Posts tagged control
Comcast Merger and the FCC controlling the news?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
WASHINGTON DC | The merger between Comcast and Time-Warner cable is a concern to many independent cable providers and others. Critics of the merger, like our guest today believe the purchase will create a monopoly that will dominate the marketplace. When Comcast recently purchased NBC Universal, the company pressed hard for Federal approval. It is interesting to note that FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell, soon after approving the deal, was hired by Comcast. The terms of her employment deal have never been disclosed.
Other than a former FCC Commissioner in their employ – Comcast has close ties to the Obama Administration that may help rubber stamp the merger. Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, has enjoyed Golf outings with President Obama on Martha’s Vineyard, while Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen is a frequent White House guest and major fundraiser for the Democratic Party.
This relationship may underscore NBC’s ongoing coverage of President Obama as Comcast owns NBC – It may also explain the recent move by the FCC to install Government minders in newsrooms across the country – quizzing reporters and editors on how they select stories – a move that was highly criticized and has since been canceled by the White House.
Our guest today to break down the Comcast/Time Warner merger and the FCC’s failed Newsroom Monitoring Program is the director for media and democracy – Todd O’Boyle – his organization – “Common Cause” at CommonCause.org
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
The FCC independent? An anonymous voluntary survey? Are you resting at ease? Enter your thoughts below.
Yes, There Are Paid Government Trolls On Social Media, Blogs, Forums And Websites
Do you want solid proof that paid government shills are targeting websites, blogs, forums and social media accounts? For years, many have suspected that government trolls have been systematically causing havoc all over the Internet, but proving it has been difficult. But now thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and revealed by Glenn Greenwald, we finally have hard evidence that western governments have been doing this. As you will see below, a UK intelligence outfit known as the Government Communications Headquarters, through a previously secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, has been systematically attempting “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse”. This should be deeply disturbing to anyone that values free speech on the Internet.
It isn’t just that the British government is trying to influence what people are thinking. The reality is that this is far bigger than a mere propaganda campaign. As Greenwald recently noted on his new website, the “integrity of the Internet itself” is at stake…
By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
So what techniques are the British using to control and manipulate discourse on the Internet? According to Greenwald, the documents that Snowden has uncovered show that they are willing to sink to despicable lows in order to get the results that they desire…
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
The following is a list of Internet infiltration techniques that were listed on one particular slide that Snowden leaked…
-Set Piece Operation
-False Flag Operation
-False Rescue Operation
You can check out this slide for yourself right here.
There is also evidence that the Canadian government has been involved in this sort of thing as well. The following comes from Natural News…
You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.
Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.
You can see a video news report about this activity up in Canada right here.
Are you disturbed yet?
You should be.
So what kind of people are the governments of the western world targeting online?
Well, when it comes to the U.S. government, all you have to do is to look at their official documents to see who they consider the “problems” to be. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.
Sadly, the reality of the matter is that the days of the free and open Internet are numbered. The governments of the world are increasing their control over the Internet with each passing day, and eventually a time will likely come when we will not be able to communicate openly like this any longer.
Things have gotten so bad in the U.S. already that even Google is spooked…
A recent court decision that endorsed a broad view of the Federal Communications Commission’s authority over the Internet has Google and other Web companies nervous.
In closed-door meetings with regulators and Capitol Hill staff, Google’s lawyers have said they’re worried how the FCC may use its newfound powers, according to multiple people familiar with the meetings.
The extent of the FCC’s authority over Google and other Web services remains unclear, and the current FCC has given no indication that it is interested in pushing aggressive new regulations. But the possibility that the commission could begin telling Google how to organize its search results or handle its users’ data is enough to spook the company’s army of Washington lobbyists.
And this is just the beginning.
If you think that the control freaks that are running things now are bad, just wait until you see the next generation of control freaks.
For example, there is one prominent student writer at Harvard that apparently believes that free speech at her university should be abolished and that any professor that does not advocate for her politically-correct version of “justice” should be fired…
A student writer at Harvard University is raising eyebrows after publishing her belief that free speech on campus should be abolished and professors with opposing views be fired.
Sandra Korn, a senior who writes a column for the Harvard Crimson newspaper, thinks radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy, and the First Amendment only hinders colleges from brainwashing students with her viewpoint.
“Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice,” states the subtitle of her Feb. 18 column, in which she insists Harvard stop guaranteeing students and professors the right to hold controversial views and conduct research putting liberalism in a negative light.
“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?” Korn asks.
This is what control freaks always want.
They always want to shut down those that are presenting opposing views.
They don’t believe in free speech and a “marketplace of ideas”. Rather, they believe in shoving what they believe down the rest of our throats.
And now we have solid proof that the governments of the western world are paying people to manipulate discourse on social media, blogs, forums and websites.
So will there be great outrage over this, or will the apathetic public just roll over and ignore this like they have so many other times the past few years?
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
On Friday the office of Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued the following press release regarding her renewed fight against FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and introduction of H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act.
Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn today renewed her fight to block the FCC’s efforts to implement new net neutrality rules. In response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement this week that the FCC would begin the process of rewriting the agency’s Net Neutrality rules, Blackburn has introduced H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act of 2014.Congressman Blackburn’s legislation would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules from 2010 by stating they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.
“In typical fashion, the Obama Administration is proving once again that they will stop at nothing to restrict our Internet freedom. Despite having their regulations rejected by a federal appeals court, Chairman Wheeler has decided to press forward with the effort to implement these overreaching rules.
“Net Neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet. Once the FCC has a foothold into managing how internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. It’s time for Congress to slam the FCC’s regulatory back-door shut, lock it, and return the keys to the free market. My legislation will put the brakes on net neutrality and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”
Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which were first proposed in 2010 by former Chairman Julius Genachowski. Congressman Blackburn has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules and first introduced the Internet Freedom Act during the 112th Congress.
Also on Friday Rep. Blackburn appeared on Fox News to discuss the FCC’s efforts to control content over the broadcast airwaves and online, the First Amendment and Net Neutrality.
The Comcast/Time Warner Merger and the War Between Centralization and Decentralization
Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
-Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World Revisited (1958)
Until recent years, the struggle between the forces of “centralization” and “decentralization” was more of a full on slaughter-fest than an actually battle or war. As Americans sat there blissfully asleep for decades, every facet of our lives has been carefully consolidated into the hands of a smaller and smaller group of corporations, and hence individual executives. This trend is undeniable in everything from food, banking, media and everything in between.
Myself and many others saw the financial crisis of 2008 as a gigantic wakeup call. The disasters caused by powerful financial institutions and the greedy people that ran them should have been used as a rallying cry to break these institutions up. To recognize the dangers of too much power in one particular place. This is especially important in something as crucial as banking. However, as we are all painfully aware, this is not what happened. Rather, the institutions were bailed out, the industry consolidated even more than it was before, and the perpetrators of the crisis emerged from it even more wealthy and powerful.
My personal focus on this website has been to expose the unique dangers presented by centralization in the financial industry and the monetary system. However, many others are dedicated to the equally important and disturbing trends in other industries. Consumer goods is one of these areas, and a very telling diagram went around late last year showing how 10 companies basically control everything you buy. Take a look below:
Dangerous consolidation of the media is a trend that has also been discussed by many people on many occasions, and many of us by now have heard the stat that in the U.S. just six media giants control 90% of all TV, news, radio and film. Now that Comcast is set to buy Time Warner, the situation is about to get that much worse. The International Business Times made some poignant points:
“No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they could watch or download,” Aaron said. “But that — along with higher bills — is the reality they’ll face tomorrow unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws.”
In December, the Wall Street Journal speculated about a possible merger between the two companies, quoting an FCC official who told the paper that such a deal would face “a number of hurdles.” Chief among them is the 33 percent market share of pay-TV subscribers the new conglomerate would control. That percentage exceeds the cap of 30 percent formerly imposed by the FCC.
Perhaps an even greater hurdle is the resulting influence Comcast-TWC would have over Internet services. The merger, according to Gigaom’s Om Malik, could potentially make Comcast the largest broadband provider outside of China. Such muscle would give the company greater influence in key negotiations with content creators, particularly since it already owns NBCUniversal. It’s no wonder the deal is sparking fear among media diversity advocates. While pay-TV providers will trumpet their need for negotiating power amid rising retransmission fees — particularly for sports networks — cable bills have only gone up as media consolidation has proliferated over the last two decades. Speculating about a rumored TWC sale last month, Susan Crawford of Bloomberg.com said bluntly that it will “cost us all.”
