Google Became Evil: Altering Political Search Results, Tracking Your Every Move

google internet

EXCLUSIVE: DOCUMENTS DETAILING GOOGLE’S ‘NEWS BLACKLIST’ SHOW MANUAL MANIPULATION OF SPECIAL SEARCH RESULTS

J. Arthur Bloom 04/09/2019

Google does manipulate its search results manually, contrary to the company’s official denials, documents obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller indicate.

Two official policies dubbed the “misrepresentation policy” and the “good neighbor policy” inform the company’s “XPA news blacklist,” which is maintained by Google’s Trust & Safety team. “T&S will be in charge of updating the blacklist as when there is a demand,” reads one of the documents shared with The Daily Caller.

“The deceptive_news domain blacklist is going to be used by many search features to filter problematic sites that violate the good neighbor and misrepresentation policies,” the policy document says.

That document reads that it was, “approved by gomes@, nayak@, haahr@ as of 8/13/2018.” Ben Gomes is Google’s head of search, who reports directly to CEO Sundar Pichai. Pandu Nayak is a Google Fellow, and Paul Haahr is a software engineer, whose bio on Google’s internal network Moma indicates that he is also involved in, “fringe ranking: not showing fake news, hate speech, conspiracy theories, or science/medical/history denial unless we’re sure that’s what the user wants.”

“The purpose of the blacklist will be to bar the sites from surfacing in any Search feature or news product. It will not cause a demotion in the organic search results or de-index them altogether,” reads the policy document obtained by the Caller. What that means is that targeted sites will not be removed from the “ten blue links” portion of search results, but the blacklist applies to most of the other search features, like “top news,” “videos” or the various sidebars that are returned as search results.

Read More: https://dailycaller.com/2019/04/09/google-news-blacklist-search-manipulation/

Google Exec Finally Admits to Congress That They’re Tracking Us Even with ‘Location’ Turned Off

By PAULA BOLYARD March 12, 2019

A Google executive admitted during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that Google tracks users’ phones  — even when their location history is turned off.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Google Senior Privacy Counsel Will DeVries about the company’s tracking policies during a hearing examining online consumer privacy. Some of DeVries’ answers will likely disturb consumers who thought there was a way to avoid being tracked by Google through their phones.

In his prepared remarks, DeVries told lawmakers that “the processing of personal information is necessary to simply operate the service the user requested.” He asserted that “requiring” individuals to control every aspect of data processing “can create a burdensome and complex experience that diverts attention from the most important controls without corresponding benefits,” and therefore a “specific consent or toggle” should not be required for every use of data.

“I’m concerned about the implicit bargain that consumers are being asked to ratify by which they supposedly get free services but actually have enormous amounts of personal data extracted from them without knowing exactly what’s going on,” Hawley said. He asked DeVries about his claims in his prepared remarks that Google provides “free” services and that the company “clearly explains” how personal data is used. “Is that really true?”

DeVries explained that it’s “complicated” — a word that he used several times as he tried to evade Hawley’s questions about why Google tracks its users’ locations.

An Associated Press report in August 2018 found that “many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.”

“Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects — such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene,” the AP explained.

Read More: https://pjmedia.com/trending/google-tracks-you-even-when-location-is-turned-off-google-exec-finally-admits-to-congress/

Google Alters Political Search Results: Used it’s Power to Effect the 2018 Elections

EXCLUSIVE — Research: Google Search Manipulation Can Swing Nearly 80 Percent of Undecided Voters

ALLUM BOKHARI

By inserting negative search suggestions under the name of a candidate, search engines like Google can shift the opinions of undecided voters by up to 43.4 percent, according to new research by a team at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and reported exclusively by Breitbart News.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Robert Epstein, has previously conducted research into what he calls the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME). This research showed that the manipulation of results pages in search engines can shift the voting preferences of undecideds by anywhere between 20 and 80 percent, depending on the demographic.

His latest research looks at how search engines can affect voters by suggesting negative or positive search terms when a political candidate’s name is entered into the search bar. Dr. Epstein’s research found that when negative search terms are suggested for a candidate, it can have a dramatic effect on voter opinion.

