COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Sep 24 10:18

Cyber Attacks on Our Food Systems are Gaining Steam

(Malware News) – Recent ransomware attacks against U.S. grain cooperatives and a farm data platform are raising the specter of food supply chain disruptions while highlighting the economic and physical security risks of reliance on increasingly sophisticated systems to feed the world.

America’s farms have led the way in real-world applications of innovations, from self-driving vehicles to satellite imagery, so much so that many farmers are already living in the future: They rely on farm platforms that can connect information from their tractors, drones, satellites, soil samples, and public sources to map out plans for planting, which herbicides or pesticides to use, and harvests.

“Everything is connected,” explained Auburn University Professor Robert Norton, who studies food safety...

Sep 24 09:47

Apple May Be Forced to Embrace USB-C for Future iPhones

The European Union refuses to give up on the dream that one day, all of us will use the same damn charger for all our devices. Today, the European Commission announced it plans to force all smartphones—and several other types of electronics—to use USB-C as the one true charging standard.

The proposed plan has four parts. The first is that “USB-C will be the common port” so that consumers can charge their devices with the same charger, “regardless of device or brand.” The European Commission says it aims to prevent different companies from capping charging speeds, and companies will also be required to provide consumers with information about charging performance, as well as whether a device supports fast charging. The idea here is to educate consumers so they know whether their existing chargers will work with a new device. Lastly, the European Commission wants chargers to be unbundled from new devices, so you can buy a new smartphone without yet another charger included in the box.

Sep 24 09:40

Telosa: A Technocratic City In The Making

By Matt

One of the great myths of the modern age is that of the beneficent billionaire. The tale is simple and told in just two acts. In the first act these men and women rise from humble beginnings to amass inordinate amounts of wealth, power, and influence over society. Their second act begins when they are reborn as philanthropists whose only purpose in life is to save the planet.

This is the story of many of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Variations of it apply to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Pierre Omidyar.

Joining their ranks is entrepreneur and former CEO of e-commerce at Walmart, Marc Lore. His first act is just like those of the other beneficent billionaires. Lore was just a normal kid from Staten Island who would go on to found and then sell several successful companies which already amassed him an enormous fortune before joining Walmart...

Sep 24 09:04

Apple turns post-lawsuit tables on Epic, will block Fortnite on iOS

Weeks after Epic's apparent "win" against Apple in the Epic Games v. Apple case, Apple issued a letter denying Epic's request to have its developer license agreement reinstated until all legal options are exhausted. This effectively bans Fortnite and any other software from the game maker from returning to Apple's App Store for years.

Epic was handed an initial victory when the US District Court for Northern California issued an injunction on September 10 ordering Apple to open up in-game payment options for all developers. At the time, the injunction was something of a moral victory for Epic—allowing the developer to keep its in-game payment systems in its free-to-play Fortnite intact while avoiding paying Apple a 30 percent fee that had previously covered all in-app transactions.

Sep 23 07:48

Internet users stressed out by cyberattack news: Kaspersky

A new Kaspersky survey found that internet users in the US and Canada increasingly believe the internet is stressful. The findings coincided with a more general increase in internet usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its "Dealing with a new normal in our digital reality" report, Kaspersky researchers found that almost 70% of the 2,500 consumers surveyed said they find news about data breaches to be stressful.

Sep 22 06:14

iPhones to detect depression, cognitive decline & anxiety in users... problems it could cause in the first place, reports say

Apple is allegedly working with UCLA and pharmaceutical firm Biogen to try to detect depression and other mental illnesses in iPhone users. However, the smartphone itself has also been blamed for such conditions.

The tech giant is working with the University of California, Los Angeles to determine if its algorithms can detect stress, anxiety, and depression among iPhone users. The partnership with Biogen is also focused on studying mild cognitive impairment among users, according to several unnamed Apple employees who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Sep 21 18:14

[Video] DELETED World Economic Forum about cyber warfare

https://twitter.com/ditch_crawler/status/1402932315291009024

The World Economic Forum has unlisted this video

AWMYGAWDLOOKATTHISTERRORISTCYBERATTACK!

Sep 21 16:43

Stop Military Surveillance Drones from Coming Home

By Matthew Guariglia

A federal statute authorizes the Pentagon to transfer surveillance technology, among other military equipment, to state and local police. This threatens privacy, free speech, and racial justice.

So Congress should do the right thing and enact Representative Ayanna Pressley’s amendment, Moratorium on Transfer of Controlled Property to Enforcement Agencies, to H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA22). It would greatly curtail the amount of dangerous military equipment, including surveillance drones, that could be transferred to local and state law enforcement agencies through the Department of Defense’s “1033 program.” It has already placed $7.4 billion in military equipment with police departments since 1990...

Sep 21 08:17

UN Warns Artificial Intelligence May Pose "Negative, Even Catastrophic" Threat To Human Rights

The United Nations has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) systems may pose a “negative, even catastrophic” threat to human rights and called for AI applications that are not used in compliance with human rights to be banned.

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Sept. 15 urged members states to put a temporary ban on the sale and use of AI until the potential risks it poses have been addressed and adequate safeguards put in place to ensure the technology will not be abused.

“We cannot afford to continue playing catch-up regarding AI—allowing its use with limited or no boundaries or oversight and dealing with the almost inevitable human rights consequences after the fact,” Bachelet said in a statement.

Sep 21 07:00

Israel: communications company hit by major cyberattack

An unidentified hacker, known only as Deus, has revealed on an internet forum that he has hacked into the systems of the giant Israeli communications firm Voicenter and stolen 15 terabytes of data, local media reported on Monday. The hacker put the information up for sale, posting hundreds of examples of the private data that he has taken.

Ynet News said that the major cyberattack hit Voicenter on Saturday. The attack paralysed the communications systems of a number of firms that receive services from the company. It added that software giant Check Point, mobile network operator Partner, Mobileye, Expon, we4G, SimilarWeb, AllJobs, and Gett are among the companies that work with Voicenter.

The company sent SMS messages to its clients on Sunday, saying that the perpetrators of the attack were "hackers from abroad." However, Voicenter claimed that the attack did not affect its work. "As far as we know, the incident did not entail any information leaks."

Sep 21 06:59

Israel's economy not ready to deal with Iran cyberattacks

Commenting on Russian-Iranian cooperation on cybersecurity, founder and CEO of Israeli cyber consultation firm Konfidas Digital Ltd, Ram Levi, said Israel's economy is not ready for Iranian cyberattacks, Rai Al-Youm reported yesterday.