Many people write about the struggle between “liberty” and “tyranny,” including myself, but these may not be the most effective terms to use in order to explain the troubling situation we face to a wider audience. Unfortunately, when people hear the words “liberty” the knee-jerk reaction for many is to associate it with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” Of course, it is “conspiracy fact” that a small handful of corporations and the executives that run them control more and more of our daily lives. In other words, the forces of “tyranny” use “centralization” as their primary weapon of choice in order to control us. Those of us who long for “freedom” and “liberty” must use “decentralization” as our primary tool to fight back and win.
I have no doubt that the we in the decentralization camp are on the right side of history, and I have become more and more confident of this fact with each passing day. Every year since the financial crisis I have witnessed more and more powerful tools for decentralization that the status quo simply will not be able to control. From 3D-printing to crypto-currencies, from crowd-funding to social media, it is clear to me the status quo must adapt or die. While the Comcast/Time Warner merger is a serious threat, I think it ultimately represents just another last gasp of a dying paradigm.
Follow Mike on Twitter.
Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com
Aaron Russo’s Last Message to Humanity
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Aaron Russo lost his battle with cancer shortly after this video was recorded. It is a lasting message to the people of America who struggle to preserve liberty.
Rest in Peace friend.
Aaron Russo shined light on the power of the individual verses the subservience of the controlled masses. #AaronRusso
Related posts with more from Aaron Russo:
If America Continues To Go Down The Same Path As Europe, This Is What Life Will Be Like…
Becoming more like Europe is not a good thing. But that is the path that we are currently on. For the most part, Europeans live in a socialist “Big Brother” system in which the government completely dominates your life from the cradle to the grave. Of course there are differences from country to country, but generally speaking the lives of most Europeans are very tightly regulated. You see, the truth is that high levels of individual liberty and freedom are considered to be “dangerous” by the European elite. They believe that if we are all allowed to just do whatever we want that it would result in utter chaos. They are convinced that life is better when those that are smarter (them) control the lives of everyone else. In essence, Europe is like a giant religious cult in many ways (minus the religion). With each passing year, the number of rules and regulations governing the daily lives of Europeans steadily grows, as does the level of control. If you try to live outside of that control, you could very well find yourself in a direct confrontation with the authorities very rapidly.
Just consider what is happening in Germany. Authorities there have stated repeatedly that they do not believe in having any “parallel societies”, and therefore everyone must participate in the system that the government has established.
That includes all children. In Germany today, almost all forms of homeschooling are illegal. In fact, one judge shockingly ruled that one set of parents could not have custody of their children because they might move them to another country and homeschool them there…
A judge has issued a stunning verdict in a homeschooling case in Germany, ordering that the parents cannot have custody of their children because the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a “concrete endangerment” to the children.
Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s case made international headlines in August when 20 armed police arrived with a battering ram and forcibly took their four children from their home in Darmstadt, Germany, and enrolled them in public school.
As WND reported at the time, the children, ages 7 to 14, were taken into police custody. They were allowed to return home three weeks later when their father and mother, given no choice by the federal bureaucracy in Germany, agreed to allow their kids to attend public schools despite their objection to the social and religious instruction there.
Are you starting to see what I meant when I compared Europe to a cult?
In Europe, government is god, and everyone and everything belongs to the government.
Apparently, that even includes the life savings of their own citizens. The following is from a Reuters article that was just posted this week…
The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.
Did you catch that? The EU apparently believes that they could use the private savings of their own citizens “to fund long-term investments” any time that they want.
But what if you don’t want your life savings to be invested in that way?
Too bad for you.
In fact, according to that Reuters article the EU wants to find ways to “mobilize more personal pension savings” so that there will be a larger pool with which to potentially fund long-term projects…
The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing”, the document said.
In Europe, they also tend to love any “Big Brother” technologies that will allow them to watch, track, monitor and record the activities of their citizens.
The control freaks in the UK are so paranoid that it is even illegal to carry a knife in public, but despite all of their crazy laws the rate of violent crime in the UK is still far higher than it is in the United States.
