COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 27 20:38

Turkey in social media BLACKOUT amid fears of all-out war in Syria

Turks are getting their butts handed to them.

Social media platforms across Turkey winked out after reports of an airstrike in Syria killing dozens of Turkish soldiers fueled rumors of an all-out war. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and YouTube were all reported down.

Feb 27 18:38

Schools Are Pushing the Boundaries of Surveillance Technologies

By Mona Wang and Gennie Gebhart

A school district in New York recently adopted facial recognition technology to monitor students, and it is now one of a growing number of schools across the country conducting mass privacy violations of kids in the name of “safety.” The invasive use of surveillance technologies in schools has grown exponentially, often without oversight or recourse for concerned students or their parents.

Not only that, but schools are experimenting with the very same surveillance technologies that totalitarian governments use to surveil and abuse the rights of their citizens everywhere: online, offline, and on their phones. What does that mean? We are surveilling our students as if they were dissidents under an authoritarian regime.

Schools must stop using these invasive technologies...

Feb 27 18:26

Socioemotional “Thought Crimes” in American Schools: Tracking Student SEL Data for Precrime

By John Klyczek

This scholarly article examines how race, A.I., social credit systems and education seem to be merging into a much larger system...

Feb 27 11:06

7 Tips to Create a Hack-Proof Password You'll Actually Remember

Sure, both Visa and MasterCard have zero-liability policies that say you won't be held responsible for unauthorized card charges as long as you report the fraud promptly. But wording in the fine print adds a caveat: to qualify, the cardholder must use care to protect the card. Could a password that's easy to crack violate those rules? At least one bank in Canada this year was reported to have held a 20-year-old student accountable for around $6,800 in fraudulent charges made after she lost her debit card because she'd used the last four digits of her phone number, an easy-to-figure-out sequence, as her personal identification number.

Feb 27 09:48

YouTube Takes Down 100 Videos by Prager University, Sparks Lawsuit, PragerU Loses (Updated)

By Activist Post

It appears that we finally have an answer to a question that was being sought in a PragerU lawsuit against YouTube: Is the company a private publisher which can editorialize its content? Or, has it become a public forum by virtue of its wide adoption and, therefore, required to remain politically neutral in accordance with constitutional principles?

As Zerohedge reports, Google has been declared victorious by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after they reviewed the initial 2017 ruling by a California federal judge...

Feb 27 09:28

Clearview AI: Face-collecting company database hacked

Clearview AI, a start-up with a database of more than three billion photographs from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, has been hacked.

The attack allowed hackers to gain access to its client list but it said its servers had not been breached.

Most of its clients are US law enforcement agencies who use its facial-recognition software to identify suspects.

Its use of images scraped from the internet has raised privacy concerns.

Feb 27 09:27

YouTube 'not a public forum' with guaranteed free speech

YouTube is not a "public forum" that must guarantee users' rights to free speech, a US court has ruled.

The case involved right-wing channel PragerU, which argued YouTube was infringing its rights by "censoring" its conservative views.

But judges decided that the US constitution's First Amendment did not apply to YouTube, a private company.

The landmark ruling by US judges could affect future cases involving freedom of speech online.

Feb 26 15:16

Hackers Scanning for Vulnerable Microsoft Exchange Servers, Patch Now!

Attackers are actively scanning the Internet for Microsoft Exchange Servers vulnerable to the CVE-2020-0688 remote code execution vulnerability patched by Microsoft two weeks ago.

Feb 26 15:06

New Wi-Fi Encryption Vulnerability Affects Over A Billion Devices

Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered a new high-severity hardware vulnerability residing in the widely-used Wi-Fi chips manufactured by Broadcom and Cypress—apparently powering over a billion devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, routers, and IoT gadgets.

Dubbed 'Kr00k' and tracked as CVE-2019-15126, the flaw could let nearby remote attackers intercept and decrypt some wireless network packets transmitted over-the-air by a vulnerable device.

The attacker does not need to be connected to the victim's wireless network and the flaw works against vulnerable devices using WPA2-Personal or WPA2-Enterprise protocols, with AES-CCMP encryption, to protect their network traffic.

"Our tests confirmed some client devices by Amazon (Echo, Kindle), Apple (iPhone, iPad, MacBook), Google (Nexus), Samsung (Galaxy), Raspberry (Pi 3), Xiaomi (RedMi), as well as some access points by Asus and Huawei, were vulnerable to Kr00k," ESET researchers said.

Feb 26 11:48

Pets 'go hungry' after smart feeder goes offline

Owners of a device designed to release food for pets say their animals were left hungry during a week-long system failure.

Petnet allows owners to schedule and control feeding via a smartphone app.

When the BBC contacted Petnet on its advertised email address, the email bounced back with a delivery failure notice.

