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Tyranny In The USSA: Google & Apple Phones Include FULL CONTRACT TRACING

Google and Apple phones are now being modified by the companies complicit in fascism to include full contact tracing. Everything you do will be tracked, traced, and monitored to such an extent that privacy is no longer a word we should use because it does not exist in this New World Order of slavery and control.

We knew the ruling class as going to push the New World Order as fast and as hard as they could. And unless more people realize what’s going on, and quick, humanity will be in a pretty dire situation, one that will be almost impossible to fight our way out of.

Apple and Google power almost every smartphone on earth and now they have jointly agreed to build a full contact tracing app into their core operating systems. This means that an Android phone can ‘rat’ on an iPhone, and vice versa. The door is now wide open for a ubiquitous global command and control system for every person on earth. Activist Post

According to the Washinton Post:

First launched in May, coronavirus tracking software got off to a rocky start. Some public health agencies in the United States and around the world had wanted to build mobile apps that would help them track the spread of the virus, a process known as “contact tracing.” But the contact-tracing apps that initially launched did not function properly because of limitations the two tech giants place on mobile apps distributed through their stores. Citing privacy concerns and potential battery drain, Apple and Google declined to give public health agencies special access for the purpose of contact tracing.

There’s no voting our way out of it this time. Mass civil disobedience and non-compliance is the only way we will ever be free. It has gotten to the point that it literally doesn’t matter who is elected (we don’t have a choice anyway, it’s all an illusion).  They will force this New World Order on us until we stand together and say “No!” No human has any power or control over any other human. Anything less than total freedom is slavery and it’s time we figure this out.

For those of you who will not comply, your choices are few and sub-optimal. You should immediately investigate Faraday bags that block all incoming and outgoing signals from your phone. ? Technocracy News & Trends Editor Patrick Wood

Tyranny is officially here.

The post Tyranny In The USSA: Google & Apple Phones Include FULL CONTRACT TRACING first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Del Bigtree: Censored For Stating Vaccine Truths

We all know that those who censor others, for any reason, do not do so because of misinformation or lies, they do so to control the narrative and push an agenda. Del Bigtree is one of those many voices censored since the scamdemic began, but he’s dedicated to getting the truth about vaccines out to the public.

Bigtree created the documentary “Vaxxed” which details the scientific community’s fraud when it comes to vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccine.  That was Bigtree’s first experience with being censored for speaking the truth about the fraudulent vaccine “science” publically. Later in the interview with Portfolio Wealth Global’s Michelle Holiday,  the point is made that censorship isn’t republican or democrat. It’s the people versus the ruling class at this point.

Bigtree is also saying with a known treatment, hydroxychloroquine, people are recovering, but the media, at the commands of government are blocking this treatment. The ruling class seems to want people to suffer as much as possible so they can keep the fear going until the military forced vaccine is ready. 

But what’s in those vaccines? Listen in at 23:00. “Not a single childhood vaccine…is safe.” He added: “How can we say vaccines are safe when they contain mercury? Mercury is the second most toxic substance on earth.” Vaccines also contain aluminum which is found on the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and children with autism.

Keep in mind too, AstraZeneca is not liable for damages caused by this vaccine. In addition, vaccines are not effective, says Bigtree. So why do we continue to et them? Propaganda thanks to the lobbying efforts of big pharma and the mainstream media’s advertisements for them.

“The beauty of this coronavirus vaccine, is that for the first time, maybe ever, people are asking ‘how is a vaccine approved for safety?’” You’re watching the public really start to question this vaccine and what they are putting in their bodies an the bodies of their children.

This virus ticks off all the boxed of the New World Order, and things will not improve after the election, regardless of who wins, and things will not ever go back to normal, vaccine or not.

The post Del Bigtree: Censored For Stating Vaccine Truths first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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GOLD OPENS ARMS: WELCOME HOME WARREN BUFFETT!

This article was originally published by Lior Gantz of The Wealth Research Group. 

Buffett is famous for saying that he missed out on Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and others because “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but it seems that this opportunity IS JUST TOO GOOD even for old dogs to stand idly by and watch.

Gold has had a CRAZY WEEK, with wild swings, but the big picture remains as ROSY AS EVER. Even after falling by close to 4.6% in the past week, and CLOSING BELOW $2,000/ounce, and even after both gold and silver had their WORST DAY in years this week (silver went down by 13.5%!), the technical analysis is VERY CLEAR: the bull market LIVES ON!

Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors

The 50-DMA is above the 200-DMA and the spot price is above both of those. It is a beautiful sight to see – a GLORIOUS WORK OF ART.

While gold, which normally trades inversely to stocks, is RUNNING HARD, the S&P 500 just underwent its best 100-day STRETCH IN HISTORY.

Truly, if one WASN’T SHAKEN OUT in March, and especially if he had THE STAMINA to go long in the MOST OBVIOUS time in human history when buyers were considered to be MAD LUNATICS, one had unreal returns.

So, what now?

  1. People that we would not HAVE DREAMED would be interested in gold, let alone mining it, are now buying into the sector. Berkshire’s 13F filings show a $564mn position in Barrick Gold, the powerhouse of the industry. Others will FOLLOW SUIT!
  2. Inflationary expectations ARE RISING FAST, but the central banks have stated that they’re not even CONSIDERING raising rates. They’re not even considering if they should consider it.

Courtesy: U.S. Global Investors

Not since 1991 has there been SUCH A SPIKE in inflationary expectations.

In the past 100 days, the S&P 500 is up just over 50%. In 2009, it was 45%, when in July the market finished a stunning recovery.

The STARK CONTRAST, though, is that the market wasn’t trading at all-time highs back then.

Markets move SO FAST these days that they price in events that are 2-3 years INTO THE FUTURE – they’ll continue to do so. Prices reflect 2022 and even 2023, at this point.

We’re not in the business of crystal balls; our objective is to look at the world around us and FIND OPPORTUNITIES, not guess where they’ll be next.

If what President Trump is planning GOES THROUGH, an additional $3,400 PPP injection is coming to each family of four.

It’s a tremendous stimulus measure with political ramifications. Sending money to families so close to the elections is a tactic that is meant to MAKE ONE feel indebted and obligated to the person who sent it.

With eighty days to go until the ballots, the President will do WHATEVER HE CAN to make sure his powers help him tilt the odds in his favor.

Prepare for another incredible week!

 

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The Purge: The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny

This article was originally published by Brandon Smith at Alt-Market. 

