COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 15 13:49

Top U.S. General Criticizes Google For Working With China And Not With The U.S.

By Aaron Kesel

The Chinese military was indirectly benefiting from the work Alphabet Inc’s Google was doing in China with Project Dragonfly, according to top U.S. General Joseph Dunford...

Mar 15 11:46

HOW THE SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM IS COMING TO AMERICA

THE MOST FRIGHTENING PART? THAT SYSTEM IS COMING HERE. SOON.

While most Americans have scarcely noticed their descent into a police state, they are quick to dismiss the idea that such a system could be implemented in the land they still perceive to be free. However, all the moving parts are in place in the United States. They only need to come together to form the Social Credit System here.

And they are coming together.

Social media is one important method of judging “social scores.” This is mainly because of the willful posting of social media users on virtually every aspect of their lives. This data is extremely useful to governments who monitor and store the information acquired freely by users who give away the most personal and intimate details of their lives and do so without charge.

THE SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM GOES ALONG WITH THE MOVE TO A CASHLESS SOCIETY.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is no "accident" that in the US, the very dark media controllers is that ugly triumverate of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, which function, rather well, as the 4th arm of American government; so now we have the Executive Branch; the Judicial Branch; the Congressional Branch, and the Surveillance Branch, as they have evolved to be.

And using personal data without your consent?!? That, my friends, is the tip of the iceberg; or the tip of the Zuckerberg, if you catch my drift.

Mar 15 11:22

US Cyber Command Chief: We’ll Strike Back More Aggressively to Deter Attacks

The head of US Cyber Command told Congress Wednesday the agency is ready to respond more aggressively to cyber attacks. With a 10 percent boost in its budget for 2020, CYBERCOM hopes to plug “significant breaches” in the US Navy’s cyber defenses in particular.

US Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads both US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Wednesday that the US is prepared to more aggressively strike back in response to cyber attacks. His statement follows a US Navy report detailing how the service has failed to protect sensitive information from Chinese and Russian hackers.

Mar 15 10:18

US Agents Offer Cash to Engineer to Wreck Tehran Power Grid

The US spying services have sought to sabotage and take down the power grid of the Iranian capital through an Iranian-American engineer, a journalist disclosed on Thursday, adding that the anti-Tehran plot is now being operational in Venezuela.

Middle East commentator and analyst Sharmine Narwani, a former senior associate at Oxford University, sent letters to news outlets revealing that an Iranian-American engineer was offered money by US officials to conduct a sabotage mission targeting the power grid of Tehran.

>>>

Mar 15 09:53

THERE IS A FEDERAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO FACEBOOK'S DATA-SHARING DEALS

The Eastern District of New York empaneled a Grand Jury into the dirty data dealings of Facebook.

Federal investigators are probing Facebook's data-sharing deals with other companies. A New York grand jury is reported to have subpoenaed “at least two” smartphone makers.

“Both companies had (...) broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.”

Oh boy.

It's already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, incl. by the Dept of Justice. As we’ve said, we're cooperating w/ investigators and take those probes seriously. We've provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged that we'll continue to do so https://t.co/v3QkokZq2p

— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) March 14, 2019

From Michael LaForgia, Matthew Rosenberg and Gabriel J.X. Dance at the New York Times:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hey, Zuck; how does "unprincipled sharing of personal data" feel to you, right about now?!?

I would imagine,perhaps, not so good.

Mar 15 09:32

PROPOSED RULE WOULD FORCE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO SHARE RECORDS ELECTRONICALLY

A new rule proposed by the Trump administration could put the health care records of millions of Americans in their own pockets and onto their smartphones—whenever they want, free of charge.

The rule—proposed by the Trump administration in February and out for public comment—would force health care providers and plans to provide health records to patients in a standardized electronic format.

Health care providers and others that don’t play ball or engage in “information blocking” by not being interoperable with other providers or exchanges would face fines of up to $1 million under the rule.

“We think it is going to be transformative in giving care back to you, on your own terms, not on the terms of other people,” said Dr. Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, speaking Wednesday at an event hosted by Nextgov.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Seems a reasonable step to me, as now insurance companies and medical groups have complete access to one's medical history.