One pet owner tweeted: "My cat starved for over a week", while others complained about other hardware issues.

"My three Gen2 feeders constantly jam and won't dispense food," wrote another.

Some expressed relief that the feeders were now back online.

Feb 26 08:39

Apple and Tesla under fire over software engineer's fatal Autopilot crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has criticized Tesla, Apple, and road-safety regulators in the report from its nearly two-year investigation into the fatal crash of Apple software engineer 38-year-old Walter Huang.

Huang was driving his Tesla Model X P100D SUV with Autopilot drive assistance enabled when he crashed into a barrier on March 23, 2018 in Mountain View, California.

Feb 25 23:48

Reddit Announces They'll Ban Users For Their Upvotes, Launches 'Takeover' Of r/The_Donald

Reddit's leftist overlords announced Tuesday they're going to start banning users for upvoting content they don't like from communities they've "quarantined" (see: censored) and gave the boot to some half of the moderators at r/The_Donald for allegedly having "generally undermined progress."

Feb 25 11:26

Firefox turns encrypted DNS on by default to thwart snooping ISPs

US-based Firefox users get encrypted DNS lookups today or within a few weeks.

Feb 25 01:35

RING CONTINUES TO PITCH FACIAL RECOGNITION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT WHILE CLAIMING IT WON’T BE ADDING FACIAL RECOGNITION TO ITS CAMERAS

SOURCE: TECH DIRT
Ring continues to insist it is not adding facial recognition to its sadly super-popular doorbell cameras. Its insistence is suspect for several reasons.

First, it employs a "Head of Facial Recognition Tech" at its Ukraine office. A company that isn’t planning to add facial recognition doesn’t need anyone in charge of tech it’s not planning on using.

Second, its lengthy answers to Congressional questions stated that the company would continue to develop and explore other options in response to "customer demand." If enough customers express an interest in facial recognition, Ring would be stupid not to add that to its list of features, even if it has spent months denying it ever plans to do so.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, this is surveillance writ large, no matter what codswallop we are getting from the spokespeople representing the company's corporate HQ.

Feb 24 14:29

Major vulnerabilities found in top free VPN apps on Google Play store

SuperVPN Free VPN Client is one of the most popular free VPN apps you can find on the Google Play store, having gained more than 100 million installs already.

But besides being a very popular app, there’s something else you need to know about this free VPN: SuperVPN Free VPN Client is also very dangerous. You see, our analysis shows that this app has critical vulnerabilities that opens it up to dangerous attacks known as man-in-the-middle (MITM) hacks. These vulnerabilities will allow hackers to easily intercept all the communications between the user and the VPN provider, letting the hackers see everything the user is doing.

This is actually quite the opposite of what a VPN is supposed to do.

Feb 24 13:29

6 Ways to Hide your IP Address

Various Ways to hide your IP Address, but the best way is using a VPN service followed by Proxy service, Tor, Mobile Data, Public Wi-Fi and with the help of ISPs.

If you’re curious about your privacy and anonymity over the internet, then you must hide your IP Address. This will help you protect your personal details from your ISP (Internet Service Providers) which as we all know, can sell your data to pesky marketers.

By hiding your IP address, you can dodge your ISPs. This way, you can easily access geo-blocked content with the help of fake IP (region wise) and also explore the restricted websites in your country.

6 Ways to Hide IP Address

If you don’t know how to hide your IP address, simply follow the below listed 6 easy steps by TheVPNExperts to hide your IP address. If all works well, you’ll become totally anonymous on the web in less than no time.

Feb 24 09:25

Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician depicted in 'Hidden Figures,' dies at 101

Katherine Johnson, one of the NASA mathematicians depicted in "Hidden Figures," died Monday, the administrator of NASA said. She was 101.

Johnson "was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter.

Feb 22 05:48

NANOTECHNOLOGY: ONE WORLD, ONE BRAIN

BY JON RAPPOPORT
From lexico.com: nanotechnology: “The branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.”

The recent arrest of Harvard pioneer in the field of nanotechnology, Charles Lieber—on charges of lying to federal authorities about his business connections to China—has exposed wide-ranging relationships among American and Chinese researchers.

These relationships include, above all, the open sharing of sensitive technologies that, once upon a time, would have been considered closely guarded state secrets. (See my recent piece, “Behind the explosive Charles Lieber scandal.”)

Here are quotes from the journal Nano Today, from a 2019 paper titled: “Nanowire probes could drive high-resolution brain-machine interfaces”. Its authors are Chinese and American:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The hidden, and current history, of these technology transfers, is chilling in its scope, and implications for the future of this technology.

Feb 21 10:43

Windows 10's new icons are rolling out: This is what you'll see, says Microsoft

Microsoft has started rolling out new icons for Windows 10 from among the 100 new designs it revealed in December.

