1169: Hockeystick Hoax

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 48m
September 1st, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Corey, Knight of the Comal River, Anonymous, Baronet Stephen of Oswego

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Button, Sir BT, Dark Knight of the Morphogenetic Field, Nicolette Biggs, Christopher Coddington, Kyle Parker, Dame 4N Lady B4

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
4:09
Midland, Texas Shooting
Woodstock
6:32
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke on CNN on Mass Shooting and Gun Violence
Woodstock
16:35
Alabama High School Shooting
Woodstock
17:33
Behavioral Health
Woodstock
19:02
Austin Town Hall on Homelessness Crisis
Woodstock
31:29
Philadelphia Declares Public Health Emergency Over Hepatitis A Outbreak
Woodstock
34:27
Hong Kong Protests
Woodstock
41:21
Russian Protests for Free Elections
Woodstock
42:11
Boston Straight Pride Parade
Woodstock
46:36
White Nationalists Stickers Placed Around University of Vermont Campus
Woodstock
49:22
Boston Straight Pride Parade
Woodstock
53:35
Actor Eric McCormack Calls for Blacklist of Trump Supporters
Woodstock
54:38
Dior Ad Featuring Johnny Depp Receives Criticism for Stereotyping Native Americans
Woodstock
55:27
New York Post: 'Calvin Klein is Using Plus-Size Models to Reinvent Its Brand'
Woodstock
58:13
Homelessness Experience Theme Park Ride
Woodstock
1:01:30
Credits
Woodstock
1:27:45
Danielle Smith Show: 'Dr. Tim Ball Talks Climate Change'
Woodstock
1:37:14
Hurricane Dorian
Woodstock
1:40:10
Two Dutch Electricity Providers Turn On Emergency Systems to Provide Enough Electricity
Woodstock
1:43:58
Joe Biden
Woodstock
1:53:41
David Brooks on Book TV: "The Number One Job Is to Get Trump Out of Office"
Woodstock
1:56:35
Barbie Rivera Apperance on The Addiction Podcast
Woodstock
2:05:41
Stanford Law School's Michelle Mello on NPR on Opioids
Woodstock
2:08:21
Fox News: 'Teens, Pregnant Women Urged Not to Smoke Pot by Surgeon General'
Woodstock
2:11:17
Donations
Woodstock
2:20:04
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:22:05
Meetups
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2:28:02
Brexit
Woodstock
2:33:29
UK's Prince Andrew's Legal Team "Seriously Doubt" Photo With Virginia Giuffre Is Real
Woodstock
2:34:05
Vocal: 'The Epstein Associate Nobody's Talking About'
Woodstock
2:38:07
Washington Post: 'Attorney General Barr Books Trump's Hotel for $30,000 Holiday Party'
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2:42:43
End of Show
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Mass Shootings
At Least 10 Teenagers Shot at Alabama High School Football Game | Breitbart
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 03:53
A shooting at a high school football game in Alabama has left at least ten teenagers wounded, according to police.The incident occurred on Friday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, soon after the game between Leflore and Williamson high schools.
According to the Hill:
Police said the victims, all between ages 15 and 18, were taken to local hospitals, according to the outlet. About half of them are in critical condition with non-life threatening injuries, WKRG reported.
Authorities said later Saturday morning that they have arrested Deangelo Parnell, 17, in connection with the shooting. Parnell is charged with nine counts of attempted murder, police told WKRG.
Police are questioning witnesses as they continue to investigate the shooting.
Several witnesses reported that a fight occurred in the stands prior to the end of the game. Though, none could confirm that the fight had anything to do with the shooting.
Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste described his officers conduct during the shooting.
''We treat this like an active shooter scenario,'' Battiste said via NBC News. ''Our guys, when they heard shots rang out, they moved to the area.''
Battiste expressed anger at young people settling their disputes with gunfire at public events.
''Why are the young people bringing this type of violence to public events. They're bringing their beefs that they have with each other in their neighborhoods and they're putting other people in harm's way,'' Battiste lamented. ''This is unacceptable for people to not to be able to come out and enjoy an event.''
Battiste made assurances that all perpetrators would be fully prosecuted.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn
Behavioral Health vs Mental Health: What's the Difference?
