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Pointing out the arguably creepy features of Google that include anonymised ping-backs from cell phone accelerometers to see how fast people are going, the Guardian’s article goes on to explain that this same technology can easily determine how busy your local bar is, by the number of data streams coming from a particular location, if it corresponds to a local hotspot, giving the end user some idea of how many people are crowding around inside their favorite local watering hole or park, or conceivably anywhere you wanted that had been registered in such a way.
It is profound, the depth of data being moved around today to determine movements of the people. See for yourself, some recent articles on the subject.
From The Guardian: The technology giant is now using live data to let you know exactly how crowded your local cafe, restaurant or tourist attraction is. Does it work?
One of the creepiest – and most useful – Google inventions has been its ability to predict traffic jams by using anonymised ping-backs from mobile phones to tell how fast everyone is moving.
Now, the technology giant is rolling out the same thing for places using live data. Although, since July 2015, the Popular Times section of Google Maps has provided a bar graph showing how busy a bar, museum or restaurant is at any given time, this is just based on averages.
How accurate will the new feature be? Rather than just believe our Alphabet overlords, we road-tested the system by dawdling around five of London’s biggest attractions.
See the conclusions at the Guardian website. It’s astounding to think of the power at the fingertips of the people who control the data input flows, for they surely know much more information about those streams of data than they are allowed to publicly state. What power it must be to create AI that can watch over all of it, as they are planning now, with Deep Mind technology and the Google AI divisions. Could it possibly be that Google is already an AI that is loose and not in control by anyone and that it predicts what we want before we even ask for it simply by a matter of running an algorithm against our social media profiles?
Americans, and the rest of the world in general, are told very little about drone strikes, and are largely left in the dark as to the method in which they operate. Most people are under the incorrect assumption that there is some precision to using this method to assassinate a “terrorist”. But the strike is only as good as the intelligence fed into it. How would Americans feel knowing that their government, in their name kills a score of men, women and children for every attack they make, and that most of the time, the attack on the intended target is not successful?
A recent study by a UK based institute called Reprieve has determined that for every “bad guy” the US goes after, some 28 unknown people, women, men, children, are unilaterally terminated in the process. The group found that in many cases, the media went on to report that the subject had been killed, which in fact was a complete fabrication. A cover up, and a silencing of the suffering of countless people who had their lives turned upside down by the loss of a mother, a child, a husband. The fact of the matter remains today that the policy of drone strikes in foreign countries is creating a situation that is building more hatred and animosity than it is solving in the world.
In a recent Guardian article, it was asserted that “Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.”
Can anyone really say that none of the friends and family of those 1147, or the countless others who have been killed since the atrocious middle east conflicts began? Could anyone really not see the rise of ISIS under the conditions the US left the region in? Ron Paul has been saying the same thing for 30 years, regarding what he calls “Blowback”, being the definition of the rise of resistance to the aggression of another power.
The US has held too much influence in the region, artificially conflating and deflating the cost of the precious black gold that gushes forth from the sands in the area, working in collusion with the major exporters to keep the numbers game always in their favor. They operate under the guise of fighting “terrorism”, when in reality, the “terrorism” that occurs in the region is a direct result of their meddling policy that results in family after family raising their own fists in resistance and swearing retaliation for a lost loved one.
One piece of incredibly befuddling information surrounding this story is that each of the 41 men being hunted by the US drone machine had actually been reported dead at one time. 7 of them are actually still alive. The inability of the US drone machine to actually accomplish a “precise” strike is not being covered, and never will be. The memory hole in the public conscious is very strong. A report someone somewhere heard about some strike in a far away land that took out the “Jack of Hearts” or the “Ace of Clubs” will be all that person needs to stand at the watercooler on Monday morning in the office and defend the drone strikes, being the ultimate apologist for the horrific, completely arbitrary collateral damage to another country and the lives of its inhabitants.
