, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, in a recent report to clients. He said he was reiterating his "outperform" rating on Equifax following the three-day Congressional testimony by former CEO Richard Smith. "We expect investor focus to now turn to preliminary 2018 guidance on Equifax's third-quarter earnings call," he said."
One outrageously criminal corporation evaluating another. ... Right, Amanda?
"Warmington noted that his 2018 estimates were below consensus because many investors expected 2018 to be a "transition year," with revenues and costs predictably affected by the breach. The challenge to management, he added, is to provide insight into the breach's impact, such as which costs are transitory versus fixed. But he reiterated that Equifax's long-term growth model remains viable, and so he has now introduced above-consensus estimates for 2019 revenue of $3.77 billion and earnings per share of $6.80."
Warms the cockles of the heart, doesn't it?
Insult to injury?
"Some analysts believe the Congressional hearings were a win for Equifax. Afterward, said George Mihalos, equity analyst at investment firm Cowen, "we see little long-term risk to Equifax's B2B [business-to-business] business and its role in the consumer lending ecosystem."
Hear the rumble? An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming. ... As the revolution doomsday clock strikes ever closer to midnight.
Two outrageously corrupt abusive corporations got their ass kicked hard figuratively in the Senate by both Democrats and Republicans recently. NPR reports:
"When corporate chief executives appear before Congress, they come braced for battle, but hope for gentle treatment. Tender handling is not what they got on Tuesday. Not from Republicans. Not from Democrats."
About time. Tough shit. Doesn't your heart bleed?
"Not when they were representing Wells Fargo and Equifax — two huge companies that recently have harmed Americans. "At best, you were incompetent. At worst, you were complicit. And either way you should be fired," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan."
Not good enough. Nowhere near. What this son of a bitch and his cronies desperately need is criminal prosecution. ... Right, Amanda?
"Sloan was testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, trying to explain the scandals that continue to plague his company."
Explain what? Criminal activity? Egregious violation of privacy? Unbridled greed? Gross incompetence? Legalized theft? What? The inexcusable?
"In another hearing at the same time, the former CEO of Equifax, Richard Smith, was telling a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee about how his company managed to expose the sensitive, private information involving more than 145 million Americans."
This son a bitch and his cronies also desperately need criminal prosecution:
"The scope of Equifax's failure to protect people's privacy was "unprecedented," subcommittee chairman Bob Latta, R-Ohio, said. The breach was "also unique because of the sensitivity of the information stolen — including full nine-digit Social Security numbers," Latta said."
Height of galling hypocrisy? Get this:
"Smith, who stepped down last week from Equifax, started by saying: "I'm truly and deeply sorry for what happened."
Like the Trump nazi, failed to take personal responsibility:
"He then blamed the massive breach on two factors: "human error and technology errors." Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said Congress should pass legislation to protect consumers whose personal data gets stolen in such security failures. "Of course, breaches will continue to occur, but they occur more often when there is no accountability and when no preventative measures are in place," he said."
Precisely, why these pieces of crap need to be aggressively prosecuted every goddamned time this shit happens.
"Equifax executives were notified of the security breach in July, but waited until August to disclose it. "Consumers do not have any say in whether or not Equifax collects and shares their data," Pallone said. "And that's what makes this breach so concerning. This is unlike any other breaches at stores like Target and Michael's where consumers could make a choice and change their shopping habits if they were upset with how the companies protected data. That's simply not the case with Equifax."
No regulation. Do as they please. Refuse to correct erroneous reports. Since the government is bought and paid for by its corporate masters, abjectly refuses to effectively regulate them, credit reporting agencies need to be abolished. These agencies are no more than a ruse, an unmitigated fraud.
Regarding Wells Fargo:
"The banking giant, which is an NPR sponsor, has been in trouble for more than a year – ever since it revealed that its aggressive sales culture had led to the creation of millions of potentially fake accounts. Since then, other scandals have erupted, mostly involving excessive fees."
Yet, no criminal prosecution. Protected and coddled. ... Right, Amanda?
Insult to injury? Galling Aryan arrogance?
"Like Smith, Sloan showed remorse. "I am deeply sorry for letting down our customers and team members," he said. "I apologize for the damage done to all the people who work and bank at this important American institution. When the challenges at Wells Fargo demanded decisive action, the bank's leaders acted too slowly and too incrementally. That was unacceptable."
You bastards in the corporate management suite were the goddamned ring leaders. The peasants don't fart without permission, authorization of their corporate masters. Yet, you refuse to take responsibility for your crimes, you nazi son of a bitch? Give me a break.
"But senators thought it was worse than unacceptable. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Sloan: "What in God's name were you thinking?" And Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was having none of it. "The changes Mr. Sloan and his team have made are not sufficient to reform a corporate culture that is willing to abuse its customers and employees in an effort to pad its numbers and increase executive compensation," Brown said."
Precisely, why clawbacks, restitution, and criminal prosecution are desperately needed. While directly responsible for this outrageous criminal activity, the attitude of this fascist son of a bitch remains 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.' An egregious crock of shit. ... Right, Amanda?
Here's what makes these achingly duplicitous, unregulated credit reporting agencies so goddamned dangerous. The AP reports:
"It's also incredibly difficult to opt out of the system. You could live an all-cash lifestyle, never requesting credit from any bank, but still wind up with your information in the hands of the credit companies through less-obvious sources like cable or phone companies, property tax bills, or doctors' offices. Customers like this are known as "thin file" borrowers, because of the lack of information, but that doesn't stop Equifax, Experian and TransUnion from building files on you. In these cases, the companies might only have a name, address, maybe a Social Security number — but that data could still be enough to start the process of identity theft."
The public has been sold out. By both major political parties. Bought and paid for. By their corporate masters. Hear the rumble? An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming. As the doomsday revolution clock strikes ever closer to midnight.
Insult to injury? The Senate remains achingly clueless. NPR reports:
"Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith, who stepped down just last week, faced a roomful of angry senators and some tough questions at a hearing Wednesday. It was the second of three congressional hearings he is testifying in front of this week. Republicans and Democrats alike are upset about the massive hack of Social Security numbers and other sensitive information at the consumer credit reporting company. "This simply is not a company that deserves to be trusted with Americans' personal data," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the Senate Banking Committee's ranking member. "Your actions have exposed over half the country's adults to financial harm."
Congress gave these bastards authority to collect this data. Why? To line your pockets, Senator? Forget? You bastards are bought and paid for.
"The whole thing is staggering," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. "Equifax and this whole industry should be completely transformed."
Since Congress is bought and paid for, refuses to rein in its corporate masters, this entire industry needs to be outlawed. Remains a public scourge. A threat to every American.
"Warren, who has already introduced legislation related to the Equifax breach, told Smith: "When companies like Equifax mess up, senior executives like you should be held personally accountable and the company should pay mandatory and severe financial penalties for every consumer record that is stolen."
These bastards need to be criminally prosecuted as well.
"One cybersecurity expert who spoke to NPR said he is getting calls from both Democrats and Republicans interested in creating new rules for the industry. And at the hearing Wednesday, Republicans were landing some verbal blows on Smith too."
Too little, much too late.
"Republican John Kennedy of Louisiana raised a series of questions about Equifax's basic business model and noted that the company also has a premium data monitoring service that it charges consumers for. "You can't run your business without me," he said. "My data is the product that you sell." So Kennedy said it seems "incongruent" that Equifax charges people to make sure that the information it is collecting is accurate. "I mean I don't pay extra in a restaurant to prevent the waiter from spittin' in my food," the senator said."
Where have you bought and paid for bastards in Congress been all these decades this bullshit has gone on? Congress is directly responsible. Granted them carte blanche. To line your pockets.
"Warren zeroed in on another way Equifax makes money. She said Equifax has some of the "worst" cybersecurity around because it actually has no incentive to protect people's data from being stolen and used for identity theft."
You know this bullshit has gone on for decades. Yet, nothing was done since you bastards in Congress remain bought and paid for.
"Warren said that while Equifax is offering free "credit monitoring" for a year, after that consumers will have to pay if they want to keep getting that protection. More than 7 million people have signed up for the free monitoring through Equifax since the breach, Warren said. "If just 1 million of them buy just one more year of monitoring through Equifax at the standard rate of $17 a month, that's more than $200 million in revenue for Equifax because of this breach," she added."
Precisely, why these agencies need to be put out of business. Cannot be trusted.
"Warren detailed other ways Equifax is already making more money as a result of the breach. For example, she said a company called LifeLock has seen a tenfold surge in enrollment since the breach. According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, LifeLock purchases credit monitoring services from Equifax — so more money for LifeLock means more money for Equifax. "You've got three different ways that Equifax is making millions of dollars off its own screw-up," Warren said. (LifeLock is among NPR's financial supporters.)"
Forget? Get this:
"In the days after the breach, some Equifax executives made money another way — by selling millions of dollars' worth of the company's stock. Smith said "to the best of my knowledge" the executives didn't know of the breach at the time of the stock sales. "These are honorable men," he said. But such explanations didn't seem to satisfy Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. "This really stinks," he said. "[T]he bottom line here is you had a hack that you found out about on [July] 29, you told the FBI about the breach and on that same day some high-level executives sell $2 million worth of stock."
Yet, no criminal prosecution.
Insult to injury? Abject obscenity?
"Lawmakers also raised questions about the compensation Smith stands to get as he retires. "You leave with your base salary, unvested options and a pension, roughly valued at $90 million. Help me to understand why that's fair?" Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, asked."
He lines his pockets, you got f--ked. Any questions?
Highly reminiscent of Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following. It's appalling. Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for. No longer. Clearly, credit reporting agencies are no better than the SS criminal jackbooted bastards in black, right, Sheriff?
The Washington Post reports:
"Equifax traces its roots to 1899, when two Atlanta grocery store owners, Cator and Guy Woolford, started what was then known as Retail Credit Co. by going door-to-door to collect information about people in their community. Their $25 book, “The Merchant’s Guide,” noted who in the neighborhood typically paid promptly or who shouldn’t be trusted with credit."
Think anything has basically changed in all these years regarding the efficacy, accuracy, etc., of these equally jackbooted bastards in the credit reporting industry? Wake up. You've been bamboozled. Bought their crock of shit.
"Over time, credit bureaus, such as Retail Credit, would often align themselves with law enforcement, Lauer said. Some had desks set aside in their offices for the Internal Revenue Service or Federal Bureau of Investigation, he said. “There was no firewall, no protection for consumers at all.”
A continuing problem as these outrageously abusive jackbooted corporate nazis remain out of control to this very day. Remain virtually unregulated, courtesy of their bought and paid for minions in both major political parties.
"By the late 1960s, the country’s thousands of credit bureaus were under scrutiny by Congress. The public was beginning to become aware of the massive amounts of data they housed, and many questioned the accuracy of the information."
Far worse today. All these agencies have grown extremely intransigent vis a vis correction of incorrect, achingly false data.
"Retail Credit drew particular scrutiny because of its history of working with health and life insurance companies. When building reports about whether someone should be extended policies, the company would collect information from neighbors and family members about that person’s health, reputation, and sometimes note if they were homosexual, Lauer said. “Credit worthiness was tied to character,” he said."
Greatest irony of all? The corporate management suite ubiquitously has no character. None at all. By definition since bottom line remains prime directive, prime mover of all corporate activity. Lie like hell with impunity. No criminal culpability. Most egregious example covered in this publication all these years since launch in 1999? Wells Fargo.
"After a series of congressional hearings, lawmakers adopted the Fair Credit Reporting Act, giving consumers access to their reports for the first time and requiring the companies to change incorrect data."
The law has no teeth. Is not enforced. Certainly, was not when this writer was injured in a fire some 15 years ago.
"But even after the legislation, Retail Credit continued to see itself portrayed as a villain on Capitol Hill and in the media. In 1974, four former employees of the company told a Senate subcommittee that they were forced to falsify credit reports and meet unrealistic goals to keep their jobs, including ensuring there was adverse information about 6 percent to 10 percent of consumers to prove to their business customers that they were being thorough."
Think anything has changed? Wake up.
"That same year, a woman sued for invasion of privacy after her auto insurance company canceled her policy because Retail Credit reported that she was living with a man “without benefit of wedlock.” In 1975, in the wake of the controversy, the company changed its name to Equifax. The change was to “better portray a company in the ‘equitable’ distribution of facts,” according to a company statement."
