Monthly Archives: October 2016

Obama/Hillary Zika Virus Shrinks Men’s Testicles

 

“The ZIKA CRISIS is due to Obama and Hillary’s scheme to flood the USA with illegal aliens in order to rig the voter polls…” -InfoWars

Zika may cause men’s testicles to SHRINK by up to 90 per cent and permanently reduce fertility, medical researchers warn

  • ZIKA infection could cause lasting infertility in men, experts in the US warn
  • Doctors found infection in mice caused their testicles to shrink by 90%
  • If findings apply to humans, it could spark an infertility epidemic caused be the disease, experts say

ZIKA infection could cause lasting infertility and lead to men’s testicles shrinking, medical researchers warn.

Doctors warn that if the ‘dramatic’ findings, in mice, apply to humans it could lead to an epidemic of infertility caused by the disease.

It is not yet known whether the 90 per cent shrinkage in mice would apply to humans – but doctors believe at the very least the virus is likely to reduce sperm counts and testosterone levels in affected men.

ZIKA infection could cause lasting infertility and lead to men's testicles shrinking, medical researchers warn (stock image)

ZIKA infection could cause lasting infertility and lead to men’s testicles shrinking, medical researchers warn (stock image)

The virus is already known to leads to shrunken heads in babies whose mothers catch the infection, which is carried in tropical countries and has recently been found in the tourist hotspot of Florida.

The virus has the unusual ability to cross the barrier that separates the male reproductive organs from the blood stream.

Michael Diamond, of Washington University School of Medicine said: ‘We undertook this study to understand the consequences of Zika virus infection in males.

‘While our study was in mice -and with the caveat that we don’t yet know whether Zika has the same effect in men – it does suggest that men might face low testosterone levels and low sperm counts after Zika infection, affecting their infertility.’

The virus was already known to persist in semen for months – but it was not known what impact this could have on an infected man.

Research published in Nature Genetics, Professor Diamond and colleagues infected mice with Zika.

After two weeks the testicles had shrunken significantly, their ‘internal structure collapsing’ with many dead or dying cells, the researchers said.

And after three weeks, the mices’ testicles had shrunk to a tenth of their normal size.

Their testicles did not heal even after six weeks, when the virus had cleared from their bodies.

 Doctors warn that if the 'dramatic' findings, in mice, apply to humans it could lead to an epidemic of infertility caused by the disease

 Doctors warn that if the ‘dramatic’ findings, in mice, apply to humans it could lead to an epidemic of infertility caused by the disease

Professor Diamond said: ‘We don’t know for certain if the damage is irreversible, but I expect so, because the cells that hold the internal structure in place have been infected and destroyed.’

The Zika virus was found to attack Sertoli cells, which do not regenerate, and which nourish growing sperm cells.

Infected mice were four times less likely to get a female mouse pregnant, their sperm numbers fell tenfold, and their testosterone levels were very low.

Co-author Kelle Moley said: ‘This is the only virus I know of that causes such severe symptoms of infertility. There are very few microbes that can cross the barrier that seprates the testes from the bloodstream to infect the testes directly.

Because the study of Zika is relatively new, no studies have been published linking infertility to men with Zika.

‘People often don’t find out they’re infertile until they try to have children, and that could be years or decades after infection.

‘I think it is more likely doctors will start seeing men with symptoms of low testosterone, and they will work backward to make the connection to Zika.’

It is not yet known whether the 90 per cent shrinkage in mice would apply to humans – but doctors believe at the very least the virus will reduce sperm counts and testosterone levels in affected men (file picture)

It is not yet known whether the 90 per cent shrinkage in mice would apply to humans – but doctors believe at the very least the virus will reduce sperm counts and testosterone levels in affected men (file picture)

The effects of low testosterone, which can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and loss of body hair and muscle.

‘If testosterone levels drop in men like they did in the mice, I think we’ll start to see men coming forward saying, ‘I don’t feel like myself,’ and we’ll find out about it that way.

‘You might also ask ‘Wouldn’t a man notice if his testicles shrank?’ Well, probably.

But we don’t really know how the severity in men might compare with the severity in mice. I assume that something is happening to the testes of men, but whether it’s as dramatic as in the mice is hard to say.’

As of 26 October 2016, there have been 244 diagnosed cases of Zika caught by travellers returning home to the UK since 2015.

British experts not involved in the research said the findings may mean humans could be affected.

Dr Peter Barlow, British Society for Immunology spokesperson and Reader in Immunology & Infection at Edinburgh Napier University said: ‘While it is currently unclear if Zika virus infection would cause reduced testes size and fertility in man, this study does raise concerns that Zika virus could potentially have direct effects on male fertility. Therefore, more work is needed to determine if these observations in mice would translate to men.’

Dr Derek Gatherer, Lecturer in the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Lancaster University, said: ‘It’s been known for a while that Zika virus in men can find its way into the reproductive organs and may then go on to be sexually transmitted, but this study in mice is the first suggestion that this passage through the reproductive tract may actually be damaging.’

Prof Richard Sharpe, Honorary Professor, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, and expert in male reproductive health, University of Edinburgh, said there were already anecdotal reports of testicular and groin pain in infected men, but some virus effects could be ‘species specific’.

But he said: ‘the reality is that we do not know yet if effects shown here in the mouse can or will occur in humans.’

NSA Hackers The Shadow Brokers Dump More Files

NSA Hackers The Shadow Brokers Dump More Files

Written by

Joseph Cox

Contributor

October 31, 2016 // 09:00 AM EST

 

Photo: sharpshutter

The hacker or hackers calling themselves The Shadow Brokers, who have previously released NSA hacking tools for anyone to download, published more files on Monday.

This latest release comes while Hal Martin, an NSA contractor and, according to The Washington Post, the prime suspect in The Shadow Brokers case sits in detention after being arrested for allegedly stealing swaths of classified material.

“TheShadowBrokers is having special trick or treat for Amerikanskis tonight,” a message from the hackers posted to Medium reads. The message is signed with the same PGP key used to sign several previous posts, including the group’s original announcement that came with links to a slew of NSA exploits.

As for the files, The Shadow Brokers claim they reveal IP addresses linked to the Equation Group, a hacking unit widely believed to be tied to the NSA.

“This is being equation group pitchimpair (redirector) keys, many missions into your network is/was coming from these ip addresses,” The Shadow Brokers’ post continues.

It’s the same key.

The dump contains some 300 folders of files, all corresponding to different domains and IP addresses. Domains from Russia, China, India, Sweden, and many other countries are included. According to an analysis by the security researcher known as Hacker Fantastic, the dump contains 306 domains and 352 IP addresses relating to 49 countries in total.

If accurate, victims of the Equation Group may be able to use these files to determine if they were potentially targeted by the NSA-linked unit. The IP addresses may relate to servers the NSA has compromised and then used to deliver exploits, according to security researcher Mustafa Al-Bassam.

“So even the NSA hacks machines from compromised servers in China and Russia. This is why attribution is hard,” Al-Bassam tweeted on Monday.

Read more: The NSA Data Leakers Might Be Faking Their Awful English to Deceive Us

With the problem of attribution in mind, more work will need to be done to truly validate the contents of the dump.

“A more detailed analysis might well prove that this is from the organisations they claim it to be from, but of course it still doesn’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was NSA (or for that matter anyone else),” Alan Woodward, visiting professor at the University of Surrey, told Motherboard in a Twitter message.

The National Security Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Shadow Brokers first emerged in August, when they dumped a selection of NSA exploits and hacking tools onto Github and other websites. Many of the tools targeted hardware firewalls—devices used to filter traffic in corporate and government networks, and to keep out attackers, including from brands such as Cisco, Huawei, and Fortinet.

The hackers claimed they would release more files to the winner of an online auction, or, if they received a total of one million bitcoin, they would release the rest of the files publicly. In October, however, The Shadow Brokers claimed the auction had been called off entirely. The password for the latest set of files is “payus.”

The new message goes on to complain about an apparent lack of media attention on The Shadow Broker’s escapades, in the group’s characteristic, and perhaps forced, broken English.

“Is ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX negligent in duties of informing Amerikanskis? Guessing ‘Free Press’ is not being ‘Free as in free beer’ or ‘Free as in free of government influence?’” it reads. The Shadow Brokers did not respond to a request for additional comment.

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Coming Soon: 775,000 CIA Papers

Coming Soon: 775,000 CIA Papers From CREST

 

Releasing the records

A bit less than a year ago, I embarked on a quest to get a copy of the millions of pages of CIA documents stored on CREST, the CIA Records Search Tool. The CREST database was technically publicly available, in the sense that anyone could theoretically use the four computers located in the back of a library that (for budgetary reasons) lacks a librarian for half of the day. These four computers are currently the only ones that can access the CREST database, and they’re only accessible Monday through Friday from 9 Am to 4:30 PM. In other words, most people who aren’t full time researchers can’t use the database even if they’re within driving distance. By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the Agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online. I’m pleased to say that these efforts have been a success, and the Agency is putting the database online.

CIA isn’t doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Several FOIA requests have been filed for the database, including by the National Security Archive and MuckRock. MuckRock actually sued the Agency with the help of Kel McClanahan of National Security Counselors. The Agency said it would take 28 years to process the files. After some more legal pressure from Mr. McClanahan, the Agency reduced their estimate to six years. This was still too long, and so I began my effort. The hope was that the financial pressure, the negative press and making it not only a legal but a practical inevitability that these files would be put online would force the Agency to speed up their timetable. Thanks to the combined (but uncoordinated) efforts of myself and MuckRock, these files will soon be available.

However, there are some problems with the Agency’s statement about the matter. According to the Agency, the database will retain all of its features when put online. This is extremely unlikely, since the database is currently interfaced through proprietary software known as Laserfiche. This allows for many browsing and search parameters and sorting functions that the Agency’s website simply doesn’t. In many instances, the Agency’s website is simply broken (for instance, users are unable to even go to the second page of their online listing of CREST documents) and users are unable to properly browse the categories of documents already uploaded. It’s more likely that the Agency spokesman was unaware of this and only meant to refer to the text recognition that has been performed on the files. Otherwise, the Agency will have to design or buy an entirely new interface.

To combat this, I’m preparing to reindex and reupload the files in a proper format. While the CREST system at the National Archives has been out of toner for several weeks (CIA has been extremely and deliberately slow  in this regard), more toner is expected to arrive this week. This will allow me to retrieve copies of the indexes with the metadata. This will, in turn, be used to organize the files and upload them in a fully searchable format. Assuming the Agency doesn’t retain all of the search functions of the Laserfiche powered system and simply imports the files into their already broken interface, a new database will be built from the files. Several options are being considered in this regard and more than one organization has expressed interest in partnering over it.

What’s in it?

So what’s in the database? There are a little over 775,000 files that make up over 13,000,000 pages. Before the most recent update of files at the beginning of the year, the database was estimated to be about 840 gigabytes. Breaking these files down into categories, we get:

  • Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s papers: 40,000 pages of newly declassified documents. The papers did not originate with CIA, but “contain many CIA equities.”
  • Directorate of Science and Technology R&D: 20,000 pages
  • Analytic intelligence publication files: Over 100,000 pages.
  • News archives: The Agency collected a lot of news stories about themselves and the subjects they were interested in. Their news archive, much of which is included in CREST, contains many
  • Office of the DCI Collection (ODCI): 28,550 documents/129,000 pages from the records of the first five Directors of Central Intelligence: Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, General Walter “Bedell” Smith, Allen Dulles, John McCone, and Richard Helms. These records run from the beginning of CIA in 1947 through the late 1960s and include a wide variety of memos, letters, minutes of meetings, chronologies and related files from the Office of the DCI (ODCI) that document the high level workings of the CIA during its early years.
  • Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Central Intelligence Bulletins: 8,800 documents/123,000 pages from a collection of daily Central Intelligence Bulletins (CIB), National Intelligence Bulletins (NIB) and National Intelligence Dailies (NID) running from 1951 through 1979. The CIBs/NIBs were published six days a week (Monday through Saturday) and were all source compilations of articles and consisting initially of short Daily Briefs and longer Significant Intelligence Reports and Estimates on key events and tops of the day. The CIBs/ NIBs were circulated to high level policy-makers in the US Government.
  • General CIA Records: Records from the CIA’s archives that are 25 years old or older, including a wide variety of finished intelligence reports, field information reports, high-level Agency policy papers and memoranda, and other documents produced by the CIA.
  • STAR GATE: A 25-year Intelligence Community effort that used remote viewers who claimed to use clairvoyance, precognition, or telepathy to acquire and describe information about targets that were blocked from ordinary perception. The records include documentation of remote viewing sessions, training, internal memoranda, foreign assessments, and program reviews.
  • Consolidated Translations: Translated reports of foreign-language technical articles of intelligence interest, organized by author and each document covers a single subject.
  • Scientific Abstracts: Abstracts of foreign scientific and technical journal articles from around the world.
  • Ground Photo Caption Cards: Used to identify photographs in the NlMA ground photograph collection. Each caption card contains a serial number that corresponds to the identical serial number on a ground photograph. The master negatives of the ground photography collection have been accessioned separately to NARA. The caption cards provide descriptive information to help identify which master negatives researchers may wish to request.
  • National Intelligence Survey: National Intelligence Survey gazetteers.
  • NGA: Records from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, primarily photographic intelligence reports.
  • Joint Publication Research Service: Provided translations of regional and topical issues in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Office of Strategic Services files: Documents from the OSS, CIA’s World War II predecessor.

While these documents are older, they aren’t irrelevant. One of the CREST documents provided the smoking gun for my expose on an NSA Director sabotaging the NSA.

When will they come out?

The timeline on these files is a little bit sketchy at this point. It’s unlikely that the files will be online before the election. If the Agency is going to keep their word and put the database online, it’s likely that it’ll happen in the next few months. New files are usually added to CREST between January and March, depending on the speed of bureaucracy. It’s unlikely that they’ll add these files to the offline database just before migrating them and hundreds of thousands of other files to an online database.

Work on reconstructing the database with all of the metadata can begin as early as next week. Once the metadata has been and organized work on the database itself can begin. 23,500 CIA documents (340,000 pages) have already been obtained and can be added to the database ASAP. The details of the timeline, however, depend on both when the Agency puts the files online and when potential partners are ready to move forward.

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“DIRTY DONNA” Brazile even gets reamed by CNN

Donna Brazile Shared Additional Debate Questions With Clinton Campaign, Identified Her Tipster

Photo of Chuck Ross

Chuck Ross
Reporter
 

Donna Brazile, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, began providing town hall and debate questions to the Clinton campaign earlier than previously known, emails released by WikiLeaks on Monday show.

The email threads also show that Brazile, a former CNN contributor, revealed to the Clinton campaign the name of the person who provided her with a question that was asked of Clinton at a March 13 town hall co-hosted by CNN and TV One. Brazile also shared a question from a debate hosted by CNN a week earlier.

A March 12 email exchange shows Brazile stating that she received a town hall question from Roland Martin, a TV One host who co-moderated a March 13 town hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

A March 5 email shows that she shared a question with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri that was to be asked in a March 6 debate hosted by CNN in Flint, Mich.

Hillary Clinton asked about Flint water crisis at March 6, 2016 CNN debate. (Youtube screen grab)

Hillary Clinton asked about Flint water crisis at March 6, 2016 CNN debate. (Youtube screen grab)

The emails were hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account.

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When part of the March 12 email was released earlier this month, Brazile initially vehemently denied that she shared a question with the campaign. “What a stretch,” is what she told The Daily Caller when asked about it. (RELATED: Donna Brazile Shared Town Hall Questions With Clinton Campaign)

She has since said that the email may have been doctored by Russian hackers. She also complained that she is being “persecuted” over the matter.

Brazile has recently stopped short of denying that she received the debate question and shared it with the Clinton campaign. But in an interview with PBS’s Tavis Smiley last week, she said that CNN did not provide her the question. Notably, she did not deny that Martin gave it to her. Martin has given waffling answers on whether he shared the question with Brazile. (RELATED: Donna Brazile Claims She’s Being ‘Persecuted’ Over Leaks To Clinton Campaign)

 

In the March 12 exchange, Brazile mentions Martin by name and offers to provide more than just the one town hall question that she is known to have shared with the campaign.

“I’ll send a few more. Though some questions Roland submitted,” Brazile wrote to Palmieri in the March 12 email thread, which is entitled “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”

The question she provided to Palmieri matched verbatim a question that an exonerated death row inmate asked Clinton the next night.

CNN and host Jake Tapper have strongly denied sharing that question or any other with Brazile or anyone else.

But an email released on Monday casts new doubt on the network’s claims that it never shares questions with outsiders.

On March 5, Brazile tipped the Clinton team off to a question that was to be asked the next day at a debate that was hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper.

“One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile wrote to Podesta and Palmieri.

“Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-9-06-58-am

March 12 email from Donna Brazile (via WikiLeaks)

A transcript of the debate shows that a woman named Lee-Anne Walters did ask the question of both Clinton and Sanders.

“After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the – the citizens that have said service lines,” the woman asked. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Says DNC Chair’s Town Hall Leak Is ‘Very, Very Troubling’)

Brazile, who claimed during the Democratic primaries that she was neutral, has defended herself during the email controversy by claiming that she was in regular communication with all Democratic candidates. But there has been no evidence produced so far that she shared debate and town hall questions with Sanders.

Neither Brazile nor the DNC returned requests for comment.

Update: CNN slammed Brazile in a statement while denying that the network leaked any information.

“CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate,” Lauren Pratapas, a spokeswoman for the network, told TheDC.

“We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”

She said that CNN accepted Brazile’s official resignation on Oct. 14. The longtime Democratic consultant’s deal was suspended in July when she became interim head of the DNC.