The UAE-based online newspaper reported Levi telling the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the Russian-Iranian deal would largely reinforce Iran's protection from cyberattacks, as well as Iran's ability to carry out cyberattacks.

According to Levi, the deal would give Iran abilities it did not have before. "What is worrying for us is that Russia and Iran will at a certain point have intelligence cooperation and how to carry out attacks. This will strengthen Iran."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What goes around comes around.

Sep 21 06:32

Gov. Ned Lamont eyeing digital COVID-19 vaccine passport system in Connecticut for admission to entertainment venues, restaurants that require proof

Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday said the state is considering a digital COVID-19 vaccine passport similar to the one incorporated recently in New York to ease admission to venues where vaccination is required.

“In terms of [a] mandate, one of the things I’ve been talking to [chief operating officer] Josh Geballe about is … to make it easier for businesses, maybe we ought to have some sort of a validation system,” Lamont said. “The Excelsior is what they’re using in New York City, New York State, that would allow restaurants, bars … employers a little easier way to verify that people who say they’re vaccinated are vaccinated.”

Sep 20 10:01

Recently reported Microsoft zero-day gaining popularity with attackers, Kaspersky says

A recently reported security vulnerability in Microsoft's MSHTML browser engine is being found all over the world, and Kaspersky said it "expects to see an increase in attacks using this vulnerability."

MSHTML is the under-the-hood browser engine that is found in every single currently available version of Windows, both server and PC. As such, this vulnerability affects everyone with a Windows machine of any kind, meaning this is a serious threat.

Sep 20 07:11

Your car knows too much about you. That could be a privacy nightmare.

Over the last few decades, technology has given drivers remarkable improvements in both safety and convenience — but it has also turned cars into data-gathering machines. What information is collected, and where it ends up, is not always clear to car owners.

That's a potential privacy disaster waiting to happen.

As Jon Callas, the Electric Frontier Foundation's director of technology projects, explained to Mashable, newer cars — and Teslas in particular — are in many ways like smartphones that just happen to have wheels. They are often WiFi-enabled, come with over a hundred CPUs, and have Bluetooth embedded throughout. In other words, they're a far cry from the automobiles of even just 20 years ago.

Sep 19 11:43

Flashback: Bill Gates Crytocurrency Patent Edging Us Closer to Dystopian Society and Mark of the Beast

Patent #WO2020060606 is described as a “Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data.” Microsoft has partnered with VeriChip manufacturer Digital Angel Corporation since 2008.

Sep 19 11:32

Orwell’s authoritarian surveillance state is finally here: Amazon to release new TVs that feature constant spying on everything you say

Fans of Amazon are sure to be receptive to the online e-tail behemoth’s latest technology, Fire TVs, because they will simply make streaming the company’s video offerings, programs and movies that much easier.

What the company isn’t telling the owners of those new TVs, which start shipping in October, is that they will literally be inviting in the government surveillance state that visionary author George Orwell warned about in his prophetic book “1984.”

Sep 19 04:50

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE NOW BUYING PERSONAL CELL PHONE DATA FROM COMMERCIAL BROKERS WITHOUT WARRANTS

A meaningful debate is starting to brew about law enforcement's use of commercially available cell phone data for purposes of criminal investigations across the country.
The data, called open-source intelligence by those who advocate for it, used to only be prepared and sold by brokers, generally to marketers and advertisers.

Information is sent daily from "phones, cars and other connected devices" to commercial brokers, The Wall Street Journal wrote this week. That data is then widely used in "finance, real-estate planning and advertising".

But recently, these brokers have created products specifically for law enforcement. The products have "increasingly been used to screen airline passengers, find and track criminal suspects, and enforce immigration and counterterrorism laws," according to the Wall Street Journal.

Agencies that are using the data, or considering use of the data, include the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.

Sep 18 14:56

New Documentary Film on Cell Phone Radiation Features Interviews with Scientists

By B.N. Frank

Research has determined that exposure to sources of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation is biologically harmful. It can increase cancer risk, disrupt the blood-brain barrier and so much more.

Several documentary films have been produced about exposure risks from various sources including utility “Smart” Meters. A new one will be released later this month.

Sep 17 13:22

Russian Online Voting System Suffers DDoS-Attack Coming From US, German, Ukrainian IPs

The Russian authorities previously summoned the US ambassador to demand that Washington stop interfering in the general election in the country taking place between 17 and 19 September.

The online voting system in Russia suffered denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on 17 September coming from IP addresses registered in the US, Germany, and Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media has stated. The attacks came as both in-person and online general election voting kicked off in Russia.

The ministry said there have been two waves of attacks: the first targeted the election monitoring system and was launched at 8:00 a.m. local time (5:00 GMT), while the second targeted the voting authentication system and was spotted at 10:36 a.m. local time (7:36 GMT).

Sep 17 12:52

The new warrant: how US police mine Google for your location and search history

It was a routine bike ride around the neighborhood that landed Zachary McCoy in the crosshairs of the Gainesville, Florida, police department.

In January 2020, an alarming email from Google landed in McCoy’s inbox. Police were requesting his user data, the company told him, and McCoy had seven days to go to court and block its release.

McCoy later found out the request was part of an investigation into the burglary of a nearby home the year before. The evidence that cast him as a suspect was his location during his bike ride – information the police obtained from Google through what is called a geofence warrant. For simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, McCoy was being investigated and, as a result, his Google data was at risk of being handed over to the police.

Sep 17 08:28

Update Chrome NOW! Google issues urgent warning to all internet users

Anyone using Chrome must make sure their browser is fully updated to the most recent version without delay. That's the latest warning from Google who has just begun pushing out an important upgrade to its hugely popular software in a bid to stop a known threat from targeting its billions of users.

The latest patch, called 93.0.4577.82, fixes a total of eleven security vulnerabilities which is bad enough. However, what makes this upgrade vital is that two of the bugs found within Chrome have been give a zero-day rating.

Zero-day warnings are every gadget owners worst nightmare. That's because zero-day means it's possible – and highly likely – the issue is known to hackers and is being actively exploited right now. That's why Google has rushed to release the patch so quickly.

Sep 17 08:15

1.5 Billion Attacks on Internet of Things (IoT)/Smart Devices during First Half of 2021; Smart Watches, Home Accessories, etc.

The first half of 2021 saw 1.5 billion attacks on smart devices, with attackers looking to steal data, mine cryptocurrency or build botnets.

The first six months of 2021 have seen a more than 100-percent growth in cyberattacks against internet-of-things (IoT) devices, researchers have found.