No more than a crock of shit. Not just with Equifax, however, but all these goddamned corrupt, abusive, lying credit reporting agencies. Nothing has changed for the better. Gotten worse.
"More than 40 years later, Equifax is one of the world’s largest data providers. Instead of simply selling credit reports to the business community, it has branched into new markets, using artificial intelligence, machine learning and other tactics to unearth information, even sweeping up Facebook and Twitter data on consumers to help companies decide whom to lend money to."
Worse than that, it shares personal information with employers, landlords, and many, many others who do not lend money. Remains a scourge that must be reined in:
“We manage massive amounts of unique data, we have data on approaching a billion people. We have data on approaching 100 million companies around the world. The data assets are so large, so unique,” Richard Smith, the company’s longtime chief executive, said in speech at the University of Georgia business school in August. “You think about the largest library in the world ... the Library of Congress, we manage almost 1,200 times that amount of content every day, around the world.”
The Aryan arrogance of this nazi CEO remains unbridled:
"Smith “has done a lot of great things with Equifax. He took the company and made it the leader it is today,” said Snyder of CFRA Research. That has included collecting a lot more data on people. Early in his tenure, Smith made a risky bet to jump into a new market, buying Talx, which housed the world’s largest repository of employment data. “Every time an employee was paid, it creates 50 data attributes,” including how much a person earns and how much was comprised of a bonus, Smith said in an August talk. The company could combine that information with data it already had on customers to create new products, he said. Equifax looked at the billions pieces of information it was collecting and decided it could use it to make money in other ways, Snyder said. “They said, hey, we have all this great data on consumers, how else can we slice and dice it and make more money from the data we already have?”
They do this at your expense. To say nothing of your egregious loss of privacy. Galling insult to appalling injury? Get this:
"As part of its expansion — the company creates 50 to 75 products a year — Equifax also pitches itself to companies concerned about becoming the victim of a data breach, offering the services of the Equifax Data Breach Response Team. “In addition to extensive experience, Equifax has the most comprehensive set of identity theft products and customer service coverage in the market,” the company says on its website. “You’ll feel safer with Equifax.”
Having just suffered one of the most catastrophic losses of personal data to hackers in history, what does this tell you? Wake up. They lined their pockets. You got f--ked. Any questions? Still don't get it? Get this:
"Those ambitions may be derailed by the company’s handling of a massive data breach that exposed to sensitive information of millions of people. On Sept. 7, Equifax announced that hackers had gained access to the sensitive personal data — Social Security numbers, birth dates and home addresses — for up to 143 million Americans by exploiting a “website application vulnerability.”
CBS News reports:
"San Francisco on Tuesday became the first U.S. city to sue sue Equifax (EFX) over a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of about 143 million Americans. The city filed a lawsuit against the credit reporting company in a California court. It accuses Equifax of violating state law by failing to implement reasonable security measures and not providing timely notice of the breach. The suit seeks tens of millions of dollars in civil penalties and restitution for some consumers. Equifax declined to comment on the pending litigation, but says it remains focused on helping its customers."
"The state of Massachusetts has also sued Equifax over the breach, and the company is facing scrutiny from Congress. San Francisco's lawsuit was filed on the same day that Equifax chief executive Richard Smith stepped down effective immediately."
Who'd 'a 'thunk' it?
"The executive's exit is unlikely to turn down the heat on the company, with Smith still scheduled to appear before House and Senate lawmakers next week to answer question about the breach."
In follow up to the last edition, two Equifax officials 'retired,' apparently bailed courtesy of a golden parachute financed by egregiously f--ked consumers. CBS News reports:
"Equifax (EFX) says its chief information officer and chief security officer are leaving the company, following the enormous breach of 143 million Americans' personal information. The credit data company said Friday that Susan Mauldin, who had been the top security officer, and David Webb, the chief technology officer, are retiring from Equifax immediately. Mauldin, a college music major, had come under media scrutiny for her qualifications in security. Equifax did not say in its statement what retirement packages the executives would receive."
What they desperately need is immediate vigorous criminal investigation, then prosecution as warranted.
"After the revelation that a cybersecurity breach at the international credit reporting agency Equifax exposed personal information of 143 million people, the company has confirmed an additional security incident with a payroll-related service in the months prior. It says the two are unrelated."
Highly reminiscent of Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following:
Apple's new facial recognition system raises additional privacy concerns. CBS News reports:
"For those concerned about what happens if law enforcement uses your biometric data to unlock your phone, according to a Supreme Court ruling, they cannot go through it without a search warrant."
The hell they can't or won't. Do as they please, right, Sheriff? The Constitution means shit squat to the SS criminal jackbooted bastards in black, right, Bill? All devices must remain password protected, better yet, highly encrypted.
"If you're still nervous, you always have the option of switching off the facial recognition and simply punching in a security code."
Think we don't live in a goddamned fascist police-state? Wake up. The Washington Times reports:
"The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday challenging the government’s policy permitting searching cellphones of travelers entering the U.S., calling it a violation of privacy rights."
No probable cause. No warrant.
"The ACLU filed on behalf of 11 people who had their electronic devices searched without probable cause. In four cases, the government kept the plaintiffs’ cellphones for weeks or even months, the lawsuit says."
No probable cause. No warrant. A goddamned fascist police-state.
"The lawsuit comes at a time when Homeland Security is stepping up border searches, but has struggled to explain exactly what officers are looking for. Only a tiny fraction of travelers — less than a hundredth of one percent — actually face a search, but the numbers have been growing, reaching a rate of 82 searches a day as of earlier this year — more than three times the rate in 2015."
These goddamned criminal jackbooted bastards are on an egregiously unconstitutional fishing trip.
"Customs and Border Protection officials say they’re trying to “enforce the nation’s laws in this digital age,” and say they’ve found information on potential terrorist plots, child pornography, visa fraud and violations of export laws."
No probable cause. No warrant. No more than goddamned jackbooted liars.
"But CBP has been unable to say how many terrorist plots have been disrupted by the searches."
Because they're liars. Have absolutely no regard for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. Remain in the mold of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini.
"The ACLU, in the new lawsuit, said the searches mark a major breach of faith with privacy protections."
Egregious violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments at the very least.
“The volume and detail of personal data contained on these devices provides a comprehensive picture of travelers’ private lives, making mobile electronic devices unlike luggage or other items that travelers bring across the border,” the lawsuit said."
Doesn't matter to jackbooted nazi government.
"CBP and another immigration agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — both part of Homeland Security — have policies allowing border searches of electronic devices without first needing to obtain a warrant or demonstrate probable cause."
Outrageously unconstitutional breech by Congress that supposedly allows this bullshit by statute.
"In most cases the search is instantaneous, but sometimes officers will hold the device — which can be a smart phone, laptop, tablet or other electronic storage medium — to do a more thorough check."
No probable cause. No warrant. Nazi America. A fascist police-state soon to be the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. As repeatedly stated in this publication, no foreign power, no terrorist organization, not even the criminal element present a greater threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties than this government, all levels and branches, -- and its criminal jackbooted bastards in blue.
An achingly gutless public, willing to put up with the intolerable, always gets what it truly deserves. NPR reports:
"Equifax, an international credit reporting agency, has announced that a cybersecurity breach exposed the personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. In a statement released Thursday, the Atlanta-based agency acknowledged that "criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files." Those files include data such as Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses — and, Equifax adds, "in some instances, driver's license numbers."
Why do you compliantly provide these bastards this information? Why do you stupidly subject yourselves to this ongoing bullshit? Where is your rugged individualism so disingenuously, falsely championed by Republicans?
"For a span of roughly two months — from mid-May through July 29, when Equifax says it uncovered the breach — hackers had access to this information, as well as the credit card numbers of about 209,000 consumers and "certain dispute documents with personal identifying information" of about 182,000. All told, the number of American consumers affected constitutes about 44 percent of the U.S. population. Equifax did not explain why more than two months passed before it discovered the hack, which also affected an unspecified number of consumers from Canada and the U.K."
"Three executives of the credit-reporting agency Equifax sold nearly $2 million worth of company stock within days of a massive data breach potentially affecting 143 million Americans — one that wasn't publicly disclosed until more than a month later."
When will the hopelessly corrupt bastards in the corporate management suite be criminally prosecuted for their crimes instead of being protected, coddled by their bought and paid for government lackeys?
"In a statement, Equifax says the executives "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares."
Not credible. If, in fact, they had no knowledge, are egregiously unfit for the jobs they hold.
"Equifax revealed the security breach late Thursday. On Friday, its stock price went sliding by double digits as millions of Americans struggled to get answers from the company about whether they were affected and what to do next. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an investigation into the hack."
Not good enough. Same old goddamned bullshit. Nothing ever changes. Designedly. Why would it? The bastards in government, at all levels and branches, remain bought and paid for.
"The credit reporting company has said that it discovered "unauthorized access" to its systems on July 29. The intrusion potentially jeopardized sensitive details including names, birthdates, Social Security and driver's license numbers. The hackers also stole credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers."
The gutless citizenry is the problem. Put up with this bullshit to get a loan, credit card, an apartment? Get what you richly deserve. Why ever agree to share this information with these unprincipled, outrageously corrupt, abusive, inept pieces of shit? Where's your self-reliance, rugged individualism supposedly championed by Republican Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged nazis?
"Regulatory filings show the three Equifax executives — Chief Financial Officer John Gamble, U.S. Information Solutions President Joseph Loughran and Workforce Solutions President Rodolfo Ploder — completed stock sales on Aug. 1 and 2. Bloomberg, which first located the filings, reports that "none of the filings lists the transactions as being part of 10b5-1 scheduled trading plans."
Put up with this shit? Fail to courageously stand up? Remain part of the ongoing problem.
Initial response from Equifax was appalling:
"In order to learn whether a specific user's information is breached, the website asks people to type in a name and the last six digits of a Social Security number — "the kind of information they're often warned not to reveal online," as Bloomberg notes. Once users get through, the website doesn't automatically enroll them in TrustedID credit monitoring — instead, the site issues a date, about a week in the future, when the user would have to return to complete the enrollment. Equifax also drew fire for the several restrictive clauses it included in the legal terms that applied to its customer-help website and the free credit-monitoring service. Users and experts had started pointing out that the company was imposing a so-called arbitration clause on the users, which essentially restricted their right to sue the company or be part of a class action in the future."
Think the following credible? Get this:
F--k these assholes. Stand up. Refuse to hand over personal information they don't need, won't protect. Forget? They get theirs, you get f--ked. The American Way.
This breach may be far worse than these assholes are owning up to. Wake up. The Washington Post reports:
"But before people can sign up and find out whether their personal information was compromised, consumers are prompted to enter their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number. “This is very unusual — most security systems are hard-wired only to reveal the last four digits of an SSN for identification purposes,” said Satya Gupta, co-founder & chief technology officer at Virsec Systems, a cybersecurity firm. “This strongly implies that the typical four digits may have been compromised, and they need additional, previously ‘secret’ information to positively identify customers. This reinforces the conundrum of these breaches — with more information exposed, how do you now prove a person’s identity?” Equifax did not immediately respond to queries about why its website asks for such information."
Wake up. You're being f--ked. Sold a bill of goods.
Some are smartening up:
"On Twitter, many expressed their exasperation with Equifax's approach. Others took a sarcastic route.
"I can't believe that @Equifax has the audacity to ask for 2/3rds of your SSN and your last name to verify if you're part of the data breach
— Anita Knapp (@GayRobot_) September 7, 2017
"If you're worried about your personal data being breached due to Equifax hacking, then send me your name & social security # so I can check
— Sam Z Comedy (@SamZComedy) September 7, 2017"
No excuse. Gets worse:
“Right now, the wound is raw,” said Jeff Kagan, a Georgia-based telecommunications industry analyst. “For Equifax to pour more salt on that wound today by asking to put your information on another website that they promise will be secure doesn’t make sense. Why Equifax doesn’t understand this before it put up this website raises another question — it’s a big, embarrassing mistake.” Several people who took the leap and submitted their information to Equifax said on Twitter and elsewhere that after signing up, Equifax did not disclose whether their personal data was impacted by the massive breach. Instead they received an enrollment date for the credit monitoring program."
You're being shamelessly bamboozled. F--ked.
