Freedomwat.ch Staff

“Police in the US state of Delaware are poised to deploy ‘smart’ cameras in cruisers to help authorities detect a vehicle carrying a fugitive, missing child or straying senior. The program is part of a growing trend to use vision-based AI to thwart crime and improve public safety, a trend which has stirred concerns among privacy and civil liberties activists who fear the technology could lead to secret ‘profiling’ and misuse of data.”

“This breakdown—triggered by polarizing circus politics, media-fed mass hysteria, militarization and militainment (the selling of war and violence as entertainment), a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness in the face of growing corruption, the government’s alienation from its populace, and an economy that has much of the population struggling to get by—is manifesting itself in madness, mayhem and an utter disregard for the very principles and liberties that have kept us out of the clutches of totalitarianism for so long.”

“What if this bulk surveillance is about power and control and not about safety? What if the use of intelligence data for political purposes and not for safety is a profound danger to democracy? What if government can’t keep us safe? What if we falsely think that it does keep us safe? What if that delusion makes us less safe? What if government’s bulk acquisition of private data makes us less free? What if government works not for us but for itself? What do we do about it?”

“Devices capable of accessing calls, photos and text messages on cell phones were installed on two Texas National Guard surveillance aircraft. The project was funded by over $300,000 from drug-related asset forfeitures. The cell site simulators, known as ‘dirt boxes’ (after the company’s acronym, DRT), are designed to mimic cell phone towers and trick every smartphone within one-third of a mile into connecting with it. This enables operators to intercept sensitive information including the user’s location, phone numbers dialed, text messages and photos. The devices can also be used to record or listen to phone calls ‒ all of it without users or service providers knowing about it.”

“The likes of the EFF have long argued that having a “black box” that can control networking and hardware, even when the computer is switched off, represents a major security and privacy risk. Turns out they were right. Security firm Positive Technologies reports being able to execute unsigned code on computers running the IME through USB. The fully fleshed-out details of the attack are yet to be known, but from what we know, it’s bad.”

“Appthority has discovered a significant data exposure vulnerability we’ve named Eavesdropper that affects almost 700 apps in enterprise environments. The vulnerability is caused by including hard coded credentials in mobile applications that are using the Twilio Rest API or SDK. By hard coding their credentials, the developers have effectively given global access to all metadata stored in their Twilio accounts, including text/SMS messages, call metadata, and voice recordings.”

“The CIA multi-platform hacking suite ‘Hive’ was able to impersonate existing entities to conceal suspicious traffic from the user being spied on, the source code of the malicious program indicates, WikiLeaks said on Thursday. The extraction of information would therefore be misattributed to an impersonated company, and at least three examples in the code show that Hive is able to impersonate Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, WikiLeaks stated.”

“I was surprised to learn that most state bars have no requirement that prosecutors believe that the evidence they present is truthful. Courts have ruled that even if prosecutors knowingly break the law — such as detaining defense witnesses in order to prevent them from testifying at trial — those who were harmed by the prosecutors’ behavior have no recourse.”

“It’s important to keep in mind that all of this was kept secret from the American people from 1963 to the 1990s. Military personnel who participated in the autopsy were required by superior officers to sign written secrecy oaths, in which they promised never to reveal what they had seen during the autopsy. If it hadn’t been for Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, everything surrounding the autopsy would have remained secret, most likely forever.”

“The records that the National Archives just released included a secret FBI analysis on civil-rights leader Martin Luther King. The thrust of the analysis is that King was a communist, and an immoral communist at that. Does the FBI analysis on King have any bearing on the Kennedy assassination? Actually, yes. That’s where critical thinking, circumstantial evidence, inferential thinking, and common sense come into play.”

“Pennsylvania is in the midst of a budget crisis. Seeing New Jersey success is raising revenue from Internet gambling, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives suggested that to avoid a tax increase, they would follow suit. This week, after years of haggling, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a measure to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gaming – a move that is projected to bring in $426.3 million in tax revenue from 2017 to 2022. Michigan is also considering making a move, and guess who the chief opponent is?”

“The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens are being revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires. The material, which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens, was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with partners including the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times.”

“Republican tax-writers have decided to shift the tax code’s inflation index from the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, to something known as chained CPI, which is a slower-growing method of calculating cost-of-living increases. Using the lower rate of inflation to calculate future tax rates means taxpayers will more quickly fall into higher tax brackets, meaning they will pay more in taxes than if Republicans stuck with the traditional measuring stick. It works out to taxpayers paying $128 billion more to Uncle Sam than they would otherwise over the next decade, and $500 billion more in the subsequent decade.”

“In George W. Bush’s home state of Texas, if you are an ordinary citizen found guilty of capital murder, the mandatory sentence is either life in prison or the death penalty. If, however, you are a former president of the United States responsible for initiating two illegal wars of aggression, which killed 7,000 U.S. servicemen and at least 210,000 civilians, displaced more than 10 million people from their homes, condoned torture, initiated a global drone assassination campaign, and imprisoned people for years without substantive evidence or trial in Guantanamo Bay, the punishment evidently is to be given the Thayer Award at West Point.”

“These files are not in compliance with the law no matter what the main stream media says. They are an in-your-face flipped bird to the American public. They basically tell us that the CIA is saying that they don’t have to comply with the law of the land and that they will not tell us their secrets and that there is nothing we can do about it. I’ve been here before.”

“Many Americans would cheer federal muzzling. Almost half of millennials supported restricting freedom of speech on social media, according to a recent survey. Congressional threats have probably already done long-term damage to corporate spines. It would be naive to expect Facebook, Twitter, or other social media companies to take heroic stands in favor of free speech. But it would be even more naive to expect anything good to result from permitting politicians to decimate freedom in the name of democracy.”