Where Has Your Privacy Gone?

The US Government Just Destroyed Our Privacy While Nobody Was Paying Attention

(ANTIMEDIA) — While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

  • Enable foreign police to collect and wiretap people’s communications from U.S. companies, without obtaining a U.S. warrant.
  • Allow foreign nations to demand personal data stored in the United States, without prior review by a judge.
  • Allow the U.S. president to enter “executive agreements” that empower police in foreign nations that have weaker privacy laws than the United States to seize data in the United States while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.
  • Allow foreign police to collect someone’s data without notifying them about it.
  • Empower U.S. police to grab any data, regardless if it’s a U.S. person’s or not, no matter where it is stored.

The bill is an update to the current MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty), the current framework for sharing internet user data between countries, which both legislators and tech companies have criticized as inefficient.

Some tech companies, like Microsoft, have endorsed the new CLOUD policy. Brad Smith, the company’s president and chief legal officer, called it  “a strong statute and a good compromise,” that “gives tech companies like Microsoft the ability to stand up for the privacy rights of our customers around the world.”

They echoed the sentiment of lawmakers like Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In February, he said of the bill:

“The CLOUD Act bridges the divide that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the tech sector by giving law enforcement the tools it needs to access data throughout the world while at the same time creating a commonsense framework to encourage international cooperation to resolve conflicts of law.”

But one of the biggest complaints from privacy advocates, however, it that the new legislation places too much unmitigated power in the hands of governments with abysmal human rights records while also giving too much discretion to the U.S. government’s executive branch. Noting that the executive branch will decide which countries are human rights compliant and that those countries will then be able to engage in data collection and wiretaps without any further restrictions or oversight, the ACLU warned:

Flip through Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch’s recent annual reports, and you can find a dizzying array of countries that have ratified major human rights treaties and reflect those obligations in their domestic laws but, in fact, have arrested, tortured and killed people in retaliation for their activism or due to their identity.”

The organization pointed out that no human rights organizations have endorsed the CLOUD Act, adding that “in the case of countries certified by the executive branch, the CLOUD Act would not require the U.S. government to scrutinize data requests by the foreign governments — indeed, the bill would not even require notifying the U.S. government or a user regarding a request.”

Further, the ACLU says, if a foreign government’s human rights record deteriorates, there is no mechanism to revoke its access to data. Considering the U.S.’ existing record on supporting regimes that severely restrict basic rights like freedom of expression, the expanded access the CLOUD Act provides is undoubtedly worrisome.

Also predictable is the government’s stale justification for expanding its power. As the CLOUD Act claims, it is purportedly to “protect public safety and combat serious crime, including terrorism” — even if it further empowers governments that support and commit said terrorism.

In an age where the government already engages in mass surveillance and is eager to disable the people’s efforts to protect their privacy through encryption technology, it is unsurprising, albeit dangerous, that Congress continues to encroach on what little is left of safeguards against unwarranted intrusions.

from:    http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

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Protecting Privacy

The Imperative of Anonymity

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Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, was sentenced last week to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  His crime was creating a piece of software that allowed completely anonymous market transactions between individuals or groups of individuals.

Anonymous market transactions have existed since the beginning of human commerce.  In nearly every instance in which a major corporation chooses a parcel of land on which it intends to build a manufacturing or distribution facility, it uses a dummy corporate entity as the purchasing agency.  It does this for sound competitive reasons.  If a competitor knew, in advance, the plans of a competing organization it could anticipate and react in ways to stifle the new development.  Likewise, a company that plans to get into the computer market place would usually contract and buy components anonymously for the first build.  This way the company can surprise its potential competitors and hopefully gain a market edge.  There are thousands or other examples where anonymity is necessary for a healthy competitive business environment.  Even individuals benefit from anonymous commerce.  Many individuals prefer anonymous purchases to prevent sellers from aggregating information about them, which generally results in unwanted and annoying solicitations.  Millions of people buy stocks and other commodities in the names of trusts or blind corporate structures for sound business and personal reasons.  Even charity frequently requires anonymity.  The Benefactor may not want publicity, or, for a personal reason does not want to be associated with the entity they are benefitting.  Or they simply are modest, or they don’t want to publicize their wealth for obvious reasons.  Secrecy and anonymity are essential for a smoothly running financial universe.  This has been the way of the world of commerce for thousands of years.

This necessity for anonymity, however, has attracted criminal elements for as long as anonymity has existed.   A benefactor making a large contribution can create an offshore corporation using proxies to hide his identity.  So can the Sinaloa Cartel when they want to hide a substantial monetary transaction.  So can anyone engaged in illegal activities.  This is the nature of the beast we call society.  Society has always had criminal elements. It always will.  But we somehow live with it and survive.  How did we arrive at a place where a bar owner is not arrested when his patrons make shady deals in his booths while having dinner, but we sentence a man to life imprisonment because he creates the same environment on the internet?  Am I the only one here who sees the insanity of this?