According to a Kaspersky analysis of its telemetry from honeypots shared with Threatpost, the firm detected more than 1.5 billion IoT attacks – up from 639 million during the previous half year, which is more than twice the volume.

Sep 16 12:31

“Science and Technology Think Tank” Supports AR/VR for K-12 and Higher Ed Despite Known Health Risks

By B.N. Frank

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets can cause behavioral changes, balance issues, cognitive problems, eye problems (soreness, vision changes), headaches, and other discomforts.

Research has also determined that children absorb 2-5 times more harmful radiation than adults while wearing VR headsets. Despite all of this, tech companies and their supporters continue to promote VR technology for educational purposes including for children...

Sep 16 11:36

Israeli spy tech firm exploited vulnerability on ALL IPHONE devices to implant ‘Pegasus’ malware – report

Digital rights group CitizenLab has discovered a vulnerability that allowed Israeli spyware company NSO Group to implant its Pegasus malware onto virtually every iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch device.

CitizenLab revealed the vulnerability on Monday, a week after discovering it by analyzing the phone of a Saudi activist that had been infected with the malware. The discovery was announced to the public shortly after Apple rolled out an update to patch the vulnerability.

The vulnerability allowed the NSO Group’s clients to send malicious files disguised as .gif files to a target’s phone, which would then exploit “an integer overflow vulnerability in Apple’s image rendering library” and leave the phone open to the installation of NSO Group’s now-infamous ‘Pegasus’ malware.

The exploit is what’s known as a ‘zero-click’ vulnerability, meaning that the target user would not have to click a suspicious link or file to allow the malware onto their device.

Sep 16 06:08

LICENSE PLATE READERS USE FOOTAGE FROM RING, SMARTPHONES AND ATMS TO ID VEHICLES

Flock Safety's license plate readers can now ID vehicles from any camera source. Basically, Flock Safety has turned every camera in the country into potential license plate readers.

Two years ago CBS News revealed, that America is nearly as bad as China when it comes to spying on its citizens.

In 2019, the U.S. trailed only China in the number of surveillance cameras per-person, with at least 70 million surveillance cameras or one surveillance camera for every 4.6 people.

Sep 15 20:07

Best Free Software for Windows

Sep 15 18:39

The Federal Government Just Can’t Get Enough of Your Face

By Chao Liu

There are more federal facial recognition technology (FRT) systems than there are federal agencies using them, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. Its latest report on current and planned use of FRT by federal agencies reveals that, among the 24 agencies surveyed, there are 27 federal FRT systems. Just three agencies—the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Justice—use 18 of these systems for, as they put it, domestic law enforcement and national security purposes.

Sep 15 12:29

Lessons From History: Afghanistan and the Dangerous Afterlives of Identifying Data

By Matthew Guariglia

As the United States pulled its troops out of Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation, byproducts of the prolonged deployment took on new meaning and represented a new chapter of danger for the Afghan people. For two decades, the United States spearheaded the collection of information on the people of Afghanistan, both for commonplace bureaucratic reasons like payroll and employment data—and in massive databases of biometric material accessible through devices called HIIDE.

HIIDE, the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, are devices used to collect biometric data like fingerprints and iris scans and store that information on large accessible databases...

Sep 15 07:54

New book tracks Hunter Biden's three laptops amid crack binges and flings with prostitutes

A new book tracks three laptops owned by President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and their various chains of custody amid the younger Biden's benders and dalliances with prostitutes.

Fox News has obtained an exclusive excerpt from POLITICO national political correspondent Ben Schrekinger's new book, "The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power."

The excerpt from Chapter 1, "Czechov’s Laptop," details how the younger Biden's trio of laptops ended up in Delaware, and how the one left for "data recovery" at John Paul Mac Isaac’s computer repair shop in the state stirred international controversy.

Sep 15 06:34

Former US intelligence officials admit to hacking for UAE at hearing in Virginia

Three former US intelligence agents admitted in a Virginia court on Tuesday to taking part in a United Arab Emirates (UAE) hacking operation aimed at enemies and rivals of the Gulf nation.

Marc Baier, 49, Ryan Adams, 34, and Daniel Gericke, 40, agreed to pay a cumulative $1.7m in penalties, the amount they earned while working for the UAE, to resolve charges of violating US export controls, computer fraud and illegal use of other people's computer access.

The federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia agreed to defer prosecution for three years in the complex case, which highlighted the global market of government's seeking highly trained computer security experts to spy on perceived enemies and threats.

Sep 15 05:25

Digital Tyranny and the Rockefeller-Gates WHO “Vaxx-Certificate Passport”: Towards a World War III Scenario

What is the Infamous Agenda ID2020?

Behind its development is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – with support of the Rockefeller Foundation – and others belonging to the sinister all-digitization, depopulation and eugenics agenda.

It is an alliance of public-private partners, including UN agencies and civil society.

It’s an electronic ID-program that uses generalized vaccination against Covid-19 as a platform for digital identity.

It is an all-electronic ID – linking everything to everything of each individual (records of health, criminal, banking, personal and private, etc.), being managed by a state agency or in extremis, by the private sector. – Imagine – an insurance company or bank handling your private records, converted into an electronic and eventually “chipped” ID.

Sep 15 05:21

NHTSA Asks 12 Competing Automakers To Help With Its Broad Investigation Of Tesla's Autopilot

The wide-ranging NHTSA probe into Tesla's Autopilot just got a little more "wide-ranging".

That's because today it was reported that the NHTSA has asked for help from 12 major competitors other automakers in its probe of crashes involving Tesla vehicles.

General Motors, Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen were among the names contacted by the NHTSA as the regulator starts to conduct a "comparative analysis" with other "production vehicles equipped with the ability to control both steering and braking/accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances," Reuters reported Tuesday.

The NHTSA is seeking out information on any crashes in which an advanced driver system was operating "anytime during the period beginning 30 seconds immediately prior to the commencement of the crash," the report said.

Sep 14 13:33

Israel Unveils New Armed Robot Amid Outcry Over 'Death Machines'

Israel unveiled a new remote-controlled killer robot Monday at a major weapons fair in the U.K. that human rights advocates are criticizing as an event to sell "death machines" and tools of abuse.

Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Rex MK II is a four-wheeled vehicle mounted with two machine guns to carry out remote attacks. According to a press statement from the state-owned company announcing the release, the robot has already been sold to global customers.

Sep 14 10:16

How to Remove Location Data From Your iPhone Photos Before Sharing Them

Every time you take a picture with your iPhone, the exact location where it was taken is saved along with the photo. This feature is called geotagging, and it’s useful because your iPhone lets you search for photos by location. It’s less useful when you want to share photos without sharing everything about where they were taken.