Now, the UK has decided that all of the medical records for the entire population will be gathered into a single database. The following is from a recent TechDirt article…
The UK government is currently building a database called care.data that will contain all of England’s medical records. It’s being promoted as providing valuable information for healthcare management and medical researchers that will lead to improved treatment.
But this database will not be private. In fact, it is being reported that information from this database will be sold to drug companies and insurance companies…
Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created.
Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.
How would you feel if that was being done to your private medical information?
Not that the U.S. is a bastion of freedom and liberty these days either.
For example, Infowars is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security plans to launch a “national license plate tracking system”…
The Department of Homeland Security is set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement, allowing DHS officers to take photos of any license plate using their smartphone and upload it to a database which will include a “hot list” of “target vehicles”.
The details are included in a PDF attachment uploaded yesterday to the Federal Business Opportunities website under a solicitation entitled “National License Plate Recognition Database.”
The system will “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement” in order to help locate “criminal aliens and absconders.”
And for many more ways that the U.S. is becoming a “Big Brother society”, please see my previous article entitled “32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison“.
Another way that America is becoming more like Europe is in the area of religious behavior.
At one time, Europe was a hotbed for religious faith. Of course those days are long gone. And the United States is now heading down the exact same path, although Europe is still way ahead of us. The following is from a Pew Research survey conducted a few years ago…
Half of Americans deem religion very important in their lives; fewer than a quarter in Spain (22%), Germany (21%), Britain (17%) and France (13%) share this view.
So why has religion become so unimportant?
Well, it is because that is what the government system tells them to believe from the time that they are little children.
As I mentioned earlier, the government dominates your life from the beginning to the end in Europe. This even includes decisions about ending your life.
In fact, in Belgium they actually want to extend the euthanasia law to children…
Making the argument that everybody has the right to die, Karine Lalieux, a Socialist member of the Belgian House, is pushing legislation that would extend the country’s 2002 euthanasia law to minors under 18.
“Our responsibility is to allow everybody to live, but also to die, in dignity,’’ said Lalieux.
And in the Netherlands they actually have mobile euthanasia teams that go door to door helping elderly people end their lives in the comfort of their own homes.
Europe is not a model for the rest of us to follow.
Instead, Europe should serve as a stark warning to the rest of the world about what can happen when you let the control freaks get too much control.
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
G Edward Griffin – Agenda 21 – Save Long Island Forum 1/18/14 (Video)
( H/T Liz Abbott )
Published by wearechangect
The legendary author G Edward Griffin was the headline speaker at the Save Long Island Forum talking about the eugenic plans of the UN’s Agenda 21 to covertly exterminate most of the world’s population.
32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison
If you live in the United States, you live in a high tech surveillance grid that is becoming more oppressive with each passing day. In America today, the control freaks that run things are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do. If we continue on the path that we are currently on, we will be heading into a future where there will be absolutely no privacy of any kind. In fact, many would argue that we are essentially there already. Many people speak of this as being the “Information Age“, but most Americans don’t really stop and think about what that really means. Most of the information that is considered to be so “valuable” is actually about all of us. Businesses want to know as much about all of us as possible so that they can sell us stuff. Government officials want to know as much about all of us as possible so that they can make sure that we are not doing anything that they don’t like. There is a constant hunger for even more information, and so the surveillance technologies just continue to become even more advanced and the Big Brother control grid being constructed all around us just continues to become even more pervasive. Even though you may not be consciously aware of it, the truth is that it is surrounding you right now even as you read this. We live in a society where liberty and freedom are literally being strangled to death, but most Americans don’t seem to care.
Do you know who else gets watched, tracked and monitored 24 hours a day?
Surveillance is a form of control, and at this point we are little more than inmates inside a gigantic Big Brother surveillance grid.
Posted below is a list of 32 privacy destroying technologies that are systematically transforming America into a giant prison. Following each item, there is a short excerpt from a news report about that particular technology. If you want to read the entire article where the excerpt came from, just click the link to find the source. Individually, each of these technologies is deeply troubling. But when you step back and take a look at them all collectively, it is absolutely horrifying…
#1 Spying On Us Through Our Televisions: Put simply, our TVs have started spying on us.