The tradition of anonymous speech has existed for millennia.  The founding fathers of America published numerous papers using pseudonyms, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the rights to anonymity.   Even the right to anonymous political campaigning was established in the U.S. Supreme court in their decision in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections commission (1995), with the majority opinion writing: “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority”.

Law does not only protect anonymity, it, in many cases requires and enforces it, for example: in laws regarding voting in free elections.

Society cannot function without the option of anonymity.  Anonymity is necessary for the existence of privacy and freedom.  Personal anonymity provides irreplaceable benefits for the individual:

Oppressive political regimes have existed since government was first invented, even within democratic countries.  Dissidents within these countries cannot speak openly about political abuses, such as racial, religious or cultural oppression, without serious risk to themselves, their families and their friends.  Without the possibility of anonymously distributed information, the world at large would never perceive the reality of the regime in power, and repression would continue or increase unnoticed by the world.

In anonymous discussions, issues of race, gender, social status and other factors, which are generally judged, disappear.  What people perceive is a person’s intelligence, humor, eloquence etc.  People therefore feel, and are treated, more equal.

Anonymity allows a person to open up and reveal important or delicate issues about themselves that they could not, because of shame, shyness, etc., otherwise disclose.  This opens the door for help and assistance in some cases.

Whistle blowers that reveal dangerous, illegal or unjust situations within corporations and other agencies require anonymity to prevent being punished for revealing the problem

Witnesses to crimes are overwhelmingly afraid of retribution.  Without the guarantee of anonymity, many crimes would go unsolved.

Anonymity frequently fosters honesty.  Many studies have shown that people speak more openly and honestly if they know they will remain anonymous.

These and uncountable other benefits of anonymity are guaranteed by law. The right of individuals to engage in anonymous communication was established in 1999 by the U.S. District court of Northern California.  The court’s opinion was: “People are permitted to interact pseudonymously and anonymously with each other so long as those acts are not in violation of the law. In addition, the law guarantees publishers the right not to disclose the names of the readers or users of a publication.  In 1953, the Supreme Court of the U.S. stated:

Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publication, the free press as we know it disappears.  Then the spectre of a government agent will look over the shoulder of everyone who reads.

Does this “spectre” sound familiar to anyone?

The Internet was not designed with the concept of anonymity in mind.  Each and every communication has an IP address attached to it, which uniquely identifies the specific computer, smart phone or mobile device that sent the communication.  At the inception of the Internet, no one dreamed that it would virtually replace every other means of communication and would become the platform upon which society would restructure itself.  It is a major flaw that has never been sufficiently resolved.  Attempts to correct this massive flaw have met with disaster.  Napster was sued and had to shut down. Kim Dotcom was invaded by the U.S and fighting extradition. Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison (just to name a few)

Is this what we have come to?  A fearful government, panicked about the criminal elements of society using what they have always used, only now on a more massive scale, choosing to oppress the general law abiding population by removing yet one more freedom that has been guaranteed to us by law?

john mcafee

 

Well, I am not standing for it.  I am speaking my mind, which, if you look into yourselves deeply enough, I believe you will agree with me.

Why is no one else speaking out?

from:    http://www.whoismcafee.com/ross-ulbricht/

Pokemon Gotcha!

Pokémon Go, the CIA, “Totalitarianism” and the Future of Surveillance

pokemon ciaBy Steven MacMillan

If anyone doubted that a percentage of the global population are akin to zombies, the incidents following the release of Pokémon Go have surely convinced you. Despite the game only being released in early July, we have already seen a man driving into a tree and a women getting locked in a graveyard whilst chasing these furry little creatures.

Pokémon describes the game on their website in the following way:

Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices. With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO is built on Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform and will use real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon… In Pokémon GO, the real world will be the setting!

Pokémon Go, Google, the State Department, the CIA and the DoD

The company behind Pokémon Go is a San Francisco software developer called Niantic, Inc, which was formed in 2010 as an internal startup at Google. The founder and current CEO of Niantic is John Hanke, a man who has connections both to the State Department and the CIA.