"Equifax also said that the credit card numbers of about 209,000 U.S. consumers, and credit dispute documents of roughly 182,000 U.S. consumers, were also accessed by hackers. The company will be mailing out notices to those individuals, but it will not be contacting everyone who was affected in the data breach."
Time for these criminal pieces of shit in the corporate management suite to be aggressively prosecuted, convicted, do serious prison time. ... And not in a 'country club' for white collar criminals.
CBS News reports:
"Equifax revealed Thursday that hackers earlier this year stole personal information on as many as 143 million Americans. The company keeps track of the credit ratings of American consumers, which means its database is a massive treasure trove of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses. "This is basically the Irma of data breaches. It's a 10 on a scale of one to 10," said cybersecurity analyst Avivah Litan. For the hackers it's like finding a gold mine. "They can take out a mortgage, they can file tax refunds, they can file for Social Security benefits, you name it. They can take all your benefits away," Litan said. She says consumers "need to be hyper vigilant and monitor their accounts."
The bastards at Equifax need to be aggressively prosecuted.
CBS News reports in another post:
"When a company tries to fix a security breach, it's never a good sign when consumers feel less secure because of its remedies."
This corporation and the others couldn't care less.
"That's the fix Equifax (EFX) finds itself in after bungling its response to its massive breach, which is fueling consumer outrage and calls for greater regulation over credit-reporting agencies, which include Experian (EXPGY) and TransUnion (TRU). Four days after Equifax said 143 million Americans had been affected by the breach, many consumers remain confused about whether their data was stolen and how to protect themselves."
This company continues to stonewall.
"A site created by Equifax where consumers can check whether their data was stolen asks them to enter their last names and the last 6 digits of their Social Security numbers. But the site provides responses even for bogus names and numbers (such as "Trump" and "123456"), leading to questions about its accuracy."
Still think you should provide these bastards your personal information? Trust them?
Did it? Truly, do so?
"Some consumers said Equifax needs to take more steps to make amends, such as offering free credit monitoring services for several years or longer, not just one year. The hackers stole Social Security numbers, which have no expiration date."
What consumers need to do is stop providing these assholes personal information they don't need, won't protect. Just handsomely profit from.
"You need to take more action," one consumer wrote on Twitter to Equifax. "Free credit freezes for those affected. Lifetime credit monitoring. Reimbursement for all other freezes."
Keep dreaming. Smarten up. Refuse to cooperate. Learn to become self-sufficient.
It's all about looting the public it certainly does not serve, only the corporate management suite:
"Security experts are recommending consumers whose data was stolen place credit freezes on their accounts. That restricts access to your credit information, which makes it more difficult for hackers to open accounts in your name. But credit freezes aren't free: They typically cost between $5 to $10 each. It's important to place freezes at the major credit-reporting bureaus in order to halt scammers, which means consumers may need to shell out up to $30 for the service. "Will we be reimbursed for having to pay for credit freezes?" one consumer wrote to Equifax on Twitter "I did 4 over the weekend, I do not think that I should have to pay for it!"
You shouldn't. Wake up. Smell the coffee. Stop complying en masse. F--k these assholes.
"Adding to the frustration was the news that three Equifax senior executives, including its chief financial officer, sold $1.8 million worth of company stock just days after the company discovered the breach but weeks before it was made public. That stock sale, plus the company's response that has been roundly criticized as inadequate and questions about why Equifax delayed informing the public about the breach for several weeks are creating a perfect storm of controversy. Chief among the questions lawmakers and consumer regulators are raising is whether the credit-reporting bureaus are subject to enough oversight."
They need to be put out of business. Serve only themselves and their corporate masters. Not the public. Quite the opposite.
"The bureaus store sensitive financial data on about 200 million Americans, which the companies provide to banks and other financial institutions that need to check into consumers' creditworthiness. Employers, landlords and utilities also use the bureaus' data to check up on consumers."
It's an abusive invasion of privacy. Used to discriminate. None of the business of an employer, landlord, utility, etc.., -- anyone other than a money lender. Any utility, landlord, etc., can and does charge a deposit. Outrageous abuse of authority unbecoming a democratic republic. The people are gutless sheep. Will put up with nearly anything.
"While their services are essential to the U.S. economy, the credit-reporting bureaus don't have the same regulatory oversight as the financial industry."
"Essential" only to the corporate management suite. What oversight? Do as they please. With impunity. While the public continues to get royally f--ked.
"Before Equifax announced the breach, some lawmakers last week were considering whether to lower penalties for credit-reporting bureaus whose inaccurate information hurts consumers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Equifax's initial offer for free credit-monitoring services required consumers to agree to mandatory arbitration, a tactic that's a favorite of the financial industry because consumers give up their rights to join class actions. Arbitration is slated to be barred in the financial industry next year by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, but Republicans have sought to reverse that ruling."
Nazi Republicans remain at the heart of the problem. Their pockets are being lined. Their corporate masters always come first. Not that Democrats are any better, but the GOP is indeed leading the charge to f--k consumers.
Our nazi government continues to remain on a fishing expedition. CBS News reports:
"A D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled in favor of the Department of Justice's ability to exercise a search warrant for data related to an anti-Trump website the DOJ believes is connected to plans for violent Inauguration Day riots."
This son of a bitch on the bench has violated his falsely sworn oath of office to protect and defend the United States Constitution. No more than a bought and paid for Republican nazi shill.
"The Justice Department had originally sought a slew of records related to the website Disruptj20.com from its website hosting company, DreamHost, including HTTP visitor logs that would reveal IP addresses for all of the website's visitors. But DreamHost objected to the Justice Department's request and said it could reveal 1.3 million visitors' identities. The DOJ earlier this week said that it was revising its warrant to include a date range on material it requested, to exclude all visitor logs and the website's draft blog posts that were never published. Chief Judge Robert E. Morin granted that revised request Thursday, although DreamHost fears the DOJ will still access some IP addresses given that it will still be able to access emails related to Inauguration Day protests."
No more than an orchestrated fishing expedition facilitated by a nazi 'judge.'
"The DOJ believes Disruptj20.com could reveal plans that led to protests that turned violent when President Trump took office. Authorities have charged more than 200 people with felony rioting or destruction of property in connection to Inauguration Day."
This is no more than a fishing expedition that will draw innocent people into its achingly pernicious net. To protect yourself against this bullshit use Tor browser. Run Tor through a VPN if blocked.
"The court will supervise the warrant's implementation, although it won't be executed immediately if DreamHost files an appeal. Attorneys for the website hosting company told reporters Thursday they are considering an appeal. DreamHost maintains that the government's revised request is still too broad and unconstitutional, citing Fourth Amendment concerns. The judge acknowledged the free speech concerns surrounding the request, and said he sought to seek a balance between law enforcement and constitutional rights."
Goddamned bullshit. A lie. By a bought and paid for 'judge.'
"The case has concerned privacy advocates who fear the government is encroaching on both First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights, and related expectations of privacy. The government's original request for IP address-revealing visitor logs would have encompassed anyone who visited the website, including people who stumbled upon the site or visited for academic or journalistic reasons. One defendant, Raymond Aghaian, compared the government's request to using a warrant to search and seize all rooms in an apartment building."
Out of control nazi government. No foreign power, no terrorist organization, not even the criminal element present a greater threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties than all branches and levels of nazi government and their jackbooted bastards in blue.
The insurance cartel couldn't care less about client privacy. If it did, think the following could have occurred? CNN reports:
"The health care company Aetna mailed envelopes that revealed the HIV status of some of its customers in multiple states, according to the Legal Action Center and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania."
Think there weren't catastrophic consequences?
"The legal organizations and six other organizations are representing the customers, a group of whom are devastated after friends and neighbors saw the envelopes and learned of their status, the firms said in a news release. Attorneys sent a demand letter to Aetna on Thursday on behalf of those affected, calling on the company to stop sending letters in this format and develop a plan to change its practices."
"Aetna said the letters went to about 12,000 customers; the law firms say they have received 23 complaints, with more coming in. According to the law organizations' release, Aetna's letters included instructions for filling prescriptions and were sent to customers who were taking HIV medications as well as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a pill that helps prevent a person from getting HIV. This information was clearly visible through a window on the envelopes."
No problem? Wake up:
"I know of someone who has been kicked out of his home because somebody who saw his envelope learned his HIV status," said Sally Friedman, legal director of the Legal Action Center, who is coordinating the efforts of attorneys alongside Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania."
How about losing a job? Worse?
"People with HIV need to feel they can seek medical help without their private information being illegally shared with neighbors, family, etc," Friedman said. "So when an insurance company breaches confidentiality in this fashion, it can deter people from getting health care."
You think? Think this goddamned corporation took personal responsibility? Wake up:
"The letters were mailed July 28, and on July 31, Aetna was made aware that its customers' personal information was revealed, according to a letter the company sent to affected customers this week explaining the situation. Aetna determined August 2 that the vendor that handled the mail used a windowed envelope, and in some cases the paper inside may have shifted to make personal health information viewable, the letter said."
Why is this information sent, period? To what end? What for? Sue the living shit out of the hopelessly clueless bastards.
Our nazi government continues to go on digital fishing expeditions. Texas Standard reports:
"Shelly Brisbin, Texas Standard’s web editor and author of over a dozen tech books, says the government is challenging the boundaries of privacy when it comes to cell phone data and internet activity. Verizon, along with Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech giants have filed an amicus brief in a case where the government requested cell phone data for the suspect in a series of robberies. The Supreme Court will hear that case this fall. The companies are reluctant to hand over customer data, and are also hampered by the lack of clarity in the law around data privacy."
The true problem here is the unwillingness of companies to stand up to this nazi government.
"The Department of Justice also requested a large amount of data from web hosting provider DreamHost, including 1.3 million IP addresses, contact information and forms filled out by visitors to one of its websites that helped organize protests around President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It’s unclear why the government has requested such a large volume of information, and DreamHost is fighting the subpoena."
The way to protect yourself is to use Tor browser. It's free. When blocked, run Tor through a VPN.
Here is the take of NPR:
"Some VPNs promise anonymous browsing for free or just a few dollars a month; they claim not to share your data. But these services don't always deliver on their promises. "If you're not careful with choosing your VPN service provider, the medicine might be worse than the illness," says Nick Feamster, a computer science professor at Princeton University. He says tens of millions of people have downloaded VPNs — and many don't realize they're not as secure as they claim. In the first major review of VPN providers, researchers from across the globe tested nearly 300 free VPN apps on Google Play. What they found was alarming. Nearly 40 percent injected malware or malvertising. And nearly 20 percent of the apps didn't even encrypt user traffic. This month, the Center for Democracy & Technology filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging the VPN Hotspot Shield collects data and intercepts traffic. If true, that would be a direct violation of claims by the company's policy to "never log or store user data." Amid all the VPN angst, the app TunnelBear is fighting for its reputation. To verify it is committed to protecting user security, the company became the first in the industry to complete a third-party audit. Feamster, with Princeton, says that's very encouraging — even though the most recent audit turned up some vulnerabilities. Experts say the safest option is to set up your own VPN server and connect to it, or use Tor to browse the Web anonymously. But Feamster admits most people won't do that."
That's clearly a mistake. Run Tor. Do it through a VPN when blocked by a website. Wake up. Even if the VPN is not up to par, Tor is. Running Tor through a VPN when blocked will provide security as well as overcome being blocked. Best defense against our nazi government and its corporate masters.
Think your smart phone secure? CBS/CNET reports:
"Cheap phones are coming at the price of your privacy, security analysts discovered. At $60, the Blu R1 HD is the top-selling phone on Amazon. Last November, researchers caught it secretly sending private data to China. Shanghai Adups Technology, the group behind the spying software on the Blu R1 HD, called it a mistake. But analysts at Kryptowire found the software provider is still making the same "mistake" on other phones."
"Kryptowire looked at more than 20 pieces of firmware from low-end Android devices, all which had vulnerabilities that allowed for spyware apps and all of which had a MediaTek chipset. The chipset always came with a preinstalled app called MTKLogger, which allowed for surveillance of data like your browsing history and GPS location if it were hijacked. MediaTek said it resolved the issue in November, but researchers at Kryptowire found out last week that the Blu Advance 5.0 still ships with a vulnerable version of the app. The phone, which is the third best-selling phone on Amazon, does not have a firmware update available to stop a potential exploit, Johnson said."
This problem has also been found on other less popular phones sold.
