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My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes

My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes

On Mother’s Day in 2019, I obtained a massive archive of materials from Brazil’s most powerful officials. The reporting we did changed the country, and our lives.

In 2015, I travelled to Sweden for an event with former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. It was billed as a conversation about modern journalism between the reporter who had broken the biggest story of the prior generation (Watergate) and the one responsible for the biggest story of the current one (NSA/Snowden revelations).

A couple of years earlier, at the height of the Snowden reporting, Bernstein and I had traded some barbed insults through the media. So before traveling to Sweden, he generously reached out to invite me to dinner in order, essentially, to clear the air so that we could have a civil conversation. The night before the event, we met for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We quickly laughed off the acrimony — it had been a couple of years prior, and both of us have had much worse said about us — and proceeded to have a perfectly enjoyable conversation.

Truth be told, I was excited to meet and talk to Bernstein. Though his Trump-era persona became conventionally fixated on melodramatizing Trump’s evils for CNN, at the time Bernstein for me was most associated with the high investigative drama of Watergate. As a kid, it was that journalistic triumph, along with the Pentagon Papers, that captured my obsessive attention and shaped my views of what journalism is: reporters and whistleblowers who risk everything and face various multi-level dangers to confront and expose corruption by the most powerful actors in society…

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‘That’s Not Orwellian, THIS Is Orwellian’: Aussies Mulling ID For Access To Facebook, Twitter, Tinder

‘That’s Not Orwellian, THIS Is Orwellian’: Aussies Mulling ID For Access To Facebook, Twitter, Tinder

The Australian government is mulling a proposal which would require citizens to provide at least two forms of identification if they want to use social media, under the guise of ‘battling online bullying and more easily report users to authorities.

Under the guise of preventing online bullying, the Morrison government’s plan would require ‘100 points of identification’ in order to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – and online dating platforms such as Tinder, according to news.com.au. To satisfy the ‘100 points’ requirement, citizens would need to combine ‘Category 1’ methods of identification (birth certificate, passport, citizenship papers) with ‘Category 2’ ID (Valid government-issued license, public employee photo ID, doctor’s note).

More via news.com.au:

The recommendation, which has been raised before, is one of 88 recommendations from a parliamentary committee report looking at family, domestic and sexual violence.

“In order to open or maintain an existing social media account, customers should be required by law to identify themselves to a platform using 100 points of identification, in the same way as a person must provide identification for a mobile phone account, or to buy a mobile SIM card,” the report suggests.

It goes on to say that social media platforms “must provide those identifying details when requested by the eSafety Commissioner, law enforcement or as directed by the court”.

In other news, Australia has an eSafety Commissioner.

As the report notes, the ID requirement would mean social media giants have even more information on their users.

Normal people, as expected, are expressing disbelief over the new proposal:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five ways to loosen Big Tech’s grip on your life

I imagine there are countless people right now who feel a wide range of emotions when it comes to Big Tech companies. Anger. Disgust. Confusion. Fear.

We’ve watched with exasperation as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. have systematically squashed intellectual dissent; their actions have been so commonplace that there’s even a name for it: “De-platforming”.

We all know there’s a ton of garbage on the Internet, including from mainstream sources.

But de-platforming has proven to be wholeheartedly biased, totally arbitrary, and often comically ridiculous.

This isn’t just about the election or the Capitol. For example, if you dare utter a word on social media that goes against the infinite and infallible wisdom of the Chinese-controlled World Health Organization, then you might find yourself banned.

YouTube even suspended a renowned epidemiologist– a bona fide pandemic expert– because he opposed lockdowns and was hence ‘dangerous’.

Facebook censored more than 22 million posts in Q2 of 2020 for ‘hate speech’. Naturally, its entirely up to Facebook to define hate speech and judge whether or not you’re using it.

#killallmen, for example, is NOT considered hate speech. And even by the company’s own admission, hate speech against men, or white people, is a low priority.

It’s clear these companies have an enormous amount of unchecked power. They have the ability to erase you from the Internet, destroy your reputation, and, if you’re someone who makes money online, terminate your livelihood.

But the only reason they have this power is because we’ve given it to them. Hundreds of millions of people have intertwined their entire lives into the Big Tech ecosystem, to the point that they know absolutely everything about us.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Monetizing Privacy”: The Fed Fans Out, Touting the “Digital Dollar.” This Time, How Consumers Would Benefit

“Monetizing Privacy”: The Fed Fans Out, Touting the “Digital Dollar.” This Time, How Consumers Would Benefit

But the problemita of pulling the rug out from under the entire banking system still needs to be addressed.