Before moving to San Francisco to study at the University of California, Hanke previously worked for the US State Department in Myanmar. Hanke also founded Keyhole, Inc in 2001, a company which specialized in geospatial data visualization applications. Google acquired the company in 2004, with many of the applications developed by Keyhole being instrumental in Google Maps and Earth. In 2003, the CIA’s venture-capitalist firm, In-Q-Tel, invested in Keyhole, with the CIA’s own website proudly detailing this investment:

The CIA-assisted technology probably most familiar to you is one many of us use on a regular basis: Google Earth. In February 2003, the CIA-funded venture-capitalist firm In-Q-Tel made a strategic investment in Keyhole, Inc., a pioneer of interactive 3-D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping EarthViewer 3D system. CIA worked closely with other Intelligence Community organizations to tailor Keyhole’s systems to meet their needs. The finished product transformed the way intelligence officers interacted with geographic information and earth imagery.

One of the other intelligence organizations the CIA worked alongside was the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which is partly under the control of the US Department of Defense (DoD).

So we have a somewhat enigmatic former State Department employee with connections to the CIA and the DoD, being the CEO of a company that created what seems to be a silly, harmless game. What’s going on?

Selling and Sharing Your Data

Like so many new technologies in our digital age, Pokémon Go is constantly gathering information on the user and then openly admitting that they will share this data with anyone who wants it.

As James Corbett pointed out in his article titled: “The CIA’s ‘Pokémon Go’ App is Doing What the Patriot Act Can’t,” the privacy policy of the app states that Niantic will share all the information they gather (which is a lot) with the state and private organizations:

We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials or private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate.

Corbett also details how the game requires the user to give excessive access to Niantic/CIA/NGA/DoD (including access to the users’ Google account and camera).

Oliver Stone on PG: “Totalitarianism” and a “New Level of Invasion”

Speaking at this year’s Comic-Con, Oliver Stone – the award winning filmmaker and director of the new film on Edward Snowden – had some very insightful views on the new craze and the growing business of data-mining. As Vulture magazine reported in a recent article, Stone denounced the game as a “new level of invasion” and a new form of “totalitarianism:”

I’m hearing about it too; it’s a new level of invasion. Once the government had been hounded by Snowden, of course the corporations went into encryption, because they had to for survival, right? But the search for profits is enormous. Nobody has ever seen, in the history of the world, something like Google – ever! It’s the fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is; which is data-mining.

Stone continues:

They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behavior. Pokémon Go kicks into that. It’s everywhere. It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism; it’s the newest stage. You’ll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mockup that matches how you behave and feed you. It’s what they call totalitarianism.

Predicting Human Behavior

It is interesting that Stone doesn’t just warn about the commercial aspect of data-mining, but the fact that the more data governments and private corporations collect on the citizens of the world, the easier it becomes to predict their behavior. It is not just Stone that is warning about this reality, however. At the start of last year, the UK governments own surveillance commissioner, Tony Porter, revealed how data obtained from CCTV cameras can be used to “predict behavior.”

As we progress through the 21st century and more advanced algorithmic systems are developed to process the tsunami of data, intelligence agencies and governments will increasingly be able to predict (and manipulate) the behavior of their populations and the populations of foreign countries. We are already far along this path, will the trajectory for the future heading straight towards levels of surveillance far beyond even what George Orwell envisaged; with the fight for digital privacy being a major battleground in this century for those who value freedom.

Pokémon Go looks more like a Trojan horse of the CIA and the wider intelligence-security-data-mining-Big-Brother complex, than just a silly, innocent game. With all these connections to the State Department, the CIA and the DoD, no wonder some countries are reportedly considering banning the game.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

from:    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/07/pokemon-go-cia-totalitarianism-future-surveillance.html

What Google Knows

Google voice search records and keeps conversations people have around their phones – but the files can be deleted

Just talking is enough to activate the recordings – but thankfully there’s an easy way of hearing and deleting them

  • Andrew Griffin
  • @google1.jpg Some of your most intimate conversations might be sitting in a Google data centre somewhere Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google could have a record of everything you have said around it for years, and you can listen to it yourself.

The company quietly records many of the conversations that people have around its products.

The feature works as a way of letting people search with their voice, and storing those recordings presumably lets Google improve its language recognition tools as well as the results that it gives to people.

But it also comes with an easy way of listening to and deleting all of the information that it collects. That’s done through a special page that brings together the information that Google has on you.

It’s found by heading to Google’s history page and looking at the long list of recordings. The company has a specific audio page and another for activity on the web, which will show you everywhere Google has a record of you being on the internet.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/google-voice-search-records-stores-conversation-people-have-around-their-phones-but-files-can-be-a7059376.html

Snowden Device

Edward Snowden designs phone case to show when data is being monitored

Snowden and co-designer Andrew ‘Bunnie’ Huang’s ‘introspection engine’ knows when a cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is being used to share data

Edward Snowden
American whistleblower Edward Snowden delivers a speech during the Roskilde Festival in Denmark last month. Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Reuters

Edward Snowden has helped design a mobile phone case called the “introspection engine” that, he claims, will show when a smartphone is transmitting information that could be monitored.