Big Brother is here. Alive and well. NPR reports:
"A Wisconsin company is offering to implant tiny radio-frequency chips in its employees – and it says they are lining up for the technology."
Indeed, a sucker is born every day.
"The idea is a controversial one, confronting issues at the intersection of ethics and technology by essentially turning bodies into bar codes. Three Square Market, also called 32M, says it is the first U.S. company to provide the technology to its employees."
Aren't they 'lucky?'
Human chattel owned by their corporate masters.
"The company manufactures self-service "micro markets" for office break rooms. It said in a press release that obtaining a chip is optional, but expects that about 50 employees will take part."
Won't be optional for long. Called control. Ownership. Human chattel.
"Employees who have the rice-grain-sized RFID chip implanted between their thumb and forefinger can then use it "to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine," 32M said. CEO Todd Westby said that the company believes the technology will soon be ubiquitous:
"We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc."
Why not? They already own their sheep. Precisely, why you willingly, compliantly bare your ass for corporate inspection by the company doctor. Piss in a bottle under corporate supervision. You're owned. Bought and paid for. For a compensation package that keeps you purposefully indentured servants. Nazi America.
"The company is immediately facing questions about safety and privacy – for example, whether the technology could be used in invasive ways, like tracing employee whereabouts and monitoring the length of breaks."
Just the beginning.
"The chip is not trackable and only contains information you choose to associate with it," the company said in a Q and A. "This chip does not have GPS capabilities." It added that the device has been FDA-approved for some 13 years."
First iteration. Think the next generations won't track, record and upload physiological data, parameters, etc.. The sky's the limit for Big Brother.
"The employees themselves appear to be responding positively. For example, software engineer Sam Bengtson told The New York Times that "it was pretty much 100 percent yes right from the get-go for me. ...In the next five to 10 years, this is going to be something that isn't scoffed at so much, or is more normal. So I like to jump on the bandwagon with these kind of things early, just to say that I have it."
A goddamned idiot too stupid to know he's owned, controlled, manipulated by his corporate masters.
ACLU is suing the Department of 'Justice.' CBS News reports:
"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Wednesday that it is suing the Justice Department to obtain more information about one of the government's surveillance programs. The government only has to tell individuals that it has been spying on them under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act if the evidence gathered is being used in a criminal trial or legal proceeding, the ACLU pointed out in a press release about the lawsuit."
This is a convenient Catch-22 for nazi government:
"The vast majority of Americans surveilled under Section 702 will never be criminally prosecuted, so they will never know that the government has been secretly watching them," the ACLU said in its statement Wednesday. "And without definitive proof that the government spied on them, individuals have an incredibly difficult time challenging the government's spying in court."
The Founders must be spinning in their graves. Duplicity of nazi government unbounded, unchained, unrestrained. No greater threat to liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.
"Under the statute, which is set to expire in December unless Congress renews it, the government sweeps up hundreds of millions of communications -- emails and phone calls -- involving Americans, without a warrant."
Outrageously unconstitutional. No probable cause. No warrant. Egregious violation of the Fourth Amendment.
"The Justice Department informed the ACLU, in response to another FOIA request, that it had issued a 31-page memo with its new policy, but it only gave the memo to federal prosecutors. The document has not been publicly released. It is this document that the ACLU is suing to release."
A fascist police-state. Soon to be the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich. As repeatedly stated in this publication, no foreign government, no terrorist organization, not even the criminal element present a greater threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties than this government. All levels. All branches. Sadly, owned and operated, paid for by its corporate masters.
Republicans are apparently beginning to get the message. Fear not being returned to office. In follow up to an earlier edition here and elsewhere, The Washington Times reports:
"Lobbyists representing Google, Facebook and other online titans are voicing concerns with a Republican-backed bill that would strengthen privacy protections by making internet service providers, websites and apps obtain permission from customers prior to sharing their information with advertisers. The Internet Association is monitoring a bill introduced in the House last week by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, prohibiting companies from sharing user data without their explicit approval and instead requiring customers to “opt-in” to such arrangements, the trade group said Tuesday."
Imagine that. Doesn't your heart bleed for the hopelessly greedy bastards?
Privacy must be no respecter of persons. No matter their political persuasion, viewpoint. Twitter stood tall. NPR reports:
"Twitter has dropped a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, saying the demand that prompted the suit — that Twitter reveal the anonymous user behind an "alt-gov" account — has been withdrawn."
No reason to continue the lawsuit. The government dropped the demand.
"The original lawsuit, filed by the social media giant on Thursday, alleged that DHS had demanded that Twitter reveal the user behind "@ALT_uscis," an account allegedly run by current and former Citizenship and Immigration Services employees."
Outrageous, isn't it, that government would so abuse power to track down current and former employees courageous enough to challenge the established order?
More outrageous? Get this:
"The summons threatened legal action if Twitter did not comply — and asked Twitter not to disclose the existence of the demand. Twitter sued, exposing the summons and asking a court to declare it unenforceable."
Uncommon valor. This needs to happen all over the country every goddamned time this shit happens. No matter what agency. No matter the level of government.
"Because the summons has now been withdrawn," Twitter's lawyers write in the latest filing, the company dropped the suit."
In follow up to an earlier edition of this publication, NBC News reports:
"A bill introduced in Congress Tuesday puts strict limitations on the right of U.S. border agents to search the electronic devices of American citizens when they cross the border or reenter the U.S at an airport. The "Protecting Data At the Border Act" would make it illegal for border officers to search or seize cellphones without probable cause."
Interesting, isn't it? Doesn't the Fourth Amendment trump established case law? Why hasn't this been challenged in court?
"Americans' Constitutional rights shouldn't disappear at the border," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D.-Oregon, who is cosponsoring the bill in the Senate with Sen. Rand Paul, R.-Kentucky. "By requiring a warrant to search Americans' devices and prohibiting unreasonable delay, this bill makes sure that border agents are focused on criminals and terrorists instead of wasting their time thumbing through innocent Americans' personal photos and other data."
Another massive data dump by WikiLeaks. CBS News reports:
"WikiLeaks on Tuesday published thousands of documents purportedly taken from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, a dramatic release that appears to expose intimate details of America’s cyberespionage toolkit."
"It was not immediately clear how WikiLeaks obtained the information, code-named “Vault7,” which included more than 8,700 documents and files. The CIA tools, if authentic, could undermine the confidence that consumers have in the safety and security of their computers, mobile devices and even smart TVs."
One thing for sure, none of these devices is truly secure.
"WikiLeaks said the material came from “an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.” It didn’t say how the files were removed, such as possibly by a rogue employee, by hacking a federal contractor working for the CIA or breaking into a staging server where such hacking tools might be temporarily stored."
Imagine that. Couldn't be, could it?
"The more than 8,000 documents cover a host of technical topics, including what appears to be a discussion about how to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices. WikiLeaks said the data also include details on the agency’s efforts to subvert American software products and smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft Windows."
How many of these devices do you own, operate, use, thinking they're secure?
"The information dump could not immediately be authenticated by The Associated Press, and the CIA declined comment, but WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents. Experts who’ve started to sift through the material said that it appeared legitimate and that the release was almost certain to shake the CIA."
How about rattling the cage of the citizenry that trusts this government no matter what it does or doesn't do? Wake up. Get this:
"WikiLeaks said the archive “appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
"Bob Ayers, a retired U.S. intelligence official currently working as a security analyst, noted that WikiLeaks has promised to release more CIA documents. “The damage right now is relatively high level,” he said. “The potential for really detailed damage will come in the following releases.”
Have to blame the digital industry for not making all devices highly secure, that is, developing and installing encryption that takes supercomputers years to crack. Equally important? Making it as difficult as possible to frustrate exploitation of device vulnerabilities, that is, "hacking the endpoint," as reported by The Washington Post:
"WikiLeaks said the trove comprised tools — including malware, viruses, trojans and weaponized “zero day” exploits — developed by a CIA entity known as the Engineering Development Group, part of a sprawling cyber directorate created in recent years as the agency shifted resources and attention to online espionage. The digital files are designed to exploit vulnerabilities in consumer devices including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android software and Samsung television sets, according to WikiLeaks, which labeled the trove “Year Zero.” In its news release, WikiLeaks said the files enable the agency to bypass popular encryption-enabled applications — including WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram — used by millions of people to safeguard their communications. But experts said that rather than defeating the encryption of those applications, the CIA’s methods rely on exploiting vulnerabilities in the devices on which they are installed, a method referred to as “hacking the endpoint.”
Yet, the FBI Director remains oblivious to the fact device security and encryption need to be exponentially improved to protect us from our 'protectors.' NBC News reports:
"FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday the bureau is renewing its focus on the challenges posed by the growing use of encryption."
Good to hear the bastard and his henchmen continue to have difficulty invading privacy. He and his stooges will just have to work harder. Much harder. This, the price to be paid for privacy of the vast majority of the public who do not engage in criminal activity.
"At Boston College's cybersecurity conference Wednesday, Comey said that he a fan of "strong encryption" but noted that "it is making more and more of the room of what the FBI investigates dark."
The Director remains a liar. No fan of encryption, period. To claim otherwise is no more than unadulterated bullshit.
"Between September and November, the FBI received 2,800 devices it had lawful authority to open but could not open 1,200 of them "with any technique," he said."
Tough shit. Get off your ass. Do some old fashioned police work. This, the price to be paid for the privacy of the vast majority of the public who commit no crimes. Why should the law abiding forfeit privacy so you and your goons can more easily go on fishing expeditions, harass the innocent? Why is it you gutless bastards in law enforcement get to lie with impunity to anyone you're targeting? Yet, doesn't work the other way around. Worse, you bastards distort and pervert what your targets tell you. Turn it into something it's not. Then prosecute them for lying. No more than goddamned bullshit.
"He said there needs to a balance between privacy and the FBI's ability to lawfully access information, a conversation that he acknowledged will require some "humility" on the part of the bureau. "We need to stop bumper-stickering each other. This isn't the 'FBI versus Apple,'" he said. "We need to build trust between the government and private sector."
More bullshit. Conveniently forgets he works ultimately for the public. Needs our trust. Not that of Apple or any other corporate entity. Apple is beginning to understand to sell its products it must improve security, privacy. You goddamned jackbooted bastards in law enforcement can't seem to understand this.
Encryption is an "important enabler of human rights" according to Amnesty International. Indeed, they're right. Consider the following from NBC News:
"Human rights group Amnesty International has released a report calling encryption an "important enabler of human rights" — just before Apple was due to go to court with the government in a case that has turned what was once an obscure military technology into a topic of water cooler conversation."
Critical to not only privacy, but to all civil and constitutional rights and liberties under severe attack in our formerly great country.
"At stake in the Apple case is whether a future administration could exploit the next national moment of crisis, and use its access to our phones to target journalists, or persecute activists and minorities," Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA's director of security and human rights, said in a press release."
As Franklin wisely opined some 230 years ago, anyone willing to trade liberty for security deserves and winds up with neither.
"Amnesty International's new briefing is the prominent rights group's first time laying out a comprehensive stance on the importance of encryption. Beyond the ongoing clash between the federal government and Apple, Amnesty argues that encryption is a crucial tool for people resisting oppressive regimes around the world, providing a layer of security in an age when people exchange huge amounts of information over the Internet."
Not just around the world, but right here in Nazi America, a goddamned fascist police-state.
"Encryption is a basic prerequisite for privacy and free speech in the digital age. Banning encryption is like banning envelopes and curtains. It takes away a basic tool for keeping your private life private," Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty International's deputy director for global issues, said in a release."
Government cannot be trusted. Precisely, why the Founders enshrined the Bill of Rights.
In a vicious parting attack against privacy and the ability to determine what is and isn't done with one's body tissue vis a vis research, former President Obama caved in to the scientific community. NPR reports:
"The Obama administration has dropped a controversial proposal that would have required all federally funded scientists to get permission from patients before using their cells, blood, tissue or DNA for research."
This is goddamned bullshit. Further proof positive this nazi government believes it owns your ass cradle to grave.
A nazi bought and paid for 'judge' in a nazi secret FISA 'court' has given NSA authority to resume bulk collection of phone data.
"The National Security Agency may have been ordered out of the phone records business, but a secret court has said it can go ahead anyway. In a decision published Tuesday (PDF), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, ruled Monday night that the NSA can resume bulk phone data collection for at least five more months."
