A MintPress study has found that hundreds of former agents of the notorious Israeli spying organization, Unit 8200, have attained positions of influence in many of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.Revealed: The Former Israeli Spies Working In Top Jobs At Google, Facebook And Microsoft
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks, Freedom of Information Act requests, and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public reports — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.TRUTH COPS: Leaked Documents Outline DHS’s Plans to Police Disinformation
H/T: Unorthodox Truth
Democracy is very fragile. Be careful with it! Stray but a little and democracy shall fail.
Here are 15 things that put democracy itself in jeopardy every day:The Top 15 Gravest Threats To Democracy
This week, Galloway spent his time pushing the hot DC claim du jour: that TikTok is a profound menace to the planet and should be banned. He made the point at the Vox Code conference, then hopped over to Bill Maher’s HBO show to make a similar pronouncement:
Actual evidence of TikTok being uniquely dangerous (especially any indication China has used or could use TikTok to bedazzle U.S. children) has been sorely lacking, but that doesn’t stop folks from heading to the fainting couches. This face fanning has been especially popular among a certain set of xenophobic DC politicians, and companies that don’t want to have to directly compete with China.
The problem: the U.S. is a corrupt, xenophobic, superficial dumpster fire, so most of the “solutions” to this potential problem have been stupid and performative.
Here’s the thing: you could ban TikTok immediately, and China could hoover up location, browsing, and behavior data from an ocean of completely unaccountable and hugely shady data brokers and middlemen. And they can do that because U.S. privacy and security standards are hot garbage. And in some instances, they’re hot garbage because of the same people now complaining about TikTok.
Both Carr and Cruz have extensive histories of undermining regulatory oversight and privacy rules at absolutely every opportunity, yet both are lauded by Galloway in a blog post for being heroic leaders in the “ban TikTok” crusades. Galloway’s a top pundit, yet somehow can’t see that Carr and Cruz are engaged in a zero-calorie xenophobic theatrics, and couldn’t care less about actual consumer privacy.
For literally thirty straight years, at absolutely every single turn, we prioritized making money over transparency or consumer privacy. As a result, consumer privacy protections are garbage, regulators are toothless, governments exploit the attention economy to avoid having to get warrants, and any idiot with a nickel can easily build gigantic, hugely detailed profiles about your everyday life without your consent.
“Banning TikTok” does nothing meaningful if you’re genuinely interested in meaningful surveillance and privacy reform. There will always be another TikTok. There’s an ocean of companies engaging in the same or worse behavior as TikTok because we’ve sanctioned this kind of guardrail-optional hyper-collection and monetization of consumer behavioral data at every step of the way.
Many of the folks beating the “ban TikTok” drum may be well intentioned but just don’t really understand how broken the consumer privacy landscape is. They may not understand that this is a problem that’s exponentially more complicated than just what we do with a single app. Freaking out exclusively about a single app tells me you either don’t really understand the data-hoovering monster we’ve built, or don’t really care if anybody other than China exploits it (waves tiny American flag patriotically).
Many of the other folks calling for a TikTok ban aren’t operating in good faith. Facebook/Meta, for example, spends a lot of time spreading scary stories about TikTok in the press and DC because they want to crush a competitive threat they’ve been incapable of out-innovating. Similar, Politico’s owner is on the Netflix board and simply wants to curtail what he sees as a threat to market and advertising mindshare.
Then there’s just a ton of Silicon Valley folks who believe they inherently own and deserve the advertising market share TikTok occupies. And then of course there’s just a whole bunch of rank bigots who are mad because darker skinned human beings built a popular app, and try to hide this bigotry behind patriotic, pseudo national security concerns.
UK uses TikTok influencers to urge teens to get jab after Pfizer-linked vaccine committee chair admits policy lacks evidence + White House enlists army of social media influencers to promote COVID-19 vaccines
China has been, variously described as a rising power, a sleeping dragon and a collapsing economy. Most of the rhetoric is driven from the US. Inside their government, both the Senate and Congress have anti-China hawks, their State Department seems to see a threat at every turning point and their military seems to believe that a defensive People’s liberation Army is a bad thing as it threatens US interests. Books reports and documentaries are created about mass dissatisfaction which extended academic research seems unable to identify.What’s wrong with the USA? (archived)
By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | August 29, 2022
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) controversial “Disinformation Governance Board” was recently shut down after First Amendment concerns but the DHS seemingly still intends to continue its “disinformation” work.DHS wants to continue its “disinformation” work, flag “falsehoods” to social media platforms
It is an uncomfortable job for anyone trying to draw the line between “harmful content and protecting freedom of speech. It’s a balance”, Aaron says. In this official Facebook video, Aaron identifies himself as the manager of “the team that writes the rules for Facebook”, determining “what is acceptable and what is not.” Thus, he and his team effectively decide what content the platform’s 2.9 billion active users see and what they don’t see.Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy
Google is already helping the government write, and rewrite, history. Here, from its transparency report, are some stats on the amount of information it has either given to the government or wiped from the web based on requests by U.S. agencies:
Not mentioned—Luke Thompson was involved with Protect Ohio Values Super PAC:
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How obscure retiree Jay Stone played a crucial, if little-known, role in making Wisconsin a hotbed of conspiracy theories that Democrats stole the state’s 10 electoral votes from Donald Trump.The Hypnotherapist and Failed Politician Who Helped Fuel the Never-Ending Hunt for Election Fraud in Wisconsin