As I have noted in the past, in order to be a conservative one has to stick to certain principles. For example, you have to stand against big government and state intrusions into individual lives, you have to support our constitutional framework and defend civil liberties, and you also have to uphold the rights of private property. Websites are indeed private property, as much as a person’s home is private property. There is no such thing as free speech rights in another person’s home, and there is no such thing as free speech rights on a website.

That said, there are some exceptions. When a corporation or a collective of corporations holds a monopoly over a certain form of communication, then legal questions come into play when they try to censor the viewpoints of an entire group of people. Corporations exist due to government-sponsored charters; they are creations of government and enjoy certain legal protections through government, such as limited liability and corporate personhood. Corporations are a product of socialism, not free-market capitalism; and when they become monopolies, they are subject to regulation and possible demarcation.

Many corporations have also received extensive government bailouts (taxpayer money) and corporate welfare. Google and Facebook, for example, rake in billions in state and federal subsidies over the course of a few years.   Google doesn’t even pay for the massive bandwidth it uses.  So, it is not outlandish to suggest that if a company receives the full protection of government from the legal realm to the financial realm then they fall under the category of public service. If they are allowed to continue to monopolize communication while also being coddled by the government as “too big to fail”, then they become a public menace instead.

This is not to say that I support the idea of nationalization. On the contrary, the disasters of socialism cannot be cured with even more socialism. However, monopolies are a poison to free markets and to free speech and must be deconstructed or abolished.

Beyond corporate monopolies, there is also the danger of ideological monopolies. Consider this – The vast majority of silicon valley companies that control the lion’s share of social media platforms are run by extreme political leftists and globalists that are openly hostile to conservative and moderate values.

Case in point: Three of the largest platforms on the internet – Reddit, Twitch, and YouTube just acted simultaneously in a single day to shut down tens of thousands of forums, streamers and video channels, the majority of which espouse conservative arguments which the media refers to as “hate speech”.

To be sure, at least a few of the outlets shut down probably argue from a position of race superiority.  However, I keep seeing the mainstream media making accusations that all the people being silenced right now deserve it due to “racism” and “calls for violence”, and I have yet to see them offer a single piece of evidence supporting any of these claims.

A recent article from the hyper-leftist Salon is a perfect example of the hypocrisy and madness of the social justice left in action. It’s titled ‘Twitch, YouTube And Reddit Punished Trump And Other Racists – And That’s A Great Thing For Freedom’. Here are a few excerpts with my commentary:

Salon: “Freedom is impossible for everyone when viewpoints prevail that dehumanize anyone. And it appears that several big social media platforms agree, judging from recent bans or suspensions of racist accounts across YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit.”

My Response

Freedom cannot be taken away by another person’s viewpoint. Every individual has complete control over whether or not they “feel” marginalized and no amount of disapproval can silence a person unless they allow it to. If you are weak-minded or weak-willed, then grow a backbone instead of expecting the rest of the world to stay quiet and keep you comfortable.

Remember when the political left was the bastion of the free speech debate against the censorship of the religious right? Well, now the leftists have a religion (or cult) of their own and they have changed their minds on the importance of open dialogue.

Salon: “For those who are dehumanized — whether by racism, sexism, classism, ableism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment or any other prejudices — their voices are diminished or outright silenced, and in the process, they lose their ability to fully participate in our democracy. We all need to live in a society where hate is discouraged, discredited, and whenever possible scrubbed out completely from our discourse. This doesn’t mean we should label all ideas as hateful simply because we disagree with them; to do that runs afoul of President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous statement, “In a democracy debate is the breath of life”. When actual hate enters the dialogue, however, it acts as a toxic smoke in the air of debate, suffocating some voices and weakening the rest.”

My Response

Where do I begin with this steaming pile of woke nonsense? First, it’s impossible to be “dehumanized” by another person’s opinion of you. If they are wrong, or an idiot, then their opinion carries no weight and should be ignored. Your value is not determined by their opinion. No one can be “silenced” by another person’s viewpoint unless they allow themselves to be silenced. If they are right about you and are telling you something you don’t want to hear, then that is your problem, not theirs. No one in this world is entitled to protection from other people’s opinions. Period.

It should not surprise anyone though that leftists are actively attempting to silence all dissent while accusing conservatives of stifling free speech. This is what they do; they play the victim while they seek to victimize. They have no principles. They do not care about being right, they only care about “winning”.

Under the 1st Amendment, ALL speech is protected, including what leftists arbitrarily label “hate speech”. Unless you are knowingly defaming a specific person or threatening specific violence against a specific person, your rights are protected. Interpreting broad speech as a “threat” because of how it might make certain people feel simply will not hold up in a court of law. Or at least, it should not hold up…

Political leftists have declared themselves the arbiters of what constitutes “hate speech”, the problem is they see EVERYTHING that is conservative as racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc. No human being or group of human beings is pure enough or objective enough to sit in judgment of what encompasses fair or acceptable speech. Therefore, all speech must be allowed in order to avoid tyranny.

If an idea is unjust, then, by all means, the political left has every right to counter it with their own ideas and arguments. “Scrubbing” all opposing ideas from the public discourse is unacceptable, and this is exactly what the social justice movement is attempting to do. If you want to erase these ideas from your own home or your personal website, then you are perfectly within your rights to do so, but you DO NOT have the right to assert a monopoly on speech and the political narrative.

Generally, when a group of zealots is trying to erase opposing ideals from the discussion, it usually means their own ideals don’t hold up to scrutiny. If your ideology is so pure and correct in its form, there should be no need to trick the masses into accepting it by scrubbing the internet.

Finally, America was not founded as a democracy, we are a republic, and with good reason. A democracy is a tyranny by the majority; a collectivist hell where power is centralized into the hands of whoever can con 51% of the population to their side. Marxists and communists love the idea of “democracy” and speak about it often because they think they are keenly equipped to manipulate the masses and form a majority. But, in a republic, individual rights are protected REGARDLESS of what the majority happens to believe at any given time, and this includes the right to free speech.

In the same breath, Solon pretends to value free discussion, then calls for the destruction of free speech and opposing ideas in the name of protecting people’s thin-skinned sensitivities. In other words, free speech is good, unless it’s a viewpoint they don’t like, then it becomes hate speech and must be suppressed.

