COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jun 07 11:48

Scott Adams: Demise of VOX and the Daily Beast, Nervous Nancy, Floppy Joe, Shadowbanning

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1136996512645259265

My Apology: Joe Concha did NOT promote the “fine people” HOAX
Apologies to Joe Concha for the mistake
Carlos Maza is now the brand and face of VOX
Prediction: Vox and Daily Beast will be out of business in a year
Twitter should offer mass amnesty to those who have been banned
Shadowban.EU purportedly shows if a person has been stealth banned
My Twitter traffic has fallen off a cliff, @AJA_Cortes reports same
Michael Wolff…the poor man’s Avenatti
Gifting When tokens to help demonetized conservatives?
Russian military testing US and a near collision occurred…FAKE NEWS?
GND architect, Rhiana Gunn-Wright says expect 150 million deaths!!!
Mexican military at their border with Guatemala, POTUS tariffs work?
Comparing “Nervous Nancy” and “Floppy Joe”

Jun 07 11:07

CBP Claims Its Airport Facial Recognition Isn't A Surveillance Program; FBI Has 640M Photos According To Watchdog; Congress Wants Rules

By Aaron Kesel

The Customs And Border Protection (CBP) has hilariously claimed that its facial recognition in airports across the U.S. isn’t a surveillance program, Nextgov reported. Meanwhile, a government watchdog organization has made the horrifying claim that the FBI has 640 million photographs it can rummage through by utilizing facial recognition technology...

Jun 07 09:12

Same Problem, Different Day: Government Accountability Office Updates Its Review of FBI’s Use of Face Recognition—and It’s Still Terrible

By Jennifer Lynch

This week the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued an update to its 2016 report on the FBI’s use of face recognition. The takeaway, which they also shared during a Congressional House Oversight Committee hearing: the FBI now has access to 641 million photos—including driver’s license and ID photos—but it still refuses to assess the accuracy of its systems...

Jun 07 08:46

US attempt to push Huawei from global market is the first sign of looming tech war - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said US efforts to push Chinese tech giant Huawei out of the global market might be a sign that a new technological war is coming.

“Take the situation around the company Huawei, for example. There are attempts not even to challenge it, but to brazenly force it out of the global market,” Putin told the audience at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “In some circles it is even called the first technological war of the coming digital era.”

Jun 07 08:24

Venezuela Suffers Mass Internet Outage Due to Fiber Cut

Confirmed Internet outage in Venezuela affecting Digitel (total) and Supercable (partial) from 3:00 pm UTC / 11:00 am VET following four hours of instability; sources report fiber cut .

Jun 07 07:49

FRIGHTENING STUFF HIDDEN IN YOUR STREET LIGHT?

SOURCE: LIBERTYNATION.COM

Such a benign and banal part of the urban landscape that city-dwellers may not even notice them, street lights are useful for brightening up a road and not much else – or so you might think. People these days are used to the idea of CCTV cameras, even hidden ones, but street lights tend to blend in to the background. Perhaps that is why they are finding new functions in the modern world, with its zealotry for surveillance. These seemingly innocuous devices can host anything from microphones and cameras to facial recognition and de facto compulsory 5G wifi transmission.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, through these practices, and what the CEOs of these companies are saying, we are being "groomed" for ever increasing surveillance, 24/7

This is absolutely morally wrong, and indicates governments, at the city, state, and Federal level, believe we are all murderers, gangsters, and thieves; it is a complete reversal of what American Law used to be, and brings us back to the days of "Code Napoleon Law", where suspected criminals were considered guilty, until proven innocent.

Jun 07 07:01

IN-Q-TEL TAPS FORGE.AI TO MONITOR, PREDICT IMPACT OF WORLD EVENTS FOR GOVT AGENCIES

The defense and intelligence community funding arm, In-Q-Tel, partners with Boston-based Forge.AI to make sense of publicly available data for government use.

Jun 07 06:55

JOURNALIST AND EDUCATOR AMONG THOSE CAUGHT UP IN YOUTUBE'S LATEST ATTEMPT TO PURGE ONLINE HATE SPEECH

SOURCE: COMMON DREAMS

Ford Fischer, a journalist whose channel was caught up in a heavy-handed YouTube dragnet targeting hateful content, talked to Common Dreams about his experience as a target of a tech giant. (Image: Ford Fischer, Twitter)

Free speech advocates who warned of the predictable consequences of allowing powerful tech companies to police online discourse seized on YouTube's attempt Wednesday to purge hate speech from their video platform after creators performing public service journalism and education were swept up in the effort.

"Apparently, creating and implementing vague, arbitrary censorship standards on the fly in response to mob demands and then purging people en masse end up suppressing and punishing many voices that censorship advocates like. Who could have guessed this would happen?"
—Glenn Greenwald

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If humanly possible, NEVER USE Youtube; Twitter, or Facebook again; don't give this ugly triumverate (Youtube; Facebook; or Twitter) any more data to suck up, or to destroy.

They have simply morphed into the "4th Arm" of the Unhinged, Surveilled, Amerikan State.

It used to be that you could break down US governance into 3 categories; Executive; Judicial; and Legislative.

They now represent the 4th category of the US government, surveillance.

Jun 06 16:54

Here's A List Of Ideas & Statements YouTube Will Ban You For Expressing Under Their New 'Hate Speech Policy'

Google-owned YouTube on Wednesday released a list of generic ideas and statements they will ban you for expressing under their rapidly expanding new "hate speech policy."

Jun 06 16:05

Daily Mail Loses Nearly 50% Of Daily Search Traffic After Latest Google Algorithm Change

Google is now screwing over even normie-tier right-wing news sites in their quest to purge all content from the internet which counters leftist narratives in advance of the 2020 election.

