Liberty In Peril


                                                                                       The Llano Ledger

Digital Tracking                                      5-19-17 And Continuing  ©2018 All Rights Reserved


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."

Should be.

"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."

    "FTC should immediately investigate and sanction apparent breach by Facebook of its 2011 agreement guaranteeing protection of consumer info - now a hollow promise.
    — 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."

    "Here are @alexstamos now deleted tweets on the app Cambridge Analytica used to harvest millions of Facebook users' data.
    — april glaser (@aprilaser) March 17, 2018"

Wake up.

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."

NPR reports:

"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?

NPR reports:

"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."

NPR reports:

"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?

Gets worse:

"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.

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.


The price of liberty is never cheap.  More so in a fascist police-state soon to be the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich.  The fact the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue continue to invade privacy with or without a warrant, go on fishing expeditions, etc. make highly encrypted, highly secure electronic devices extremely difficult to crack into absolutely necessary.

No question, however, this, on occasion, frustrates legitimate police investigations.  Indeed, sadly, the price of liberty Nazi Right Republican 'law and order' fascists cannot seem to understand.  Fully grasp.  Myopically, determinedly 'think' in terms of right or wrong, black or white, no shades of gray, no brilliant hues of color.

The following is a a most poignant example that usefully illustrates the exceptionally high price of liberty that most never consider, think about, or even envision as one of the true costs of liberty.  The Washington Times reports:

"A Florida man was sentenced to nearly six months behind bars Tuesday for failing to give investigators the password needed to unlock his Android smartphone.  Christopher Wheeler, 41, was ordered to spend 180 days in jail Tuesday for a contempt-of-court conviction handed down earlier this month for failing to open his phone to authorities probing a child abuse case involving his 8-year-old daughter."

Quite a gut wrenching case of abuse.  There is, however, much more at stake than just successful prosecution of this criminal.

"Mr. Wheeler was arrested on March 6 for aggravated child abuse, domestic violence and child neglect after detectives say he repeatedly assaulted his daughter causing “severe bruising, swelling and scratches,” according to documents filed in Broward Circuit Court."

Medical reports, testimony from the kid, witnesses, etc. should be sufficient to convict.  Especially, in today's climate where prosecutors routinely impanel 'law and order' jurors who routinely believe law enforcement no matter their lies, deception, distortion of reality, etc..  Prosecutors have clearly, repeatedly shown their penchant for convicting someone, anyone, regardless of guilt or innocence.  Precisely, why it's extremely difficult to believe they cannot make a case against this defendant without access to his cellphone:

"Police seized an Android smartphone from Mr. Wheeler at the time of his arrest and argued it contains photographic evidence of his alleged crimes. The device is password-protected, however, and Mr. Wheeler has failed so far to cough up the credentials needed for authorities to gain access.  Circuit Judge Michael Rothschild held Mr. Wheeler in contempt on May 12 and handed down the 180-day jail stint during a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, the Miami Herald first reported."

How do police know it contains evidence of his crimes?  Forget?  He didn't admit to these crimes.  They haven't accessed the phone.  What probable cause do they have to state it contains photographic evidence?  Other than to justify a fishing expedition?  If the cellphone is all law enforcement has to make the case, why wouldn't the defendant rot in jail six months if he is indeed guilty of these crimes?

Forget?  Far, far less time than he would have received if convicted of the abuse.  Must not be forgotten people who commit such egregious crimes have no conscience, no regard for morality, what's right or wrong, etc..  Yet, there must be constitutional rights and rule of law to protect the innocent in this country.  That is, the falsely accused.  Indeed, a most difficult conundrum for police, prosecutors, and the courts.

"Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, then-FBI Director James B. Comey said 46 percent of the more than 6,000 smartphones and tablets seized by federal investigators during a recent six-month span were protected by uncrackable passwords.  “That means half of the devices that we encounter in terrorism cases, in counterintelligence cases, in gang cases, in child pornography cases, cannot be opened with any technique,” Mr. Comey said."