Luckily, most social media sites strip location data from photos before they’re uploaded, but it’s a good practice to remove it yourself before sharing photos via another method, as some messaging apps, cloud storage services, and file sharing services (including AirDrop) retain that location data. Here’s how you can remove it quickly.

Sep 14 08:05

Google as the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’: Tech giant admits it’s preventing Australians from seeing certain videos that veer from accepted ‘facts’

If visionary writer George Orwell, author of “1984,” which gives a dystopian vision of the future, were alive today, he would be amazed at how utterly correct many of his predictions were about all-powerful central governments.

Such as the existence of a “Ministry of Truth,” whereby bureaucrats decide what the public can and cannot know in terms of ‘established facts’ — namely, no truths are permitted that run afoul of the central government’s narratives, even if they’re false.

Take what’s happening in newly authoritarian Australia as an example.

According to reports, Google officials have admitted preventing Australians from seeing certain videos because the platform’s engineers have adjusted algorithms to prevent those videos from showing up in searches.

Sep 14 07:38

Apple fixes flaw exploited by Israeli firm’s Pegasus spyware

Apple Inc. said it patched a security flaw in the Messages app after security researchers determined that Israel-based NSO Group used it to “exploit and infect” the latest devices with spyware.

The flaw, disclosed Monday by Citizen Lab, allowed a hacker using NSO’s Pegasus malware to gain access to a device owned by an unnamed Saudi activist, according to security researchers. Apple said the flaw could be exploited if a user on a vulnerable device received a “maliciously crafted” PDF file.

Sep 14 07:37

Texans can now sue Big Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter for censorship

A new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott allows Texans whose free speech rights have been infringed by Big Tech to sue for damages.

Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are no longer immune to lawsuits in the Lone Star State when they silence or otherwise violate the free speech rights of Texans.

“We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas,” Abbott announced while signing the legislation into law.

“Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely – but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas,” he added. “That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.”

Sep 14 07:15

Apple Issues Urgent Software Update To Patch Spyware Vulnerability

Apple users are being encouraged to update their devices after researchers discovered a security flaw that could allow hackers to secretly install spyware without targets knowing.

The company on Monday released an emergency patch to the vulnerability flaw that allowed advanced spyware to be installed into users’ Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.

It comes after security researchers at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto last month uncovered the security flaw that they believe has been used by government clients of Israeli spyware company NSO Group to secretly hack into devices since February.

Sep 14 06:45

The ‘Pegasus’ Saga: All iPhone Devises Were Exploited by Israeli Spy Tech Firm, Report Indicates

The digital rights group CitizenLab has discovered a vulnerability that allowed Israeli spyware company NSO Group to implant its Pegasus malware onto virtually every iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch device.

CitizenLab revealed the vulnerability on Monday, a week after discovering it by analyzing the phone of a Saudi activist that had been infected with the malware. The discovery was announced to the public shortly after Apple rolled out an update to patch the vulnerability.

The vulnerability allowed the NSO Group’s clients to send malicious files disguised as .gif files to a target’s phone, which would then exploit “an integer overflow vulnerability in Apple’s image rendering library” and leave the phone open to the installation of NSO Group’s now-infamous ‘Pegasus’ malware.

The exploit is what’s known as a ‘zero-click’ vulnerability, meaning that the target user would not have to click a suspicious link or file to allow the malware onto their device.

Sep 13 15:51

Israel Unveils New Armed Robot Amid Outcry Over “Death Machines”

By Andrea Germanos

Israel unveiled a new remote-controlled killer robot Monday at a major weapons fair in the U.K. that human rights advocates are criticizing as an event to sell “death machines” and tools of abuse.

Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Rex MK II is a four-wheeled vehicle mounted with two machine guns to carry out remote attacks. According to a press statement from the state-owned company announcing the release, the robot has already been sold to global customers...

Sep 13 07:48

China Is Trying To Control Rising Semi Prices By Fining Auto Chip Manufacturers

China is taking a page out of the Keynesian central banking playbook on how to micromanage an entire economy and is now reportedly fining auto chip sales companies for driving up prices.

And, like central banks will soon find out, we expect China to find out the hard way that you can't print, fine or tax your way to productivity.

The price increases are likely a normal result of a shortage of supply in semiconductors, which has plagued auto manufacturers for the better part of the last year.

China's State Administration for Market Regulations said it had fined three local companies a total of 2.5 million yuan, according to a report in Automotive News Europe.

The companies fined included Shanghai Chengsheng Industrial, Shanghai Cheter and Shenzhen Yuchang Technologies.

Sep 10 19:36

The Other 20-Year Anniversary: Freedom and Surveillance Post-9/11

By Cindy Cohn and Matthew Guariglia

The twentieth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2021 are a good time to reflect on the world we’ve built since then. Those attacks caused incalculable heartbreak, anger and fear. But by now it is clear that far too many things that were put into place in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, especially in the areas of surveillance and government secrecy, are deeply problematic for our democracy, privacy and fairness. It’s time to set things right.

Sep 10 18:21

The Dubious History of U.S. Wireless Radiation Safety Limits; No Update Since 1996 Despite Research and Lawsuits

By B.N. Frank

The FCC is supposed to protect Americans from the telecom and cable industries. Instead, the regulatory agency has catered to these industries for decades. Lawsuits have been filed against it for NOT protecting the public from unsafe levels of cell phone and WiFi radiation, 5G on Earth, in space and also for allowing telecom and cable companies to overcharge Americans for decades.

Last month, a federal court ruled in favor of organizations and petitioners that claim the agency is not adequately protecting the public from harmful wireless radiation exposure.

Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for creating and posting this tell-all timeline...

Sep 10 12:45

Geofence Warrants Threaten Civil Liberties and Free Speech Rights in Kenosha and Nationwide

By Matthew Guariglia, Mukund Rathi, Houston Davidson, and Jennifer Lynch

In the days following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23, 2020, hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Federal law enforcement, it turns out, collected location data on many of those protesters. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) used a series of “geofence warrants” to force Google to hand over data on people who were in the vicinity of—but potentially as far as a football field away from—property damage incidents. These warrants, which police are increasingly using across the country, threaten the right to protest and violate the Fourth Amendment.

Sep 10 11:08

The top keywords used in phishing email subject lines

In recent months, hacking groups have brought critical aspects of U.S. infrastructure to a halt, and phishing is a popular tool in cybercriminal's seemingly ever-expanding armamentarium of attack methods. On Wednesday, Expel released a report, highlighting the top keywords used in phishing attempt subject lines. Based on the findings, employees may need to be particularly wary of the seemingly innocuous emails in their inboxes.