Jun 06 12:07

Taking the False Flag Apart Piece-By-PieceBezos Blowback? Will The AWS JEDI Scandal Upset Amazon's Omnipotence?

Lobby horse

The Department of Defense’s forthcoming $10 billion cloud computing award, known as JEDI, has been mired in controversy and allegations of misconduct involving Amazon.com, Inc.’s web services division (AWS). Does a potential scandal involving AWS and Uncle Sam present a risk to the continuation of Amazon’s unparalleled success?

On May 24, Amazon competitor Oracle Corp. which vied for the JEDI contract and was eliminated from contention (AWS and Microsoft Corp. are the remaining bidders), filed an updated complaint with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging that the procurement process for JEDI has been rife with conflicts of interest.

Jun 06 10:53

Former IAEA Deputy Falsely Claims Iran Could Make Nukes in 6-8 Months: Accuses IAEA of letting Iran 'weaponize' uranium

Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen, long a critic of his former employer, accused the IAEA in an interview of letting Iran “weaponize” uranium. He further claimed that Iran, with “maximum effort,” could produce a nuclear weapon in “six to eight months.”

Neither of these allegations were accurate by any stretch of the imagination. Heinonen was focusing on Iran improving its centrifuges. Despite this, Iran is still only enriching uranium to 3.6%, the level needed for its power plant, and far below the 90%+ needed for weapons-grade uranium.

Though the centrifuges conceivably could further enrich uranium beyond the levels presently being done, Iran has never attempted to enrich to anywhere near the 90% level, and has never suggested that they would even try.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why would he lie like this, when he absolutely knows better?!?

One has to wonder; what kind of compensation, and from whom is he getting it to say something he knows, scientifically, not to be true?!?

Oh, I can think of a couple of countries here; perhaps the US, or Israeli?!?

Jun 06 10:52

Despite being Chromium-based, Vivaldi browser promises to preserve effective ad-blocking as a choice

The company has now vowed to preserve the choice of users to block ads if they desire, even if it means they have to backport the functionality to the Chromium rendering engine.

Jun 06 10:40

'Data is the new oil': Rise of internet connected smart products means our private information is increasingly valuable to companies, experts warn

Gadgets such as Alexa and Google Assistant are becoming increasingly popular but people are being warned of the dangers of filling their homes with smart technology.

Televisions, thermostats, door locks, light bulbs, bathroom scales and toothbrushes can now all connect to the internet and collect and transmit data about personal behaviour.

Two university academics have questioned what happens to the data collected by these devices and who then uses it - because data is now a prized commodity, which they say is now as valuable as oil.

Professor Chris Speed and Joe Lindley, who are experts on the 'internet of things', also cautioned about security, saying smart technology is susceptible to hackers.

Jun 06 10:07

New RCE vulnerability impacts nearly half of the internet's email servers

A critical remote command execution (RCE) security flaw impacts over half of the Internet's email servers, security researchers from Qualys have revealed today.

The vulnerability affects Exim, a mail transfer agent (MTA), which is software that runs on email servers to relay emails from senders to recipients.

According to a June 2019 survey of all mail servers visible on the Internet, 57% (507,389) of all email servers run Exim -- although different reports would put the number of Exim installations at ten times that number, at 5.4 million.

Jun 06 07:42

BALTIMORE CITY CRYPTOCURRENCY RANSOMWARE ATTACK WILL COST AT LEAST $18 MILLION 

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE
Baltimore has been struggling with an aggressive cyber-attack over the last five weeks, previously profiled here, it has now been revealed the attack will cost the city $18.2 million, reported WBAL-TV 11.

The cost estimates were disclosed at a recent City Council budget hearing: city officials have already paid $4.6 million for recovery efforts since the ransomware was discovered May 7 and could spend an additional $5.4 million in 2H19. The remaining $8.2 million is from the loss or delayed revenue and loss of interest and penalty income.

Henry Raymond, #Baltimore Financial Dir., says the #ransomware attack will not affect the city’s tax bills, which will will go out on time in July - says it’s costing $18 million @wbalradio pic.twitter.com/NYlYBHTkCg

— Phil Yacuboski (@WBALPhil) June 4, 2019
As of Tuesday, 35% of city employees had their email accounts restored, with the possibility of a full system restore by the end of the week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Keith Alexander and the NSA, a word here; yes, we know that you informed the City of Baltimore a couple of years ago, that if they didn't protect their computers, something like this was going to happen.

And yes, Baltimore did NOT put it's "cyber house in order" after that warning, which lead to the current crisis.

But that being said, do you understand how bad the optics look for the NSA here?!? And guys, just in case you don't quite get it, the optics on this are officially horrible.

Just as a gesture of good will, can you not dedicate some resources to this, which can possibly result in the happiest of endings, under horrific circumstances?!?

Just think how this might happen, making the NSA look like bunch of superheroes,where the headlines around the world, would read: "NSA SAVES BALTIMORE!!"

And of course, a parade in your collective honor. :-)

I'm just saying; this could be made to become a pr miracle for this group, if you were willing to just give Baltimore some help on this.

Jun 06 07:30

WHY YOUR “SMART HOME” IS AN INCREDIBLY STUPID IDEA

When Google croaked over the weekend, a cascading tidal wave of web services came crashing down, including the Google cloud, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even portions of Amazon. Google owns the “Nest” brand which promises “smart home” functionality to control your home through a Google app on your mobile device. But during the outage, people were locked out of their smart homes… and many were unable to control home appliances such as air conditioners or lights.

It turns out that a “smart home” is an incredibly stupid idea. If you can’t even open your front door without getting permission from a remotely processed Google login procedure that requires the smooth functioning of routers, servers and the power grid, you’ve put yourself in a stupid situation. Do you really want Google — now the most evil corporation in the world — to control your access to your own home? Do you even want Google knowing when you’re entering and leaving your home?