Nazi justice in a goddamned fascist police-state.
"That means the NSA can resume collecting the records for the remaining five months of the transition period — unless another court steps in. "Neither the statute nor the Constitution permits the government to subject millions of innocent people to this kind of intrusive surveillance," Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. "We intend to ask the court to prohibit the surveillance and to order the NSA to purge the records it's already collected."
Clearly, the United States Government itself poses the greatest threat, an exigent threat, to all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. Will certainly worsen under the Trump nazi and his henchmen. Precisely, why resistance must be ferocious but peaceful.
"And Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, a member of the Intelligence Committee, slammed the FISA court, saying in a statement: "I see no reason for the Executive Branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months. This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans' rights for fourteen years without making our country any safer."
Indeed. Sadly, the worst is yet to come.
The healthcare community continues to remain hard at work eviscerating privacy. NPR reports:
"Computerized medical records are hardly new. Pioneers at one of the nation's first HMOs, Kaiser Permanente, were using electronic medical records as far back as the 1970s and saw them as a big part of the future of medicine."
Unfortunately, the price is the loss of all privacy. This data is not, cannot be adequately protected against hackers, government goons on fishing expeditions with or without a warrant, or being sold by the corporate management suite.
"The part of it that they didn't envision that we're envisioning now, is how proactive a role patients would be taking," says Dr. Tracy Lieu, who heads Kaiser's research division in Oakland, Calif."
'Patient' for what? The term itself is achingly condescending, patronizing. Indeed, a relic of the past when doctors thought they were gods.
"Medical records don't simply store facts about an individual's health. There's a big potential for a database of medical records to be mined to help shape an individual's treatment."
This is also what makes electronic records so dangerously susceptible to getting into the wrong hands, being used against a healthcare consumer by a prospective employer, etc..
"The records also include information about patients' feelings and emotional states based on a nine-question survey that patients routinely fill out. (Individuals are not identified in the database.)"
Think this information won't find its way into the hands of prospective employers? Think it's any of the provider's goddamned business, regardless? Think this isn't a pernicious step into the world of 1984, A Brave New World, etc.? You're being duped. Dopes duped.
Think hard about the following. The Washington Post reports:
"WikiLeaks wants to start building a list of verified Twitter users that would include highly sensitive and personal information about their families, their finances and their housing situations."
Frightening, isn't it?
“We are thinking of making an online database with all 'verified' twitter accounts & their family/job/financial/housing relationships,” WikiLeaks tweeted Friday."
To what end?
"The disclosure organization, run by Julian Assange, says the information would be used for an artificial-intelligence program. But Twitter users immediately fired back, saying WikiLeaks would use the list to take political vengeance against those who criticize it."
"But the proposal faced a sharp and swift backlash as technologists, journalists and security researchers slammed the idea as a “sinister” and dangerous abuse of power and privacy. “This is a good plan. If you're Darth Vader,” Matthew Green, a professor who teaches cryptography at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted."
No end to the insanity, is there?
Have a Facebook account? You're a fool. Fox News reports:
"Governments worldwide requested Facebook users' data nearly 60,000 times in the first half of 2016, a 27 percent increase over requests made in the second half of 2015, according to a Facebook bi-annual report published this week."
Haven't smartened up? Refuse to be confused with the truth? Think government has a right to your personal data? Use it as it pleases? Set up a profile for police databases with no probable cause a crime has indeed been committed?
"In addition to government requests for user data, the report details which content Facebook restricts for violating local laws. The company says it studies each request carefully to determine whether or not it has merit, especially in emergency cases where imminent risk of serious injury or harm is involved. It ultimately handed over data in 80 percent of cases."
Translation? They readily cave to government information requests. Comfortable with that? Think Facebook user data doesn't get sold to other commercial interests? No problem with that? None at all? No issue with government and/or the corporate management suite knowing nearly everything there is to know about you? That stupid? Clueless? Ever wonder why you weren't hired for a job? Despite being highly-qualified?
"The 27 percent jump for the latest reporting period compares to a 13 percent increase between the first and second halves of 2015, and 18 percent growth between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015. The majority of the requests came from law enforcement agencies in the US. Of those, the most common were related to search warrants—13,742 out of 23,854."
Think Facebook isn't giving out data without a search warrant?
"Other categories in the US included subpoenas and IP address traces. There were also up to 499 secret requests made for data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Companies are prohibited from disclosing detailed figures for FISA requests, and they must delay reporting the aggregate figures for at least six months."
This outrageously unconstitutional bullshit has been going on for at least the last four decades since FISA. No problem with this? Think things won't exponentially worsen when the goddamned nazi takes office in several weeks?
Can't prosecute an innocent American citizen who courageously exposed our government for the liars they are? Discredit him with lies in a heavily redacted 'review' that is not worth a shit due to the redactions. NBC News reports:
"A scathing report by the House Intelligence Committee, backed by liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, concludes that Edward Snowden was a disgruntled, serial liar who leaked for petty reasons, put American soldiers at risk and remains in continuing contact with Russian intelligence services."
Where's the proof? Where? Unsubstantiated allegations with absolutely no proof. Just redactions. Trust us? Go to hell.
"The 37-page review, filled with redactions of classified material, does not accuse Snowden of being a spy, but it seeks to poke holes in nearly every aspect of his account of why he gave reporters reams of classified documents he obtained as a contractor — and trusted insider — with the National Security Agency."
Empty, hollow rhetoric with no proof. Provide proof.
"Snowden immediately began denouncing the report on Twitter from his home in Russia, saying its core claims were made "without evidence" and that it established nothing worse than he might have been hard to work with. His lawyer, Ben Wizner, told NBC News he considers the report "a failed attempt to discredit Edward Snowden, whose actions led to the most significant intelligence reforms in a generation."
Both parties have betrayed the public they purportedly serve. Serve only themselves. Talk out the ass to line their pockets. This is precisely how this government discredits whistle blowers courageous enough to expose these pieces of human excrement to the light of day.
"The report wholly ignores Snowden's repeated and courageous criticism of Russian surveillance and censorship laws," Wizner said. "It combines demonstrable falsehoods with deceptive inferences to paint an entirely fictional portrait of an American whistleblower."
I a pain in the ass to work with? Perhaps; many technologists are. But
this report establishes no worse.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 22, 2016"
Until these gutless bastards in government provide proof, they have no credibility. Absolutely none. "National 'security'" is no more than a ruse these gutless bastards hide behind to avoid accountability. ... To say nothing of the truth.
Privacy remains under direct attack in our formerly great country. CBS News reports:
"An Uber driver needs your location in order to pick you up. But the latest change in Uber’s policy asks to track riders for five minutes after they’ve already been dropped off. That has some people questioning that these apps that have the ability to track our location really need to know, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner."
Think they won't sell this information?
A while back, NPR reported:
"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers."
Should have happened years ago.
"The vote was 3-2 along party lines."
Surprised? Republicans nearly always support their corporate masters. You didn't know that? Not that Democrats are any better.
"ISPs are the gateway to the Internet and collect information about the movies we watch, the websites we visit and, in the case of smartphones, the actual physical locations of where we are. It's a valuable trove of data, which the ISPs typically collect and package to data brokers and marketers without consumers' knowledge or permission."
How could this ever have been allowed to go on? Simple. Unbridled corporate greed, their bought and paid for shills in government.
"As Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted for the new rules, put it, "Our digital footprints are no longer in sand, they are in wet cement."
"Under the new FCC rules, ISPs will have to inform consumers about what information is collected and how it is used and shared, and identify the types of entities with which the ISP shares the data. Most important, ISPs will be required to obtain consumers' permission — what the commission calls "opt-in consent" — to share the information."
Think the hopelessly greedy bastards in the corporate management suite won't find a workaround?
In follow up to earlier material in this publication, this country is quickly turning into a fascist police-state. Innocent citizens are subjected to warrantless scrutiny by the jackbooted bastards in blue. Think not? Wake up. NPR reports:
"Nearly half of all American adults have been entered into law enforcement facial recognition databases, according to a recent report from Georgetown University's law school. But there are many problems with the accuracy of the technology that could have an impact on a lot of innocent people."
Think not? You're a fool. Wake up.
"There's a good chance your driver's license photo is in one of these databases. The report from the school's Center on Privacy & Technology says more than 117 million adults' photos are stored in them. Facial recognition can be used, for instance, when investigators have a picture of a suspect and they don't have a name."
Still think we don't live in a goddamned fascist police-state?
"They can run the photo through a facial recognition program to see if it matches any of the license photos. It's kind of like a very large digital version of a lineup, says Jonathan Frankle, a computer scientist and one of the authors of the report, titled "The Perpetual Line-Up."
"Instead of having a lineup of five people who've been brought in off the street to do this, the lineup is you. You're in that lineup all the time," he says. Frankle says the photos that police may have of a suspect aren't always that good — they're often from a security camera."
The jackbooted bastards do this with no warrant. On their own authority. In direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. Unreasonable search and seizure. No warrant.
"Security cameras tend to be mounted on the ceiling," he says. "They get great views of the top of your head, not very great views of your face. And you can now imagine why this would be a very difficult task, why it's hard to get an accurate read on anybody's face and match them with their driver's license photo."
"Frankle says the study also found evidence that facial recognition software didn't work as well with people who have dark skin. There's still limited research on why this is. Some critics say the developers aren't testing the software against a diverse enough group of faces. Or it could be lighting."
These bastards are on unconstitutional fishing expeditions. No probable cause you have committed a crime. Many innocent people have been caught up in their web. Think not. Wake up. You're a fool.
"Because of its flaws, facial recognition technology does bring a lot of innocent people to the attention of law enforcement."
The bastards in blue harass the innocent. Do so with no probable cause their victims have committed a crime. No longer matters in a goddamned fascist police-state. The Fourth Reich.
"Patrick Grother says most people have a few doppelgangers out there. He's a computer scientist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology — part of the Commerce Department. "The larger you go, the greater the chance of a false positive," he says. "Inevitably if you look at a billion people you will find somebody that looks quite similar."
Get caught in their web? You need to prove your innocence. Ass backwards from what it ought to be, once was. Now, guilty until proven innocent. Even back then the public gutlessly accepted new regulations and laws that contributed to rise and implementation of a fascist police-state. Remember when a photo was not required for a drivers license? Or, when thumbprints were not taken?
The laws requiring the above occurred long before 9/11 and the vicious attack on all civil and constitutional rights and liberties imposed by our goddamned out of control traitorous government. Yet, the aggressively stupid, achingly gutless public allowed it. Why should this goddamned hopelessly corrupt, abusive, inept government have a photo and thumbprints of a citizen who has committed no crime? Why? Why is this tolerated by the aggressively stupid, hopelessly gutless public?
"Implied consent" as a condition of having a drivers license? A goddamned ruse. There is nothing implied or consensual in requiring a citizen to give a breath sample or lose his or her license to drive. No one ever agrees to this. If they refuse to sign the DL application, they are not issued a license. Simple as that. If they refuse a photo or thumbprints, the same. There is no consent implied or otherwise. The applicant is forced. Has no choice. Think not? Wake up. If you have no DL and drive, get caught, you go to jail.
Worse? Implied consent is now moot, anyway. The jackbooted bastards in blue get a warrant for a blood sample by a 'judge' that nearly always rubber stamps whatever the bastards want. What consent? Where? Implied or otherwise. Yet, another example we now live in a goddamned fascist police-state. The Fourth Reich.
'The Perpetual Line-Up'
A study by the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law examined police facial recognition technology. Here are some of the findings and recommendations.
enforcement face recognition networks include over 117 million American
adults — and may soon include many more.
By running face recognition searches against 16 states' driver's license photo databases, the FBI has built a biometric network that primarily includes law-abiding Americans.
Major police departments are exploring real-time face recognition on live surveillance camera video.
Law enforcement face recognition is unregulated.
Police face recognition could be used to stifle free speech.
Most law enforcement agencies do little to ensure that their systems are accurate.
Without specialized training, human users make the wrong decision about a match half the time.
Police face recognition will disproportionately affect African-Americans.
enforcement face recognition searches should be conditioned on an individualized
suspicion of criminal conduct.
Mug shot databases used for face recognition should exclude people who were found innocent or who had charges against them dropped or dismissed.
Searches of driver's license and ID photos should occur only under a court order issued upon a showing of probable cause.
