If you’re one of the countless Americans who was distraught to learn of the revelations made by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, the mere idea that there might be yet another agency out there — perhaps just as powerful and much more intrusive — should give you goosebumps.
Foreign Policy reports that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, is an obscure spy agency former President Barack Obama had a hard time wrapping his mind around back in 2009. But as the president grew fond of drone warfare, finding a way to launch wars without having to go through Congress for the proper authorization, the NGA also became more relevant. Now, President Donald Trump is expected to further explore the multibillion-dollar surveillance network. Continue reading »
The Devon and Cornwall police force, tasked with the patrol of the largest geographical area in England, are pioneering perpetual drone surveillance by establishing an unprecedented 24-hour drone surveillance of its patrol area set to begin this summer.
The police drones, also identified as “unmanned aerial systems,” have undergone smaller tests last year. Multiple reports state that the drones will mostly be used for locating crime suspects and missing persons as well as surveillance of crime scenes. Continue reading »
Following the London terrorist attack, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has demanded that intelligence agencies be given access to WhatsApp messages, warning it is “completely unacceptable” to let terrorists benefit from end-to-end encryption.
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The Independent has previously reported that Google’s voice search function doesn’t just turn on when specifically asked to. It records anything and everything. This has been going on for years, but the public at large became generally aware of it back in the summer of 2015.
Google also carefully keeps track of every single thing you search for on the web… all of it in one nice long history strand that makes a Facebook wall look like peanuts by comparison. Depending on whether or not you have location data on, it can also show you a timeline of where you have physically been, broken out by year on a world map.
Using these three features, Google probably knows more about you than your own mother does. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“We know this, but they’ll never kill barter, and then enterpreneurs will act as cash converters. Same old same old.”
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In last week’s report on India’s demonetization disaster, I began to connect the dots between demonetization, the push for a cashless society, and the biometric identification schemes that will eventually tie everyone’s fingerprints, iris scans, and other identifying details to every transaction they ever make.
Well, that game of “connect the dots” just became even easier to play.
First, it was reported last week that a key panel advising the government on its implementation of the “digital payments ecosystem” (that is being pushed and funded by USAID ) is now recommending that India links its national biometric ID database directly to tax returns. Continue reading »
Idiotic government decisions are a dime a dozen. Here’s the latest inane proposal: Germany to Electronically Tag All People on Terror Watchlist.
The German government will electronically tag all people on the country’s terror watchlist even if they have committed no crime, reflecting a tougher approach in the wake of December’s terror attack in Berlin.
Most of the world is in an uproar right now over the travel ban that Donald Trump hastily imposed late last week on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
But there was another ban that was quietly proposed last week, and this one has far wider implications: a ban on cash.
The European Union’s primary executive authority, known as the European Commission, issued a “Road Map” last week to initiate continent-wide legislation against cash.
There are already a number of anti-cash legislative measures that have been passed in individual European member states.
In France, for example, it’s illegal to make purchases of more than 1,000 euros in cash. Continue reading »
In my last two articles, ‘How Globalists Predict Your Behavior’ and ‘How To Predict The Behavior Of Globalists’, I explained the base fundamentals behind a concept with which most people are unfamiliar. They are so unfamiliar with it, in fact, that I didn’t bother to name it. In this article I hope to explain it, but I highly recommend people read the previous articles in this series before moving forward.
What I outlined, essentially, was a beginners course on 4th Generation Warfare. This methodology is difficult to summarize, but here I will list what I believe are some of its core tenets. Continue reading »
War against Free Speech
- It seems that all ideas suspected of being “populist” — or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites — will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media.
- As in communist dictatorships, the more obvious the failings of the government, the more aggressively the establishment attacks those who speak out about them.
- Large companies such as Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the supermarket chain REWE obeyed straightaway and promised to place Breitbart on the blacklist immediately, and never to advertise there again.
- A plucky little pizza delivery service responded to the blacklisting demand by declaring that it was “not the morality police”. The company was denounced by Der Spiegel as “inept”, and after “protests from customers”, it ended up capitulating, as the newspaper reported with much satisfaction.
The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.
Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less — against several websites, such as the popular “Axis of Good” (“Achse des Guten“). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”. Continue reading »
The Australian government has announced a radical overhaul of its security system at its airports planning to replace traditional ID checks with a biometric self-processing system dubbed, the Seamless Traveller.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced that it will proceed with the transition to a “contactless” ID check system this year under the initiative first announced in 2015.
The new technology is expected to abolish the need for passenger cards, passport control and will replace manned desks and electronic stations with automatic triage. The SmartGates, which were introduced at Australian airports less than ten years ago and used to electronically scan passengers’ passports, will also be replaced by the new system. Continue reading »
Big Brother is Watching YOU!
