PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.
A few samples:
MORE: Full blog:
What can I tell you? I can be a procrastinator. This post was written last August. Oh well…
Thank you all for enriching my life. This has been a life experience for me. Many things and people have come and gone during the last three years, but the blog remains. Ode to the blog. For those of you wondering if you too should have a blog, the thunderous answer is yes! If you go through the motion it will form itself eventually. Does that make sense?
I have always been fascinated by language. Words have the ability to create something out of thin air merely by depicting it. It’s complicated. I see similar filaments of understanding between what quantum theory is trying to grasp today and what some mystics, notably Siddhartha, have been saying for thousands of years.Oh boy, did I digress here.
OK, as I was saying, I remember the first 20 visitors. I could not believe that my little act of sharing information would instantly connect me with people who had similar interested and views. Then the comments came, and that was just sweet cherry; the blog became interactive.
What have I learned? Besides giving me this incredible program to play with, it has helped me focus on the issues and subjects that are dear to me. I do believe that something big is going on. Something nefarious under it all. We all feel it. We just have different ways of describing it. Also, we have different ways of dealing with the fear and anxiety that permeates our age.
Perhaps there is a syndrome for this condition in psychology. Who cares? But you have to admit that the world can be complex and frightening at times. Anyhow, I am using this anniversary to reflect on what themes are dear to me. I am pretty much eclectic and I find interesting stuff just about everywhere but the following themes seem to fire up my neurons the most.
For me it’s a no-brainer. This pic is right from my window last month. I took similar pics today and erased them because I thought “what’s the point?” They are doing it right now, as I am writing this, without a care of who sees them. I actually see the jets criss-cross the skies between the US and here. If I had a high power lens I could see the face of the pilot. I’d love that. Make him proud. All day. A few times a month. Same old questions: What are they spraying? Who? Why?
This is going to be THE big story soon, We have to wait for the masses to catch on I guess.
I saw this yesterday. I filmed it, but this man’s video is better. Please tell me that this is a normal passenger plane travel route.
Also, for those of you on Facebook, find Globalskywatch
This has been a revelation to me. I have healed my body and my soul with the sun many times now. It works. I am awaiting for the proper sun alignment here and I am embarking on a new venture: Sun Eating. I’ll fill you in as I go.
I vouch for the incredible benefits of a continuous spiritual practice. It absorbs everything in your life, reduces stress, and gives you an inkling of another reality beyond practical rationalism. And you feel good. It’s like slowly going sane (not my words)
Once upon a time, when I was a meat eater and unaware that big pharma is not looking out for me, I had to take antacids for stomach pain, pills to sleep, etc. Once I changed my diet towards a plant-based diet, everything changed. The results have been significant; I feel better, I lost weight without even trying. Many little health problems have vanished. Better sleep. Calmer. More aware. I could go on forever, but this is why I am always looking out for articles that address this topic. These days I don’t even take aspirin.
4 special foods/plants for me: Turmeric, Green tea, Ginger, Cannabis, and Coconut oil
I must say at this point that I believe that we have won the battle. Now we have to wait for gravity to set in. The prohibitionists are looking lame and hypocritical now that the scientific facts, not opinions, are starting to come out. It’s really a no-brainer.
Marijuana deaths so far (ever)= 0
Deaths by vending machines in North America per year= Hundreds.
Need we say more?
The next step will be for us all to make sure that the usual villains, the greedy soulless corporations, do not succeed in lobbying politicians to create laws that will benefit them. Their modus operandi will be to attempt to create monopolies for themselves. We must always make certain that the laws do not prohibit anyone from growing a few plants in their back yard or basement. That is what freedom is.
We have no right to eat them or use them in any way for our own selfish purposes. Fur is an abomination. Animals have consciousness, not the same as ours but consciousness nevertheless. I’ll stop here.
I have been a UFO searcher since my teens and I have never seen so much activity on the subject. The internet and the way we have turned into a surveillance society are most likely the main culprits behind the huge influx of sightings within the last twenty years or so.
Deep inside, I feel that we are on the verge of being told that extra terrestrials are here, more than one species, and that they have always been here. The great masses are being slowly prepared to accept the ultimate truth. I wish they’d hurry up. We do need help with this planet and the way we are managing it. (It’s a fail) If you look at the world through the kaleidoscopic eyes of the internet, it might make you think that we are insane and we are going to self-annihilate in the near future. These are gloomy times indeed. Anyone care for a dose of Fukushima? Care or not, it does not matter, you have been exposed by its radiation.
No wonder people, including me, reach out for what appears like unscientific theories. Need I remind you that many conspiracies were proven to be true? Including the biggest of it all: A small group of individuals and corporations, owned by these individuals, control just about all the wealth on the planet. This is not a conspiracy. How come no one talks about it anymore?
Thanks you again .