Last week, there was a high-profile case in point. An IT consultant called Jason Huntley, who lives in a village near Hull, uncovered evidence that a flat-screen television, which had been sitting in his living room since the summer, was secretly invading his family’s privacy.
He began investigating the £400 LG device after noticing that its home screen appeared to be showing him ‘targeted’ adverts — for cars, and Knorr stock cubes — based on programmes he’d just been watching.
Huntley decided to monitor information that the so-called smart TV — which connects to the internet — was sending and receiving. He did this by using his laptop effectively as a bridge between his television and the internet receiver, so the laptop was able to show all the data being sucked out of his set.
He soon discovered that details of not just every show he watched but every button he pressed on his remote control were being sent back to LG’s corporate headquarters in South Korea.
#2 Next Generation Facial Recognition Technology: In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring.
Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud.
#3 Your Next Password Might Be Your Eye: You can use your phone to figure out your heart rate, track how much you walk, and even measure your sex life. But the powerful sensors inside smartphones can do more than keep you updated on your health: They can also turn your body into a password.
EyeVerify is a small Kansas City–based security company. Its core product is biometric eyescan software for smartphones. Every person has a unique pattern of blood vessels in their eyes. These blood vessels contrast with the whites of the eyes so clearly that they can always be read, even when there’s a lack of light. The best part? Those blood-vessel patterns can be photographed by phones and turned into unique data signatures which can be used to replace or supplement traditional passwords. “We turn a picture of your eye into a key that protects your digital identity,” says EyeVerify CEO Toby Rush.
#4 “Pre-Crime” Surveillance Cameras: Hundreds of pre-crime surveillance cameras are to be installed in San Francisco’s subway system that will analyze “suspicious behavior” and alert guards to potential criminal or terrorist activity – before any crime has been committed.
“Manufacturers BRS Labs said it has installed the cameras at tourist attractions, government buildings and military bases in the U.S. In its latest project BRS Labs is to install its devices on the transport system in San Francisco, which includes buses, trams and subways,” reports the Daily Mail.
The cameras are programmed with a list of behaviors considered “normal”. Anything that deviates from usual activity is classified as suspicious and guards are immediately alerted via text message or a phone call.
Equipped with the ability to track up to 150 suspects at a time, the cameras build up a “memory” of suspicious behavior to determine what constitutes potential criminal activity.
A total of 288 cameras will be installed across 12 transport hubs.
#5 New Software That Will Store And Analyze Millions Of Our Voices: ‘Voice Grid Nation’ is a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. Brought to the US by Russia’s Speech Technology Center, it claims to be capable of allowing police, federal agencies and other law enforcement personnel to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices.
When authorities intercept a call they’ve deemed ‘hinky’, the recording is entered into the VoiceGrid program, which (probably) buzzes and whirrs and spits out a match. In five seconds, the program can scan through 10,000 voices, and it only needs 3 seconds for speech analysis. All that, combined with 100 simultaneous searches and the storage capacity of 2 million samples, gives SpeechPro, as the company is known in the US, the right to claim a 90% success rate.
#6 A Device That Captures Your Fingerprints From 20 Feet Away: Gaining access to your gym or office building could soon be as simple as waving a hand at the front door. A Hunsville, Ala.-based company called IDair is developing a system that can scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away. Coupled with other biometrics, it could soon allow security systems to grant or deny access from a distance, without requiring users to stop and scan a fingerprint, swipe an ID card, or otherwise lose a moment dealing with technology.
Currently IDair’s primary customer is the military, but the startup wants to open up commercially to any business or enterprise that wants to put a layer of security between its facilities and the larger world. A gym chain is already beta testing the system (no more using your roommate’s gym ID to get in a free workout), and IDair’s founder says that at some point his technology could enable purchases to be made biometrically, using fingerprints and irises as unique identifiers rather than credit card numbers and data embedded in magnetic strips or RFID chips.
#7 Molecular Scanners That Can Secretly Scan You From 164 Feet Away: Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
And without you knowing it.
The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded “in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress.” According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.
Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States.