“As cash use continues to decline, the question naturally arises as to whether central banks should provide a digital alternative to cash that also provides some privacy features,” says the blog post, titled “Monetizing Privacy,” by the New York Fed. The post is based on a 26-page academic paper on digital payment methods that have been used broadly, the current market structure of digital payment methods, the data-gathering that occurs, versus cash payments that preserve privacy – and versus the “digital dollar” now being worked on.

Each time a digital payment takes place, the companies involved gather voluminous amounts of data and hang on to it because it gives them a competitive advantage in selling more goods or services to this particular consumer. This data has a lot of value for these companies – a key point we’ll get to in a moment with regards to the “digital dollar.”

While the share of cash in transactions has declined, US dollar bills are being hoarded like never before. “Currency in circulation,” which the Fed reports weekly on its balance sheet as a liability, has soared during the Pandemic, reaching another record last week of $2.06 trillion, having doubled since 2011:

The amount of currency in circulation is demand-based: Banks have to have enough currency on hand to satisfy their customers’ demand for currency, and during a crisis, people load up and hoard cash, much of it overseas, and to meet this demand, banks have to buy more currency from the Fed, usually paying with Treasury securities for this paper.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cashless World Signals a Global End to Privacy

 

Countries are moving to digital currencies at lightning speed. This is the future of money. Digital currencies will replace cash on an ASAP agenda. We are witnessing Europe, Canada, Asia, and even China all moving toward this new digital world for (1) total control, (2) taxes, (3) to track everyone and every transaction. We have been witnessing world leaders, including Trudeau, eager to see the fall of Trump because he has stood in opposition to this movement.

Even China has begun trials of a new digital Yuan. They have already outlawed BitCoin. You are witnessing the same unfolding in Europe. In the USA, legally you are supposed to report what digital currency you have when traveling from overseas because you are carrying more than $10,000 even if you had that when you left. Bitcoin, I have warned, was allowed to operate because the government wanted people to get accustomed to digital currency. Once they broke ground, then it was just a stroke of the pen to outlaw it and convert everything to the digital sovereign currency.

The digital currency will become an international currency. Many countries are hoping this will dethrone the dollar. The Chinese are looking at this as a way to also bypass the SWIFT system that the West has used to impose sanctions on countries. In that respect, they have brought that on themselves.

However, this new world of a digital economy brings with it great damage to our freedom. This is why Bill Gates has been pushing this at the United Nations, which he seems to have bought. Gates is looking for a monopoly far beyond Microsoft. He wants a monopoly over the digital world. I think his dreams are bigger than his ego. Digital money is a way to know everything any citizen does and it will allow every government to track its citizens. In the United States, the IRS has already been using digital info to track people illegally. This is just the beginning.

Police And Fusion Centers Use Wi-Fiber Technology To Secretly Monitor Americans: Part 1

Police And Fusion Centers Use Wi-Fiber Technology To Secretly Monitor Americans: Part 1

A four year old video from Wi-Fiber Technology does not even come close to telling the whole story of how law enforcement and Fusion Centers can use this product to secretly monitor Americans.
At approximately the 1 minute mark of the above video, Wi-Fiber offers a glimpse into how government agencies use their product to “improve public safety and emergency response in real-time.”

A look at Wi-Fiber’s website reveals next to nothing about how their “Self-Forming, Modular, Autonomous, Real-Time, Turn-Key” (S.M.A.R.T.) product is used. Which opens up a ton of questions.

Readers are left guessing as to how and why law enforcement would want to use S.M.A.R.T. until you start to read between the lines.

You see, S.M.A.R.T. is really just an acronym for smart cities and everything it entails. Wi-Fiber uses Smart Mesh, Edge Computing, Inter-Operability, Visualization, Cloud and G.A.R.I.2.  The G.A.R.I.2 PowerPoint Presentation reveals exactly why police are so excited to purchase Wi-Fiber.

All of these smart city devices are designed to do two things, be accessible by one platform and provide intelligence in real-time. As Canton, Ohio Police Chief  Jack Angelo said, “the more and more we dug into it, we saw that it was going to be probably more of a cost-effective solution.”

A recent Columbus-Dispatch article was a little more revealing.