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 12:55
For every 10 people in a doctor's office, seven are there seeking care for reasons related to behavioral health, according to the Maine Health Access Foundation (MEHAF). These issues can include depression, anxiety, diabetes management, weight loss, smoking cessation and drinking or drug use problems. This has led a growing number of healthcare providers to offer integrated behavioral health and primary care to their patients.
But what is behavioral health? Some people use the terms ''behavioral health'' and ''mental health'' interchangeably. However, there are important differences.
Defining Behavioral HealthBehavioral health describes the connection between behaviors and the health and well-being of the body, mind and spirit. This would include how behaviors like eating habits, drinking or exercising impact physical or mental health.
However, during the 1970s and 1980s, behavioral health ''almost entirely referred to behaviors that prevent illness or that promote health,'' says the MEHAF. Later, the term began to include behaviors that help people manage disease. Most recently, behavioral health incorporated mental health.
Other definitions for behavioral health illustrate how wide-reaching the term is.
As a discipline, behavioral health refers to mental health, psychiatric, marriage and family counseling and addictions treatment, and it includes services provided by social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, neurologists and physicians, the National Business Group on Health says. Behavioral health also includes both mental health and substance use, encompassing a continuum of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support services.
Behavioral Health vs Mental HealthWhen distinguishing between behavioral health and mental health, it is important to remember that behavioral health is a blanket term that includes mental health. Behavioral health looks at how behaviors impact someone's health '-- physical and mental.
This results in a noticeable difference between behavioral health and mental health. For instance, a behavioral health professional might look at behaviors that may have contributed to a person's obesity. This is an issue that primarily affects someone's physical health. Some behavioral health topics and issues do not fall into the category of mental health.
On the other hand, mental health is included in behavioral health. As a result, people who have mental health issues can benefit from behavioral health principles. ''Sometimes, changes in behaviors by the individual, family or even the community and changes in thinking patterns can help people better cope with their mental health conditions,'' says the MEHAF.
A Career in Behavioral HealthBehavioral health professionals provide support for patients with a variety of needs. They also help increase awareness of topics that improve physical and mental health.
Alvernia University's online behavioral health degree prepares students for graduate studies or work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assistance programs, prevention and intervention centers and other social agencies. Graduates can pursue careers in administration, counseling, casework, rehabilitation, coordination and crisis intervention. The program takes place in a convenient online format to accommodate students' work and personal schedules.
' U.S.: violent crime rate graph 1990-2017 | Statista
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 04:03
Reported violent crime rate in the United States from 1990 to 2017
This graph shows the reported violent crime rate in the U.S. since 1990. In 2017, the nationwide rate was 382.9 cases per 100,000 of the population. Even though the violent crime rate has been decreasing since 1990, the United States top the ranking of countries with the most prisoners. Reported violent crime rate in the United StatesThe United States Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks the rate of reported violent crimes per 100,000 U.S. inhabitants. In the timeline above, rates are shown starting in 1990. The rate of reported violent crime has fallen since a high of 758.20 reported crimes in 1991 to a low of 361.6 reported violent crimes in 2014.
In 2017, there were roughly 1.25 million violent crimes committed in the United States. This number can be compared to the total number of property crimes, roughly 7.69 million that year. Of violent crimes in 2017, there were roughly 810 thousand aggravated assaults, making this offense the most common of violent crime offenses.
Though the violent crime rate was down in 2012, the number of law enforcement officers also fell. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of law enforcement officers in the United States rose from around 430,000 to 450,000. However, since 2010, the number of officers fell to 429,925 officers in 2012. That year, the crime clearance rate was highest for murders and non-negligent manslaughters, with around 62.5 percent of murders being solved by investigators and a suspect being charged with the crime. Roughly 55.8 percent of aggravated assaults were cleared in 2012. A dossier of statistics on violent crime in the U.S. can be found here.