Presenting via video link to event at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Snowden and co-designer Andrew “Bunnie” Huang showed how the device connects to a phone’s different radio transmitters, showing its owner knows when a cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is being used to share or receive data.

Initial mockups of the introspection engine show a small, monochromatic display built into its casing shows whether the phone is “dark”, or whether it is transmitting, and it also can supply an iPhone with extra battery power and cover the rear-facing camera.

It could be developed to act as a sort of “kill switch” that would disconnect a phone’s power supply when it detects that a radio is transmitting data after its owner has attempted to turn it off.

The device is an academic project and nowhere near ready for the mass market, but could still influence how consumers view the “tracking devices” – otherwise known as smartphones that they rely on every day.

“If you have a phone in your pocket that’s turned on, a long-lived record of your movements has been created,” Snowden said. “As a result of the way the cell network functions your device is constantly shouting into the air by means of radio signals a unique identity that validates you to the phone company. And this unique identity is not only saved by that phone company, but it can also be observed as it travels over the air by independent, even more dangerous third parties.”

Most smartphones disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular transmission when in airplane mode, but Snowden and Huang say that can’t be trusted.

“Malware packages, peddled by hackers at a price accessible by private individuals, can activate radios without any indication from the user interface,” they write in their paper on the device. “Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”

The project is an extension of Snowden’s work to inform the public about the surveillance capabilities available to governments around the world. In June 2013 he revealed information about mass surveillance programs from the National Security Agency, where he was a contractor, and he has since become the closest thing digital security has to Neil DeGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye: a recognizable name that can explain these issues in a way the average person can understand.

In addition to educating people about security risks, he now wants to help citizens defend themselves – if the introspection engine ever becomes a reality.

Snowden and Huang say there’s no guarantee the device will ever be more than a mockup. “Over the coming year, we hope to prototype and verify the introspection engine’s abilities,” they write. “As the project is run largely through volunteer efforts on a shoestring budget, it will proceed at a pace reflecting the practical limitations of donated time.” If they do receive the proper funding, they could release the device in partnership with the Freedom of the Press Foundation media advocacy group.

Snowden said the introspection engine was designed to help protect journalists. “One good journalist in the right place at the right time can change history. One good journalist can move the needle in the context of an election. One well-placed journalist can influence the outcome of a war,” he said.

“This makes them a target, and increasingly the tools of their trade [are] being used against them. Our technology is beginning to betray us not just as individuals but as classes of workers, particularly those who are putting a lot on the line in the public interest.”

Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin was reportedly killed in Syria after government forces were able to trace her position, according to a new lawsuit.

Snowden and Huang are concentrating on working with Apple’s iPhone, but also said the device could be modified to work on other smartphones. It’s not immediately clear how Apple will respond to the introspection engine; while it has worked to give consumers security features meant to thwart even sophisticated attackers, the company might not be fond of a device that can separate an iPhone from all networks. Apple has not responded to a request for comment.

Still, the connection to Snowden and the rush of attention following MIT Media Lab’s event might inspire others to work on devices similar to the introspection engine. Even if the tool never becomes more than an interesting subject discussed at an academic conference, it could lead to consumers having more control over what exactly their iPhone is sharing from their pockets.

from:    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/21/phone-case-privacy-data-monitor-bluetooth-wifi-snowden-introspection-engine?CMP=share_btn_tw

Check Out Your Thinking

Several Signs That You Are A Slave To The Matrix

Filed in Matrix Articles by on July 18, 2016

matrix-big2From bibliotecapleyades.net

Today’s world is a strange place.

 We are inundated with signals from early on in life, encouraging each of us to walk a particular path, establishing blinders on us along the way to discourage us from looking for alternatives to what the herd is doing or thinking.

 Life is so complex that overtime, if we are paying attention, we realize that there are an infinite number of possibilities to what the human experience could be, and we come see that the world is on fire because individuals all too infrequently question why things are the way they are, failing to notice that their mindset or behavior needs adjustment in favor of more intelligent, common sensical, or sustainable patterns of existence.

 Not meant to be overtly critical of anyone’s lifestyle choices or personal situation, the following signs that you’re a slave to the Matrix are meant purely as an observational approach to helping you identify the areas of your life where you may be missing an opportunity to liberate yourself from someone else’s self-destructive design for your life.

  1. You pay taxes to people you’d like to see locked up in jail

    This is perhaps the biggest indicator that we are slaves to the Matrix. The traditional notion of slavery conjures up images of people in shackles forced to work on plantations to support rich plantation owners.

    The modern day version of this is forced taxation, where our incomes are automatically docked before we ever see the money, regardless of whether or not we approve of how the money is spent.