Peace to all of you
May 23, 2013
A Boston-area teenager remains in custody on $1 million bond nearly one month after being arrested over what he said on the Internet.
Eighteen-year-old Cameron B. D’Ambrosio of Methuen, Massachusetts was arrested on May 1 after police were alerted to “disturbing verbiage” on his personal Facebook page discovered by a fellow student at Methuen High School. D’Ambrosio allegedly posted original rap lyrics that prompted authorities to charge him with terrorism, and now he faces a potential 20 years in prison.
“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing and said, ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people,” Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told the Valley Patriot earlier this month.
Three weeks after being surprised by police at his Methuen home, D’Ambrosio remains locked up.
“A kid is in prison. Away from his family. All for something he posted on Facebook” reads a support page for the high school student established this week by the Center for Rights and Fight for the Future. In 48 hours, the website received more than 500,000 views, and on Thursday the administrators said 1.2 million people had visited the page by the time D’Ambrosio went before a judge that morning for a scheduled bail hearing. The justice differed deciding at this time if D’Ambrosio should be released from custody.
“Cam’s attorney made arguments that he should be released to his family and that all evidence (including testimony from the police) suggested that he was not a threat to anyone. He also noted that Cam was two weeks away from graduation, and Methuen High School had decided to grant him a diploma,” Fight for the Future wrote early Thursday. “We expect a decision within a few days and sincerely hope that Cam will be home safe with is family soon.”
Meanwhile, though, D’Ambrosio remains locked up if and until a judge decides he isn’t a hazard to the community.
At the time of his arrest, school officials and law enforcement alike applauded the speedy response and celebrate D’Ambrosio’s arrest as a victory against terrorism only a few days — and a few miles — from where two brothers allegedly detonated explosives at the Boston Marathon, killing three in the biggest act of terror in years on American soil. But nearly one month after being detained, authorities have not announced any proof that D’Ambrosio intended to act out the lyrics he left on his Facebook page.
“A search of Cam’s house found no explosives, weapons, or ANY evidence that he was planning anything other than becoming the next Eminem,” his supporters write.
Among the Facebook content that alerted authorities was a song that was considered a warning of things to come.
“So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive),” reads a redacted version of one post made available to the Boston Herald.
Fox News quoted another song, in which the amateur rapper wrote “(expletive) the Boston bombing, wait til you see what I do. I’m going to be famous.”
On his support page, it’s noted that a key word was dropped from the line when it was reported by Fox. In actuality, D’Ambrosio wrote, “I’ma be famous rapping.”
“Suddenly something that sounds like a threat of violence is clearly just bragging about how good Cammy Dee is going to be in the rap game. Last we checked, teenage dreams of grandeur were not a crime,” the website claims.
Scroll down for Anonymous video
An online donations-pledge drive on behalf of online hacktivist group Anonymous easily surpassed its initial goal, ushering forward a project by one of its largest Twitter subset groups to establish a news website run by and for the organization.
Since its early days Anonymous has been largely based off of social media activity, with much of its activity taking place on 4chan, Twitter and Tumblr, though more central players are also regulars on online chatrooms hosted by IRC.
The group, which is really a loose collective of online hacktivists that join forces for various focused projects, has generally avoided establishing permanent sites, though the @YourAnonNews (YAN) account has now begun a public campaign to raise funds for a new online home.
An initial attempt to fundraise for the new venture seems to have been a outright success, with over $54,000 having been crowdsourced, far exceeding the two-thousand-dollar goal. The group also seems to have developed a penchant for merchandizing, using the group’s symbolic coat of arms – a Guy Fawkes mask and crossed swords – to gift apparel and mugs for donors.
While it is difficult to point to any central hierarchy within Anonymous, this latest project to establish a news web presence may further coalesce the group – which is known for its distaste for corporate media.
According to YAN’s announcement, the website will seek to capitalize on what the group is best at doing: collecting individual contributions and coalescing around certain news items and activist drives.
“We will engineer a new website which will allow us to collect breaking reports and blogs from the best independent reporters online. We’ll provide feeds for citizen journalists who livestream events as they are taking place, instead of the 10-second sound bites provided by the corporate media. Likewise, we know it would be beneficial to our followers to exist as a community beyond simple social media interactions.”
By developing a large following in social media the group’s voice has been amplified, and its large membership numbers mean that it is often involved in the headline stories of the day. Anonymous has also developed into an active community of participants who often try to piece together content such as images and videos by Internet users to tell a larger story.
Most recently, Anonymous has been preoccupied with opposition to Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a US cybersecurity bill its supporters say is meant to help the government coordinate against cyber threats. The hacktivist group’s opposition, which is also reflected by advocacy organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU, is based on issues of privacy and civil liberties.
The group’s interests, which are well reflected by Twitter accounts such as @YourAnonNews, cast a wide net, and can include everything from Venezuela’s presidential elections to the recent rape and suicide case of Rehtaeh Parsons in Halifax, Canada. In the latter case, the group not only pushed for visibility of the case, but also inserted itself into the criminal investigation by threatening to publicly disclose the identities of the alleged teen rapists.