Limit searches of license photos — and after-the-fact investigative searches — to investigations of serious offenses.
Real-time video surveillance should only occur in life-threatening public emergencies under a court order backed by probable cause.
Use of face recognition to track people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious or political views should be prohibited.
The FBI should test its face recognition system for accuracy and racially biased error rates, and make the results public.
Source: The Perpetual Line-Up
In order to identify and track Chicago criminal jackbooted bastards in blue, an Internet firm recently launched a new website designed to do just that. The Washington Times reports:
"It’s rare when a misconduct complaint filed against a Chicago police officer ends in discipline: Complaints records show officers were punished as a result of just 2 percent of the more than 28,000 misconduct accusations from 2011 to 2015.
"One problem blamed for the low discipline rate is the immediate dismissal of more than a quarter of complaints in which an officer can’t be identified, says a transparency and digital rights advocacy group that has designed an online crowdsourcing tool to help determine the identities of involved officers.
"Lucy Parsons Lab this week launched OpenOversight, a website the public can use to search for officers’ names, badge numbers and — when available — photographs. The first of its kind in the United States, the project enables users to search for officers by entering information about their rank, estimated age, race and gender."
Once fully implemented and perfected, it needs to be expanded nationwide. Be especially useful here in Llano County where the jackbooted criminal bastards do all they can to avoid being identified. From blackened vehicle windows to refusing to verbally identify themselves or provide a business card to those unjustly harassed, shaken down.
The public has a right to this information. These lawless bastards pose an exigent threat to not only the rights of their victims, but to their very lives as well. In this County alone, there remain five highly questionable killings by law enforcement. Including the latest, which the Sheriff some six months after the fact, still refuses to identify the officers who pulled the trigger. A fascist police-state.
Gutless bastards. ... Right, Sheriff? TL? ... Hey, Bill? Your goons remain out of uniform. No swastika armbands. A raucous Sieg Heil!, you fascist son of a bitch?
Yahoo has again betrayed the best interests of its users. Egregiously, so. This company used to be top of the line. No longer. NBC News reports:
"Yahoo secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter."
It's clearly betrayed the best interests of its users. Has been used the last several years as a portal to this publication. Have received, however, absolutely no email from readers of this publication. Not one. Do continue to receive newsletters from several politicians and groups, however. Precisely, why this email account still remains open and active.
If you happen to need to make contact, email me at email@example.com. Have changed the contact email address on the homepage, this edition, and all future ones. Since I have received no email from any of you to the Yahoo address, have no concern any of you have had your privacy invaded.
You should all be using Tor as browser to protect your privacy, make it as difficult as possible for government and its corporate masters to track. You should not think, however, you can commit crimes and not be caught. You will be. The government will have to work harder, but has the resources to do so.
"The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events. Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time."
This is outrageously unacceptable. The Fourth Amendment requires a warrant, probable cause. These jackbooted bastards in government are shameless. So is Yahoo. Inexcusable betrayal of their users.
"It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified. Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request."
Again, this is a pernicious invasion of privacy and an egregious betrayal of its users by Yahoo.
"According to the two former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook."
If true, Mayer needs to go.
Privacy, or more accurately the lack thereof, remains a problem at Apple as well. The Washington Post reports:
"When a user sends someone a message through Apple’s iMessage feature, Apple encrypts that message between Apple devices so that only the sender and recipient can read its contents. But a Wednesday report from news site the Intercept is a good reminder that not all data related to iMessage has that same level of protection — and that information can still be turned over to law enforcement."
Yet, another egregious infringement on privacy. In a goddamned fascist police-state. Indeed, The Fourth Reich.
"That may be surprising to everyday users who view Apple as a privacy champion after it's legal battle with the Justice Department this year over a court order that would force the company to break its own security measures. But to experts, it's just a fact of how communication systems work. For instance, as security expert and noted iPhone hacker Will Strafach notes, Apple needs to know things such as with whom you're chatting via iMessage so that it can deliver your messages."
Encryption and adherence to privacy still leave much to be desired at Apple and elsewhere. Gets worse. CBS News reports:
“This is a troubling vision of the future where there might be massive government surveillance done with computers,” Opsahl said. “The government may well say they were only targeting a string of characters used by a foreigner, but it just so happened that hundreds of millions of innocent people also had their emails examined too.”
This is national socialist government run amok. Serving itself. Not the best interests of its citizens. In fact, it's an egregious betrayal of public trust.
"Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that the government order appears to be “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”
No one wants pedophiles to go uncaught. At the same time, if you grant carte blanche to government, the innocent get caught up in the consequent subsequent loss of civil and constitutional rights and liberties. An unconstitutional trade off, that is, deliberate bastardization, perversion of the Bill of Rights. Think not? Wake up. The Washington Post reports:
"When the FBI searched Andrew Workman’s computer they say they found pornographic videos of girls as young as 3 years old. A federal judge in Colorado ruled this month that the computer hack that helped the bureau uncover the videos should never have been allowed."
Cluelessly, think not? Ends justify the means? Again, wake up. You're not thinking straight. Foolishly, ignoring the deliberate shitting on the Bill of Rights required to do so perpetrated by government goons vis a vis the hack.
"Why? Because the search warrant permitting the hack was issued by a magistrate judge in Virginia — outside the judicial district in which Workman lived — and in an apparent violation of federal criminal rules."
Those rules are in effect for a damned good reason. The United States Constitution. This is extremely important since it now allows prosecutors and their shills on the bench to go on fishing expeditions. All across our formerly great country. Extends jurisdiction, in effect, across the universe.
"But a shift in federal rules set to go into effect in December says that a judge in one district can approve a warrant to hack computers outside that district in cases where the computers’ location is shielded."
Innocent people will get caught up in the web. Have their Fourth Amendment right to privacy deliberately abrogated by prosecutors and judges conducting fishing expeditions. Gets worse. Far worse. Get this. Read it carefully:
"But privacy advocates and some lawmakers contend that the amendment to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure would legally sanction mass hacking, in which federal law enforcement, with one warrant, can hack thousands of computers whose locations are unknown. And they argue that the rule change would allow prosecutors to seek out judges they feel would be more sympathetic to their warrant application."
No problem with this? No concerns? Wake up. You're being cleverly bamboozled by the goddamned fascist bastards who truly believe they run and own our formerly great country. A fascist police-state. The Fourth Reich.
"If the rule change goes through, and if the government can show probable cause, “the FBI gets the authority to hack anywhere in the world,” said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union. “We desperately need to have congressional hearings and investigations into the use of this technology before it becomes the tool of choice of law enforcement.”
No problem with this? U.S. jurisdiction extending across the universe? No more than a goddamned fascist police-state. The Fourth Reich. Who really won the Second World War European Theater? Wake up. Before too late.
More to come as this fiasco develops.
Edward Snowden remains a bona fide hero. Has had a profound effect on government warrantless snooping, -- and otherwise. The Washington Times reports:
"The FBI’s use of a surveillance statute to collect Americans’ phone and email records has declined since details about the program were leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, a watchdog report has found. The FBI’s use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to obtain “business records” as part of national security investigations peaked in 2012, with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approving 212 orders seeking records, according to a report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office."
Amazing the effect of just a little sunlight, isn't it? Hopefully, only the beginning. We have a long, long, long way to go, however. Light years.
"The program was publicly disclosed in June 2013 after the former National Security Agency contractor leaked information to the press. That year, the number of orders authorized by the court dropped to 179. The number of orders approved by the court has continued to decrease annually, with 142 orders approved in 2015."
Close scrutiny has a profound effect on out of control jackbooted national socialists hell bent on imposing their version of a fascist police-state.
"The program allowed authorities to collect information about clients from service providers, such as email or phone records — including the numbers, times and durations of calls. Outcry over the program after Mr. Snowden’s revelations led to reform the surveillance program. When Congress renewed the USA Freedom Act last year, it blocked bulk collection and storage of data."
This, precisely, is the value of whistle blowers like Snowden. Had this information not been released, the public wouldn't have known how widespread, determined, concerted, well-engineered the attack on privacy had become. To say nothing of the evisceration of all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.
"A deputy chief within the FBI’s National Security Division partly blamed Mr. Snowden’s disclosures for the decrease in use of the provision. “He attributed the decline in part to revelations by Edward Snowden about the U.S. government’s use of Section 215 to collect bulk telephony metadata, both in terms of the stigma attached to use of Section 215 and increased resistance from providers,” the inspector general’s report said."
This is certainly good news. Bodes well for liberty and the Bill of Rights. Anything to rein in the national socialist bastards is a positive development.
"Responding to the report, FBI officials told the inspector general’s office that the degree to which Mr. Snowden’s disclosure led to the decrease was speculative and said agents had come to rely more on a different statute to obtain surveillance approvals — specifically, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows surveillance of foreigners."
Again, this is bullshit. Snowden exposed warrantless surveillance of innocent American citizens. The point made by the FBI in the above quote is beside the point. The bastards in the FBI were surveilling innocent American citizens. That's what the controversy is about. Not bona fide surveillance of foreigners suspected of terrorism.
"Under the USA Freedom Act reforms enacted in 2015, authorities can’t collect and keep bulk telephone data in government databases. Instead, spy agencies have to ask phone companies for data — and they must submit a narrow search so it’s clear that analysts are looking for a specific person, number or group, rather than bulk collection."
This is a good thing. But not good enough. Reins in the jackbooted bastards in the FBI and other federal agencies to at least some small extent. Much more needs to be done, however. Much more.
"Frustration with oversight of the Section 215 program and the length of time it took to approve orders under it appear to have played a role in the decline of its use even before the law’s reform. “Agents also told the OIG that they increasingly were electing to use criminal legal process instead of FISA authority in counterterrorism and cyber investigations because of their frustrations with the lack of timeliness and the level of oversight in the business records process,” the report states. Some were opting to open parallel criminal cases and using grand juries “to obtain the same information more quickly and with less oversight than a business records order.”
This is a positive development. A good thing. These pieces of traitorous human excrement are going on fishing expeditions. Against innocent people. People who through no fault of their own get caught up in their web. Talk to these bastards, and if they don't like you, you'll be falsely charged with lying to them, then prosecuted. They, however, lie to the public with impunity. A double standard. No honor. None at all. They're traitors.
There are some good federal judges who respect the Constitution and respond to the need for transparency. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell is certainly one of them. The Washington Post reports:
"In ordering the first-ever release by a full federal district court of a year’s worth of secret government surveillance requests, U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of Washington this week added to a decades-long career spent charting the frontier of technology and the law in the nation’s capital. Howell on Wednesday stepped into the fierce debate over the limits of secrecy and law enforcement searches in a digital age by releasing a list of more than 200 cases in which U.S. prosecutors in the District sought court orders for data about individuals’ phone, email or online communications. Nationwide, more than 20,000 such orders were approved in 2013 alone; almost none ever are unsealed."
About time. The public is entitled to this information. It is the only way to know whether our government is adhering to the United States Constitution including the Bill of Rights. Hat's off to the judge. She did the right thing. Hopefully, a portend of things to come. Certainly, far better than the specter of an unwanted dreaded second American revolution already catastrophically looming on the horizon. Hear the rumble?
The public remains clueless regarding changes in healthcare. Get this. CBS News reports:
"It’s a brave new world for health care consumers. Patients are faced with an avalanche of new technologies and developments that are supposed to revolutionize the way they manage their health care. But according to a study released last week from the PwC Health Research Institute, the revolution is slow in coming. “Most [consumers] don’t shop for care, ask about prices, email with their clinicians or use telehealth options. Most don’t send their physicians data from their activity trackers. Most remain skeptical of the value of electronic medical record systems despite their ubiquity in examination rooms,” says the report, entitled “Surviving Seismic Change: Winning a Piece of the $5 trillion U.S. Health EcoSystem.”
The first problem facing consumers of healthcare is the fact they continue to tolerate condescending, patronizing attitudes still prevalent among too many providers. The word 'patient' itself is condescending. Patient for what? 'Client' would be far more appropriate. Providers don't seem to understand care receivers are the ones truly in charge of their care. Not the provider. The provider is no more than a highly-paid consultant. Not a god.
The receiver of care makes the ultimate decision, not the provider. Care receivers need to smarten up. Question all pricing. On everything. Force providers to justify cost. Care givers don't seem to understand many of their clients will not participate in telehealth options, activity trackers, etc. because their data is vulnerable to theft.