"Attackers are trying to trick people into giving them their credentials. The best way to do this is to make the email look legitimate, prompt one clear action and lace it with emotion - urgency or fear of loss are the most common," said Ben Brigida, director, SOC Operations, at Expel. "The actions are as simple as 'go to this site' or 'open this file,' but the attacker wants you to be moving too fast to stop and question if it's legitimate."

Sep 10 10:28

Yandex is battling the largest DDoS in Russian Internet history

Russian internet giant Yandex has been targeted in a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that started last week and reportedly continues this week.

A report in Russian media says that the assault is the largest in the short history of the Russian internet, the RuNet, and that it was confirmed by a U.S.-based company.

RuNet is the Russian segment of the internet, created to function independently of the worldwide web. Its purpose is to maintain the unified country-wide communication infrastructure running in case of a cyber attack from a foreign adversary.

Sep 10 10:27

Windows MSHTML zero-day defenses bypassed as new info emerges

New details have emerged about the recent Windows CVE-2021-40444 zero-day vulnerability, how it is being exploited in attacks, and the threat actor's ultimate goal of taking over corporate networks.

This Internet Explorer MSHTML remote code execution vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-40444, was disclosed by Microsoft on Tuesday but with few details as it has not been patched yet.

The only information shared by Microsoft was that the vulnerability uses malicious ActiveX controls to exploit Office 365 and Office 2019 on Windows 10 to download and install malware on an affected computer.

...

Since the release of this vulnerability, security researchers have taken to Twitter to warn how dangerous it is even though Microsoft Office's 'Protected View' feature will block the exploit.

Sep 10 08:50

Skynet Went Live June 8! Attn: Alexa Echo and Ring Owners

On June 8, 2021 Skynet went LIVE. If you have an Amazon Alexa Echo or an Amazon Ring Camera then your devices have now been recruited with a default opt-in to support the Amazom SideWalk.

Now a secret network has been enabled that powers devices on the steets without the need for a Wifi connection or an Internet connection. Amazon Echos and Rings all over will now provide the network architecture by passing the signals to and from devices on 900mhz through the Internet by sharing in the bandwidth of everyone with these Amazon devices.

However these devices are not under the control of the owner of the device. These network activities are encrypted and kept private between Amazon and the device so you don't even know what your device is doing, what other devices it is listening to or whether it is doing Remote control.

Welcome to Skynet.

Sep 09 10:38

Almost 75% of unvaccinated workers to quit if companies make vaccines required – survey

A survey found that almost three-fourths of unvaccinated employees would quit if companies require the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. According to the poll, only a measly 16 percent of unvaccinated workers would get the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey came amid different employers in the U.S. mandating the shot for their workers after Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine was granted full approval.

The poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News had 1,066 adult respondents. They were interviewed between Aug. 20 and Sept. 1, 2021. According to the WaPo–ABC News poll, only 16 percent of unvaccinated respondents would get the COVID-19 vaccine if their employer requires it. Meanwhile, 42 percent said they would quit their jobs while 35 percent said they would ask for an exemption on medical or religious grounds.

But in the case a medical or religious exemption is not available, 72 percent of respondents said they would resign.

Sep 09 09:51

Revealed: LAPD officers told to collect social media data on every civilian they stop

he Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has directed its officers to collect the social media information of every civilian they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime, according to records shared with the Guardian.

Copies of the “field interview cards” that police complete when they question civilians reveal that LAPD officers are instructed to record a civilian’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information. An internal memo further shows that the police chief, Michel Moore, told employees that it was critical to collect the data for use in “investigations, arrests, and prosecutions”, and warned that supervisors would review cards to ensure they were complete.

The documents, which were obtained by the not-for-profit organization the Brennan Center for Justice, have raised concerns about civil liberties and the potential for mass surveillance of civilians without justification.

Sep 09 09:19

How to reset an iPhone that you don't have the password for

iPhones are notoriously difficult to break into. If you have a unique passcode set up, it's almost impossible for someone to get in without your permission.

But this also works the other way around. If you need to open an iPhone but don't have the password, or it's disabled, the only way to unlock it is to factory reset it.

Luckily, there are two ways to reset an iPhone without using its password.

Sep 09 09:13

Singapore is testing robots to patrol the streets for 'undesirable' behavior like smoking

Singapore is in the midst of a three-week trial for a pair of autonomous robots that patrol the public for "undesirable social behaviors" that include smoking in prohibited areas and violating COVID-19 gathering regulations.

The pair of robots, known as Xavier, are equipped with cameras that can provide 360-degree footage and sensors that allow them to navigate in public and analyze potential public safety violations.

According to a press release from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency , if Xavier detects an undesirable behavior, it will alert a public officer control center and officers can respond in person or remotely via the robot's interactive dashboard. Five Singaporean government agencies are involved in the testing of Xavier.

Sep 09 09:04

Is Apple Scanning Your iPhone Photos? Here’s What You Need to Know

Experts explain Apple's controversial new plan to scan your iPhone photos—and what it could mean for your privacy.

Apple has touted its top-notch user privacy standards for years, but its new plan to scan iPhone photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is raising alarms in the tech world. While everyone agrees on the importance of cracking down on sexually explicit content involving children, privacy experts warn that Apple scanning photos could have downsides.

“There are a lot of unintended consequences that this new CSAM policy could lead to,” says Karim Hijazi, CEO of cybersecurity company Prevailion. “This is just one of many ways that our privacy is being eroded on a daily basis.”

Sep 09 09:01

Apple confirms four new iPhones, and a nasty surprise for iPhone 12 owners

The filing also has RF testing data for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and these are all labeled at "legacy." This points to the likelihood of the 12 line being discontinued as soon as the iPhone 13 line is out (this wording on similar FCC filings in the past, as well as how Apple has refreshed the iPhone line in previous years).

It's possible that the iPhone 12 base model may take over from the iPhone 11 as a stop gap in the line, but there have been speculation that Apple is planning to tidy up and streamline the iPhone lineup in order to focus production on the newer handsets and keep the constraints mentioned in the last financial earnings call to a minimum.

Sep 09 08:41

Before you die, decide who gets access to your online accounts and digital files

Have you given any thought as to what you want to happen to your accounts, files, photos, and the rest of your online life once you’re gone? If the number of calls and requests I am getting for help on my national radio show is any indication, do it now while you’re thinking about it.