Often, smaller regional groups around the world will push issues forward within the collective, such as the recent #OpRohingya project which sought to bring attention on the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
Though it remains to be seen whether the group can successfully host and manage its own news website, considering its current reach via social media sites it is not difficult to imagine a future where Anonymous can be an even bigger player in the mainstream news cycle.
via YANPROMO on Vimeo.
April 19, 2013
by: Lance Johnson
Recent cyber attacks on media giants such as the New York Times and The Washington Post have escalated concerns for strict internet regulations that would prevent future attacks. This has led the House of Representatives to pass the highly controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) with 288-127 vote. Last year, Congress’s CISPA bill fell flat on its face, defeated by online freedom activists across the United States. Opponents to the bill are taking action again, including 300,000 who have already contacted Mike Rogers, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Another 100,000 or more signatures opposing CISPA have already been obtained on the White House’s own website.
The idea of CISPA, introduced back in November 2011, was to allow companies to share internet traffic data with the government to detect possible cyber attacks. The idea has been rejected by internet freedom advocates and over 40 civil liberty organizations.
This power grab is creating an uproar; many are fed up with being monitored and force-fed information. A controlled internet sphere would enable a select few to delegate what goes in and out of the internet, all in the name of national security. This blind adherence to security would throw away every ounce of liberty that has made the internet a great place to learn new information and spread ideas.
Information such as online chats, email content, browsing history, and bank records would all be up for grabs if this bill passes. The government’s national security network could become a government spy network that could gain legal access to anyone’s private online information.
Under the new CISPA, the government could access a person’s information from a corporation and hand it over to the National Security Agency. This could lead to a stealth war against freedom loving Americans. National security spies might begin targeting specific people they deem as threats to the status quo. They could then go after truthful journalists, those who post anti-government sentiment on their social media profiles, or those who back liberty in any online way.
TechNet, the trade association that represents technology companies like Google, Apple and Facebook, has expressed support for CISPA in a recent letter written to the US House of Representatives.
On the contrary, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is hard at work, opposing CISPA. Ohanian recently posted a YouTube video calling for Google and Facebook to understand that CISPA would invalidate their current privacy policies with their respective user bases.
“If someone wants private access to our private home or to our mail, we ask them to go get a warrant, right?” Ohanian asks in his video. “CISPA basically says, ‘Not necessary. Your digital privacy is irrelevant.’”
If sites like Facebook, Google, or Twitter complied with national or international regulations, the very essence of websites, free speech, and the internet would be destroyed. A controlled cyberspace would destroy new ideas as people become forced to comply with new globalist cyber rules and regulations. The very strength of the internet – the spreading of new ideas, the connection of people far and wide would be at risk, as massive new security protocols would threaten the very livelihood of the internet. This would create a cyberspace police state, capable of becoming a controlling propaganda machine.
Write a letter to your representatives now and tell them what you think about this intrusive new CISPA.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Lance Johnson, along with his wonderful wife Kender, are creating a natural products movement from the ground up: Free Spirit All Natural Products. As more hearts are pulling toward natural solutions in a world of toxins and propaganda, Lance wants to help others see the real health opportunities all around us. www.allnaturalfreespirit.com
He’s also a passionate writer who has self published two works of poetic writing that relate to the people, unmask the hiding, and challenge the status quo. He has more writing ideas within him, as health and freedom has become a major topic of interest within him.
March 28, 2013
Social networking sites are a great way to meet and connect with new people, such as cops. DNAinfo New York writes:
Police are searching for suspects’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, then running them through the NYPD’s new Facial Recognition Unit to put a face to a name, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Detectives are now breaking cases across the city thanks to the futuristic technology that marries mug shots of known criminals with pictures gleaned from social media, surveillance cameras and anywhere else cops can find images.
[An] official explained how the new technology worked after a recent street robbery where a woman reported her jewelry stolen by her gal pal’s boyfriend. She did not know his name, only that he was likely in photos on his girlfriend’s Facebook page. “We did not have his name, but we found a photo and the Facial Recognition Unit got a hit.”
The new investigative entity was formally launched late last year, with eight cops working in teams of four manning the operations. Facial recognition — which zeroes in on features and extracts size and shape of eyes, noses, cheekbones and jaws to find a match — is now revolutionizing investigations in ways not seen since fingerprint analysis was implemented generations ago.
Facial Recognition hits are not legally considered “probable cause” for cops to make an arrest, but it provides investigators with a roadmap to follow to obtain other photographs to present to victims to identify suspects.
By Andrew Levy
Facebook users could unwittingly reveal intimate details about their personal lives by declaring seemingly unrelated information, researchers have warned.