  2. You go to the doctor, but you’re still sick

    Modern medical care, for all of it’s scientific progress, has sadly become sick care, where we are rarely advised to eat well and tend to our mental and physical health, but instead are routinely advised to consume expensive medications and procedures that are pushed by the for-profit healthcare Matrix.

  3. You’ve picked Team Democrat or Team Republican and argue with your friends, family and co-workers about politics

    This is what the control strategy of divide and conquer looks like in our society.

     Both of the major parties are corrupt through and through, and independent candidates are not even allowed to participate in public debates.

     By believing in one of these parties and burning your personal energy on arguing with other ordinary people you are turning over your soul the Matrix, and doing your share in making sure that ‘we the people’ will never be united against corruption.

  4. You work hard doing something you hate to earn fiat dollars

    Work is important and money does pay the bills, however, so many people lose the best years of their lives doing things they hate, just for money.

     The truth about money today is that we do not have money, but instead, inflationary fiat currency that is privately owned and manipulated. Since it is still necessary to get by in this world, it is best that you get more value for your time by doing something you enjoy or by working with people you do not despise.

    It is easier than you may think to live on less money than we believe we need, we just have to be willing to go against the grain realize this.

  5. You’re willing to accrue personal debt to fund the acquisition of a consumer oriented lifestyle

    Each time a credit card is swiped it creates digits on the balance sheets of the banks that are most involved with the financial looting of the world today.

     These digits are then multiplied electronically by the fractional reserve system, which exponentially increases the power of these institutions.

     To participate in this, and by agreeing to pay this fake money back with interest, in order to maintain a certain lifestyle, is a strong indication that you are bound by one of the main tenets of the Matrix – consumerism.

  6. You converse with real people about the ongoing happenings of TV shows

    TV is the most potent tool used for mind control, and the ‘programming’ that is available, while certainly cool, fun, or entertaining is geared to reinforce certain behaviors amongst the masses.

     Dramatizing the ego’s importance, over sexualizing everything, glorifying violence, and teaching submissiveness to phony authority are the main features of modern TV.

     By taking what is happening onscreen and making it a part of your real life, you are doing your job of supporting the matrix’s desire to confuse us about the nature of reality, proving that something doesn’t have to actually happen in order for it to feel real to people.

  7. You don’t have anything to hide from total surveillance

    If it does not bother you that someone, somewhere, working for somebody is watching you, listening to your conversations, and monitoring your movements, then, you are a good slave to the Matrix.

     Invisible surveillance is an insidious form of thought control, and by using the logic of, ‘I have nothing to hide, therefore, it will do me no harm to be surveilled,’ then you are mindlessly admitting that you have an earthly master and are not of sovereign mind and body.

  8. You think the world would be safer if only governments had guns

    This is a violent world, and criminals engage in criminality against honest people at every level of society, including from within the government.

     Sure, in a perfect world, weapons wouldn’t be necessary for anyone but, sadly, our world is anything but perfect, and firearms are indeed a very effective form of protection against common criminals and abusive governments alike.

     The willingness to forego your right to self-defense is a sign that you’ve relegated personal responsibility to someone else. Having the masses abdicate personal responsibility is one of the most important aspects of controlling them.

     Welcome to the Matrix.

  9. You knowingly drink fluoridated water

    Of all the health debates taking place today, the topic of fluoridated water is the easiest to understand, for it is a toxic by-product of an industrial process… poison.

     Water is supposedly fluoridated to aid in dental health, which is debatable in itself, but if this were so, then the involuntary fluoridation of public water is a medication without your consent… a form of slavery. Knowing this and continuing to drink fluoridated water is a sign that you’re content with your slavery to the Matrix.

     Here are scientifically validated reasons to end public water fluoridation.

  10. You knowingly consume toxic poisons like MSG and Aspartame

    These two chemicals are widely known to be toxic to the human body.

     Knowing this and continuing to poison yourself with tasty, but chemical-laden processed foods is a sign that the Matrix has programmed you to place less value on your health and future than on your immediate gratification.

  11. You depend on the pharmaceutical industrial complex for the management of your own mental health

    The use of psychotropic medicines is rising rapidly in our society because people have been convinced that mental and emotional states can be classified as diseases, while the truth about natural mental health has been obfuscated by corporate media and a for-profit medical establishment.

     If you’re taking psychotropic medications, then you are under one of the most potent forms of mind control available. Part of this control is to convince you that you have no authority over your own mind.

     This is perhaps the matrix’s most terrible lie, and by willingly taking these psychotropic medications you are conforming to the worst kind of slavery, and inhibiting your natural mental and emotional responses to the life stressors that are signaling to you that you need to change your behavior and habits.