Jun 06 06:27

NEW ‘CALL OF DUTY’ ENCOURAGES SUPPORT FOR THE WHITE HELMETS

The official trailer for the latest Call of Duty was released a few days ago, and it features the Syria narrative management operation known as the White Helmets depicted in heroic roles. Characters wearing the organization’s signature headgear are seen clearing rubble in part of the trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

To give you an idea how popular the CoD franchise is, as of this writing the official Youtube version of the trailer has 27 million views.

To be clear, the characters in the game are most certainly intended to resemble the White Helmets of Syria, and their presence there is most certainly intended to increase support for and interest in that group. How do I know? Its game writer has explicitly said so.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Kids who score well on computer games, and their families, can expect a call from the US military, praising their gifts, wanting to set up meetings with military recruiters, and encouraging them to enlist.

The propaganda, swirling around this group, is riddled with inaccuracies and outright lies. The Ron Paul Institute, has this to say about them>:

More lies about the White Helmets

Let us also look at what Global Research has to say about them:

What is really happening in Syria; who started the war, and who can you trust to tell the truth?!? The article goes on to state: "Mainstream media coverage of Syria has lately focused on what the U.S. calls “war crimes” in the battle for Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. But most Western media never get any closer to Aleppo than Beirut, which is not even in Syria. For their information, these media often rely on the U.S. government or groups like the White Helmets, who get funding from the U.S. and others attempting to overthrow the Syrian government. As veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn points out:

Unsurprisingly, foreign journalists covering developments in east Aleppo and rebel-held areas of Syria overwhelmingly do so from Lebanon or Turkey. A number of intrepid correspondents who tried to do eyewitness reporting from rebel-held areas swiftly found themselves tipped into the boots of cars or otherwise incarcerated."

The "White Helmets are a CIA Construct

Experience shows that foreign reporters are quite right not to trust their lives even to the most moderate of the armed opposition inside Syria. But, strangely enough, the same media organisations continue to put their trust in the veracity of information coming out of areas under the control of these same potential kidnappers and hostage takers. They would probably defend themselves by saying they rely on non-partisan activists, but all the evidence is that these can only operate in east Aleppo under license from the al- Qaeda-type groups."

And here are some other reports:

The White Helmets, to control the war crime scenes throughout the Syrian Theatre of War

Busted: Syria's White Helmets, are the CIA's "Secret Weapon to Aid Isis.

Any questions about why this group could be so misrepresented in computer games young adults love to play, should be very much understood: the US military wants younger people who play computer games well, to join it.

Just as the Chinese government is attempting to wipe the memory of Tianamen Square from the minds its citizens, the US government, and military are working very hard, to insure that the real horrors of war, are never quite presented in computer games for what they are.

I would label both attempts as RFWF (Replace facts with fantasy)

Jun 06 05:54

WHY YOUR “SMART HOME” IS AN INCREDIBLY STUPID IDEA

When Google croaked over the weekend, a cascading tidal wave of web services came crashing down, including the Google cloud, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even portions of Amazon. Google owns the “Nest” brand which promises “smart home” functionality to control your home through a Google app on your mobile device. But during the outage, people were locked out of their smart homes… and many were unable to control home appliances such as air conditioners or lights.

Jun 05 17:38

Snapchat releases pro-pedophilia “love has no age” filter for LGBTQP Pride Month designed to normalize adults “hooking up” with children

Just as we predicted, the Cult of LGBTQ is eagerly trying to add another letter onto its title: a P, for pedophiles.

The pro-LGBTQ Snapchat app, at least, decided that it would be a good idea to celebrate “Pride Month” in June by adding a new “love has no age” filter to its app, which was reportedly pulled just two days after it was launched in response to massive public backlash.

But while it was still operating, the “love has no age” filter apparently promoted the idea that sexual activity between people of any age, including children, is just another form of “self-expression” to be included on the LGBTQ “rainbow.”

Jun 05 17:36

U.S. Visa Applications Now Require 5 Years Worth Of Social Media, Phone Numbers And Email Addresses

By Aaron Kesel

The U.S. State Department has announced that people traveling to the U.S. for work or for studying abroad will have to hand over five years worth of their social media information, email addresses, and phone numbers to apply for a visa, NY Times reported.

Authorities estimated the proposal would affect nearly 15 million people annually.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is actively soliciting companies to assist in sifting through the resulting flood of data...

Jun 05 16:31

Report: U.S. Mobile Download Speeds Half That of Canada, South Korea Leads the World

South Korea was the top-ranked country in terms of mobile download speed in Opensignal’s newest The State of Mobile report. It was the only country to score over 50 Mbps in download speed experience. Norway was second at 48.2 Mbps.

Canada’s performance jumped significantly, placing third at 42.5 Mbps, just ahead of the Netherlands at 42.4 Mbps. According to Opensignal, “Canada’s impressive third place is little surprise, since our most recent report on Canada found our users on all three operators experienced over 35 Mbps in download speed experience, while speeds of over 60 Mbps weren’t uncommon in the country’s biggest cities.”

Most countries were in the 10 to 20 Mbps range. The U.S. clocked in just ahead of that range, at 21.3 Mbps.

Jun 05 16:26

Bitcoin's Rally Masks Uncomfortable Fact: Almost Nobody Uses It

Bitcoin has a lingering problem that few people are talking about amid the renewed exuberance of the recent price surge.

Hardly anyone is using the world’s largest cryptocurrency for anything beyond speculation. Data from New York-based blockchain researcher Chainalysis Inc. show that only 1.3% of economic transactions came from merchants in the first four months of 2019, little changed over the boom and bust cycles of the prior two years.