Read More: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/04/24/exclusive-research-google-search-manipulation-can-swing-nearly-80-percent-undecided-voters/

Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search Function to Counter Travel Ban

Company says none of proposed changes to search results were ever implemented

WASHINGTON—Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed ways they might be able to tweak the company’s search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails.

The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to “leverage” search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be “islamophobic,…

‘THE SMOKING GUN’: Google Manipulated YouTube Search Results for Abortion, Maxine Waters, David Hogg

ALLUM BOKHARI

In sworn testimony, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress last month that his company does not “manually intervene” on any particular search result. Yet an internal discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News reveals Google regularly intervenes in search results on its YouTube video platform – including a recent intervention that pushed pro-life videos out of the top ten search results for “abortion.”

The term “abortion” was added to a “blacklist” file for “controversial YouTube queries,” which contains a list of search terms that the company considers sensitive. According to the leak, these include some of these search terms related to: abortion, abortions, the Irish abortion referendum, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and anti-gun activist David Hogg.

The existence of the blacklist was revealed in an internal Google discussion thread leaked to Breitbart News by a source inside the company who wishes to remain anonymous. A partial list of blacklisted terms was also leaked to Breitbart by another Google source.

Read More: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/01/16/google-youtube-search-blacklist-smoking-gun/

Google and the Obama Administration

Google Ministry of Truth

Google Makes Most of Close Ties to White House

By Brody Mullins

WASHINGTON—As the federal government was wrapping up its antitrust investigation of Google Inc., company executives had a flurry of meetings with top officials at the White House and Federal Trade Commission, the agency running the probe.

Google co-founder Larry Page met with FTC officials to discuss settlement talks, according to visitor logs and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt met with Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in the White House.

Lifting the covers on ‘Obamoogle’

An antitrust probe went away while Google snuggled with Obama

– Monday, March 30, 2015

During this past week as we’ve been swamped with bad news pouring out of every corner of the globe, it wouldn’t be surprising if you missed one of the more shocking revelations about White House actions that would make even Richard Nixon blush.

The Wall Street Journal revealed that it had obtained a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report detailing the closeness of Google and the Obama administration while the FTC was engaging in an antitrust investigation of the Internet giant.

It’s usually the case that you get more interesting information when the details were supposed to remain secret, and that’s the case here. The FTC, responding to an open-records request, accidentally sent 160 pages of a private 2012 report to the The Wall Street Journal, detailing their antitrust investigation into Google.

What was disclosed paints a picture of unusual activity between the White HouseGoogle and the FTC while the antitrust investigation was being conducted. Ultimately, the FTC staff recommended bringing a lawsuit against Google on antitrust grounds. Despite this, the commission voted 5-0 against charges.

Read More: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/30/tammy-bruce-obamagoogle-connection/

THE ANDROID ADMINISTRATION

Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Charts

April 22 2016

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA announced his support last week for a Federal Communications Commission plan to open the market for cable set-top boxes — a big win for consumers, but also for Google — the cable and telecommunications giants who used to have a near-stranglehold on tech policy were furious. AT&T chief lobbyist Jim Cicconi lashed out at what he called White House intervention on behalf of “the Google proposal.”

He’s hardly the first to suggest that the Obama administration has become too close to the Silicon Valley juggernaut.

Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects.

Precisely how much influence this buys Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in the European Union, Google is now facing two major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed commission.

It’s a relationship that bears watching. “Americans know surprisingly little about what Google wants and gets from our government,” said Anne Weismann, executive director of Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit watchdog organization. Seeking to change that, Weismann’s group is spearheading a data transparency project about Google’s interactions in Washington.

Read More: https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/

 

New York State Lawmakers Aiming for Orwellian Lockdown

if the government says you dont need a gun you need a gun

This Anti-Gun Bill Would Require the Social Media History and Internet Search History of Prospective Buyers

By Daisy Luther
December 4, 2018

In New York (the state, not just the city) there’s a rather Orwellian gun bill on the table that would require would-be firearm purchasers to turn over 3 years of their social media history and one year of their internet search history if they want to buy a gun.