  12. You haven’t yet stopped watching your local and national news programming

    The mainstream news media is a tool of control and manipulation, and by continuing to support their ideas and world views by giving them your attention you are volunteering to be a slave to this not-so-subtle form of mental programming.

     Even the local news is scripted at the national level by agents of the handful of corporations tasked with shaping our opinions of events.

  13. You’re more concerned with televised sports or other mindless distractions than you are with the quality of your natural environment

    The Deepwater HorizonAlberta Tar Sands, the rise of Fracking, the sacrifice of the Amazon, and Fukushima are all life-changing events that will severely impact our future on planet earth.

     To be unconcerned with all of this while tuning into a never-ending stream of sports trivia and distraction-based living is a sign that your sense of self-preservation has been stolen and replaced with an impulsive tendency for triviality and escapism.

  14. You’re skeptical of any area of life that hasn’t been ‘proven’ or validated by modern science

    The very essence of science is the inquiry into the unknown, implying that until science can grasp something, it is unexplainable.

     By discrediting or ridiculing experiences that other people have, which yet evade scientific understanding, like near-death experiences, acupuncture, or the life changing effects of Ayahuasca, then you are slavishly reducing your understanding of the world to a narrow range of possibilities.

     The Matrix is made possible by the efforts of volunteer gatekeepers who are unwilling to think outside of the box.

  15. You’ve never questioned the popularized version of ancient history and the origins of our civilization

    There are many unanswered questions about the origins of the human race that point to a different version of human history than what is taught in school.

     Read ‘20 History Questions They Refuse to Answer in School‘ to discover some of the many ways in which our history has been hijacked.

     By never questioning what we’ve been told about our origin we are acquiescing to many of the imposed belief systems and narrow-banded views of human potential that the Matrix promotes.

  16. You haven’t yet realized that you are a spiritual being living a human experience

If you can relate to any of the items on this list, then the Matrix has you, and it is now your duty to engage more deeply in your liberation.

from:    http://howtoexitthematrix.com/2016/07/18/several-signs-that-you-are-a-slave-to-the-matrix/

Fewer Civil Liberties! Why?

As always, do your research:

Meet the Senators who recently voted to destroy your civil liberties

There were a few handful of Republicans who voted against it, and they should be commended

Yesterday, I published a post warning about an amendment to be put up for a vote in the U.S. Senate that would severely harm the civil liberties of American citizens. I was very disappointed to see an unusually low amount of reads on that particular post, which came in well below average despite being such an important issue.

Well it turns out John McCain’s amendment 4787 came up for a vote earlier today, and it was stopped by one vote. Yes, by one vote.

So what’s at stake? Let’s review an excerpt from yesterday’s post, Republican Senators Use Orlando Shooting to Push for Increased Government Spying Powers:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a vote late on Monday to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to use a secretive surveillance order without a warrant to include email metadata and some browsing history information.

The amendment would broaden the FBI’s authority to use so-called National Security Letters to include electronic communications transaction records such as time stamps of emails and the emails’ senders and recipients.

NSLs do not require a warrant and are almost always accompanied by a gag order preventing the service provider from sharing the request with a targeted user.

Sounds pretty important, but no one seemed to care yesterday. Fortunately, the vote (barely) went the right way, but Mitch McConnell switched his vote to NO at the end just so that he could regroup and push for another vote.

As US News reported:

Privacy-minded senators on Wednesday blocked an amendment that would give the FBI power to take internet records, including browser histories and email metadata, without a court order. But the victory may be fleeting.

Just one vote kept the measure from clearing a 60-vote procedural hurdle, and political arm-twisting may soon result in a second vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., switched his vote to “no” to allow reconsideration in the near future. That made the final tally 58-38, with four senators not voting.

As such, it’s very important that everyone understand where their Senators stand on this issue. Notably, Mr. fake “libertarian” Ted Cruz, who always pretends to care about civil liberties, voted in favor of giving the FBI more unconstitutional powers. There were a few handful of Republicans who voted against it, and they should be commended. They are:

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Cory Gardner (Colorado)
Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Steve Daines (Montana)
Dean Heller (Nevada)
Mike Lee (Utah)

To find out how your Senator voted, click here, and let them know how you feel.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

from:     https://www.intellihub.com/meet-the-senators-who-recently-voted-to-destroy-your-civil-liberties/

Perils of Smart Meter Grid

Smart Meter Companies Admit: We’re Spying On You

Power companies admit: We're spying on you

Smart meters are spying devices. Not breaking news? Likely not for those of us who have researched the issue for quite a long while, but an admission by those who make the devices is rather shocking.

That is exactly what has happened, as SmartGridNews, a website supported by the high-tech meter industry, acknowledged that smart meters are gathering private information on homeowners.