Microsoft says Windows 10 users in the Windows Insider Release Preview ring – the most stable of its previews – should start seeing the new Mail and Calendar icons today.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How about skipping facelifts in favor of making Win10 more usable?

Feb 21 09:08

House Subcommittee Requests Data From Amazon Ring On Law Enforcement Partnerships

By Aaron Kesel

Amazon’s Ring is under fire from U.S. senators who want a briefing by the end of the month on how the consumer technology operates, stores data and works with law enforcement.

In a letter to Amazon Feb. 19, Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, requested various documents and policies from Ring, including the most asked question how the company partners with law enforcement agencies. The letter states the subcommittee is examining “traditional constitutional protections against surveilling Americans” and balancing civil liberties with security interests...

Feb 21 06:26

MIKE BLOOMBERG IN 2014: “WE SHOULD HOPE” THE NSA IS “READING EVERY EMAIL”

“Look, if you don’t want it to be in the public domain, don’t take that picture, don’t write it down. In this day and age, you’ve got to be pretty naive to believe that the NSA isn’t listening to everything and reading every email,” Bloomberg said. “And incidentally, given how dangerous the world is, we should hope they are, because this is really serious, what’s going on in the world.”

Feb 21 05:39

VIZIBILEZONE WANTS PEDESTRIANS TO LET DRIVERS TRACK THEIR LOCATION IN REAL-TIME

Have you ever felt unsafe crossing the street? You could look both ways before crossing the street and feel safe, knowing you used common sense to navigate street crossings.

Or, you could download this app which alerts drivers to slow down and/or stop as you approach an intersection allowing you to cross the street safely.

An Israeli start-up company called Viziblezone (VZ) wants pedestrians, bicyclists, people on skateboards, scooters etc., to send their locations to vehicles in real-time.
"Viziblezone has introduced a patent-protected, cutting-edge vehicle integrated “Pedestrian Detector.” The system identifies, tracks and protects pedestrians, even when they go undetected by a fast-approaching driver. The detector is designed to operate in any adverse weather and visibility, whether day or night."
VZ's app could give anyone that that leases their software the ability to know where a person or vehicle is in real-time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have one word for this technology, and that word is: terrifying.

Feb 21 05:38

MGM Seeks To Replace 2,000 Workers With Robots By 2020

MGM, one of the major global casino companies, is considering replacing some workers with robots, which will cause some concern for their employees and those in the industry as a whole.

The Las Vegas Culinary Union (LVCU), which represents bartenders, kitchen staff, and wait staff, reached a five-year deal in June 2018 with the MGM.

The agreement guarantees that MGM will not implement any technology that would have a negative impact on employment. However, the news that the MGM is considering replacing some workers with robots could mean that the company is not willing to fulfill this agreement.

Feb 21 05:35

Over 10 Million People Impacted by MGM Resorts 2019 Data Breach

A data breach last summer is estimated to have affected some 10.6 million individuals, including a number of high-profile guests, such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Justin Bieber and various US government officials, according to a new report.

MGM Resorts International confirmed Wednesday that the company fell victim to a data breach last summer and claimed that its has since reached out to individuals who had their information compromised.

Feb 21 05:08

LEAKED TWITTER DEMO SHOWS RED BANNERS TO INDICATE LIES AND DISINFORMATION UNDER TWEETS

A leaked demo has bright red and orange marks on 'harmfully misleading' tweets

"Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and public figures," reports Ben Collins at NBC News.

“Twitter tells me it's a possible iteration of something that will roll out on March 5. Possible community moderation coming, too. We've got screenshots.”

From Ben's NBC News reporting:

In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures will be corrected directly beneath the tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform, and possibly other users who will participate in a new “community reports” feature, which the demo claims is “like Wikipedia.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And Twitizens, of course, are forced to "swallow the codswallop" here, that Twitter's alleged "fact checkers" have utterly zero geopolitical agenda here, which is, of course, an absolutely a damned lie.

Feb 20 19:42

YouTube Bans Christian Broadcaster TruNews For 'Hate Speech'

Christian pastor Rick Wiles' channel TruNews was permanently banned from Google-owned YouTube on Thursday for "hate speech."

Feb 20 16:11

REVEALED: Saudi Arabia infiltrated Twitter 'by using two corrupt moles working for the site to exploit security flaws, spy on dissidents and hack thousands of users' data'

Saudi Arabian officials' campaign to lure Twitter workers to spy on social media users in return for cash and gifts began with a simple request to verify an account in 2014, a criminal complaint lodge by the FBI has revealed.

Ahmad Abouammo, 41, and Ali Alzabarah, 35, were cultivated by the country's government to hand over information on users who criticized the Saudi royals.

The personal data accessed would have allowed users to be tracked down in real life, a source told BuzzFeed News.