- A married couple, Peter and Melanie M., were prosecuted and convicted in July 2016 of creating a Facebook group that criticized the government’s migration policy. Also, in July 2016, 60 people suspected of writing “hate speech” online had their homes raided by German police.
- None of the above seems to be enough, however, for the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, from Angela Merkel’s CDU party, who believes that what Facebook is already doing against “hate speech” is not enough. According to the CDU politician, there is a need for more legislation.
- The German government’s view of what constitutes “hate speech” is highly selective and appears limited to protecting the government’s own policies on immigration from legitimate criticism.
- When massive antisemitism swept large German cities in the summer of 2014, for example, no such anti-racist zeal was manifest on the part of the German government. On the contrary, there were instances of authorities practically facilitating hate speech. In July 2014, Frankfurt police let mainly Muslim “protesters” use their van’s megaphone to belt out slogans of incitement in Arabic, including the repeated chanting of “Allahu Akbar” and that Jews are “child murderers”.
- Firebombing a synagogue, on the other hand, is simply an “act of protest”.
Officials in Germany’s Interior Ministry are urging Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière to establish a “Defense Center against Disinformation” (Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation) to combat what they call “political disinformation,” a euphemism for “fake news.”
“The acceptance of a post-truth age would amount to political capitulation,” the officials told Maizière in a memo, which also disclosed that the bureaucrats at the Interior Ministry are eager to see “authentic political communication” remain “defining for the 21st century.”
German Police Union chief Rainer Wendt has warned of the possibility of “police free areas” in which police and other authorities will be unable to enforce the law.
Mr. Wendt has warned German politicians to get the criminal element in the country under control or risk “police-free zones in Germany”. He said that “2017 must be a year of prosecution”, demanding police be allowed to properly enforce the law and hard measures be taken against those “who do not adhere to the laws”, Die Welt reports.
The Police Union head said no-go areas could end up being ruled under criminal laws, rather than the German rule of law, and said this year “must be a year of law enforcement. And indeed there must be consistent law enforcement for those who believe they do not have to stick to the laws in Germany.”
In order to combat criminal elements, Wendt said the government must make more use of technology to boost police presence and capability. He recommended more CCTV cameras in public areas which could work with pattern and facial recognition software to register potential crimes thus allowing police to stop crimes before they happen or better help them identify suspects.
Fake news and propaganda driven by government’s and corporations is of course, nothing new. Brexit and the American election have brought the subject into sharp focus more recently as the political class have been unexpectedly losing important desired outcomes. Consequently, as TruePublica reported a week ago, in Britain, controversial laws have been introduced to stem free speech, which, over the passage of time will be used to halt any individual, website or news outlet from reporting against the government narrative with so-called fake news eventually being outlawed. Think this is conspiratorial theorising? Think again.
Last Friday, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorises $611 billion for military spending in 2017. Leaving aside the year-on-year increase and the huge sum overall, buried deeply inside its hefty documentation the NDAA authorises the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016”. Continue reading »
What a legacy!
Late on Friday, with the US population embracing the upcoming holidays and oblivious of most news emerging from the administration, Obama quietly signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes $611 billion for the military in 2017.
The Investigatory Powers Bill forces internet providers to keep a full record of every site visited by each of its customers for over a year. Of course, government accounts are exempt from this Orwellian law.
This bill is not simply about notifying the government if a specific site has been visited, it is about listing every single site that has been visited by each citizen and when. This information will be made available to a very large range of government bodies. Of course, there’s the police, the military and the secret service but also others entities such as the Food Standards Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Here’s a full list of the agencies allowed to search the browsing history of UK citizens. Continue reading »
The UK-based Liberty Campaign expressed it most glumly. “The Government’s new Snoopers’ Charter (also known as the Investigatory Powers Bill) will allow the bulk collection of all our personal information. Who we talk to; what we say; where we are; what we look at online – everything.”
Championed while she was Home Secretary, Prime Minister Theresa May has seen her wishes fulfilled. Total surveillance – and there was already a good deal of that in Britain – is coming to the country. Late last month, the Investigatory Powers Bill, known by its faux cuddly, yet sinister term the Snoopers’ charter, received royal assent and became law. Continue reading »
By setting up a single database centralizing information on the entire French population behind their backs, France’s Socialist Party (PS) government is giving the state vast repressive powers. Coming amid the state of emergency, it constitutes a fundamental threat to democratic rights, in particular to opposition within the working class to austerity and war.
The database, named “Secure Electronic Titles” (TES), was decreed into existence on October 30. It centralizes the personal and bio-metric data of all holders of passports or national identity cards. It concerns over 60 million people, that is, virtually the entire French population. The official launch of the database took place last Tuesday in the Yvelines area and will be extended across France at the beginning of 2017. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy.