The above, clearly, is the price of freedom.  The right of the innocent to be left the hell alone by the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue.  Precisely, why the Founders saw fit to include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.  Law enforcement and prosecutors will simply have to work harder.  Cracking into a cellphone, lap top, desktop, tablet, etc. is not the only way to build a criminal case.  Forget?  Police conducted investigations, prosecutors prosecuted, juries convicted long before the day of the digital device.  Will simply have to increase their effort.

“Compelling Mr. Wheeler to enter the password forces him to produce evidence that may be used to later incriminate him by the government,” his attorneys unsuccessfully argued earlier this year in an effort to quash the request. “It forces him to produce contents of his phone that Mr. Wheeler at no time admitted to authorities existed.”

Forcing the masses to self-incriminate happens all the time in our formerly great country.  Forced blood draws, forced finger printing, forced hair samples, forced search warrants, etc., occur all the time.  With or without a warrant signed by a judge.  List can go on and on.  Forget?  Needs of the many trump individual rights.  By design.  All government, including a supposedly democratic republic, is based on this principle.

This principle works remarkably well in small tight-knit groups.  Such as friends, family, associates, etc..  Usually, ultimately fails at the nation-state level as views, opinions, beliefs, etc. grow increasingly divergent as population levels skyrocket.  A country comes apart at the seams as society becomes highly polarized.

As the fascist police-state we already live in is extended by the Trump nazi to the Fourth Reich, moreover, questions arise, are pointedly asked, remain achingly simple, but increasingly, poignantly profound.  Including, but not limited to, how far do we take this aforementioned principle?  No limits at all?  To the point where there is no liberty?  No more than 'freedom' to do what you're told?  Group-think taken to its extreme at expense of all civil and constitutional rights and liberties?

... Forced to drop 'trou,' take the ungreased shaft hard up the ass without the Vaseline?  Then, the galling, outrageously haughty requirement to praise the f--ker for the f--king?  This, the country each of you wish to live in?  This, the future the Trump nazi's sick sycophants demand?  As the doomsday clock strikes ever closer to midnight, can't hear the rumble?  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon.


Tired of robocalls? You 'ain't' seen 'nuttin' yet.  About to get worse.  Far worse.  CBS News reports:

"Marketing calls usually make your cellphone ring, but if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules in the companies' favor, those credit card, financing and debt collection calls could legally go straight to your voicemail box in unlimited numbers."

Aren't you lucky?  Truly blessed?  Know what that means?  Don't think the following achingly delusional?

"Josh Justice, CEO of ringless voiceless software firm Stratics Networks, says that's a good thing."

He does.  Has clearly lost his mind:

"You sit down for dinner with your family and your phone rings, you go to put your baby to bed and your phone rings and you're being solicited something," Justice said. "A ringless voicemail drops is a nonintrusive alternative to this robocall."

Ever occur to this psychotic son of a bitch the public is tired of all this goddamned bullshit? Wants none of it.  Gets worse.  Far more convoluted:

"The companies are arguing to the FCC that since the phone never actually "rings," their ringless voicemails should not be regulated by the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a move supported by the Republican National Committee, which said regulating the practice might affect political outreach campaigns."

These achingly, hopelessly psychotic GOP nazi sons of bitches obviously remain too deaf to hear the rumble.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon.

"Consumer advocates, like Margot Saunders with the National Consumer Law Center, say that not regulating would be the "wrong call."  "That's even more invasive, more time consuming and more annoying in some ways than a standard phone call," Saunders told CBS News.  "They want to be able to reach us and they want to be able to reach us without consent," she added. "They want to be able to reach us without our telling them, stop!"

Forget?  The Republican Way.  Their corporate masters right or wrong.


Think Republican nazis aren't at the bottom of the loss of privacy in our formerly great country? The Washington Post reports:

"Congressional Republicans knew their plan was potentially explosive. They wanted to kill landmark privacy regulations that would soon ban Internet providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, from storing and selling customers’ browsing histories without their express consent."