Solon: “Reddit referred Salon to a statement explaining,”We committed to closing the gap between our values and our policies to explicitly address hate” and that “ultimately, it’s our responsibility to support our communities by taking stronger action against those who try to weaponize parts of Reddit against other people.””

My Response

In other words, they don’t like conservatives using their platforms against them, and since the political left is unable to present any valid arguments to defend their beliefs and they are losing the culture war, they are going for broke and seeking to erase all conservatives from their platforms instead. The “hate speech” excuse is merely a false rationale.  Social justice warriors stand on top of a dung heap and pretend it’s the moral high ground.

Solon: “No one who understands Constitutional law can argue that these corporate decisions violate the First Amendment which only protects speech from government repression. Professor Rick Hasen at the University of California, Irvine Law School told Salon by email that “private companies running websites are not subject to being sued for violating the First Amendment. The companies are private actors who can include whatever content they want unless there is a law preventing them from doing so.”

My Response

Again, this is not entirely true. Corporations are constructs of government and receive special privileges from government. If corporations form a monopoly over a certain form of communication and they attempt to censor all opposing views from that platform then they can be broken up by government to prevent destruction of the marketplace. Also, government can rescind the limited liability and corporate personhood of these companies as punishment for violating the public trust. And finally, any company that relies on taxpayer dollars or special tax break incentives to survive can and should have those dollars taken away when attempting to assert a monopoly.

Yes, there are alternative platforms for people to go to, but what is to stop leftist/globalist monopolies from buying up every other social media and standard media platform (as they have been doing for the past decade)? What is to stop leftist/globalist interests from using the “hate speech” argument to put pressure on ALL other web platforms including service and domain providers to cancel conservatives?

Finally, just because something is technically legal does not necessarily make it right. Corporations exploit government protection, yet claim they are not subject to government regulation? The left hates corporate America, yet they happily defend corporations when they are censoring conservatives? This is insane.

The Salon author then goes on a blathering diatribe about how he was once a victim of racism (all SJWs measure personal value according to how much more victimized someone is compared to others). His claims are irrelevant to the argument at hand, then he continues…

Salon: “Trump threatening to use the government power to retaliate against those companies, on the other hand, is a threat to both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. He and his supporters are not being stopped from disseminating their views on other platforms…”

My Response

Here is the only area where I partially agree with Salon. All of my readers know I do not put any faith in Donald Trump to do the right thing, mostly because of the elitists he surrounds himself within his cabinet. When it comes down to it, Trump will act in THEIR best interests, not in the public’s best interests. Giving him (or the FCC) the power to dictate speech rules on the internet is a bad idea. Also, for those that think the election process still matters, what if we gift such powers to the government today and then the political left enters the White House tomorrow? Yikes! Then we’ll have no room to complain as they will most certainly flip-flop and use government power to silence their opposition.

Of course, if the roles were reversed and corporations were deplatforming thousands of social justice forums and videos, the leftists would be screaming bloody murder about “corporate censorship” and “discrimination”. For now, in their minds, racial discrimination = bad. Political discrimination = good.

The monopoly issue still stands, though, and an ideological monopoly coupled with a unified corporate monopoly is a monstrosity that cannot be tolerated.  Government can and should break up such monopolies without going down the rabbit hole of nationalization.

Yes, we can go to small startup platforms and leave Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, etc. behind. I have been saying for years that conservatives with the capital should start their own alternative social media. In fact, that is exactly what is finally happening. There has been a mass exodus of users from mainstream websites lately. I say, let the SJWs have their echo chambers and maybe these companies will collapse. Get Woke Go Broke still applies.

But, government can no longer protect these corporations, either.  With the government raining down bailout cash and corporate welfare on media companies, voting with your feet and your wallet does not have the same effect or send the same message.

The future of this situation is bleak. I have no doubt that leftists and globalists will attempt to purge ALL conservative discussion from the internet, to the point of attempting to shut down private conservative websites through service providers.  The final outcome of the purge is predictable:  Civil war; an issue I will be discussing in my next article.

Leftists accuse conservatives of hate, but social justice adherents seem to hate almost everything. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a group of people more obsessed with visiting misery on others, and they will never be satisfied or satiated. That which is normal speech today will be labeled as hate speech tomorrow.  The cult must continue to justify its own existence.   I for one am not going to live my life walking on eggshells around a clique of narcissistic sociopaths. Cancel culture is mob rule, and mob rule is at its core the true evil here; far more evil than any mere words spoken by any “white supremacist” on any forum or video ever.

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Android Apps Stealing Facebook Credentials

Google has removed 25 Android apps from its store because they steal Facebook credentials:

Before being taken down, the 25 apps were collectively downloaded more than 2.34 million times.

The malicious apps were developed by the same threat group and despite offering different features, under the hood, all the apps worked the same.

According to a report from French cyber-security firm Evina shared with ZDNet today, the apps posed as step counters, image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games.

The apps offered a legitimate functionality, but they also contained malicious code. Evina researchers say the apps contained code that detected what app a user recently opened and had in the phone’s foreground.

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Google demonetized The Federalist after complaint of ‘racism’ from UK group, NBC News claims

Google demonetized conservative news site The Federalist on Tuesday, after being notified that a far-left United Kingdom media watchdog accused the outlet of publishing “racist articles” about Black Lives Matter protests, according to NBC News.

Amid outrage over Google’s actions, the search giant delivered a different story, claiming “The Federalist was never demonetized” and saying the issue has been settled because the conservative outlet removed its comments section in response to their threat.

What are the details?

NBC News reported that “two far-right sites,” ZeroHedge and The Federalist, “will no longer be able to generate revenue from any advertisements served by Google Ads” because “research revealed [Google] was profiting from articles pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests.”

A Google spokesperson wrote in an email to NBC News, “We have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on and explicitly prohibit derogatory content that promotes hatred, intolerance, violence or discrimination based on race from monetizing. When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”

NBC News went on to report that it had informed Google that The Federalist made the “blacklist” of a U.K. nonprofit called the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which now boasts about having The Federalist defunded — along with numerous other conservative American sites.

NBC News bragged, “Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the (Center for Countering Digital Hate) project to its attention.”

After NBC News published its story, conservatives condemned Google’s actions against The Federalist. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) tweeted, “@Google dominates the search business, they dominate the ad business, and now they want to dominate what you’re allowed to think. Who’s next after banning @FDRLST and Zero Hedge? @BreitbartNews? @NRO? #stopthebias”

Breitbart, another conservative site mentioned by Blackburn, actually is on the same Center for Countering Digital Hate blacklist.