-- Not only by hackers, however. Government jackbooted bastards in blue and their government handlers can seize such data via court order. Also, data is shared with the corporate management suite for marketing purposes. There is no privacy. Data is compromised constantly. No one does anything about this problem. Often, providers don't not even report such data theft and privacy intrusion by government goons to the ultimate owners of that data, you, the public. Why do you tolerate this?
The Right simply doesn't get it. Especially, the Religious Right. While the Pope has indeed attempted to force badly needed change in the Catholic Church, he has a long, long, long way to go. Archbishop Charles Chaput is the head of the Church in Philadelphia.
Happen to be a "good" Catholic? Get divorced in Philadelphia without benefit of a Church annulment? Want to remarry? You can't have sex with your new wife or husband. ... According to the Archbishop who continues to follow the guidelines of former Pope St. John Paul II:
"Undertaking to live as brother and sister is necessary for the divorced and civilly remarried to receive reconciliation in the Sacrament of Penance, which could then open the way to the Eucharist."
Say what? "Live as brother and sister?" That's absolutely insane. Psychotic. Indicative of the continuing failure of the Church. The current Pope needs to lay down the law. Rein in Church hierarchy who simply refuse to live in reality. Of equal importance? The problem of pedophile priests and their treatment by Church hierarchy continues to be an issue the Church abjectly refuses to adequately address and remedy.
Sex is indeed a normal biological function, a need to be satisfied that is intended by nature to be far more than facilitation of reproduction alone. Apparently, the Padre can't seem to grasp this. ... A biological function that is truly no different than other biological needs and functions, -- like eating, sleeping, breathing, urination, defecation, etc.. -- Other than an unwanted child that could be the end result.
Even that could be avoided through birth control or abortion if one finds oneself pregnant. Equally to the point, think the good Padre can or should control or dictate any or all of those other biological functions and needs mentioned above as well? Should any individual or church have that power? To say nothing of dictatorial government? Think so? Time to move to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, etc.. Leave this country to those of us who truly treasure liberty.
Things are going backwards at Apple. The corporate bastards have been granted a patent for technology that would make it impossible to record video and audio at any venue that doesn't want any recording conducted by patrons. Would use infrared emitters to temporarily disable recording via smart phones, lap tops, tablets, cameras, etc.. Nothing quite like f--king the paying public for the benefit of the hopelessly greedy, is there?
Worse, this technology could be used by government to prevent police from being held criminally accountable for their crimes by videos produced by the public. Or, used to limit free speech and expression. Or, prevent any recording in designated areas government doesn't wish to be held accountable for. Doesn't want the public to know about. Jackbooted thugs in law enforcement could certainly use this technology to shut down activists in direct violation of the First Amendment.
Amazing how the judiciary shits on the Bill of Rights. Remains in the pocket of law enforcement. Think about this very carefully. No one wants to see a pedophile escape justice. No one. Does that justify the FBI or any other law enforcement agency unconstitutionally hacking into the offender's computer without a warrant? Think so?
Ends justify the means? Believe that? How about if the goons on a fishing expedition hack into yours? No probable cause. You've done nothing illegal. Happen to be an upstanding citizen. You likely wouldn't even know you had been violated. Wouldn't bother you? Not at all? How about if they conducted a "sneak and peak" physical search of your house and computer while you weren't there? Left no trace. Never bothered to inform you.
No problem with that? Wake up. The bastards have been doing it across the country with impunity. Once in awhile, someone calls them on it. Usually, because the jackbooted thugs had to own up to it because their target was indicted. The Exclusion Rule is clearly no longer in effect. Know what that is? Decades ago the Supreme Court ruled evidence obtained illegally, that is, without a warrant and probable cause, had to be excluded at trial.
For a damned good reason. If it wasn't, police would simply do whatever they pleased, legal or illegal. That is, no warrant. No probable cause. Do so with impunity. Now, frighteningly, that seems to have changed. Courts are rubber stamping their jackbooted bastards in blue. Shamelessly. Many examples. Here's one recent one. The following was written by Mark Rumold of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
"Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer
"In a dangerously flawed decision unsealed today, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a criminal defendant has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in his personal computer, located inside his home. According to the court, the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual's computer.
"This decision is the latest in, and perhaps the culmination of, a series of troubling decisions in prosecutions stemming from the FBI’s investigation of Playpen—a Tor hidden services site hosting child pornography. The FBI seized the server hosting the site in 2014, but continued to operate the site and serve malware to thousands of visitors that logged into the site. The malware located certain identifying information (e.g., MAC address, operating system, the computer’s “Host name”; etc) on the attacked computer and sent that information back to the FBI. There are hundreds of prosecutions, pending across the country, stemming from this investigation.
"Courts overseeing these cases have struggled to apply traditional rules of criminal procedure and constitutional law to the technology at issue. Recognizing this, we've been participating as amicus to educate judges on the significant legal issues these cases present. In fact, EFF filed an amicus brief in this very case, arguing that the FBI’s investigation ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment. The brief, unfortunately, did not have the intended effect.
"The implications for the decision, if upheld, are staggering: law enforcement would be free to remotely search and seize information from your computer, without a warrant, without probable cause, or without any suspicion at all. To say the least, the decision is bad news for privacy. But it's also incorrect as a matter of law, and we expect there is little chance it would hold up on appeal. (It also was not the central component of the judge's decision, which also diminishes the likelihood that it will become reliable precedent.)
"But the decision underscores a broader trend in these cases: courts across the country, faced with unfamiliar technology and unsympathetic defendants, are issuing decisions that threaten everyone's rights. As hundreds of these cases work their way through the federal court system, we'll be keeping a careful eye on these decisions, developing resources to help educate the defense bar, and doing all we can to ensure that the Fourth Amendment's protections for our electronic devices aren't eroded further. We'll be writing more about these cases in the upcoming days, too, so be sure to check back in for an in-depth look at the of the legal issues in these cases, and the problems with the way the FBI handled its investigation."
This abuse, a direct abrogation of the Fourth Amendment and its protections, is an exigent threat to us all. Consider the above very carefully. Their target happened to be guilty. Did not have to be. It could have been someone totally innocent. Who would never had known the jackbooted bastards in the FBI had done this.
This is now a fascist police-state. Our government agencies, particularly law enforcement and the courts, cannot be trusted. They do as they please. With impunity. No consequences. No one to rein them in. This has become The Fourth Reich. No more than Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy. You have cowardly allowed this to occur.
Your gutless refusal to question authority has given these national socialist bastards carte blanche to do as they please. Again, with impunity. Zero accountability. The ends justify the means to these nazi bastards. There is no greater threat to our formerly great country than all levels of corrupt, abusive, inept government.
They remain the true threat. No foreign power, no terrorist organization, nor the criminal element pose a greater threat to freedom, that is, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties than these jackbooted national socialist fascist bastards who have taken over our formerly great nation. This is why infringement of the Second Amendment is egregiously unacceptable.
The Founders wisely knew the last best defense against corrupt, abusive, inept government is a well-armed public. Precisely, why these gutless bastards in government falsely promulgate gun control. They know all too well only a small fraction of the public has been killed in massacres perpetrated by terrorists.
What they truly fear is the unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon. This is what has caught their attention. Paralyzed by fear, they do all they can to force gun control after every mass killing. They wish to remain in power. No matter what they do. Yet, it's increasingly clear they have no willingness to protect and defend the Constitution including the Bill of Rights. Only shit on them.
Wake up. You're being egregiously f--ked by this government and the jackbooted bastards who work for it, line their pockets. ... Right, Sheriff? TL? Benevolence? What's that? Wake up. You're being egregiously f--ked. Hopelessly, bamboozled.
The Washington Post reports:
"The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican-led effort to allow the FBI to access a person’s Internet browsing history, email account data and other electronic communications without a court order in terrorism and spy cases."
For the moment, Republican fascists have been prevented from further shitting on the Fourth Amendment and its requirement of probable cause and a warrant to invade the privacy of the American public. Received this information too late for full inclusion in this edition. Will cover it in much greater detail in the next.
Laughably, Republicans in the House have initiated an effort to impeach the IRS commissioner. Good luck. Hope they're successful. Think they're doing it for the right reasons, however, that is the IRS is a truly oppressive agency looting f--ked taxpayers? Think again. Not so. Not a chance. Rather, Republicans continue to have their panties in a wad over the bungling of the Tea Party investigation by the IRS. Get real, you Right Wing f--kers. There's a hell of a lot worse this outrageously abusive agency is guilty of besides a repressive illegal investigation of your compadres.
Facebook's facial recognition is reportedly better than that of the FBI. A federal judge is reportedly allowing a lawsuit to proceed that challenges Facebook's policy of allowing users to tag a photo of someone without their permission. Think how valuable this is to the goons at the FBI and elsewhere in the law enforcement community. It certainly increases their access to private information they have no right to. No probable cause. No warrant.
Missouri is the only state that does not maintain a database on people who are prescribed opiate pain killers. Does not do so over privacy concerns. No data is safe. Can easily be hacked. Most of it, unencrypted. Shared with those who will use it against people seeking work, housing, benefits, etc.. It's amazing how incredibly stupid and cowardly the public has become in our formerly great country.
... And falsely dependent on government determined to create a goddamned fascist police-state. Think innocent people in severe pain are not consequently harassed, f--ked over by jackbooted goons who have no clue? Simply get their cookies off abusing authority? Putting their noses where they don't belong?
Big Data, despite the above and the egregious inability to protect that data, still believes it has the answer to all mankind's problems. Bullshit. They have nothing to offer other than invading privacy, using that data to line corporate coffers. Believe otherwise? You're hopelessly aggressively stupid, achingly ignorant. -- May be a bridge in Brooklyn and oceanfront in Arizona you may indeed be interested in.
Major corporations are beginning to get the message, the absolute need for end to end encryption. Google and Yahoo among a number of them. About time. They need to step it up. The greatest threat now is no foreign power, no terrorist organization, or the criminal element. The greatest threat is presented by all levels of government here in our formerly great country.
Law enforcement and government officials need to be reined in. Since that is not likely any time soon, short of an unwanted dreaded second American revolution, it is time for end to end encryption to slow the bastards down. They have absolutely no respect or regard for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. Rather their evisceration. "We don't need no stinkin' rights in Nazi America." Their goal is a goddamned fascist police-state. ... Right, Sheriff? TL?
Telcordia is a Swedish-owned database firm that was commissioned by our national socialist government to set up a telephone database for law enforcement. Why? What business is it of our goddamned government and out of control law enforcement? Most of those in this database are law-abiding citizens. Why is their privacy abrogated by these hopelessly pernicious untrustworthy jackbooted bastards with no warrant? No court order.
Insult to injury, the dopey bastards now fear since foreigners work on this database, its security could have been compromised. What webs we weave. Where is public opposition to this goddamned bullshit? Where is your outrage? Why does business go on as usual? Why do you tolerate this? Gutless? Given up? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You're sheep. Cattle. Have a ring through your nose.
Originally, back in 1997, this database was formed for what seemed to be a legitimate purpose. That is, so people could keep the same phone number when they changed phone companies. Like everything else in our formerly great country, give goddamned government an inch they take a light year. They did. You tolerated it. Gutless? Non-self reliant? Reliant on your goddamned corporate masters and their bought and paid for lackeys in government? Now, you reap what you sow. Tough shit. Chew harder.
Once again, the goddamned Supreme Court has recently taken yet another raucous hard dump on the Fourth Amendment. It will now allow judges to issue search warrants for access to computers anywhere in the country. This is yet another example we now live in a fascist police-state. FBI goons and others will exponentially increase fishing expeditions. Make it easier for government jackbooted bastards to hack into anyone's computer. If Congress does not act before 12/1, the new rules become permanent. Google and civil liberties groups are strongly opposed. Rightfully, so. Nazi justice in Nazi America. A goddamned fascist police-state. A raucous Sieg Heil!, Sheriff? TL?
Europe is light years ahead of the United States vis a vis digital privacy. Further restrictions on American corporations such as Google as well as the U.S. government are pending. About time. Same needs to occur here in our formerly great country. The President in Germany spoke to young people in Berlin:
"I want to say this to young people who value their privacy and spend a lot of time on their phones: The threat of terrorism is real. I've worked to reform our surveillance programs to ensure that they're consistent with the rule of law and upholding our values, like privacy -- and, by the way, we include the privacy of people outside of the United States."