The price of foreign entanglements is less overall security, certainly less freedom, and a continuation of a mindless culture of death and perpetual war. This can only lead to a country tenuously teetering at the edge of a moral high ground pretending to police the world. That country is inevitably pulled, screaming, from its perch and laid to waste.
First of all, download or print these instructions. Keep them with your survival gear, if you have prepared one.
Your government is displeased with the communication going on in your location and pulls the plug on your internet access, most likely by telling the major ISPs to turn off service.
This is what happened in Egypt Jan. 25, 2012 prompted by citizen protests, with sources estimating that the Egyptian government cut off approximately 88 percent of the country’s internet access. What do you do without internet? Step 1: Stop crying in the corner. Then start taking steps to reconnect with your network. Here’s a list of things you can do to keep the communication flowing.
MAKE YOUR NETWORK TANGIBLE
Print out your contact list, so your phone numbers aren’t stuck in the cloud. Some mail services like Gmail allow you to export your online contact list in formats that are more conducive to paper, such as CSV or Vcard, and offer step-by-step guides on how to do this.
BROADCAST ON THE RADIO
CB Radio:Short for “Citizens Band” radio, these two-way radios allow communication over short distances on 40 channels. You can pick one up for about $20 to $50 at Radio Shack, and no license is required to operate it.
Ham radio:To converse over these radios, also known as “amateur radios,” you have to obtain an operator’s license from the FCC. Luckily, other Wired How-To contributors have already explained exactly what you need to do to get one and use it like a pro. However, if the President declares a State of Emergency, use of the radio could be extremely restricted or prohibited.
GMRS:The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a licensed land-mobile FM UHF radio service in the United States available for short-distance two-way communication. It is intended for use by an adult individual who possesses a valid GMRS license, as well as his or her immediate family members… They are more expensive than the walkie-talkies typically found in discount electronics stores, but are higher quality.
Family Radio Service:The Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved walkie-talkie radio system authorized in the United States since 1996. This personal radio service uses channelized frequencies in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band. It does not suffer the interference effects found on citizens’ band (CB) at 27 MHz, or the 49 MHz band also used by cordless phones, toys, and baby monitors.
Micro-broadcasting:Micro-broadcasting is the process of broadcasting a message to a relatively small audience. This is not to be confused with low-power broadcasting. In radio terms, it is the use of low-power transmitters to broadcast a radio signal over the space of a neighborhood or small town. Similarly to pirate radio, micro-broadcasters generally operate without a license from the local regulation body, but sacrifice range in favor of using legal power limits.
Packet Radio Back to the ’90s: There do exist shortwave packet-radio modems. These are also excruciatingly slow, but may get your e-mail out. Like ham radio above it requires a ham radio license because they operate on ham radio frequencies.
Set up a phone tree:According to the American Association of University Women, a phone tree is “a prearranged, pyramid-shaped system for activating a group of people by telephone” that can “spread a brief message quickly and efficiently to a large number of people.” Dig out that contact list you printed out to spread the message down your pyramid of contacts.
Enable Twitter via SMS:Though the thought of unleashing the Twitter fire hose in your text message inbox may seem horrifying, it would be better than not being able to connect to the outside world at all. The Twitter website has full instructions on how to redirect tweets to your phone.
Call to Tweet: A small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company Google acquired recently, made this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to the Twitter account, speak2tweet.
If you need to quickly send and receive documents with lengthy or complex instructions, phone conversations may result in misunderstandings, and delivering the doc by foot would take forever. Brush the dust off that bulky old machine, establish a connection by phone first with the recipient to make sure his machine is hooked up, then fax away.
You may not need a fax machine to send or receive faxes if your computer has a dial-up fax application.
NON-VIRTUAL BULLETIN BOARD
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the virtual world that we forget about resources available in the real world. Physical bulletin boards have been used for centuries to disseminate information and don’t require electricity to function. If you are fortunate enough to be getting information from some other source why not share it with your friends and neighbors with your own bulletin board? Cork, magnetic and marker bulletin boards are as close as your nearest dime store and can be mounted just about anywhere. And if push comes to shove you can easily make your own with scrap wood lying around the house.