Amid the pushback, Google denied the claims its own spokesperson had emailed to NBC.

Google tweeted, “The Federalist was never demonetized. We worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section. Our policies do not allow ads to run against dangerous or derogatory content, which includes comments on sites, and we offer guidance and best practices to publishers on how to comply.”

Google added, “As the comment section has now been removed [by The Federalist], we consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken.”

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Phishing Attacks Against Trump and Biden Campaigns

Google’s threat analysts have identified state-level attacks from China.

I hope both campaigns are working under the assumption that everything they say and do will be dumped on the Internet before the election. That feels like the most likely outcome.

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Phishing Attacks Against Trump and Biden Campaigns

Google’s threat analysts have identified state-level attacks from China.

I hope both campaigns are working under the assumption that everything they say and do will be dumped on the Internet before the election. That feels like the most likely outcome.

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YouTube gets caught auto-censoring criticism of Chinese Communist Party, claims it was accidental

After users highlighted YouTube’s automatic censorship of certain phrases critical of the Chinese Communist Party, the tech company admitted the issue was real but said it was an accident, according to the Verge.

What’s the issue? YouTube’s automatic comment moderation filters were deleting some Chinese phrases that are derogatory toward the CCP, regardless of the context in which they were used. From the Verge:

Comments left under videos or in live streams that contain the words “??” (“communist bandit”) or “??” (“50-cent party”) are automatically deleted in around 15 seconds, though their English language translations and Romanized Pinyin equivalents are not.

The term “??” is an insult that dates back to China’s Nationalist government, while “??,” (or “wu mao”) is a derogatory slang term for internet users paid to direct online discussion away from criticism of the CCP. The name comes from claims that such commenters are paid 50 Chinese cents per post.

The deletions were most recently highlighted by Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, but the Verge found that the problem has existed and been brought to YouTube’s attention dating back at least to October 2019 through comments on the site’s official help page.

“YouTube has deleted every comment I ever made about the Wumao (??), an internet propaganda division of the Chinese Communist Party,” Luckey wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Who at Google decided to censor American comments on American videos hosted in America by an American platform that is already banned in China?”

What does YouTube say about it? Without explaining how or why this became a rule in the moderation system, YouTube simply called it an error and said it was looking into it further.

“This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating,” a YouTube spokesperson told the Verge in a statement.

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Google Drive Takes Down PERSONAL Copy Of “Plandemic”

If there was ever a time in history to pay attention, it’s now.  It’s now obvious that we all need to keep our eyes and ears open to that which Big Tech and the government continue to censor to “save us” from “misinformation.” Google Drive, at the request of The Washington Post, has taken down a user’s personal copy of the movie “Plandemic.”

Ever since Big Tech platforms started cracking down on what they deem to be “coronavirus misinformation” (information they don’t want you to know about), the media has been willfully flagging alleged violations to social media companies and getting content taken down, reported News Break. 

In other words, they want us to remain in a panic-induced state of fear and only listen to the mainstream media’s official Operation Mockingbird narrative about the entire Plandemic.  And because you are not supposed to know anything else, Google drive has removed a user’s personal copy of Dr. Judy Mikovitz’s “Plandemic” after it was flagged by the Washington Post. 

It doesn’t get more blatant than this, folks.  We are being lied to and expected to stay fearful and obey the ruling class at all costs. It’s going to get ugly by the end of this year if tyrants don’t release their grip on power…and we know they won’t let go easily.

In an article reporting on the takedown, The Washington Post’s Silicon Valley Correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin complained that after the coronavirus documentary Plandemic was censored on social media, some YouTube clips were telling users how to access “banned footage” from the documentary via Google Drive. She then notes that after The Washington Post contacted Google, Google Drive took down a file featuring the trailer for the Plandemic documentary.

Watch Plandemic on Bitchute, a decentralized, censorship-free platform by clicking here. 

As Big Tech ramps up censorship, we need to ramp up our exit and cease to use their products.  We said last month that the mainstream media was going to continue a smear campaign against anyone who stands up to the elitists and this tyrannical takeover and economic terrorism while using a virus as an excuse.

The mainstream media is going to continue its smear campaign against anyone who dares to believe they have the right to live freely so long as they aren’t harming others and take life’s risk upon themselves. But as fewer people tune in to listen to their propaganda, fewer people will be brainwashed by it. –SHTFplan

And that’s exactly what the Washington Post did. Dwoskin frames users sharing files containing the Plandemic trailer with each other as:

“A wave of seemingly countless workarounds employed by people motivated to spread misinformation about the virus — efforts that continue to thwart social media companies’ attempts at preventing hoaxes and conspiracy theories from spreading amid the greatest public health crisis in decades.”

There is good news though.  We now know that the mainstream media is struggling to maintain their grip on the official narrative, and for all intents and purposes, they’ve already failed.  Too many have awoken to the lies and propaganda designed to keep a ruling class in place, and the rest of us subjugated.  But that’s all ending and they will not go down without a fight. Expect more censorship as they desperately try to cling to their mind control and social engineering schemes in the coming months.

As Robert Kiyosaki said recently: “Pray for the best but prepare for the worst!”

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Technofascism: Digital Book Burning in a Totalitarian Age

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.

 

“Those who created this country chose freedom. With all of its dangers. And do you know the riskiest part of that choice they made? They actually believed that we could be trusted to make up our own minds in the whirl of differing ideas. That we could be trusted to remain free, even when there were very, very seductive voices—taking advantage of our freedom of speech—who were trying to turn this country into the kind of place where the government could tell you what you can and cannot do.”—Nat Hentoff

We are fast becoming a nation—nay, a world—of book burners.

While on paper, we are technically free to speak—at least according to the U.S. Constitution—in reality, however, we are only as free to speak as the government and its corporate partners such as Facebook, Google, or YouTube may allow.

That’s not a whole lot of freedom. Especially if you’re inclined to voice opinions that may be construed as conspiratorial or dangerous.

Take David Icke, for example.

Icke, a popular commentator and author often labeled a conspiracy theorist by his detractors, recently had his Facebook page and YouTube channel (owned by Google) deleted for violating site policies by “spreading coronavirus disinformation.”

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate, which has been vocal about calling for Icke’s de-platforming, is also pushing for the removal of all other sites and individuals who promote Icke’s content in an effort to supposedly “save lives.”