#8 Mobile Backscatter Vans: American cops are set to join the US military in deploying American Science & Engineering’s Z Backscatter Vans, or mobile backscatter radiation x-rays. These are what TSA officials call “the amazing radioactive genital viewer,” now seen in airports around America, ionizing the private parts of children, the elderly, and you (yes you).
These pornoscannerwagons will look like regular anonymous vans, and will cruise America’s streets, indiscriminately peering through the cars (and clothes) of anyone in range of its mighty isotope-cannon. But don’t worry, it’s not a violation of privacy. As AS&E’s vice president of marketing Joe Reiss sez, “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be.”
#9 RFID Microchips In Our Schools: Upon arriving in the morning, according to the Associated Press, each student at the CCC-George Miller preschool will don a jersey with a stitched in RFID chip. As the kids go about the business of learning, sensors in the school will record their movements, collecting attendance for both classes and meals. Officials from the school have claimed they’re only recording information they’re required to provide while receiving federal funds for their Headstart program.
#10 Palm Scanning Devices In Our Schools: Puyallup School District says by the end of the year, every lunchroom will have palm scanning devices that will allow students to pay for their lunch with a wave of a hand.
“Efficiency is another reason for implementing this. The accuracy of the scanner reduces human error, reduces fraud, the ability for students to share numbers allows parents to know the money that they’re spending is being spent on their child’s lunch,” said Brian Fox, spokesperson for Puyallup School District.
The district says the devices will be in all 32 schools by the end of the school year.
#11 Iris Scanning Devices In Our Schools: Kids lose their school IDs but they don’t often lose their eyeballs.
That’s one of the reasons why a growing number of schools are replacing traditional identification cards with iris scanners. By the fall, several schools — ranging from elementary schools to colleges — will be rolling out various iris scanning security methods.
#12 Implantable Medical Laboratory-On-A-Chip: French researchers are zeroing in on a tiny, chip-based medical laboratory test device designed to be implanted under the skin. This miniature blood laboratory may revolutionize healthcare by continuously monitoring high-risk, chronically ill patients.
This ground-breaking work is being done by developers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), or Swiss Institute of Technology, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The implantable lab-testing device is linked to the user’s cell phone and can send alerts to doctors before symptoms are evident.
#13 Smart Phone Eye Scanners: A patent application filed by Samsung seems to indicate that next-generation Galaxy smartphones might feature biometric authentication as an alternative to PINs or passwords.
Unlike arch-rival Apple’s Touch ID, however, the South Korean technology giant won’t be scanning users’ fingerprints. Instead, the patent – spotted by blog Patent Bolt – describes a novel iris scanning technique.
According to Samsung, the non-contact nature of eye scanning means handset owners “do not feel uncomfortable” with the technology, while at the same time the iris offers more unique patterns than the fingerprint does.
#14 Cell Phone Tower “Stingrays”: You make a call on your cellphone thinking the only thing standing between you and the recipient of your call is your carrier’s cellphone tower. In fact, that tower your phone is connecting to just might be a boobytrap set up by law enforcement to ensnare your phone signals and maybe even the content of your calls.
So-called stingrays are one of the new high-tech tools that authorities are using to track and identify you. The devices, about the size of a suitcase, spoof a legitimate cellphone tower in order to trick nearby cellphones and other wireless communication devices into connecting to the tower, as they would to a real cellphone tower.
The government maintains that the stingrays don’t violate Fourth Amendment rights, since Americans don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy for data sent from their mobile phones and other wireless devices to a cell tower.
#15 Using Your Cell Phone Microphone As A “Roving Bug”: The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a “roving bug,” and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
#16 The Government Is Using Our Cell Phones To Track Our Movements: One of the biggest changes is the ability to track your physical location. I’m sorry I came in at the end of the previous talk. I heard them talk about surveying cell phones with a drone, in a wide area — this is something that is done routinely now. I can tell you that everybody that attended an Occupy Wall Street protest, and didn’t turn their cell phone off, or put it — and sometimes even if they did — the identity of that cell phone has been logged, and everybody who was at that demonstration, whether they were arrested, not arrested, whether their photos were ID’d, whether an informant pointed them out, it’s known they were there anyway. This is routine.
#17 Police Using “Extraction Devices” To Take Our Cell Phone Data: The Michigan State Police have a handful of portable machines called “extraction devices” that have the potential to download personal information from motorists they pull over, and the ACLU would like to know more about them.