Direct betrayal of the electorate.  These achingly clueless pieces of shit knew exactly what they were doing.  Did it to line their pockets.  Bowed to their corporate masters.  Who own them body, heart, and soul.  You've been bamboozled.  Hoodwinked:

"So after weeks of closed-door debates on Capitol Hill over who would take up the issue first — the House or the Senate — Republican members settled on a secret strategy, according to Hill staff and lobbyists involved in the battle. While the nation was distracted by the House’s pending vote to repeal Obamacare, Senate Republicans would schedule a vote to wipe out the new privacy protections."

Clever, isn't it? Traitorous, as well.

"On March 23, the measure passed on a straight party-line vote, 50 to 48. Five days later, a majority of House Republicans voted in favor of it, sending it to the White House, where President Trump signed the bill in early April without ceremony or public comment."

Egregious betrayal of the public.  These outrageously traitorous pieces of shit bowed to the will of their corporate masters.

“While everyone was focused on the latest headline crisis coming out of the White House, Congress was able to roll back privacy,” said former Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, who worked for nearly two years to pass the rules.  The process to eliminate them took only a matter of weeks. The blowback was immediate."

Was it ever.  Still not good enough.  Far from it.  These traitorous sons of bitches need to be remembered when midterms come in 2018.

"Constituents heckled several of the lawmakers at town halls. “You sold my privacy up the river!” one person yelled at Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — lead sponsor of the Senate bill — at a gathering in April. Several late-night comedians roasted congressional Republicans: “This is what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. I guarantee you there is not one person, not one voter of any political stripe anywhere in America who asked for this,” Stephen Colbert said."

None of it sufficient.  Don't like the orchestrated f--king?  Make sure you don't return these treacherous bastards to office.

"The quick undoing of the Internet privacy rules has prompted lawmakers in more than a dozen states to propose local laws to restore privacy protections to their constituents."

Not good enough.  Nowhere near.  If not done at the federal level, each state will do as it sees fit.  At expense of privacy.  Forget?  They're all bought and paid for.  Less accountable on the state level.  Much easier to hide since all attention is currently directed at the Trump nazi.  Forget?  Can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit.

"The FCC privacy rules were among the first of more than a hundred regulations and laws being targeted for elimination or massive overhaul by Trump and Republican members of Congress who want to dismantle Obama-era regulations they view as burdensome."

Burdensome to their corporate masters in the corporate management suite.  At expense of their constituents who ultimately pay for this outrageously orchestrated f--king by bought and paid for GOP nazis.

"How the privacy rules came to be undone helps to explain and inform the strategies behind the broader range of Republican initiatives in the works. The rollback of privacy, for example, was the first step by the Republican-led FCC to overhaul Obama-era net neutrality rules.

To f--k the public.  Line their pockets.  More importantly?  Line the pockets of their corporate masters who line theirs.  The American Way.  Forget?

"The rolling crises within Trump’s administration and Republican infighting has slowed Republican lawmakers’ work on Capitol Hill. But they remain positioned to capitalize on their control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, a power structure that has not existed in more than a decade."

These traitors remain too deaf to hear the rumble.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon.

“Trump and the Republicans are doing so many different things on parallel tracks, the news media and activists can’t follow it all,” said Trump adviser and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. “This is by design.”

The haughty, Aryan arrogance of the Gingrich nazi is outrageously galling.  This fascist piece of shit, to say nothing of the GOP, represents an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

"The Internet privacy rules were adopted in October during the last days of the Obama administration after an intense battle that pitted large Internet service providers, the advertising industry and tech giants against consumer advocates and civil rights groups.  The rules required Internet service providers to get explicit consent before they gather their customers’ data — their browsing histories, the locations of businesses they physically visit and the mobile applications they use — and sell it to third parties. Proponents said the rules were necessary because consumers must use a provider to access the Internet."