Mar 15 09:21

FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, TWITTER AND SCRIBD SCRAMBLE TO SCRUB NZ SHOOTING EVIDENCE

Facebook, YouTube, Scribd and several other content platforms are scrambling to remove material related to the New Zealand mosque shootings, including footage livestreamed by 28-year-old shooter Brenton Tarrant of Australia, Bloomberg reports.

49 people were killed and dozens injured in attacks on two Christchurch mosques on Thursday - the deadliest of which occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque at approximately 1:45 p.m., where the murders of 41 of the 49 people were broadcast over Facebook live and quickly distributed across various platforms.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It was completely unfortunate that there was no "good person with a gun", who could have potentially stopped this guy in his tracks.

May Prayers and comfort surround those who lost family and friends in this horrific incident.

But one has to wonder: were there some "outside elements" who radicalized Brent Tarrant, or was he on - or trying to get off- some kind of ssri medication?!?

And THAT, my friend, is an issue that none of the corporate presstitutes wants to touch, almost as though it were Kryptonite; the reason, of course, is that drug companies make billions with these kinds of medication, and they don't want the gravy train to stop; not even if it leads to murders or suicides.

SSRI stories.com

Mar 15 08:33

TRANSITION TO CASHLESS SOCIETY COULD LEAD TO FINANCIAL EXCLUSION AND SYSTEM VULNERABILITY, STUDY WARNS

Ten years ago, six out of every ten transactions in the UK were done in cash. Now it’s just three in ten. And in fifteen years’ time, it could be as low as one in ten, reports the final edition of the Access to Cash Review. Commissioned as a response to the rapid decline in cash use in the UK and funded by LINK, the UK’s largest cash network, the review concludes that the UK is not nearly ready to go fully cashless, with an estimated 17% of the population – over 8 million adults – projected to struggle to cope if it did.

Mar 15 08:32

Quitting the five tech giants: Could you abstain from Apple?

Welcome to the final day of our series about quitting the Big Five. We started the week looking at abandoning Amazon. Then we looked at fleeing Facebook and saying goodbye to Google. Yesterday, we explored whether it's possible to manage without Microsoft. Today, it's Apple. How far from the tree can you get?

Mar 15 08:10

‘Delete Facebook NOW’: WhatsApp co-founder accuses Mark Zuckerberg of trading privacy for revenue after allowing ads on the platform

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton urged people to 'delete' their Facebook accounts now, during an address made to students.

Mr Acton, now the head of non-profit WhatsApp rival Signal, blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for trading privacy for revenue by allowing ads on his platform.

He has now called for people to 'reject' Facebook by deleting its family of apps from their smartphones and other devices.

Mar 14 17:01

GOP senator blasts Google over lies about consumer privacy: “There’s NO way to really turn off tracking services”

A freshman Republican senator lambasted Google on Tuesday for invading users’ privacy by tracking them and building profiles on them that the tech giant later seeks to monetize, and all without their consent or ability to opt out.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), grilled Will DeVries, senior privacy counsel for Google, on Tuesday as he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing on data privacy. Hawley accused the tech behemoth of tracking users of its Android cellphones, collecting all kinds of data on them, and accusing the company of continuing to track users even if “tracking services” has been disabled.

“I’m concerned about the implicit bargain that consumers are being asked to ratify by which they get supposedly free services but actually have enormous amounts of personal data extracted from them without knowing what is going on,” Hawley said.

Mar 14 12:11

Verizon to Cook Chicago and Minneapolis with 5G and Charge Customers Extra $10 a Month to Use It

By B.N. Frank

Apparently, it doesn’t matter that the Telecom Industry can’t even prove that 5G is safe...

Mar 14 10:19

Video Game Industry Stalls, Stocks Plunge. What’s Going On?

Video games have become the largest entertainment industry worldwide by revenue: $138 billion in 2018 – beating TV ($105 billion), film box office ($41 billion), and digital music ($17 billion). But in 2019, after two decades of incessant growth, something unthinkable is lining up to happen: Sales are projected to decline, according to analysts at Pelham Smithers, cited by Bloomberg.

A lack of big hits, expensive flops, consumer frustration, and a slowdown in China all are to blame, according to the analysis. While true in general, it does not tell the whole story: A gamer-revolt against practices, deeper trouble in China, a decline in mobile gaming, and changing spending patterns have stalled growth and are beginning to cause serious waves.