“Wi-Fiber technology has proven more useful to police than the ShotSpotter system it replaced,  “We get a lot more out of cameras and license plate reading than we do out of the shot detection,“ Chief Angelo said.”

How are police departments getting more intelligence out of Wi-Fiber than license plate readers and ShotSpotter? Because Wi-Fiber allows law enforcement to use CCTV cameras in ways they could only dream about years ago.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Government Can Already Track You Without Apps

Government Can Already Track You Without Apps

People have no idea that the government can already track your movement and can determine if you are a protestor or not. A company named Mobilewalla released a report titled, “George Floyd Protester Demographics: Insights Across 4 Major US Cities.” It produced 60 pie charts detailing what percent of protesters in these demonstrations were male or female, young adult (18–34); middle-aged (35-54), or older (55+); and “African-American,” “Caucasian/Others,” “Hispanic,” or “Asian-American.” This data is available now and can provide a questionable practice constitutionally.

You better get a burner phone and leave the smartphone home if you are getting near any protest, for you can be determined to be part of it.

Your “Immunity Passport” Future Begins to Materialize As Airlines Call For Digital ID Tracking Systems

YOUR “IMMUNITY PASSPORT” FUTURE BEGINS TO MATERIALIZE AS AIRLINES CALL FOR DIGITAL ID TRACKING SYSTEMS

THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRLINE TRADE GROUP HAS CALLED FOR IMMUNITY PASSPORTS, THERMAL SCREENING, MASKS, AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING TO BE A PART OF THE INDUSTRY’S STRATEGY FOR RETURNING TO “NORMAL” OPERATIONS.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 299 airlines, recently issued their publication, Biosecurity for Air Transport A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation, which outlines their strategy to open up air travel as governments begin to lift travel restrictions.

Under a section titled, “The passenger experience” and “Temporary biosecurity measures,” the IATA describes their vision of post-COVID-19 flights. The organization calls for contact tracing, a controversial method of tracking the civilian population to track the spread of COVID-19.

“We foresee the need to collect more detailed passenger contact information which can be used for tracing purposes,” the report states. “Where possible, the data should be collected in electronic form, and in advance of the passenger arriving at the airport including through eVisa and electronic travel authorization platforms.”

Interestingly, this call for pre-boarding check-in using “electronic travel authorization platforms” coincides with the recent announcement of the Covipass and the Health Pass from Clear, both of which call for a digital ID system using biometrics and storing travel, health, and identification data.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s CEO, told Arabian Industry that “a layered approach” combining multiple measures which are “globally implemented and mutually recognized by governments” are “the way forward for biosecurity.”

The IATA also calls for temperature screening at entry points to airport terminals. They envision the airline experience involving physical distancing of 3-6 feet throughout the airport. The group believes changes to the airport buildings to allow for physical distancing may be necessary. The IATA also recommended “face coverings” for passengers and protective equipment for airline and airport staff.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article..,

Big Tech Is Turning Hospitals Into Real-Time Surveillance Centers

Big Tech Is Turning Hospitals Into Real-Time Surveillance Centers

Recent events have come to light about hospital surveillance that should concern everyone.

Big Tech is using the pandemic as an excuse to turn hospitals into mirror images of law enforcement’s real-time crime centers.

When Google announced that they were donating 10,000 Nest cameras to hospitals, my jaw dropped.

“With these Nest Cams, nurses and doctors will be able to check in on patients, supplementing in-person checks. This means there will be a reduction of physical contact, and therefore less of a need for personal protection equipment (PPE), which has fast become a scare resource.”

What makes Google’s donation so jaw dropping is how Big Tech companies are using the pandemic to make them appear magnanimous.

“With both contact tracing and the Nest Cam solution, however, Google needs to rebuild a reputation as a privacy concerned company due to the sensitive nature of both projects. It’s not going to be an easy task, but one that should remain at the forefront of all such efforts.”

Because nothing says reputation builder, like putting real-time surveillance cameras in patients rooms. Not only will hospitals record patients but they will record, nurses, doctors, hospital staff and anyone else who enters a patients’ room. That also includes minors, so no one will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes.

As The Guardian discovered, it also sends that information to Google servers.