Questions still remain about how Brazile obtained the question in advance of the debate. TheDC is told that a CNN employee spotted Brazile talking with a Flint resident at a community event on March 5, the day before the debate. The woman allegedly mentioned to Brazile that she had a rash and that she and her children suffered from lead poisoning.

It is still unclear whether that woman was Lee-Anne Walters and how Brazile would have known that she would appear at the debate and be asked to pose a question to Clinton and Sanders.

Brazile commented on the scandal on Twitter. She also referred reporters to comments she made on Oct. 11, after her leak to the Clinton campaign was first revealed. She denied leaking questions to any candidate in that statement.

If you wanted to leak the killer Presidential campaign leak you would get Anthony Weiner to put them all on his computer

 

Clinton Foundation FBI Investigation Confirmed By Former Assistant FBI Director

Clinton Foundation FBI Investigation Confirmed By Former Assistant FBI Director (breitbart.com)

submitted 11 hours ago by GizaDog to news (+72|-0)

 

 

 

 

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Huma Abedin has VOIDED her immunity deal with the FBI. This means she has to sing or face jail time.

Huma Abedin has VOIDED her immunity deal with the FBI. This means she has to sing or face jail time. (redstatewatcher.com)

 

submitted 1 day ago by Ex-Redditor to news (+186|-7)

 

Tom Steyer Caught Bussing Voters

 

 

PAY-TO-PLAY: Green Energy Co. Caught Bussing Hillary Voters to Polls

PAY-TO-PLAY: Green Energy Co. Caught Bussing Hillary Voters to Polls – Tom Steyer and Margie Sullivan (youtube.com)

 

submitted 4 hours ago by Troll to videos (+63|-1)

 

GOOGLE’S CRIMINAL CONTROL OF NEWS AND MEDIA ON FULL DISPLAY IN EU INVESTIGATIONS

The Stakes Are Rising in Google’s Antitrust Fight With Europe

Photo

 
Margrethe Vestager, the European competition chief, has started investigations into Amazon, McDonald’s and Starbucks, but three cases against Google make up the most public — and longstanding — antitrust cases in the region. Credit Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Google is locked in a six-year battle with Europe’s antitrust officials. And the stakes for both sides are getting higher.

For Google, Europe’s lengthy effort to rein in how the search giant operates in the region represents a potential threat to the billions of dollars it earns annually from selling online advertising and other, often dominant, digital services across the Continent and beyond.

For Margrethe Vestager, the Danish politician turned European competition chief, the three cases against Google make up the most public — and longstanding — antitrust cases in the region. And they will very likely define Europe’s at times frosty relationship with Google and other American tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Apple for years to come.

“For the European Commission, it’s a case of Russian roulette,” said Christian Bergqvist, an associate professor of competition law at the University of Copenhagen. “If they lose or merely settle the case, they will look weak. They have to be seen as doing something to stop Google.”

The latest twist in this episode is expected to begin on Thursday, when Google officially starts responding to European charges that it has hamstrung competitors and limited consumer choice.

The separate but closely linked rebuttals to European claims are expected to be submitted to competition authorities in Brussels in quick succession over the next few weeks.

How Europe Is Going After Apple, Google and Other U.S. Tech Giants

The biggest American tech companies face intensifying scrutiny by European regulators, with — pressure that could potentially curb their sizable profits in the region and affect how they operate around the world.

 

The cases relate to Android, Google’s mobile operating system, some of its dominant online search services and some of its advertising products.

While each response will be couched in legalese, Google’s main argument is that its business practices do not fall afoul of the region’s tough antitrust rules and that competitors can freely offer their own rival digital services to Europe’s more than 500 million consumers.

“Our search engine is designed to provide the most relevant results and most useful ads for any query,” Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, wrote in a blog post when previously rebutting some of Europe’s antitrust charges. “Users and advertisers benefit when we do this well. So does Google.”

Not surprisingly, the company’s detractors — small European start-ups, some local politicians and American heavy hitters like Oracle — do not agree.

“Google has taken its best shot, but the European Commission has decided that it’s still on the right track,” said Thomas Vinje, a lawyer for FairSearch Europe, a group representing the Google rivals that have filed complaints against the company’s perceived dominance.

“I don’t doubt Google feels like it has a strong defense. But that’s what other previously dominant companies thought, too,” he added.

Whatever happens, Google’s battle in Europe will not end overnight.

European officials must first review the company’s rebuttals, and a final decision in any of the cases is not expected until midway through 2017, at the earliest.

Google’s Antitrust Battles

  • April 2015

    Europe’s antitrust officials accused Google of favoring some of its own search services linked to online shopping over those of rivals.

  • April 2016

    The region’s antitrust authorities filed charges against Android, claiming Google unfairly required cellphone makers to preinstall its services and offered manufacturers improper financial incentives to favor Google’s products.

  • July 2016

    Europe’s competition watchdog said Google had abused its dominant position when offering some of its online advertising tools as part of search services on third-party websites.

  • Google’s Response

    Google denies any wrongdoing in the cases. It says consumers can freely use alternative online search products, rivals are welcome to offer their own digital services that compete directly with those of Google and smartphone makers are not required to use its digital services as part of Android.

If found to have breached the region’s rules, Google faces fines totaling up to $7.5 billion, or 10 percent of its annual revenue, and may be forced to change how it operates in the 28-member bloc. While any antitrust fine is not expected to reach the maximum possible, the company is likely to appeal any European ruling, further lengthening the process.

Yet it is this death-by-a-thousand-cuts regulatory limbo that arguably represents the biggest headache for Google.

As it deals with the uncertainty over how it will be allowed to operate in Europe, still one of the company’s largest markets worldwide, the search giant is increasingly fighting a battle with other global technology behemoths over how people will use the internet in the future.

Consumers are shifting their online habits to mobile devices, and with that shift, Google’s dominant position in desktop online search (it holds, for example, roughly a 90 percent market share in Europe) is becoming less certain.

And as other rivals like Facebook and Amazon double down on next-generation technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence, Google’s regulatory woes in Europe represent an unwanted distraction — one that may eventually hamper its existing, highly lucrative, business model.

Google may face tougher competition in the smartphone world if Europe forces the company to open up Android to rivals, a possibility if the search giant loses its antitrust case in the region.

Further down the line, the company is still struggling to turn its vast array of so-called moonshots, like self-driving cars and internet-connected balloons, into viable stand-alone businesses.

Photo

 
Google’s offices in Dublin. Europe says the company has hamstrung competitors and limited consumer choice. Credit Paulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

“No matter what happens, antitrust is part of the picture for Google for many more years,” said Ioannis Lianos, a professor of global competition law and public policy at University College London. “Even if Google wins, the fact that they are spending resources on this will affect their commercial thinking.”

The stakes are equally high for Ms. Vestager, who has started investigations into a number of American companies, including Amazon, McDonald’s and Starbucks. She also has opened cases against the likes of Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy giant.

In August, she ordered Apple to repay $14.1 billion in back taxes to the Irish government, claiming the company benefited from unfair tax treatment offered to its Irish subsidiaries. Apple and the Irish government are appealing the decision.

The three Google cases, though, have taken on extra meaning for the European Commission, particularly as a previous settlement proposed by Joaquín Almunia, Ms. Vestager’s predecessor, was killed at the last minute during political wrangling among European officials.

The search giant has become a boogeyman for many in Europe. In part, that is because of Google’s dominance over many of the digital services — like online search and smartphones — that have become essential to people’s daily lives.

Google has tried to win over its local critics, including budgeting roughly $450 million from 2015 to 2017 for spending on cultural and other projects across the Continent. But the antitrust charges against the company have, for many, come to symbolize Europe’s last stand against the almost universal control by American tech giants over the region’s digital landscape.

“We would like to see results so we can show voters that something is being done,” said Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish member of the European Parliament and a Google critic. “At least a fine in the cases would show that there’s a bazooka in Europe that can be shot at companies like Google.”

Internal war at FBI revealed in new WEINER-GATE Shockers

FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe

Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets a crowd in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Sunday. ENLARGE
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets a crowd in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Sunday. Photo: jewel samad/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

As federal agents prepare to scour roughly 650,000 emails to see how many relate to a prior probe of Hillary Clinton’s email use, the surprise disclosure that investigators were pursuing the potential new evidence lays bare tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee.

Metadata found on the laptop used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, suggests there may be thousands of emails sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter. It will take weeks, at a minimum, to determine whether those messages are work-related from the time Ms. Abedin served with Mrs. Clinton at the State Department; how many are duplicates of emails already reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and whether they include either classified information or important new evidence in the Clinton email probe.

The FBI has had to await a court order to begin reviewing the emails, because they were uncovered in an unrelated probe of Mr. Weiner.

The new investigative effort, disclosed by FBI Director James Comey on Friday, shows a bureau at times in sharp internal disagreement over matters related to the Clintons, and how to handle those matters fairly and carefully in the middle of a national election campaign. Even as the previous probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email use wound down in July, internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding the Clintons’ family philanthropy heated up, according to people familiar with the matter.

The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a minor, they had recovered a laptop with 650,000 emails. Many, they said, were from the accounts of Ms. Abedin, according to people familiar with the matter.

Those emails stretched back years, these people said, and were on a laptop that hadn’t previously come up in the Clinton email probe. Ms. Abedin said in late August that the couple were separating.

The FBI had searched the computer while looking for child pornography, people familiar with the matter said, but the warrant they used didn’t give them authority to search for matters related to Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement at the State Department. Mr. Weiner has denied sending explicit or indecent messages to the teenager.

In their initial review of the laptop, the metadata showed many messages, apparently in the thousands, that were either sent to or from the private email server at Mrs. Clinton’s home that had been the focus of much of the FBI’s investigative effort. Senior FBI officials decided to let the Weiner investigators proceed with a closer examination of the metadata on the computer and report back to them.

At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said.

Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant.

Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results. Senior Justice Department officials had warned Mr. Comey that telling Congress would violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his press conference on the subject in July.

The back-and-forth reflects how the bureau is probing several matters related, directly or indirectly, to Mrs. Clinton and her inner circle.

New details show that senior law-enforcement officials repeatedly voiced skepticism of the strength of the evidence in the bureau’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation, sought to condense what was at times a sprawling cross-country effort, and, according to some people familiar with the matter, told agents to limit their pursuit of the case.

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, attended a news conference in New York in 2013. Mr. Weiner had attempted to revive his career with a bid for New York City mayor, but that effort was doomed after a website published lewd photos that he had evidently sent to another woman. ENLARGE
New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, attended a news conference in New York in 2013. Mr. Weiner had attempted to revive his career with a bid for New York City mayor, but that effort was doomed after a website published lewd photos that he had evidently sent to another woman. Photo: eric thayer/Reuters

That led to frustrations among some investigators, who viewed FBI leadership as uninterested in probing the charity, these people said. Others involved disagreed sharply, defending FBI bosses and saying Mr. McCabe in particular was caught between an acrimonious fight for control between the Justice Department and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation case.

It isn’t unusual for field agents to favor a more aggressive approach than supervisors and prosecutors think is merited. But the internal debates about the Clinton Foundation show the high stakes when such disagreements occur surrounding someone who is running for president.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member.

Mr. McAuliffe said he supported Dr. McCabe in the hopes she and a handful of other Democrats might help win a majority in the state Senate. Dr. McCabe lost her race last November, and Democrats failed to win their majority.

A spokesman for the governor has said that “any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous.”

Dr. McCabe told the Journal, “Once I decided to run, my husband had no formal role in my campaign other than to be” supportive.

In February of this year, Mr. McCabe ascended from the No. 3 position at the FBI to the deputy director post. When he assumed that role, officials say, he started overseeing the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server for government work when she was secretary of state.

FBI officials have said Mr. McCabe had no role in the Clinton email probe until he became deputy director, and by then his wife’s campaign was over.

But other Clinton-related investigations were under way within the FBI, and they have been the subject of internal debate for months, according to people familiar with the matter.

Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter.

Los Angeles agents had picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation, these people said.

The Washington field office was probing financial relationships involving Mr. McAuliffe before he became a Clinton Foundation board member, these people said. Mr. McAuliffe has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer has said the probe is focused on whether he failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity.

Clinton Foundation officials have long denied any wrongdoing, saying it is a well-run charity that has done immense good.

The FBI field office in New York had done the most work on the Clinton Foundation case and received help from the FBI field office in Little Rock, the people familiar with the matter said.

In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well.

Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career public integrity prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case.

“That was one of the weirdest meetings I’ve ever been to,” one participant told others afterward, according to people familiar with the matter.

Justice Department officials told the FBI at the meeting they wouldn’t authorize more aggressive investigative techniques, such as subpoenas, formal witness interviews, or grand-jury activity. But the FBI officials believed they were well within their authority to pursue the leads and methods already under way, these people said.

About a week after Mr. Comey’s July announcement that he was recommending against any prosecution in the Clinton email case, the FBI sought to refocus the Clinton Foundation probe, with Mr. McCabe deciding the FBI’s New York office would take the lead, with assistance from Little Rock.

Director James Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee in September on a variety of subjects including the investigation into former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email server. ENLARGE
Director James Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee in September on a variety of subjects including the investigation into former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Washington field office, FBI officials decided, would focus on a separate matter involving Mr. McAuliffe. Mr. McCabe had decided earlier in the spring that he would continue to recuse himself from that probe, given the governor’s contributions to his wife’s former political campaign.

Within the FBI, the decision was viewed with skepticism by some, who felt the probe would be stronger if the foundation and McAuliffe matters were combined. Others, particularly senior officials at the Justice Department, felt that both probes were weak, based largely on publicly available information, and had found little that would merit expanded investigative authority.

According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe, despite the department’s refusal to allow more aggressive investigative methods in the case. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use those methods.

The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dead. Others said the Justice Department was simply trying to make sure FBI agents were following longstanding policy not to make overt investigative moves that could be seen as trying to influence an election. Those rules discourage investigators from making any such moves before a primary or general election, and, at a minimum, checking with public integrity prosecutors before doing so.

“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, “Of course not,” these people said.

For Mr. McCabe’s defenders, the exchange showed how he was stuck between an FBI office eager to pour more resources into a case and Justice Department leaders who didn’t think much of the case, one person said. Those people said that following the call, Mr. McCabe reiterated past instructions to FBI agents that they were to keep pursuing the work within the authority they had.

Mr. McCabe’s defenders in the agency said that following the call, he repeated the instruction that he had given earlier in the Clinton Foundation investigation: Agents were to keep pursuing the work within the authority they had.

Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: “Stand down.” When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director—Mr. McCabe.

Others familiar with the matter deny Mr. McCabe or any other senior FBI official gave such a stand-down instruction.

For agents who already felt uneasy about FBI leadership’s handling of the Clinton Foundation case, the moment only deepened their concerns, these people said. For those who felt the probe hadn’t yet found significant evidence of criminal conduct, the leadership’s approach was the right response.

In September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.

Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they couldn’t “go prosecutor-shopping.”

Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting off the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign.

Write to Devlin Barrett at devlin.barrett@wsj.com

Obama Using NSA And CIA Teams To Attack People “Dangerous” To Hillary Campaign

Obama Using NSA And CIA Teams To Attack People “Dangerous” To Hillary Campaign

 

Posted by Elliot Bougis | Oct 15, 2016 | Top Article

 

 

 

Big Brother Hussein Is Watching You

 

The 2016 election is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and here are just a few reasons why:

 

  • A high-energy billionaire with zero political background has dominated the field, vanquishing sixteen Republican opponents and winning unprecedented support among minorities.

  • The wife of a former president and the heir apparent of the current president barely managed to win the nomination.

  • The media has all but lost control of “The Narrative” and finds itself trying to keep a frustrated viewing audience on the leash while also battling a flood of online, alternative media exposure.

  • Donald Trump has shown us that all bets are off: insiders are out, policy pales in comparison to patriotism, and leaked documents are as important as the official debates.

 

Both parties have risen to the new challenges, relying heavily on social media and other technology to win supporters and influence undecideds. One example of these techno-political on the Trump side of the race, is the website RealTrueNews.org. RTN’s main focus is to expose and destroy the incestuous bond between Washington, D.C., Wall Street, and the Mainstream Media. As a result, they are all firmly opposed to Hillary Clinton, who has shown herself to be the new, cackling face of the globalist, crony-capitalist elitism that currently dominates American politics, finance, and the news.

 

On the Hillary side of this race, undoubtedly the most significant techno-political force is David Brock’s Super PAC, Correct The Record. CTR modestly describes itself as “a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC.” RTN paints a more vivid picture: CTR “is a battalion of paid trolls whose job it is to disrupt, demoralize, and defame any Trump supporters and message boards.”

 

 

This description comes from a post at RTN by “Max Insider,” dated September 27, 2016, which was a day after the first presidential debate. Max Insider adds that CTR trolls “communicate using a secure messaging software called ‘Slack’ pictured above.”

 

And that’s when things get really interesting.

 

Max Insider explains:

 

We were able to get some monitoring software onto a junior analyst’s laptop to take a look inside the Slack-channel where they were doing work. What we found was startling. In the fall-out from last night’s debate, they are beginning a new campaign of targeted harassment (or worse) against the “ring leaders” of the decentralized online Trump movement.

 

Without a traditional campaign infrastructure to target, it appears they have been reduced to going after the “most influential voices” in the online debate.

 

Now we will make our way through this CTR chat. I don’t expect the image below to make much sense at first glance, so I will highlight and discuss elements of it as we proceed. Please be advised there is some offensive language involved–call it “locker room talk.”

 

 

 

First of all, who are these people? As we’ll see, brock is David Brock and efink is apparently Elliot Fink, another CTR employee.

 

 

Next, what are they discussing?

 

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

 

ekim [5:52 AM]

 

set the channel purpose: clean up this mes[s]

 

 

brock [5:52 AM]

 

joined post-debate from an invitation by @ekim

 

 

“Why correct the record, David, when you can just delete it?”

