Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

Why did Google suppress the search suggestion for “Clinton Body Count”?

Notice that Google omits every single prediction. Why is this? According to Google, all the Google search predictions are built off of user search data.

According to Google’s public statements, if there isn’t a search prediction then it’s because there is no one searching for that term. This would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for Google’s other service: trends.google.com which shows the real search traffic.

Continued: Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights

“Red flag laws let police confiscate guns without due process. Suspending the Constitution in a secret hearing is a Rubicon from which there is no return.”

A silhouette of a hunter in a field aiming their gun.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Six states have enacted these laws. At their core, they allow the police to convene a Kafkaesque secret proceeding, in which an American can be stripped of his or her gun rights and Fourth Amendment rights, even though gun owners are barred from participating in the hearings or arguing their side of the dispute.

The first thing gun owners learn is when police knock on the door — ready to ransack their house and, if they resist, to arrest or even shoot them and their family…

Far from being a “consensus proposal”, the suspension of the Constitution in a secret hearing is a constitutional Rubicon from which there is no return.

Continue reading: ‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights (USA Today)

21,460 Attend Drag Queen & Queering Elementary Schools Library Conference Workshops

“At the American Library Association’s annual conference, the nation’s librarians learned how to circumvent community objections to events like Drag Queen Story Hour and other taxpayer-purchased materials.”

Library Police Tape

The world’s largest library association’s annual conference this year featured more than 100 workshops with an “equity, diversity, and inclusion” theme, according to the American Library Association’s conference catalog. That included workshops with these titles (some shortened): “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Developing an Online Face for a Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection,” and “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries…”

Continued: Major Librarian Conference Features Workshops On Drag Queens (The Federalist)

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

One of the world’s greatest privacy invaders just had his privacy invaded

Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.

In December, 2017, Amazon boasted that it had perfected new face-recognition software for crowds, which it called Rekognition. It explained that the product is intended, in large part, for use by governments and police forces around the world. The ACLU quickly warned that the product is “dangerous” and that Amazon “is actively helping governments deploy it.”

“Powered by artificial intelligence,” wrote the ACLU, “Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces.” The group warned: “Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.” In a separate advisory, the ACLU said of this face-recognition software that Amazon’s “marketing materials read like a user manual for the type of authoritarian surveillance you can currently see in China…”

Continue reading: Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

TSA Announces Plans To Subject Domestic Travelers To Biometric Screening

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As promised/threatened, the DHS is moving forward with expanded use of biometric scanning at airports, including facial recognition and fingerprint matches. What was touted as a way to combat international terrorism and illegal immigration will now include those on the home front, as the tech spreads to include US citizens on domestic flights. But the TSA doesn’t see this as an unwanted incursion into the lives of innocent citizens. Instead, it pitches it as a useful tool to speed up security screening at TSA checkpoints.

The TSA expects paying customers to foot the bill for the expansion — the same citizens it’s been selling civil liberties back to for years. From the TSA’s “roadmap” for expanded biometric screening:

Yes, the paying members of the TSA’s Pre✓ program will be the first to “enhance” their “travel experience” by feeding their faces into a database the TSA controls, using tech prone to erroneous conclusions. Other travelers won’t be able to opt out of biometric screening, however. They’ll just be subject to the non-enhanced travel experience where TSA and CBP officers ask a long series of invasive questions and infer suspicious behavior on the part of travelers who bypass the biometric kiosks.

It’s true that traveling in the US has always been a “papers, please” experience. But prior to the 9/11 attacks, this simply meant presenting a ticket before boarding. Now, it’s everything about everybody, no matter how useless this information is 99.9% of the time. Rather than move towards smarter screening methods, the TSA has decided to subject everyone to the same level of screening with the same arbitrary rules stemming from airborne attacks the TSA failed to prevent.

The TSA pitches this as a paperless airport, but it’s really just another way for the government to compile a massive database of identifying info and of citizens’ movements. The DHS likes to talk about its 96% accuracy target, but has released no information about actual accuracy in test runs, so concerns about false positives/negatives aren’t going away anytime soon.

The government has responded in the worst way to terrorist attacks in the US. It has made freedom of movement a hassle — one that diminishes Constitutional protections and turns every traveler into a potential suspect.

Source: TSA Announces Plans To Subject Domestic Travelers To Biometric Screening

“Five Eyes” Wants Access to Every Electronic Device

According to an article in the National Post the Five Eyes intelligence network is demanding tech companies provide a back-door into all electronic devices.

“Canada joined its intelligence allies recently in demanding that technology companies co-operate with law enforcement agencies in allowing access to encrypted communications.”