Sexuality, drug use, political views and religious beliefs are all areas that can be accurately predicted by complete strangers monitoring online ‘inferences’, they said.
The threat to privacy has been created by the social network’s ‘likes’ – the hugely popular system used to show approval of a range of subjects ranging from pop stars to chocolate bars, films, pastimes and interests.
Giving too much away: University of Cambridge researchers found they could predict the sexuality and race of Facebook users with high levels of accuracy by looking at what they ‘liked’ (picture posed by model)
Although seemingly innocuous, the information can be pieced together like a jigsaw to build up profiles.
Declaring support for human rights, Wicked the Musical, Nike Basketball and Bruce Lee can be linked to provide a strong indicator of male homosexuality, for example.
Drug use is suggested by ‘liking’ Big Mommas movies, milkshakes and swimming, while high IQs are indicated by showing a taste for curly fries, Godfather movies and Morgan Freeman’s voice.
Researchers predicted male sexuality with 88 per cent accuracy and correctly predicted race 95 per cent of the time. They also had an 85 per cent success rate with political leanings and 82 per cent with religion.
Campaigning organisation Privacy International said the technology threatened all aspects of people’s lives.
Executive director Dr Gus Hosein said: ‘It’s a nightmare scenario that Facebook are entirely responsible for setting up.
‘This information can be used to pre-categorise people. Banks could use it to decide who gets a loan.
Privacy issue: Facebook refused to comment on claims that users’ privacy is not being protected
‘It also creates the perfect surveillance state for governments, who will know what people are reading and their exact political persuasion. It is more invasive than CCTV.’
The study – Private Traits and Attributes Are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behaviour – was carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre and based on the Facebook profiles of 58,000 people in the US.
Their ‘likes’ were fed into a computer algorithm which was used to predict a range of personality traits.
Accuracy was checked by comparing results with personal information provided by the volunteers, who were mostly aged between 16 and 30.
Few had clicked on ‘likes’ which explicitly revealed personal information about themselves. For example, just five per cent of homosexuals had clicked on links such as ‘gay marriage’.
Psychometrics Centre operations director Michal Kosinski said: ‘We believe that our results, while based on Facebook likes, apply to a wider range of online behaviours.
‘Similar predications would be made from all manner of digital data, with this kind of secondary ‘inference’ made with remarkable accuracy – statistically predicting sensitive information people might not want revealed.
‘Given the variety of digital traces people leave behind, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to control.’ The findings will be of interest to the burgeoning online direct personalised marketing industry, which already uses ‘cookies’ to send tailored adverts to people surfing the net.
But Mr Kosinski added: ‘I can imagine situations in which the same data and technology is used to predict political views or sexual orientation, posing threats to freedom or even life.’ Fears about threats to the privacy of Facebook users have increased since it was floated on Wall Street in a $100 billion share issue last year.
Analysts warned it would need to find ways of generating more income from its 901 million monthly users, including 30 million in Britain.
In December the company announced users of the Instagram photo-sharing website it owns no longer had the rights to their pictures, meaning images of people as young as 13 could be sold to advertisers.
Facebook users can set privacy settings to protect their personal information – although many fail to do so.
The company declined to comment.
by Mike Adams
June 08, 2012
One of the more offensive duties of being an investigative journalist is taking out the trash — exposing liars, fraudsters, con artists and scammers for the people they truly are. Each time we investigate a sociopath, we find that they always have a little cult group following of spellbound worshippers who consider that particular sociopath to be a “guru” or “prophet.”
Sociopaths are masters at influence and deception. Very little of what they say actually checks out in terms of facts or reality, but they’re extremely skillful at making the things they say sound believable, even if they’re just making them up out of thin air. Here, I’m going to present quotes and videos of some legendary sociopaths who convinced everyday people to participate in mass suicides. And then I’m going to demonstrate how and why similar sociopaths are operating right now… today.
Why cover this subject? I’ve seen a lot of people get hoodwinked, scammed or even harmed by sociopaths, and it bewilders me that people are so easily sucked into their destructive influence. I want to share with Natural News readers the warning signs of sociopaths so that you can spot them, avoid them, and save yourself the trouble of being unduly influenced by them.
Much of this information is derived from the fascinating book, The Sociopath Next Door, which says that 4% of the population are sociopaths. The book is a fascinating read.
#1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.
#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn’t do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.
#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others. This is why you will find many very “successful” sociopaths in high levels of government, in any nation.
#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.
#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.
#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.
#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don’t actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.
#8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running “stream of consciousness” monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers and even poets. As a great example of this in action, watch this interview of Charles Manson on YouTube.
#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.
#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, “I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don’t need to live in this physical realm…”
Watch Charles Manson saying this at the 3:05 mark of this YouTube video.
Monday, February 18, 2013
by: Jon Rappoport
I became aware of the block and censorship a few days ago, soon after I wrote and published the article: “Ruthless State of the Union: current crime boss speaks.”