 

 

efink [5:55 AM]

 

the only good thing about it was that whoever that was, she looked pretty good. how tf did they do that?

 

By “this mess” they mean the voter reaction to the first debate. Fink is saying that “the only good thing about” the first debate is that “whoever she was” looked pretty good. As disturbing as it sounds, Fink is saying that he doesn’t know who the woman was in the first debate or how “they” pulled off the deception, but it worked. If you’re interested, I have written about this issue before here at CDP.

 

brock [5:56 AM]

 

i can’t talk [about how “they” put the woman into the debate]. very hush hush. still, we’ve lost every online poll and we need to get tough here. get this under control.

 

still, i hope we put the sick thing to bed.

 

In light of Hillary Clinton’s chronic health problems, it is hard not to conclude that Fink and “brock” are referring to her as ” the sick thing.”

 

ekim [5:59 AM]

 

i don’t see what’s so bad. She [“whoever that was”] looked really healthy! I thought she did GREAT!

 

she [i.e., Hillary Clinton, “the sick thing”] was scoring 3 on AMTS a couple of weeks ago and 22 on mmse. Yeah, whoever that was was normal.

 

AMTS means “Abbreviated Mental Test Score” and MMSE means “Mini Mental State Exam.” Both tests are used to assess confusion and cognitive impairment. So, how did “the sick thing” do?

 

There are ten questions on the AMTS, each worth 1 point. A score of 6 or less indicates dementia or delirium.

 

A couple weeks before the first debate, apparently Hillary Clinton scored a 3.

 

With a 22, she fared no better on the MMSE scale:

 

  • ≥25 – normal

  • 21 – 24 – mild impairment

  • 10 – 20 – moderate impairment

  • <10 – severe impairment

 

That level of cognitive impairment would have been obvious to everyone watching, but “whoever that was” in the first debate against Trump, “was normal.” Nevertheless, Fink is fuming.

 

efink [6:00]

 

but the telemetry sucks.  look at all the snap onlines: we’re losing 100%

 

 

ekim [6:01 AM]

 

but those don’t mean anything

 

efink [6:01 AM]

 

it means they’re enthusiastic. organized. if they [i.e., Trump supporters] can swarm a poll whats to stop them swarming a voting booth?

 

it also creates a counter-nar[rative]. the free press will sniff it. we have to stop the bleeding.

 

 

[but] don’t worry. we have something. GET SHAW OUT OF BED.

 

 

cshaw [6:06 AM]I read the [post-debate] round-up. It looked good?

 

brock [6:07 AM]

 

the round up my burning ass. I’m talking about the real world. Trump made her look like a girl. Today we hit back. We hit back hard.

 

 

efink [6:10 AM]

 

okay. guys, this is 18-2381 stuff. Got it?

 

 

“this is 18-2381 stuff”

 

cshaw [6:10 AM]

 

yes

 

ekim [6:10 AM]

 

yes sir.

 

efink [6:11 AM]

 

alright. … we need to start hurting people and that’s what this is about. This is about winning because we’ll never get a chance at this again. everything is justified. David?

 

brock [6:11 AM]

 

dramatic.

 

[6:13]

 

f**k–okay. so the Trump team is an emergent order. thirty million little chan and reddit a**holes that bump around and then congeal to vote in a poll or push a meme or make a hashtag trend or whatever. This is new. It isn’t like fighting a centrally organized campaign.

 

It’s more like fighting a disease.

 

[6:14]

 

So what we need to do is break the pattern. The usual means isn’t working. Trump’s too charismatic. Morale is too high. This is an army of chaos[,] folks.

 

so we have full clearance. Word of God.

 

Max Insider believes “Word of God” refers to Obama, and I’m inclined to agree.

 

brock [6:15 AM]

 

Fink–let’s do this. I have a plane to catch.

 

efink [6:16 AM]

 

uploaded and commented on an image: foxacid.jpg

 

 

This is a slide from an official NSA Powerpoint presentation that was released by Edward Snowden. Dated: 01/08/2007; To Be Declassified On: 11/23/2029

 

ekim [6:16 AM]Ew.

 

cshaw [6:16 AM]

 

i like it! wtf is it??

 

efink [6:17 AM]

 

This is manna from heaven, kids.

 

Max Insider also thinks “heaven” refers to the White House, where “Word of God” lives.

 

efink [6:18 AM]

 

We have the use of an NSA intrusion package. We are going to find the thought leaders. the meme-generators. … I need a target analysis for reddit, twitter, and the chans by tomorrow 5 PM.

 

You will monitor, identify, and using the FA [Foxacid] software set we have, identify/dox

 

On the Internet, “dox” means to reveal someone’s identity and personal information.

 

cshaw [6:18 AM]

 

that [Foxacid] will dox them??

 

efink [6:20 AM]

 

It will man-on-the-side [MotS] for the anon boards and intercept traffic. We can use that for IP addresses and loading tracking software and magic lantern onto their devices. …

 

 

Details from another slide in the same NSA Powerpoint presentation that Snowden released. “Magic Lantern” is data-tracking software used by the FBI.

 

ekim [6:26 AM]

 

What are we going to do with that?

 

brock [6:27 AM]

 

[do] u really want [to] f**king know, kim?

 

ekim [6:27 AM]

 

i’m good.

 

brock [6:28 AM]

 

u better be. I am going to get a plane. …

 

efink [6:30 AM]

 

Get those files together.

 

ekim [6:30 AM]

 

I’m on it. Do you know what brock is going to do with them? I do kind of want to know, sir.

 

efink [6:31 AM]

 

google Seth Rich and shut up about it.

 

END TRANSCRIPT

 

As Max Insider explains, “Seth Rich is the recently deceased (murdered) whistle-blower who gave information to Wikileaks.”

 

Is this authentic? We can’t know for sure, of course, but there seem to be too many real-world details that mesh together to reject it out of hand. If you ever had any doubt our own government was out to get us, wonder no more. The establishment is so terrified of the positive changes Donald Trump will make, that they’d rather commit treason and murder than let the people have a fair vote. As David Brock said, “This is about winning because we’ll never get a chance at this again. Everything is justified.”

 

 

 

 

Doug Band To John Podesta: “If This Story Gets Out, We Are Screwed”

Doug Band To John Podesta: “If This Story Gets Out, We Are Screwed”

Tyler Durden's picture

Until the Friday blockbuster news that the FBI was reopening its probe into the Hillary email server, the biggest overhang facing the Clinton Campaign was the escalating scandal involving the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s consultancy firm Teneo, and Bill Clinton who as a result of a leaked memo emerged was generously compensated for potential political favors by prominent corporate clients using Teneo as a passthru vehicle for purchasing influence.

In a section of the memo entitled “Leveraging Teneo For The Foundation,” Band spelled out all of the donations he solicited from Teneo “clients” for the Clinton Foundation.  In all, there are roughly $14mm of donations listed with the largest contributors being Coca-Cola, Barclays, The Rockefeller Foundation and Laureate International Universities. Some of these are shown below (the full details can be found in “Leaked Memo Exposes Shady Dealings Between Clinton Foundation Donors And Bill’s “For-Profit” Activities“)

Foundation Donations

 

Band also laid out the millions in speaking fees arranged by Teneo:

Foundation Donations

Further, the head of Teneo also offered the following commentary on the “$50 million in for-profit activity” he was able to secure for Bill Clinton (as of November 2011) as well as the “$66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements.”

 
 

Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities – including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements.  In that context, we have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementers to secure speaking, business and advisory service deals.  In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.  Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage  of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).

 

With respect to business deals for his advisory services, Justin and I found, developed and brought to President Clinton multiple arrangements for him to accept or reject. Of his current 4 arrangements, we secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships.  Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.

In effect, what Band was doing, as the NYT’s Nick Confessore summarized, “was selling his clients on idea that giving to foundation was, in essence, a way to bolster their influence. Clinton & Band built a platform for executives to bolster their companies’ images, bathe in BC’s praise, and do some good, while Teneo extracted earnings for Band and, depending on what you see in these e-mails, Clinton himself. Teneo paid Clinton until late ’11.

As Confessore also pointed out, “I guess you can wave it all off as a nothingburger. But Chelsea Clinton and some of Clinton’s other aides were clearly freaking out.”

And he concluded by saying “Generally, the emails show Clinton’s *own closest aides* troubled or horrified by things that her surrogates have spent years waving off.

Today, with this context, we focus on one particular email disclosed in the latest Podesta email release, in which an email from Doug Band to Cheryl Mills and John Podesta dated November 12, 2011, or just days before the abovementioned memo was sent out, admits that “I’m starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed.”

Here is the full email:

 
 

Need get this asap to them although I’m sure cvc [Chelsea Clinton] won’t believe it to be true bc she doesn’t want to Even though the facts speak for themselves.

 

John, I would appreciate your feedback and any suggestions I’m also starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed. Dk [Declan Kelly] and I built a business. 65 people work for us who have wives and husbands and kids, they all depend on us. Our business has almost nothing to do with the clintons, the foundation or cgi in any way. The chairman of ubs could care a less about cgi. Our fund clients who we do restructuring and m and a advising the same just as bhp nor tivo do. These are real companies who we provide real advice to through very serious people. Comm head for goldman, dep press secretary to bloomberg, former head of banking, and his team, from morgan stanley for asia and latin am.

 

I realize it is difficult to confront and reason with her but this could go to far and then we all will have a real serious set of other problems. I don’t deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things. She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life. I realize she will be off of this soon but if it doesn’t come soon enough…

Four years later, the story is out, not thanks to Chelsea Clinton as Doug Band was concerned, but due to a hack of John Podesta’s email account.

However, in light of the latest FBI scandal involving Anthony Weiner, It remains to be seen if either Band or the Clintons are screwed – it appears that the general public has more than enough distractions to forget about this potential graft scandal involving the Clintons and their influence-peddling clients.

Wikileaks, and other leaks, prove that Google Was Running An Organized Crime Operation To Rig The Government!

A Scandal Too Far? Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton, and a Test of Loyalty as Corruption, Lesbian Sex and Pedophilia Enter Presidential Race

A Scandal Too Far? Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton, and a Test of Loyalty

Photo

 
Huma Abedin boarded the Clinton campaign plane in Westchester County, N.Y., on Monday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

In the summer of 2013, Hillary Clinton had just left the State Department and returned to New York. She planned a quiet year, basking in sky-high approval ratings and enjoying a respite from the media spotlight as she laid the groundwork for a second presidential run.

Then Carlos Danger happened.

Anthony D. Weiner, the husband of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was running for mayor of New York when news broke that he had continued to exchange lewd messages with women online after the practice cost him his congressional seat. This time, he used the embarrassing Spanish-inspired moniker.

The tawdry story line and Ms. Abedin’s closeness to Mrs. Clinton made the events explode far beyond New York, dragging Mrs. Clinton’s name into messy headlines about penis pictures, Mr. Weiner’s descriptions of his sexual appetites and his online paramour named Sydney Leathers.

Now, with Mrs. Clinton seemingly on the cusp of winning the White House, Mr. Weiner, who once described himself as “a perpetually horny middle-aged man,” has pulled her into another drama. Federal investigators looking into his sexual messaging with an underage girl stumbled upon thousands of emails potentially pertinent to the F.B.I. inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.

Graphic

What We Know About the Investigation Into Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server

The F.B.I. recently uncovered new emails potentially related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

OPEN Graphic

The jolting development highlighted not only the intersecting lives of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner, but also the pattern that has characterized the Clintons’ relationships with the sometimes oddly behaving inhabitants of their insular world: Even amid accusations of sexual or financial impropriety, the Clintons’ first instinct is to hunker down and protect those in their orbit, sometimes leading to more ugly eruptions later and, eventually, to messy public breakups.

Continue reading the main story

On Friday, several of Mrs. Clinton’s friends and allies suggested she distance herself from Ms. Abedin, a painful prospect given that Mrs. Clinton has described Ms. Abedin as a surrogate daughter and has relied on her more than anyone else during her nearly two-year pursuit of the White House.

The two women’s closeness has both intimidated those in the Clinton circle of status-conscious advisers and caused envy. Even as Mrs. Clinton learned on Friday that the F.B.I.’s interest in her email server, which she thought had ended in July, had reignited, Ms. Abedin was by her side as she prepared to make a statement to the news media in Des Moines.

Pressed by a reporter there about the emails’ having been discovered during the investigation into Mr. Weiner’s sexting, Mrs. Clinton dismissed the reports as “rumors.”

“We of course stand by her,” her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, said on Saturday when asked whether Ms. Abedin would step down from the campaign.

Hillary Clinton has a 90% chance of winning the presidency.
 

Mrs. Clinton has always been circumspect about Mr. Weiner and her feelings toward him. She has steadfastly supported Ms. Abedin, 40, as the younger woman stood by her husband, despite the public ridicule and career damage that resulted from his behavior. The Clintons have never publicly criticized Mr. Weiner.

It was only two months ago that Ms. Abedin announced that she was separating from her husband, after she learned that The New York Post planned to publish a story reporting that Mr. Weiner had sent a picture of his crotch to a woman online as he lay next to the couple’s 4-year-old son in bed. Mrs. Clinton was vacationing in the Hamptons at the time and stayed away from the story.

Privately, aides to Mrs. Clinton suggested on Friday that Ms. Abedin would remain alongside Mrs. Clinton for the final, breakneck stretch of the campaign. But some senior Democrats are now wondering whether, if Mrs. Clinton is elected, she will be able to bring Ms. Abedin along with her for what was once widely expected to be a senior role in the White House.

Mrs. Clinton’s loyalty to Ms. Abedin (and vice versa) stems from the decades they have spent working closely together, beginning when Ms. Abedin was a 19-year-old intern to the first lady in the 1990s.

At the State Department, Ms. Abedin served as deputy chief of staff to Mrs. Clinton. Emails released by the State Department captured the closeness of their relationship. A jet-lagged Mrs. Clinton once emailed Ms. Abedin at 12:21 a.m. to take her up on an offer to come over to Mrs. Clinton’s house for a chat. “Just knock on the door to the bedroom if it’s closed,” she wrote.

Ms. Abedin’s loyalty and strong identification with both Clintons was conspicuous at the State Department. At a staff meeting in early 2009, she was going through a list of requests from “the president.” When others in the room looked at her in puzzlement, Ms. Abedin clarified: “Not President Obama. Our president: Bill Clinton.”

Ms. Abedin’s high profile and proximity to Mrs. Clinton also brought her scrutiny. Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has questioned Ms. Abedin’s arrangement to earn income privately while she worked for Mrs. Clinton at the State Department. In addition to being on Mrs. Clinton’s personal payroll, Ms. Abedin received money from the Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a consulting firm co-founded by Douglas J. Band, a former senior aide to Mr. Clinton. And some of Ms. Abedin’s emails on Mrs. Clinton’s private server led to accusations that foundation donors had received special access to the State Department.

Through it all, Mrs. Clinton and her longtime adviser Philippe Reines have fiercely protected Ms. Abedin.

Mrs. Clinton played a part in introducing Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner, then a brash and outspoken Democratic congressman from New York. In August 2001, the young congressman asked Ms. Abedin, then an aide to Mrs. Clinton in the Senate, if she would go out for a drink. Standing behind Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin waved her arms at her boss and shook her head “no.” “Of course all you young people should go out,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mr. Weiner eventually won Ms. Abedin’s affections in January 2007, when he sat between Mrs. Clinton and her rival, then-Senator Barack Obama, at President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address. “I appreciate you looking out for my boss,” Ms. Abedin texted him. They went out for coffee and were married in July 2010; Mr. Clinton performed the ceremony.

Slide Show

Slide Show|12 Photos

On the Trail: Week of Oct. 23

On the Trail: Week of Oct. 23

CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

Ms. Abedin and Mrs. Clinton’s personal lives have in some ways taken parallel tracks, with each woman choosing to forgive her husband’s humiliating transgressions.

Others close to Mrs. Clinton have not been as understanding. On a campaign conference call the day that Mr. Weiner admitted he had continued to engage in online liaisons, Mr. Reines berated him, yelling that he would “reach through the phone” and “rip out” his throat, adding an expletive.

On Saturday, Ms. Abedin was working from the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters rather than traveling with Mrs. Clinton on a campaign swing in Florida. Mr. Reines, who is not officially on the campaign’s staff, was, however, accompanying Mrs. Clinton.

Some advisers to the Clintons were exasperated earlier this year to learn that Mr. Weiner and Ms. Abedin were bringing about another distraction: The couple had permitted a behind-the-scenes documentary about Mr. Weiner’s circuslike mayoral bid to be made, resurrecting the sexting stories once again.

But deciding how to handle the current situation could be especially difficult. Cutting out employees who prove politically damaging may seem like Politics 101, but for the Clintons, it has never been easy, particularly when it comes to their oldest and most loyal aides. Ms. Abedin and Mr. Band both started as White House interns, spent their formative years working for the Clintons and ultimately brought unwelcome headlines to their bosses.

Before the email news broke on Friday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign was answering questions about Mr. Band’s private consulting firm, Teneo, and its ties to the Clinton Foundation. “I think voters, first of all, understand that Hillary Clinton is the candidate that’s on the ballot, not Doug Band,” her campaign manager, Robby Mook, told reporters on Friday.

It remained to be seen whether he would soon need to say the same of Ms. Abedin.

Senators Seek Arrest Of Huma Abedin: New Evidence Shows Abedin Lied To FBI “Under Oath” as Weiner Pedophile Investigation Reaches Climax

ReutersWHAT HAPPENED? Huma Abedin Swore Under Oath She Gave Up ‘All the Devices’ With State Dept. EmailsThe FBI found emails pertinent to its Clinton investigation, reportedly on a computer from her aide’s home. That doesn’t jibe with she told lawyers this summer.