Mar 14 10:16

Google Play apps with 150 million installs contain aggressive adware

Google removes 210 apps after outside researchers report them as abusive.

Mar 14 10:10

Telegram apparently got 3 million signups during Facebook outage

Facebook's loss may be Telegram's gain.

The founder of the messaging service said Thursday that people flocked to Telegram during the long Facebook outage that knocked out not only its namesake social network, but also corporate siblings Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

"I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours," Telegram boss CEO Pavel Durov wrote. "Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone."

Mar 14 10:02

New WordPress Flaw Lets Unauthenticated Remote Attackers Hack Sites

If for some reason your WordPress-based website has not yet been automatically updated to the latest version 5.1.1, it's highly recommended to immediately upgrade it before hackers could take advantage of a newly disclosed vulnerability to hack your website.

Mar 14 10:00

San Diego Has Been Turned Into A Massive Chinese-Style Public Surveillance Network

By MassPrivateI

Can you imagine a city in the United States secretly creating a Chinese-style public surveillance network that can identify everyone? Can you imagine that same city secretly creating a Chinese-style public watchlisting network?...

Mar 14 08:25

People hate competent robots, says study

I don't know what to think about robots anymore.

Last weekend, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested that we should be excited about their coming. They should make us happier. It's just the system, she said, that needs a lot of work.

Now, though, I've stumbled into a study that reveals some of humans' more deeply felt anxieties about our new robots overlords.

Mar 13 19:11

Facebook confirms it was NOT hacked as the site along with Messenger and Instagram remain down HOURS into global outage

Facebook confirmed the platform-wide issue Wednesday afternoon, but had not yet released a fix as of about four hours after the outage first struck.

While there has been speculation that the site may have been targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the firm said this is not the case.

Mar 13 15:06

Owner of MAGA-Friendly Yelp Knockoff Threatens to Call FBI After Researcher Exposes Security Holes

The rollout of a Yelp-like phone app aimed at helping Donald Trump’s supporters find businesses friendly to MAGA-hat wearing chuds is going about as well as you’d imagine.

After security flaws in the app were made public Monday night, the developer behind “63red Safe” flipped his shit online and threatened to sic the FBI on the researcher who had outed its sloppy source code.

63red rolled out roughly a week ago, as the Daily Beast first reported, and is geared toward enabling users to rate restaurants, for example, based on whether they “serve persons of every political belief” and “allow legal concealed carry,” among other criteria unrelated to the quality of their food or cleanliness of their bathrooms.

Mar 13 14:54

Facebook turns to Twitter to explain outages

Facebook, the world's largest social network, relied on Twitter on Wednesday to explain that its apps were experiencing outages around the world.

Some users of Facebook (FB) and other platforms owned by the tech giant, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, experienced problems accessing the services. Many people went on Twitter to vent their frustration.
The outages began Wednesday afternoon and appeared to affect people in multiple areas, including the US, Central and South America, and Europe, according to tweets and the outage-tracking site DownDetector.com.

Mar 13 13:18

U.S. Rolling Out Biometric ID Exit Program In Top Airports Nationwide With Full Implementation Expected By 2021

By Aaron Kesel

Activist Post previously reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wanted to develop advanced facial recognition technology that scans the faces of travelers as they enter and leave the U.S. border checkpoints. Last year we saw those efforts have expanded to airports with numerous tests throughout the U.S. However, now according to 346 pages of documents obtained by the nonprofit research organization Electronic Privacy Information Center, those efforts are expanding even more with plans of implementing the technology in as many as 20 different top airports by 2021, as a part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Biometric exit” agenda, which was originally signed into law under the Obama administration...

Mar 13 11:00

Venezuela Update: Massive Blackout, US Unconventional Warfare?

While Venezuela struggled with the most massive blackout in its history, president Maduro said there is evidence that a US cyber-attack caused the blackout. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials continue the offensive against Venezuela and the NYT uncovers false reporting

Mar 13 10:51

‘Credibility of US Imperial Blackmail’ Hangs on Success of Venezuela Policy

Washington has withdrawn its diplomats from Venezuela and Caracas has begun a new probe into self-proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido for the power outages that, among other things, cut the capital’s water supply. A journalist told Sputnik that US moves, while backed by “disturbing language,” are a tacit admission of the coup’s defeat.