Colleagues of Abouammo have alleged that other staff members were pressed for information by the US and foreign governments and given little training to deal with it.

Abouammo, a US citizen, and Alzabarah, a Saudi living in California, were reported by The Washington Post have been directed by Bader al-Asaker, a Saudi official. Prosecutors said al-Asaker worked for man named as 'Royal Family Member-1,' reported to be Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised by these revelations.

Feb 20 14:06

Chinese Regime Deploys 1,600 Online Trolls To Suppress Information On Coronavirus

Authored by Cathy He and Eva Fu via The Epoch Times,

The propaganda department in virus-stricken Hubei Province has engaged over 1,600 censors to scrub the internet of “sensitive” information relating to the coronavirus outbreak, according to an internal document obtained by The Epoch Times.

The internal report, dated Feb. 15, detailed the agency’s efforts to ramp up censorship measures. It was drafted after a speech given by Chinese leader Xi Jinping via video link on Feb. 10 to “frontline responders” of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, where the virus first broke out.

The revelations come as the Chinese regime tightens information controls over the worsening outbreak, as netizens have increasingly turned to the internet to vent their frustrations about the authorities’ response, or document what is happening on the ground.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Holy crud, are you flipping kidding me?!?

This... is worse than horrific, folks!!

Feb 20 10:01

Ayatollah Tweets "Wealthy Zionists" Control America Amid Push To Get Him Banned From Twitter

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has marked the latest national event commemorating the death of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by tweeting a deeply provocative statement asserting that “wealthy Zionists” control America.

The United States has reached the “peak of arrogance,” and is controlled by “wealthy Zionists and their corporate owners,” which makes it a “manifestation of oppression, abhorred by the world,” he said further, as reported in The Jerusalem Post.

The statement comes after the Islamic Republic's top cleric and head of the regime previously slammed Trump's Mideast peace plan “Deal of the Century” as “satanic” because it ultimately represents the “Jewishization” of Jerusalem and the suppression of Islamic identity.

“To the dismay of US politicians, the satanic, evil US policy about Palestine — the so-called Deal Of The Century— will never bear fruit, by the grace of God,” Khamenei wrote on his official Twitter account in late January.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am respectfully requesting that Twitter does not ban either this man, nor other of his Iranian contemporaries, no matter how much hawkish Republicans want to see these statements banned.

And folks, one of two things will happen here; either these charges will wither in the light of logic, or they will not.

What concerns me so deeply about Twitter, and these Neocons, is that they don't believe that thinking Americans have the ability to think critically about what they see coming from Iran, and do a reality test.

It appears that both Twitter and these Neocons have already made the decision that Americans are pathologically incapable of deciding for themselves what the truth of a situation may be, so need to be "protected" from these kinds of statements from members of the Iranian leadership by censoring them, before they get to the American people; but is this really the truth?!?

So I have to ask; what are Twitter and these Neocons afraid of, if these statements are absolutely lies, on the part of Iranian leadership?!?

The short answer is, absolutely nothing, which is why such statements should not be censored, period, end of discussion.

Feb 20 09:34

Exclusive: Details of 10.6 million MGM hotel guests posted on a hacking forum

The personal details of more than 10.6 million users who stayed at MGM Resorts hotels have been published on a hacking forum this week.

Besides details for regular tourists and travelers, included in the leaked files are also personal and contact details for celebrities, tech CEOs, reporters, government officials, and employees at some of the world's largest tech companies.

ZDNet verified the authenticity of the data today, together with a security researcher from Under the Breach, a soon-to-be-launched data breach monitoring service.

Feb 20 08:14

Vizibilezone Wants Pedestrians To Let Drivers Track Their Locations In Real-Time

By MassPrivateI

Have you ever felt unsafe crossing the street? You could look both ways before crossing the street and feel safe knowing you used common sense to navigate street crossings.

Or, you could download this app which alerts drivers to slow down and/or stop as you approach an intersection allowing you to cross the street safely.

An Israeli start-up company called Viziblezone (VZ) wants pedestrians, bicyclists, people on skateboards, scooters etc., to send their locations to vehicles in real-time...

Feb 20 03:26

Pentagon to Adopt Detailed Principles for Using AI

The Defense Department will soon adopt a detailed set of rules to govern how it develops and uses artificial intelligence, officials familiar with the matter told Defense One.

A draft of the rules was released by the Defense Innovation Board, or DIB, in October as “Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence.” Sources indicated that the Department’s policy will follow the draft closely.

Feb 19 10:17

Bug in WordPress plugin can let hackers wipe up to 200,000 sites

WordPress site owners who use commercial themes provided by ThemeGrill are advised to update one of the plugins that come installed with these themes in order to patch a critical bug that can let attackers wipe their sites.

The vulnerability resides in ThemeGrill Demo Importer, a plugin that ships with themes sold by ThemeGrill, a web development company that sells commercial WordPress themes.

