By Graham Vanbergen – Peter Hitchens recently mentioned in his blog that technology will eventually enslave us all. He referred to the recent film “Ghost in the Shell’ thus:
“I was intrigued to see that the future world in which this film is set is – once again – in a place of gloom and decay, much like now but worse. There are gangsters and sordid bars, people smoke, everyone’s crammed into hamster-cage flats in inhuman megacities. Ever since Blade Runner and Alien, and also in Minority Report, new technology is not seen as a road to happiness, liberty or prosperity. I used to think this was pessimistic. Now I think they’ve got it about right.”
Today we live in an age where there is a technology battle front being waged against citizens of the West and the people are losing it on every front – nowhere is that battle raging most in Western democracies than in Britain.
- If Facebook insists on the rules of censorship, it should at the very least administer those rules in a fair way. Facebook, however, does not even pretend that it administers its censorship in any way that approximates fairness.
- Posts critical of Chancellor Merkel’s migrant policies, for example, can be categorized as “Islamophobia”, and are often found to violate “Community Standards”, while incitement to actual violence and the murder of Jews and Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is generally considered as conforming to Facebook’s “Community Standards”.
- Notwithstanding the lawsuits, Facebook’s bias is so strong that it recently restored Palestinian Arab terrorist group Fatah’s Facebook page, which incites hatred and violence against Jews — despite having shut it down only three days earlier. In 2016 alone, this page had a minimum of 130 posts glorifying terror and murder of Jews.
Germany has formally announced its draconian push towards censorship of social media. On March 14, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas announced the plan to formalize into law the “code of conduct”, which Germany pressed upon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in late 2015, and which included a pledge to delete “hate speech” from their websites within 24 hours.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.”