Five Yyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

Although similar requests for co-operation have been made in the past, that “is the most aggressive call we’ve seen,” said Tamir Israel, a lawyer at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

The big change, according to Israel, is that governments are now saying “fix it for us or we will fix it for you.” That’s led to concerns among privacy experts that the government will try to legislate a requirement for tech companies to build backdoors for law enforcement.

Letting multi-national intelligence agencies have access to every electronic device can and will be abused.

Giving law enforcement access to electronic devices is a bad idea

“Take back control—it’s time for IREXIT” | New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

A new Irish political party will campaign for the Republic of Ireland to leave the EU, inspired by the successful Brexit movement.

The Irexit Freedom party, which is set to be launched in Dublin next Saturday, wants Ireland to ‘take back control’ from Brussels.

Nigel Farage speaks to journalists in Brussels

The party, which plans to run candidates in next year’s European Parliament elections and the 2021 Irish general election…

Continued: ‘Take back control – it’s time for IREXIT’ New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

Soros’ Role In Social Media Censorship Exposed In Leaked Document

“The memo discusses how big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter (all of which are openly censoring user accounts today) will be recruited and called upon to collude with the Soros and Brock agenda in order to manipulate the political landscape.”

Social media censorship is here and out in the open, and it has become clear that the major tech companies are working together to shut down and silence members of the free press for political reasons.

It turns out, according to a leaked 49 page document, that this special influence may be none other than George Soros himself, the world’s wealthiest liberal political agitator. Soros has long been known to exert influence, via his immense personal wealth, at the grass-roots level of many political struggles around the world…

Continued: Soros’ Role In Social Media Censorship Exposed In Leaked Document

The Militarization of Police Does Not Reduce Crime

New research finds it does reduce public support for law enforcement.

“Curtailing militarized police may be in the interest of both police and citizens”, concludes Jonathan Mummolo, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. His study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Overall, “the routine use of militarized police tactics by local agencies threatens to increase the historic tensions between marginalized groups and the state, with no detectable public safety benefit”, Mummolo concludes. “While SWAT teams arguably remain a necessary tool for violent emergency situations, restricting their use to those rare events may improve perceptions of police with little or no safety loss…”

Story: The Militarization of Police Does Not Reduce Crime

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi: Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship

Facebook’s alleged censoring of InfoWars and Alex Jones is not a free speech issue
Facebook’s alleged censoring of InfoWars and Alex Jones is not a free speech issue

‘You may have seen a story this week detailing how Facebook shut down a series of accounts. As noted by Politico, Facebook claimed these accounts “sought to inflame social and political tensions in the United States, and said their activity was similar — and in some cases connected — to that of Russian accounts during the 2016 election.”

Similar? What does “similar” mean?

The death-pit for civil liberties is usually found in a combination of fringe/unpopular people or ideas and a national security emergency …

Politicians are more interested in using than curtailing the power of these companies. The platforms, for their part, will cave rather than be regulated. The endgame here couldn’t be clearer. This is how authoritarian marriages begin, and people should be very worried.’

Continued Taibbi: Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship

Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records


FILE PHOTO: The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is seen in Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S. February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said.

The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk.

The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

The 2017 call records tally remained far less than an estimated billions of records collected per day under the NSA’s old bulk surveillance system, which was exposed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

The records collected by the NSA include the numbers and time of a call or text message, but not their content.

Overall increases in surveillance hauls were both mystifying and alarming coming years after Snowden’s leaks, privacy advocates said.

“The intelligence community’s transparency has yet to extend to explaining dramatic increases in their collection,” said Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the Washington-based Open Technology Institute that focuses on digital issues …

 

Friday’s report also showed a rise in the number of foreigners living outside the United States who were targeted under a warrantless internet surveillance program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that Congress renewed earlier this year.

That figure increased to 129,080 in 2017 from 106,469 in 2016, the report said, and is up from 89,138 targets in 2013, or a cumulative rise over five years of about 45 percent.

U.S. intelligence agencies consider Section 702 a vital tool to protect national security, but privacy advocates say the program incidentally collects an unknown number of communications belonging to Americans.

Source: Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records: official report | Reuters

Police Tried to Unlock a Dead Man’s Phone With His Finger

“Florida authorities went to a funeral home and used a dead man’s finger to try to unlock his cellphone as part of their investigation.

Thirty-year-old Linus Phillip was killed by a Largo police officer last month after authorities say he tried to drive away before an officer could search him.

At the funeral home, two detectives held the man’s hands up to the phone’s fingerprint sensor … a professor at Stetson University College of Law, tells the Tampa Bay Times that dead people can’t assert their Fourth Amendment protections because you can’t own property when you’re dead. But those rights could apply to whoever inherits the property…”

Source: Police Tried to Unlock a Dead Man’s Phone With His Finger (Time)

RELATED: A look at DNA-sharing services and privacy (Associated Press) – Apr. 28, 2018