Show more Reported violent crime rate in the United States from 1990 to 2017Reported violent crime rate per 100,000 population'17382.9'16386.6'15373.7'14361.6'13369.1'12387.8'11387.1'10404.5'09431.9'08458.6'07471.8'06479.3'05469'04463.2'03475.8'02494.4'01504.5'00506.5'99523'98567.6'97611'96636.6'95684.5'94713.6'93747.1'92757.7'91758.2'90729.6Reported violent crime rate per 100,000 population'17382.9'16386.6'15373.7'14361.6'13369.1'12387.8'11387.1'10404.5'09431.9'08458.6'07471.8'06479.3'05469'04463.2'03475.8'02494.4'01504.5'00506.5'99523'98567.6'97611'96636.6'95684.5'94713.6'93747.1'92757.7'91758.2'90729.6 About this statistic
Source: FBI
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This graph shows the reported violent crime rate in the U.S. since 1990. In 2017, the nationwide rate was 382.9 cases per 100,000 of the population. Even though the violent crime rate has been decreasing since 1990, the United States top the ranking of countries with the most prisoners.Reported violent crime rate in the United StatesThe United States Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks the rate of reported violent crimes per 100,000 U.S. inhabitants. In the timeline above, rates are shown starting in 1990. The rate of reported violent crime has fallen since a high of 758.20 reported crimes in 1991 to a low of 361.6 reported violent crimes in 2014.
In 2017, there were roughly 1.25 million violent crimes committed in the United States. This number can be compared to the total number of property crimes, roughly 7.69 million that year. Of violent crimes in 2017, there were roughly 810 thousand aggravated assaults, making this offense the most common of violent crime offenses.
Though the violent crime rate was down in 2012, the number of law enforcement officers also fell. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of law enforcement officers in the United States rose from around 430,000 to 450,000. However, since 2010, the number of officers fell to 429,925 officers in 2012. That year, the crime clearance rate was highest for murders and non-negligent manslaughters, with around 62.5 percent of murders being solved by investigators and a suspect being charged with the crime. Roughly 55.8 percent of aggravated assaults were cleared in 2012. A dossier of statistics on violent crime in the U.S. can be found here.
Show more Source FBI Show further sources information As a Premium user you get access to the detailed source references and background information about this statistic.
Show publisher information Release date September 2018 Region United States Survey time period 1990 to 2017 Supplementary notes Rates are the number of reported offenses per 100,000 of the population.In the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.
The data from previous years can be accessed at the Uniform Crime Reports section on the Website of the FBI.
Open this statistic in... SourceSource FBI Show further sources information As a Premium user you get access to the detailed source references and background information about this statistic.
Show publisher information Release date September 2018 More informationRegion United States Survey time period 1990 to 2017 Supplementary notes Rates are the number of reported offenses per 100,000 of the population.In the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.
The data from previous years can be accessed at the Uniform Crime Reports section on the Website of the FBI.
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'More Guns, Less Crime'? Stanford RTC Study Suggests Otherwise - Bloomberg
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:20
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Green New Deal
Hurricane Dorian: Miami Wants Scooters Rounded Up Before Storm - Bloomberg
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 22:27
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Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:20
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SICK: Democrats Politicize Hurricane Dorian
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:12
by Joseph Curl August 31, 2019
''You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.'' '-- Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's chief of staff
***
With a massive hurricane bearing down on the Wast Coast of the United States, Democrats have decided that it's time to play politics.
Millions of Americans are in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which weather experts expect will become a Category 5 before it makes landfall. But Democrats don't much care about them. Instead, they see an opportunity to bash President Trump and push for wide-open borders.
Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane,'' Senate Minority Lead Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote Wednesday on Twitter. '' @ realDonaldTrump , stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans.''
Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane. @realDonaldTrump, stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans. https://t.co/GPquHpVmwe
'-- Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 28, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote: '' @ realDonaldTrump 's brazen theft of disaster relief funding to pay for an inhumane family incarceration plan is cruel '-- and doing so on the eve of hurricane season is stunningly reckless.''
.@realDonaldTrump's brazen theft of disaster relief funding to pay for an inhumane family incarceration plan is cruel '-- and doing so on the eve of hurricane season is stunningly reckless. https://t.co/7di5JQZP5K
'-- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 28, 2019
With the two Democratic leaders leading their colleagues '-- and no doubt passing out talking points '-- others piled on.
Another hurricane is bearing down on Puerto Rico and Trump is siphoning money away from FEMA to fund his hateful wall. Puerto Rico deserves better. https://t.co/iwhuYAuY45
'-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 28, 2019
By diverting millions from FEMA during peak hurricane season, @realDonaldTrump shows he cares more about being cruel to migrants/jailing them indefinitely than protecting Americans from natural disasters. https://t.co/vh2jxJjhlR
'-- Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) August 29, 2019
''As Dorian hits Puerto Rico, the Trump Admin seems to have learned nothing from its shameful failure in Hurricane Maria,'' Sen. Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT) tweeted on Wednesday.