Getting back online – While it might be relatively easy for a government to cut connections by leveraging the major ISPs, there are some places they wouldn’t get to so readily, like privately-owned networks and independent ISPs.
FIND THE PRIVATELY RUN ISPs
In densely populated areas, especially in central business districts and city suburbs there are multiple home WiFi networks overlapping each other, some secure, some not. If there is no internet, open up your WiFi by removing password protection: If enough people do this it’s feasible to create a totally private WiFi service outside government control covering the CBD, and you can use applications that run Bonjour (iChat on Mac for example) to communicate with others on the open network and send and receive documents. **needs more clarification
If you are a private ISP, it’s your time to shine. Consider allowing open access to your Wi-Fi routers to facilitate communication of people around you until the grid is back online.
RETURN TO DIAL-UP
According to an article in the BBC about old tech’s role in the Egyptian protests, “Dial-up modems are one of the most popular routes for Egyptians to get back online. Long lists of international numbers that connect to dial-up modems are circulating in Egypt thanks to net activists We Re-Build, Telecomix and others.”
Dial-up can be slow. Often, there is a lightweight mobile version of a site that you can load from your desktop browser quickly despite the limitations of dial-up. Examples: mobile.twitter.com, m.facebook.com, m.gmail.com.
Most wireless routers, PCs, laptops, and even some ultramobile devices like cellphones have the ability to become part of an “ad hoc” network, where different “nodes” (all of the devices on the network) share the responsibility of transmitting data with one another. These networks can become quite large, and are often very easy to set up. If used properly by a tech-savvy person, such networks can be used to host temporary websites and chat rooms. There are many internet tutorials on the internet for ad hoc networking, so feel free to Google some.
Apple computers tend to have very accessible ad hoc functionality built in, including a pre-installed chat client (iChat) that will automatically set up an ad hoc “Rendezvous” chatroom among anybody on the network, without the need for an external service like AIM or Skype. Ad hoc network-hosting functionality is built in to the Wi-Fi menu.
Windows computers have several third-party ad hoc chat applications available (such as Trillian) and setting up an ad hoc Wi-Fi network is almost as simple as on a Mac.
Linux operating systems, of course, have plenty of third-party apps available, and most distros have ad hoc network-creation support built in.
BUILD LARGE BRIDGED WIRELESS NETWORK
Using popular wireless access point devices like a Linksys WRT54G, you can create a huge wireless bridged network — effectively creating a Local Area Network (LAN), or a private Internet that can be utilized by all users within range using a Wi-Fi enabled device.
You can also link multiple devices together wirelessly, extending the range of your network. Most access points will cover a 100 meter area and if your wireless device is built to support the 802.11n wireless standard, you will get almost a 500 meter coverage area for each access point.
To build a wireless bridge, check out the dd-wrt wiki, and learn how to configure Linksys WRT54G as a wireless client using this Anandtech thread.
A used DS family device can be purchased inexpensively. In addition to wi-fi, the DS supports its own wireless protocols. Using Pictochat, it is possible to chat with nearby DS users without having any DS games. Unfortunately, the range is quite short.
Some games, such as the fourth generation Pokemon games, support mail items. Thus you can send your message under the guise of just playing a game. Mail items can be sent through the Internet if you can get on the net and you and your partner(s) have each other’s friend codes.
The original DS and the DS Lite do support the Opera web browser, but finding the game card and memory pack may be very difficult. Starting with the DSi, Opera is downloadable.
Your computer has the ability to set up your own INTRANET. This was done BEFORE the internet was popularized in two ways: Your computer dialed up other computers and sent them the contents of a message board, or local people people dialed into your computer. A nationwide system can be set up this way with a central location sending to many cities then each city sending out the info locally.
If you’re going to post government secrets on your work-around site, you may want to set up an untraceable account. Really, you only need a mail drop, an assumed name, a prepaid credit card you can get at many stores to set up service.