In life, it’s hard enough to keep it all secure. That’s why I continually focus on the ever-changing steps to keep you safe. Tap or click for five smartphone security steps to take now to keep hackers and scammers out.

Your phone isn't the only target. A person with the right know-how can break into your router, your social media pages; you name it. Tap or click for a few quick privacy fixes you can do in about 10 minutes.

Let’s get your digital life in order for those you leave behind. Take a look at this list below and you may want to assign a person to be your “digital executor.” Ask your estate attorney about that.

Sep 09 06:27

Police to collect social-media info on everyone they stop

Los Angeles Police Department officers say they've been instructed by their chief to collect the social-media user names of everyone they stop, including people who are not arrested or accused of a crime.

The information is needed for investigations, arrests and prosecutions, according to a July 2020 internal memo from Police Chief Michel Moore.

Sep 08 08:47

Auto Industry Chip Shortage Could Go On For Years: Major Players Give Assessments

The auto industry may not get out from under the semiconductor chip shortage that has been plaguing it since the coronavirus pandemic started for a few more years, according to some industry experts.

The shortage of chips was the center of discussion Monday at the Munich Motor Show, with Ford, Volkswagen, and Daimler executives commenting on the challenges due to the short supply of the component.

The demand for chips has increased exponentially during the pandemic as consumers bought up tech products that also use the component as they stayed home for work and entertainment purposes.

The lack of chips to go around has forced automakers to reduce production shifts, temporarily close plants, and delay vehicles as they contend with the shortage of parts.

Volkswagen CEO Herber Diess told CNBC on Monday that the chip shortage is a “really big concern.”

Sep 08 07:28

ProtonMail removed “we do not keep any IP logs” from its privacy policy

This weekend, news broke that security/privacy-focused anonymous email service ProtonMail turned over a French climate activist's IP address and browser fingerprint to Swiss authorities. This move seemingly ran counter to the well-known service's policies, which as recently as last week stated that "by default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account."

After providing the activist's metadata to Swiss authorities, ProtonMail removed the section that had promised no IP logs, replacing it with one saying, "ProtonMail is email that respects privacy and puts people (not advertisers) first."

Sep 07 11:55

Security Researchers Identify Billions of Bluetooth Devices from Popular Vendors as Vulnerable to Hackers

By B.N. Frank

Last month, the NSA sent a stern warning to employers that allowing their employees to use Bluetooth, WiFi, and NFC connections was putting their businesses at risk for cybersecurity breaches. More recently, security experts cited specific Bluetooth software used in laptops, smartphones, industrial, and “smart” Internet of Things (IoT) devices as being vulnerable...

Sep 07 10:32

The Taliban are showing us the dangers of personal data falling into the wrong hands

The Taliban have openly talked about using US-made digital identity technology to hunt down Afghans who have worked with the international coalition – posing a huge threat to everyone recorded in the system. In addition, the extremists now also have access to – and control over – the digital identification systems and technologies built through international aid support.

These include the e-Tazkira, a biometric identity card used by Afghanistan’s National Statistics and Information Authority, which includes fingerprints, iris scans and a photograph, as well as voter registration databases. It also includes the Afghan personnel and pay system, used by the interior and defence ministries to pay the army and police.

Sep 07 07:35

European Nations Adopting National IDs Linked to Digital Wallets

By Katya Pivcevic

From Estonia’s long-time running national identity scheme to the Netherlands’s foundational ID, Europe will soon be conducting much of its digital identity authentication and vaccination verification via an EU-wide shared app.

Estonia’s national digital identity system has been established for many years, and now that the European Commission plans to bring in a European Digital Identity in the form of a mobile app, the country is well ahead and planning further...

Sep 06 08:36

Best tasks humans have offloaded to robotic helpers

Robots were once reserved for the pages of paperback pulp, but in recent decades, these bots have transformed from science fiction to everyday reality. Robotic interactions are a common part of the modern human experience as these increasingly nimble machines are designed with new skills and dexterity. During this time, robots have augmented human roles across industries from manufacturing to space exploration. From autonomous pizza delivery and bionic bartending to sports entertainment, here are some of the top tasks humans have offloaded onto our robotic assistants.

Sep 06 07:57

This Normal-Looking Lightning Cable Actually Steals All of Your Data

Here’s some Mr. Robot-level intrigue for you: Imagine an innocuous-looking USB-to-Lightning cable that, once plugged into your machine, actually helps hackers steal all of the data from your iPhone and inject malware onto your device. If that sounds like something from a far-fetched TV show, it is, surprise, actually a thing.

Motherboard recently wrote about just such a tricky little product, sold by cybersecurity company Hak5 and dubbed the “OMG cable” after its inventor, security researcher MG. The cord, which looks almost exactly like an Apple Lightning cable and is sold in a USB-C or USB-A format, is loaded with a hidden chip and gives a user the ability to remotely steal data or deploy malicious software onto MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones. The product, which was previously demoed at the cyber conference DEFCON in 2019, is used as a penetration testing tool, Vice reports.

Sep 05 04:54

Russia Blocks VPN Providers in Ongoing Internet Crackdown

Russia has blocked access to six VPN services which authorities say allow access to illegal online content in violation of Russian law.

The country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Friday it had blocked access to some of the world’s largest VPN providers, including Nord VPN and Express VPN, following an investigation.

“The use of such services leads to the preservation of access to prohibited information and resources and creates the conditions for illegal activities, including those related to the distribution of drugs, child pornography, extremism and suicide,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) allow internet users a greater level of anonymity online and can provide access to material which has been blocked by internet service providers.

Sep 04 11:35

Facebook Sorry Its A.I. Software Labeled Black Men as “Primates” in Network Video

By B.N. Frank

Embarrassing and tragic examples of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) faux-pas and inaccuracies continue to be reported. There is even an A.I. “Hall of Shame”. This recent example from Facebook seems to qualify...

Sep 04 07:04

World Economic Forum (WEF) Warns of Cyberattack Leading to Systemic Collapse of the Global Financial System

A report published last year by the WEF-Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative calls for the merging of Wall Street banks, their regulators and intelligence agencies as necessary to confront an allegedly imminent cyber attack that will collapse the existing financial system.

In November 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace co-produced a report that warned that the global financial system was increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Advisors to the group that produced the report included representatives from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, Wall Street giants likes JP Morgan Chase and Silicon Valley behemoths like Amazon.

Sep 04 06:58

Facebook Admits 'Unacceptable Error' As AI-Generated ‘Keep Seeing Primates’ Prompt Targets Black Men

Tech giants’ algorithms have previously been blamed for embarrassing errors. In 2015, Google's AI reportedly tagged two Black people's faces with the word "gorilla". The company apologised and promptly censored the words “gorilla”, “chimp”, “chimpanzee”, and “monkey” from Google Lens, “blinding” the algorithm.