In a letter address to Congress Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked for $500 million of "appropriate resources" in next year's budget for the Department of State to "respond to the crisis" or "support a democratic transition" in Venezuela.

Mar 13 10:24

Facebook & Instagram experience massive outage across US & Europe

Millions of Facebook and Instagram users have been forced to vent their frustration via Twitter after the social media networks experienced an unexplained outage across the US and Europe.

For about an hour users from the US and Canada to Chile and Italy have reported being unable to log in or post on their feeds from 12:01pm EDT, according to DownDetector.

Mar 13 10:19

Race Toward Quantum Computing

Researchers have created a new device that allows them to probe the interference of quasiparticles, potentially paving the way for the development of topological qubits.

Qubits, the units used to encode information in quantum computing, are not all created equal. Some researchers believe that topological qubits, which are tougher and less susceptible to environmental noise than other kinds, may be the best medium for pushing quantum computing forward.

Quantum physics deals with how fundamental particles interact and sometimes come together to form new particles called quasiparticles. Quasiparticles appear in fancy theoretical models, but observing and measuring them experimentally has been a challenge. With the creation of a new device that allows researchers to probe interference of quasiparticles, we may be one giant leap closer. The findings were published Monday in Nature Physics.

Mar 13 08:57

China offers help to Venezuela to restore power amid nationwide blackout

China says it is ready to help Venezuela to restore its power grid. The South American country suffered a five-day blackout, with Caracas accusing Washington of cyber “sabotage.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing had noted reports that the power grid had gone down due to a hacking attack.

“China is deeply concerned about this,” Lu said, adding that Beijing “hopes that the Venezuelan side can discover the reason for this issue as soon as possible and resume normal power supply and social order.

Mar 13 08:44

ZUCKERBERG WANTS FACEBOOK TO BUILD A MIND-READING MACHINE

All was going to plan. Zuckerberg had displayed a welcome humility about himself and his company. And then he described what really excited him about the future—and the familiar Silicon Valley hubris had returned. There was this promising new technology, he explained, a brain-computer interface, which Facebook has been researching.

The idea is to allow people to use their thoughts to navigate intuitively through augmented reality—the neuro-driven version of the world recently described by Kevin Kelly in these pages. No typing—no speaking, even—to distract you or slow you down as you interact with digital additions to the landscape: driving instructions superimposed over the freeway, short biographies floating next to attendees of a conference, 3D models of furniture you can move around your apartment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the future, Zuckerberg wants the entire notion of "informed consent", which has been a basemark American value for a long period of time, thrown out as "antique", and "impossible to gauge", at this point in the 21st century.

And don't think for one second that once such a machine is perfected, it will not get into the hands of those who should never be allowed to use it, and not for good, but for pure evil.

If you haven't seen it, please get Terry Gilliam's film, "Brazil", the Director's Cut, and see how the technology employed by the government, destroyed lives.

It is a brilliant, brutal view of what happens when power and technology are fused, in the interests of total control over a society; and how the end result means "neutralizing people", both physically and psychologically, who may think "differently."

Mar 13 06:51

Mind Reading: These Neuroscientists Can Predict Your Choices 11 Seconds Before You Make Them

A team of neuroscientists can predict your choices 11 seconds before you consciously make them. What does this kind of mind-reading mean for privacy?

Mar 13 04:20

PROPOSED BAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA GUN PICTURES PROVES GUN CONTROL IS TOTAL CONTROL

“If you post it on social media, that’s probable cause for us to come get the guns out of your house,” Democrat Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo proclaimed in a Facebook video three years ago. “That’s it. It’s now on you to explain why you have a gun in your house and why it’s on social media…”He was stumping at the time to change the law to deny the right to keep and bear arms to young adults old enough to vote, marry, sign binding contracts and serve in the military. Pending that, he wanted parents to call the police on their children if they saw them posting pictures and videos with guns online.

Mar 12 15:21

Researchers Find Critical Backdoor in Swiss Online Voting System

Researchers have found a severe issue in the new Swiss internet voting system that they say would let someone alter votes undetected. They say it should put a halt to Switzerland’s plan to roll out the system in real elections this year.