GET SATELLITE ACCESS
You can have very, very slow internet if you have something similar to an Iridium phone, which would allow you to do dial up at 2400 baud, which at least gives you e-mail. This will also work when your government has shut down GSM and telephone access, and will work pretty much anywhere on the planet. If you’re in the right place, get yourself KA-SAT access which is satellite broadband and will not be routed through any internet exchange that certain local governments may monitor or block (unless that government is part of EU or er … Uncle Sam.
BACK TO BASICS
Make some noise: Have an air horn or other loud instrument handy. It may just come down to being able to alert people in your local geographic area, who would otherwise be unaware of an emergency. You may also want to learn a bit about Morse code and have a cheat sheet available.
YouTube user PerlAddict recorded this strange subliminal of Satan appearing before his nightly news in Nashville, TN. According to him:
Watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at little after midnight, and this was the transition into the weather report during the commercial break on WSMV-TV, Channel 4 News in Nashville, TN.
Another user attributed it to a “Dandruff Demon” from the Clear Men commercial. However you slice it, it was an odd subliminal, almost unnoticeable in the few seconds it appears, and it leads one to wonder if it was simply an accident, or a sign of things to come. Perhaps now is the time to say some prayers? – Iconoclast
By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, August 17, 2012 15:43 EDT
Amid one of the worst outbreaks of West Nile virus ever seen in the U.S., officials in the Dallas area of north Texas have declared war, launching all-out chemical warfare on mosquitoes.
Airplanes took off from Executive Airport on Thursday night, flying at about 300 feet and covering numerous communities with pesticide — for the first time since 1966. They were called back after several hours due to an incoming storm, but at a press conference on Friday officials said they planned to resume spraying again at dusk, weather permitting.
CBS Dallas said that officials plan to coat nearly all of Dallas and several nearby cities in pesticide to break an alarmingly rapid spread of West Nile. Additional cities are in discussions to join the effort as soon as permits can be issued. The air space around former President George W. Bush’s home, however, was excluded from spraying.
The outbreak is particularly bad thanks in part due to the extra rain Texas received this year after a long 2011 summer of extreme drought. The extra rain left standing water on drought-hardened ground to pool and stagnate instead of being flushed out by fresh rains throughout the spring, creating a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The ensuing hot, dry weather this summer — recently ranked the hottest summer in recorded history — has sped up the breeding cycle and helped newly hatched West Nile-bearing mosquito varieties thrive.
Scientists at the World Health Organization (PDF) believe that climate change — which triggers greater weather extremes including hotter summers, milder winters, longer droughts and harder rains — is a prime mover in helping mosquito-borne illnesses thrive.
Symptoms of West Nile include fever, muscle weakness, headache, rashes on the torso, nausea and vomiting. Few West Nile infections end up resulting in death, but if it morphs into West Nile encephalitis, victims can become comatose or experience disorientation, stiffness, tremors, vision loss and paralysis.
This video is from CBS DFW, broadcast Thursday, August 16, 2012.
This week’s hearing into the January raid against Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion has turned up interesting new evidence today. Under questioning from a defense lawyer, a senior police officer has admitted that top New Zealand officers and members of the FBI watched the raid live via video link. Only adding to the intrigue is the revelation that a secret government unit were present at the pre-raid meeting.
This week Kim Dotcom, police and other officials have been giving evidence in the Auckland High Court as part of a hearing to determine what happened during the January raid on his New Zealand mansion.
By now the backdrop to the story is well-known, particularly after a video recorded during the raid was published online this week.
It largely confirmed what has been reported thus far – armed anti-terrorist officers, helicopters and significant force were all used in the pursuit of individuals alleged to have been involved in copyright infringement in the United States.
It is known that U.S. authorities had “boots on the ground” in New Zealand in pursuit of Dotcom and his associates and today that assertion was further underlined.