“A three-year review of a social media profile would give an easy profile of a person who is not suitable to hold and possess a firearm,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has proposed the legislation with New York State Senator Kevin Parker. (source)

Applicants to purchase a gun would be required by law to turn over their social media passwords to accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, and they’d have to allow police to see a year’s worth of their searches on a year’s worth of searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  As well, anyone renewing their permit for a pistol would be subject to this invasive investigation.

Read More: https://www.theorganicprepper.com/this-anti-gun-bill-would-require-the-social-media-history-and-internet-search-history-of-would-be-buyers/

Google: Part of the Military Industrial Surveillance System

Google Helped Develop Autonomous Targeting

Google Will Not Renew Pentagon Contract That Upset Employees

By Daisuke Wakabayashi and Scott Shane  June 1, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when a current deal expires next year.

Diane Greene, who is the head of the Google Cloud business that won a contract with the Pentagon’s Project Maven, said during a weekly meeting with employees on Friday that the company was backing away from its A.I. work with the military, according to a person familiar with the discussion but not permitted to speak publicly about it.

Google’s work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, roiled the internet giant’s work force. Many of the company’s top A.I. researchers, in particular, worried that the contract was the first step toward using the nascent technology in advanced weapons.

But it is not unusual for Silicon Valley’s big companies to have deep military ties. And the internal dissent over Maven stands in contrast to Google’s biggest competitors for selling cloud-computing services — Amazon.com and Microsoft — which have aggressively pursued Pentagon contracts without pushback from their employees.

Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/technology/google-pentagon-project-maven.html

AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

RYAN NAKASHIMA  Aug. 13, 2018

Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.

For the most part, Google is upfront about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating. If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a “timeline” that maps out your daily movements.

Read More: https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb/AP-Exclusive:-Google-tracks-your-movements,-like-it-or-not

“The Search Engine Is The Most Powerful Source Of Mind Control Ever Invented…”

Asher Schechter via ProMarket.org,

Google CEO Sundar Pichai caused a worldwide sensation earlier this week when he unveiled Duplexan AI-driven digital assistant able to mimic human speech patterns (complete with vocal tics) to such a convincing degree that it managed to have real conversations with ordinary people without them realizing they were actually talking to a robot.

While Google presented Duplex as an exciting technological breakthrough, others saw something else: a system able to deceive people into believing they were talking to a human being, an ethical red flag (and a surefire way to get to robocall hell). Following the backlash, Google announced on Thursday that the new service will be designed “with disclosure built-in.” Nevertheless, the episode created the impression that ethical concerns were an “after-the-fact consideration” for Google, despite the fierce public scrutiny it and other tech giants faced over the past two months. “Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing,” tweeted Zeynep Tufekci, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a prominent critic of tech firms.

The controversial demonstration was not the only sign that the global outrage has yet to inspire the profound rethinking critics hoped it would bring to Silicon Valley firms. In Pichai’s speech at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, the ethical concerns regarding the company’s data mining, business model, and political influence were briefly addressed with a general, laconic statement: “The path ahead needs to be navigated carefully and deliberately and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right.”

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-12/search-engine-most-powerful-source-mind-control-ever-invented

 

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”

Jeremy Grantham Exposes The Corporatocracy: America’s “Run By Those Guys For Their Own Interests”

america the corporatocracy

Have profit margins risen to a permanently higher plateau? Are average Americans better off than they were a generation ago? I had the opportunity to discuss those questions, which are centrally important to investing and economic policy, with Jeremy Grantham a couple of weeks ago.

The discussion took place as part of a larger interview about climate-change investing. Grantham is the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Boston-based Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO).

It’s been widely reported that over the last 20 years the number of publicly traded companies has decreased by about 50%. The common explanations center on the fact that the number of de-listings, mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies have outstripped the initial public offerings (IPOs).

But I wanted to know if there was a deeper explanation related to the fact that corporate profit margins are at historical highs. Over the last dozen years, with the exception of the financial crisis, profit margins have been between 9% and 11% of GDP. Prior to that, the last time they were above 9% was in 1951.

The U.S. economy has become more concentrated in the service and technology sectors, which are inherently more profitable than the manufacturing businesses that dominated 50 years ago. Those business, like Amazon, Apple and Google have built incredibly strong, near-monopolistic franchises that should translate to higher margins.