M.L. Nestel

Jackie Kucinich

10.29.16 12:27 PM ET

In a normal election year, a normal candidate’s close aide who caused even minor embarrassment to a campaign so near to Election Day would be whisked away as quickly as possible to avoid becoming a distraction. 

But Huma Abedin is not simply a close aide, she’s a critical member of Hillary Clinton’s tiny inner circle that protects and at times enables the deeply flawed and secretive Democratic nominee. 

So despite FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau is reviewing emails from Abedin’s time at the State Department reportedly found on a laptop she shared with her soon-to-be ex-husband Anthony Weiner (confiscated as a part of the FBI’s investigation into allegations he sexted with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl), the campaign made clear on Saturday that she’s not going anywhere. 

John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign, told reporters on a conference call that Abedin had been nothing but cooperative with investigators and sat for hours of depositions last summer as part of the civil lawsuit filed byJudicial Watch.

“There’s nothing that she’s done that we think calls into question anything that she’s done with respect to this investigation… we fully stand behind her,” Podesta said.

But the new information that the FBI found State Department-related email on her home laptop also calls into question whether Abedin in fact turned over all of the devices she used to send and receive email while working at State.  

On June 28, 2016, Abedin said under oath in a sworn deposition that she looked for all devices that she thought contained government work on them so the records could be given to the State Department. (These records were subsequently reviewed by the FBI.)

“How did you go about searching for what records you may have in your possession to be returned to the State Department?” Attorney Ramona Cotca for Judicial Watch asked her.

“I looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department work on it and returned returned gave them to my attorneys for them to review for all relevant documents. And gave them devices and paper,” Abedin answered.

Cotca then asked Abedin specifically what devices she gave her attorneys.

“If memory serves me correctly, it was two laptops, a BlackBerry, and some files that I found in my apartment,” Abedin said, adding the BlackBerry was associated with her Clintonemail.com account. 

Abedin maintained that she was “not involved in the process” of what records on her devices would be given to the State Department.

“I provided them [her attorneys] with the devices and the materials and asked them to find whatever they thought was relevant and appropriate, whatever was their determination as to what was a federal record, and they did. They turned the materials in, and I know they did so….”

Abedin was asked whether she supplied her login, password and other credentials to her “Clintonmail.com” account so that her attorneys could eyeball “all of the emails that were on that account” Abedin said she had. 

Pressed how she was sure, Abedin said, “I cannot answer that question.”

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Abedin said her practice was to rely on her State Department email through her laptop and BlackBerry for the “vast majority of my work” but acknowledged her personal account was a de facto business account too. 

“I used that for the Clinton family matters and, frankly, I used it for my own personal e-mail, as well,” she testified. 

Abedin helped set up a private email address for Clinton at the start of her tenure as Secretary of State, according to State Department emails. In one email, Clinton wrote Abedin on Nov. 12, 2010: “…I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

Asked about this exchange in her deposition, Abedin said she interpreted Clinton’s words to mean the Secretary of State hoped personal matters would “not accessible to anybody.”

“I would imagine anybody who has personal e-mail doesn’t want that personal e-mail to be read by anybody else,” Abedin said. 

Asked whether the decision was made to deliberately avoid public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act, Abedin responded, “I absolutely do not believe that no.” 

When told she used her Clintonmail.com address for “State-related matters,” Abedin didn’t deny it. 

“Yes. There were occasions when I did do that, correct,” she said.

But Abedin said she rarely deleted emails when it came to her official State Department email account or her personal Huma@Clintonemail.com.

“My practice with my Clinton e-mail was similar to what I had with my State account, which is that I left everything in in the Inbox, and I transitioned to a new e-mail once the Secretary’s office was set up, her personal office post State Department. And I was and I no longer used Clinton e-mail.”

Abedin added that just before she left the State Department and “ceased” using her Clintonemail.com account, she couldn’t “recall how many [e-mails] were returned … I certainly don’t recally how many was on was on the account. I just left everything on what on the system, I guess.”

It appears that Abedin amassed emails on her computers and government-issued BlackBerry that she thought were automatically purged. 

 

“The e-mails on my State Department system existed on my computer, and I didn’t have a practice of managing my mailbox other than leaving what was in there sitting in there. 

“So for my BlackBerry, if I exceeded the limit, I think it auto deleted. But, no, I didn’t … go into my e-mails and delete State.gov e-mails. They just lived on my computer.”

Abedin said she didn’t keep any paper printouts of any of the correspondence that may have been deleted or otherwise lost.

“Honestly, I wish I thought about it at the time. As I said, I wasn’t perfect. I tried to do all of my work on State.gov. And I do believe I did the majority of my work on State.gov.

“And many of the instances where I was on Clinton e-mail, it was because I had forwarded something from a State.gov account into Clinton e-mail, and in other instances from my Clinton e-mail I was communicating with somebody who was on a State.gov account, and it was captured through there. I did the best I could to do everything right. It did not occur to me to print and file.”

Abedin was asked if she had “any concerns” about Clinton’s use of her private email server for State Department business.

“I assumed it was allowed,” Abedin answered. “It didn’t occur to us.”

Judicial Watch followed up, asking why no one inquired with a State Department official in charge of managing records to make sure it was allowed.

 
 

“We all wish we could go back and that not be the case,” Abedin, a wish that must only be greater 10 days before voters decide her boss’s fate.

Are lithium ion batteries setting our planes on fire?


O'HARE SCARE: AMERICAN AIR FLIGHT CATCHES FIRE ON RUNWAY...

AT LEAST 20 INJURED...

VIDEO...

FEDEX plane catches fire at Ft Lauderdale airport...

Google’s Karim Faris Shows Up In Pedophile Smear Campaign Against Wikileaks

Hillary Clinton Linked To Mysterious Front Associated with Julian Assange Pedophile Smear

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Joseph Jankowski of Planet Free Will

Yesterday, WikiLeaks put out a serious of tweets informing the public that Julian Assange had been attacked in a smear campaign pushed by a “front” group and U.S. democratic media.

The DailyKos put out a report on Oct. 17 that WikiLeaks describes as a “smear campaign plot to falsely accuse Julian Assange of pedophilia.”

“An unknown entity posing as an internet dating agency prepared an elaborate plot to falsely claim that Julian Assange received US$1M from the Russian government and a second plot to frame him sexually molesting an eight year old girl,” WikiLeaks said in a press release Tuesday.

The press release went on: “The second plot includes the filing of a fabricated criminal complaint in the Bahamas, a court complaint in the UK and laundering part of the attack through the United Nations. The plot happened durring WikiLeaks’ Hillary Clinton related publications, but the plot may have its first genesis in Mr. Assange’s 16 months litigation against the UK in the UN system, which concluded February 5 (Assange won. UK and Sweden lost & US State Dept tried to pressure the WGAD according to its former Chair, Prof. Mads Andenas).”

The DailyKos reported that a Canadian family holidaying in the Bahamas reported to the police that their 8-year-old daughter was “sexually molested online” by Assange on Toddandclare.com.

Julian Assange’s legal team provided a timeline in the press release which showed that the self-claimed dating agency ToddAndClare.com contacted WikiLeaks’ defense team offering one million dollars for Assange to appear in a video advertisement for the “dating agency”.

Assange’s defense wrote back, stating that the proposal appeared to be an “elaborate scam designed to entrap Mr. Assange’s reputation into unwanted and unwarranted publicity.”

WikiLeaks was able to trace down the address of the front, posting an image on twitter of what appears to be a warehouse or garage.

Internet sleuths from Reddit were able to dig up some information about the dating service pushing the attacks on Assange, finding that the company shares the address with a private intelligence corporation named Premise Data Corporation.

Interestingly, Larry Summers, who is connected to the Clinton Campaign, is on the board of directors of Premise Data Corporation.

Here is the Reddit post that lays out the findings:

As other Redditors point out, the Center for American Progress was founded by Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and was funded by billionaire and pro-Clintonite George Soros.

Connecting the front to Clinton further, co-founder of Premise Data David Soloff has met with both Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine this year.

With Julian Assange spearheading the Podesta leaks, which have revealed and highlighted many shady dealings of both the Clinton campaign and Clinton Foundation, it is highly unlikely that it’s a coincidence a Clinton connected group shares the same address of the smear pushing front.

As one Redditor so laughably put it, “If this was merely a coincidence, then I’m the queen of England.”

As we reported yesterday, Fox News had told its audience Tuesday morning that Assange would be arrested “maybe in a matter of hours,” leading to the speculation that there could have been a plot to arrest Assange over the pedophilia accusations.

WikiLeaks revealed yesterday that multiple U.S. sources had told them that Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Ecuador stop Wikileaks from publishing documents damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign back in September, which, if true, proves that there has been previous attempt to silence Assange by the U.S. establishment.

FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE Steal your privacy and sell it to spy operations

Facebook Faces High Profile Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition Technology “DeepFace”

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

As the technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous and far more accurate, facial recognition and the lack of any laws or regulations around the practice is slowly starting to enter mainstream consciousness. It’s a very important issue that isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

For example, as I highlighted in the recent post, Half of American Adults Exist in a Government Accessible Facial Recognition Network:

Half of all American adults are already in some sort of facial recognition network accessible to law enforcement, according to a comprehensive new study.

 

Conducted over a year and relying in part on Freedom of Information and public record requests to 106 law enforcement agencies, the study, conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, found American police use of facial recognition technology is a scattered, hodgepodge network of laws and regulations.

 

“Looking at the sum total of what we found, there have been no laws that comprehensively regulate face recognition technology, and there’s really no case law either,” Clare Garvie, an associate at the CPT, told Vocativ. “So we find ourselves having to rely on the agencies that are using that technology to rein it in. But what we found is that not every system — by a long shot — has a use policy.” 

With that in mind, Bloomberg published an interesting article yesterday covering a couple of lawsuits against Facebook and Google regarding their facial recognition practices.

Here’s some of what we learned:

 

While millions of internet users embrace the tagging of family and friends in photos, others worried there’s something devious afoot are trying block Facebook as well as Google from amassing such data.

 

As advances in facial recognition technology give companies the potential to profit from biometric data, privacy advocates see a pattern in how the world’s largest social network and search engine have sold users’ viewing histories for advertising. The companies insist that gathering data on what you look like isn’t against the law, even without your permission.

 

If judges agree with Facebook and Google, they may be able to kill off lawsuits filed under a unique Illinois law that carries fines of $1,000 to $5,000 each time a person’s image is used without permission — big enough for a liability headache if claims on behalf of millions of consumers proceed as class actions. A loss by the companies could lead to new restrictions on using biometrics in the U.S., similar to those in Europe and Canada.

 

Facebook declined to comment on its court fight. Google declined to comment on pending litigation.

 

Facebook encourages users to “tag” people in photographs they upload in their personal posts and the social network stores the collected information. The company uses a program it calls DeepFace to match other photos of a person. Alphabet Inc.’s cloud-based Google Photos service uses similar technology.

 

The billions of images Facebook is thought to be collecting could be even more valuable to identity thieves than the names, addresses, and credit card numbers now targeted by hackers, according to privacy advocates and legal experts.

 

And just how good is Facebook’s technology? According to the company’s research, DeepFace recognizes faces with an accuracy rate of 97.35 percent compared with 97.5 percent for humans — including mothers.

 

Rotenberg said the privacy concerns are twofold: Facebook might sell the information to retailers or be forced to turn it over to law enforcement — in both cases without users knowing it.

Now here’s some history on Facebook and facial recognition.

Facebook v. Privacy Law

December 2005 — Facebook introduces photo tagging

 

October 2008 — Illinois adopts Biometric Information Privacy Act

 

June 2012 — Facebook acquires Israeli facial recognition developer Face.com

 

September 2012 — Facebook ceases facial recognition in Europe

 

2015-2016 — Facebook, Google, Shutterfly and Snapchat sued under Illinois biometrics law. Shutterfly settles confidentially.

 

May 2016 — Illinois lawmaker proposes excluding photos from biometrics law, then shelves bill after privacy advocates complain

 

October 2016 — Facebook makes second attempt to get biometrics lawsuit thrown out

 

The Facebook case is In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, 15-cv-03747, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). The Google cases are Rivera v. Google, 16-cv-02714, and Weiss v. Google, 16-cv-02870, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For prior articles on the topic, see:

Half of American Adults Exist in a Government Accessible Facial Recognition Network

The FBI Unveils its Controversial Facial Recognition Database with 52 Million Photos to be Stored

 

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in Facial Recognition Database by 2015

Retail Big Brother – Mannequins Are Now Using Facial Recognition Technology

Meet “BOSS”: The Department of Homeland Security’s Facial Scanning Program

Hillary Clinton Wants To Get More Women In The Military And It’s AWESOME

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton Wants To Get More Women In The Military And It’s AWESOME

Beginning last night, the Clinton campaign began running web advertisements encouraging more women to join the fight against Russian far-right oppression. YAS!

posted on Oct. 28, 2016, at 7:45 a.m.

TylerBrandon

Community User
This post was created by a user and has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed’s editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!
 
 
 
 
 

 

Yes. YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes.

 

Yes. YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes.

There is absolutely no reason why women are not as capable of fighting a war as men are.

 

Slay.

 

Slay.

Heck, I even think most women I know could beat me up! This one perfectly displays America’s unity and strength through diversity.

 

Perfection.

 

Perfection.

I don’t even have to say anything here. It speaks for itself.

 

Amazing.

 

Amazing.

For too long, women (especially women of color, or WOC) have been told they cannot hold their own in war against a man. My wife would be glad to prove Putin wrong!

 

Really makes me think…

 

Really makes me think...

I wonder what Donald will have to say about this one… I’m sure my wife would be proud to stand up to Russia’s homophobic and Christian ways. #ImWithHer #EnlistForHillary #DraftOurDaughters

Remember to vote November

SHOCKER Political Stories Coming In Rapid Fire

Most Damaging WikiLeaks (mostdamagingwikileaks.com)

submitted 8 hours ago by Troll to whatever (+66|-4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FBI reopening Clinton email investigation

FBI reopening Clinton email investigation (thehill.com)

 

submitted 3 hours ago by Alois_sticklgruber to news (+58|-0)

 

EFF says AT&T is RAPING AMERICANS: AT&T Spy Program is the worst of the bunch so far

TIME TO USE ANY CARRIER EXCEPT AT&T

October 27, 2016 | By Adam Schwartz

AT&T Requires Police to Hide AT&T Hemisphere Phone Spying

AT&T logo turning into an eye

AT&T built a powerful phone surveillance tool for police, called Hemisphere. Every day, AT&T adds four billion call records to Hemisphere, making it one of the largest known reservoirs of communications metadata that the government uses to spy on us. Law enforcement officials kept Hemisphere “under the radar” for many years—hidden from courts, legislators, and the general public—until the New York Times exposed the program in 2013. EFF sued federal and state law enforcement officials to obtain records about Hemisphere, in part to better understand how and why police kept such a massive spying database secret for so long.

New documents published by The Daily Beast earlier this week reveal that AT&T required this corrosive secrecy. Specifically, the contract AT&T prepared for police seeking access to Hemisphere provides:

[T]he Government agency agrees not to use the data as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceedings unless there is no other available and admissible probative evidence. The Government Agency shall make every effort to insure that information provided by the Contractor is non-attributable to AT&T if the data is provided to a third-party.

In other words, the first rule of Hemisphere is: you do not talk about Hemisphere. We knew this is the government’s rule. Now we know this is AT&T’s rule, too.

What do police do with the Hemisphere evidence that they cannot talk about? According to a Hemisphere training document, police must “wall off” that evidence, and then recreate it with a traditional subpoena. Police call this “parallel construction.” EFF calls it “evidence laundering.”

The harms of secrecy

This secrecy—imposed by AT&T—is highly disturbing for many reasons. Three deserve emphasis.

First, this secrecy hides Hemisphere from democratic oversight. Hemisphere enables police to map our intimate social relationships by data-mining massive amounts of our call records, usually without a warrant. Yet because of Hemisphere’s secrecy, judges cannot rule on whether the program violates the Fourth Amendment. Legislators cannot oversee the program and enact appropriate legislation. Voters cannot hold their elected officials accountable. Everyone is in the dark, except for a small number of law enforcement and corporate executives, who unilaterally decided to impose this highly intrusive program on the rest of us.

Second, this secrecy deprives criminal defendants of their constitutional right to a fair trial. Under Brady v. Maryland, police must disclose favorable evidence to the defense. When police hide their sources of evidence, the accused cannot challenge the quality or veracity of the government’s investigation, or seek out favorable information still in the government’s possession. Moreover, hiding evidence from individuals who are prosecuted as a result of such surveillance is antithetical to our fundamental right to an open criminal justice system.

Third, the new revelation clarifies AT&T’s role in the Hemisphere program. AT&T suggests that all it is doing is passively responding to lawful government demands for information about its customers. In fact, AT&T actively imposes secrecy on police who wish to use AT&T’s Hemisphere program. AT&T’s motives for imposing this secrecy are not presently known. Perhaps AT&T is seeking to avoid public scrutiny of its Hemisphere business model, which earns millions of dollars from police officials in exchange for access to private phone records that AT&T retains for many years longer than its competitors do.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time that police and corporations worked together to hide from the public their deployment of highly invasive spying tools. For example, corporate nondisclosure agreements contributed to years of secrecy about police use of cell site simulators, often called “Stingrays,” which masquerade as cell phone towers and thus force all phones in the area to disclose sensitive information to the police.

Next steps

We must fully expose Hemisphere to the light of public scrutiny. EFF has used public records laws to uncover many Hemisphere records, and we will add any other documents we obtain to our public library of Hemisphere records.