A contrite Facebook rushed to issue an apology on Friday after its AI software generated “keep seeing” prompts that labeled videos showing black men with the term "primates".

A Facebook spokesperson told The New York Times, which first reported the story, that it was a "clearly unacceptable error" of its auto-generated recommendation system.

Sep 03 18:08

Ohio State University Tests Out Grubhub Food Delivery Robots

By B.N. Frank

Warnings about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and robots replacing human jobs have been ongoing for years. Delivery drivers and/or aspiring ones certainly have less employment opportunities now at a growing number of American college campuses...

Sep 03 13:02

Delays Aren’t Good Enough—Apple Must Abandon Its Surveillance Plans

By Cindy Cohn

Apple announced today that it would “take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements” to a program that will weaken privacy and security on iPhones and other products. EFF is pleased Apple is now listening to the concerns of customers, researchers, civil liberties organizations, human rights activists, LGBTQ people, youth representatives, and other groups, about the dangers posed by its phone scanning tools. But the company must go further than just listening, and drop its plans to put a backdoor into its encryption entirely...

Sep 03 08:50

FBI warns of ransomware attacks targeting food and agriculture sector as White House pushes for proactive measures

The FBI sent out a notice warning companies in the the food and agriculture sector to watch out for ransomware attacks aiming to disrupt supply chains. The FBI note said ransomware groups are seeking to "disrupt operations, cause financial loss, and negatively impact the food supply chain."

"Ransomware may impact businesses across the sector, from small farms to large producers, processors and manufacturers, and markets and restaurants. Cybercriminal threat actors exploit network vulnerabilities to exfiltrate data and encrypt systems in a sector that is increasingly reliant on smart technologies, industrial control systems, and internet-based automation systems," the FBI said.

Sep 03 05:51

Exclusive-Amazon to proactively remove more content that violates rules from cloud service -sources

Amazon.com Inc plans to take a more proactive approach to determine what types of content violate its cloud service policies, such as rules against promoting violence, and enforce its removal, according to two sources, a move likely to renew debate about how much power tech companies should have to restrict free speech.

Over the coming months, Amazon will hire a small group of people in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division to develop expertise and work with outside researchers to monitor for future threats, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another reason to stay off of the cloud and keep your data safe at home!

Sep 03 05:34

Computer Error: Tesla Showing Just How Much Humans Still Need To Drive

A Tesla vehicle operating on autopilot slammed into a Florida police cruiser on a highway near Orlando on Saturday, only days after CEO Elon Musk admitted faults with the experimental self-driving software amid a federal investigation into the system.

The crash happened just before 5 a.m. on Saturday when the trooper had activated his cruiser’s emergency lights on the way to assist a disabled vehicle.

The Tesla hit the cruiser on its left side and then crashed with the disabled vehicle, highway patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes explained to the Orlando Sentinel.

Sep 02 15:35

‘Like remote-controlling your arm against you’: Snowden says Apple WON’T DECIDE what it scans the phones for – governments will

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has dissected Apple's phone-scanning plan, saying it not only blurs the line between what is and isn't private, but will eventually enable governments to meddle into intimate details of one's life.

Snowden has been among vocal critics of Apple's plan to scan content on all iPhones for criminal evidence. The tech giant says it wants to identify child pornography stored on devices, but skeptics see it as the latest corporate move to encroach of people's privacy under the guise of protecting children. It goes one step further from what many companies already do when they scan files that users store in cloud storage on the providers' servers.

"Fundamentally, the distinction here is they are taking away that separation between what they own and what you own. And now they are telling your device what to look for," Snowden said on Thursday in an interview with Russian media.

Sep 02 11:37

Coinbase seeds panic among users with erroneous 2FA change alerts

Coinbase, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency exchange with approximately 68 million users from over 100 countries, has scared a significant amount of its users with erroneous 2FA warnings.

As the crypto exchange revealed over the weekend in a Twitter thread, it accidentally alerted roughly 125,000 customers that their 2FA settings had have been changed on August 28, between 1:45 pm PST and 3:07 pm PST.

In a Friday incident report, Coinbase explained that the notifications were sent in error and that customers are not required to take any action to restore their 2FA settings.

Sep 02 11:26

Data breach in Indonesian COVID-19 tracking app exposes data of over 1 million people

A data breach in Indonesia has exposed the personal records of more than a million Indonesians who were required by the government to use a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) tracking app.

The leak came from the electronic health alert card (eHAC) app. eHAC was mandatory for anyone entering Indonesia from abroad and for anybody who wanted to board domestic flights. Travelers were required to download the app and provide the app with personal data, including contact details and their latest COVID-19 test results.

Researchers from encryption and cybersecurity firm vpnMentor informed the Indonesian government that eHAC became accessible to hackers “due to the lack of protocols put in place by the app’s developers.”

Sep 02 11:22

This simple trick can make your iPhone feel faster in just a few seconds

Even though Apple’s mobile hardware is best in class, it’s only inevitable that your iPhone will start to feel a bit more sluggish as the years pass by. With that said, there is a simple iPhone trick that can make your device feel a lot snappier within seconds.

Clearing the cache on your browser is something people do regularly on desktops, but not as often on their mobile devices. Still, clearing the cache on your iPhone can be just as effective. Put simply, clearing the cache on mobile Safari will remove useless files — such as images and scripts — that have piled up over the years. In turn, you’ll likely notice some speed and performance improvements when you clear out the Safari cache.

Sep 02 11:15

This Seemingly Normal Lightning Cable Will Leak Everything You Type

It looks like a Lightning cable, it works like a Lightning cable, and I can use it to connect my keyboard to my Mac. But it is actually a malicious cable that can record everything I type, including passwords, and wirelessly send that data to a hacker who could be more than a mile away.

This is the new version of a series of penetration testing tools made by the security researcher known as MG. MG previously demoed an earlier version of the cables for Motherboard at the DEF CON hacking conference in 2019. Shortly after that, MG said he had successfully moved the cables into mass production, and cybersecurity vendor Hak5 started selling the cables.

Sep 02 11:05

US states to accept driver's licence on iPhones

Arizona, and Georgia will introduce the system first, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah also signed up.

Sep 02 11:02

Want to see just how bad Google Chrome is? Try this simple trick!

My love/hate relationship with Google Chrome shifted into a hate/hate relationship a few months ago when I decided it was time to ditch the browser.