Republican nazis don't believe consumers own their personal information.  Their corporate masters do.  Forget?

Readers are reminded there is a way around this orchestrated f--king.  Use Tor browser.  If blocked, run Tor through a VPN.  Tor is free.  So are many VPNs.  Migrate from Windows.  While Apple is better, Linux reigns.  Better yet?  Linux is open source, that is, free.  You don't have to put up with this bullshit.  There are ways around it.

Including at the ballot box.  Vote third party.  Neither major political party is worth a shit.  No longer.  Both betray their constituents.  To line their pockets and those of their corporate masters.  Worse?  Their corporate masters own their sorry, gutless asses.  All levels and branches of government.  Remain an exigent threat to all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.


Spying on the American public is also determinedly perpetrated by government itself.  Out of control.  Outrageously unconstitutional government.  Think not?  Wake up.  You've been bamboozled.  Continue to be hoodwinked.  Judge Andrew P. Napolitano reports in The Washington Times:

“The makers of our Constitution conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”

— Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928"

No question.  No longer exists.  Not in a fascist police-state.

"After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Senate’s Church Committee had attempted to grasp the full extent of lawless government surveillance in America during the LBJ and Nixon years, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA declared that it provided the sole source for federal surveillance in America for intelligence purposes."

Outrageously, unconstitutional.  Yet, the public failed to rise up.  Many were not even aware.  Still aren't.  Clueless.  Dopes duped.

"FISA required that all domestic intelligence surveillance be authorized by a newly created court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Since 1978, FISA has met in secret. Its records are unavailable to the public unless it determines otherwise, and it hears only from Department of Justice lawyers and National Security Agency personnel. There are no lawyers or witnesses to challenge the DOJ or the NSA."

The mark of tyranny.  Precisely, what the Founders were so afraid of.  Our ability to keep the democratic republic they created at horrendous cost.  Think we don't live in a goddamned fascist police-state?  Have for decades. Wake up.

"Notwithstanding this handy constitutional novelty, the NSA quickly grew impatient with its monitors and began crafting novel arguments that were met with no resistance. Those arguments did away with the kind of particularized probable cause about targets of surveillance that the Constitution requires in favor of warrants based on the probability that someone somewhere in a given group could provide intelligence data helpful to national security, and because the FISC bought these arguments, the entire group could be spied upon. The FISC unleashed the NSA to spy on tens of millions of Americans."

This happened because Baby Boomers failed to force change.  Desperately needed change.

"That was still not enough for the nation’s spies. So beginning in 2005, then-President George W. Bush permitted the NSA to interpret President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 so as to allow all spying on everyone in the U.S., all the time. The NSA and Mr. Bush took the position that because the president is constitutionally the commander in chief of the military and because the NSA is in the military, both the president and the NSA are lawfully independent of FISA."

Conditions will certainly worsen as the Trump nazi and his henchmen expand the fascist police-state we already live in to the Fourth Reich.


A few Republicans are finally beginning to wake up.  The Washington Times reports:

"Congress shouldn’t reauthorize the government’s most potent snooping powers until it imposes stronger safeguards for Americans, a key conservative lawmaker said in response to a judge’s ruling that U.S. intelligence agencies tried to hide potential breaches of privacy rights."

An ongoing problem for decades.

"Rep. Raul R. Labrador, Idaho Republican, said Judge Rosemary M. Collyer’s April ruling is the latest in a string of warning signs that federal agencies need more oversight before Congress renews their broad powers under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."

This outrageously unconstitutional nazi statute needs to be repealed.  It's exactly what the Founders were talking about when they openly fretted we would not be able to keep, sustain the democratic republic they had established at great cost to themselves.

"In particular, Mr. Labrador and several colleagues want to know how often Americans’ information is scooped up and examined in a process that, according to Section 702, is supposed to be targeted at foreigners."

Well known for decades that that's precisely what's been happening.  Give an inch, a nazi takes a light-year.