Looking forward, we must stop the police and their corporate suppliers from unilaterally and secretly deploying new surveillance technologies in the first place. Rather, the decision whether to adopt these sensitive tools should be made by elected officials, at open meetings, following ample opportunity for the general public to study the matter and have their voices heard. EFF supports a national campaign to enact laws requiring this process. In many cases, an informed citizenry and their elected officials will say “no” to new spying tools. In other cases, elected officials will impose necessary privacy safeguards.

AT&T and the police tried to keep Hemisphere secret. They failed. The time has come to end the Hemisphere program. As a matter of constitutional law and basic privacy principles, the police should not be allowed, without case-by-case judicial oversight, to scrutinize our social relationships with a database of trillions of phone records.

WEINER-GATE ERUPTS!

New Emails in Clinton Case Came From Devices Once Used by Anthony Weiner

Photo

 
Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton on the campaign’s plane on Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Newly discovered emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server were found after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices once shared by Anthony D. Weiner and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton, federal law enforcement officials said Friday.

The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, and that they “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”

Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. was taking steps to “determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He said he did not know how long it would take to review the emails, or whether the new information was significant.

 

Document: Letter to Congress From F.B.I. Director on Clinton Email Case

Mr. Trump has fallen behind Mrs. Clinton in most national polls and in many key states. Polls have been tightening in recent days, however, amid the daily release of hacked Clinton campaign emails published by WikiLeaks.

Mr. Trump seized on the F.B.I. action on Friday at a rally in New Hampshire. To cheers of “lock her up” from his supporters, Mr. Trump said: “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.”

After deriding the F.B.I. for weeks as inept and corrupt, Mr. Trump went on to praise the law enforcement agency.

“I have great respect for the fact that the F.B.I. and the D.O.J. are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” Mr. Trump said, referring also to the Department of Justice. “This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”

The Clinton campaign called on Mr. Comey to provide information beyond what was put forth in the letter.

“Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the director himself notes they may not even be significant,” said John D. Podesta, chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

He added: “It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”

Mrs. Clinton, arriving Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, waved at members of the media gathered on the tarmac but ignored shouted questions.

The Republican National Committee cheered the new attention on Mrs. Clinton’s emails as a potential turning point in the race.

“The F.B.I.’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be,” Reince Priebus, the Republican committee chairman, said in a statement. “This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”

In September, Mr. Comey announced that the F.B.I. had closed the investigation after determining that no one should face criminal charges. But Mr. Comey did criticize Mrs. Clinton and her aides for what he termed the “extremely careless” handling of sensitive information.

Reddit Users Declare War On Hillary’s and Elon Musk’s Paid Internet Trolls

Reddit Users Declare War On Hillary’s and Elon Musk’s Paid Internet Trolls

Photo of Peter Hasson

Peter Hasson
Reporter, Associate Editor
 
 

Reddit users (also known as redditors) are growing increasingly angry at pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee (PAC) Correct The Record over its efforts to promote a pro-Hillary narrative on the site.

Redditors are especially concerned that Correct The Record’s paid internet commenters are suppressing revelations from WikiLeaks’ release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, which have produced a flood of damaging revelations about the Clinton campaign.

A Reddit mascot is shown at the company   A Reddit mascot is shown at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Reddit, which describes itself as “a source for what’s new and popular on the web” is divided into thousands of “subreddits,” which the site describes as “sub-communities, each focused on a specific topic.”

Whether or not a post does well on Reddit (and, consequently, how large of an audience it reaches) largely depends on how many “upvotes” and “downvotes” it receives.

Correct The Record is open about its efforts to combat “lies and misleading narratives about Secretary Hillary Clinton” on Reddit, to which it devoted one million dollars.

A coordinated effort to “downvote” a post could keep it from reaching a large audience on the site.

Due to the anonymity the site provides its users, however, it’s impossible to know the extent of Correct The Record’s Reddit campaign.

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But some Redditors are nevertheless sure that the PAC is actively trying to suppress negative stories about Hillary Clinton from the Podesta emails.

 

One community where Correct The Record appears to be unpopular is the subreddit /r/WikiLeaks, which has more than 60,000 subscribers and is devoted to WikiLeaks-related news and topics.

“It looks like CTR is out in force and getting smarter. Don’t waste your time arguing, just dig!” one user posted on /r/WikiLeaks Wednesday, adding: “Don’t let them eat up your time. Get to work digging or spreading. They’re wasting cash on man hours, don’t let them eat up yours.”

The PAC is similarly unpopular on the subreddit /r/DNCLeaks, which was originally devoted to crowdsourcing findings from WikiLeaks’ release of emails from the Democratic National Committee but has since been repurposed to crowdsourcing revelations from the Podesta emails.

That subreddit has more than 17,000 subscribers and averages 200 new subscribers every day, one of the moderators told The Daily Caller.

One of the top posts on /r/DNCLeaks right now states, “CTR is in here heavy today. Make sure you are generous with your upvotes and downvotes to counteract these jerks.” That post currently has 1,143 points (the number of upvotes a post receives, minus the number of downvotes).

“I think they are making a final 2 week desperate push for their terrible candidate,” reads one of the post’s top comments, from a Redditor who goes by the username “SchlangeHatRecht.”

“Stupid CTR slaves… Get a life and/or a conscience instead of being a propaganda slave for a power that apparantly needs propaganda,” another user –“letusfake” — commented.

“CTR is being shifty. They downvote comments to ‘1’ but not below so it doesn’t look like them shilling. They’re trying to make us seem low energy; we’re not. We’re MAGA!” reads one popular post on subreddit /r/The_Donald, which is the largest pro-Trump subreddit on the site with more than 240,000 subscribers.

“CTR Downvoted the HELL out of my post proving the Podesta emails are verified to be 100% real and accurate. Here’s the PROOF again. (don’t let them downvote it again)” another person posted on /r/The_Donald on Thursday.

Whether or not, Correct The Record is doing what some Redditors say they’re doing — the PAC didn’t respond to an interview request from TheDC by press time — many reddit users believe the group is indeed suppressing negative stories about Hillary from the Podesta emails.

And it doesn’t look like those beliefs will change anytime soon.

In the words of redditor “sockselgato,” “CTR is here to stay, even after this bad joke of an election and it is our duty as responsible and truth-abiding citizens to quash this wretched Thinkpol into oblivion.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Elon Musk’s Lithium ion batteries get Amazon sued after hoverboard fire destroys $1M house

Family sues Amazon after hoverboard fire destroys $1M house

They’re calling it the largest hoverboard seizure ever in the United States. Customs and Border Protection announced on Wednesday that they confiscated 16,000 so-called hoverboards from a suburban Chicago warehouse. Wochit

NASHVILLE — A Nashville family whose $1 million home was destroyed earlier this year in a fire caused by a hoverboard toy is suing Amazon saying the retail giant knowingly sold a dangerous product.

“The Foxes contend that Amazon and its various subsidiaries had information about the danger of this product well in advance of the Jan. 9 fire, and on top of that, they had notice, they should have known the product was being misrepresented on their website,” Steve Anderson, of the Nashville law firm Anderson & Reynolds PLC, said.

Anderson represents the six-member Fox family, whose home was destroyed. The father, Brian Fox, rescued two of his children from the second floor of the burning home, according to fire officials and the lawsuit.

“The most horrific thing was obviously the episode that day and trying to rescue these two teenagers, and the profound impact on them,” Anderson said. “It’s also important to consider that literally in a matter of few minutes every single personal possession of this entire family was destroyed. The only things that remained were their vehicles and handful of books and pictures they were able to find that had water damage they were able to dry out. In the blink of an eye it was all gone.”

The lawsuit says the seller of the hoverboard listed online, “W-Deals,” is a sham organization that is registered to an apartment in New York City that has not responded to requests from lawyers in the case. It alleges the family was sold a counterfeit product from China instead of a brand with a Samsung lithium ion battery they believed they were buying from Amazon.

It says Tennessee product liability law holds a seller responsible if the manufacturer cannot be found.

“We’ve spent months investigating it and to this day I don’t know who manufactured this product, and it doesn’t appear that Amazon does,” Anderson said. He said Amazon charged and shipped the hoverboard.

The lawsuit names 10 defendants, including Amazon and retailers on its sites, and says they are responsible. A representative of Amazon said the company does not comment on pending cases.

The lawsuit seeks $30 million in damages and asks a jury to weigh additional financial penalties against the retailer. Nashville Fire Department officials said a hoverboard caught fire on Jan. 9, destroying a 4,000-square-foot $1 million home on Radcliff Drive, near Edwin Warner Park.

In addition to costly losses of all of the family’s possessions, the lawsuit says the family should be compensated for physical injuries and emotional distress.

Security footage inside an Illinois home shows a room engulfed in flames after the owner says a hoverboard exploded. (Feb. 26) AP

Hoverboards, a popular Christmas gift in 2015, are now largely known for mechanical issues like overheating and causing blazes or explosions. Amazon later banned the sale of some hoverboards citing safety concerns.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in Davidson County Circuit Court.

Follow Stacey Barchenger on Twitter: @sbarchenger

Nashville hoverboard lawsuit by TNdigital on Scribd

LEAKED MEMO PROVIDES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SHOCKER:

“…We have over a million documents and evidential items which prove the following facts:

Silicon Valley was promised the Afghanistan mining fields, from the Afghan War, by Obama’s
campaign staff. The Silicon Valley Cartel was going to use the lithium and indium from those mines to
make Tesla’s, Fiskers and Solyndra tubes.

Kleiner Perkins, Draper Fisher, Greylock, and other Silicon Valley VC firms, along with Elon Musk,
John Doerr, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Steve Westly and other corrupt VC’s traded “cleantech” market
exclusives for economic rigging.

What the Obama Campaign got out of the scam:
– Over $16B of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. social media and search engine manipulation
to rig voter perception in violation of FEC disclosure laws
– Revolving door jobs
– Super PAC cash financed by The Cartel
– Cash from family trusts, employees and contractors
– Insider trading tips from the Cartel worth tens of millions of dollars
– Actual stock warrants in Google and other Cartel companies
– Huge donations from Cartel financier Goldman Sachs
– The White House
– And more…

What the Silicon Valley Cartel got out of the scam:
– Hundreds of jobs in and around the White House in positions where they could control paten ts,
government contracts and federal budgets to their advantage
– Revolving door jobs
– Stand-down orders, by the White House, on FTC monopoly investigations
– Federal Reserve decisions which almost exclusively benefited Elon Musk and the Cartel
– Stand-down orders, by the White House, on IRS off-shore tax evasion investigations
– Falsified valuations of their companies for stock market pump-and-dumps
– Stand-down orders, by the White House, on SEC investigations of stock market pump-and-dumps
– Layoffs at NASA which were replaced by hard-wired contracts to The Cartel
– Free federal jet fuel for The Cartel’s private jets
– More White House visits and private meetings than anybody in the U.S.A., including members of
Congress
– Stand-down orders, by the White House, on FBI investigations of stock market pump-and-dumps
– Cover-ups and stand-down of a much needed Special Prosecutor, by Eric Holder
– Reduced banking regulation of The Cartel’s accounts
– Stand-down of investigations into Cartel partner Goldman Sachs
– White House supported sabotage, character assassination, stone-walling and targeting of The Cartel’s
competitors
– White House sponsored attacks from Gawker Media, Think Progress, Media Matters and In-Q-Tel
against the enemies of the Cartel
– And more…”

SEE THE REST AT http://xyzcase.xyz

SHOCKING NEW FEATURE FILM REVEALS THE CORRUPT VOTE RIGGING IN NATIONAL MAINSTREAM NEWS

Independent journalists Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Matt Taibbi and others are changing the face of journalism, providing investigative, alternatives to mainstream, corporate news outlets.  Greenwald was the lead reporter on the revelations of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Scahill wrote Dirty Wars – the book and Oscar-nominated film on secret U.S. government assassinations. Our cameras follow as they expose government and corporate deception – just as the ground breaking journalist I.F. Stone did decades ago.

 

With government deception rampant, and intrusion of state surveillance into private life never more egregious, many journalists are finding that to aggressively investigate governments rather than act as “stenographers to power”, they need to abandon mainstream corporate news media to work at alternative, web-based sites.

 

 

A timely documentary for audiences who are more now than ever seeking alternatives to news media owned by huge corporations.  All Governments Lie will change the way you watch and read the news forever.

 
https://www.allgovernmentslie.com
 
 
“What every aspiring journalist needs to know to battle the news media’s laziness, celebrity obsession and for-profit strategies”NOW Magazine
 
“Riveting”The Globe and Mail
 
“Convincing”The Varsity
 
“A compelling study”POV magazine
 
“A nuanced primer about the value and legacy of investigative journalism”Toronto Life
 
“A labour or love. The timing of the doc is fortuitous”Toronto Star
 

MEN HAVE NEEDS AND IT IS TIME WE ACCEPTED THAT!

MEN HAVE NEEDS AND IT IS TIME WE ACCEPTED THAT!

 

 

 

By Paula Reedly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it fair that we put men on trial because they have built-in brain cells that force them to rape and start fights and make wars?

 

 

 

Are all of these politicians, that we are accusing of “rape”, really rapists? Were they not just acting like men and nothing more?

 

 

 

Men are the ones who control the money and they decide how to control women with access to that money. Men get their money because they take it with their raping, war-mongering aggressive animal instincts. Women love that. There are millions of books, movies and TV shows about the nice girl who falls for the dirty, sweaty, scruffy scumbag guy. The WC TV channel is almost entirely about that.

 

 

 

Women with the right bone structure and high metabolism can get any man they want but only the man with cash can get any women that he wants. It is the filthiest, dirtiest most rape-happy kinds of men that are going to fight their way to the top to get that cash for a hot lady. That is what ladies want. The line: “Take me” occurs in more feature films than almost any other line. It is spoken breathlessly by a very attractive starlet. It IS how women seem to want it or women would boycott Sony Pictures and Universal Studios when those kinds of movies come out.

 

All of these billionaires are turning up in Wikileaks as just common criminals. They cheat on their taxes. Bribe politicians. Kick women. Slap restaurant staff. Drive douchebag cars like Tesla’s and truly are exceptional douchebags. Women love that. Only the criminals end up rich.

 

 

So, from now on, when you hear about some guy “raping all these women” or “Gassing all these Jews” or some other peccadillo, remember: This is just how men are. Go on about your day and just think to yourself “oh, boy, those guys…what a bunch of lil’ dickens they are..”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington Post Newspaper Receives Largest Brand Perception Value Drop in History

http://www.propcott.com/p/boycott-washington-post-completely-for-their-biased-reporting-donald-tru-46

Did Amazon Buy The Washington Post simply to rig the elections?

Is the good ole’ Washington Post now just a bunch of sell-out hacks?

Has The Washington Post destroyed it’s own brand?

 

Boycott Washington Post COMPLETELY for their biased reporting of …

Unsubscribe, unlike, or unfollow anything related to Washington Post including their social media, newspaper subscriptions, or digital content subscriptions, etc.

 

Boycotting the Washington Post | War Is A Crime .org

Today one of the member organizations of our coalition, Democrats.com, announced a boycott of the Washington Post: http://www.democrats.com/boycott– wp.

 

Boycott the Washington Post – Craigslist

Oct 9, 2016 … Goal: To make the Washington Post accountable for it’s inexcusable actions. Why : Throughout this political season, the Washington Post has …

 

Trump blasts Washington Post and Jeff Bezos (again) – GeekWire

Jun 13, 2016 … Bezos: Candidate bans Washington Post, gripes again about ‘owners of Amazon’ . by Alan …. Boycott the Washington Post and Amazon. I hope …

Candidates Should Boycott Univision/Washington Post Forum

MRC President Brent Bozell: All Candidates Should Boycott Univision/ Washington Post Forum. RESTON, VA – Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent …

 

Boycott The Washington Post | Facebook

The RINJ Foundation Explains Why Washington Post Boycott … (06/11/2014) – In a post to the Washington Post’s Facebook Page The RINJ Foundation …

BRITSH NEWS DESTROYS CNN BIAS

 

WATCH British Journalist calls CNN the Clinton News Network, "Your coverage is totally biased. CNN polls are meaningless"

WATCH British Journalist calls CNN the Clinton News Network, “Your coverage is totally biased. CNN polls are meaningless” (youtube.com)

submitted 33 minutes ago by kimko01 to news (+3|-0)

U.S. Government Offers Petition To Remove Rigged Voting Machines. You can sign it to help reform the vote

 

Petition to remove George Soros owned voting machines is over 100,000

Petition to remove George Soros owned voting machines is over 100,000 (petitions.whitehouse.gov)

submitted 8 hours ago by PlasmaDistortion to news (+253|-0)

Facebook’s Free Basics Is an African Dictator’s Dream: Zuckerberg Exploits Blacks in Africa

Facebook’s Free Basics Is an African Dictator’s Dream: Zuckerberg Exploits Blacks in Africa

– The tech giant’s no-frills app gives governments a version of the internet they can influence, if not totally control.

– Zuckerberg loves exploiting blacks and Mexicans for his political power games!

– Dictator Zuckerberg sees himself as “The Jesus of the Africans”

– Most view “Free Basics” as a political mind control scam

BY NAN JALA N YABO LA

NAIROBI — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Kenya and Nigeria in September saw him eat ugali fish with his hands and crash a Nollywood music video shoot in between whirlwind tours of innovation hubs and tech incubators.

“Hey Africa,” he seemed to say. “I get you. Facebook gets you.”

Zuckerberg’s lighting public relations blitz contrasted sharply with Facebook’s under-the-radar expansion in Africa, which is built around a no-frills internet app called Free Basics. India’s government rejected the same app, which provides access to a low-data version of Facebook and a limited number of pre-selected websites,
on the grounds that it amounted to a two-tiered internet system, one for the rich and one for the poor. But Facebook continues to roll it out quietly in Africa — so quietly, in fact, that many of hundreds of millions of people who now have access to the app in 23 different African countries don’t even know they do.