Jun 05 16:17

238 Google Play apps with >440 million installs made phones nearly unusable

If the prevalence of abusive Google Play apps has left you numb, this latest report is for you. Carefully concealed adware installed in Google-approved apps with more than 440 million installations was so aggressive that it rendered mobile devices nearly unusable, researchers from mobile security provider Lookout said Tuesday.

BeiTaAd, as the adware is known, is a plugin that Lookout says it found hidden in emojis keyboard TouchPal and 237 other applications, all of which were published by Shanghai, China-based CooTek. Together, the 238 unique apps had a combined 440 million installs. Once installed, the apps initially behaved normally. Then, after a delay of anywhere between 24 hours and 14 days, the obfuscated BeiTaAd plugin would begin delivering what are known as out-of-app ads. These ads appeared on users' lock screens and triggered audio and video at seemingly random times or even when a phone was asleep.

Jun 05 16:14

Warnings of world-wide worm attacks are the real deal, new exploit shows

For the past three weeks, security professionals have warned with increasing urgency that a recently patched Windows vulnerability has the potential to trigger attacks not seen since the WannaCry worm that paralyzed much of the world in 2017. A demonstration video circulating on the Internet is the latest evidence to prove those warnings are the real deal.

...

The video shows a module Dillon wrote for the Metasploit exploit framework remotely connecting to a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer that has yet to install a patch Microsoft released in mid May. At about 14 seconds, a Metasploit payload called Meterpreter uses the getuid command to prove that the connection has highly privileged System privileges. In the remaining six seconds, the hacker uses the open source Mimikatz application to obtain the cryptographic hashes of passwords belonging to other computers on the same network the hacked machine is connected to.

Jun 05 16:06

This Windows Flaw Is So Bad, Even the NSA Is Begging You to Update

Three weeks ago, a critical Windows security vulnerability known as BlueKeep was revealed and fixed. In that short time, Microsoft has repeatedly begged users of older Windows versions to make sure their machines are up to date. The company even released fixes for Windows XP, Server 2003, and Vista—a slate of unsupported operating systems that usually don’t get much attention.

Now, it’s an American intelligence agency echoing Microsoft.

“Recent warnings by Microsoft stressed the importance of installing patches to address a protocol vulnerability in older versions of Windows,” the NSA advisory read. “Microsoft has warned that this flaw is potentially ‘wormable,’ meaning it could spread without user interaction across the internet. We have seen devastating computer worms inflict damage on unpatched systems with wide-ranging impact, and are seeking to motivate increased protections against this flaw.”

Jun 05 14:25

China's Huawei signs deal to develop 5G in Russia

China's Huawei, considered a security threat in the US, on Wednesday signed a deal with Russian telecoms company MTS to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year,

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The deal will see "the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of fifth generation networks in 2019-2020", MTS said in a statement.

Jun 05 12:26

YouTube Begins Purging 'Thousands Of Videos And Channels' For Advocating 'Bigoted Ideologies'

Google-owned YouTube is planning to purge "thousands of videos and channels" which advocate "bigoted ideologies" or "claim Jews secretly control the world," deny "that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust" took place, "say women are intellectually inferior to men and therefore should be denied certain rights," or "suggest that the white race is superior to another race."

Multiple channels were banned in the immediate aftermath of the announcement.

Jun 05 10:09

Stunned audience gasps as Apple unveils a $1,000 STAND for new $5,000 Mac Pro monitor and displays it like a 'piece of art' as customers mock the tech giant

Apple is now offering a monitor stand that costs more than many users' high-end smart phones.

In a high profile Developer's Conference this week, Apple unveiled a round of new products that include a highly anticipated new computer, the Mac Pro, and a corresponding monitor for $6,000 and $5,000 respectively.

While an $11,000 price tag would be enough to make many customers balk, neither the computer nor the monitor bore the brunt of people's backlash.

Instead, that ire was directed toward what is now being referred to across social media as simply, 'the stand' -- a harness for Apple's $5,000 monitor that costs an eye-watering $1,000.

Jun 05 10:04

'We are not a monopoly!' Apple CEO Tim Cook fights back as major US tech companies struggle to recover from FTC antitrust probe announcement which tanked share prices

Apple CEO Tim Cook denied his company was a monopoly on Tuesday after it was revealed that a Federal Trade Commission investigation was in the works into his company and others which critics say have too much power.

In an interview with CBS, Cook said Apple did not control a majority in any market and that while he welcomes scrutiny, he disagrees with the suggestion that he should split up parts of the business.

It came a day after stocks plummeted on Monday after reports emerged that the FTC was leading an antitrust investigation into Facebook Inc and its practices.

Jun 05 09:48

Why your “smart home” might be an incredibly STUPID idea

When Google croaked over the weekend, a cascading tidal wave of web services came crashing down, including the Google cloud, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and even portions of Amazon. Google owns the "Nest" brand which promises "smart home" functionality to control your home through a Google app on your mobile device. But during the outage, people were locked out of their smart homes… and many were unable to control home appliances such as air conditioners or lights.

It turns out that a "smart home" is an incredibly stupid idea. If you can’t even open your front door without getting permission from a remotely processed Google login procedure that requires the smooth functioning of routers, servers and the power grid, you’ve put yourself in a stupid situation. Do you really want Google — now the most evil corporation in the world — to control your access to your own home? Do you even want Google knowing when you’re entering and leaving your home?

Jun 05 09:47

Internet shutdowns don't make anyone safer

Around the world, governments are hitting on a modish new idea: Turn the internet off. Sometimes they mean it literally.

Methods vary, but the trend is clear enough. Countries are increasingly ordering telecoms and other companies to block network access, shut down messaging services, or otherwise restrict digital applications or websites, usually citing public order or national-security concerns. In extreme cases, internet access can be “blacked out” entirely. Worldwide, such shutdowns rose to 188 last year, up from 75 in 2016.