"The National Security Agency and other intelligence branches have refused to divulge the information on Americans to Congress, even though Judge Collyer said in her ruling that the government could try to identify it.  “The importance of this issue has grown in light of recent allegations that the NSA may have abused its power to carry out a political agenda,” Mr. Labrador told The Washington Times. “Congress should not reauthorize Section 702 without real, meaningful safeguards for the American people.”

Safeguards?  Not possible.  No more than a mirage.  The last four decades proof positive.  This statute needs to be repealed.  Precisely, why we now live in a fascist police-state soon to be the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich.

"The judge said security officials had been breaking their own assurances for how they were using the information gleaned from foreign intelligence snooping — and only belatedly reported their breaches to the FISA Court, which was set up to be an independent check."

Our nazi government, clearly out of control.  A fascist police-state.

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers,” Judge Collyer wrote. “The full scope of noncompliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court.”

This is a problem because under the Fourth Amendment U.S. citizens are protected from warrantless seizures, collection of information without probable cause and judicial approval.

"Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, said Judge Collyer’s opinion is just the latest to expose violations by the FBI, the CIA and the NSA.  “It is hard to find one of those opinions that doesn’t contain 20 to 30 pages describing all the ways in which the agencies fail to comply with court orders,” she said. “It shows that this is continuing — that the pervasive violations of FISA Court orders has happened from the beginning.”

As stated many times previously in this publication, the greatest threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties is no foreign power, no terrorist group, nor the criminal element.  Rather, it is out of control government at all levels and branches.  Precisely, why the following is moot, beside the point, worse, unadulterated self serving bullshit.  A goddamned ruse:

"Security officials counter that Section 702 is critical to the government’s ability to sniff out terrorist threats and other dangers and say losing such powers would be a major blow to their efforts to keep the country safe."

Safe from whom?  How about our government itself and its corporate masters?  Here is the problem:

"Privacy advocates, though, say they hope Judge Collyer’s ruling gets more attention among members of Congress.  “This is not a Republican-Democrat issue. It is an issue about overweening executive branch power,” said Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  He said the secrecy surrounding the executive branch’s surveillance authority leads to violations being hidden from the public and selective leaking and allows “Congress to claim ignorance when violations are revealed.”

These clueless assholes in Congress don't seem to understand they themselves are also subject to this very same malfeasance.

“Politicians essentially make the calculation that Americans are more concerned about terrorism than honest and informed oversight, accountability and transparency,” Mr. Tien said. “Over the last few months, we’ve watched a lot of politicians trip over questions about surveillance, incidental collection and unmasking.”

The people are ultimately the problem that drives this ongoing malfeasance, abuse of power by out of control government nazis.  Cowardly tolerate this bullshit.  Certainly, too deaf to hear the rumble.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming on the horizon.


The war on privacy by law enforcement nazis rages on.  The Washington Post reports:

"The Supreme Court next term will decide whether law enforcement authorities need a warrant to track a suspect through his cellphone records, justices announced Monday."

The Fourth Amendment is quite clear.  This issue should have long since been settled by the lower courts.

The Washington Times reports:

"The Supreme Court will take up a case looking at whether police can peruse someone’s cell phone location records without first getting a warrant, the justices announced Monday, adding another high-profile civil liberties case to the docket for their next session.  The high court agreed to hear an appeal from a case in Detroit, where prosecutors used data detailing an armed robbery suspect’s locations from his cell phone data history to help convict him. The police had obtained those records by request, but didn’t go to court to get a warrant."

Another example of nazi judges legislating their outrageously pernicious religious and/or ideological views from the bench.  The slippery slope.


"An appeals court upheld the conviction, saying checking those records isn’t considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, so no warrant is needed."

Yet, another clear example of a court demonstrating far from impartial, unbridled support of the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue.  No matter what they do.