That article was about Obama, and it was also about every president as far back as Nixon. It mainly described the absurdities implied by Obama’s vague notion that “we all have to work together.”
Readers began letting me know they couldn’t Facebook-share my articles. This became: no one could share any article that included: “jonrappoport.wordpress.com.”
As a reporter for 30 years, I know a little about the 1st Amendment. Criticizing the president, or the medical cartel, or any number of other institutions I’ve taken on is par for the course. If some Facebook readers are marking these articles spam or abusive, they should think again.
Lots of people these days believe it’s part of the game to try to censor their perceived opponents. “Why debate or even allow a different voice? Let’s just block it out.”
Blocking the FB posting of my article links could also be part of the Facebook management purge of political activists, particularly those who defend the 2nd Amendment and private gun ownership. This happened to a number of people at infowars.com last December, and it also happened at Natural News.
At the moment, I have a workaround in place, and my site and blog are working just fine, but the basic wider issue of blocking dissident opinion isn’t going away.
Some people have pointed out that Facebook is a private company, and therefore it has the right to define acceptable speech any way it wants to. This may be true, but blocking and censoring political viewpoints is a very bad policy. Claiming, for example, that Facebook is only for making and communicating with friends is a cop-out. If friends can’t share information about political realities, it’s a hollow situation.
Many reporters, including myself, came to the Internet because we were sick and tired of trying to convince editors at newspapers and magazines that our work should see the light of day. Editors routinely shot down (and still do) article ideas that wandered too far off the mainstream reservation.
That was the censorship we were leaving in the dust. Now, here it is again.
Every day, I read articles I don’t like. The idea of somehow censoring them would be absurd.
In this country (and other countries), we have people who believe in and support free speech. Then we have True Believers, whose cause in their minds outdistances any considerations about liberty. They would trample liberty at the drop of a hat to make the world over in their image. Finally, we have organizations who enter into covert political alliances to advance their own interests. These organizations also care nothing about the 1st Amendment.
Where is Facebook in all of this? Are they just a front for gathering personal information on a billion people? Are they just another wing of the vast surveillance apparatus that is operating from a playbook that wants androids instead of thinking citizens?
It’s time for the bosses at Facebook to step out into the light and explain, in detail, exactly how they block information and on what grounds. How are reports of spam and “abusive content” processed by their algorithms? What is their position on the 1st Amendment?
Failure to make this clear is evidence of purposeful concealment.
Perhaps an article I wrote and published last August, “Facebook, the CIA, DARPA, and the tanking IPO,” will help put this situation into perspective:
The big infusion of cash that sent Mark Zuckerberg and his fledgling college enterprise on their way came from Accel Partners, in 2004.
Jim Breyer, head of Accel, attached a $13 million rocket to Facebook, and nothing has ever been the same.
Earlier that same year, a man named Gilman Louie joined the board of the National Venture Capital Association of America (NVCA). The chairman of NVCA? Jim Breyer. Gilman Louie happened to be the first CEO of the important CIA start-up, In-Q-Tel.
In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999, with the express purpose of funding companies that could develop technology the CIA would use to “gather data.”
That’s not the only connection between Jim Breyer and the CIA’s man, Gilman Louie. In 2004, Louie went to work for BBN Technologies, headed up by Breyer. Dr. Anita Jones also joined BBN at that time. Jones had worked for In-Q-Tel and was an adviser to DARPA, the Pentagon’s technology department that helped develop the Internet.
With these CIA/Darpa connections, it’s no surprise that Jim Breyer’s jackpot investment in Facebook is not part of the popular mythology of Mark Zuckerberg. Better to omit it. Who could fail to realize that Facebook, with its endless stream of personal data, and its tracking capability, is an ideal CIA asset?
But now the Facebook stock has tanked. On Friday, August 17, it weighed in at half its initial IPO price. For the first time since the IPO, venture-capital backers were legally permitted to sell off their shares, and some did, at a loss.
Articles have begun appearing that question Zuckerberg’s ability to manage his company. “Experts” are saying he should import a professional team to run the business side of things and step away.
All this, despite the fact that Facebook’s first posted revenue as a public company has exceeded analysts’ predictions, according to the LA Times.
This has the earmarks of classic shakeout and squeeze play. It’s how heavy hitters gain control of a company. First, they drive down the price of the stock, then they trade it at low levels that discourage and demoralize the public and even semi-insiders. As the stock continues to tank, they quietly buy up as much of it as they can. Finally, when the price hits a designated rock bottom, they shoot it up all the way to new highs and win big.
And they hold enough shares to exert more control over the company itself.
That is how Facebook will survive. Zuckerberg’s grip on Facebook will loosen.
The company is too important as a data-mining asset of the intelligence community to let it fall into disrepair and chaos. The CIA and its cutouts will save it and gain more power over it. It’s what they’ve wanted all along.