Jun 05 08:32

Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get

A newly revealed patent application filed by Amazon is raising privacy concerns over an envisaged upgrade to the company's smart speaker systems. This change would mean that, by default, the devices end up listening to and recording everything you say in their presence.

Jun 05 08:30

App Developers Sue Apple Alleging Anti-Competitive Behaviour – Report

The action comes amid similar legal disputes initiated by consumers and an antitrust investigation initiated by the Department of Justice.

Two app developers — Donald Cameron and Pure Sweat Basketball — filed a lawsuit against Apple in a California federal court, alleging that the Cupertino tech giant engages in anti-competitive practices.

The plaintiffs claim that limiting the purchase and download of apps to just the App Store stifles developers.

App Store demands 30% commissions on all app purchases plus a $99 yearly fee from devs just to qualify for on-platform software sales. Apple also artificially regulates minimum and maximum price points for apps, according to the lawsuit says.

Jun 05 08:15

How one romance scammer built an international phishing operation

A security company has detailed how a con artist who began his cyber-criminal career as a simple Craigslist romance scammer has gone on to build a highly successful business email compromise (BEC) operation, targeting organisations and raking in millions of dollars.

Since 2008, the individual has built an organisation employing dozens of other cybercriminals, hackers and money mules in a scheme that targets enterprises to trick employees into transferring large sums of money.

Jun 05 07:57

This iOS 13 Feature Will Allow iPhone Users To Block Every Robocall

In the preview page of iOS 13, Apple says there will be a new setting that will "protect users from unknown and spam callers," describing the system as "Silence unknown callers." If it's activated, then iOS will use "Siri intelligence to allow calls to ring your phone from numbers in Contacts, Mail, and Messages. All other calls are automatically sent to voicemail."

This means that any number calling that isn't saved in a user's Contacts, Mail, or Messages — in other words, any unknown number — will get sent directly to voice mail.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yee-HAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 05 07:32

Hackers Use NSA Code to Grind Baltimore to a Halt, Pass Code on to Russia, China

The United States is no longer supplying its enemies only with conventional weapons – that list now also includes cyberweapons. While Baltimore has been struggling with an aggressive cyber-attack over the last three weeks, previously profiled here , it has now been revealed that a key component of the malware used by cyber-criminals was actually developed just a short drive from Baltimore - at the NSA, according to the New York Times.

Jun 05 07:26

This New Robot Will Take Millions Of Warehouse Jobs

The automation wave is expected to dramatically reshape the US economy in the 2020s. This disruption will impact the labor force and cause tremendous job losses. By 2030, automation could eliminate 20% to 25% of current jobs -- equivalent to 40 million displaced workers, hitting the bottom 90% of Americans the hardest.

A new report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) shows how warehouse automation is starting to gain traction in Atlanta, the sixth largest warehousing space in the US.

The new, robot-powered warehouse in McDonough, Georgia, is currently undergoing pilot tests and will begin operations in June. Project Verte, a start-up trying to compete with Amazon, is responsible for automating the warehouse.

Jun 05 06:45

Steele Cuts Deal; Will Discuss Trump Sex Dossier With DOJ Inspector General 

Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele has finally agreed to meet with US officials to discuss his relationship with the FBI, and the now-infamous dossier of unfounded claims against Donald Trump which he assembled on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The 54-year-old Steele has agreed to meet with investigators from the US Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), according to The Times of London, after a former US official told Politico that the OIG report would "try to deeply undermine" Steele.

The news marks a 180-shift in Steele's past refusals to engage with US authorities. In April, Politico reported that Steele would not meet with the OIG to assist them with their investigation, while just last week, Reuters reported that he wouldn't meet with US attorney John Durham, who was handpicked by AG William Barr to review the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am certain that one of the conditions of Steele's "conversation" is, that he will not be looking at any jail time, whatsoever.

Jun 04 18:08

5G Opposition Increases in the Pacific Northwest. Telecom Industry Has Still Provided NO Evidence that 5G is Safe.

By B.N. Frank

In February, Telecom Industry executives gave congressional testimony that they cannot provide any scientific evidence that 5G is safe.

What they didn’t say is that there is research that has already proven that 5G is harmful. That’s why opposition to 5G continues to increase in the U.S. and around the world...

Jun 04 11:55

SAUDIS USE ISRAELI SPYWARE TO TARGET DISSIDENTS

SOURCE: DEEP STATE BLOG

Eli Lake, the pro-Israel Bloomberg columnist, thinks selling Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to Saudi Arabia not a good idea. Lake recently met Palestinian blogger Ayad al-Baghdadi (no relation to the ISIS leader of the same name) who has reportedly been targeted by the Saudi regime.

Now living in exile in Norway, al Baghdadi still has to fear the long arm of Saudi intelligence as empowered by Israeli technology.

Pegasus and similar hacking programs are now able to break into a phone without requiring the user to even click a link. In some cases, a bogus WhatsApp call is enough to infect the phone and make it a powerful tracking device. That makes it particularly suited to monitor Arab dissidents like Al-Baghdadi, who rely on the encrypted messaging service to make contact with networks of activists across the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Despots around the world are learning how to use computer capabilities; apps, and malware to identify where someone is; to whom they have communicated; or to where they are going; that makes assassinations all the more easy, if that is the government's wish to do so.

Jun 04 10:29

China's Internet Lockdown Intensifies Ahead Of Tiananmen Anniversary

Chinese social media sites have been placed on a lockdown ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, according to Bloomberg.

While Beijing already employs highly restrictive controls over their internet, Chinese censors typically intensify their efforts ahead of the June 4 anniversary of the bloody student protests in 1989.