Translation: the CCDH evidently believes the public is too dumb to think for itself and must be protected from dangerous ideas.

This is the goosestepping Nanny State trying to protect us from ourselves.

In the long run, this “safety” control (the censorship and shadowbanning of anyone who challenges a mainstream narrative) will be far worse than merely allowing people to think for themselves.

Journalist Matt Taibbi gets its: “The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant.”

Don’t fall for the propaganda.

These internet censors are not acting in our best interests to protect us from dangerous, disinformation campaigns about COVID-19, a virus whose source and behavior continue to elude medical officials. They’re laying the groundwork now, with Icke as an easy target, to preempt any “dangerous” ideas that might challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives.

This is how freedom dies.

It doesn’t matter what disinformation Icke may or may not have been spreading about COVID-19. That’s not the issue.

As commentator Caitlin Johnstone recognizes, the censorship of David Icke by these internet media giants has nothing to do with Icke: “What matters is that we’re seeing a consistent and accelerating pattern of powerful plutocratic institutions collaborating with the US-centralized empire to control what ideas people around the world are permitted to share with each other, and it’s a very unsafe trajectory.”

Welcome to the age of technofascism.

Technofascism, clothed in tyrannical self-righteousness, is powered by technological behemoths (both corporate and governmental) working in tandem. As journalist Chet Bowers explains, “Technofascism’s level of efficiency and totalitarian potential can easily lead to repressive systems that will not tolerate dissent.”

The internet, hailed as a super-information highway, is increasingly becoming the police state’s secret weapon. This “policing of the mind: is exactly the danger author Jim Keith warned about when he predicted that “information and communication sources are gradually being linked together into a single computerized network, providing an opportunity for unheralded control of hat will be broadcast, what will be said, and ultimately what will be thought.”

It’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth.

Eventually, as George Orwell predicted, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act.

We’re almost at that point now.

What you are witnessing is the modern-day equivalent of book burning which involves doing away with dangerous ideas—legitimate or not—and the people who espouse them.

Today, the forces of political correctness, working in conjunction with corporate and government agencies, have managed to replace actual book burning with intellectual book burning.

Free speech for me but not for thee” is how my good friend and free speech purist Nat Hentoff used to sum up this double standard.

This is about much more than free speech, however. This is about repression and control.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

The upshot of all of this editing, parsing, banning and silencing is the emergence of a new language, what George Orwell referred to as Newspeak, which places the power to control language in the hands of the totalitarian state.

Under such a system, language becomes a weapon to change the way people think by changing the words they use.

The end result is control.

In totalitarian regimes—a.k.a. police states—where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used.

In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind lest they find themselves ostracized or placed under surveillance.

Even when the motives behind this rigidly calibrated reorientation of societal language appear well-intentioned—discouraging racism, condemning violence, denouncing discrimination and hatred—inevitably, the end result is the same: intolerance, indoctrination and infantilism.

It’s political correctness disguised as tolerance, civility, and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.

The police state could not ask for a better citizenry than one that carries out its own censorship, spying and policing: this is how you turn a nation of free people into extensions of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent police state, and in the process turn a citizenry against each other.

Tread cautiously: Orwell’s 1984, which depicts the ominous rise of ubiquitous technology, fascism, and totalitarianism, has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state.

1984 portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state. There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. People are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes. The government, or “Party,” is headed by Big Brother who appears on posters everywhere with the words: “Big Brother is watching you.”

We have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by not only Orwell but also such fiction writers as Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood and Philip K. Dick.

Much like Orwell’s Big Brother in 1984, the government and its corporate spies now watch our every move. Much like Huxley’s A Brave New World, we are churning out a society of watchers who “have their liberties taken away from them, but … rather enjoy it, because they [are] distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing.” Much like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the populace is now taught to “know their place and their duties, to understand that they have no real rights but will be protected up to a point if they conform, and to think so poorly of themselves that they will accept their assigned fate and not rebel or run away.”

And in keeping with Philip K. Dick’s darkly prophetic vision of a dystopian police state—which became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s futuristic thriller Minority Report—we are now trapped in a world in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams and pre-crime units will crack a few skulls to bring the populace under control.

What once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction.

Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike—facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, the dystopian visions of past writers is fast becoming our reality.

In fact, our world is characterized by widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, fusion centers, driverless cars, voice-controlled homes, facial recognition systems, cyborgs and drones, and predictive policing (pre-crime) aimed at capturing would-be criminals before they can do any damage. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Government agents listen in on our telephone calls and read our emails. And privacy and bodily integrity have been utterly eviscerated.

We are increasingly ruled by multi-corporations wedded to the police state.

What many fail to realize is that the government is not operating alone. It cannot.

The government requires an accomplice.

Thus, the increasingly complex security needs of the massive federal government, especially in the areas of defense, surveillance and data management, have been met within the corporate sector, which has shown itself to be a powerful ally that both depends on and feeds the growth of governmental overreach.

In fact, Big Tech wedded to Big Government has become Big Brother, and we are now ruled by the Corporate Elite whose tentacles have spread worldwide.

The government now has at its disposal technological arsenals so sophisticated and invasive as to render any constitutional protections null and void. Spearheaded by the NSA, which has shown itself to care little to nothing for constitutional limits or privacy, the “security/industrial complex”—a marriage of government, military and corporate interests aimed at keeping Americans under constant surveillance—has come to dominate the government and our lives.

Money, power, control.

There is no shortage of motives fueling the convergence of mega-corporations and government. But who is paying the price?

“We the people,” of course. Not just we Americans, but people the world over.

We have entered into a global state of tyranny.

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Americans have been conditioned to accept routine incursions on their privacy rights. In fact, the addiction to screen devices—especially cell phones—has created a hive effect where the populace not only watched but is controlled by AI bots. However, at one time, the idea of a total surveillance state tracking one’s every move would have been abhorrent to most Americans. That all changed with the 9/11 attacks. As professor Jeffrey Rosen observes, “Before Sept. 11, the idea that Americans would voluntarily agree to live their lives under the gaze of a network of biometric surveillance cameras, peering at them in government buildings, shopping malls, subways, and stadiums, would have seemed unthinkable, a dystopian fantasy of a society that had surrendered privacy and anonymity.”

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go.

We have, so to speak, gone from being a nation where privacy is king to one where nothing is safe from the prying eyes of government.