The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.
#18 Automated License Plate Readers: More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers. But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.
With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles.
Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the District, which has more than one plate-reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. Police in the Washington suburbs have dozens of them as well, and local agencies plan to add many more in coming months, creating a comprehensive dragnet that will include all the approaches into the District.
#19 Street Lights That Can Record Private Conversations: Federally-funded high-tech street lights now being installed in American cities are not only set to aid the DHS in making “security announcements” and acting as talking surveillance cameras, they are also capable of “recording conversations,” bringing the potential privacy threat posed by ‘Intellistreets’ to a whole new level.
#20 Spying On Us Through Our Video Game Systems: Users of the new Xbox One are complaining that Kinect is monitoring their Skype conversations for swearing and then punishing them with account bans. Microsoft has admitted it is punishing gamers for bad language but denied that it is snooping on private Skype chats.
#21 Data Mining: The company fits into a category called database marketing. It started in 1969 as an outfit called Demographics Inc., using phone books and other notably low-tech tools, as well as one computer, to amass information on voters and consumers for direct marketing. Almost 40 years later, Acxiom has detailed entries for more than 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S., and about 500 million active consumers worldwide. More than 23,000 servers in Conway, just north of Little Rock, collect and analyze more than 50 trillion data ‘transactions’ a year.
#22 A New Technology Called “Coin” Is Being Called “The Future Of Money”: The future of money has arrived, and it’s called Coin.
It looks like a credit card. It’s the size of a credit card. It swipes in credit card machines. But it holds the information of up to eight of your debit, credit, rewards, or gift cards. And you can switch between cards by simply pressing a button.
The new product, launched recently, promises to change the way consumers spend money in a secure and efficient way.
#23 A National Database Of All Financial Transactions: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking to create a “Google Earth” of every financial transaction of every American, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) warned today in a Senate speech opposing confirmation of Richard Cordray as CFPB director.
“This bill (creating the CFPB) was supposed to be about regulating Wall Street. Instead, it’s creating a Google Earth on every financial transaction. That’s right: the government will be able to see every detail of your finances. Your permission – not needed,” Sen. Enzi said.
#24 The Coming National DNA Database: A national DNA database is coming. Barack Obama has already said that he wants one. A major Supreme Court decision last month paved the way for one. The DNA of those that commit “serious crimes” is already being routinely collected all over the nation. Some states (such as New Jersey) are now passing laws that will require DNA collection from those charged with committing “low level crimes”. And a law that was passed under George W. Bush allows the federal government to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the United States. So how long will it be before we are all required to give DNA samples to the authorities?
#25 The Systematic Recording Of Talk Radio Programs: Next time you call a talk radio station, beware: The FBI may be listening.
According to WMAL.com, “The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet. … The FBI says it is not playing Big Brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.”
#26 The FBI’s Next Generation Identification System: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun rolling out its new $1 billion biometric Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. In essence, NGI is a nationwide database of mugshots, iris scans, DNA records, voice samples, and other biometrics, that will help the FBI identify and catch criminals — but it is how this biometric data is captured, through a nationwide network of cameras and photo databases, that is raising the eyebrows of privacy advocates.
Until now, the FBI relied on IAFIS, a national fingerprint database that has long been due an overhaul. Over the last few months, the FBI has been pilot testing a facial recognition system — and soon, detectives will also be able to search the system for other biometrics such as DNA records and iris scans.
#27 Trapwire: “You are being watched. The government has a secret system – a machine – that spies on you every hour of every day.” That is how each episode of “Person of Interest” on CBS begins. Most Americans that have watched the show just assume that such a surveillance network is completely fictional and that the government would never watch us like that. Sadly, most Americans are wrong. Shocking new details have emerged this week which prove that a creepy nationwide network of spy cameras is being rolled out across the United States. Reportedly, these new spy cameras are “more accurate than modern facial recognition technology”, and every few seconds they send back data from cities and major landmarks all over the United States to a centralized processing center where it is analyzed. The authorities believe that the world has become such a dangerous place that the only way to keep us all safe is to watch what everyone does all the time. But the truth is that instead of “saving America”, all of these repressive surveillance technologies are slowly killing our liberties and our freedoms. America is being transformed into an Orwellian prison camp right in front of our eyes, and very few people are even objecting to it.