This year, Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s messaging app WeChat and micro-blogging site Weibo barred users from changing their profile photos and other personal information. Video-streaming service Bilibili said it suspended real-time comments and other features for “technical upgrades.” -Bloomberg

Jun 04 10:21

FACEBOOK SHAREHOLDER REVOLT GETS BLOODY: POWERLESS INVESTORS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO OUST MARK ZUCKERBERG AS CHAIRMAN

SOURCE: BUSINESSINSIDER.COM
The Facebook shareholder revolt just got bloody.

In a filing on Monday, Facebook revealed how investors voted on a raft of proposals at its annual shareholder meeting last week — and the results underline the unrest among outside investors.

According to an analysis of the results by Open Mic — an organization that works with activist shareholders to improve corporate governance at America's biggest companies — independent shareholders overwhelmingly backed two proposals to weaken Mark Zuckerberg's power.

Some 68% of ordinary investors, those who are not part of management or the board, want to oust Zuckerberg as chairman and bring in an independent figure to chair Facebook's board. This was a significant increase on the 51% who voted in favor of an almost identical proposal last year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am sorry, but The Zuck brought this change in his shareholders' minds upon himself, and I have have utterly no sympathy for someone who hubristically believed that he was "over, and above" the law, because of his financial status.

Jun 04 10:08

TESLA BLOCKS ACCESS TO ANONYMOUS WORKPLACE CHAT APP BLIND AMID CRACKDOWN ON EMPLOYEE LEAKS

SOURCE: VERDICT.CO.UK

Tesla has begun blocking its employees from accessing anonymous workplace chat app Blind, according to its developers, in an apparent attempt to protect against employee leaks.

Blind allows employees to discuss workplace matters anonymously with their colleagues and industry peers through public and private forums. Since launching in the United States in 2015, the app has attracted thousands of workers from Silicon Valley tech giants including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

More than 2,100 Tesla employees have signed up to Blind. However, the automotive company appears to have moved to stop that figure from increasing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Elon Musk, is probably among the most brilliant inventors/ creators of the 21st century; that being said, however, he does, and desperately, and as of YESTERDAY, need a "business nanny" to take care of his companies in such a way that the negative things about Tesla, will cease of their own accord, because employees are being treated well, and sensitively, and work gets done intelligently and effectively.

Elon, personnel relations are not the kinds of relationships you have with what you create; this is something for someone who does not appear to be behaving in a such a way that utterly shuts people down, and the only way employees believe that they can vent, is through posting on such sources as Blind.

Jun 04 09:41

German Officials Think German Citizens Need Less Security, More Encryption Backdoors

There's another player on the world's anti-encryption stage. Some German government officials apparently feel it's OK for people to have encryption, but not secure encryption. The German government is exploring the idea of asking forcing tech companies to backdoor their encrypted communications platforms, presumably for the greater good of insecure humanity.

Government officials in Germany are reportedly mulling a law to force chat app providers to hand over end-to-end encrypted conversations in plain text on demand.

According to Der Spiegel this month, the Euro nation's Ministry of the Interior wants a new set of rules that would require operators of services like WhatsApp, Signal, Apple iMessage, and Telegram to cough up plain-text records of people's private enciphered chats to authorities that obtain a court order.

Jun 04 08:54

U.S. VISA APPLICANTS NOW REQUIRED TO PROVIDE SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS

SOURCE: GEEK.COM

The U.S. State Department now requires most visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses, and phone numbers.

As reported by the Associated Press, this change is a “vast” expansion of President Trump’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

It will affect some 15 million foreigners applying for entry to the US each year.

“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications,” according to a government statement published by the AP.

“Every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening,” the State Department continued. “We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening process to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So I have to wonder; what, ultimately may happen when, PLM (People Like Me), who have been out of the country for awhile, but were peaceful, Christian antiwar activists; are they going to be allowed back in, or will their claim to American citizenship get rejected, simply because of their anti-war activism?!?

Such a move, on the part of the Unhinged, Surveilled Amerikan State, may not be that impossible, in future years; and I do, legitimately, have concerns that such things may well happen here.

Jun 04 08:46

Apple iPadOS: A cheat sheet

Apple's new OS for iPad includes several features that make it easier to use the iPad as a laptop replacement. Here's what you need to know.

Jun 04 08:44

HOW CHINA IS WIPING MEMORIES OF TIENANMEN SQUARE OFF THE INTERNET

SOURCE: MOTHERBOARD | VICE
...

The Chinese military killed as many as 10,000 people during Beijing’s vicious crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 30 years ago. But today, those victims and the horrific events of June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square have been virtually wiped from China’s collective memory. Beijing has achieved this mass erasure through an unprecedented crackdown on all forms of public speech in the streets and online, relying on advanced technology to automate much of their efforts while detaining people like Deng for making the smallest reference.

This year, those tools have been working in overdrive, focusing primarily on the dissident movement’s last refuge: the internet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A word to both the Chinese and US governments: the book "1984" by George Orwell, was a cautionary tale; not a "how to book!!"

Jun 04 08:37

At WWDC 2019, Apple did the impossible and annoyed all the right people

Usually, during an Apple show, I get whiny messages from tech types who want to describe, in bloodied detail, all the things that Apple failed to do. Or just to whine that the whole thing was duller than an accountant's bedspread.

Monday's WWDC was disturbingly, well, different.

First, there was a vacuum. Then, coos and aahs began to arrive by text.

"My watch won't need a phone?" said one techie acquaintance. "That's been one of my dreams for years."

I hesitated to suggest that he should see a different shrink or that I'd had a watch in high school that didn't need a phone. I don't think he'd have taken it well.

Still, the notion that Apple might veer toward the Singularity between man and wrist device clearly excited several of my usual moaners.

