The world has gone insane. Just as the seers said it would.
— Alois Irlmaier (@AloisIrlmaier) May 22, 2018
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The world has gone insane. Just as the seers said it would.
— Alois Irlmaier (@AloisIrlmaier) May 22, 2018
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— Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) May 1, 2018
Beijing: Workers in China are being hooked up with brain-reading devices that feed information about their moods to their employers, raising fears about the privacy of people’s most basic emotions.
Electronic sensors that fit into hats and helmets are being used in China on an “unprecedented” scale to read employees’ emotions, the South China Morning Post reports, in what firms say is part of a drive to increase efficiency and productivity.
But the efforts to tap into the data is sparking concerns that companies are reading the minds of their employees, with one Chinese psychology professor warning the move could represent a “whole new level” of privacy abuse.
Although details about how the technology works are not clear, reports suggest devices use sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms to monitor brainwaves and detect spikes in emotions such as rage, anxiety and depression. They can be put in safety helmets or uniform hats and stream data to computers accessed by employers.
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Several months ago, one of the early pioneers of Facebook and its first President Sean Parker, voiced his regret regarding helping create social media in the form we know it today, saying:
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…
”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments.
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said.
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
Later on, another former Facebook executive opened up about the same concerns.
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said.
“No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem – this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
Palihapitiya then expressed the feeling of guilt, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds — even though we feigned this whole line of, like, there probably aren’t any bad unintended consequences. I think in the back, deep, deep recesses of, we kind of knew something bad could happen. But I think the way we defined it was not like this.”
“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“
Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”
Then he goes on to express some really strong sentiments:
“What you are looking at here is ‘psycho-electronic’ weapons that purportedly use electromagnetism to do a wide variety of horrible things to people…
Just months after the mysterious ‘brain-melting weapon’ accusations in Cuba, that left several US diplomats with long-term mental damage, something very strange has popped up… from an even stranger origin.
Earlier this year, MuckRock Journalist Curtis Waltman (who specializes in filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests) wrote to the Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC) – a joint operation between Washington State law enforcement and the federal government – to request information about Antifa and white supremacist groups.
He received a satisfactory response to the question she had asked, but as Waltman notes, when you send thousands of FOIA requests, you are bound to get some very weird responses from time to time… and so he did – attached to the response was a file titled “EM effects on human body.zip.” Inside were documents like this:
As Waltman writes, what you are looking at here is “psycho-electronic” weapons that purportedly use electromagnetism to do a wide variety of horrible things to people, such as reading or writing your mind, causing intense pain, “rigor mortis,” or most heinous of all, itching.
The European Commission has announced plans to make biometric ID cards compulsory across the bloc which will allow authorities to bar “terrorists and criminals” from accessing money and other services.
Plans to introduce mandatory ID cards across all 28 EU member states — including Britain — have been in development for more than two years in Brussels as part of the Commission’s goal of building an effective “security union”, Die Welt reports.
Set to be equipped with data including the holder’s fingerprint, the cards would be designed to tackle identity fraud and make it harder to falsify documents, according to Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“We have to tighten the screws until there is no room left for terrorists or criminals and no more means for them to carry out attacks,” he told the German newspaper on Monday.
…and after that comes the RFID microchip!
India collects biometric data on 1.3 billion residents for use in a nationwide identity system called Aadhaar.
The New York Times notes Big Brother has Arrived in India.
Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones.
Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s more like “big brother,” a term of endearment used by many Indians to address a stranger when asking for help.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other champions of the program say that Aadhaar is India’s ticket to the future, a universal, easy-to-use ID that will reduce this country’s endemic corruption and help bring even the most illiterate into the digital age.
The poor must scan their fingerprints at the ration shop to get their government allocations of rice. Retirees must do the same to get their pensions. Middle-school students cannot enter the water department’s annual painting contest until they submit their identification.
The Modi government has also ordered Indians to link their IDs to their cellphone and bank accounts.