The plugin, which is installed on more than 200,000 sites, allows site owners to import demo content inside their ThemeGrill themes so they'll have examples and a starting point on which they can build their own sites.

However, in a report published yesterday, WordPress security firm WebARX says that older versions of the ThemeGrill Demo Importer are vulnerable to remote attacks from unauthenticated attackers.

Feb 19 10:08

New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience

Over the last year, YouTube has made several sweeping changes to its algorithms to promote legacy media outlets at the expense of the independent creators.

Many of these changes involve classifying certain legacy media outlets as “authoritative sources” and then boosting them in search, Trending, and recommendations.

Now, a recently released browser extension, De-Mainstream YouTube, is allowing users to reverse some of this artificial boosting of mainstream media outlets and put the focus back on independent YouTube creators.

The extension works on desktop Chrome and Firefox by blocking certain mainstream media outlets from YouTube search results and recommendations while also giving users “a truly unbiased Youtube Trending section” which shows the most popular videos from the last 24 hours based on view counts.

Feb 19 10:00

Driver stranded after connected rental car can’t call home

Over the weekend, a trip to the Californian boonies by Guardian journalist Kari Paul turned into a cautionary tale about the perils of the connected car and the Internet of Things. Paul had rented a car through a local car-sharing service called GIG Car Share, which offers a fleet of hybrid Toyota Priuses and electric Chevrolet Bolt EVs in the Bay Area and Sacramento, with plans to spend the weekend in a more rural part of the state about three hours north of Oakland. But on Sunday, she was left stranded on an unpaved road when the car's telematics system lost its cell signal. Without being able to call home, the rented Prius refused to move.

Feb 19 09:51

US natural gas operator shuts down for 2 days after being infected by ransomware

A US-based natural gas facility shut down operations for two days after sustaining a ransomware infection that prevented personnel from receiving crucial real-time operational data from control and communication equipment, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s advisory from the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, didn’t identify the site except to say that it was a natural gas-compression facility. Such sites typically use turbines, motors, and engines to compress natural gas so it can be safely moved through pipelines.

The attack started with a malicious link in a phishing email that allowed attackers to pivot from the facility’s IT network to the facility’s OT network, which is the operational technology hub of servers that control and monitor physical processes of the facility. With that, both the IT and OT networks were infected with what the advisory described as “commodity ransomware.”

Feb 19 07:52

Hackers trick Tesla into breaking speed limit by 50mph using two inches of tape

Researchers at cybersecurity firm McAfee have shown that two inches can make all the difference, fooling two types of Tesla car into speeding up by 50mph (80.5kph).

Using a small, almost imperceptible sticker on a speed limit sign, the McAfee scientists were able to trick the cars’ MobilEye EyeQ3 camera system into thinking the sign read ‘85’ and not ‘35,’ confirming that autonomous driving systems and the machine learning algorithms that power them still have a long way to go.

Feb 19 06:40

Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance and turned us into a nation of voyeurs

Amazon's Ring, Google's Nest and other Internet-connected cameras - some selling for as little as $59 - have given Americans the tools they need to become a personal security force, and millions of people now seeing what's happening around their home every second - what Ring calls the "new neighborhood watch." (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Feb 18 12:58

Why the US is losing its war against Huawei

According to a Chinese analyst, Huawei might drop the price of its chipsets by 30% in a price war with the Americans, driving them out of the whole of the Asian market. In that case, the analyst said, Nvidia would run out of cash in 18 months and Qualcomm would run out in 24 months, forcing them to shut down research and development. That would mark the end of American importance in the semiconductor industry that the US created.

Feb 18 06:31

Massive Israeli Data Leak Is Treasure Trove for Iran Intel. It Can Jeopardize Mossad and Special Ops

The leaks of personal information of 6.5 million Israelis three weeks before the election is one of the worst security screw-ups in the country in the last few years.

Both the first breach, which was reported about a week ago, and the more serious second one, reported Sunday, stem from criminal negligence by Elector Software – a small and hitherto barely known company that developed the mobile election software being used by Likud and other parties.

Feb 18 06:16

The Hillary Minions Behind The Iowa App Disaster

For the first time ever, the Iowa caucuses failed to yield any kind of tally the day they occurred, as the app that was used to count the results failed due to a “coding issue.” The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) allegedly found “inconsistencies” in the three sets of results it had promised to deliver, and then announced that it needed time to conduct “quality control.” Iowa Democrats refused an offer from the Department of Homeland Security to test the app and ensure its security before the caucuses, even after they were warned by local officials last week that there were “serious problems with the app.”

Feb 18 02:35

Doctors raise alarm over Britain’s treatment of ailing Julian Assange

More than 100 medical professionals have accused Britain of denying proper health care to jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and continuing to allow treatment that a U.N. envoy said amounted to torture.