From the time Mark Zuckerberg was a child and attended the summer camp for “exceptional children,” CTY (Center for Talented Youth), run by Johns Hopkins University, he, like other CTY students, Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), and Lady Gaga, have been easy to track.
CTY and similar camps filter applications and pick the best and brightest for their accelerated learning programs. Tracing the later progress of these children in school and life would be a standard operation for agencies like the CIA.
When Zuckerberg founded an interesting little social network at Harvard, and then sought to turn it into a business, the data-mining possibilities were obvious to CIA personnel. Through their cutouts, as described above, they stepped in and lent a helping hand.
Now it’s time for Zuckerberg to pass the baton to his handlers, so they can maximize the economics of Facebook and utilize it to spy even more extensively.
The media will play along, pretending the eventual upswing-recovery of Facebook stock happens for fundamental reasons connected to the company’s “better level of performance.” The media take this approach to every stock and every company, to avoid letting the public know how massive manipulation actually runs these trading markets.
End of the August 2012 article.
People might ask, “Then why, Rappoport, do you use Facebook at all?”
That’s a legitimate question. My answer is simple. Since I began working as a reporter in 1982, I’ve used every possible opportunity and venue to put my information out there.
There’s a big difference between that and overtly supporting all those venues.
When I admire a writer, broadcaster, or organization, I say so, and I have. Even then, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they say or stand for.
That’s a a distinction with a meaning. It’s exactly the distinction I’m asking Facebook to clarify: what will they allow, whether they agree with it or not?
Do I expect them to spell it out in sufficient detail? No. But then that means something, too.
None of this will change one iota of what I write or say.
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Exclusive: Raytheon‘s Riot program mines social network data like a ‘Google for spies’, drawing ire from civil rights groups
But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace.
The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns.
The sophisticated technology demonstrates how the same social networks that helped propel the Arab Spring revolutions can be transformed into a “Google for spies” and tapped as a means of monitoring and control.
Using Riot it is possible to gain an entire snapshot of a person’s life – their friends, the places they visit charted on a map – in little more than a few clicks of a button.
In the video obtained by the Guardian, it is explained by Raytheon’s “principal investigator” Brian Urch that photographs users post on social networks sometimes contain latitude and longitude details – automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called “exif header data.”
Riot pulls out this information, showing not only the photographs posted onto social networks by individuals, but also the location at which the photographs were taken.
“We’re going to track one of our own employees,” Urch says in the video, before bringing up pictures of “Nick,” a Raytheon staff member used as an example target. With information gathered from social networks, Riot quickly reveals Nick frequently visits Washington Nationals Park, where on one occasion he snapped a photograph of himself posing with a blonde haired woman.
“We know where Nick’s going, we know what Nick looks like,” Urch explains, “now we want to try to predict where he may be in the future.”
Riot can display on a spider diagram the associations and relationships between individuals online by looking at who they have communicated with over Twitter. It can also mine data from Facebook and sift GPS location information from Foursquare, a mobile phone app used by more than 25 million people to alert friends of their whereabouts. The Foursquare data can be used to display, in graph form, the top 10 places visited by tracked individuals and the times at which they visited them.
The video shows that Nick, who posts his location regularly on Foursquare, visits a gym frequently at 6am early each week. Urch quips: “So if you ever did want to try to get hold of Nick, or maybe get hold of his laptop, you might want to visit the gym at 6am on a Monday.”
Mining from public websites for law enforcement is considered legal in most countries. In February last year, for instance, the FBI requested help to develop a social-media mining application for monitoring “bad actors or groups”.
However, Ginger McCall, an attorney at the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Centre, said the Raytheon technology raised concerns about how troves of user data could be covertly collected without oversight or regulation.
“Social networking sites are often not transparent about what information is shared and how it is shared,” McCall said. “Users may be posting information that they believe will be viewed only by their friends, but instead, it is being viewed by government officials or pulled in by data collection services like the Riot search.”
Raytheon, which made sales worth an estimated $25bn (£16bn) in 2012, did not want its Riot demonstration video to be revealed on the grounds that it says it shows a “proof of concept” product that has not been sold to any clients.
Jared Adams, a spokesman for Raytheon’s intelligence and information systems department, said in an email: “Riot is a big data analytics system design we are working on with industry, national labs and commercial partners to help turn massive amounts of data into useable information to help meet our nation’s rapidly changing security needs.
“Its innovative privacy features are the most robust that we’re aware of, enabling the sharing and analysis of data without personally identifiable information [such as social security numbers, bank or other financial account information] being disclosed.”
In December, Riot was featured in a newly published patent Raytheon is pursuing for a system designed to gather data on people from social networks, blogs and other sources to identify whether they should be judged a security risk.
In April, Riot was scheduled to be showcased at a US government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”
According to records published by the US government’s trade controls department, the technology has been designated an “EAR99″ item under export regulations, which means it “can be shipped without a licence to most destinations under most circumstances”.