Mar 12 15:20

Two-Thirds of Android Antivirus Apps Are Total BS

Austrian antivirus-testing lab AV-Comparatives tested 250 antivirus apps in Google Play against 2,000 malware samples. They found that only 80 of the apps could stop even a minimal amount of malware.

"Less than one in 10 of the apps tested defended against all 2,000 malicious apps, while over two-thirds failed to reach a block rate of even 30 percent," the lab said in a press release.

To make sure you're protecting your Android device properly, stick to apps from well-known antivirus companies.

Mar 12 15:12

'Yelp for conservatives' MAGA app leaks users data

In media interviews, Scott Wallace, the app's creator said he built the app after a series of incidents where conservatives were forced to leave or take MAGA gear off to eat at restaurants or enter various businesses across the US.

But according to Baptiste Robert, a French security researcher who goes online under the pseudonym of Elliot Anderson (the name of the main character from the Mr. Robot TV show about hackers), the 63red Safe app is leaking almost all of its data.

Robert says the app's source code contains the credentials of its author, but also a list of API endpoints to which it connects to store or retrieve data.

This backend API doesn't use any form of authentication, Robert said. This means that anyone can look at the app's source code, get the API endpoints, and then extract data from the app's server with no challenge or restriction.

Mar 12 15:09

The UK's Extremely Dumb Plan to Force Porn Sites to Verify Users' Ages May Come Next Month

When it does takes effect, all adult websites operating in the UK (in theory) will be required to direct users to a landing page without any pornographic content. Getting beyond that page will require users to acquire credentials from a recognized age verification provider—the most prominent one of which, AgeID, is owned by MindGeek, which in turn owns a sprawling network of porn sites including PornHub and RedTube. Proposed solutions to age verification have included letting companies search applicants’ social media feeds, verifying ages with text messages, having users provide official documentation like a passport, or even requiring post office employees to give out codes.

...

As Wired noted, this is an awful idea for a number of reasons, including that it gives the age verification services unprecedented power to track users’ tastes in porn, and said database could somehow end up hacked or otherwise compromised.

Mar 12 14:39

Maduro: Two suspected of sabotage on Venezuela's power system detained

Maduro: Two suspected of sabotage on Venezuela's power system detained. Caracas, Mar 12 (UNI) The Venezuelan authorities have detained two people on ... on the country's power system, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. ... They are being questioned," Maduro said

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jim Stone says they were caught with a computer virus.

Mar 12 12:51

Privacy fears as report reveals MILLIONS of online photos are being used to train facial recognition AI without users' consent

Many facial recognition systems are being trained using millions of online photos uploaded by everyday people and, more often than not, the photos are being taken without users' consent, an NBC News investigation has found.

In one worrying case, IBM scraped almost a million photos from unsuspecting users on Flickr to build its facial recognition database.

Mar 12 10:25

POPULATION CONTROL IS THE NEW NAME OF THE GAME: KREMLIN VIES WITH CHINA TO SEE WHO CONTROLS THE INTERNET BETTER

SOURCE: WOLF STREET
BY FRED DUNKLEY, SAFEHAVEN.COM:
In a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the internet, the Russian State Duma has passed two bills designed to do two things: ostensibly halt the spread of “fake news” and keep people from spreading information that “disrespects” the government. But Russians aren’t having it.
On Sunday, thousands took to the streets across the country to protest the government’s “digital sovereignty bill” that will require all Russian telecoms companies to reroute internet traffic through the state telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor. It means censorship and what protesters are now calling the rise of the “internet iron curtain”.

On March 7, the Russian State Duma—the lower house of parliament—passed the two bills, and now they go up for a second vote later this month. If passed, they will be signed into law by President Putin. In Moscow alone on Sunday, some 15,000 took to the streets, Reuters reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Intelligent people in all countries where this kind of censorship is attempted, will find a way around such strictures; I am sure that some very smart Russians, will certainly find a way to make this happen.