The doctors urged Britain to end the “psychological torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange … before it’s too late.”

“Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the U.N. special rapporteur on torture has warned, he will have effectively been tortured to death,” the Doctors for Assange group said in a letter to medical journal The Lancet.

“Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors’ watch,” they said.

“The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would politely suggest to British prosecutors, that making Assange a martyr will definitely inspire others to take up where he left off, and let's please remember one critical fact about this case; in any of the info appearing at Wikileaks, none of it was ever proven wrong.

Feb 17 17:34

Alexa IS listening to you: Former Amazon Executive reveals he switches OFF his smart speaker whenever he wants a 'private moment'

A former Amazon Executive revealed he switches off his Alexa smart speaker whenever he wants a 'private moment' as he doesn't want it listening in.

Robert Frederick, a former manager at Amazon Web Services, told BBC Panorama he always turns it off during personal and particularly sensitive conversations.

Feb 17 16:52

How Amazon Convinced Millions of People to Welcome “Listening Devices” Into Their Homes

From the start, Amazon has marketed Alexa as a virtual assistant who helps make navigating daily life easier, more efficient and entertaining for people and families.

But as the new FRONTLINE documentary Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos reports, the multi-billion-dollar company’s increasingly ubiquitous Alexa technology — which is now compatible with more than 100,000 products — doesn’t just serve the customer. It also serves a key strategic objective for Amazon itself.

“Alexa is one more way for Amazon to gather extremely valuable data,” Meredith Whittaker, co-director of the A.I. Now Institute at NYU, tells FRONTLINE in the above excerpt. “And this data collection is extremely important to this business model. It’s extremely hard to do … convincing people to just deploy something like this in their home is— it’s a brilliant trick.”

Feb 17 16:49

Google pulls 500 malicious Chrome extensions after researcher tip-off

Google has abruptly pulled over 500 Chrome extensions from its Web Store that researchers discovered were stealing browsing data and executing click fraud and malvertising after installing themselves on the computers of millions of users.

Depending on which way you look at it, that’s either a good result because they’re no longer free to infect users, or an example of how easy it is for malicious extensions to sneak on the Web Store and stay there for years without Google noticing.

Feb 17 16:47

YouTube: coronavirus videos will be automatically demonetized until further notice

Coronavirus has claimed its latest, albeit unexpected victim: the revenues of those YouTube creators who publish content about the disease.

Even by YouTube's many and “creative” demonetization standards, this latest one stands out.

The announcement was made almost in passing on Creator Insider, a channel run by YouTube employees.

The giant is updating its guidelines, the host said, “to reflect” – i.e., reclassify – the coronavirus outbreak as a sensitive event.

And that means all videos focusing on the subject have been demonetized.

The decision will remain in force until further notice, the host remarked – and moved on to other topics.

Feb 17 11:57

China's Xi Threatens More Crackdowns As Scientists Say Coronavirus May Have Originated From Wuhan Labs

By Aaron Kesel

China’s President Xi Jinping has called for tightened control over online discussion and increased policing to ensure “positive energy” and social stability according to state media, Bloomberg reported. This is being pushed as Chinese scientists in South Beijing have said the virus’ origin was the long-suspected Wuhan Virology lab or another Wuhan Center for Disease Control lab.

The government must “strengthen the management and control of online media,” and “crack down on those who seize the opportunity to create rumors” on the internet, Xi said...

Feb 17 10:48

Google keeps a scary amount of data on you. Here's how to find and delete it

Everything you do online when you're signed into Google, and even some stuff when you aren't, becomes a part of your Google profile, but you can wipe the slate clean with these steps.

Feb 17 10:39

Windows 10’s latest update fail could be its most serious yet

Windows 10’s seemingly never-ending run of faulty updates is continuing to impact users, with reports emerging that Windows 10 KB4532693 is deleting files on some people’s PCs.

We’ve previously reported that KB4532693 was causing some serious issues for Windows 10 users, with people's Start menus and desktops reverting to their default states.

However, it seems that issue is even more serious than first thought, as it appears that it is deleting any files saved on the desktop as well.

Some people have been able to restore their files – it appears the update is renaming and moving their user profile – but it seems that many people have found they are unable to restore the files that were deleted.

While changing the user profile back to its default settings is annoying, if an update is faulty enough that it’s actually deleting users’ files, then this is very serious indeed.

Feb 17 07:45

Report: Mark Zuckerberg Requests Government Rules On 'What Discourse Should Be Allowed'

Have you ever heard of this thing called the "First Amendment," Mr Zuckerberg?

Feb 17 06:28

WHAT HAPPENS TO PRIVACY WHEN CHINA HAS PERSONAL DATA AND THE SOCIAL GRAPH OF NEARLY EVERYONE IN THE US?

