Thursday, August 22, 2019

Privacy Concerns of “Mission Creep” with New Airport Facial Recognition Programs

by Nicholas West, Activist Post:

It’s a trend that is quickly becoming accepted reality – biometric identification at U.S. airports. So far, it has been marketed mainly as an elective measure for preferred travelers who wish to expedite clearance, or for inbound international travelers. Now, however, it is being sprung upon the general traveling public in new locations, raising concerns from privacy activists like the ACLU about “mission creep.”

Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. is the latest to implement facial recognition for boarding.  Some people apparently were caught off guard by the new technology, but generally seem to have become desensitized to additional security measures in the United States.

Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

0

by John Whitehead, via Washington’s Blog:

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.”— Patrick McGoohan

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.

While luxurious and resort-like, the Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, their movements are tracked by surveillance drones, and they are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers.

The series’ protagonist, played by Patrick McGoohan, is Number Six.

Number Two, the Village administrator, acts as an agent for the unseen and all-powerful Number One, whose identity is not revealed until the final episode.

“I am not a number. I am a free man,” was the mantra chanted on each episode of The Prisoner, which was largely written and directed by McGoohan.

In the opening episode (“The Arrival”), Number Six meets Number Two, who explains to him that he is in The Village because information stored “inside” his head has made him too valuable to be allowed to roam free “outside.”

Throughout the series, Number Six is subjected to interrogation tactics, torture, hallucinogenic drugs, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination and physical coercion in order to “persuade” him to comply, give up, give in and subjugate himself to the will of the powers-that-be.

Number Six refuses to comply.

In every episode, Number Six resists the Village’s indoctrination methods, struggles to maintain his own identity, and attempts to escape his captors. “I will not make any deals with you,” he pointedly remarks to Number Two. “I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

Yet no matter how far Number Six manages to get in his efforts to escape, it’s never far enough.

Watched by surveillance cameras and other devices, Number Six’s getaways are continuously thwarted by ominous white balloon-like spheres known as “rovers.” Still, he refuses to give up. “Unlike me,” he says to his fellow prisoners, “many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

Number Six’s escapes become a surreal exercise in futility, each episode an unfunny, unsettling Groundhog’s Day that builds to the same frustrating denouement: there is no escape.

As journalist Scott Thill concludes for Wired, “Rebellion always comes at a price. During the acclaimed run of The Prisoner, Number Six is tortured, battered and even body-snatched: In the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ his mind is transplanted to another man’s body. Number Six repeatedly escapes The Village only to be returned to it in the end, trapped like an animal, overcome by a restless energy he cannot expend, and betrayed by nearly everyone around him.”

The series is a chilling lesson about how difficult it is to gain one’s freedom in a society in which prison walls are disguised within the trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and so-called democracy.

As Thill noted when McGoohan died in 2009, “The Prisoner was an allegory of the individual, aiming to find peace and freedom in a dystopia masquerading as a utopia.”

The Prisoner’s Village is also an apt allegory for the American Police State: it gives the illusion of freedom while functioning all the while like a prison: controlled, watchful, inflexible, punitive, deadly and inescapable.

The American Police State, much like The Prisoner’s Village, is a metaphorical panopticon, a circular prison in which the inmates are monitored by a single watchman situated in a central tower. Because the inmates cannot see the watchman, they are unable to tell whether or not they are being watched at any given time and must proceed under the assumption that they are always being watched.

Eighteenth century social theorist Jeremy Bentham envisioned the panopticon prison to be a cheaper and more effective means of “obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Bentham’s panopticon, in which the prisoners are used as a source of cheap, menial labor, has become a model for the modern surveillance state in which the populace is constantly being watched, controlled and managed by the powers-that-be and funding its existence.

Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: this is the new mantra of the architects of the police state and their corporate collaborators (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government official deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, George Orwell’s 1984—where “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized”—has now become our reality.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

Stingray devices mounted on police cars to warrantlessly track cell phones, Doppler radar devices that can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, license plate readers that can record up to 1800 license plates per minutesidewalk and “public space” cameras coupled with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology that lay the groundwork for police “pre-crime” programspolice body cameras that turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras, the internet of things: all of these technologies add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

As French philosopher Michel Foucault concluded in his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, “Visibility is a trap.”

This is the electronic concentration camp—the panopticon prison—the Village—in which we are now caged.

It is a prison from which there will be no escape if the government gets it way.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called privateindividuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”

Even now, the Trump Administration is working to make some of the National Security Agency’s vast spying powers permanent.

