Maybe It’s Time for an #InternetBillofRights… or Maybe to Enforce the Actual Bill of Rights

The agreement is there every time we sign up for another service. You don’t own your data on these platforms. 

zuckerberg dumb fuck

Well, These New Zuckerberg IMs Won’t Help Facebook’s Privacy Problems

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his company are suddenly facing a big new round of scrutiny and criticism about their cavalier attitude toward user privacy.

An early instant messenger exchange Mark had with a college friend won’t help put these concerns to rest.

According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.

Brutal.

Could Mark have been completely joking? Sure. But the exchange does reveal that Facebook’s aggressive attitude toward privacy may have begun early on.

While You Were Distracted: Congress Took the Global Police State Another Big Step Forward

Eye of the Police State

Everything You Need to Know About the CLOUD Act

While you were reeling from the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, the U.S. government quietly passed a piece of legislation that has far bigger implications for your data.

The law is called the Clarifying Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. It’s basically an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a series of laws that regulate how U.S. law enforcement officials can access data stored overseas. Congress passed those laws in 1986, and both the U.S. government and major tech companies believe they are ill-equipped to handle today’s electronic communications.

Up until last week, the U.S. could only access data stored overseas through mutual legal-assistance treaties (MLATs). With a MLAT, two or more nations put in writing exactly how they are willing to help each other with legal investigations. The Senate votes on each MLAT, and it must receive a two-thirds approval to pass.

The CLOUD Act gives the U.S. an alternative to MLATs.

Through the CLOUD Act, U.S. law enforcement officials at any level, from local police to federal agents, can force tech companies to turn over user data regardless of where the company stores the data.

The CLOUD Act also gives the executive branch the ability to enter into “executive agreements” with foreign nations, which could allow each nation to get its hands on user data stored in the other country, no matter the hosting nation’s privacy laws. These agreements don’t require congressional approval.

Read More: https://futurism.com/everything-need-know-cloud-act/

Google is the Deep State’s Big Brother.

Google is Big Brother

Know Your History: Google Has Been a Military-Intel Contractor from the Very Beginning

By Yasha Levine, Surveillance Valley.

Levine’s investigative reporting on the connection between the Silicon Valley tech giants and the military-intelligence community has been praised by high-level NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and many others. [See my interviews of Drake here:

“Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google’s involvement.” — Gizmodo / March 6, 2018

Gizmodo’s report on Google’s work for the Pentagon has been making headlines all day. It’s also thrown the normally placid halls of Google’s Mountain View HQ into chaos. Seems that Googlers can’t believe that their awesome company would get involved in something as heinous as helping the Pentagon increase its drone targeting capability.

But the fact that Google helps the military build more efficient systems of surveillance and death shouldn’t be surprising, especially not to Google employees. The truth is that Google has spent the last 15 years selling souped-up versions of its information technology to military and intelligence agencies, local police departments, and military contractors of all size and specialization — including outfits that sell predictive policing tech deployed in cities across America today.

As I outline in my book Surveillance Valley, it started in 2003 with customized Google search solutions for data hosted by the CIA and NSA. The company’s military contracting work then began to expand in a major way after 2004, when Google cofounder Sergey Brin pushed for buying Keyhole, a mapping startup backed by the CIA and the NGA, a sister agency to the NSA that handles spy satellite intelligence.

Spooks loved Keyhole because of the “video game-like” simplicity of its virtual maps. They also appreciated the ability to layer visual information over other intelligence. The sky was the limit. Troop movements, weapons caches, real-time weather and ocean conditions, intercepted emails and phone call intel, cell phone locations — whatever intel you had with a physical location could be thrown onto a map and visualized. Keyhole gave an intelligence analyst, a commander in the field, or an air force pilot up in the air the kind of capability that we now take for granted: using digital mapping services on our computers and mobile phones to look up restaurants, cafes, museums, traffic conditions, and subway routes. “We could do these mashups and expose existing legacy data sources in a matter of hours, rather than weeks, months, or years,” an NGA official gushed about Keyhole — the company that we now know as Google Earth.

Military commanders weren’t the only ones who liked Keyhole’s ability to mash up data. So did Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

The purchase of Keyhole was a major milestone for Google, marking the moment the company stopped being a purely consumer-facing Internet company and began integrating with the US government. While Google’s public relations team did its best to keep the company wrapped in a false aura of geeky altruism, company executives pursued an aggressive strategy to become the Lockheed Martin of the Internet Age. “We’re functionally more than tripling the team each year,” a Google exec who ran Google Federal, the company’s military sales division, said in 2008.