The speech by US Attorney General William P. Barr hardly seems earth-shattering. But buried within its business-like announcement of the indictment of four Chinese military hackers, there is the following statement, which has huge implications for privacy:

For years, we have witnessed China’s voracious appetite for the personal data of Americans, including the theft of personnel records from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the intrusion into Marriott hotels, and Anthem health insurance company, and now the wholesale theft of credit and other information from Equifax.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

YIKES!! Double plus ungood!!

Feb 17 05:56

POWER-DRUNK YOUTUBE CENSORS FLOOR SPEECH OF SEN RAND PAUL FOR NAMING ALLEGED 'WHISTLEBLOWER'

The decision appears to have come just two days after President Trump praised the Big Tech giants as "MAGA."

A chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as @YouTube decide to censor speech. Protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Sen floor, can be blocked from getting to the people. This is dangerous & politically biased. https://t.co/LnbkZJOYgS

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2020

Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower’s identity. YouTube has taken it upon itself to decide what questions can even be asked in the public debate, including on the Senate floor. This is wrong! https://t.co/Czm8XobiLI

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 15, 2020

From The Hill:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At the moment, You-Tube needs to be "deplatfomed" by its users, with other platforms being "migrated to", so the concept of expression still exists, but without the censorship, which the leadership of YouTube believes it has its Divine Right (or Government-approved) ability to censure speech.

Congrats, YouTube, for having become the 4th tentacle of this government; you have now become the US Government arm of surveillance and censure, great job, you!!

Feb 17 05:09

Skynet Does Theme Parks: Meet Disney's Dystopian Flying Superhero Robots

While we're certain many in government are scheming on how to use robotics to fight wars of the future and/or control the human race as a whole, Disney appears to showing us that the robotics future may not be all doom and gloom. At least for now...

The Disney Company is now using robotics to create "Superheroes" at Disneyland. The robots, obviously capable of doing things that humans can't, look to have supernatural abilities. And that's because they do.

Feb 16 03:58

BINNEY: I Told Pompeo There Was No Russia Hack Two Years Later, He Still Hasn’t Told Trump

Why has former CIA Mike Pompeo refused to acknowledge expert forensic evidence disproving "Russia Gate"?

Feb 15 18:04

De-Mainstream YouTube

Give the power back to Independent YouTube Creators

Feb 15 12:39

400 Million Indian Users to Be De-Anonymized; UK Launches Social Media Monitoring Program With Ofcom

By Aaron Kesel

All over the world governments are now threatening to monitor social media users’ posts online. Now, India is joining the effort with a new law expected to go into effect later this month that threatens Indian users’ privacy by completely de-anonymizing them and tracking the origin of content deemed to be dangerous within 72 hours of a request ...

Feb 15 10:52

Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 KB4524244 Issues and Pulls the Update

Microsoft pulled the standalone KB4524244 security update today, February 15, 2019, from Windows Update after confirming user reports about freezes, boot problems, and installation issues since it was released on February 11.

Feb 15 10:40

New Mars Curiosity Rover Pictures

We follow the Curiosity Rover on Mars as it climbs up a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. We have selected only the clearest footage from Mars to give you a sense of actually being there alongside Curiosity. All the places that NASA has explored have been given nicknames, which you will see in the video. Some of the images have been 'white balanced' by NASA to give geologists a clearer view of the rocks.

A quick summary of the Journey:

Feb 14 15:32

Hacker creates a $9,000 'keyless repeater' device that can wirelessly unlock any luxury car by creating an extended bridge connection to the owner's fob without their knowledge

A pseudonymous hacker going by the name ‘EvanConnect’ is selling a device that will let users break into any luxury car that uses a wireless key fob system.

EvanConnect demonstrated the device, called a keyless repeater, with a video released this week.

The video shows him approaching an unattended Jeep in a parking lot and using the small handheld device with an antenna to unlock the driver’s side door of the Jeep and start the engine

He says the car in the video belonged to a friend who gave him permission to use it, so no crime was actually committed, but he admits there's no guarantees as to how his customers might use the device.

Feb 14 11:16

Computer scientists develop an AI system that automatically rewrites outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles while 'maintaining a human tone'

A computer system has been developed that scans through a Wikipedia article and locates, checks, and corrects any factual errors automatically.

This AI-powered system can keep sentences up to date and save human editors the hassle, while maintaining a human tone in the writing.

Feb 14 11:13

MIT researchers find voting app used in West Virginia's 2018 midterm election is 'riddled with security risks' allowing hackers to easily alter, stop or expose how an individual voted

West Virginia allowed residents to cast their vote in the 2018 midterm election using the smartphone app Voatz and thousands are expected to use the technology in this year’s election.

However, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say the app 'is so riddled with security issues that no one should be using it.'