Of course, the hurricane spared Puerto Rico (which likely miffed top Democrats, who were apparently hoping for a direct hit).
Trump even took heat after announcing on Thursday that he would not attend a World War II memorial in Poland but instead stay in the U.S. to monitor the hurricane. ''Our highest priority is the safety and security of the American people in the path of the hurricane,'' Trump said.
CNN anchor Jon Berman said that Trump canceled the Poland trip only because the storm's trajectory put it on track to hit Florida. And Joe Lockhart, Obama's White House press secretary, said Trump doesn't care about brown people.
''There's no doubt that the president doesn't view Puerto Rico as part of the United States. He doesn't view people who didn't vote for him as important. And he doesn't view people who aren't white as important as everyone else. That's just '-- it's that simple,'' Lockhart said.
Never let a good crisis go to waste, indeed.
OPERATION SUPERSTORM DORIAN: A Geoengineered Hurricane Weaponized and Targeting Florida'--Why? | SOTN: Alternative News, Analysis & Commentary
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 13:28
Are the NWO globalists targeting Florida's 29 electoral votes with this developing superstorm?State of the Nation
Where exactly will the geoengineers target in Florida and how powerful will they make Hurricane Dorian at landfall?Let's be clear, hurricane season comes to the Southeast each and every year without fail. Sometimes the hurricanes hit the various coastlines; sometimes they don't. Sometimes they turn into superstorms; most times they don't.
However, and it's a HUGE however, the geoengineers have repeatedly proven that they can take a formed hurricane in the Atlantic and transform it into a superstorm and then steer the weather weapon into any target they so choose. See PROOF: Hurricane Michael was a geoengineered superstorm attack on Florida red counties (Video)
Remember: The geoengineers always have the perogative of amping up a small, natural storm into a raging monster superstorm. See HURRICANE DORIAN: THE MAN-MADE STORM (Video)
Hurricane MichaelHurricane Michael was smashed into the Florida Panhandle coastline in just this manner. The geoengineers basically fabricated a storm off the Yucatan coast and then steered it ever so slowly northward. At the last minute the globalists gave their orders to rev it up from a Cat 1 or 2 to a Cat 5 mega-hurricane. That dramatic and deliberate intensification of Michael by the geoengineers caught the region totally off guard and destroyed whole communities that have yet to recover. It also killed hundreds of people and their pets.
HURRICANE MICHAEL: A Geoengineered Superstorm Targeting Tallahassee and Florida Panhandle'--Why!KEY POINT: In light of that transparent manipulation of Hurricane Michael into a virtual ''hurricane tornado'', it's now evident that the geoengineers can, and will, morph these superstorms into deadly and devastating weather weapons.
It's important to note that Michael was still a Cat 4 when it was clocked in southern Georgia. This has NEVER happened before. Those hurricane-hardened folks never had a chance after they chose not to leave because they were purposefully tricked by the geoengineers. The final death toll '-- IN THE THOUSANDS '-- was far higher than ever reported in order to downplay the true severity of that apocalyptic weather attack.
Because Michael was rated as a Cat 4 and not the Cat 5 it truly was, the many battered communities suffered tremendously without desperately needed federal aid. For this reason, some of those same communities still lie in tatters with very little prospect for rebuilding.
Hurricane DorianWith Hurricane Dorian now approaching the central Florida coastline it's easy to see how the same disaster can play out. The geoengineers are notorious for slamming these mega hurricanes into the coastline in a way that inflicts maximum damage via both wind and water. Therefore, it's imperative that every resident of Florida watch the slow-motion development of this potential superstorm as closely as possible.
The evolution of Dorian is strange for several reasons, as is the media blitz that seems to be intent on triggering PTSD symptoms in folks who have lived through so many calamitous hurricanes. Oftentimes these superstorms are exaggerated by the MSM to trigger that PTSD reaction within the populace. Other times they are intentionally manufactured into desolating weather weaponry.
Only time will tell what the globalist cabal plans to do with this staged false flag attack on the Florida peninsula (false flag because these frankenstorms are falsely blamed on Mother Nature when the geoengineers are truly responsible).