Smart meters utilize wireless technology and instantly tell power companies how much electricity a home is using, and even can report on the power usage by individual appliances, as Smart Grid News said. Smart meters also can literally control newer household appliances that have the capability to communicate with the device.

“One of the next areas of value comes from taking smart meter data and ‘disaggregating’ it to tell us exactly how customers are using electricity,” reads a new story on the website. “Do external devices already do this? Sure. Just as progress in the smart phone world reduced the need for external devices (cameras, alarm clocks, radios, pedometers, navigation systems, etc.) the ability to get accurate, appliance level feedback, without the need to invest in external hardware, is the next step in the world of smart meters.”

The Stop Smart Meters website states that fire dangers are also a problem associated with smart meters. Fire calls after smart meter installations reportedly include the shorting-out of electronics of all varieties and the burning-out of appliances.

Cyber hacking of smart meters to possibly overload and garner control of significant portions of the power grid is also an often-voiced worry about the smart power initiative. In Connecticut, 30 percent of customers in a pilot program had higher bills after smart meters were installed.

According to the Stop Smart Meters group, the smart grid devices do not always emit less RF (radio frequency) exposure than a cell phone — as some utility companies allegedly state.

“People are becoming increasingly aware of the potential harm done by chronic exposure to RF radiation-emitting devices and are taking steps to change how they use them. Most people are not offered a wired smart meter and you can’t turn it off once it is installed,” the group contends.

Story continues below video

Smart grid opponents have long opposed the gathering of their personal usage information.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus once stated that WiFi-connected devices, such as appliances commonly found inside many homes, will “transform the art of spying.” Petraeus also said that spies will be capable of monitoring Americans without going inside the home or perhaps even acquiring a warrant. He went on to state that remote control radio frequency identification devices, “energy harvesters,” sensor networks, and small embedded severs all connected to an Internet network will be all that is necessary for clandestine intelligence gathering.

The Smart Grid News report said customers surveyed in a recent report supported smart meters.

“Customers were delighted with the initiative as it showed how their new smart meters could work for them,” the website said. “Utility companies wanting to meet their specific conservation targets to drive customer engagement should ensure they are making the most of their smart meter investment. They can now use the power of smart meter data disaggregation to identify the customers who are most likely to help them reach their specific targets and turn them into willing partners in the drive for energy conservation.”

Data disaggregation basically means the automatic collection of personal energy habits of the homes attached to smart meters. The more customers know that is the case, the more they will oppose smart meters.

from:    http://www.offthegridnews.com/privacy/smart-meter-companies-admit-were-spying-on-you/

Protect Your Web Privacy

Constitutional Judge Begs America to “Wake Up” Over Fed’s Plan to Spy on Your Web Activity
TOPICS:Andrew NapolitanoCivil LibertiesFBISurveillance

June 9, 2016

fbi-spyingBy Matt Agorist

This week, the US senate published a bill that would give the FBI seemingly unlimited power to pry into the “electronic communications” of American citizens. The bill would give the FBI warrantless access to email records as well as a slew of other electronic data.

Its passage could effectively end online privacy.

According to a report in the Intercept:

The provision, tucked into the Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, would explicitly authorize the FBI to obtain “electronic communication transactional records” for individuals or entities — though it doesn’t define what that means. The bill was passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

In the past, the FBI has considered “electronic communication transactional records” to be a broad category of information — including everything from browsing history, email header information, records of online purchases, IP addresses of contacts, and more.

The single ‘no’ vote against the bill came from Sen. Ron Wyden, who wrote a letter warning Americans that the bill’s provisions “would allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers.”

Using the fear mongering tactics of “we need this to keep you safe,” the Fed will likely force this bill to become law.

The bill, if passed, could theoretically allow the FBI to target any individual who visits the FreeThoughtProject.com because of the subversive, yet entirely peaceful nature of the site. That information would then be stored, and a file kept on all people who are perceived rebellious by the State.

If you think the government declaring peaceful liberty-minded individuals as enemies of the state is far-fetched, think again. In 2009, a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.

Of course, all laws like this one are ostensibly designed to keep you safe from ‘terror;’ however, as we’ve seen in the past — terrorism is but a fraction of the cause for legislation like this.

Taking to the airwaves to voice his concern over the death of the 4th Amendment in relation to Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, Judge Andrew Napolitano unleashed his fury.

Napolitano noted the sheer ominous nature of a bill that would allow the FBI access to a person’s Web history.

He pointed out that the government will, as it always does, argue that this is necessary to keep us safe from terror attacks. But he would note that the argument is a “facade.”

“This law will pass because the Congress doesn’t give a damn about whether it’s unconstitutional!” said Napolitano.