— Stan (@StanM3) March 30, 2018
From 1 April 2018 all new cars must be equipped with eSIM cards. A new car turns into a rolling data center … and in 2015, Jim Farley, vice president at Ford, said, “We know every driver who breaks traffic rules, and because GPS is in the cars, we know where and how someone does it . “
From 1 April, all new cars must be equipped with electronic SIM cards. Behind this is the good intention to be reached faster in case of accidents by the rescue services.
Welcome to the land of the free…
The State Department will unveil new rules on Friday requiring most visitors or immigrants to the United States to turn over their recent social media histories, in accordance with one of President Trump’s key national security enhancements contained in his “extreme vetting” executive order.
In addition, travelers would be required to provide previous phone numbers, email addresses and a history of international travel from the preceding five years – as well as disclose any immigration problems they’ve had anywhere in the world, or any potential family ties to terrorism, according to the Washington Times.
Moreover, people from countries where female genital mutilation is common practice would be directed to a website to ensure that they know the practice is illegal in the United States.
…or watch the video here…
H/t readers I.G. and Eric:
“The end of Free Speech, now we have a Fascist Dictatorship in UK.”
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As we pointed out earlier this week, China’s lack of data protection laws and its determination to overtake the US as the world-leader in AI technology poses a serious threat to US technological hegemony. As Russian President Vladimir Putin once said, whoever dominates the AI race could one day rule the world.
Well, another advantage that China has in its AI push is its reputation for strict surveillance and law enforcement – which provides for plenty of use-cases where China can test its nascent technology. Case in point: Police in Shenzen are using AI and facial recognition software to install “smart” traffic cameras that can identify and fine Chinese citizens who jaywalk – a crime that is the subject of strict enforcement in China, per the South China Morning Post.
You really can’t make this stuff up!
“The system is able to identify 40 facial features, regardless of angles and lighting, at an accuracy rate of 99.8 percent,” reports People’s Daily. “It can also scan faces and compare them with its database of criminal suspects at large at a speed of 3 billion times a second, indicating that all Chinese people can be compared in the system within only one second.”
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was never really about Cambridge Analytica.
As we’ve pointed out, neither Facebook nor Cambridge Analytica have been accused of doing anything explicitly illegal (though one could be forgiven for believing they had, based on the number of lawsuits and official investigations that have been announced).
Instead, the backlash to these revelations – which has been justifiably focused on Facebook – is so severe because the public has been forced to confront for the first time something that many had previously written off as an immutable certainty: That Facebook, Google and the rest of the tech behemoths store reams of personal data, essentially logging everything we do.
In response to demands for more transparency surrounding user data, Facebook and Google are offering users the option to view all of the metadata that Google and Facebook collect.
And as Twitter user Dylan Curran pointed out in a comprehensive twitter thread examining his own data cache, the extent and bulk of the data collected and sorted by both companies is staggering.
Google, Curran said, collected 5.5 gigabytes of data on him – equivalent to some 3 million Microsoft Word documents. Facebook, meanwhile, collected only 600 megabytes – equivalent to roughly 400,000 documents.
While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.
While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.
The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,” CNET reported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.”
The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:
When Donald Trump suggested imposing the death penalty in drug-related cases, many people thought he was just spouting off at the mouth. Unfortunately, his statements were not just typical Trump talk. They are now official Justice Department policy.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed Federal Prosecutors on March 21 to begin seeking the death penalty in drug-related cases where it is “appropriate.”
Sessions and his Justice Department are claiming that the policy is being implemented to counter the opioid epidemic. Sessions’ mandate comes after Donald Trump called for executing opioid dealers and traffickers and for harsher sentences in regards to trafficking.
625 arrests were made for alleged section 127 offences in 2010
The number of people being arrested for “online crimes of speech” have increased dramatically in London.
While arrests for aggressive, threatening or hateful speech on social media declined between 2010 and 2013, the numbers rose last year.
According to the Register, a total of 2,500 Londoners have been arrested over the past five years for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media. In 2015, 857 people were detained, up 37 per cent increase since 2010.