Nevertheless, it's for certain that the geoengineers will use this opportunity to further perfect their chemical engineering and HAARP-frequency techniques, as well as integrate the NEXRAD Doppler radar transmitters and moisture-producing power plants into the technological mix. The very same perps utilized all of these means and others to direct Hurricane Harvey in to the greater Houston Area in August of 2017. See Hurricane Harvey: A Geoengineered Superstorm Targets Texas'--WHY?
Political Purpose
There's no question that the projected path of Dorian is putting the eye of the hurricane right over Florida's famous I-4 corridor'--''Where presidents get picked''. This corridor represents Florida's political center, where the Right dukes it out with the Left each and every election cycle. It's well known among election pundits that, whichever POTUS candidate wins over this voting demographic, takes Florida. And, whoever takes Florida wins the White House.
There's also the distinct possibility that this mega-hurricane will make landfall at the greater West Palm Beach area'--home to Trump's Mar-a-Lago. (Is the ''Do'' in Dorian a subtle hint regarding The Donald?) Should the geoengineers wind-bomb Trump's Florida back yard, then the message is even more politically charged. He can also expect the globalist cabal to run a string of other October Surprises from now until Election Day. An extraordinarily active hurricane season would certainly fit this particular NWO agenda.
KEY POINT: Even if Dorian never hits Florida, it's likely to make landfall somewhere on the Atlantic coastline in the South. In which case Trump is quite likely to muck it up with his conservative constituency'--AGAIN! Which then gives Deep State another big win going into 2020.
Trump's HurricaneMany of us here in Florida feel strongly that Dorian is tailor-made for President Trump. His flagrant negligence in dealing with Michael has shown that he's really not in the Oval Office to help the citizenry. Not only was the virtually non-existent federal response quite embarrassing, the Panhandle residents still have received very little material aid or financial assistance.
KEY POINT: Just because the Democrats have controlled the Puerto Rican government for years does not mean the people should be neglected and abandoned by a Republican POTUS. Those people were in a world of hurt after two major hurricane strikes (Cat 5 Maria & Cat 4 Jose); many died and sustained serious injuries with no help in sight for long periods of time. Given the unparalleled devastation, the only thing that made sense was for Trump to mobilize the military and surround the whole island to get the aid where it was immediately needed. Instead, Trump really failed the entire island community by getting into a political cat fight that continues to this very day. Emergency aid sat for months in places that could not be reached, or it could not be transported to the devastated and/or isolated locales,
Furthermore, Trump's reckless and shocking lack of response to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of two back-to-back hurricanes exposed him as a cynical politician carelessly playing politics over saving lives. Just because that island has political problems does not mean that a POTUS should magnify them during their moment of greatest need. That's just what Trump did, and he will forever be remembered as the President who woefully failed the people of Puerto Rico.
Trump's disaster response to the 2017 hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico was a bigger disasterNow that Trump has an established reputation for criminal neglect in the wake of these superstorms, it appears the globalists are using Dorian to really make him look bad. The Democrats need to take the state of Florida in 2020 and the globalists will do anything to deliver those 29 electoral votes to them.
The folks in the Panhandle will never vote for Trump again. His lack of support can still be seen wherever Michael hit. That's a fairly large group of voters on the Right. Should Trump screw up the federal response to Dorian, it's guaranteed that he'll lose Florida. Given his resolve to MIGA instead of MAGA, the odds are that he will not react appropriately. Now if Israel was hit by a hurricane, there would be all sorts of emergency aid dropped all over that apartheid nation in a New York minute right before Trump released an overly generous financial aid package to Tel Aviv.
Surely the globalists know Trump well and have thought through the great likelihood that Trump will find a way to totally ef it up once Dorian passes through. Quite unbelievably, as Dorian headed toward Puerto Rico, Trump Boasted the He's ''Best Thing That's Ever Happened'' To Puerto Rico As Dorian Headed For Landfall.