It was true. With insiders plying their trade, Google’s expansion into the world of military and intelligence contracting took off.

What kind of work?

Here are just a few data points from Surveillance Valley:

  • “In 2007, it partnered with Lockheed Martin to design a visual intelligence system for the NGA that displayed US military bases in Iraq and marked out Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad— important information for a region that had experienced a bloody sectarian insurgency and ethnic cleansing campaign between the two groups.”
  • “In 2008, Google won a contract to run the servers and search technology that powered the CIA’s Intellipedia, an intelligence database modeled after Wikipedia that was collaboratively edited by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and other federal agencies.”
  • “In 2010, as a sign of just how deeply Google had integrated with US intelligence agencies, it won a no-bid exclusive $27 million contract to provide the NGA with “geospatial visualization services,” effectively making the Internet giant the “eyes” of America’s defense and intelligence apparatus.”
  • “In 2008, Google entered into a three-way partnership with the NGA and a quasi-government company called GeoEye to launch a spy satellite called GeoEye-1. The new satellite, which was funded in large part by the NGA, delivered extremely high-resolution images for the exclusive use of NGA and Google.”
  • A few years ago it started working with PredPol, a California-based predictive policing startup. “PredPol did more than simply license Google’s technology to render the mapping sys- tem embedded in its product but also worked with Google to develop customized functionality, including ‘building additional bells and whistles and even additional tools for law enforcement.'”

More from the book:

“Google has been tightlipped about the details and scope of its contracting business. It does not list this revenue in a separate column in quarterly earnings reports to investors, nor does it provide the sum to reporters. But an analysis of the federal contracting database maintained by the US government, combined with information gleaned from Freedom of Information Act requests and published periodic reports on the company’s military work, reveals that Google has been doing brisk business selling Google Search, Google Earth, and Google Enterprise (now known as G Suite) products to just about every major military and intelligence agency: navy, army, air force, Coast Guard, DARPA, NSA, FBI, DEA, CIA, NGA, and the State Department. Sometimes Google sells directly to the government, but it also works with established contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), a California-based intelligence mega-contractor that has so many former NSA employees working for it that it is known in the business as ‘NSA West.'”

—Yasha Levine

Want to know more?

Read “Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet”

Black Mirror Here We Are: People Given Low Social Status Scores by the Government Will Be Banned From Using Transportation in China

It’s a new chapter in our continuing real-world realization of Orwell’s-1984 

Social Status Rating Now a Reality in China

China To Launch “Social Credit System” To Monitor Everything From Jaywalking To Internet Shopping Activity

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, various cities throughout China are currently piloting a “social-credit system” that will assign a “personal citizen score” to every single person based on behavior such as spending habits, turnstile violations and filial piety, which can blacklist citizens from loans, jobs, air travel.

Hangzhou’s local government is piloting a “social credit” system the Communist Party has said it wants to roll out nationwide by 2020, a digital reboot of the methods of social control the regime uses to avert threats to its legitimacy.

More than three dozen local governments across China are beginning to compile digital records of social and financial behavior to rate creditworthiness. A person can incur black marks for infractions such as fare cheating, jaywalking and violating family-planning rules. The effort echoes the dang’an, a system of dossiers the Communist party keeps on urban workers’ behavior.

In time, Beijing expects to draw on bigger, combined data pools, including a person’s internet activity, according to interviews with some architects of the system and a review of government documents. Algorithms would use a range of data to calculate a citizen’s rating, which would then be used to determine all manner of activities, such as who gets loans, or faster treatment at government offices or access to luxury hotels.

Input data for the social credit system would come from a variety of government sources but would also incorporate social behavior based on things like volunteer activities, academic records, social media usage and online shopping trends.

For initial social-credit efforts, local officials are relying on information collected by government departments, such as court records and loan and tax dataMore-extensive logging of everyday habits, such as social-media use and online shopping, lies with China’s internet companies, including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

A credit-scoring service by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services—one of eight companies approved to pilot commercial experiments with social-credit scoring—assigns ratings based on information such as when customers shop online, what they buy and what phone they use. If users opt in, the score can also consider education levels and legal records. Perks in the past for getting high marks have included express security screening at the Beijing airport, part of an Ant agreement with the airport.

“Especially for young people, your online behavior goes towards building up your online credit profile,” said Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman, “and we want people to be aware of that so they know to behave themselves better.”