Mar 12 09:40

Venezuela Suffers major Power Outages After Alleged Cyber Attack

An blackout has covered most of Venezuela over the past several days after the country’s main electricity generator, the Guri Dam, failed. The Maduro administration alleges that the failure was due to cyber attacks and pointed the finger at the US government that has called for Maduro’s ouster. Venezuela’s Communications Minister reported that a cyberattack had taken place against the dam’s computerized system forcing its turbines to stop. Venezuela intends to present evidence of the attack to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and to other international bodies. Meanwhile, US-backed “Interim President” Juan Guaido is using the crisis to call for the armed forces to back his efforts in ousting the Maduro government and tweeted, “electricity will return once the usurpation ends.”

Mar 12 09:20

“Lights Out!” Did Trump and His Neocons Recycle Bush-Era Plan to Knock Out Venezuela’s Power Grid?

For nearly four days, much of Venezuela has been without power, bringing the country’s embattled economy to a near standstill. Though power is now returning, the outage saw U.S. officials and politicians blame the Venezuelan government for the crisis while officials in Caracas accused the U.S. of conducting “sabotage” and launching cyberattacks that targeted its civilian power grid as well as of employing saboteurs within Venezuela.

Although many mainstream media outlets have echoed the official U.S. government response, some journalists have strayed from the pack. One notable example is Kalev Leetaru, who wrote at Forbes that “the United States remotely interfering with its [Venezuela’s] power grid is actually quite realistic.”

Mar 12 08:40

Windows 10 tip: When you should (and shouldn't) pause updates

If you're too busy to deal with the latest Windows 10 update right now, just hit Pause to delay Windows Update for up to five weeks. This option even cancels pending updates, leaving you free to keep working without fear of interruption.

Mar 12 08:34

VENEZUELA BLACKOUT: CYBER ATTACKS, SABOTAGE AND MIGHTY CUBAN INTELLIGENCE

During the past few days, Venezuela was suffering a major blackout that left the country in darkness. The crisis started on March 7 with a failure at the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which produces 80% of the country’s power. Additionally, an explosion was reported at Sidor Substation in Bolivar state.

Since then, the government has been struggling to solve the crisis with varying success.

President Nicholas Maduro says that the blackout is the reason of “the electric war announced and directed by American imperialism.” According to Maduro, electrical systems were targeted by cyberattacks and “infiltrators”. He added that authorities managed to restore power to “many parts” of the country on March 8, but the restored systems were knocked down after the country’s grid was once again attacked. He noted that “one of the sources of generation that was working perfectly” had been sabotaged and accused “infiltrators of attacking the electric company from the inside.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh? And just who do massive economic sanctions hurt, Mike?

Mar 12 08:18

Jigsaw Chrome Extension Tunes Out Internet Toxicity

What if you could turn a dial and tune out an abusive tweet in your Twitter mentions or an insulting comment on Facebook?

Today, Google's sister company Jigsaw released an experimental Chrome browser extension called Tune, which lets users control how much "toxicity" they want to see in comments across the internet. Tune is built on Perspective, Jigsaw's API that trains machine learning (ML) models to identify and score comments that could be perceived as abusive or harassment.

At launch, the browser extension works across social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and comment platform Disqus. It acts as a knob that lets users set the "volume" of conversations. Turn it up to see everything, or turn it down all the way to "zen mode" to replace toxic comments with small colored dots.

Mar 11 12:55

Trump Regime Electricity War in Venezuela More Serious than First Believed

On Thursday, Venezuela’s Guri dam hydroelectric power plant was cyberattacked at 5:00 PM during the late afternoon rush hour to cause maximum disruption.

Up to 80% of the country was affected, damage done more severe than initially thought. Weeks or months of planning likely preceded what happened – US behind it? considerable expertise needed to pull it off.

On Friday, another cyberattack occurred, followed by a third one on Saturday, affecting parts of the country where power was restored, further complicating resolution of the problem, Maduro saying:

After power was restored to about 70% of the country, “we received another attack, of a cybernetic nature, at midday…that disturbed the reconnection process and knocked out everything that had been achieved until noon,” adding:

“(O)ne of the sources of generation that was working perfectly” was sabotaged again…infiltrators…attacking the electric company from the inside.”