On the surface, Free Basics seems like the answer to many interconnected prayers. It’s a cheap, easy way to get millions of people online at a time when the internet is not only a daily necessity but increasingly thought of as a human right. The app piggybacks on the rapid adoption of mobile phones in Africa and is made available for free through partnerships with local mobile telecom providers. Those who sign up for a
Facebook account through Free Basics are then able to log on to a pared-down version of the internet on their phones.

But there’s a dark side to Free Basics that has the potential to do more harm than good — a side that suggests that Zuckerberg doesn’t get Africa after all. The app is essentially a cheap version of the internet, a fact that by itself implies that some people aren’t good enough to merit the whole thing. Even worse, it’s a version of
the internet that gives Facebook — and by extension the corporations and governments that partner with Facebook — total control over what its users can access.

Per the Free Basics CIA website, any company that meets certain technical and efficiency requirements can develop a website for the platform. This sounds very democratic in theory, but in practice it means that users get only the parts of the internet that some interested party has worked with Facebook to include.

There are many individuals and groups in the developing world with information to share, but not many of them can afford the time and energy to develop a website for the platform, and those that can will almost always be trying to sell something. In that way, Free Basics promises to undermine the public information function that the internet is supposed to serve. In many African countries, traditional media has been
co-opted by the state, so the internet does more to amplify critical voices than any other platform — blogs and other online platforms have become extremely important sources of perspective and analysis in Kenya, for instance. Such voices will likely be muted on a space like Free Basics.

Even if they did, there remains a significant risk of censorship. Facebook monitors its user content closely and retains the power to restrict access based on its own standards of use. In September, the company shut down the most popular Ethiopian page on the site, Mereja, claiming that it caused people to “like or engage with it unintentionally in a misleading way.” But administrators of the website argued that their page was
shut down because of their extensive coverage of the ongoing protests in the Amhara and Oromia regions — coverage that the Ethiopian government has worked so hard to mute that it briefly switched off the internet for the whole country.

The risk of censorship is amplified by the fact that many of the mobile providers partnering with Facebook on Free Basics are state-owned or partially state-owned. Kenyan mobile giant Safaricom, for instance, is 35 percent government-owned. Even those partners that are private companies are vulnerable to pressure from the government. In 2008, for instance, Airtel was one of several private mobile providers in Kenya that
complied with government requests to hand over data on over 1,000 users accused of instigating violence after the election.

Can agitators on the platform trust these mobile corporations to keep their information safe, particularly when the company has proved willing to make concessions to governments to access their markets? Writing about Free Basics in India in the Guardian , Rahul Bhatia catalogued the extent to which the company sought
to accommodate the Indian government as it attempted to launch the platform there: “[N]o request for information from [Indian President Narendra] Modi’s team was ever denied,” he wrote.

Facebook has a similarly troubling record on privacy in the United States. According to a February 2016 report, 80 percent of all requests by U.S. law enforcement for information on Facebook users between January and June 2015 “yielded data.” Meanwhile, in October 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union accused Facebook and Instagram, which it owns, of handing over user information to the location-based
service Geofeedia, which in turn used the information in partnership with law enforcement agencies like the Baltimore Police Department to facilitate enhanced surveillance of protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement.

This record of collaborating with governments should make us wary of Free Basics. The app is only worth the gamble if one believes that governments where it’s been rolled out have the best interests of their citizens at heart — a presumption that is unwarranted in much of Africa. In just the last year, in Gabon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Chad, Zimbabwe, and many other countries, online actions of pro-democracy protestors prompted
the state to shut down the internet for the entire country. (Free Basics is available in Gabon and Uganda.)

These states shut down the internet because they fear they cannot control it. Free Basics gives them a version of the internet that they can influence, if not totally control.

Reached for comment, a representative of Facebook insisted that Free Basics is “committed to protecting users’ privacy and security… [and] doesn’t enable governments to restrict users’ access to content, speech, or certain providers any more than they’d be able to do on the broader internet.” The representative also denied
that Facebook is creating a two-tiered internet service, claiming instead that it is bringing “unconnected people to the broader internet” since around 50 percent of Free Basics users end up paying for access to the “full internet” within the first 30 days.

This explanation is, of course, a tacit admission that Free Basics has indeed created a two-tiered internet system: The 50 percent who don’t pay to use the “full internet” are stuck with a sub-par product. This was at the core criticism that the Free Basics platform faced in India. The internet’s democratizing potential is diminished if the information contained there isn’t equally available to all. There will always be disparities in the quality of the tools we use to connect, but there can be no “right to internet” if the system itself has disparities built into it. If certain corporations or individuals have the ability to shape the content that some internet users have access to, these actors get expansive power to shape users’ preferences as well. While
those with full internet access could search “Kenya Airways” and find stories about alleged corporate malfeasance and corruption, those with Free Basics may find only the company’s paid-for corporate website — singing its praises even if the airline implodes.

This is especially troubling since the internet is quickly becoming the place where key state services are provided and where political debate and decision-making happens. This has the potential to be a good thing, but only if it increases pressure on governments to build information technology infrastructure. In Kenya for instance, it is impossible to renew a driver’s license, apply for a passport, or pay taxes without internet access
— which is part of the reason why such access is now available at designated government service points known as “huduma” (service) centers. A two-tiered internet system slows down technological progress and offers the government a shortcut that shortchanges the public: If governments can go digital without paying for new IT infrastructure, they are less likely to make the investments that will be necessary for the country
in the long run.

Is Free Basics bad for Africa because Africa is bad? No. Free Basics is bad for Africa because it’s a deeply flawed idea that fails to take into account existing political realities. It privatizes a public problem, and further severs the social contract in countries where the relationship between state and citizen is already
fraught.

But to hear Facebook tell it, Free Basics is a win-win solution: “More people will want to connect to the internet and ultimately become paying users if they first experience the benefits of being online,” the Free Basics website reads.

This hyper-simplistic, bizarrely apolitical formulation on the barriers to internet connectivity, particularly in the developing world, affirms that no matter how many plates of fish Mark Zuckerberg eats, Facebook doesn’t get Africa.

 

News Station: “Hillary’s Millenial Staff Lie To Her For Fear of Losing Jobs and Social Media Perks”

News Station: “Hillary’s Millenial Staff Lie To Her For Fear of Losing Jobs and Social Media Perks”

 

The young kids that Hillary has surrounded herself with can’t get a job anywhere else. They live and die based off of their Facebook “likes”. Their entire world is based around the social network points they think they gain from bragging that they are working on a Presidential campaign. They will do nothing to put their “internet cool factor” in jeopardy.

 

To protect their fragile self-aggrandizement, they lie to Hillary and wrap her in a bubble of adulation, yes-girls and “Everything is incredible” BS in order to keep her writing the checks.

 

When reality strikes, they will eventually be sad little kids. The main rule in the Clinton Campaign is: “Never let the warden see the clouds”.

 

Hillary: Bubble-wrapped candidate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Chris Stirewalt

 

 

HILLARY: BUBBLE WRAPPED CANDIDATE


There are bubbles, and then there is Hillary Clinton’s bubble.

 

As journalists pore over emails allegedly stolen from Clinton’s top advisor, John Podesta, we get some soundings on just how thick the walls are of the Democratic nominee’s private reality.

 

Think back to March 2015 when news broke that not only did Clinton conduct government business on a private, unsecured email account as secretary of state, but that that account was actually housed on a secret “homebrew” server at her New York home. 

Worst, Clinton had actually set up the server in advance of her confirmation with the unmistakable intent to avoid prying eyes and federal records laws.

 

We’ve grown accustomed to these facts, but as the story was breaking it looked like it could be a devastating blow to Clinton, who had still not yet officially announced her second presidential run.

 

In what is purportedly an exchange between Podesta and another top Clinton adviser, Neera Tanden, the two commiserate about the handling of the server scandal.

 

A disbelieving Tanden allegedly wrote to Podesta to express her frustration with Cheryl Mills, a legal adviser to Clinton since the days of her husband’s impeachment: “This is a cheryl special. Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal. Or kryptonite. she just can’t say no to this sh–. Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy.”

 

Podesta wrote back: “Unbelievable.”

 

“I guess I know the answer,” Tanden responded. “They wanted to get away with it.”

Good advisers are skilled at telling politicians the things they don’t want to hear. In Clinton’s case it was this: you broke the rules, mishandled national security information and are caught. You cannot brush this away. You cannot sidestep.

 

Because there was no one around Clinton who was apparently willing to tell her that she had to face facts and come clean about her secret server, the problem dragged on and became so much worse for her. 

And it all goes back to that impulse in Clinton World: “They wanted to get away with it.”

 

The nature of what “it” is has changed over the decades, but at the core, the Clintons’ problems often relate to a desire to cut corners and get their way without paying the price.

 

The price here would have involved a public embarrassment when archives officials first requested Clinton’s emails. She would have had to say what she did and offer some rationale for it, and something that cut closer to the bone than her laughable lines about “convenience.”

 

It’s not unreasonable to imagine that Clinton gave away 30 points on favorability and trustworthiness because of her refusal to show even a little contrition and forthrightness.

 

Republicans know just what we’re talking about here as they watch their nominee close the campaign with a weeks-long fight with women who accuse him of various kinds of misconduct ranging from cruelty to sexual assault. Trump never tried to address the matters in a contrite, earnest way, but has just kept battering.

 

Presumably he too has found a group of advisers that tell him he’s right even when all available evidence suggests otherwise.

 

It’s more than a little unseemly to be looking through somebody’s electronic garbage to find private conversations as we are doing with Podesta’s emails. But there are real concerns here.

 

Politics draws big egos and big egos often prefer to be surrounded by sycophants. The consequences of that conduct in politics can be devastating to campaigns. The consequences in government to such airless cocoons of ego protection can be truly disastrous for the country.

 

 

 

REVEALED: HOW GOOGLE ATTACKS THE ENEMIES OF GOOGLE AND OBAMA

Search Risk – How Google Almost Killed ProtonMail

The GOOGLE Vendetta Technology Violates Every FTC and EU Monopoly Law

google search risk

In the past two months, many of you have reached out to us to ask about the mysterious tweets we sent to Google in August. At ProtonMail, transparency is a core value, and we try to be as transparent with our community as possible. As many people have continued to point out to us, we need to be more transparent here to avoid continued confusion and speculation. Thus, we are telling the full story today to clarify what happened.

What Happened?

The short summary is that for nearly a year, Google was hiding ProtonMail from search results for queries such as ‘secure email’ and ‘encrypted email’. This was highly suspicious because ProtonMail has long been the world’s largest encrypted email provider.

When ProtonMail launched in Beta back in May 2014, our community rapidly grew as people from around the world came together and supported us in our mission to protect privacy in the digital age. Our record breaking crowdfunding campaign raised over half a million dollars from contributors and provided us with the resources to make ProtonMail competitive against even the biggest players in the email space.

By the summer of 2015, ProtonMail passed half a million users and was the world’s most well known secure email service. ProtonMail was also ranking well in Google search at this time, on the first or second page of most queries including “encrypted email” and “secure email”. However, by the end of October 2015, the situation had changed dramatically, and ProtonMail was mysteriously no longer showing up for searches of our two main keywords.

Between the beginning of the summer and the fall of 2015, ProtonMail did undergo a lot of changes. We released ProtonMail 2.0, we went fully open source, we launched mobile apps in beta, and we updated our website, changing our TLD from .ch to the more widely known .com. We also doubled in size, growing to nearly 1 million users by the fall. All of these changes should have helped ProtonMail’s search rankings as we became more and more relevant to more people.

In November 2015, we became aware of the problem and consulted a number of well known SEO experts. None of them could explain the issue, especially since ProtonMail has never used any blackhat SEO tactics, nor did we observe any used against us. Mysteriously, the issue was entirely limited to Google, as this anomaly was not seen on any other search engine. Below are the search rankings for ProtonMail for ‘secure email’ and ‘encrypted email’ taken at the beginning of August 2016 across all major search engines. We rank on either page 1 or 2 everywhere except Google where we are not ranked at all.

protonmail seo rankings

All throughout Spring 2016, we worked in earnest to get in touch with Google. We created two tickets on their web spam report form explaining the situation. We even contacted Google’s President EMEA Strategic Relationships, but received no response nor improvement. Around this time, we also heard about the anti-trust action brought forward by the European Commission against Google, accusing Google of abusing its search monopoly to lower the search rankings of Google competitors. This was worrying news, because as an email service that puts user privacy first, we are the leading alternative to Gmail for those looking for better data privacy.

In August, with no other options, we turned to Twitter to press our case. This time though, we finally got a response, thanks in large part to the hundreds of ProtonMail users who drew attention to the issue and made it impossible to ignore. After a few days, Google informed us that they had “fixed something” without providing further details. The results could be immediately seen.

google protonmail search risk
ProtonMail Google Search Ranking for “Encrypted Email”

In the above plots, the x-axis is time and the y-axis is search ranking (lower number is better). The dates where there are no data points are times when we are not ranked at all by Google. After Google made some changes, ProtonMail’s rankings immediately recovered and are now ranked #1 and #3 for ‘secure email’ and ‘encrypted email’ respectively. Without any additional explanation from Google, we may never know why ProtonMail become unranked. In any case, we do appreciate Google finally taking action to resolve the issue, we just wished it happened sooner.

The Danger of Search Risk

This incident however highlights a previously unrecognized danger that we are now calling Search Risk. The danger is that any service such as ProtonMail can easily be suppressed by either search companies, or the governments that control those search companies. This can happen even across national borders. For example, even though Google is an American company, it controls over 90% of European search traffic. In this case, Google directly caused ProtonMail’s growth rate worldwide to be reduced by over 25% for over 10 months.

This meant that ProtonMail’s income from users was also cut by 25%, putting financial pressure on our operations. We went from being able to cover all our monthly expenses to having to draw from our emergency reserve fund. The lost income and financial damage incurred as a result was several hundred thousand Swiss Francs (1 CHF = 1.01 USD), which will never be reimbursed.

The only reason we survived to tell this story is because the majority of ProtonMail’s growth comes from word of mouth, and our community is too loud to be ignored. Many other companies won’t be so fortunate. This episode illustrates that Search Risk is serious, which is why we now agree with the European Commission that given Google’s dominant position in search, more transparency and oversight is critical.

Defending Against Search Risk

This incident illustrates that for ProtonMail to be successful, it is important that we can continue to grow independently of search engines so that it is impossible for any search company to intentionally or unintentionally cripple us. This is easier said than done, but there are easy actions that we can all do to safeguard the future of ProtonMail:

  • Tell your friends and family about ProtonMail. The other benefit of this is that you will also get automatic end-to-end encryption when you email them.
  • Writing articles or blog posts about ProtonMail and help spread the word about online privacy.
  • Upgrading to a paid account or donating so we can rebuild our depleted emergency reserve fund faster.
  • Helping ProtonMail reach more people through social media. You can Tweet or share ProtonMail on Facebook with the share buttons below.

 

The more we get the word out about the importance of online privacy, the more we make it impossible to suppress, ban, or otherwise pressure encrypted email services such as ProtonMail. We believe online privacy is critical for an open, democratic, and free future, and regardless of the obstacles ahead of us, we will continue building the tools necessary to protect this future. Thank you for supporting us and making this possible.

Best Regards,
The ProtonMail Team

For questions and comment, you can reach us at media@protonmail.ch.

Another U.S. Air Force “Weather Satellite” Just Got Shot Down…err “Broke Up in Orbit”

Another U.S. Air Force “Weather Satellite” Just Got Shot Down…err “Broke Up in Orbit”

 

By Brian Berger, Space News |

 

  • MORE

 

Partner Series

 

 

 

An artist’s illustration of a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite in orbit.

 

Credit: Lockheed

 

WASHINGTON — A third U.S. Air Force weather satellite that launched more than 20 years ago has broken up in orbit, Air Force Space Command disclosed Monday evening.

 

Air Force officials confirmed the breakup of the long-retired Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 12 satellite (DMSP F-12) after the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, detected an additional object orbiting alongside the 22-year-old satellite.

 

DMSP F-12, which the Air Force retired from service in 2008, had the same battery assembly that was implicated in the February 2015 breakup of DMSP F-13. [Worst Space Debris Events of All Time]

 

While both satellites were built by Lockheed Martin and launched less than a year apart, DMSP F-13 was still in service when it suffered its breakup, producing nearly 150 pieces of debris.

 

DMSP F-12, in contrast, was shut down in 2008 — a process that entails burning off the satellite’s remaining fuel, releasing compressed gasses, and discharging the battery. The Air Force said Monday evening it was tracking just one piece of debris associated with DMSP F-12’s breakup.

 

 

Properly shutting down a DMSP satellite at the end of its service life is no guarantee that it won’t suffer a catastrophic breakup, however. In 2004, a 13-year-old DMSP spacecraft, dubbed DMSP-F11, broke apart and produced 56 pieces of cataloged space debris, even though it had been taken out of service and gone through the normal end-of-life showdown procedures.

 

Following the February 2015 breakup of DMSP F-13, the Air Force said a total of nine DMSP satellites launched between 1982 and 1997 all had the same failure-prone battery assembly. At the time, only seven were still in orbit. With the breakup of DMSP F-12, that number is down to six. Of those, only one — DMSP F-14 — is still in service.

 

The Air Force said determining the cause of DMSP F-12’s breakup will be especially difficult since they have no telemetry from the long-silent satellite to help assess the incident.

 

The Air Force still has five DMSP satellites in service. The youngest, DMSP F-18, was launched in 2009. The oldest, DMSP F-14, was launched in 1997.

 

In February, the DMSP suffered another setback when the Air Force lost the ability to command DMSP F-19 due to an onboard power failure. The satellite had been in orbit less than two years when the failure occurred.