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-29/china-launch-social-credit-system-monitor-everything-jaywalking-internet-activity

 

Social Credit System - China

China To Launch “Social Credit System” To Monitor Everything From Jaywalking To Internet Shopping Activity

China said this week it will begin applying its so-called social credit system to flights and trains and stop people who have committed misdeeds from taking such transport for up to a year.

As Reuters reports,  people who would be put on the restricted lists included those found to have committed acts like spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains, according to two statements issued on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website on Friday.

China has flagged plans to roll out a system that will allow government bodies to share information on its citizens’ trustworthiness and issue penalties based on a so-called social credit score.

However, there are signs that the use of social credit scoring on domestic transport could have started years ago.

In early 2017, the country’s Supreme People’s Court said during a press conference that 6.15 million Chinese citizens had been banned from taking flights for social misdeeds.

President Xi Jinping’s plan, based on the principle ‘once untrustworthy, always restricted’, will come into effect on 1 May…

The system is designed to automatically provide “green lanes” for faster access to government services for “well-behaved” citizens while levying travel bans and other punishments on those who get out of line. 

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-19/big-brother-arrives-china-bans-people-bad-social-credit-planes-trains

Pre-Crime Tool of the Deep State Being Tested on the People of New Orleans

Palantir, Peter Thiel and the Deep State

PALANTIR HAS SECRETLY BEEN USING NEW ORLEANS TO TEST ITS PREDICTIVE POLICING TECHNOLOGY

Palantir deployed a predictive policing system in New Orleans that even city council members don’t know about

n May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies.

Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments, including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders.

According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim. As part of the discovery process in Lewis’ trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir, according to a source familiar with the 39ers trial.

The program began in 2012 as a partnership between New Orleans Police and Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm founded with seed money from the CIA’s venture capital firm. According to interviews and documents obtained by The Verge, the initiative was essentially a predictive policing program, similar to the “heat list” in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence.

The partnership has been extended three times, with the third extension scheduled to expire on February 21st, 2018. The city of New Orleans and Palantir have not responded to questions about the program’s current status.

Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.

In fact, key city council members and attorneys contacted by The Verge had no idea that the city had any sort of relationship with Palantir, nor were they aware that Palantir used its program in New Orleans to market its services to another law enforcement agency for a multimillion-dollar contract.

Even James Carville, the political operative instrumental in bringing about Palantir’s collaboration with NOPD, said that the program was not public knowledge. “No one in New Orleans even knows about this, to my knowledge,” Carville said.

More than half a decade after the partnership with New Orleans began, Palantir has patented at least one crime-forecasting system and has sold similar software to foreign intelligence services for predicting the likelihood of individuals to commit terrorism.

Even within the law enforcement community, there are concerns about the potential civil liberties implications of the sort of individualized prediction Palantir developed in New Orleans, and whether it’s appropriate for the American criminal justice system.

“They’re creating a target list, but we’re not going after Al Qaeda in Syria,” said a former law enforcement official who has observed Palantir’s work first-hand as well as the company’s sales pitches for predictive policing. The former official spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss their concerns with data mining and predictive policing. “Palantir is a great example of an absolutely ridiculous amount of money spent on a tech tool that may have some application,” the former official said. “However, it’s not the right tool for local and state law enforcement.”

Read More: https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/27/17054740/palantir-predictive-policing-tool-new-orleans-nopd

Story of Shooting at NSA is Buried in the Media | SUV was Trying to Exit not Enter

The SUV Was Trying to Escape the NSA

NSA shooting: Officer injured at Fort Meade security gate, three in custody

Alison Knezevich The Baltimore Sun

Three people were injured at Fort Meade early Wednesday when the driver of an SUV attempted to enter the National Security Agency compound, authorities said.

The driver and two passengers in the black SUV were taken into custody after the incident shortly before 7 a.m. at Gate 1 on Canine Road off Maryland Route 32. A spokesman for the FBI’s Baltimore field office said late Wednesday that investigators are examining the possibility that the driver might have made a wrong turn into the complex, but it is not the only theory they are considering.

Injured were an NSA police officer, the driver of the SUV and a civilian bystander, said Gordon B. Johnson, special agent in charge for the FBI’s Baltimore office. He said the SUV had three occupants.

Johnson described the encounter as “an isolated incident.”

“I cannot emphasize enough that we believe there is no indication that this has a nexus to terrorism,” Johnson said.

The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation. Johnson told reporters Wednesday that only limited information was available to be shared.

He said shots were fired during the incident, but did not believe any of the injuries were caused by gunfire. He would not say who opened fire, but said it appeared the gunfire was “directed at the vehicle.”

Read More: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-fort-meade-shooting-20180214-story.html