In search of so-called terrorists and extremists hiding amongst us—the proverbial “needle in a haystack,” as one official termed it—the Corporate State has taken to monitoring all aspects of our lives, from cell phone calls and emails to Internet activity and credit card transactions. This data is being fed through fusion centers across the country, which work with the Department of Homeland Security to make threat assessments on every citizen, including school children.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, you are now being watched, especially if you leave behind an electronic footprint.

When you use your cell phone, you leave a record of when the call was placed, who you called, how long it lasted, and even where you were at the time. When you use your ATM card, you leave a record of where and when you used the card. There is even a video camera at most locations equipped with facial recognition software. When you use a cell phone or drive a car enabled with GPS, you can be tracked by satellite. Such information is shared with government agents, including local police. And all of this once-private information about your consumer habits, your whereabouts, and your activities is now being fed to the U.S. government.

The government has nearly inexhaustible resources when it comes to tracking our movements, from electronic wiretapping devices, traffic cameras, and biometrics to radio-frequency identification cards, satellites, and Internet surveillance.

Speech recognition technology now makes it possible for the government to carry out massive eavesdropping by way of sophisticated computer systems. Phone calls can be monitored, the audio converted to text files, and stored in computer databases indefinitely. And if any “threatening” words are detected—no matter how inane or silly—the record can be flagged and assigned to a government agent for further investigation. Federal and state governments, again working with private corporations, monitor your Internet content. Users are profiled and tracked in order to identify, target and even prosecute them.

In such a climate, everyone is a suspect. And you’re guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.

Here’s what a lot of people fail to understand, however: it’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted.

We’ve already seen this play out on the state and federal level with hate crime legislation that cracks down on so-called “hateful” thoughts and expression, encourages self-censoring, and reduces free debate on various subject matter.

Say hello to the new Thought Police.

Total Internet surveillance by the Corporate State, as omnipresent as God, is used by the government to predict and, more importantly, control the populace, and it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. For example, the NSA has designed an artificial intelligence system that can anticipate your every move. In a nutshell, the NSA feeds vast amounts of the information it collects to a computer system known as Aquaint (the acronym stands for Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence), which the computer then uses to detect patterns and predict behavior.

No information is sacred or spared.

Everything from cell phone recordings and logs, to emails, to text messages, to personal information posted on social networking sites, to credit card statements, to library circulation records, to credit card histories, etc., is collected by the NSA and shared freely with its agents.

Thus, what we are witnessing, in the so-called name of security and efficiency, is the creation of a new class system comprised of the watched (average Americans such as you and me) and the watchers (government bureaucrats, technicians and private corporations).

Clearly, the age of privacy is at an end.

So where does that leave us?

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed, and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.

It won’t be long before we find ourselves looking back on the past with longing, back to an age where we could speak to whom we wanted, buy what we wanted, think what we wanted without those thoughts, words, and activities being tracked, processed and stored by corporate giants such as Google, sold to government agencies such as the NSA and CIA, and used against us by militarized police with their army of futuristic technologies.

To be an individual today, to not conform, to have even a shred of privacy, and to live beyond the reach of the government’s roaming eyes and technological spies, one must not only be a rebel but rebel.

Even when you rebel and take your stand, there is rarely a happy ending awaiting you. You are rendered an outlaw.

So how do you survive this global surveillance state?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re running out of options.

We’ll soon have to choose between self-indulgence (the bread-and-circus distractions offered up by the news media, politicians, sports conglomerates, entertainment industry, etc.) and self-preservation in the form of renewed vigilance about threats to our freedoms and active engagement in self-governance.

Yet as Aldous Huxley acknowledged in Brave New World Revisited: “Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.”

Which brings me back to this technofascist tyranny being meted out on David Icke and all those like him who dare to voice ideas that diverge from what the government and its corporate controllers deem to be acceptable.

The problem as I see it is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need someone else to think and speak for us. And we’ve allowed ourselves to become so timid in the face of offensive words and ideas that we’ve bought into the idea that we need the government to shield us from that which is ugly or upsetting or mean.

The result is a society in which we’ve stopped debating among ourselves, stopped thinking for ourselves, and stopped believing that we can fix our own problems and resolve our own differences.

In short, we have reduced ourselves to a largely silent, passive, polarized populace incapable of working through our own problems and reliant on the government to protect us from our fears.

In this way, we have become our worst enemy.

You want to reclaim some of the ground we’re fast losing to the techno-tyrants?

Start by thinking for yourself. If that means reading the “dangerous” ideas being floated out there by the David Ickes of the world—or the John Whiteheads for that matter—and then deciding for yourself what is true, so be it.

As Orwell concluded, “Freedom is the right to say two plus two make four.”

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Malware in Google Apps

Interesting story of malware hidden in Google Apps. This particular campaign is tied to the government of Vietnam.

At a remote virtual version of its annual Security Analyst Summit, researchers from the Russian security firm Kaspersky today plan to present research about a hacking campaign they call PhantomLance, in which spies hid malware in the Play Store to target users in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and India. Unlike most of the shady apps found in Play Store malware, Kaspersky’s researchers say, PhantomLance’s hackers apparently smuggled in data-stealing apps with the aim of infecting only some hundreds of users; the spy campaign likely sent links to the malicious apps to those targets via phishing emails. “In this case, the attackers used Google Play as a trusted source,” says Kaspersky researcher Alexey Firsh. “You can deliver a link to this app, and the victim will trust it because it’s Google Play.”

[…]

The first hints of PhantomLance’s campaign focusing on Google Play came to light in July of last year. That’s when Russian security firm Dr. Web found a sample of spyware in Google’s app store that impersonated a downloader of graphic design software but in fact had the capability to steal contacts, call logs, and text messages from Android phones. Kaspersky’s researchers found a similar spyware app, impersonating a browser cache-cleaning tool called Browser Turbo, still active in Google Play in November of that year. (Google removed both malicious apps from Google Play after they were reported.) While the espionage capabilities of those apps was fairly basic, Firsh says that they both could have expanded. “What’s important is the ability to download new malicious payloads,” he says. “It could extend its features significantly.”

Kaspersky went on to find tens of other, similar spyware apps dating back to 2015 that Google had already removed from its Play Store, but which were still visible in archived mirrors of the app repository. Those apps appeared to have a Vietnamese focus, offering tools for finding nearby churches in Vietnam and Vietnamese-language news. In every case, Firsh says, the hackers had created a new account and even Github repositories for spoofed developers to make the apps appear legitimate and hide their tracks.