Read More @ WashingtonsBlog.com

Latest ‘Five Eyes’ Statement on Evading Encryption Will Send a Chill Down Your Spine

from Russia Insider:

A recent intergovernmental meeting in Australia received almost no coverage by the mainstream media, a factor that plays into the hands of the governments involved.

During this meeting, the five governments involved issued a statement that should send chills down the collective spines of those of us who really care about our privacy and who are increasingly concerned about how the state is advancing its efforts to know everything about us.

Lunatic Leftists Doxed a Random Kid Thinking He Was in the Covington Video — Family Now Receiving Violent Threats

by Cassandra Fairbanks, The Gateway Pundit:

The left has been running around with torches and pitchforks ready to destroy a group of Catholic teens for an awkward response to a leftist protester — and they doxed a random kid in the process.

Now, his family is receiving violent threats — and he wasn’t even there.

Soon after the incident, people began spreading photos of a teen named Michael Hodge — believing that he was Nick Sandmann, the teen who was confronted by the Native American activist. There are hundreds of tweets with his name, photos, and personal information about him and his family.

Cop Flips His Lid, Attacks and Falsely Arrests Man For Saying the ‘Ground is Wet’

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

For telling Baltimore police that they had a man sitting on the wet ground, an innocent man was attacked and kidnapped. Cops then lied to cover it up.

Baltimore, MD — The Baltimore police department is arguably one of the most corrupt and violent departments in the country. From planting guns and drugs to shooting innocent people, the BPD is constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons. As the following case illustrates, all this negative press doesn’t seem to serve as any kind of deterrent for future criminal behavior.

U.S. Customs Continues To “Modernize” Its System To Include Biometrics For All Passengers

by Nicholas West, Alt Market:

One aspect often lost in the immigration debate is the rollout of government solutions that are set to restrict the freedom of the perfectly innocent.  A key component of this is the increased collection of passenger biometrics.

As I’ve discussed before, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a mandate that’s been 15 years in the making to integrate government databases for ID verification. Private companies have been enlisted to ensure that there is a “quick and easy roll out across U.S. airports,” according to Jim Peters, chief technology officer for SITA, one of the information technology companies working with airlines.

Watch: YouTube Ad Policy: The Term ‘Christian’ Is Unacceptable But ‘Muslim’ Is Still Acceptable (VIDEO)

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

Chad Robichaux, the founder of the veterans Christian organization the Mighty Oaks Foundation, has caught YouTube censoring Christian advertisers.

Watch the following video to see how YouTube no longer allows you to target a ‘Christian’ audience.

We Told You So: Google Is NSA

0

by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook:

Google wants to be Big Brother’s eyeballs on you. All us Internet gurus knew this since before the NSA was found out spying on everybody. But now the Mountain View boys are more determined than ever to filter your information, and to obliterate any semblance of truth reaching people.

If I had led into an article with that paragraph even five years ago, I’d have been instantly labeled a “conspiracy theorist” or worse. How about know dear reader? Is the idea the technocrats and their huge monied handlers want to run you crazy? I didn’t think so. But if you need proof beyond the obvious, Google’S 160-page handbook tells us all exactly how they plan to spoon feed us only “their” news. The lengthy handbook is a heavy read for the average person, but the book does lay out an Orwellian machination unlike anything seen since the Nazi propaganda machine of Hitler. Pay close attention to the “instructional” on page 108 where Google dictates who does and does not meet rating criteria. The section under Fails to Meet (FailsM) is a steamrolling of the free press, and suggested hiding certain kinds of sites:

“Pages that directly contradict well established historical facts (e.g., unsubstantiated conspiracy theories), unless the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.”

As per usual, Google has obscured its real intentions with the idea some super smart algorithm is “filtering” or “learning” results to help your life be better. Once again Google supposes to do “what is good for us” by destroying some sources and propping up others. Using terms like “search quality rating guidelines” and “page quality rating guidelines” the little Machiavellis at Google provide justification for controlling what you see and read on the web. Censorship and monopolization of internet information and business – this is the case against the Mountain View boys this time.