Under questioning from defense lawyer Guyon Foley, Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of the NZ Organized and Financial Crime Agency had to reveal how senior police officers and the FBI had received their information as the raid panned out.
“What information was coming back to your headquarters group in relation to what was happening as to progress of the raid?” Mr Foley asked.
“We received phone calls from the scene in respect to the fact that at least three of the defendants apart from Mr Dotcom have been located,” Mr Wormald said, initially stumbling over his words.
“Radio contact with officers on the ground?” Foley questioned.
Wormald said that due to the raid being carried out by the Special Tactics Group they did not have direct radio contact since STG, New Zealand’s anti-terror force, use only encrypted communications.
“Any video feed from anywhere?” Foley pushed. After another pause, Wormald said that there had indeed been live video.
“We had a video feeding back to the police station,” Wormald said.
“Really?” Foley added with a surprised tone. “From where?”
“I’m not going to discuss that,” Wormald responded.
What happened next was hidden from the media but the intrigue didn’t stop there. Detective Inspector Wormald also admitted that a secret government organization had been involved in the raid on the Dotcom mansion.
Paul Davison, QC, acting on behalf of the defense, asked Wormald if the group of people at the pre-raid meeting belonged to the Security Intelligence Service. He denied that, but refused to say exactly who they were.
“They work for the government,” he said.
On Twitter, Kim Dotcom said people should expect some big news in the coming weeks.
“The truth is coming out!” he said. “And we are just getting started.”
Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.
The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.
Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks beganreleasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of TrapWire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.
On Wednesday, an administrator for the WikiLeaks Twitter account wrote that the site suspected that the motivation for the attacks could be that particularly sensitive Stratfor emails were about to be exposed. A hacker group called AntiLeaks soon after took credit for the assaults on WikiLeaks and mirrors of their content, equating the offensive as a protest against editor Julian Assange, “the head of a new breed of terrorist.” As those Stratfor files on TrapWire make their rounds online, though, talk of terrorism is only just beginning.
Mr. Ferguson and others have mirrored what are believed to be most recently-released Global Intelligence Files on external sites, but the original documents uploaded to WikiLeaks have been at times unavailable this week due to the continuing DDoS attacks. Late Thursday and early Friday this week, the GIF mirrors continues to go offline due to what is presumably more DDoS assaults. Australian activist Asher Wolf wrote on Twitter that the DDoS attacks flooding the servers of WikiLeaks supporter sites were reported to be dropping upwards of 40 gigabits of traffic per second. On Friday, WikiLeaks tweeted that their own site was sustaining attacks of 10 Gb/second, adding, “Whoever is running it controls thousands of machines or is able to simulate them.”
According to a press release (pdf) dated June 6, 2012, TrapWire is “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.” A system of interconnected nodes spot anything considered suspect and then input it into the system to be “analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”
In a 2009 email included in the Anonymous leak, Stratfor Vice President for Intelligence Fred Burton is alleged to write, “TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance.” Burton formerly served with the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Abraxas’ staff includes other security experts with experience in and out of the Armed Forces.
What is believed to be a partnering agreement included in the Stratfor files from August 13, 2009 indicates that they signed a contract with Abraxas to provide them with analysis and reports of their TrapWire system (pdf).
“Suspicious activity reports from all facilities on the TrapWire network are aggregated in a central database and run through a rules engine that searches for patterns indicative of terrorist surveillance operations and other attack preparations,” Crime and Justice International magazine explains in a 2006 article on the program, one of the few publically circulated on the Abraxas product (pdf). “Any patterns detected – links among individuals, vehicles or activities – will be reported back to each affected facility. This information can also be shared with law enforcement organizations, enabling them to begin investigations into the suspected surveillance cell.”
In a 2005 interview with The Entrepreneur Center, Abraxas founder Richard “Hollis” Helms said his signature product“can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” He calls it “a proprietary technology designed to protect critical national infrastructure from a terrorist attack by detecting the pre-attack activities of the terrorist and enabling law enforcement to investigate and engage the terrorist long before an attack is executed,” and that, “The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically.”