The vulnerabilities hidden in the technology give hackers the ability to alter, stop or expose how an individual users has voted.

Researchers also uncovered that Voatz's use of a third-party vendor for voter identification and verification poses potential privacy issues for users.

Feb 14 10:52

YouTube Bans Popular Conservative Commentator Nick Fuentes For 'Hate Speech'

Popular Catholic conservative commentator Nick Fuentes, a fiery critic of the GOP establishment, was purged on Friday from Google-owned YouTube for unspecified "hate speech."

Feb 14 10:17

A Primer on Domestic Spying

"The Framers ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men." — Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

While we were all consumed by impeachment, a pernicious piece of legislation was slowly and silently making its way through Congress. It is a renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act of 2001 has three sections that are scheduled to expire on March 15. One of those sections is the infamous 215, which authorizes the federal government to capture without a warrant all records of all people in America held by third parties.

Feb 14 06:44

Will Google’s Social Credit System Determine Your Future?

Via: Mercola:

Google is the largest monopoly the world has ever seen, and its data-siphoning tentacles reach deep into our everyday lives, collecting data on every move you make and conversation you have, whether online or in the real world.

According to Fast Company, China’s social credit system is not entirely unique. “A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies,” Fast Company writes.

Feb 14 06:38

KABOOM! SWITZERLAND HALTS 5G ROLLOUT OVER HEALTH CONCERNS

SOURCE: TECHNOCRACY.NEWS
It’s a gloomy day for Technocrats in Switzerland, which has imposed a nationwide ban on new 5G installation while demanding a thorough study on the health effects of millimeter waves on humans. Until produced, the ban will not be lifted. ? TN Editor
VIA FT

Switzerland, one of the world’s leaders in the rollout of 5G mobile technology, has placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of its new network because of health concerns.

The move comes as countries elsewhere around Europe race to upgrade their networks to 5G standards amid a furious rearguard diplomatic campaign by the US to stop them using Chinese technology provided by Huawei. Washington says the company, which is fundamental to most European networks’ upgrade plans, presents a grave security risk.

Feb 14 06:36

DATA LEAKS IN THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY: THE PROBLEM CONTINUES

SOURCE: WIZCASE.COM
After our previous report on database leaks from medical websites around the world, WizCase’s security team diligently continued their research. They discovered 3 additional unsecured medical databases with confidential information, including full names, passport numbers, birth dates, addresses, and phone numbers.

These databases were found in the context of performing research to help companies secure their data. They were left unencrypted and required no password to access the sensitive information within.

Every company and their hosting provider has been contacted with the security team’s findings. Our goal is to inform them of the leaks so they can secure the exposed servers, protecting their patients’ private information.

LATEST BREACHES FOUND (JANUARY 2020)
HX Wellness Private Limited (Aermed Online Pharmacy App) — India — Approx. 230,000 records exposed, leaking both patient and doctor information.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

YIKES! And just because this report doesn't contain the names of any health related corporations here in the US, is utterly no guarantee, that it is not happening here.

Feb 14 06:33

JUDICIAL WATCH SUES FBI FOR SETH RICH DOCUMENTS

SOURCE: JUDICIAL WATCH

Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI for all records related to murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) Voter Expansion Data Director Seth Rich.

Rich, 27, was murdered on July 10, 2016, according to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. The DC police reports that Rich was killed at approximately 4:19 a.m. in the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, Washington, DC.

No one has been charged in connection with Rich’s death. The case has not been closed, and the DC police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, the members, and leadership of Judicial Watch, are some of Mike and my greatest heros, and heroines.

Please watch for further developments; this issue of Rich's death... may be about to get interesting.

Feb 14 05:56

US spied on governments for decades through secret ownership of Swiss encryption firm

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) have been spying on the encrypted communications of governments all over the world for the past five decades through the CIA’s secret ownership of a global security firm based in Switzerland.

According to a lengthy report in the Washington Post on Tuesday, the CIA-owned company known as Crypto AG sold diplomatic encryption technologies to more than half of the countries in the world for the past half-century, all the while with US intelligence eavesdropping on their communications.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Feb 13 16:37

Tesla on autopilot had steered driver towards same barrier before fatal crash, NTSB says

The driver who died after his Tesla crashed into a highway barrier while using autopilot had previously complained about the system aiming him towards the same barrier, according to newly released documents from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The March 2018 crash killed an Apple engineer who was on his way to work near Mountain View, California.

The NTSB investigation found that the man had previously complained about his Tesla steering him toward the concrete barrier that eventually became the scene of the fatal crash.

"Many times, when the driver went past the crash location in the left lane, the Tesla would steer left toward the gore point area and he would have to manually take control to stay within the left lane," the NTSB documents stated.

"The family explained that it happened so often that he had told both his brother and his wife about the problem," it added.

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