 

This story was provided by SpaceNews, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

 

 

Chinese Anti-Satellite Capabilities

 

Chinese Anti-Satellite [ASAT] Capabilities. China has tested two direct-ascent antisatellite missiles: the SC–19 and the larger DN–2. Direct-ascent …

 

bing yahoo cached proxied

 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/world/china/asat.htm

 

 

Operation Burnt Frost – Wikipedia

 

Operation Burnt Frost was the code name given to the military operation to intercept and … on 20 February, 2008 at approximately 10:26 p.m. EST from the USS Lake Erie, which used a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) to shoot down the satellite.

 

google cached proxied

 

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

 

 

 

Earth-based Lasers Could Zap Space Junk Clear From Satellites

 

Lasers on the ground could be used to nudge debris in orbit, which could help move dangerous space junk away from satellites and spacecraft, scientists working with …

 

bing yahoo cached proxied

 

http://www.space.com/11157-nasa-lasers-shooting-space-junk.html

 

Anti-satellite weapon – Wikipedia

 

Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) are Space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy ….. could seriously hinder the latter’s military operations, the ease of shooting down orbiting satellites and their effects on operations has been questioned.

 

google cached proxied

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-satellite_weapon

 

They Shoot Satellites, Don’t They? | Foreign Policy

 

Aug 9, 2014 … While shooting down missiles may be hard, shooting down satellites is easy. And the spread of hit-to-kill technologies is an enormous danger …

 

google cached proxied

 

http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/08/09/they-shoot-satellites-dont-they/

 

Navy missile hits dying spy satellite, says Pentagon – CNN.com

 

Feb 21, 2008 … The U.S. Navy succeeded in its effort to shoot down an inoperable spy satellite before it could crash to Earth and potentially release a cloud of …

 

google cached proxied

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/02/20/satellite.shootdown/

 

Satellite Shoot Down: How It Will Work – Space.com

 

Feb 19, 2008 … The U.S. Navy could shoot down an errant spy satellite as early as Wednesday night. Now a new computer model shows what might happen.

 

google cached proxied

 

http://www.space.com/4994-satellite-shoot-work.html

 

China and Russia are planning to take down US satellites, Air Force …

 

Mar 16, 2016 … A U.S Air Force general has claimed countries such as China and Russia are planning to shoot down American military satellites with missiles, …

 

google cached proxied

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl%5B…%5Dft-lasers-Air-Force-general-warns.html

 

 

 

Satellite Shootdown (2008) Military Channel – YouTube

 

Nov 15, 2013 – 45 min – Uploaded by vhsclassic90sThe reasons for shooting this satellite down were: 1. Practice, 2. The broken satellite had …

 

google cached proxied

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c09m-2qiMgE

 

The Fighter Plane Powerful Enough to Destroy a Satellite in Space …

 

Jun 11, 2015 – 4 min – Uploaded by Smithsonian ChannelBoils down to, until it becomes a real problem no one will care and … karma on those who …

 

google cached proxied

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxfk5eWlbQo

 

 

 

GERMANY REVEALS THAT IT KNOWS THAT FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE RIG ELECTIONS AND DISTORT PERCEPTIONS

Merkel says Facebook, Google ‘distort perception,’ demands they ‘reveal algorithms’

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel © Francois Lenoir
German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched a broadside at internet media giants, accusing them of “narrowing perspective,” and demanding they disclose their privately-developed algorithms. Merkel previously blamed social media for anti-immigrant sentiment and the rise of the far right.

“The algorithms must be made public, so that one can inform oneself as an interested citizen on questions like: what influences my behavior on the internet and that of others?” said Merkel during a media conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

“These algorithms, when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they narrow our breadth of information.”

Google uses an algorithm to decide which search results are first shown to a user, while Facebook arranges the order of the news feed, and decides to include certain posts from a user’s liked pages and friends, at the expense of others. Both sites also promote links to news articles, often based on a user’s own media interests.

These algorithms are at the core of the intellectual property of any social media or search website, and comprise some of the most highly-protected trade secrets in the world, potentially worth billions. No internet giant has ever revealed its inner workings.

Merkel did not specifically name Facebook, Google or Twitter, but implied that the large platforms are creating “bubbles” of self-reinforcing views, and squeezing out smaller news providers.

“The big internet platforms, via their algorithms, have become an eye of a needle which diverse media must pass through to reach users,” warned Merkel. “This is a development that we need to pay careful attention to.”

The internet giants themselves have argued that the so-called social media bubble is largely a myth, and that online users have a wider access to differing views than under a pre-internet model, where most news would be acquired from just a handful of newspapers and one or two TV channels.

German establishment raises ‘Sword of Damocles’ over social media

This is not the first attack on social media by Merkel and her Grand Coalition government, and while the German politician advocates diversity of views, she has previously accused it of perpetrating opinions that are most at odds with those of the establishment and traditional media.

Last month, Merkel accused AfD, the recently-established anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim party, which receives overwhelmingly negative coverage in most newspapers, of “spreading their lies” through social media, as it achieves breakthroughs in regional elections around the country.

A year ago, at the height of the refugee influx into the country, Merkel, who was first elected in 2005, was caught on a hot mic personally pressing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to clamp down on anti-migrant posts during a UN session in New York.

A fortnight ago, the leader of Merkel’s parliamentary CDU faction, Volker Kauder, said that social media should be fined €50,000 for failing to remove “hate speech,” saying that a “Sword of Damocles” has to hang over social media. Kauder also called for warnings, similar to those on cigarette packs or before entering pornographic websites, to be given to those about to go on social media.

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Facebook founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg (C) and Google CEO Eric Schmidt(R) at the G8 Summit in Deauville May 26, 2011 © Philippe Wojazer

Justice Minister Heiko Maas – who said that there had been a 77 percent increase in hate crimes following the arrival of 900,000 asylum seekers – has given internet media companies until February next year to comply with EU directives on xenophobia and racism, or face legal action.

Epic Congressional Investigations Coming For Hillary Clinton

Epic Congressional Investigations Coming For Hillary Clinton

 

Clinton now connected to the Solyndra Cleantech Crash and over a trillion dollars of embezzlements via her backers Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Elon Musk, John Doerr and Steve Westly.

 

by Alex Seitz-Wald and Benjy Sarlin

 

If Donald Trump leaves the Republican Party divided after the election, a Hillary Clinton victory could bring the party back together, as the party prepares a flood of potential congressional investigations against Clinton, who is poised to be the first woman president.

 

The daily drip of hacked emails from Wikileaks, the exposure of Clinton’s email server and pay-for-play allegations about the Clinton Foundation may not cost her a victory in the current contest, which has largely become a referendum on Trump’s fitness for office. But the allegations won’t magically disappear after Nov. 8 either, and Republicans are determined to cut short any potential honeymoon period.

 

In the last few weeks alone, dozens of House Republicans have demanded that a special prosecutor investigate the Clinton Foundation for possible conflicts of interest. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz has called for a “serious criminal investigation” into a Democratic operative featured in a sting video by conservative activist James O’Keefe. And Speaker Paul Ryan has promised “aggressive oversight work in the House” of an alleged “quid pro quo” deal between the FBI and the State Department over reclassifying an email on Clinton’s private server.

 

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who would likely serve as the chief antagonist of a second Clinton White House as chair the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News last week the “quid pro quo” claim alone was worth at least “four new hearings,” claiming it was a “flashing red light of potential criminality.”

 

Both the FBI and State Department say no quid pro quo took place, and that the incident was a misunderstanding. But the episode is one of many that conservative commentators, watchdog groups and lawmakers will almost certainly return to well after election day.

 

“You’re going to still have a clamor for a serious criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s conduct with respect to her emails and the [Clinton] Foundation,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, which has spearheaded legal efforts against Bill and Hillary Clinton for years, told NBC News. “There’s been no systematic investigation of various issues.”

 

Trump has spent months telling the party’s base the election is rigged. As a result, Republicans in oversight roles will face tremendous pressure to expose Clinton’s perceived corruption if she prevails on November 8.

 

At least one Hillary Clinton antagonist has floated the idea she may be impeached as president.

 

“I know this generation of Republican leaders is loath to exercise these tools, but impeachment is something that’s relevant,” said Fitton, who has criticized GOP lawmakers for failing to pre-emptively impeach Clinton. “They see [the oversight process] as an opportunity in some measure to keep their opponents off-kilter, but they don’t want to do the substantive and principled work to truly hold corrupt politicians, or the administration, or anyone accountable.”

 

A Republican House impeached Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, in 1998 for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

 

Politically, there are strong incentives for Republicans to dig into Clinton, both to slow Democrats’ agenda and to keep the warring factions of the GOP together while they work through tougher disagreements on policy, tone and tactics.

 

“I do think being a check on Clinton is an important objective to unite the party and get control of Congress back in 2018,” said Republican strategist Tim Miller, a leading critic of Trump who also previously helped direct opposition research against the Democratic nominee.

 

GOP oversight efforts have ramped up during the campaign as Trump’s poll numbers fell. Since July alone, when FBI Director James Comey announced he had recommended against prosecuting Clinton for having classified material on her email server, Republicans have issued 17 subpoenas and 54 letters of inquiry probing Clinton, according to House Democrats.

 

Ian Prior, of the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, said scandal has followed Clinton “like a shadow” throughout her career. “If Hillary is elected president, her willingness to bend the rules to satisfy her own ambitions make it a virtual certainty that the abuse of power and endless drama that are part of the Clinton baggage will continue,” he said.

 

The weaponization of the oversight process has become a predictable part of the political landscape, and has thus lost some of its punch. But constant probes, even when they amount to little, can have a corrosive effect on any White House, as Clinton herself knows all too well.

 

“The purpose of the investigations was to discredit the president and the administration and slow down its momentum. It didn’t matter what the investigations were about; it only mattered that there were investigations,” Clinton wrote in “Living History,” her memoir about her time as first lady. “[O]ur lives and the work of the President were disrupted over and over again.”

 

Even President Obama, who has faced virtually no major scandal during two terms in the White House, has been bogged down at time by Congressional investigations.

 

More dangerous still, probes into any issue can stumble across explosive finds. The Whitewater investigation led to the exposure of President Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky, while the House Oversight Committee on Benghazi helped uncover Clinton’s email server.

 

Clinton’s campaign is already girding for a potential fight with Chaffetz and his colleagues, drawing battle lines that will likely harden very quickly if Clinton takes office.

 

“This is exactly what Americans hate about Washington. Before the election has even taken place, Jason Chaffetz is already planning to further abuse his office and waste more taxpayer dollars on political witch hunts against the potential President-elect,” said Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon. “Hillary Clinton is running against this exact type of partisan gridlock. And if she wins, she intends to reach out to try to get things done, even if Congressman Chaffetz intends to ignore the public’s clear desire for the two parties to work together.”

 

Clinton’s first line of defense may be Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on both the Oversight Committee and Benghazi Committee, who has been running interference since 2011 against what he sees as the GOP majority’s trumped-up attacks.

 

“For the past six years, they have squandered millions and millions of taxpayer dollars on partisan attacks that do absolutely nothing to improve the lives of our constituents, and now they already seem to be plotting to continue this pattern if Secretary Clinton wins the election,” said Cummings.

 

David Brock, a former right-wing Clinton antagonist-turned-Clinton defender, is expected to continue to play a major role outside government defending her.

 

 

  • Nearly a trillion dollars embezzled by Silicon Valley and the White House in the Solyndra and Cleantech scandals and not a single arrest

 

If The Media Investigated Hillary Like They Did Watergate, We Wouldn’t Need WikiLeaks

 

Today, mainstream publications have become willing accomplices in suppressing the same type of information they worked so tenaciously to expose all those years ago.

 

By Timm Amundson

 

 

It has now been more than four decades since the Washington Post and New York Times led the charge to bring down Richard Nixon and his administration’s massive web of corruption and political subterfuge schemes. They did so by aggressively and tirelessly seeking out the truth, and reporting back to the American people clearly and comprehensively.

 

Today, both publications have become willing accomplices in suppressing the same type of information they worked so tenaciously to expose all those years ago. By openly and unapologetically acting as institutional surrogates for the Clinton campaign, these same institutions, and nearly every other mainstream media outlet in America, have gone hands-off in exposing what may very well turn out to be the most explosive and damaging corruption scandal in American politics since “Tricky Dick” was reelected back in ’72.

 

Not by coincidence, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have stepped in to fill the void. And boy, are the “truth seekers” mad about that!

 

    1. My, How Times Have Changed

     

    On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking and entering the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, both reporters for the Washington Post at the time, unflinchingly pursued the complete truth behind the break-in. Little did they know that summer how vast was the network of lies and corruption their investigation would eventually uncover.

     

    The editors at the Post initially put the story on the back burner, while the Nixon administration deftly stonewalled the reporters’ probes. By September, though, the Post and New York Times were fully on board with the investigation, and the administration had gone into full cover-up mode. Even though the FBI had confirmed that the administration had conducted a political sabotage conspiracy, it was not enough to keep Nixon from being reelected in a landslide in November. But the die was cast. The American press made it clear this story would not end until all the facts were in and Nixon and his henchmen were fully exposed.

     

    Fast-forward to 2016. We are now two weeks away from the general election, and once again a potentially devastating story appears to be developing, related to a web of corruption and deceit that could eventually rival the Watergate scandal. Just like 1972, the Post and the Times are fully engaged. Except this time, the “two lions of journalism” have little interest in covering the avalanche of revelations pouring forth against the Clinton campaign. Instead, both publications are working around the clock to bring the Democratic nominee to power. That’s not all. Nearly every other mainstream media outlet in the country has jumped on the bandwagon.

     

    It would be incorrect to think that until now the mainstream media has been a relatively objective source for news. This has been going on for a long time. Few could argue that back in the ’70s, editors Ben Bradlee at the Post and Abe Rosenthal at the Times were not absolutely salivating at the chance to bring Nixon down. But they achieved this objective in relentless pursuit of the facts, not the willing suppression of the same.

     

    If The Media Investigated Hillary Like They Did Watergate, We Wouldn’t Need WikiLeaks

     

    • Media

    • Nearly a trillion dollars embezzled by Silicon Valley and the White House in the Solyndra and Cleantech scandals and not a single arrest

     

    If The Media Investigated Hillary Like They Did Watergate, We Wouldn’t Need WikiLeaks

     

    Today, mainstream publications have become willing accomplices in suppressing the same type of information they worked so tenaciously to expose all those years ago.

     

     

     

     

    By Timm Amundson

     

    October 25, 2016

     

    It has now been more than four decades since the Washington Post and New York Times led the charge to bring down Richard Nixon and his administration’s massive web of corruption and political subterfuge schemes. They did so by aggressively and tirelessly seeking out the truth, and reporting back to the American people clearly and comprehensively.

     

    Today, both publications have become willing accomplices in suppressing the same type of information they worked so tenaciously to expose all those years ago. By openly and unapologetically acting as institutional surrogates for the Clinton campaign, these same institutions, and nearly every other mainstream media outlet in America, have gone hands-off in exposing what may very well turn out to be the most explosive and damaging corruption scandal in American politics since “Tricky Dick” was reelected back in ’72.

     

     

    Not by coincidence, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have stepped in to fill the void. And boy, are the “truth seekers” mad about that!

     

    My, How Times Have Changed

     

    On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking and entering the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, both reporters for the Washington Post at the time, unflinchingly pursued the complete truth behind the break-in. Little did they know that summer how vast was the network of lies and corruption their investigation would eventually uncover.

     

    The editors at the Post initially put the story on the back burner, while the Nixon administration deftly stonewalled the reporters’ probes. By September, though, the Post and New York Times were fully on board with the investigation, and the administration had gone into full cover-up mode. Even though the FBI had confirmed that the administration had conducted a political sabotage conspiracy, it was not enough to keep Nixon from being reelected in a landslide in November. But the die was cast. The American press made it clear this story would not end until all the facts were in and Nixon and his henchmen were fully exposed.

     

    Fast-forward to 2016. We are now two weeks away from the general election, and once again a potentially devastating story appears to be developing, related to a web of corruption and deceit that could eventually rival the Watergate scandal. Just like 1972, the Post and the Times are fully engaged. Except this time, the “two lions of journalism” have little interest in covering the avalanche of revelations pouring forth against the Clinton campaign. Instead, both publications are working around the clock to bring the Democratic nominee to power. That’s not all. Nearly every other mainstream media outlet in the country has jumped on the bandwagon.

     

    It would be incorrect to think that until now the mainstream media has been a relatively objective source for news. This has been going on for a long time. Few could argue that back in the ’70s, editors Ben Bradlee at the Post and Abe Rosenthal at the Times were not absolutely salivating at the chance to bring Nixon down. But they achieved this objective in relentless pursuit of the facts, not the willing suppression of the same.

     

     

    One would think, given the self-inflicted meltdown the Donald Trump camp finds itself in right now, the media might at least feign some level of balanced reporting, but they’ve made it very clear they’re not taking any chances. They’re going to keep digging dirt on Trump, and they’re going to continue to minimize, to the best of their ability, a story that may well have historic and damaging implications, both for the nation as a whole and our entire political system moving forward.

     

    Although this may prove to be a very successful political tactic for this year’s presidential election, it is likely to forever damage the reputation of mainstream American journalism, and it most certainly will continue to encourage the American public to look elsewhere for the unvarnished truth.

     

    White Knight or Black Pawn?

     

    Enter WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. As many people know, WikiLeaks is essentially a disseminator of private, confidential, and oftentimes classified communication that belongs to both private individuals and public officials. They obtain it through the dark art of hacking.

     

    The organization’s willing violation of right-to-privacy provisions, as enumerated directly or indirectly in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and even Ninth Amendments to our Constitution, should be enough for all Americans to take pause. These are not nice people, and by their actions alone they have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the American way of life.