Jun 04 08:23

Bars & Nightclubs Use A Secret Biometric Blacklist To Ban Customers

By MassPrivateI

Have you ever had too much to drink at a bar or nightclub and been asked to leave? Have you or your friends ever mouthed off to the staff or been hit on by a bartender? Have you ever Yelped or Tweeted about bad food or service?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you will be mortified to learn that Big Brother knows exactly who you are...

Jun 04 07:41

BARS & NIGHTCLUBS USE A SECRET BIOMETRIC BLACKLIST TO BAN CUSTOMERS

Have you ever had too much to drink at a bar or nightclub and been asked to leave? Have you or your friends ever mouthed off to the staff or been hit on by a bartender? Have you ever Yelped or Tweeted about bad food or service? If you answered yes, to any of those questions, then you will be mortified to learn that Big Brother knows exactly who you are.

Jun 04 06:24

Smart beds and sleep apps are gathering data that could wind up in the hands of marketing firms, experts warn - and they might even be able to tell when you're having SEX

Sleep technology uses sensors to track everything, from when you toss and turn to when you wake up - and they might even be able to tell when you're having sex.

The smart devices are designed to give their users insight into how they sleep and how their heart rate, respiration and movements have changed in the night.

Researchers say they are concerned about what the firms collecting this personal data go on to do with it.

Jun 04 06:04

Euromaidan activist with neo-Nazi links joins Facebook as public policy manager

A Ukrainian activist who rejoiced at the sight of 48 anti-Maidan protesters burning to death in Odessa in 2014 has been hired by Facebook ostensibly to combat Russian ‘disinformation’.

Kateryna Kruk will be working out of Warsaw in her new role as Facebook’s public policy manager for Ukraine. While Kruk’s immediate duties are not clear, the announcement was met with enthusiasm by her followers, hoping she would unleash a crackdown on ‘Kremlin trolls’.

Jun 03 18:12

Caught in the Net: The Impact of “Extremist” Speech Regulations on Human Rights Content

Social media companies have long struggled with what to do about extremist content that advocates for or celebrates terrorism and violence. But the dominant current approach, which features overbroad and vague policies and practices for removing content, is already decimating human rights content online, according to a new report from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Syrian Archive, and WITNESS. The report confirms that the reality of faulty content moderation must be addressed in ongoing efforts to address extremist content.

The pressure on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to moderate extremist content only increased after the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year. In the wake of the Christchurch Call to Action Summit held last month, EFF teamed up with Syrian Archive and WITNESS to show how faulty moderation inadvertently captures and censors vital content, including activism, counter-speech, satire, and even evidence of war crimes...

Jun 03 17:18

Scooter riders beware – Hackers can remotely accelerate or brake popular electric models

A popular electric scooter model manufactured in China can be remotely hacked and locked down. According to a “proof of concept” test by security research firm Zimperium, these electric scooters can be remotely accessed and controlled. Hackers can remotely accelerate the scooter or cause it to hit the brakes, putting the rider at risk of sudden injury or death. The electric scooter is called the Xiaomi M365 and it’s currently being used with dockless, ride sharing services in cities throughout the U.S.

Jun 03 16:49

Google Nest Users Couldn’t Unlock Doors, Use A/C, or Operate Baby Monitors During Platform Outage

By B.N. Frank

Is a “Smart” home really a happy home? Besides the increasing reports of privacy and cybersecurity risks and violations, when platform outages happen, everything connected to it stops working...

Jun 03 15:29

UBlock Origin gets delisted from the Microsoft Add-Ons Store

Popular AdBlocker UBlock Origin has been unlisted from the Microsoft Ad-Ons Store. The extension was earlier available for both Microsoft Edge and the new Chromium-based Edge but has gone missing from the store.

The good news that the extension is just unlisted from the list of extensions available on the Ad-Ons website and is still available on the Store. If you’re using the new Chromium-based Edge then the easy way to install back the extension is to get it from the Chrome Web Store. Another way to get the extension is to visit the extension page directly and click on Get to install the extension. The extension developer Nick Rolls has acknowledged the issue and has reached out to Microsoft in order to get the issue fixed.

Jun 03 15:27

That major Google outage meant some Nest users couldn’t unlock doors or use the AC

Last night, Google reported several issues with its Cloud Platform, which made several Google sites slow or inoperable. Because of this, many of Google’s sites and services–including Gmail, G Suite, and YouTube–were slow or completely down for users in the U.S. and Europe.

However, the Google Cloud outage also affected third-party apps and services that use Google Cloud space for hosting. Affected third-party apps and services include Discord, Snapchat, and even Apple’s iCloud services.

But an especially annoying side effect of Google Cloud’s downtime was that Nest-branded smart home products for some users just failed to work. According to reports from Twitter, many people were unable to use their Nest thermostats, Nest smart locks, and Nest cameras during the downtime. This essentially meant that because of a cloud storage outage, people were prevented from getting inside their homes, using their AC, and monitoring their babies.

Jun 03 10:35

CHINESE TECH TITAN HUAWEI BUYS RUSSIAN FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY

SOURCE: RT

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has purchased the intellectual property rights to facial recognition systems designed by a Russian developer and manufacturer of high-tech security technology.
Some employees of Moscow-based Vokord will also be transferred to Huawei as part of the $50-million agreement, according to sources close to the deal, as quoted by Vedomosti.

Huawei’s Russian subsidiary, along with Hong Kong-based Huawei Digital Technologies, will reportedly become the owners of the intellectual property rights for Vokord’s patents on face ID technology and equipment. The newly formed firm will reportedly be called Igl Softlab. The Russian unit of the enterprise is expected to own 99.99999 percent of the newly formed company.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word, please; have you noticed, or are some of your advisors aware, of how much more closely Russian and Chinese enterprise, are working so very much more closely together than they have ever done before, after the US sanctions and tariffs were imposed?!?