"Civil liberties groups are begging for the court to overturn the ruling, saying cell location information can paint a most intimate picture of someone’s life — exactly the kind of information that the Fourth Amendment was intended to protect.  “Because cell phone location records can reveal countless private details of our lives, police should only be able to access them by getting a warrant based on probable cause,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union. “The time has come for the Supreme Court to make clear that the longstanding protections of the Fourth Amendment apply with undiminished force to these kinds of sensitive digital records.”


NBC News reports:

"Whether the Constitution protects data revealing a cellular telephone's location is "a hugely important question," said Orin Kerr, at professor at the George Washington University's law school.  When a cell phone is used for calls or text messages, it signals a nearby antenna tower to connect with the telephone network. As the user travels, the call is handed off to successive cell towers, and the cell phone companies keep records of the phone numbers routed through each tower."

Why is this information retained?  Should be destroyed after the call is complete.  Don't think so?  Consider the following:

"Police can use that information to develop a map of of a person's movements, nearly minute-by-minute. Maryland Public Defender James Wyda says the government "can turn back the clock to surveil a suspect's location and movements when the suspect was not even a suspect, and perhaps when no investigation was underway -- before a crime may have been contemplated, yet alone committed."

A fascist police-state.  Soon to be the Trump nazi's  Fourth Reich.

"The lower courts have generally said police do not need a search warrant to get cell phone locator records, relying on a Supreme Court decision from 38 years ago. The court said then that no warrant is needed to get the numbers a telephone user calls, because people have no expectation that the phone numbers they dial will remain private.  "All telephone users realize that they must 'convey' phone numbers to the telephone company, since it is through telephone company switching equipment that their calls are completed," the court said. And the phone company keeps the records anyway for billing purposes."

The slippery slope.  What difference should it make whether or not there is an expectation of privacy?  No more than egregious bastardization of the Fourth Amendment to unduly benefit police at cost of a most precious constitutional right.  No longer, however, quite that simple or applicable to cellphones, either:

"But the ACLU, representing Carpenter, said the reasoning of that decades-old case shouldn't apply in the digital age, because the court's earlier decision involved telephones that were hard-wired into the wall and didn't move. Getting cell phone tower location, by contrast, allows the police to reconstruct a person's movements and should require a search warrant."

What webs we weave.  The Founders?  Spinning in their graves.  Wouldn't recognize the goddamned fascist police-state they unwittingly spawned.

"Because cell phone location records can reveal countless private details of our lives, police should only be able to access them by getting a warrant based on probable cause," said the ACLU's Nathan Freed Wessler.  The Supreme Court has been gradually expanding protections for digital privacy, declaring that it's a search when police attach a GPS tracker to a person's car and ruling that police need a search warrant to search a cell phone carried by a suspect."


Tracking is also used by brick-and-mortar retailers.  ABC News reports:

"Shopping apps let you buy fast on your phone and offer discounts and rewards when you shop in-store. But for some retail apps, that convenience has a price: privacy. The way retailers online track your shopping habits with cookies, some brick-and-mortar retailers are using apps that access your phone's GPS to track your location in the real world.  The tip-off may be the timing of notifications that pop up when you are in close proximity to a store. We asked shoppers in Philadelphia if they had any unusually well timed app notifications."

Couldn't care less?

"In a statement to "Good Morning America," Macy's said that users are asked about those permissions during the installation process.  "After downloading the app, users are taken through a series of prompts that explain the permissions we ask for and the reasons why they would benefit from opting in to these features. These include permissions to access their geo-location enabled by GPS and/or Wi-Fi, approval to receive push notifications, as well as the opportunity to receive in-store messaging when they enable Bluetooth on their devices. These preferences can be changed at any time via the user's device settings and/or on the Macy's app's settings page," the statement said."

 Think it that simple?  That easy?  Couldn't care less?


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?