Then there’s the section concerning how Google will rank the best of the best news sites entitled “A High Level of Expertise/Authoritativeness/Trustworthiness (EAT)”. The acronym should clue you that Google search users are about to be fed some bullshit truth. “High Quality Pages” for the Google oligarchs means that either the page owner pays Google through the mouth, or that the site in question serves Google’s masters well – period. At the top of this matrix of sources are newspapers (High News 1) like The Washington Post and New York Times, followed by the articles within those pages (High News 2). On down the list of authority pages are government sites like the US State Department and White House, and then pages categorized (believe it or not) “High Humor”. So, Google has factored out the importance of truth or even the importance of the news story itself, in favor of “who” wrote the story and the “reality” Google wants you to accept – Big Brother’s network – end of story.

Melissa Dykes of Truth Stream Media made a video about the new Big Brother effort, and Government Slaves did their take as well. And the latter even suggests alternatives to using Google Search for those who refusing the totalitarian tendencies we see headed our way these days. For people who had rather boycott the imminent evil such as Yandex, and DuckDuckGo. Government Slaves also lists 400 sites for independent news outside Google’s MATIX. My advice for everyone is to start making the transition away from Google and Facebook now. My own vast experience in dealing with these tech people has revealed people with no morals whatsoever, people willing to do anything necessary to perpetuate their dominance in digital. Google has destroyed millions of people’s livelihoods, broken its own code, lawyers itself around anti-trust and fair practice rules, avoided taxes, and colluded against the people of the United States with the intelligence agencies. All these assertions are not just this writer’s ramblings. Back in 2014 John W. Whitehead wrote about the NSA and Google for the Huffington Post:

“Just look around you. It’s happened already. Thanks to an insidious partnership between Google and the National Security Agency (NSA) that grows more invasive and more subtle with every passing day, “we the people” have become little more than data consumer commodities to be bought, sold and paid for over and over again.”

August 29th the notorious Zero Hedge creator, Tyler Durden wrote a piece entitled “Why Google Made The NSA”, which revealed a project called INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a crowd-funded investigative journalism project that had released a story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. You read that correctly. My past assertions that Sergey Brin and Larry Page were “lifted up” by unseen money were probably correct. While I presumed George Soros or Rockefeller being behind, it’s conceivable Uncle Sam was the spook in the woodpile. The Zero hedge story delves deep into a “deep state” we never imagined in our worst nightmares. The report unveils how Pentagon Highlands Forum’s more or less taking over tech giants like Google to pursue mass surveillance. Furthermore, the report shows how the intelligence community has played a key role in secret efforts to manipulate the media and the public. The endless crisis and war we find ourselves in, is in large part because of the efforts of Google and the other technocratic institutions. In on section the author frames how the Obama administration really consolidated this “Big Brother” control:

“Under Obama, the nexus of corporate, industry, and financial power represented by the interests that participate in the Pentagon Highlands Forum has consolidated itself to an unprecedented degree.”
https://journal-neo.org/2017/09/04/we-told-you-so-google-is-nsa/

Read More @ Journal-NEO.org

New App ‘NewsGuard’ Promises To Stop Fake News. Have A Look At Who Owns & Funds It

by Joe Martino, Collective Evolution:

  • The Facts:News browser extension NewsGuard promises to help readers pick out fake news. However, NewsGuard is funded and run by individuals tied to the CFR, Atlantic Council and other prominent elite figures.
  • Reflect On:Are we seeing a push for over-governance when it comes to even basic things like news and information? Is it time we take responsibility for our lives? Are we seeing a desperate elite losing even more control over the narrative within the media?

The Shootings, the Stats, and the Violent War Against the Deplorables

by Boyd D. Cathey, The Unz Review:

To listen to almost all the reporters on Fox News—and most of the Establishment Media experts—after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, you would have thought that President Donald Trump needed to do exactly what the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart did back a few years ago: get on TV and cry and bawl, and emotionally apologize: “I have sinned! I have sinned!” And then add, “I know in my heart that I am a ‘white nationalist’ and have unleashed all this horrible violence and murder! And I am deeply, exceedingly, profoundly, eternally, and unalterably sorry.” And as a final coup de grace: “From now on I will be a good Establishment Conservative, I will listen to great thinkers like…hmm…National Review’s David French, and Ben Shapiro and Jonah Goldberg. And I shall dwell in the House of Martin Luther King and the NAACP forever!”

YouTube Removes Video of Tommy Robinson From TGP Reporter’s Channel, Says it Violates ‘Hate Speech Policy’

by Cassandra Fairbanks, The Gateway Pundit:

YouTube has removed a video of Tommy Robinson addressing his supporters from this reporter’s channel, claiming that it violates their “hate speech policy.”

The video was pre-recorded to be released in the event that he went back to prison.