An internal email from early 2011 included in the Global Intelligence Files has Stratfor’s Burton allegedly saying the program can be used to “[walk] back and track the suspects from the get go w/facial recognition software.”
Since its inception, TrapWire has been implemented in most major American cities at selected high value targets (HVTs) and has appeared abroad as well. The iWatch monitoring system adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department (pdf) works in conjunction with TrapWire, as does the District of Columbia and the “See Something, Say Something” program conducted by law enforcement in New York City, which had 500 surveillance cameras linked to the system in 2010. Private properties including Las Vegas, Nevada casinos have subscribed to the system. The State of Texas reportedly spent half a million dollars with an additional annual licensing fee of $150,000 to employ TrapWire, and the Pentagon and other military facilities have allegedly signed on as well.
In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes, “God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.” Files onUSASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.
News of the widespread and largely secretive installation of TrapWire comes amidst a federal witch-hunt to crack down on leaks escaping Washington and at attempt to prosecute whistleblowers. Thomas Drake, a former agent with the NSA, has recently spoken openly about the government’s Trailblazer Project that was used to monitor private communication, and was charged under the Espionage Act for coming forth. Separately, former NSA tech director William Binney and others once with the agency have made claims in recent weeks that the feds have dossiers on every American, an allegation NSA Chief Keith Alexander dismissed during a speech at Def-Con last month in Vegas.
This deceptive piece of ‘journalism’ reeks of some sort of psy-op to put pressure on people to join the biggest spy operation ever created so they can spew out data points for the NSA and the spying apparatus in this country.
So, not having a Facebook account is not considered suspicious behavior. There you have it.
Facebook has become such a pervasive force in modern society that increasing numbers of employers, and even some psychologists, believe people who aren’t on social networking sites are ‘suspicious.’
The German magazine Der Taggspiegel went so far as to point out that accused theater shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik have common ground in their lack of Facebook profiles.
On a more tangible level, Forbes.com reports that human resources departments across the country are becoming more wary of young job candidates who don’t use the site.
Normal: Facebook has become so pervasive in this culture that not having a profile is considered ‘abnormal’
The common concern among bosses is that a lack of Facebook could mean the applicant’s account could be so full of red flags that it had to be deleted.
Slate.com tech reporter Farhad Manjoo wrote in an advice column that young people shouldn’t date anyone who isn’t on Facebook.
‘If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag,’ he says.
Manjoo points out that these judgements don’t apply to older people who were already productive adults before social media became widespread.
The tech news site Slashdotsummed up Der Taggspiegel’s story about social networking as ‘not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.’
Loner: James Holmes, the accused Colorado theater shooter, does not appear to have friends and did not have a Facebook page
It points out that Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and an unborn child and wounding 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and Breivik, who murdered 77 people with a car bomb and mass shooting, did not use Facebook and had small online footprints.
Breivik used MySpace and Holmes was reportedly on the hookup site Adult Friend Finder.
Psychologist Christopher Moeller told the magazine that using Facebook has become a sign of having a healthy social network.
Psychologists have noted that Holmes, along with several noted mass murderers, have lacked any real friends.
And this is what the argument boils down to: It’s the suspicion that not being on Facebook, which has become so normal among young adults, is a sign that you’re abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous, ways.
It’s on — at least partially: Reddit has announced that it will go dark for 12 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said that he hopes to coordinate with the site so that Wikipedia does the same. Will other sites join in? Should we prepare for the Great Internet Strike of 2012?
Writing that it’s “not taking this action lightly,” Reddit announced on Tuesday that it will black out its site on Jan. 18 for 12 hours, starting at 8 a.m. E.T. During that period, the site’s content will be replaced with “a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit, link to resources to learn more, and suggest ways to take action.” The company will also run a live video stream of that day’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Internet security, intellectual property and economic growth.