“However, Nest admits that when connected to Google’s “Works with Nest integration” system, which allows other devices such as ceiling fans, washing machines and car sensors to integrate with Nest’s products, it does share personal information with Google.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How the Shadow Government works: Privacy vs Secrecy

How the Shadow Government works: Privacy vs Secrecy

(Global Intel Hub 4/14/2020 – Charlotte, NC – ) Now that we are all homebound only to rely on ‘official’ sources of information as to what’s going on, a deep dive into the shadow government is called for; what it is, and what role it plays in COVERT-19.  As we explain in Splitting Pennies, the world is not as it seems.  First we want to mention that the word ‘conspiracy’ was invented by CIA Psychologists to discredit any alternative to the lone gunman theory, which has been proven demonstrably false.  Those in the FBI know very well who organized it, as agents were ‘called off’ of one of the most important murder investigations in history by the ‘higher ups’ and this was the moment that the Shadow Government was created.  The Shadow Government is not really the government this is a code word, most of those individuals who are its operators are in fact working for (or have previously worked for, or will be working for) private enterprise.  This is the most important thing to understand – it’s a business.  Everyone always asks the question ‘why’ ? What is the motive of the shadow government?  It’s really simple, power, which equals money.  We’ll get into their unfair business practices later.  First we need to understand the difference between PRIVACY and SECRECY from a legal (systemic) perspective – looking at markets.  Public markets are open and transparent, meaning that there are rules in place whereby public companies have a disclosure burden, not only with quarterly financials but with their operations.  For example, food companies must disclose what ingredients are in the food.  There’s only one exception – patents.  Heinz Ketchup has a ‘secret ingredient’ which is probably the genetically modified blood sample of Henry Heinz mass produced in a laboratory – so for this ‘secret’ they are allowed to write ‘other ingredients.’ 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World Is “Sleepwalking Into Surveillance State” As COVID-19 Crackdowns Escalate

World Is “Sleepwalking Into Surveillance State” As COVID-19 Crackdowns Escalate

All across the world, starting with China, the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed for the proliferation of the surveillance state. 

More than 100 rights groups are warning that governments and corporations are partnering as a collaborative force to employ big data and increase widespread surveillance that threatens freedoms and privacy, reported Reuters

At the moment, the surveillance tools are being used to mitigate the spread of the virus, tracing infections back to patient zero, monitoring social distancing, and enforcing lockdowns. However, the virus is likely a cover for pervasive snooping.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Privacy International said without appropriate safeguards, surveillance tools could remain in place even after the virus has been eradicated, which would erode people’s freedoms on a long enough timeline.

“An increase in state digital surveillance powers, such as obtaining access to mobile phone location data, threatens privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association,” the groups said.

Edward Snowden, last week warned that the temporary mass surveillance, built to combat the virus, will not be so temporary, and the new measures are the new normal. He said the virus is the perfect cover to usher in the Orwellian mass surveillance state and will long outlast the virus.

Aaron Kesel of ActivistPost recently pointed out that the virus “is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies increased digital surveillance via our smartphones.” 

“China isn’t the only country looking towards smartphones to monitor their citizens; Israel and Poland have also implemented their own spying to monitor those suspected or confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus. Israel has gone the more extreme route, and has now given itself authority to surveil any citizen without a court warrant.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Police App Encourages People To Report Neighbors Who Violate Stay At Home Orders (UPDATED)

Police App Encourages People To Report Neighbors Who Violate Stay At Home Orders (UPDATED)

How do you encourage people to turn against each other during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The answer is not that complicated, especially if you live in the City of Bellevue, Washington.

Four years ago, when the city created the MyBellvue app, it was touted as being a quick and easy way to report things like downed street signs, potholes, street light issues and noise complaints. Fast forward to 2020 and public fears of COVID-19 have encouraged law enforcement to turn neighbors into government snitches.

Geekwirerevealed how the Bellevue Police Department has turned a public service app into a report on your neighbors app.  You can report these incidents through the MyBellevue app on your electronic device or the MyBellevue portal.

“Police in Bellevue, Wash., are asking residents to report violations of the state’s “stay home” order online in an effort to clear up 911 lines for emergencies.”

A recent Associated Pressarticle revealed that people are all to happy to report on their neighbors.

“Snitches are emerging as enthusiastic allies as cities, states and countries work to enforce directives meant to limit person-to-person contact amid the virus pandemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide. They’re phoning police and municipal hotlines, complaining to elected officials and shaming perceived scofflaws on social media.”