Mar 11 12:54

US Is Pushing Venezuela to the Brink by Attacking Its Power Grid

The Hybrid War on Venezuela just took a dark turn – literally – after the US used cyber weapons and insider sabotage to attack the country’s power grid last week, cutting off most of its electricity and creating a chain reaction of negative consequences all throughout the Bolivarian Republic. According to unverified reports cited in one of RT’s recent articles on the topic, the Guri hydroelectric power plant – which provides 80% of the country’s power – failed (possibly due to a cyberattack), which was followed by an explosion at the Sidor Substation that was sustaining most of the country’s power in the aftermath of the aforementioned.

Mar 11 10:56

Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions

Lawmakers last month backed tighter internet controls contained in legislation they say is necessary to prevent foreign meddling in Russia’s affairs. But some Russian media likened it to an online “iron curtain” and critics say it can be used to stifle dissent.

People gathered in a cordoned off Prospekt Sakharova street in Moscow, made speeches on a stage and chanted slogans such as “hands off the internet” and “no to isolation, stop breaking the Russian internet”.

The rally gathered around 15,300 people, according to White Counter, an NGO that counts participants at rallies. Moscow police put the numbers at 6,500.

“If we do nothing it will get worse. The authorities will keep following their own way and the point of no return will be passed”, said 28-year-old protester Dmitry, who declined to give his full name.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, we need more of that sort of thing here to deal with the censorship being imposed on our internet!

Mar 11 10:46

Smart alarms left 3 million cars vulnerable to hackers who could turn off motors

Ring the alarm.

Two popular smart alarm systems for cars had major security flaws that allowed potential hackers to track the vehicles, unlock their doors and, in some cases, cut off the engine.

The vulnerabilities could be exploited with two simple steps, security researchers from Pen Test Partners, who discovered the flaw, said Friday.

The problems were found in alarm systems made by Viper and Pandora Car Alarm System, two of the largest smart car alarm makers in the world. The two brands have as many as 3 million customers between them and make high-end devices that can cost thousands. Like other smart devices, smart car alarms offer people convenience, allowing owners to find their cars from a distance and unlock their doors from their phones.

Mar 11 10:43

Internet Collapses in Venezuela with 80% Offline; Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud Blocked

In the midst of a second nationwide power outage in Venezuela, the vast majority of the country is engulfed in a massive internet outage. The first electrical blackout, which swept across the nation on Thursday, left Venezuela with only two percent connectivity amid the ongoing presidential crisis. Most of the country has been offline since Thursday with limited or no connectivity being reported across large swaths of the South American nation. The NetBlocks Group, a private internet watchdog organization based in the UK, reported on Saturday that 96 percent of the country was offline:

Mar 11 08:21

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS IS RFID CHIPPING THEIR SODA CUPS TO LIMIT REFILLS

A room at a Universal Studios Florida hotel tonight will cost you $197-$536 (plus admission tickets to the park), but make sure that you do all your soda drinking in one compact session, because Universal has deployed the creepily named Validfill RFID system, which limits your self-service (that is, you do the labor) soda refills to two hours after purchase, and after the time window expires, "you are denied soda by a robot voice."

Mar 11 06:57

Ransomware Attack on Jackson County Gets Cybercriminals $400,000

A ransomware attack hit the computers of Jackson County, Georgia, reducing government activity to a crawl until officials decided to pay cybercriminals $400,000 in exchange for the file decryption key.

The attack affected computer systems in all departments of the County, including those for email and emergency services. However, radio communication and phones remained fully functional, so people could still call 911.

Mar 10 10:19

YOUTUBE TERMINATES MIDDLE EAST OBSERVER AFTER ALMOST 10 YEARS ONLINE

After almost 10 years online, over 250 videos, almost 13,000 subscribers, and about 8 million total video views, YouTube has terminated the Middle East Observer (MEO) channel on its platform.

Mar 10 10:18

THE RISE OF TOTALITARIAN TECHNOLOGY

Is technological progress bad for human autonomy? That’s the question posed by Shoshana Zuboff in “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” a book that recounts the ways in which corporations and governments are using technology to influence our behavior. Zuboff is just the latest to chime in on “totalitarian technology” (or “total tech”), a term that describes devices and algorithms by which individuals forfeit their privacy and autonomy for the benefit of either themselves or some third party.

Mar 10 09:44

NSA in 'deliberate process' over future of surveillance program, says spy chief

The National Security Agency is preparing to potentially abandon a controversial surveillance program exposed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the agency’s director indicated.