The President is a liar. The direct opposite is the case. Obama did absolutely nothing to rein in his jackbooted goons in the FBI. Quite the opposite. The President and his jackbooted henchmen in law enforcement have no understanding or respect for privacy, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties. They continue to shit on them. The young in Europe, unlike our own here, know full well the President is a liar. Fully understand he and his goons recently invaded the privacy of the German Chancellor. Tapped her cellphone.
They also know jackbooted law enforcement continues to go on digital fishing expeditions with no probable cause, no warrant. Stingray has not been reined in. Far from it. The fact that terrorism is real does not mean the President and goddamned nazi law enforcement in the United States have any right to access digital data belonging to innocent citizens.
Have no right to mass collect all data coming through Internet fiber optic cables or any other mode of transmission. Including warrantless use of Stingray on cell towers. Yet, continue to do so under the ruse of "national 'security.'" This goddamned unconstitutional bullshit must end. Hopefully, it will be forced on the American government as European privacy rules change. Corporations like Google prosecuted, sued, and/or prevented from continuing to do business in Europe.
The effect of such changes in European laws, rules, and regulations would likely snow ball. Would consequently force change here in the fascist police-state we now live in. The President, his henchmen, and his stooges in the Republican and Democratic Parties use fear of terrorism to keep the peasants in their place, effectively, easily establish a goddamned fascist police-state. Through fear.
They continue to do this despite growing opposition. Fail to hear the rumble. That of an unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon. Remain determinedly deaf. Consequently, the doomsday revolution clock strikes ever closer to midnight. Yet, the cowardly public continues to gutlessly believe the bullshit coming from the corporate management suite's bought and paid for government shills.
Apple is still cooperating with government goons on thousands of law enforcement requests. Claims any request for customer content must come with a warrant. Is that right? Also claims most requests have to do with lost phones. Again, can this be believed? Clearly, Apple has been placing law enforcement before customer privacy. Has apparently been doing so for years. Until the air clears and much more is known about that cooperation, it would not be wise to trust the security of any Apple device.
Subsequent to writing the above, the jackbooted bastards in the FBI announced they will not inform Apple or anyone else of the security flaw in the San Bernadino smartphone. This is a change for these jackbooted thugs. In the past, they always informed manufacturers so customers could be protected from hackers. Clearly, no longer.
National socialist Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. traitorously, treasonously, treacherously abrogated his oath of office to protect and defend the United States Constitution. This goddamned fascist disingenuously, hypocritically urged the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that would force Apple and others to provide a backdoor to their encryption:
"There are victims of crime, survivors of crime, that are waiting for the Senate to lead and find a way forward, so we can access key evidence that now resides on smartphones that cannot be opened."
Tough shit, you fascist son of a bitch. Work harder at investigation, you clueless turd. This goddamned fascist police-state nazi clearly doesn't understand this is the price of liberty. If there is no privacy, there is no liberty. This piece of shit cannot grasp the fact a backdoor would enable prosecutors and their jackbooted goons in law enforcement to go on warrantless fishing trips carte blanche.
As they already have, and will continue to do whenever they can. A backdoor would make it exponentially easier, however. The Constitution and its requirements mean nothing to a national socialist. Nothing at all. They get their cookies off looking up the ass of a hopelessly gullible public that cowardly continues to tolerate this goddamned bullshit. Until the public wakes up and realizes they've been had, nothing will change.
Prosecutors and police have repeatedly proven they cannot be trusted. Provide them a backdoor and these nazi sons of bitches will conduct warrantless fishing expeditions continually, at will. Again, they already have when they could. Have not shown restraint and good judgment. What nazi can? Give these bastards an inch, again, they take a light-year. Cannot be trusted.
If this legislation finally passes and gets signed into law by our treacherous President, Apple and other manufacturers could not be trusted. Would betray their users any time they received a court order. Users concerned about privacy would be forced to stop using smartphones and tablets. Certainly, anything based on Apple operating systems as well as Google androids.
Would be wise to use laptops with encryption apps downloaded from foreign providers. Save data anywhere but on the cloud. Or even on the hard drive. Make it as difficult as possible for these nazi bastards to find data. When they do, it needs to be encrypted. Encryption that would take these nosy nazis years to break. ... Only to find after all this effort and expense there is nothing criminal there anyway.
Stick it to these fascist sons of bitches. Make it as costly, difficult, and unproductive as possible. Fail to stand up for your rights? Too cowardly to resist police-state tactics? You're hopelessly gutless. Deserve what you get. F--ked. Too bad the rest of us have to suffer for your cowardice and aggressive stupidity.
Presidential candidate Sen. Ted "Screws Loose" Cruz, as Texas Solicitor General back in 2007, defended an outrageously perverse statute prohibiting consenting adults from using sex toys in the privacy of their bedrooms. What this national socialist, unabashed fascist and the Nazi State of Texas were determined to do was force their convoluted religious and ideological views on the public in direct violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments vis a vis privacy.
What consenting adults do in the privacy of the bedroom is none of the goddamned government's business or the nazi bastards who believe they run and own this out of control fascist police-state. Who the hell are they to impose their phony 'morality' on anyone? Especially when the goddamned hypocrites are robbing the taxpayers blind, murdering innocent people during traffic stops, executing the innocent in the name of the people, sending people to war to line the pockets of their corporate masters, etc..
Sadly, the list can go on and on. The Establishment Clause clearly precludes these phony sons of bitches from forcing their religious views on anyone. This outrageously fascist son of a bitch continues to believe he had the duty to defend the law. Horse shit. Every shyster in government enjoys discretion. They all know it. Use it as an excuse when they let one of their compadres legally off the hook. Conveniently forget, Senator? Especially, in law enforcement. That's why so many murders committed by cops on the job go unprosecuted.
This national socialist piece of shit was deliberately trying to force his perverse religious views on the public. Rightfully, lost the case. Thank God he did. ... Hey, Ted? You and the missus don't wish to use a dildo in the bedroom? No problem. Don't. Just don't force your perverse religious views on others. Not only do they hypocritically stink, they're goddamned un-American.
Microsoft has finally stepped up. For years, they tolerated a gag rule imposed by the fascist police-state we now live in. Our goddamned nazi government blocked Microsoft from informing customers whenever government goons served them with a warrant to read a customer's email. This is, and was, outrageously unconstitutional. A violation of both the First and Fourth Amendments. They've finally sued the 'Justice' Department. What took so long?
"According to the complaint filed in district court in Seattle, the company received about 5,600 demands for customer data from September 2014 up through last month. And nearly half of those came with gag orders – forbidding Microsoft to tell said customers that the government was looking at their emails or calendars or other files stored in the Microsoft cloud. And of those orders, the vast majority had no time limit."
Think these jackbooted bastards are not on a fishing expedition? With or without a warrant? Talk about looking up your goddamned ass! Right, Sheriff? Again, this is goddamned nazi justice in goddamned Nazi America. Indeed, a goddamned fascist police-state. Wake up. You're being egregiously f--ked by your out of control government.
You tolerate this egregiously intolerable fascist police-state bullshit? You're hopelessly stupid. Achingly, gutless. Get what you deserve. Yet, you continue to defend the rights of these jackbooted bastards to f--k you. Why? Too bad the rest of us have to suffer for your cowardice, aggressive stupidity.
The national socialist outrageously corrupt and abusive Federal Bureau of Investigation has informed a New York judge it intends to continue pursuit of a suit against Apple requiring them to hack into a smartphone owned by an alleged drug dealer in Brooklyn. Apple needs to stand tall. If it capitulates to this nazi agency, it will indeed lose all credibility, -- and business.
Apple has repeatedly and cowardly capitulated to FBI demands in the past. Deliberately betrayed its customers. Gutlessly turned its backs on the Bill of Rights. Consequently, the demands of this nazi agency and others in government have exponentially increased. Give a goddamned dictator an inch, the son of a bitch takes a light-year. Wake up.
Time to stand up. ... All you cowardly sons of bitches out there who gutlessly give this national socialist, fascist, nazi goddamned police-state government the benefit of the doubt. They don't deserve it. They're bamboozling you. Feeding you a line of shit. Egregiously f--king you because they know you're gullible, that is, aggressively stupid, cowardly, gutless. Wake up.
Amazing how incredibly aggressively stupid former Presidents can be. His wife running for President, Slick Willy figuratively shot himself and his wife in the ass during a confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters during a recent Hillary campaign rally. Amazing how the former President defended a goddamned racist 'law and order' bill passed and signed into law during his regime.
This nazi law made sure blacks who did crack were far more penalized than whites who could afford cocaine. Consequently, the prisons were deliberately overloaded with drug offenders. Disproportionately black. Yet, the former President and national socialist Republicans who supported this travesty of justice have rallied to his side during this most recent faux pas. They think he got it just right. What a crock of shit. Worse? A re-write of history.
Even Hillary herself has backed away from support of this goddamned law that turned out to be a grave mistake. A terrible injustice. Even worse, led to corruption of police and their cowardly "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality responsible for the outrageous number of murders committed by our outrageously corrupt and abusive law enforcement community to this very day.
Yet, not only do the police remain clueless, so do national socialist, fascist, nazi Republican fools who still justify this atrocious law and the murders committed by police currently. Moreover, these goddamned GOP fascist bigots should consider themselves lucky. Rioters stupidly burned down primarily black communities. For the most part left unscathed neighborhoods belonging to the very national socialists responsible for oppressing them.
The goddamned GOP is too damned aggressively stupid, hopelessly ignorant, to understand and appreciate this. They'd rather Aryan arrogantly re-write history. Indeed, remain hopelessly clueless. Determinedly, so. What's truly remarkable? They haughtily excuse egregious misogyny by stupidly claiming they're politically incorrect. That is, treat their wives like shit, no more than chattel.
Why wouldn't they? They psychotically believe they run and own our formerly great country, -- and everything and everyone in it. So why wouldn't they be racists, homophobic bigots, clueless misogynists? What is surprising is the fact this goddamned bullshit continues to be tolerated. It's 2016. Not 1950.
FBI Director James B. Comey now claims newer smartphones than the San Bernardino model would likely not be able to be hacked into by the 'tool' the FBI bought from its still unidentified lackey firm. Interesting, isn't it? Apparently, the firm sold its soul to the devil for thirty pieces of silver. Didn't act out of principle. Goddamned greed. ... Otherwise, would have donated the 'tool' to this goddamned traitorous, treasonous, treacherous federal 'law' 'enforcement' agency.
The hypocrisy of this national socialist who falsely views himself as a 'law' 'enforcement' officer is unparalleled. Would you believe he admitted to taping the webcam lens of his personal lap top? Despite the fact this son of a bitch and his goddamned goons hack into webcams of 'suspects' they're targeting? -- The tape, as most of us know, make the camera function impossible to hack into. ... Indeed, a word to the wise.
At time of writing, the FBI announced it will help Arkansas Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland hack a smartphone. There are others waiting for similar assistance. Not clear what Apple will now do to protect the privacy of smartphone users. If nothing, then it and its devices cannot be trusted.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly earned $10.28 million in 2015. Has assets of reportedly approximately $785 million. To say nothing of the rest of the Apple corporate management suite. To say nothing of software engineers and others who are paid extremely well. Time for all these f--kers to get off their financially portly asses and produce devices with encryption that takes years to hack, rather than a few days. ... If FBI goons are indeed telling the truth that a third party successfully did their dirty work for them.
Republican national socialists claim we're fighting a world war against ISIS. Therefore, the government should be free to do as it pleases. These clueless cowardly sons of bitches seem to have forgotten the war against ISIS is not representative of, nor even close to the level of threat presented by the First and Second World Wars. Several degrees of magnitude short.
Second, there has been no declaration of war against ISIS that would grant Congress the power to force corporations to contribute resources to the war effort. Third, those special powers were rescinded at the end of both World Wars. The national socialist bastard who heads the FBI tried to invoke such powers on Apple. Powers the government does not currently enjoy. What this traitorous son of a bitch wanted was a back door created by Apple so he and his goons could hack into any smartphone, -- with or without a warrant. A goddamned fascist police-state.
Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril
Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril
The Llano Ledger
P.O. Box 151
Buchanan Dam, Texas 78609
United States Of America