In follow up to the last edition vis a vis ubiquitous digital tracking, The Washington Post reports:

"Google will begin using data from billions of credit and debit card transactions — including card numbers, purchase amounts and time stamps — to solve the advertising juggernaut’s long-standing quest to prove that online ads prompt consumers to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores, the company said on Tuesday.  The advance, which enables Google to tell retailers how many sales they created through their digital ad campaigns, is a step toward what industry insiders have long described as the “holy grail” of digital advertising. If effective, the program could help persuade marketers to choose Google’s services over the television advertising that still gobbles up the lion’s share of retailers’ ad budgets."

Never get enough, do they?  Guess who pays for this concerted, determined, egregious assault on privacy?

"But Googles's latest move to tie people’s digital trails to their real world behaviors is likely to renew concerns over whether technology giants and their affiliated companies know too much about people’s lives — and whether they disclose enough about how they collect and use that information."

Worse?  Far worse?  Most users are too damned aggressively stupid to care.

"Google collects massive amounts of personal data from smartphones and desktop computers, including location information from Google Maps and other apps, the search terms that people use in a Google search, and people’s Web browsing habits. All of that information is tied to the real identities of users when they log into Google's services."

Comfortable with this?  Too damned aggressively stupid to care?

Wake up:

"Google would not say how merchants had obtained consent from consumers to pass along their credit card information. In the past, both Google and Facebook have obtained purchase data for a more limited set of consumers who participate in loyalty programs. Consumers that participate in loyalty programs are more heavily tracked by retailers, and often give consent to share their data with third parties as a condition of signing up. (Not all consumers may realize they have given such consent, according to the digital privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation)."

Couldn't care less?  Trust them no matter what?

"Peter Eckersley, technology projects director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, expressed skepticism about whether the "double-blind encryption" described by Google could protect privacy effectively. Past efforts by technology companies to protect the anonymity of users have been easily defeated, he said.  "So this may well be a massive betrayal of the trust that consumers have placed in Google and their credit card companies, to keep their data confidential," Eckersley said. "But we won't even know for sure until Google publishes clear information on how it is handling this data."

Think they ever will?  Care?

CBS News reports:

"Your phone may be sending out ultrasonic tones right now. Sounds the human ear can't pick up, but which other devices can.  A research team sponsored by the German government discovered more than 230 apps on Google's Android market that secretly tracked users through the use of ultrasonic audio. The so-called ultrasonic tracking beacons can help create intimate profiles of people, tying them to a slew of devices communicating with each other through the beacons."

No problem with this?

"Here's how it works: Let's say your friend's smart TV uses the beacon, and you watch that TV. When a beacon from your phone meets the one from the TV, advertisers tied to both learn a bit more about you — and your friend.  In a paper posted online by the researchers at Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany, the team wrote that they identified 234 Android apps "that are constantly listening for ultrasonic beacons in the background without the user's knowledge."  Four out of 35 stores the team visited in two European cities use the ultrasonic beacons to track shoppers, as well."


"Google confirmed to CBS News that the apps discovered by the researchers have all either been suspended or updated to meet the company's privacy policies. In order for the use of ultrasonic beacons to be permissible on Android devices, app developers have to disclose to users that the apps will be using their cellphone microphones for that purpose."

Take them at their word?  When they won't fully explain what and how they track?


What webs we weave.  NPR reports:

"Cyber security experts are still scrambling to contain a global ransomware attack that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Ukraine, and India."

Sadly, just the beginning.  Likely, far more of the same.  Most galling?

"The attacks are being blamed on a piece of malware called WCry, WannaCry or Wana Decryptor, alleged to have been stolen from the National Security Agency, as the Bleeping Computer site reports. It was reportedly distributed by the Shadow Brokers, which claimed to have hacked an NSA-linked team of hackers last August. The Shadow Brokers group, which is suspected of having ties to Russia, posted Windows hacking tools last month."

If the origin of this attack lies in NSA-produced malware, time for some serious soul searching.

"Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked evidence of the agency's data collection program in 2013, has spoken out on Twitter to criticize the NSA for building this "dangerous attack tool." Yesterday he posted a New York Times article detailing the attack on the NHS in the UK, writing, "Today we see the cost."