Paul Nakasone, head of both the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, vaguely discussed the future of the government’s once-secretive system for obtaining and analyzing domestic telephone records, or metadata, in light of a senior congressional aide recently claiming that it was quietly suspended.

“We are in a deliberative process right now,” Mr. Nakasone said Wednesday at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, attendees reported. “We’ll work very, very closely with the administration and Congress to make recommendations on what authority should be reauthorized.”

Mar 09 10:53

Photos: New devices leading the foldable smartphone revolution

If early indications are anything to go on, 2019 is going to be the year a new form factor finally enters the smartphone market: Foldable smartphones. These types of devices have been rumored for quite some time, and now we're finally seeing their entry en masse into the market.

A couple of big players--Samsung and Huawei--plan to release folding screen devices later in 2019, but they aren't alone. Several of the devices in this gallery are coming in 2019 and 2020, and several others are rumored to be on the way--one foldable phone is already available.

Mar 09 09:37

The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data

Uncle Sam wants you.

Correction: Big Brother wants you.

To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data.

That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the government and Corporate America: data bits and economic units to be bought, bartered and sold to the highest bidder.

Those highest bidders include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns.”

Your phones, televisions and digital devices are selling you out to politicians who want your vote.

Mar 09 05:27

Zuckerberg suppresses my viral article “Ilhan Omar’s Tropes Are True”

My Ilhan Omar article (at Unz) had hundreds of FB likes yesterday—then they suddenly disappeared. One Zuck dislike wipes out a million likes. Looks like I got Zucked!

Now why would a guy like Zuckerberg want to cover up Jewish-Zionist wealth and power?

So please, “like” this story on Facebook! Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. Facebook has banned VT urls. Try posting one and see what happens!

To hell with Facebook>>>

(*!)

Mar 07 19:03

Inside China's mass surveillance system: Chat log leak of over 360 MILLION records reveals 'shocking' amount of personal data government collects from citizens

A leak of around 364 million online records in a Chinese database, including private messages and ID numbers, has again highlighted the size and scope of Beijing's mass surveillance system.

The files show a wealth of information linked to online accounts, including GPS locations, file transfers, and chat logs, according to the database discovered by Victor Gevers, a security researcher at Dutch non-profit GDI Foundation.

The data collection appears indiscriminate -- some conversations are simply banter between teenagers, like one commenting on someone's weight and clothing size.

Mar 07 18:38

Valve finally bans controversial Rape Day game from Steam citing 'unknown costs and risks,' after worldwide outrage - despite its 'allow everything' content policy

The zombie apocalypse game, which was not yet for sale but slated to arrive in April, is touted as a story of 'violence, sexual assault, necrophilia and incest’ and would allow players to ‘verbally harass, kill people, and rape women.’

While players weren't able to buy it yet, they could add it to their wishlist as of February 19.

After news of its disturbing content sparked massive public outcry over the last few weeks, with gamers and non-gamers alike demanding for it to be taken down, Valve now says Rape Day will not be available on Steam.

Mar 07 18:37

Facebook is tracking people who don't even have an ACCOUNT: These Android apps automatically send private information without your knowledge

Data from several Android apps automatically sends data to Facebook - even if the user does not have an account with the social media giant.

Apps such as Yelp, Indeed and Duolingo automatically send user information to the company when an Android user opens the app.

This flaw was first pointed out by Privacy International in December when an investigation found 23 popular apps all did the same thing.

Most firms, including Spotify, Skyscanner and Kayak, have since corrected the issue but a handful have yet to rectify the privacy concern, the report claims.

It is also believed the apps for Apple iOS devices also 'exhibit similar behaviour'.

Mar 07 18:32

Facebook cracks down on anti-vaxxers: Firm says pages spreading misinformation about vaccines will no longer show up in recommendations (but it WON'T remove them entirely)

Facebook says it will no longer show anti-vaccination groups or pages in its recommended content as the site faces mounting pressure to curb misinformation.

But, it won’t remove anti-vaxxers altogether.

In a blog post today, the firm said it is instead working to ‘tackle vaccine misinformation’ by giving it less of an audience and promoting more accurate information.

"More accurate information" = corporate propaganda

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