Bravado and buffoonery at Auckland event as internet entrepreneur claims 250,000 signups in first two hours
In a bravado-filled launch at his estate north of Auckland, the German-born entrepreneur ramped up his counterattack on US prosecutors who argue that the site’s predecessor, Megaupload, was at the heart of a “mega conspiracy”, a “worldwide criminal organisation” enabling the exchange of copyright material.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Dotcom said at an event that was equal parts press conference, polemic and buffoonery. “I’ve done a bit of PR and got a bit of attention, that’s certainly helped. But I never expected 250,000 user registrations in the first two hours – I think it’s unheard of. I don’t know of any other startup that has had this kind of early success.”
The site had more than a million visits in the first 14 hours, he said, with more than half a million registering for the service, which offers 50GB of free cloud-based data storage.
The launch was held at Dotcom’s semi-rural home a year to the day after it was raided by New Zealand police in what was widely regarded as a bizarrely gung-ho operation at the behest of the FBI.
As if the timing and rhetoric were not enough, the import of the new enterprise was hammered home in an at times high-camp performance featuring a mock invasion of the estate, with gun-waving, balaclava-clad commandos descending the inner walls while a helicopter with “FBI” painted on the sides flew overhead.
Earlier a pair of comperes introduced Dotcom on stage as “a multimillionaire maniac, heavyweight champion, three-time Academy Award winner and qualified veterinarian”.
US authorities are seeking the extradition of Dotcom and several of his associates to face charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering. Backed by Hollywood producers, they allege that Megaupload knowingly and willingly profited from the provision of a conduit for the exchange of pirated copyright materials. The US case has suffered a series of setbacks in New Zealand’s courts.
The Motion Picture Association of America expressed scepticism about Mega. “We are still reviewing how this new project will operate, but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works,” it said.
Dotcom says advanced encryption built into the new site is in part motivated by his growing awareness of the importance of privacy issues. In an interview with the Guardian before the Mega launch, he positioned himself as a leader in the movement for “internet freedom”, and said his own experience of being illegally spied on – which resulted in a public apology from New Zealand’s prime minister – had informed his thinking.
On Sunday night Dotcom said Megaupload had been unfairly targeted, and asserted that half of all internet traffic was pirated material. “They are trying to blame us for an internet phenomenon … You can ask any ISP that connects users to the internet, how much piracy traffic do you think you have on your network, and anyone who will tell you less than 50% is a liar. On the internet, piracy is so common that any internet company has to deal with the same issues,” he said.
“They can’t blame me for the actions of third parties. Megaupload was a dual-use technology. You can use it for good things, and you can use it for bad things. If someone sends something illegal in an envelope through your postal service, you don’t shut down the post office. If someone speeds with the car he just bought, you don’t go to the car manufacturer and say, hey, we’re shutting you down.”
Internet users will have to register with real names and deletion of ‘illegal’ information is to be legalised
The rules signal that the new leadership, headed by Communist party chief, Xi Jinping, will continue to muzzle the online chatter in a country where the internet offers a rare opportunity for debate.
China’s legislature approved the internet measures at a closing meeting of a five-day session.
Real-name registration will curtail the web’s status as a freewheeling forum to complain, often anonymously, about corruption and official abuses.
The government says the latest regulation is aimed at protecting web users’ personal information and cracking down on abuses, such as junk email.
The measure will “ensure internet information security, safeguard the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal entities or other organisations, and safeguard national security and social public interests”, the official Xinhua news agency cited the regulation as stating.
The restrictions follow a series of corruption scandals among lower-level officials exposed by internet users, something the government has said it is trying to encourage.
Li Fei, deputy head of parliament’s legislative affairs committee, said the rules did not mean people needed to worry about being unable to report corruption online. But he added a warning.
“When people exercise their rights, including the right to use the internet, they must do so in accordance with the law and constitution, and not harm the legal rights of the state, society … or other citizens,” he told a news conference.
The measure would require network service providers to ask users to provide their real names and other identifying information to allow users to post information publicly or when signing agreements for access to the internet, fixed telephone lines or mobile phones, Xinhua said. Earlier this year, the government began forcing users of Sina’s popular Weibo microblogging platform to register their real names.
Beijing promotes internet use for business and education purposes, but bans material deemed subversive or obscene and blocks access to many websites.
The main Communist party newspaper, the People’s Daily, has in recent weeks called for tighter internet controls, saying that rumours spread online have harmed the public. In one case, it said stories about a chemical plant explosion resulted in the deaths of four people in a car accident as they fled the area.
Until recently, web users could post comments online or on microblog services without leaving their names, giving Chinese people an opportunity to express themselves to a public audience in a society where newspapers, television and other media are state-controlled. The internet has also given the public an unusual opportunity to publicise accusations of official misconduct.