    "Despite warnings, @NSAGov built dangerous attack tools that could target Western software. Today we see the cost:
    — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017"

Indeed.  Quite true.  Time for developers, manufacturers to finally wake up.  Improve technology to the point where this kind of attack becomes virtually impossible.  At least contained.  Equally important.  All devices need to be highly encrypted, extremely difficult to break into.  Take years of effort by a super computer.  With or without a warrant.

To protect us against not only hackers, but those stupidly entrusted to 'protect' us.  -- The criminal jackbooted bastards in blue who seemingly routinely engage in warrantless fishing expeditions.  Back up your data.  Do so constantly.  Had the victims of this attack done so, their data could have been easily recovered.  Microsoft had issued patches for this vulnerability some time back.  Not all users had installed the patches.  Windows leaves much to be desired.  Linux, far better.  So are Apple systems.

In follow up to the above, Microsoft is certainly no happy camper.  NPR reports:

"When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen," Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday."

Disingenuous bullshit.  Yes, of course, NSA needs to rethink its policies.  But, no, doesn't let Microsoft off the hook.  The problem is Microsoft concerns itself with being able to track and sell user data to line corporate coffers.  Rather, than providing a product that is truly secure.

"This is an emerging pattern in 2017," Smith, who is also chief legal officer, says in a Microsoft company blog post. "We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage."

Doesn't absolve you greedy bastards from producing a highly insecure operating system product for years subject to all kinds of vulnerabilities.  When will you design operating systems that take years to break into even with a super computer?  Protect user privacy from the criminal jackbooted bastards in blue who routinely, with or without a warrant, go on fishing expeditions?

Precisely, why many of us are looking for alternatives.  Don't trust patches since they appear to facilitate tracking to line corporate coffers.  Did you know on Windows 10 systems the user cannot turn off updates?  They're done automatically.  Making the machine unusable online for many of us who value security.  Who owns these goddamned machines?  The users who paid for them?  Or, Microsoft?

In stark contrast to the above, proof positive insanity knows no bounds, CBS News reports:

"Two former intelligence officials and a retired Navy admiral told a Senate committee Thursday that the U.S. should consider responding to Russia's intrusion in the 2016 presidential election with a military cyberattack of its own.  In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, and retired Admiral James Stavridis said the U.S. should consider targeting the bank accounts of Russian President Vladimir Putin or wealthy Russian oligarchs. But former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that any cyberattack against Russia could invite severe retaliation."

Precisely, why civilians are, and must remain in charge of the military.

Augmenting the last two articles above and the growing insanity in our formerly great country, indeed, day is night, night is day, and shit smells perversely sweet in the perniciously psychotic world of the corporate management suite.  Think the following won't gain wide acceptance?  CBS Boston reports:

"It could be the future of office life: high-tech tracking devices that can monitor your entire day on the job."

... Think the hopelessly ignorant, aggressively stupid, achingly gutless sheep in our formerly great country wouldn't jump at the chance?  To be good, compliant, company bought and paid for corporate chattel?  Isn't that why they literally bare their asses for corporate inspection by the company doctor?  Piss in a cup under employer supervision?  To sit at a keyboard, stock shelves all day, etc..

"The Boston start-up Humanyze wants to convince big business and employees that being watched can be a good thing."

... Like coming down with a raging case of poison ivy, diarrhea, stomach flu?

“It’s sort of like a Fitbit for your career,” said Ben Waber, CEO of Humanyze. And just like a Fitbit, it’s with you all day long."

Aren't corporate peasants lucky?  Truly blessed?  How about forced wearing of a shock collar to keep 'em all in line?

"The same ID badge that opens office doors can now track your every move and more. “We are essentially able to augment those ID badges to figure out in real time really what people are doing at work.”

... Like how many turds are dropped in corporate commodes each day on the company dime?

This, what this country is ultimately heading for as the Trump nazi transforms the goddamned fascist police-state we already live in to the Fourth Reich?

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