#28 Spyware That Monitors The Behavior Of Government Workers: When the Food and Drug Administration started spying on a group of agency scientists, it installed monitoring software on their laptop computers to capture their communications.
The software, sold by SpectorSoft of Vero Beach, Fla., could do more than vacuum up the scientists’ e-mails as they complained to lawmakers and others about medical devices they thought were dangerous. It could be programmed to intercept a tweet or Facebook post. It could snap screen shots of their computers. It could even track an employee’s keystrokes, retrieve files from hard drives or search for keywords.
#29 Political Campaign Databases: If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
#30 Spying On Us Through Our Appliances: Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home – the rise of ‘connected’ gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people ‘bug’ their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus.
The CIA claims it will be able to ‘read’ these devices via the internet – and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home.
Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps – and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells.
The resultant chorus of ‘connected’ gadgets will be able to be read like a book – and even remote-controlled, according to CIA CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a recent report by Wired’s ‘Danger Room’ blog.
#31 Unmanned Aerial Drones: Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is using aerial drones to spy on farmers in Nebraska and Iowa. The surveillance came under scrutiny last week when Nebraska’s congressional delegation sent a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
On Friday, EPA officialdom in “Region 7” responded to the letter.
“Courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility) and EPA would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act,” the agency said in response to the letter.
#32 NSA Snooping: Speaking to a raucous audience via Skype on Friday, Greenwald said the NSA’s “brand-new technology” gives it the power to “redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day.”
“But what we’re really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency,” Greenwald said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re listening to every call; it means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.”
Greenwald added that the NSA technology is “designed to destroy all privacy. And what’s incredibly menacing about it is that it’s all taking place in the dark with no accountability and virtually no safeguards.”
Every single day, the NSA intercepts and permanently stores close to 2 billion emails and phone calls in addition to a whole host of other data.
So where does all of that data go?
Well, the NSA recently completely construction of the largest data center in the history of the world out in Utah. It will reportedly have the capability of storing 5 zettabytes of data. That is an amount of data that is almost incomprehensible.
This data center has approximately a million square feet of storage space, it cost nearly 2 billion dollars to build, and it is going to take about 40 million dollars a year just to pay for the energy needed to run it.
Without a doubt, we have become a surveillance society.
And if the American people don’t object now, this will just be the tip of the iceberg.
If we continue down this same path, what is coming will be far more horrifying than anything that George Orwell ever dreamed of.
So what do you think about all of this?
Image credit: http://thetruthwins.com
Who will win the war for the Internet? The corporate state or individuals?
Are corporations partnering with government going to kill the freedom and liberty we have all enjoyed on the Internet for years? Will CISPA and similar laws skew power toward the state, turning the wild and free net into a locked down digital commons. A prison yard even?
The government it seems would like to lock down the net. The once free United States is actively eavesdropped on by her own government. We now know this for sure. In a clear violation of the 4th Amendment the government is gathering our data to be processed by algorithms yet to be developed.
Add Diane Feinstein and her ilk in Congress relentlessly trying to shut down any free thought at all on the web (unless officially sanctioned) and its plain to see that we liberty loving cyber citizens are under severe threat.
Sadly many of the champions of the Internet, some of the trail blazing companies born in the recent past have been brought to heel, and into the government fold. (Most probably had no choice.) There was even a report that Windows 8 has an NSA Trojan horse component built into it. At least the German government thinks this might be the case.
It seems that the tide of corporatism and outright statism on the net is rising. But it can be beaten back.
(From The Atlantic)
We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals. Initially, the Internet empowered the second side. It gave them a place to coordinate and communicate efficiently, and made them seem unbeatable. But now, the more traditional institutional powers are winning, and winning big. How these two side fare in the long term, and the fate of the rest of us who don’t fall into either group, is an open question—and one vitally important to the future of the Internet.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Time to call our Senators and Congresspeople again. How come the only thing members of Congress can come together on is controlling the web habits and information sharing of everyday citizens? What are they afraid of?
We beat them before. Now we have to do it again. And probably again after this.
Here’s a list of important contacts.