A local party official in south-west China was sacked in November after scenes from a videotape of him having sex with a young woman spread quickly on the internet. Screenshots were uploaded by a former journalist in Beijing, Zhu Ruifeng, to his Hong Kong website, which highlights corruption allegations.
End the Lie – Independent News
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
As unbelievable as it sounds, facial recognition technology is now being deployed in mannequins. While this might sound completely insane, it’s not all that surprising given the rise of facial recognition systems capable of scanning 36 million faces per second, the FBI giving out facial recognition software to police and rolling out a $1 billion facial recognition system across the United States, not to mention drone-based facial recognition along with behavioral recognition and much more.
Indeed, the rise of this type of technology has become a global issue, evidenced by a facial recognition-based border control system in the Netherlands that is slated to process the one millionth passenger by the end of the year.
According to Bloomberg, the EyeSee system is sold by the Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA and is used to “glean data on customers much as online merchants are able to do.”
While this might seem innocuous enough, recently it was shown that the massive data mining industry mentioned in the above quote regularly sells the personal information they gather to third parties.
Almax Chief Executive Officer Max Cantanese told Bloomberg that as of now five companies are using a total of “a few dozen” of their mannequins and there are already orders for at least that many more with each mannequin costing around $5,130.
While many might claim this is wonderful as it will help better serve customers, some aren’t quite as excited by it.
“It’s spooky,” said Luca Solca, the head of luxury goods research at Exane BNP Paribas in London, England. “You wouldn’t expect a mannequin to be observing you.”
It’s especially concerning since it looks completely like an ordinary mannequin to the casual observer, completely hiding the technology within.
“A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police,” writes Andrew Roberts for Bloomberg. “It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by.”
Solca is likely in the minority when it comes to this technology, as Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp seemed quite excited by it.
“Any software that can help profile people while keeping their identities anonymous is fantastic,” said Okonkwo.
This technology “could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers,” he added.
Bloomberg points out that similar technology is already deployed by some stores via overhead security cameras, but Almax claims that their technology is far superior since it operates at eye level and “invites customer attention.”
The mannequins, which have only been available for purchase since December of last year, are already being sued by stores in three European countries along with the United States.
The stores actually using these mannequins will, at least for now, remain a mystery since Cantanese refused to name clients, citing confidentiality agreements.
Some are raising both legal and ethical concerns surrounding the use of this type of facial recognition and profiling technology.
“Watching people solely for commercial gain may break the rules and could be viewed as gathering personal data without consent,” writes Bloomberg, citing Christopher Mesnooh, a partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse in Paris.
“If you go on Facebook, before you start the registration process, you can see exactly what information they are going to collect and what they’re going to do with it,” Mesnooh said to Bloomberg. “If you’re walking into a store, where’s the choice?”
I can already see the arguments that would be used to counter Mesnooh’s quite valid point. One such argument will likely be the same type of argument used by those who promote the Transportation Security Administration’s invasive procedures: if you don’t like it, either don’t use it or shut up.
According to Cantanese, they have yet to run into any problems since, at least according to the company selling the device, all that is required is a CCTV license.
Perhaps even more disturbing than the technology already deployed in the EyeSee mannequins is the prospect of “technology that recognizes words to allow retailers to eavesdrop on what shoppers say about the mannequin’s attire,” which is already being tested by Almax, according to Bloomberg.
What is your take on this type of technology? Is it too invasive or simply a great way to personalize a shopping experience and streamline business practices? Let us know in the comments section of this post.
Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at admin@EndtheLie.com with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.
Most of Facebook’s 900 million members probably haven’t noticed yet, but over the weekend the social networking giant changed the default email address of every one of its members’ profiles to an @Facebook.com address that the vast majority of users didn’t even know they had.
What that means is that the email address you had listed as your main contact address (such as a Hotmail, Gmail or Sympatico address) is now hidden to friends who visit your profile page.
In its place, users have been assigned an @Facebook.com address that routes email directly to Facebook Messages.
The change prevents users from using that Hotmail or Gmail address to contact other users outside of Facebook — helping to keep Facebook’s captive audience from drifting off the site.
The email change was first spotted by bloggers on the weekend. After media outlets caught on, Facebook users began to complain in droves, with many likening the change to Facebook’s recent move to steer users to its Timeline feature — an alternate way of displaying postings that irritates some people.
For those people who want their regular (and now hidden) email address displayed on their profiles, rather than their new @Facebook.com address, the switch back is easy.
To go back to your original address, click on the “about” section of your profile. Once there, look for “contact info” and click on the edit icon in the right hand corner. There, you can change who can see your email address and choose to highlight which email address they can see.
Facebook didn’t say why it made the email switch, but said in April it was “updating addresses on Facebook to make them more consistent across our site.”
“Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address,” Facebook spokeswoman Jillian Stefanki said in an email late Monday.