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Contact Tracing COVID-19 Infections via Smartphone Apps

Google and Apple have announced a joint project to create a privacy-preserving COVID-19 contact tracing app. (Details, such as we have them, are here.) It’s similar to the app being developed at MIT, and similar to others being described and developed elsewhere.

I was going to write a long essay about the privacy and other concerns, but Ross Anderson beat me to it. (Note that some of his comments are UK-specific.)

First, it isn’t anonymous. Covid-19 is a notifiable disease so a doctor who diagnoses you must inform the public health authorities, and if they have the bandwidth they call you and ask who you’ve been in contact with. They then call your contacts in turn. It’s not about consent or anonymity, so much as being persuasive and having a good bedside manner.

I’m relaxed about doing all this under emergency public-health powers, since this will make it harder for intrusive systems to persist after the pandemic than if they have some privacy theater that can be used to argue that the whizzy new medi-panopticon is legal enough to be kept running.

Second, contact tracers have access to all sorts of other data such as public transport ticketing and credit-card records. This is how a contact tracer in Singapore is able to phone you and tell you that the taxi driver who took you yesterday from Orchard Road to Raffles has reported sick, so please put on a mask right now and go straight home. This must be controlled; Taiwan lets public-health staff access such material in emergencies only.

Third, you can’t wait for diagnoses. In the UK, you only get a test if you’re a VIP or if you get admitted to hospital. Even so the results take 1-3 days to come back. While the VIPs share their status on twitter or facebook, the other diagnosed patients are often too sick to operate their phones.

Fourth, the public health authorities need geographical data for purposes other than contact tracing – such as to tell the army where to build more field hospitals, and to plan shipments of scarce personal protective equipment. There are already apps that do symptom tracking but more would be better. So the UK app will ask for the first three characters of your postcode, which is about enough to locate which hospital you’d end up in.

Fifth, although the cryptographers – and now Google and Apple – are discussing more anonymous variants of the Singapore app, that’s not the problem. Anyone who’s worked on abuse will instantly realise that a voluntary app operated by anonymous actors is wide open to trolling. The performance art people will tie a phone to a dog and let it run around the park; the Russians will use the app to run service-denial attacks and spread panic; and little Johnny will self-report symptoms to get the whole school sent home.

I recommend reading his essay in full. Also worth reading are this EFF essay, and this ACLU white paper.

To me, the real problems aren’t around privacy and security. The efficacy of any app-based contact tracing is still unproven. A “contact” from the point of view of an app isn’t the same as an epidemiological contact. And the ratio of infections to contacts is high. We would have to deal with the false positives (being close to someone else, but separated by a partition or other barrier) and the false negatives (not being close to someone else, but contracting the disease through a mutually touched object). And without cheap, fast, and accurate testing, the information from any of these apps isn’t very useful. So I agree with Ross that this is primarily an exercise in that false syllogism: Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do it.

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Apple and Google to launch coronavirus contact-tracing software on billions of cellphones

Two of the largest tech companies in the world are collaborating on technology that will allow billions of cellphones around the world to be used in tracing whether people have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, Bloomberg reported.

Google and Apple plan to create apps to be rolled out sometime in May that will allow users to submit if they’ve tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus from China, so that other users in the database can be notified if they’ve been in contact with the infected person.

After further development, the companies want to make that functionality inherent in the operating systems of devices without an app, so that more people can access it. According to Bloomberg, Google and Apple have about 3 billion people using their operating systems.

The details on this functionality from Google and Apple are scarce at the moment, but MIT News described how this system might work using devices’ bluetooth technology. All phones would emit distinct bluetooth “chirps” that other devices would remember hearing if they had been in close proximity. When a user discloses a positive COVID-19 test, phones that had been close to the infected users’ phone within a designated contact period will be notified:

“I keep track of what I’ve broadcasted, and you keep track of what you’ve heard, and this will allow us to tell if someone was in close proximity to an infected person,” says Ron Rivest, MIT Institute Professor and principal investigator of the project. “But for these broadcasts, we’re using cryptographic techniques to generate random, rotating numbers that are not just anonymous, but pseudonymous, constantly changing their ‘ID,’ and that can’t be traced back to an individual.”

Users would have to opt-in to this system. There are obvious privacy concerns with allowing a device that already tracks detailed location information to also share health information with others, but Apple and Google insisted that privacy would be maintained, saying that location data is not kept and the companies can’t see identifying data about who comes into contact with who. The system also wouldn’t identify the infected person in the notification it sends out, or track where the contact occurred.

In February, China implemented a technology-based contact-tracing system using scannable QR codes, which raised an even more concerning set of privacy issues than those that exist in the U.S. currently due to reports of aggressively enforced quarantines.

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Privacy Violation: Google Publishes Location Data During “Lockdown”

In what can only be described as a major basic human rights violation, Google has published the location data fo those who they say are violating the lockdown orders handed down by governments. “Community Mobility Reports” show where we’re going amid the lockdown, according to Google.

This pandemic has come at a great cost to all of humanity.  Rights and liberty have gone and in place of them, a false sense of security. This is evident in Google’s new reports. Google has unveiled the COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports in an effort to help public health officials understand how people are moving about in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The reports show location data from folks who have agreed to share their location history with Google in order to show places that are following instructions to shelter in place — or not.

“As global communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like social distancing measures, to slow the rate of transmission,” wrote Google Geo SVP Jen Fitzpatrick according to Engadget. “In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are—helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.”

These reports are designed to “shame” and force Americans to fall victim to the propaganda.

Here in France, as shown in the top image, there has been a massive decline in movement to most categories — up to 88 percent — with a 56 percent drop in workplace travel and an 18 percent increase in people staying at home. That’s down to a government-mandated lockdown (confinement) that prohibits any unnecessary travel, with penalties ranging from fines up to 1,500 euros and even prison time for extreme recidivists.

In California, which has implemented some of the strictest confinement rules in the US, we see a drop of just 50 percent in retail and recreation zones. Those rules are still essentially self-enforced, however, which could explain why France has started flattening its infection curve, while the US curve is a rocket ship traveling straight up. –Engadget

NPR Station Is CENSORING Donald Trump as MSM Pushes Totalitarian Propaganda

Google has also said its also collaborating with epidemiologists to create an updated dataset of anonymized aggregated data, “to better understand and forecast the pandemic,” the company said.  Which basically means we should all prepare for more slavery and an enhanced Orwellian state.