“In UK we now have ‘smart motorways” with number plate AND facial recognition cameras.
The benefit for crime investigation is indisputable.
The ability to monitor individuals and invade privacy is dubious at best and downright offensive at worst.
Soon, everyone will be wearing ANONYMOUS masks just to go to the mall.
I already insist on lowering my sun visor permanently, coz I just feel this surveillance is intrusive and protest accordingly.”
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“Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system … a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state…. The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization… It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government…. This group … is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.”— Senator William Jenner, 1954 speech
Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law.
Say hello to America’s shadow government.
A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry. Continue reading »
This is a topic I’ve written about occasionally over the years. A recent article published by Vocativ adds some interesting information to the discomforting trend.
Half of all American adults are already in some sort of facial recognition network accessible to law enforcement, according to a comprehensive new study. Continue reading »
Just when you thought it was safe to selfie you latest WalMart-looting or molotov-cocktail-throwing night out, think again. According to the ACLU, law enforcement officials implemented a far-reaching surveillance program to track protesters in both Ferguson and Baltimore during their recent uprisings and relied on special feeds of user data provided by three top social media companies: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that we have seen marketed to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters.
We are pleased that after we reported our findings to the companies, Instagram cut off Geofeedia’s access to public user posts, and Facebook has cut its access to a topic-based feed of public user posts. Twitter has also taken some recent steps to rein in Geofeedia though it has not ended the data relationship.
Further steps are required if these companies are to live up to their principles and policies by protecting users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse.
We now know the following about these agreements: Continue reading »
Just days after admitting that some 500 millions of its email accounts were hacked (allegedly Russians, of course), the Yahoo confessional continues as Reuters reports, somewhat stunningly that, Yahoo secretly built software to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for US intel officials. Yahoo’s reaction to this: we are “a law abiding company.”
Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Don’t know if it works, but it’s worth a try to check on how far they got on their intrusive monitoring & spying for the NSA isn’t it?”
In the past, we have published many articles proving that the Internet search giant, Google is secretly spying on people who are using its services.
Particularly, in 2015, we revealed how Google had tracked Smartphone users everywhere they go, indicating it with a red dot on a map, marking and making the user’s location much clearer for identification. This made users very vulnerable to cyber criminals and government agencies.
In the latest Google spying activities, the company has gone a step further, by recording the voice of its users. Below the article, is a step by step guide to hear the voice being secretly recorded, and how you can delete it, stopping the function permanently.
Views of some Concerned Media Outlets
According to the Free Thought Project, the recording feature secretly picking out voices, without the person’s consent, was built into Google’s search function as a means of delivering accurate search results. However, the sheer accuracy and amount of data Google is now storing, is chilling. Statistics show that Google now processes on average, over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year, worldwide.
H/t reader kevin a.
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I’ve been creeped out by Facebook for a long time now. The following story takes it to another level.
While some of these incredibly accurate friend suggestions are amusing, others are alarming, such as this story from Lisa*, a psychiatrist who is an infrequent Facebook user, mostly signing in to RSVP for events. Last summer, she noticed that the social network had started recommending her patients as friends—and she had no idea why.
“I haven’t shared my email or phone contacts with Facebook,” she told me over the phone.
The next week, things got weirder. Continue reading »
The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked, and those who watch and track them, is the relationship between masters and slaves.
– Chris Hedges, from the post Video of the Day – Chris Hedges on Overthrowing the Corporate Fascist State
Yesterday, Bloomberg published a lengthy expose on a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems, which has been secretly surveilling the people of Baltimore on behalf of the police since January.
The article is titled, Secret Cameras Record Baltimore’s Every Move From Above, and here are some choice excerpts: Continue reading »
Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed into law an anti-terrorist bill so controversial it has been criticized by pro-Kremlin politicians, activists, and Putin loyalists due to its potential to infringe upon basic human rights.
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned-whisteblower who leaked scores of documents incriminating the agency’s activity in 2013, has been a fierce critic of the bill, calling it the “Big Brother law.” Snowden referred to the bill’s codification as a “dark day for Russia.”
Despite the fact the final version of the bill, which contains multiple new laws, had omitted some previously incorporated draconian ideas, it is still controversial due to the huge powers it gives to the security services and the Putin administration. According to the recently passed bill, the legislation mandates that, as summarized by the BBC: Continue reading »
‘The other major question here is: why are these rules secret in the first place?
Newly leaked documents published by The Intercept expose just how easy it is for the FBI to spy on journalists using so-called National Security Letters (NSLs).
The classified rules, which had previously been released only in heavily redacted form, “show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information,” The Intercept‘s Cora Currier wrote on Thursday. Continue reading »