BOTTOM LINE : If a POTUS cannot even look out for the American people during the aftermath of highly destructive and deadly superstorms, then why are they even there? Throughout one of the worst flood seasons in the Midwest, President Trump has been literally bankrupting farmers with his wrongheaded trade wars, instead of bailing them out. And, whoever does get any federal aid are the wealthiest corporate farms because those rich Big Agra donors made HUGE campaign contributions to you know you. Trump also did nothing to help the victims of the California firestorms and instead held a pissing contest with California's insane government. Again, it was the rural conservative CA counties that got burned out by those geoengineered arsonist-started wildfires; whole patriot communities were firestormed out of existence in a flash. And what has the prez done for them?
OPERATION TORCH CALIFORNIA: A Special Report on the Firestorm Terror OperationPolitical fallout: Trump seems to be unaware that when his base has been so neglected after so many 'natural' and unnatural disasters, the political fallout will add up '-- BIG TIME '-- on November 3, 2020. Where this Alt Media network helped mightily to deliver Florida to him in 2016, especially the I-4 corridor, no one here will lift a finger for him during this campaign season. FL Members of SOTN will not support Trump's re-election efforts for these and other very significant reasons (such as his zealous promotion of the exceedingly dangerous 5G roll-out). See: The Military Deployment of 5G is a Slow Motion Extinction Level Event
CAVEAT: People, no matter where Dorian hits, it's imperative that everyone in Florida be on guard. Don't be deceived like the unfortunate victims of Michael. The geoengineers possess the advanced technology to manipulate both direction and intensity in ways that were once thought impossible. If they manufacture another ''hurricane tornado'', it's gonna get ugly'--REAL UGLY, and faster than you can imagine! As for Trump, he only cares about Mar-a-Lago, which is exactly why he recently floated the absurd idea of ''using nuclear weapons to halt hurricanes''. He'll do virtually anything to protect his own property; as for the rest of US'....
State of the Nation August 29, 2019
Author's Note
An SOTN editor took a bus from Tallahassee to Panama City after Michael devastated the entire area. They said it looked like someone dropped an atomic bomb the damage was so pervasive and profound. They'd never seen anything like it. When the Trump administration did practically nothing to support the desperate residents right here in Florida Panhandle (also known as Trump country), we knew he would NOT be re-elected.
Editor's Note
This Alt Media platform in no way supports even a single communist/socialist/marxist/bolshevik Democrat, so insane is that entire party. This means that, if Trump really blows it between now and November 3, 2020, the Right will be in extremely serious trouble. Especially after the Left steals every election in sight thereby controlling both chambers of the U.S. Congress.
References
Why was Hurricane Michael just upgraded to a Cat 5 at 161 mph? What took the experts so long when folks desperately needed Federal Emergency aid?
Was HURRICANE MICHAEL really a Cat 5 superstorm downgraded for political purposes in order to shirk financial reimbursement obligations?
Update 1Not long after this article was posted, the following revised map was posted with the new tracking of Hurricane Dorian. Wow, how do massive hurricanes just change direction on a dime '... '... '... unless they are being steered by geoengineers?! And, conveniently avoiding landfall in Florida, too. It's like there's a NASA gremlin in the eye of the hurricane piloting the frankenstorm to wherever they want to terrorize, and then traumatize with post-hurricane devastation. Talk about a made-to-order Hollyweird horror flick! (Please know that SOTN frequently makes pre-emptive strikes against the Deep State globalists in order to thwart various calamities in the making. Hence, this expos(C) was sent to both NASA and NOAA.)
Update 2As usual the geoengineers have been caught with their pants down. Every hurricane has its own radar signatures and other technical markers which should reflect the natural behavior of an evolving storm. Gross deviations from the well-established historical patterns and scientific data of natural hurricanes is a dead giveaway that Dorian is being geoengineered. The obvious chemical geoengineering being conducted in the same vicinity, as well as HAARP-like frequencies being disseminated, are telltale signatures of a manufactured frankenstorm. See: SCIENTIFIC PROOF that Hurricane Dorian is Manmade (Video)
Hurricane Dorian: Scooters removed from streets in Florida
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:55
People use a smartphone to unlock LimeBike shared electric scooters on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The city of Miami has notified a number of companies that they must remove their fleets of electric scooters from the streets in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, lest the devices become flying projectiles.
Officials told the six companies that operate fleets in the city '-- Bird, Bolt, Uber's Jump, Lime, Lyft and Spin '-- to clear out their scooters by noon on Friday. The order is meant to prevent any potential hazards that could arise from the scooters being left out during the storm, including fears that the vehicles could be swept up in the storm's dangerous winds.