Prepare for social unrest as people figure out they were duped into giving up their livelihood in the face of this pandemic.  While it’s still a good idea to not spread this virus around, preparing for a pandemic now is a waste of time.  Once people figure out that a $1200 stimulus check will never be able to replace their life’s work, things could get really ugly. This is a recipe for massive rioting and social unrest on a scale never before seen that will make this pandemic look like child’s play.

The government is ushering in a totalitarian and Orwellian state the likes of which will eliminate human rights and dignity for the foreseeable future.  The worst part is that people are allowing it in the name of “safety.”

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Hacking Voice Assistants with Ultrasonic Waves

I previously wrote about hacking voice assistants with lasers. Turns you can do much the same thing with ultrasonic waves:

Voice assistants — the demo targeted Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby — are designed to respond when they detect the owner’s voice after noticing a trigger phrase such as ‘Ok, Google’.

Ultimately, commands are just sound waves, which other researchers have already shown can be emulated using ultrasonic waves which humans can’t hear, providing an attacker has a line of sight on the device and the distance is short.

What SurfingAttack adds to this is the ability to send the ultrasonic commands through a solid glass or wood table on which the smartphone was sitting using a circular piezoelectric disc connected to its underside.

Although the distance was only 43cm (17 inches), hiding the disc under a surface represents a more plausible, easier-to-conceal attack method than previous techniques.

Research paper. Demonstration video.

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Deep Learning to Find Malicious Email Attachments

Google presented its system of using deep-learning techniques to identify malicious email attachments:

At the RSA security conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google’s security and anti-abuse research lead Elie Bursztein will present findings on how the new deep-learning scanner for documents is faring against the 300 billion attachments it has to process each week. It’s challenging to tell the difference between legitimate documents in all their infinite variations and those that have specifically been manipulated to conceal something dangerous. Google says that 63 percent of the malicious documents it blocks each day are different than the ones its systems flagged the day before. But this is exactly the type of pattern-recognition problem where deep learning can be helpful.

[…]

The document analyzer looks for common red flags, probes files if they have components that may have been purposefully obfuscated, and does other checks like examining macros­ — the tool in Microsoft Word documents that chains commands together in a series and is often used in attacks. The volume of malicious documents that attackers send out varies widely day to day. Bursztein says that since its deployment, the document scanner has been particularly good at flagging suspicious documents sent in bursts by malicious botnets or through other mass distribution methods. He was also surprised to discover how effective the scanner is at analyzing Microsoft Excel documents, a complicated file format that can be difficult to assess.

This is the sort of thing that’s pretty well optimized for machine-learning techniques.

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Federal court upholds dismissal of PragerU free speech lawsuit against YouTube, Google

A panel of judges for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss Prager University’s free speech lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company, Google.

PragerU sued YouTube and Google over YouTube’s decision to classify numerous PragerU videos as “restricted,” meaning they can’t be viewed by users who are using the site in restricted mode. Restricted mode is meant to shelter users from mature or explicit content. YouTube also demonetized some of PragerU’s videos so that third parties could not advertise on them.

The lawsuit claimed that YouTube violated PragerU’s First Amendment rights and also violated the Lanham Act through false advertising of itself as a platform that supports free speech. Both of those claims were rejected by the courts.

Because YouTube is a private platform, the court affirmed, it has a right to moderate content on the site as it pleases, even if some users may feel that moderation is biased or unfair. Judge Margaret McKeown wrote in the opinion:

Addressing the First Amendment claims, the panel held that despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public- facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment. The panel noted that just last year, the Supreme Court held that “merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.”

And although YouTube claims to promote free speech and a desire to give everyone a voice on its platform, those claims are not quantifiable or actionable, the court decided, meaning YouTube’s restrictions on PragerU content do not make those claims false advertising. McKeown wrote:

YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constitutes opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act. Lofty but vague statements like “everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories” or that YouTube believes that “people should be able to speak freely, share opinions, foster open dialogue, and that creative freedom leads to new voices, formats and possibilities” are classic, non-actionable opinions or puffery.

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China Is CENSORING Coronavirus Critics In The United States

The Chinese government is all about censorship, and this time, they are being effective at silencing coronavirus critics in the United States.  As Chinese tech companies have gone global, so has China’s ability to censor information outside of the mainland.

China is well-known for Communism and the censorship of non-government approved ideas. When those who think they have power over the thoughts and ideas of others begin to silence, you know oppression is clearly a reality.

VICE News spoke to dozens of WeChat users in the U.S. and Canada, as well as some users in the U.K., France, Spain, Australia, Germany, and Malaysia, who reported identical problems with their accounts as they tried to share information with their family and friends in China.

The restrictions will prevent international users from sending any information to contacts in China.  In some cases, they have also had their accounts suspended or blocked completely and accused of “spreading malicious rumors.” In many cases, the censorship means their only communication link to people inside China has been cut off completely, according to a report by VICE News.

Coronavirus Cover-Up Begins: China Threatens Social Media Users with Seven Years in Prison for Reporting Pandemic News that Doesn’t Parrot “Official” Stories

If someone attempts to get information that is not approved by the Chinese government to people living under the tyranny there, they will likely be silenced, if not punished.

WeChat is a unit of Tencent, one of China’s largest tech companies, which also happens to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Now users in the U.S. are calling for Congress to intervene to preserve their freedom of speech, however, free speech is all but dead in the U.S. too.  And the politicians claiming authority over the rest of us are unlikely to do much if anything about it.

“Tencent is the evil helper of a totalitarian government that suppresses freedom of speech and democracy,” one WeChat user who lives in Philadelphia and wanted to remain anonymous due to fears of retribution, told VICE News. They delete or block your posts if they think it promotes democracy and challenges the government. It violates my civil rights as a U.S. citizen. I came to the U.S. for freedom. I thought I escaped from the threat of the Communist Party. But I’m wrong, I still live in terror because Tencent is monitoring my WeChat and may report me to the Chinese authorities.”

Things aren’t much better in the U.S. where companies like Facebook, Google, and YouTube delete or censor information that isn’t government-approved. In fact, the World Health Organization and Google have been working together to censor coronavirus information.

WHO and Google Work Together To Censor Coronavirus Information

Tencent did not respond to specific questions about its censorship of international users but sent an emailed statement saying it was “committed to providing a secure and open platform” for all its users.

This article contains affiliate links.

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