If the market has become dominated with highly profitable, monopolistic franchises, then maybe that is why there are fewer companies and profit markets are no longer “the most mean-reverting series in finance,” as Grantham once claimed.

GMO has looked at this issue extensively. As Grantham noted, “profit margins and return on sales will vary much depending on whether you are in the supermarket business or whether you are in some software company. There is no average to which it moves.”

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that returns for equities will be greater going forward. As Grantham explained, higher margins will attract more capital and reduce the returns relative to other asset classes. “If your capital is returning more in this area than the other area then capital will flow and balance it out,” he said.

Higher margins have been offered as an explanation, by Grantham and others, for why the cyclically adjusted price-earnings (CAPE) ratio is higher than its historical average. But CAPE ratios depend on other factors, such as real interest rates, so margins only tell part of the story.

Grantham said that the monopoly factor has increased margins “a bit.” “Corporate power as exercised through Congress, particularly in the U.S., has clearly increased the total domination of regulatory boards by the industries. Regulations have gone from being concerning to laughable, and totally run by those guys for their own interests,” he said.

Grantham is far more concerned about the societal impacts of unchecked capitalism than he is with its effect on margins. “We are seeing a flowering of corporatism where government is designed to maximize the opportunities of giant influential companies and industries that spend a lot of money lobbying,” he said. “We continue down that primrose path today with yet another cycle of deregulating designed to help corporations.”

Grantham spoke about the “punishing consequences” that tax cuts and deregulation will have on the general public. He said that “maximizing the returns and the share of the pie going to corporations and the superrich is deplorable and has terrible effects on the economy in the long run. The average person in the street doesn’t have the buying power increments that they used to have.”

American prosperity

But is the average American really losing buying power? On this point, Grantham and I disagreed. Whether you go back 10, 20 or 40 years, I contend the standard of living for Americans has increased enormously.

Grantham, however, said that in terms of general well-being and happiness, Americans are worse off.`

“If you do your best to control for everything and measure happiness, this is not a particularly happy country,” Grantham said. “It is not entirely dependent on income by any means, and we have not improved.”

He acknowledged a couple areas where Americans are better off – entertainment, such as high-tech computer games, and medicine, where he said progress in drugs and technology are keeping people alive longer. To those I would add food, in light of the advances in the quality and variety of choices in cuisine, and transportation, considering the speed and safety at which we can travel by car, plane and other means.

But Grantham said that the average worker has not been paid more since 1974 for an hour’s work. “Does he feel more content, or does he feel extremely frustrated by his relative lack of progress compared to others?” he asked, rhetorically. “There is no doubt that he is more frustrated. The suicide rate in that group has gone way up. The drug addiction has gone way up.”

Indeed, he said there are all the indications of a “thoroughly miserable middle America.”

Read More: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2018/01/08/jeremy-grantham-on-profit-margins-and-american-prosperity

The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America: Surveillance That Never Ends

Big brother holiday poster

Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.

I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).

No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).

If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.

As it now stands, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the legal basis for two of the National Security Agency’s largest mass surveillance programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream”—is set to expire at the end of 2017.

“PRISM” lets the NSA access emails, video chats, instant messages, and other content sent via Facebook, Google, Apple and others. “Upstream” lets the NSA worm its way into the internet backbone—the cables and switches owned by private corporations like AT&T that make the internet into a global network—and scan traffic for the communications of tens of thousands of individuals labeled “targets.”

Section 702 has been used as an end-run around the Constitution to allow the government to collect the actual content of Americans’ emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.

Under Section 702, the government collects and analyzes over 250 million internet communications every year. There are estimates that at least half of these contain information about U.S. residents, many of whom have done nothing wrong. This information is then shared with law enforcement and “routinely used for purposes unrelated to national security.”

Mind you, Section 702 gives the government access to the very content of your conversations (phone calls, text messages, video chats), your photographs, your emails.

So beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.

For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government.

This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.

The short answer: they have become one and the same entity.

The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state.

This hasn’t fazed President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state.

For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept, Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.