On the site’s blog, the Reddit team admitted that “we’re as addicted to reddit as the rest of you,” but also explained that “we wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it. Blacking out reddit is a hard choice, but we feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community.” The company says support for a blackout isn’t unanimous among the Reddit community, and it is asking for input as it decides what to do next.
Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/01/12/sopa-reddit-confirms-january-18-blackout-wikipedia-and-others-may-follow/#ixzz1jHT7Nu7l
CarrierIQ is frightening, and not at all surprising to know is there, to be honest. I’d long heard the stories of how smartphones were giving up all their secrets through geolocation metadata and now to know that something is actively parsing all that data, and doing it regardless of an SSL connection, you have to hand it to this company, for being in as deep as they are they seem to know how to play this game. Deny Deny Deny.
The company has been in the middle of a PR nightmare wrought by the revelation last month that its data-tracking software was secretly installed on more than 140 million cellphones. Its reps have been caught off guard by the wave of attention, which has included letters from Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Ed Markeydemanding answers on how the Carrier IQ software works and what data it is tracking on people’s phones. The result has been a series of interviews and press statements that have only further muddled things up.
This new interview provides a few more answers, raises a couple more questions and points a whole lot of fingers.
The questions that journalists, activists and members of Congress have been asking of Carrier IQ can be boiled down to “What data are you collecting, and what are you doing with it?”
Carrier IQ hasn’t been able to provide adequate answers. In an earlier interview, Lenhart said (emphasis mine):
[Carrier IQ’s] software receives a huge amount of information from the operating system… But just because it receives it doesn’t mean that it’s being used to gather intelligence about the user or passed along to the carrier.
But now Lenhart and Coward have altered their positions on what Carrier IQ does and doesn’t do. Inconsistencies remain:
We absolutely do not intend to capture content from subscribers… It is not our intention to capture information that might be confidential.
We’ve gone from “Carrier IQ receives the information” to “We do not intend to capture content.”
Now Lenhart, from later in the interview:
We don’t want content, and we don’t have the ability to capture it.
So what is it? Are you inadvertently collecting our data — even if you don’t want it — or aren’t you?
It appears that Carrier IQ’s official position is that it has no interest in actually capturing sensitive data. Lenhart then points to the carriers:
Remember, the information that’s captured off a user’s device is determined by the carrier, according to their privacy agreement.
While Carrier IQ may not be intentionally gathering sensitive data, the carriers themselves may be using its software to do it.
When asked how it deals with law enforcement requests for data, Lenhart again punts to the carriers:
We would refer [law enforcement officials] to the carriers, because the diagnostic data collected belongs to the network operators, not Carrier IQ.
The point about law enforcement isn’t hypothetical. Journalist Michael Morisey filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI for “manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ.” While the FBI denied that request, it did confirm that it had such documents, but the docs were “exempt under a provision that covers materials that, if disclosed, might reasonably interfere with an ongoing investigation.”
So the FBI is clearly getting some Carrier IQ data from someone— we just don’t know who.
At this point, a picture of the relationship among Carrier IQ, the carriers and the public is emerging. Carrier IQ sells powerful tracking software to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to help those companies diagnose problems with networks, applications and handsets. Those companies install the software on handsets after receiving the devices from the manufacturers (HTC, Samsung and others). The carriers sell these devices to unsuspecting customers, using Carrier IQ for network diagnostics and who knows what else. Carrier IQ points back to the carriers whenever privacy or law enforcement questions arise.
Meanwhile the public is busy getting hosed by everyone involved.
TorrentFreak, a news site devoted to all things BitTorrent, has published the results of an investigation they conducted into downloads via BitTorrent software at IP addresses owned by some of the entertainment industry’s biggest companies.