Updated 4/3:

LA Mayor Offers Snitches Rewards For Reporting On Neighbors
According to a CBS LA4article Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would reward snitches.

Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney’s office for misdemeanor filings.

“You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards,” Garcetti said. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How To Keep Your Personal And Financial Data Safe From The Government

How To Keep Your Personal And Financial Data Safe From The Government

Psst! Eyes peeled because you’re in for a reality check. Your personal data is helping corporations make billions, keeping hackers in business, and giving your government all the tools it needs to better control you. Sounds harsh, we know it does. But it’s the truth, nonetheless.

Your Personal And Financial Data Is A Precious Commodity

In today’s digital economy, your personal data, the one you give away for free, is transformed into a precious commodity. The questions you type in the Google search bar help it get to know you better than your life partner does. Investors use people’s location histories in order to know where it makes the most sense to set up shop for a new shopping mall. And your government often requests the digital data held by companies in order to ‘better understand’ the wants and needs of its citizens.

However, even if all this may not influence you directly, the next type of personal data available online will. Because whether you realize it or not, your health records, social security numbers, and banking details are also being stored online.

And hackers and cybercriminals are coming up with smarter and more sophisticated ways of getting their sleazy hands onto your data. A little negligence on your behalf is all it takes. The next thing you know, your credit report shows purchases you never made, and you’re getting phone calls from other credit companies where you didn’t even sign up for.

So, the question is: are you willing to put up with all this? Are you just going to allow strangers a backdoor into your private life? Are you ready to share your secrets with corporations, marketers, investors, and politicians alike?

If your answer is a big fat NO, you’ve got several solutions at your disposal.

Change Your Search Engine

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facial-Recognition Company That Worried Privacy Advocates Has Entire Client List Stolen

Facial-Recognition Company That Worried Privacy Advocates Has Entire Client List Stolen

A Manhattan-based facial recognition company that uses artificial intelligence to collect data from unsuspecting social media users has reported that its entire client list has been stolen.

The company, Clearview AI, has developed an app which allows anyone to snap a picture of someone which is then compared to a database of more than 3 billion photos that the company has scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites, before serving up matches along with links to the sites where the database photos originally appeared.

Clearview AI has partnered with law enforcement agencies around the country, however it was unknown exactly how many or who they were. That may not be the case for much longer, after an intruder “gained unauthorized access” to its customer list – along with data on the number of searches its customers have conducted, as well as how many user accounts have been set up, according to the Daily Beast.

The company raised concerns among privacy advocates after a New York Times article described their work with law enforcement agencies, with over 40 organizations signing a letter calling for an independent watchdog to recommend a ban on government use of facial recognition technology.

The company claims that there was “no compromise of Clearview’s systems or network,” and that the vulnerability has been breached. Specific search histories were not obtained.

“Security is Clearview’s top priority,” said company attorney Tor Ekeland. “Unfortunately, data breaches are part of life in the 21st century. Our servers were never accessed. We patched the flaw, and continue to work to strengthen our security.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chicago Police Are Using a Facial Recognition Program That Scans Billions of Facebook Photos

Chicago Police Are Using a Facial Recognition Program That Scans Billions of Facebook Photos

The end of privacy as we know it? 

Chicago Police Facial Recognition Billions Photos Facebook

(TMU) — Manhattan-based Clearview AI is collecting data from unsuspecting social media users and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is using the controversial facial recognition tool to pinpoint the identity of unknown suspects, reads a report from the Chicago Sun-Times.

And according to a bombshell New York Times report, it is also being used by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The software’s creator, Hoan Ton-That, maintains that it is purely “an after-the-fact research tool for law enforcement, not a surveillance system or a consumer application.” However, privacy advocates are saying this technology is so intrusive and ripe for abuse its use should be immediately halted. And earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed in federal court seeking to do just that.

Chicago attorney Scott Drury who filed the lawsuit describes CPD’s signing of a two-year, $49,875 contract with Illinois tech firm CDW Government to use Clearview AI’s software as “frightening.”

Conversely, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi explains:Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Our obligation is to find those individuals that hurt other people and bring them to justice. And we want to be able to use every tool available to be able to perform that function, but we want to be able to do so responsibly.”

According to police, some CPD officials at the Crime Prevention and Information Center used the software for two months on a trial basis prior to the signing of the contract in January.Robin Williams’ Net Worth Left His Family in TearspopcornewsFIND OUT MORE >

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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