A number of scooter companies said they've also removed or reduced their fleets in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando, which are also expected to be in the path of the storm.
Hurricane Dorian, currently a strong Category 2 storm, is forecast to become a Category 4 storm with potentially "devastating hurricane-force winds," the National Hurricane Center said on Friday. The storm is expected to make landfall on Florida's east coast this weekend, before rolling inland toward Orlando early next week.
Should Hurricane Dorian grow into a Category 4 storm, it could produce winds of more than 130 mph. No one has been evacuated yet, but officials in Miami have taken a number of steps to ensure residents' safety, including the removal of dockless scooters.
"With Hurricane Dorian threatening to impact Miami, city leaders made the decision to have the companies pick up the scooters early today and leave them out of service until further notice," said John Heffernan, a spokesperson for the city of Miami.
A Lime spokesperson said the company is pulling its scooters in Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as well as reducing its fleet size in Tampa, which amounts to almost 1,500 scooters and 500 bicycles.
"We're in touch with each city and will comply with any request to prioritize safety," the spokesperson said. "We're also communicating with our riders to let them know of these steps and to encourage them to follow the guidance of their local authorities and remain safe."
Lyft spokeswoman Kaitlyn Carl said the company has paused all scooter operations in Miami and expects to meet the city's noon deadline. Lyft's operations team is picking up each of the 244 scooters in the city and storing them in a warehouse until the storm passes.
"We will resume operations only once conditions improve and will continue to follow the guidance provided by the City of Miami," Carl added.
Uber spokesman Javi Correoso said the company has suspended Jump scooter rentals in Miami and Tampa.
"Our operations team is currently removing all of the scooters in both markets so that they do not become a hazard before any storm impacts are felt," Correoso said. "This process will be completed by noon today."
A Bird spokesperson confirmed the company is collecting and storing its scooters in Miami. A spokesperson from Spin said all scooters will be "retrieved well before the storm is expected to arrive" and that it will keep riders notified with any updates.
In a statement, a Bolt spokesperson said, "In anticipation of the storm and at the direction of the Miami officials we began taking our scooters off of the streets yesterday and will have the remainder of them removed ahead of today's noon deadline."
(2) Dr. Waheed Uddin on Twitter: "UPDATE: Amazon fire arsonists are being caught. One group of Dutch or German NGO caught red handed and admitted they were paid. Sonia @SoniavonHomrich please let us know what news you get from local honest media sources.
Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:48
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Sailing team to fly 2 crew to US to bring Thunberg boat back - ABC News
Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:46
The sailing team that's taking climate activist Greta Thunberg from England to the United States aboard a high-tech racing yacht says it will fly two crew across the Atlantic to bring the boat back, but that the carbon emissions from their flights will be compensated for.
A spokeswoman for Team Malizia said it'll be necessary to fly the crew to the U.S. because the high-profile trip with the 16-year-old Swedish campaigner that left Plymouth on Wednesday was arranged at very short notice.
Holly Cova told The Associated Press by email Friday that "we only have one boat, so they cannot easily sail over to meet them."
Cova said the team recognizes it's "an imperfect solution" but believes offsetting the emissions by funding carbon-reducing projects elsewhere "is better than doing nothing."
The Team - Gitana : Offshore racing stable created by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:07
The TeamThe Gitana Team came into being in 2000. In this way, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild drove forward the passion, initiated by his forebears over a century earlier, for top-level competition and created a genuine offshore racing stable, which was the only one of its kind at the time.
Devising, creating, modifying and repairing, such is the daily routine of the members of Gitana. Within the team's technical base in Lorient, some twenty or so people work year round on the prototypes that make up the Gitana fleet. All the different skill sets are represented here: architecture, engineering, composite materials, hydraulics, rigging, deck hardware, electronics and on-board computers'... The success of the sporting projects is also reliant on the ability of these veritable experts. The common denominator is that their work is also their passion.
Shore/sailing teamTeam on the groundMaking his appearance in the Gitana Team in 2006 as Financial and Administrative Director, Cyril Dardashti went on to become the Team Manager in 2009. A veritable conductor, he makes a melodious ensemble of all the different skill sets within the group to ensure it is as homogenous as it is high performance, thus guiding the members of Gitana towards the highest steps of the podiums.