Pointing out that the police state continues to get worse, regardless of which puppet is in the White House, Napolitano bravely said, on FOX News of all places, “It always gets worse, it never gets better. No matter who’s in the White House, and no matter which party controls the Congress.”

“The American people should wake up. This is a major step…….toward a police state,” he said.

At the end of the video, Shepard Smith makes a hard hitting point about why this is able to continue.

People get riled up about the stupidest things and something important like this, you can’t get them to even send an email.

from:    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/06/constitutional-judge-begs-america-to-wake-up-over-feds-plan-to-spy-on-your-web-activity.html

Surveillance, Fear & Self-Censorship

This is What Government Sponsored Mass Surveillance is Doing to Your Mind

Hacker Surveillance Big BrotherAlex Pietrowski, Staff
Waking Times

Big Brother is watching you and he wants you to believe that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.

This is a lie, of course, and as we move deeper into the era of state sponsored technological surveillance, we see more evidence that the loss of privacy and confidence in inter-personal communications is transforming the individual into a compliant, self-policing ward of the state.

In one of the first empirical scientific studies to provide concrete evidence of the ‘chilling effects’ that government surveillance has on internet users, Oxford University professor Jon Penney looked at Wikipedia search data and traffic patterns before and after the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden regarding widespread NSA surveillance of the internet. The results demonstrated an immediate trend towards self-censorship, as traffic and searches for terms like ‘Al Qaeda,’ ‘car bomb,’ and ‘Taliban’ showed nearly instant and mentionable decline.

The changes were statistically significant enough to indicate that many people automatically alter their own behavior upon realizing that a punitive authoritarian organization is monitoring them for legitimate or perceived wrongdoings.

“If people are spooked or deterred from learning about important policy matters like terrorism and national security, this is a real threat to proper democratic debate.” – Jon Penney

In 2013, the organization Pen America conducted a survey of writers in the United States showing that many were already self-censoring themselves in an increasingly oppressive atmosphere of government surveillance. The fear of being caught up in a dragnet of legal and financial problems was sufficient enough for many to change their tone and content, even though no direct physical threat existed.

“The results of this survey—the beginning of a broader investigation into the harms of surveillance—substantiate PEN’s concerns: writers are not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result.” [Source]

Commenting on the effects of authoritarian governments which heavily surveil their citizens, Pen America also notes that, “historically, from writers and intellectuals in the Soviet Bloc, and contemporaneously from writers, thinkers, and artists in China, Iran, and elsewhere—aggressive surveillance regimes limit discourse and distort the flow of information and ideas.” This is without question the intended aim of such programs.

That study also included data which indicated how people curtail their online behavior and interactions with other people out of fear of being persecuted by the nanny state:

“Smaller percentages of those surveyed described already changing their day-to-day behavior: 28 percent said they had “curtailed or avoided activities on social media,” with another 12 percent saying they had seriously considered doing it; similar percentages said they had steered clear of certain topics in phone calls or email (24 percent had done so; 9 percent had seriously considered it).” [Source]

Furthermore, in a 2015 study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) examining how awareness of government surveillance affected people’s use of Google, the world’s most widely used internet search engine, researchers concluded that, “users were less likely to search using search terms that they believed might get them in trouble with the US government.”

In general, people’s behavior also changes in ways more favorable to an authoritarian government when surveillance both online and in the real world is as ubiquitous as it already is in American society. The state draws power from a compliant, acquiescent, and self-policing public, and when mass surveillance is applied to the citizenry, with the predictable result of creating a more submissive and conformist citizenry.

This idea was effectively brought to life in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, where the primary surveillance device of the individual was the telescreen, a digital device located in every home that could receive and transmit audio and video, giving individuals zero privacy in their own homes. The beauty of omnipotent surveillance such as this was that the government did not even have to actually be monitoring an individual, because the simple fact that they could be listening and watching was enough to frighten a person into voluntary compliance and self-censorship.

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You have 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.” – George Orwell, 1984

This principle is coming to fruition in our modern world in the form of the internet and social media. Couple this with the creation and publication of government watch lists of all flavors, where people can be arbitrarily restricted from travel, or worse, and we are marching headlong into a brave new world where freedom is tightly constricted not by law, but by a creeping ambiguous fear of what may happen to us if we step out of line. We are creating a society where people may have legally protected free speech, but they dare not use it.

There is a reason governments, corporations, and multiple other entities of authority crave surveillance. It’s precisely because the possibility of being monitored radically changes individual and collective behavior. Specifically, that possibility breeds fear and fosters collective conformity. That’s always been intuitively clear. Now, there is mounting empirical evidence proving it.” – Glen Greenwald

from:    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/04/29/this-is-what-government-sponsored-mass-surveillance-is-doing-to-your-mind/