If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.

As if we weren’t being spied on enough already.

On any given day, the average American is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

Every second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital Peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.

Talk about a system rife for abuse.

Ask the government why it’s carrying out this warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and you’ll get the same Orwellian answer the government has been trotting out since 9/11 to justify its assaults on our civil liberties: to keep America safe.

Yet warrantless mass surveillance by the government and its corporate cohorts hasn’t made America any safer. And it certainly isn’t helping to preserve our freedoms. Frankly, America will never be safe as long as the U.S. government is allowed to shred the Constitution.

Now the government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying program because they’re only looking to get the “bad” guys who are overseas.

Don’t believe it.

Warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens is wrong, un-American, and unconstitutional.

Clearly, the outlook for reforming the government’s unconstitutional surveillance programs does not look good.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whenever the rights of the American people are pitted against the interests of the military/corporate/security complex, “we the people” lose. Unless Congress develops a conscience—or suddenly remembers that they owe their allegiance to the citizenry and not the corporate state—we’re about to lose big.

It’s time to let Section 702 expire or reform the law to ensure that millions and millions of Americans are not being victimized by a government that no longer respects its constitutional limits.

Mark my words: if Congress votes to make the NSA’s vast spying powers permanent, it will be yet another brick in the wall imprisoning us within an electronic concentration camp from which there is no escape.

Read More: https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_deep_states_christmas_present_to_america_surveillance_that_never_ends_s

Net Neutrality – The End Of Google’s Biggest Subsidy

do no evil

DECEMBER 16, 2017 / TOM LUONGO

Net Neutrality is gone.  Good riddance.

Lost in all of the theoretical debate about how evil ISPs will create a have/have-not divide in Internet access, is the reality that it already exists along with massive subsidies to the biggest bandwidth pigs on the planet – Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix and the porn industry.

Under Net Neutrality these platforms flourished along with the rise of the mobile internet, which is now arguably more important than the ‘desktop’ one in your home and office.  Google and Apple control the on-ramps to the mobile web in a way that Net Neutrality proponents can only dream the bandwidth providers like Comcast and AT&T could.

Because, in truth, they can’t.  Consumers are ultimately the ones who decide how much bandwidth costs, not the ISPs.  We decide how much we can afford these creature comforts like streaming Netflix while riding the bus or doing self-indulgent Instagram videos of our standing in line at the movies (if that’s even a thing anymore).

Non-Neutrality Pricing

Net Neutrality took pricing of bandwidth out of the hands of consumers.  It handed the profits from it to Google, Facebook and all the crappy advertisers spamming video ads, malware, scams, and the like everywhere.

By mandating ‘equal access’ and equal fee structures the advertisers behind Google and Facebook would spend their budgets without much thought or care.  Google and Facebook ad revenue soared under Net Neutrality because advertisers’ needs are not aligned with Google’s bottom line, but with consumers’.

And, because of that, the price paid to deliver the ad, i.e. Google’s cost of goods sold (COGS), thanks to Net Neutrality, was held artificially low.  And Google, Facebook and the Porn Industry pocketed the difference.

They grew uncontrollably.  In the case of Google and Facebook, uncontrollably powerful.

That difference was never passed onto the ISP who could then, in turn, pass it on to the consumer.

All thanks to Net Neutrality.

Undercapitalized Growth

With the rise of the mobile web bandwidth should have been getting cheaper and easier to acquire at a much faster rate than it has.  But, it couldn’t because of Net Neutrality.  It kept rates of return on new bandwidth projects and new technology suppressed.

Money the ISP’s should have been spending laying more fiber, putting up more cell towers, building better radios went to Google to fritter away on endless projects that never see the light of day.

The ISP’s actually suffered under Net Neutrality and so did the consumers.

And therefore, Net Neutrality guaranteed that the infrastructure for new high-speed bandwidth would grow at the slowest possible rate, still governed by the maximum the consumer was willing to pay for bandwidth, rather than what the consumer actually demanded.

And, once obtained that power was then used to punish anyone who held different opinions from the leadership in Silicon Valley.