     

    The Clinton campaign and Obama administration have seized upon this and used it very effectively in pulverizing the credibility of Assange and his efforts. Further, they have claimed that Russia is behind all of this and that there is a very good chance Trump is working in tandem with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to influence the general election. This has also given the media every excuse in the book to minimize reporting on the WikiLeaks revelations.

     

     

    That said, a paradox exists that cannot be ignored. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the mainstream media are all telling us that Putin and Assange are the bad guys. Bad guys they might be, but in effect they are providing information to the American people that Clinton and Obama do not want them to have, because if the American people have this information, they would not approve of what Clinton and President Obama have done.

     

    Color me reactionary, but I don’t think Putin and Assange are the folks we should be most concerned about right now. They are only influencing the election based upon larger disclosure of the facts. Clinton, Obama, and the media are influencing the election based on attempts to suppress and distort the facts.

     

    There is no doubt that, whatever his reasons, if Putin is involved he is not acting on behalf of or for the benefit of the American people. But it is also certain that, given what we know now, Obama, Clinton, and their loyal propaganda corps are not reacting to his maneuvers on behalf of or for the benefit of the American people. They are doing what benefits themselves, which is to maintain power, and they will do whatever is necessary to accomplish that objective.

     

    To think they are taking such a hard line against Putin’s Russia and Assange’s WikiLeaks solely to protect our constitutional liberties and national security would be naïve. They are working tirelessly to deflect and delegitimize a substantial amount of very incriminating evidence by attempting to destroy the reliability of the originators of that evidence. This is a standard progressive tactic straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.

     

    Some Things Never Change

     

    Lest we mistakenly assume that the sanctimony and righteous indignation that mainstream outlets are spewing against Assange and Putin somehow gives the moral high ground to a revered and prestigious publication like the Washington Post, a further reflection on Watergate and the Nixon downfall might be helpful.

     

     

    Many would agree that Woodward and Bernstein put “investigative journalism” on the map. They didn’t invent it, but they certainly raised the craft to a respected level. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that investigative journalism, at least as the two tenacious Post reporters practiced it, was anything less than hardball reporting. When the individual who was primarily responsible for revealing the full range of corruption behind the Nixon administration is surreptitiously referred to as “Deep Throat,” you know you’re not operating on the same plain as Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow. There was some very dark matter rising to the surface.

     

    Few people still alive know just how sordid this investigation really got, although several written accounts have been published that go far beyond the glorified portrayal in the film version of that period, titled “All The President’s Men.” One thing is certain: reporters didn’t always adhere to standard journalism protocols when attempting to get to the bottom of this vital story. Few people then or now were concerned about the privacy rights of John Erlichman, Bob Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, or any other of Nixon’s merry pranksters. The stakes were too high. The rules were off the table.

     

    Whether we like it or not, in many ways, when we measure the tactics WikiLeaks employs today against those of many mainstream news organizations back then, the game has never really changed. It has just switched from analog to digital.

     

    I realize this presents a moral equivalence that many principled, thoughtful Americans would find unacceptable. That is fair and understandable. But there have been times in our nation’s history when we found it necessary to do whatever was required to protect the safety and freedom of our republic. The measures taken back in the ’70s to expose the corruption of the Nixon administration is an example of that. I think this is another one of those times.

     

    The Truth Shall Set Her Free—From The White House

     

    On July 30, 1974, Nixon was forced to turn over a series of taped recordings related to numerous meetings and conversations conducted at the White House. These tapes included enough damaging evidence to put the final nail in the coffin on Nixon’s administration. It was also revealed that 18.5 minutes of tape had been erased. The furor that erupted from all corners, including the media, was enormous. It was considered one of the most reprehensible single acts in the history of American politics. Unforgivable, unconscionable, disgusting—all of those outcries were fair and appropriate.

     

    The mainstream media has done an excellent job thus far in suppressing the real case against Hillary Clinton.

     

    But this is no longer 1974, and we are no longer talking about Richard Nixon. It is 2016, and we are talking about Hillary Clinton. Her staff and their accomplices have erased some 33,000 emails; they have had hard drives acid-washed; they have crushed multiple cell phones with hammers; with the help of the FBI, they have had laptops destroyed. The reaction to all of this from our esteemed mainstream media? “She’s answered all of these questions. It’s time to move on.”

     

    The investigative journalism big media outlets employed in the ’70s to expose widespread political corruption and deceit is now being used to uncover the past moral transgressions of a flawed Republican candidate. It’s juicy stuff indeed that certainly warrants publication if the facts support the allegations. But to use this tabloid-worthy information to at least partly deflect from an already overwhelming amount of damaging evidence, as verified by the actual words of the perpetrators themselves, is—how should I say it—deplorable.

     

    The mainstream media has done an excellent job thus far in suppressing the real case against Hillary Clinton. But as the avalanche of evidence against her continues to mount, the truth will overwhelm their effort to limit the reporting. By that time, even they will be forced to abandon the charade.

     

    The way things stand right now, it might be too late to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House, but, as Richard Nixon learned back in 1974, it will never be too late to show her the door.

     

    To that, I say to Assange, go for it! We’ll deal with you later.

     

     

     

    Will Mark ZuckerBerg’s FaceBook VR Google’s Give You “EYE HERPES” and Projectile Vomiting? Maybe!

    Eye herpes from a VR headset

     

    ….don’t throw out your alcohol wet wipes

     

    At public events like conventions, strapping a virtual reality headset onto your face can feel uncomfortably intimate. Face masks can get sweaty and grimy, and lenses can fog up with other people’s breath. But earlier this week, an anonymous chat transcript suggested that headsets were spreading something even less savory: herpes.

    “Ocular herpes is going around VR headsets, ones that are used to share with people,” wrote an unnamed developer, according to logs posted by YouTube game streamer Drift0r. “[Redacted game studio] told us its [sic] going around. Have to clean headsets regularly.” When Drift0r asked for more details, the developer named someone who had gotten it, according to the studio. The news confirmed people’s worst fears about sharing headsets, and it lengthened an already-long list of VR health concerns, from the undeniable (motion sickness) to the fanciful (forgetting reality.) But if a VR developer did end up with ocular herpes, they probably didn’t get it from a headset. And the odds that they’ll pass it on that way are just as low.

    As its name suggests, ocular herpes refers to a range of eye conditions generally caused by the same herpes simplex virus that’s behind cold sores. It can appear as a rash on the eyelids, or as lesions directly on the eye, causing symptoms like redness, discomfort, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Mild forms clear up within a couple of weeks and can be easily mistaken for ordinary pink eye, but a less common manifestation — stromal keratitis — can seriously scar the eye and damage vision. As with cold sores, there’s no way to completely eradicate the virus, although antiviral medication can keep symptoms at bay.

    Ocular herpes is nothing to take lightly, and there’s a huge stigma around the virus in general, especially since it can take the form of a sexually transmitted disease. But whether or not you’ve ever touched a VR headset, there’s a good chance you’re already exposed to it. As of 2010, over half of 18- to 49-year-old Americans tested positive for HSV-1, which is behind the bulk of ocular herpes cases. (Far fewer people have HSV-2, which usually results in genital herpes.) Globally, those numbers climb to over two-thirds of the world’s population. And as high as the overall infection rate is, VR headsets aren’t actually a very good vector.

     

    “Herpes is not typically spread through objects,” says Sonal Tuli, chair of the University of Florida’s Department of Ophthalmology. The virus has a difficult time surviving outside the body, so it’s usually spread through direct bodily contact with an infected person, through something like a kiss. And most visible cases of herpes, she says, are actually flareups of dormant infections that have been around for years, often since childhood — caused by a fever or some other external trigger.

    It’s “highly unlikely, but not absolutely impossible,” that someone could get ocular herpes through a VR headset, says Todd Margolis, chair of the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “The odds would be like the odds of transmitting herpes on toilet seats.” It’s more probable, he says, that the developer in Drift0r’s anecdote was already infected and had simply experienced a reactivation. “It is also more likely that he was kissed by somebody at the meeting who had an active cold sore and was shedding infectious virus.”

    Sharing virtual reality headsets can certainly carry health risks. In addition to dirt and sweat, headsets could hypothetically play host to lice or harmful bacteria and viruses — including the one behind non-herpes conjunctivitis. “Adenovirus is very infectious and unlike herpes, survives quite well on inanimate surfaces like plastic,” says Margolis. In order to prevent someone with an active case of pink eye from passing it on, exhibitors would need to wipe the headset down, preferably with soap and water — Margolis says that alcohol is less effective for adenovirus, although it’s very good at killing herpes.

     

    Many VR developers keep antimicrobial wipes or covers around show booths, although there’s no standardized hygiene policy. Sony gave developers boxes of PlayStation-branded wet wipes, and Valve has used protective paper covers on its Vive headsets during conventions. The organizers of major meetup group VRLA say they’ve put “strong language” about cleaning headsets in their exhibitor manual, and are unaware of any health scares during their shows, although they told The Verge they’ll be “handing out protection to every exhibitor and attendee” at the 2017 summer expo.

    So far, though, it’s been difficult to isolate the risk of donning a VR headset at a public event from the risks of shaking hands, passing around controllers, trading business cards, or just breathing fetid convention center air. The most famous case of pink eye, recounted on the games site Destructoid, appears to have been merely a burst blood vessel. We reached out to Drift0r for more information about this unlucky, allegedly herpes-plagued developer. But he says they wish to remain as “anonymous as possible,” and so far, we haven’t been able to verify the story.

    The slight possibility of getting any form of herpes might be enough to scare some people off of VR, although treating the virus as a fate worse than death arguably just makes the stigma against it even worse. And this rumor is a good reminder to observe basic hygiene rules around something you put on your face. But as VR health scares go, this one sounds a lot worse than it actually is.

    FACEBOOK GETS PAID BILLIONS TO TRICK YOU TO TAKE SELFIES IN ORDER TO POPULATE SPY FACIAL RECOGNITION DATABASE

     

    Is Facebook’s Facial-Scanning Technology Invading Your Privacy Rights?

    A court case threatens the social network with multibillion-dollar claims.
    October 26, 2016 

     

    Facebook Inc.’s software knows your face almost as well as your mother does. And like mom, it isn’t asking your permission to do what it wants with old photos.

    While millions of internet users embrace the tagging of family and friends in photos, others worried there’s something devious afoot are trying block Facebook as well as Google from amassing such data.

    As advances in facial recognition technology give companies the potential to profit from biometric data, privacy advocates see a pattern in how the world’s largest social network and search engine have sold users’ viewing histories for advertising. The companies insist that gathering data on what you look like isn’t against the law, even without your permission.

    snip
    Source: Class-action lawsuit against Facebook, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

     

    If judges agree with Facebook and Google, they may be able to kill off lawsuits filed under a unique Illinois law that carries fines of $1,000 to $5,000 each time a person’s image is used without permission — big enough for a liability headache if claims on behalf of millions of consumers proceed as class actions. A loss by the companies could lead to new restrictions on using biometrics in the U.S., similar to those in Europe and Canada.

    Facebook declined to comment on its court fight. Google hasn’t responded to requests for comment. 

    Courts have struggled over what qualifies as an injury to pursue a privacy case in lawsuits accusing Facebook and Google of siphoning users’ personal information from e-mails and monitoring their web browsing habits. Suits over selling the data to advertisers have often failed. 

    This year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a “concrete injury” standard for privacy suits, a ruling that both sides are using to argue their case ahead of a hearing Thursday in San Francisco over Facebook’s bid to dismiss the biometrics case.

    Google is fending off suits in Chicago, arguing that the Illinois statute can’t apply outside the state under the Constitution’s interstate commerce rules. Google also contends the Illinois law doesn’t regulate photos.

     

    For more on the Illinois biometrics law, click here.

    Facebook encourages users to “tag” people in photographs they upload in their personal posts and the social network stores the collected information. The company uses a program it calls DeepFace to match other photos of a person. Alphabet Inc.’s cloud-based Google Photos service uses similar technology.

    The billions of images Facebook is thought to be collecting could be even more valuable to identity thieves than the names, addresses, and credit card numbers now targeted by hackers, according to privacy advocates and legal experts.

    While those types of information are mutable — even Social Security numbers can be changed — biometric data for retinas, fingerprints, hands, face geometry and blood samples, are unique identifiers.

    “Biometric identifiers are a key way to link together information about people,” such as discrete financial, medical and educational records, said Marc Rotenberg, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, who isn’t involved in the case. Facebook has “cleverly got its users to improve the accuracy of its own database,” he said.

    And just how good is Facebook’s technology? According to the company’s research, DeepFace recognizes faces with an accuracy rate of 97.35 percent compared with 97.5 percent for humans — including mothers.

    Rotenberg said the privacy concerns are twofold: Facebook might sell the information to retailers or be forced to turn it over to law enforcement — in both cases without users knowing it.

    While most of the earlier privacy lawsuits relied on federal wiretap laws, the facial recognition cases hinge on the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

    The Illinois residents who sued under the 2008 law say it gives them a “property interest” in the algorithms that constitute their digital identities — in other words, that gives them grounds to accuse Facebook of real harm. Facebook got the case moved to San Francisco.  

    “Just as trade secrets or subscriber lists can be proprietary to a company like Facebook, unique and unchangeable biometric identifiers are proprietary to individuals,” according to their complaint. They also claim an “informational injury” because Facebook didn’t get consent to collect their so-called faceprints. 

    Facebook says the lawsuit should be thrown out because the users haven’t suffered a concrete injury such as physical harm, loss of money or property; or even a denial of their right to free speech or religion.

    The plaintiffs “have offered no specific or coherent allegations explaining how this collection and storage actually affects their privacy — much less causes them concrete harm,” Facebook argued in a court filing.

    Facebook offered examples that might work, such as if users were identified in an embarrassing photo that cost them their jobs, were victims of identity theft, or were caught in a compromising situation that harmed their relationships.

    While one person might be able to bring such a case, a group lawsuit would be impossible because it would “create a sea of individualized issues,” Facebook says.

    Legal experts say it’s unclear which side will benefit from the Supreme Court’s “concrete harm” ruling in a case involving search engine operator Spokeo Inc.

    “Spokeo is vague about what kinds of injury are concrete enough to count,” said Julie Cohen, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. “Everybody is scrambling for advantage.”

    Facebook v. Privacy Law

    December 2005 — Facebook introduces photo tagging

    October 2008 — Illinois adopts Biometric Information Privacy Act

    June 2012 — Facebook acquires Israeli facial recognition developer Face.com

    September 2012 — Facebook ceases facial recognition in Europe

    2015-2016 — Facebook, Google, Shutterfly and Snapchat sued under Illinois biometrics law. Shutterfly settles confidentially.

    May 2016 — Illinois lawmaker proposes excluding photos from biometrics law, then shelves bill after privacy advocates complain

    October 2016 — Facebook makes second attempt to get biometrics lawsuit thrown out

    The Facebook case is In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, 15-cv-03747, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). The Google cases are Rivera v. Google, 16-cv-02714, and Weiss v. Google, 16-cv-02870, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

    Are all those flaming objects being photographed around the world actually shot-down satellites?

    Anti-satellite weaponry is here, something which should be reckoned with when planning possible military operations, defense expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik China.

     
    An artist’s concept of a ground / space-based hybrid laser weapon, 1984 © Photo: Wikipedia Star Wars Reboot: US Sets Stage for Space-Based Arms Race With Russia, China In an interview with Sputnik China, military expert Vasily Kashin described an anti-satellite weapon as a new reality which one should consider when planning a possible military operation. The interview came after US Air Force Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno claimed that Russia and China would allegedly be able to threaten any American satellites in any orbit by 2025, which is why she believed it was necessary for Washington to be able to use force to uphold its related interests. She made the remarks during a ceremony in which the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Space Surveillance Telescope was handed over to the US Air Force Space Command. Speaking to Sputnik China, Kashin specifically pointed to the fact that Armagno had underscored that all US satellites were at risk, rather than only intelligence and communication satellites placed in low orbit. He said that the US Army is already grappling with the existing threat to its satellite group by notably making amendments to its combat training program. Kashin explained that modern satellites are almost devoid of any opportunity to protect themselves from the impact of interceptor missiles, something that may prompt developers to try to equip satellites with advanced electronic warfare systems in the future. Optoelectronic Nurek space tracking system on Mount Sanglok © Sputnik/ Optoelectronic Nurek space tracking system on Mount Sanglok It won’t resolve the problem for the US Armed Forces to simply be equipped with new space observation systems, Kashin said, referring to the Russian space surveillance station Okno, located in the town of Nurak in Tajikistan, which he said was on a par with US analogues. Modernized in 2015, the facility consists of a number of telescopes in domes and is specifically designed to detect certain space weapons, such as satellite-fighters which are capable of approaching enemy satellites and hitting them with an explosion, according to Kashin. “Such a system is capable of proving the fact that a satellite can be attacked by an enemy space vehicle, but the problem is that this system cannot protect the satellites,” he pointed out. In the new reality, Russia, China, the United States, as well as India and Iran will most likely possess domestically-made sophisticated anti-satellite weapons, according to Kashin. Asteroids © Photo: Pixabay Tracking Killer Asteroids: Pentagon’s DARPA Hands Over Space Surveillance Telescope to Air Force In this context, he referred to China developing a relatively simple and cheap space launch vehicle based on intercontinental ballistic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles, which, like the combat missiles, can be launched from mobile launchers. During a possible armed conflict, the Chinese army plans to replace the destroyed satellites with new ones, Kashin said, also mentioning Russia putting satellites into orbit with the help of ballistic missiles launched from submarines. “So far, anti-satellite weapon has remained fabulously expensive, and the number of the relevant launch vehicles is limited. The side which has a more powerful rocket and space industry and which will be able to put its vehicles into orbit faster than its enemy, will have an advantage in a possible future armed conflict,” Kashin concluded.

    Read more: https://sputniknews.com/world/201610261046758894-russia-united-states-satellites-development/