Using Russian site YouHaveDownloaded.com, which identifies a user’s torrent downloading activity based on their IP address, TorrentFreak took known IPs belonging to Sony, Fox, and NBC Universal and tested them. They found rampant downloading of a variety of programming – movies, music, and TV shows – at all three companies. Highlights of the findings include the Paramount Studios film Super 8 being downloaded by someone at Fox, the complete first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones being downloaded at an NBC Universal office in Fort Lauderdale, the 2011 Conan the Barbarian remake being downloaded at Sony, and someone at Google’s New York office downloading a copy of Windows 7. They also checked on the IP of the San Francisco headquarters of BitTorrent, Inc., where they found no downloading activity at all.
As remarkable as these results are, they are made all the more amazing by debate currently raging over SOPA, the anti-piracy legislation currently working its way through the US Congress. The companies whose activity TorrentFreak examined are among the most outspoken proponents of the legislation, and have a history of aggressively pursuing those who violate copyright by downloading their content.
US authorities have initiated the largest round of domain name seizures yet as part of their continued crackdown on counterfeit and piracy-related websites. With just a few days to go until “Cyber Monday” more than 100 domain names have been taken over by the feds to protect the commercial interests of US companies. The seizures are disputable, as the SOPA bill which aims to specifically legitimize such actions is still pending in Congress.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resumed “Operation In Our Sites”, the domain name seizing initiative designed to crack down on online piracy and counterfeiting.
The new round comes exactly a year after 82 domains, including Torrent-Finder, were taken over in 2010. At the time ICE labeled the actions “Cyber Monday crackdown,” referring to the Monday following Thanksgiving where consumers are persuaded to shop online.
TorrentFreak has identified more than 130 domains taken over by the government during the last 24 hours, which makes this the largest seizure round to date. The authorities have yet to comment via official channels, but we assume that they will use the same justification for the domain seizures as they did last year.
The Associated Press published a report today detailing, for the first time, a unit within the CIA, referring to itself as the ‘vengeful librarians,’ that is responsible for monitoring the vast and various social networks, local and international news, radio, and television, Internet chat rooms, and pretty much anything from which they can procure intelligence.
The unit is part of the CIA’s Open Source Center. Their goal is to monitor every facet of the internet in every imaginable language, cross-referencing that information with local news reports and information gleaned in the more traditional, cloak-and-dagger, spy-type espionage. Much of the information, according to the AP, ends up in the hands of White House officials and even in President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings.
The devastating earthquake that struck Japan this year may have rattled the highest layer of the atmosphere even before it shook the Earth, a discovery that one day could be used to provide warnings of giant quakes, scientists find.
Now geodesist and geophysicist Kosuke Heki at Hokkaido University in Japan reports the Tohoku quake also may have generated ripples in the ionosphere before the quake struck.
Disruptions of the electrically charged particles in the ionosphere lead to anomalies in radio signals between global positioning system satellites and ground receivers, data that scientists can measure.
Heki analyzed data from more than 1,000 GPS receivers in Japan. He discovered a rise of approximately 8 percent in the total electron content in the ionosphere above the area hit by the earthquake about 40 minutes before the temblor. This increase was greatest about the epicenter and diminished with distance away from it.
“Before finding this phenomenon, I did not think earthquakes could be predicted at all,” Heki told OurAmazingPlanet. “Now I think large earthquakes are predictable.”
Analysis of GPS records from the magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake in 2010 revealed a similar pattern, Heki said. These anomalies also may have occurred with the Sumatra magnitude 9.2 earthquake in 2004 and the magnitude 8.3 Hokkaido earthquake in 1994, he added.
If true, further research could lead to a new type of early-warning system for giant earthquakes.
The anomaly is currently seen before earthquakes only with magnitudes of about 8.5 or larger, Heki cautioned. Still, if researchers can detect what specifically causes this ionospheric phenomenon, it also might be possible to detect precursory phenomena for smaller earthquakes, he said.
Heki did caution that the ionosphere is highly variable — for instance, solar storms can trigger large changes in total electron content there. Before researchers could develop an early-warning system for earthquakes based on ionospheric anomalies, they would have to rule out non-earthquake causes.
Heki detailed his findings online Sept. 15 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.