Think it through, Net Neutrality not only subsidized intrusive advertising, phishing scams and on-demand porn but also the very censorship these powerful companies now feel is their sacred duty to enforce because the government is now controlled by the bad guys.

Getting rid of Net Neutrality will put the costs of delivering all of this worthless content back onto the people serving it.  YouTube will become more expensive for Google and all of the other content delivery networks.  Facebook video will eat into its bottom line.

The ISP’s can and should throttle them until they ‘pay their fair share,’ which they plainly have not been.

The Net effect of Net Neutrality is that your ISP may charge you more in the short run for Netflix or Hulu.  Or, more appropriately, Netflix and Hulu will have to charge you more and we’ll find out what the real cost of delivering 4k streaming content to your iPhone actually costs.

But, those costs will then go to the ISP’s such that they can respond to demand for more bandwidth.  Will they try and overcharge us?  Of course.  AT&T is just as bad as Google and/or Facebook.

But, we have the right to say no.  To stop using the services the way Net Neutrality encouraged us to through mispricing of service.  If the ISP’s want more customers then they’ll have to bring wire out to the hinterlands.

Inflated Costs, Poor Service

Net Neutrality proponents kept telling us this was the way to help keep the internet available to the poor and the rural.  Nonsense.  It kept the internet from expanding properly into the hinterlands.

I live just over the county line in rural North Florida.  To the south is a town with cable and DSL.   Between cable franchise monopolies retarding expansion across county lines and Net Neutrality keeping margins thin, my home was 10 years behind everyone else getting decent bandwidth to keep up with the needs of the modern Internet.

Bandwidth needs artificially inflated, I might add, by the misaligned cost structure engendered by Net Neutrality in the first place.

It took forever for my phone provider to upgrade the bandwidth across the county line.  I begged them for a second line for internet service, they wouldn’t even talk to me.  Why?  The return on that new line wasn’t high enough for them.

If Google was passing some of the profits from Adwords onto the ISPs I’d have multiple choices for high-speed internet versus just one DSL provider.

As always, whenever the political left tries to protect the poor they wind up making things worse for them.

The Ways Forward

The news is good for a variety of reasons. With Net Neutrality gone a major barrier to entry for content delivery networks is gone.

Blockchain companies are building systems which cut the middle man out completely, allowing content creators to be directly tipped for their work versus being supported by advertising no one watches, wants or is swayed by.

Services like Steemit and the distributed application already built and to be built on it point the way to social media cost models which are sustainable and align the incentives properly between producers of content and consumers.

Steem internalizes the bandwidth costs of using the network and pays itself a part of its token reward pool to cover those costs.  So, all that’s left is content producer and their fans.  Advertisers are simply not needed to maintain the network.

Net Neutrality was a trojan horse designed to replicate the old shout-based advertising model of the golden age of print and TV advertising.  It was a way to control the megaphone and promote a particular point of view.

Look no further than the main proponents of it.  George Soros and the Ford Foundation are two of the biggest lobbyists for Net Neutrality.  Only the political left and its Marxian fantasies of evil middle men creating monopolies fell for the lies, as they were supposed to.

The rest of us were like, “Really?  This is not a problem.”  And it wasn’t until you looked under the hood and realized all they stood to gain by it.

Now, with Net Neutrality gone the underlying problem can be addressed; franchise monopolies of cable and phone companies in geographic areas.  These laws are still in effect.  They still hang like a spectre over the entire industry.  Like Net Neutrality, these laws concentrate capital into the hands of the few providers big enough to keep out the competition.

So, instead of championing the end of franchise monopolies, which county governments love because they get a sizable cut of the revenue to fund non-essential programs, the Left made things worse by championing Net Neutrality.

That also needs to end.  Even if you believe that franchise monopolies were, at one point, necessary.  They are not now.  IP-based communication is now fundamentally different than copper wire for discrete services like phone and cable.  Let people run all the copper and fiber they want.  There’s plenty of room in the conduit running under our sidewalks and streets.

Let a thousand flowers bloom, as the great Lew Rockwell once told me.

Then and only then will the Internet be free.

Read More: https://tomluongo.me/2017/12/16/net-neutrality-the-end-of-googles-biggest-subsidy/