There seems to be an insane "failure of imagination", in your policies toward these two countries, which, potentially, may bring us to a state of war, with either or both.

In which case, there will have to be a return to the draft, as the US military, in its current configuration, does not conscript.

Look for riots in the streets of this country, when the reintroduction of the draft happens, and I fully understand that you have the capability to assassinate the rioters "with extreme prejudice"

But there is a word, sir, which needs to become part of your vocabulary, and your thought process, and it is a small, bite-sized word, with great impact; that word is, "optics", Mr. President.

How are the optics of such a war, understanding that neither China nor Russia has done the kind of "damage" to the US economy, as to justify such a war?

Mr. President, if you allow this to happen, history will not remember you kindly; just a thought, not anything "from the mountain"; please be aware that, to an impartial observer, we appear to be on the "keening edge" of war with either, or both, countries.

This cannot be allowed to happen, as right now, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing, or the money to ensure a positive outcome to such a conflict.

Jun 03 10:35

Did The Government Just Test The Internet Kill Switch?

'I felt a great disturbance in the farce, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

At 3pmET Sunday, it appears that Google Cloud (affecting Gmail, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook among others) mysteriously (and almost unprecedently) went offline.

Jun 03 10:15

Cyberthreat intelligence firms sells for $780M

Insight Partners, a leading global capital and private equity firm, has acquired Recorded Futures, an intelligence solution company that has made its name in the cybersecurity world in recent years by providing threat intelligence.

The cash deal is for $780 million. Recorded Future focuses on information related to public, private, and open source data associated with cyber intrusions. Insight had made a previous investment in the company.

Recorded Future claims to be the largest privately held threat intelligence software in the world. The company has ties to the defense and intelligence communities. Recorded Future was awarded a Defense Innovation Unit contract in September 2017. In-Q-Tel, the intelligence community’s investment arm, had made an initial investment in the company in 2010.

Jun 03 09:37

AMAZON INSTALLING ALEXA IN APARTMENTS AND HOTEL ROOMS. THEY SAY 24/7 DATA COLLECTION WILL HELP PROPERTY MANAGERS BETTER MANAGE AND SERVE TENANTS.

By B.N. Frank

More creepy “Surveillance Capitalism” courtesy of Amazon who isn’t hiding that it is putting millions of smart speakers in homes and hotels by “offering discounted hardware, customized software and new ways for property managers to harvest and use data.”

Are there actually people willing to pay for this type of arrangement?

From the Wall Street Journal, “Amazon’s Plan to Move In to Your Next Apartment Before You Do.”

For Amazon, the appeal is obvious: Adding millions of new users to its services and gaining access to data like their voice-based wish lists and Alexa-powered shopping habits will put it further ahead of the competition which, at the moment, doesn’t have a significant presence in rental properties and new-home construction.

‘We can predict if residents are happy based on their digital interactions.’

Here’s what they have to say about privacy:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What if one wants to opt-out?!?

Are there any provisions for this?!?

Can guests at hotels or residents of apartments, capable of not having every single word they speak, recorded?!?

If there is no provision for this, I would want to stay elsewhere, and let the management understand precisely we were doing this.

Jun 03 09:29

NEW SNOWDEN LEAKED MEMOS SHOW NSA AIDED ISRAEL'S "TARGETED ASSASSINATIONS"

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

A couple of new bombshell leaked NSA documents from the Snowden archive published days ago by The Intercept confirms the extremely close level of cooperation between American and Israeli intelligence services, especially as part of the so-called "global war on terror" since 9/11. The documents reveal the NSA even assisted in an aggressive targeted assassination campaign waged by Israel inside Lebanon, especially during the 2006 Lebanon War.

According to The Intercept's report — aptly titled "Israel Hated American Ban on Sharing Intel for Assassinations, so US Made New Rules" —the newly unearthed NSA memos reveal attempts to find a legal loophole of sorts on the part of the US intelligence officials which would allow unprecedented information sharing related to a deeply controversial targeted assassination campaign by Israel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised by this.

What Israel wants is what Israel gets, in terms of US intelligence; and the targeted killings continue; no judge, no jury, no rule of law whatsoever.

And would someone please like to enlighten me, as to why Israel has zero constitution, after 71 years of existence?!?

Is by chance, or by design, so it can continue killing innocent Palestinians particularly the children, with utterly no legal mechanism for stopping this?!?

One does have to wonder.....

Jun 03 09:16

RUSSIA REQUIRES TINDER TO PROVIDE DATA ON ITS USERS

SOURCE: APNEWS.COM

MOSCOW (AP) — Dating app Tinder is now required to provide user data to Russian intelligence agencies, the country’s communications regulator said Monday.

The app was included on a new list of online services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data on demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB security agency.

Russia adopted a flurry of legislation in recent years tightening control over online activity. Among other things, Internet companies are required to store six months’ worth of user data and be ready to hand them over to authorities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In my case, they can just copy from the blog WRH, and see what comes up; with Mike as a pacifist activist, and me as a Christian pacifist activist, I frankly think that Putin would have no problem with us.

Jun 03 09:00

GandCrab ransomware operation says it's shutting down

"We are leaving for a well-deserved retirement," they said. "We have proved that by doing evil deeds, retribution does not come."

Jun 03 08:40

Nearly 12M Quest Diagnostics patients may be affected in collection agency breach

A collection firm that worked with Quest Diagnostics informed the medical testing company that the data of 11.9 million patients may have been affected in a breach.

American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), a billing collections service provider, reported that "an unauthorized user had access to AMCA's system containing personal information AMCA received from various entities, including from Quest."

Forensic experts are said to be investigating the breach.

AMCA first notified Quest and company Optum360 on May 14, 2019 of potential unauthorized activity on AMCA's web payment page.

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