Since the split, I've been using a combination of Firefox and Brave. They're both very capable browsers that do what I think every good browser should do -- let you browse the web without getting in the way.

Sep 02 09:55

According to New Systematic Review and Updated Meta-Analysis of 18 Studies Cell Phone Use Harms Sperm

By B.N. Frank

Cell phones, laptops, and other wireless radiation emitting products include warnings in their manuals that carrying and holding these devices against the body may cause users to expose themselves to radiation levels that exceed federal RF safety limits. Nevertheless – both telecom and tech companies often advertise unsafe use of their products to people of all ages. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of businesses and organizations that also do this.

Articles, research, and warnings about radiation exposure from cell phones and other wireless devices affecting fertility are NOT new. Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for posting additional science about cell phone use affecting sperm...

Sep 02 06:30

What Biden Told Afghan President To Do Should Be Criminal

President Joe Biden asked the now-departed Afghan president to establish the "perception" that his government was capable of holding off the Taliban - a sign he knew it was only a matter of time before the US ally fell to the Islamic group even while reassuring Americans at home that it would not happen.

In the last phone call between Biden and his Afghan then-counterpart Ashraf Ghani, the American president said they needed to shift the attention of the Taliban's rapid advance "whether it is true or not," according to citations published on Tuesday.

The call took place on July 23 - weeks before the downfall of Kabul - but Biden on Tuesday restated his statement that his team was caught flat-footed by the fast Taliban takeover of the country.

Sep 02 05:06

Australia: New Law Allows Feds to Hack and Control Online Accounts of Political Dissidents Without a Warrant

The Australian parliament has recently passed one of the most egregious attacks on privacy rights and civil liberties in the world.

The Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021 was rapidly snuck through with little debate or fanfare in a 24 hour window. The piece of legislation has the support of both the Liberal and Labour parties.

The law is a radical departure from due process. The new powers allow Australian Federal Police (AFP) to hack and take over the personal accounts of targets they label as “terrorists,” which in recent years has meant white people who advocate for nationalist beliefs, as well as other dissenting opinions.

Sep 01 08:00

Outlook and Gmail users hit by alarming new email threat and it's worrying experts

Scammers are now sending out emails that appear to have come from big named brands - such as Amazon or Paypal - that claim a large purchase has just been made on the victim's account.

It all looks very convincing with the messages using official fonts and logos - and this is where the scam gets clever and hugely concerning. The email contains no easy way of stopping the purchase from going through with the only option to cancel things coming via a telephone number and a message that reads, “If you didn’t make this purchase, please call us.”

Anyone tricked into dialling the contact details will then be put through to a real person on the other end of the phone.

Of course, this isn't a representative from Amazon or Paypal, instead it's a scammer who will try and steal as much information as possible including account names, passwords and bank details.

Sep 01 06:20

ARMY WANTS TO INSTALL FACIAL RECOGNITION, VIDEO ANALYTICS AT CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

The Army wants to use facial recognition and advanced machine learning algorithms to monitor kids at base Children Development Centers and plans to launch a pilot program at Fort Jackson in the near future.

Army contracting officers posted a solicitation to SAM.gov for a vendor capable of developing a facial recognition and video analytics system and integrating that with the Fort Jackson CDC’s closed-circuit television system.

If successful, the system will be used for “monitoring the health and well-being of children in the CDC,” according to the performance work statement.

“The use of close-circuit television video-recording is common in CDCs for security purposes, however these feeds are not continually monitored during all hours of operation in live time,” the solicitation notes. “Instead, CDC staff log scheduled hours by watching the live video feeds periodically throughout the day for the mandated metrics.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another good reason to home school.

Sep 01 05:16

Digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates: vaccination status: technical specifications and implementation guidance, 27 August 2021

This is a guidance document for countries and implementing partners on the technical requirements for developing digital information systems for issuing standards-based interoperable digital certificates for COVID-19 vaccination status, and considerations for implementation of such systems, for the purposes of continuity of care, and proof of vaccination.

Aug 31 17:36

Increase in Girls Admitted to the E.R. with Motor and Vocal Tics May Be Linked to Social Media Use; Level of Disability “Extremely High”

By B.N. Frank

Over the years, tech insiders (aka “Silicon Valley Parents”) have taken steps to limit their kids’ use and exposure to screens. This includes sending them to private low-tech or no-tech schools, requiring nannies to sign “No Screens” contracts, and spying on nannies to make sure they don’t break their contracts. Furthermore over the years, experts have warned about symptoms and long term adverse effects from screen use.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that digital addictions were “drowning us in dopamine”. Now another publication has reported an increase of tic-like behaviors in girls and young women from social media use...

Aug 31 14:55

Instagram Disables Account of Fallen Marine's Mother After She Blamed Biden For Son's Death

Who could have predicted this?

"Facebook temporarily deleted the Instagram account of the mother of one of the Marines killed in Afghanistan by an ISIS bomb last week after she publicly blamed President Biden for his death and the deaths of the other servicemembers killed."

Aug 31 12:53

Facebook’s VR Workrooms Experience Includes Heavy and Hot Headsets, Dull Rooms, Floating Avatar Bodies, Other Distractions

By B.N. Frank

Research has proven that using VR headsets can cause behavioral changes, balance issues, cognitive problems, eye problems (soreness, vision changes), headaches, and MORE. In fact, last month, Facebook recalled millions of VR face liners due to users reporting rashes and hives!

Despite all of this, tech companies continue to create, promote and sell VR products for educational, employment, medical, and recreational purposes. Facebook is one of them and its Horizon Workrooms technology is already getting bad reviews...

Aug 31 10:36

1984: Biden Admin Turning Into Big Brother, Will Freedoms Suffer?

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) poll reveals that at least 10 federal agencies have intentions to expand their use of facial recognition technology over the next two years—a prospect that alarms privacy advocates who have concerns about a lack of oversight.

The GAO published the results of a survey of 24 federal agencies, finding that 18 of them use facial recognition technology. Fourteen of those agencies practice the tech for routine activity, like unlocking agency-issued smartphones, while six reported using facial recognition software for criminal investigations and five others use the technology for surveillance, the Aug. 24 report discovered.

Aug 31 10:34

Apple's crumbling wall of silence

Long-quiet Apple employees are beginning to speak their minds. In recent weeks they've talked publicly about experiences with harassment and discrimination, concerns about business decisions, and objections to policies that some feel open their personal lives to corporate scrutiny.

Why it matters: Employee activism has been on the rise across Silicon Valley, but until recently, Apple workers have largely avoided public criticism of their employer.

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