Behind the calmness and kindness that this native of Montpellier exudes, lies a very strong character. Able to manage schedules meticulously, guided by sound technical know-how and a recognised and sought-after expertise, such is Pierre Tissier's hallmark.
An electronics and computing engineer in town and a trimmer at sea, Olivier Douillard is among the sailors who juggle two careers. Ranking among S(C)bastien Josse's right-hand men, this native of Nantes has been supporting the skipper with his various projects since 2004. Now part of the team, he brings into play his expertise in terms of the sails and the performance of the different boats.
A deck hardware and hydraulics specialist, David Boileau is one of the team's mainstays. A solid technician and a seasoned sailor, he is the boat captain of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild, which means that he's essentially S(C)bastien Josse's technical support.
A trained mechanic, Alain Collecchia initially used his expertise in the domain of the big-engine rally cars. However, after ten or so years on the tarmac, he decided to treat his daughters to some fresh air, far away from Paris. In this way, he joined the offshore racing teams.
A proud Norman, Yann Le Govic joined the stable in 2004 as sailor aboard Gitana X. This is how he learned his trade as a rigger, a post that is really essential to the performance of the Gitana yachts and calls for absolute thoroughness, patience and rigour.
Meticulous and rigorous, Marie Dixneuf adds a feminine touch to the shore crew. Always passionate about design and skilled at manual work, this native of the Vend(C)e-region has made carbon her speciality. It's a discipline in which she excels, to the extent that she had an opportunity to practice her skills in the last America's Cup, the high-tech sailing benchmark.
Graduating from the Southampton institute of naval architecture in 2011, S(C)bastien Sainson joined the Gitana Team with the Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild project. Demonstrating unfailing motivation and enthusiasm and certainly not a clock-watcher, this youngster from northern France has proven his worth and earned his place within the design office, where he works on various projects for the five-arrow team.
A trusty member of the "Gitana" fold, Nathalie Barbedet joined the team in 2005. Always smiling and ready to listen, she assists Cyril Dardashti with all the accounting and administrative aspects and is on hand to welcome you to Lorient, HQ to the five-arrow team.
Though he's a native of northern France, Cyril Ducrot could be described as Gitana's Swiss army knife. From the team's technical logistics to the preparation of the stable's various craft, his versatility is matched only by his good humour.
Europe's Winemakers Break With Tradition as Temperatures Rise - WSJ
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:52
PARIS'--Volatile summer weather in Europe, including the record-breaking heat waves that recently scorched the continent, is wreaking havoc on wine country.
Temperatures rose to an unprecedented high of 115 degrees in parts of France, causing grapes to ripen before their acidity fully developed, a crucial part of any wine's flavor profile. This summer's drought followed the freak storms last year that hit the wine-growing regions of Bordeaux, Cognac, and Champagne. In Italy, a summer of wildfires, hailstorms and other extreme weather events have shredded vineyards.
Paola Del Casale said hailstones destroyed at least half of the season's production at her family's winery along the Adriatic coast.
''I have never seen hailstorms like this before,'' Ms. Del Casale said, adding she will have to replant damaged young vines and wait up to two years for them to produce viable grapes. ''It's like I've lost this year completely.''
Regions like Tuscany and Bordeaux have long depended on serene summers to produce some of the world's finest wine, year after year. Reliable conditions allowed winemakers to develop strict codes for where and how to produce wine.
Today's turbulent climate, however, is now forcing vineyards to break with traditions that have defined winemaking on the continent for generations.
Winemakers are harvesting grapes more than a month ahead of schedule, sometimes in the middle of the night when temperatures are cooler. Some French winemakers are planting hardier grapes and re-evaluating some of the more sensitive'--and celebrated'--varietals such as Riesling and Merlot. In Italy, some are relocating vineyards uphill, where microclimates are cooler, and are experimenting with new technology.
In Germany, production of the French classic Merlot has more than tripled in the past two decades, as the weather warms.
Researchers across the region are investigating whether it's possible to take advantage of climate change by shifting more wine production to Northern Europe, but they are also running into hurdles. Climate instability across the continent has heightened uncertainty over quality and annual yield.
''It's impossible to determine the season's course until the very last moment,'' said Giordano Zinzani, president of a local wine consortium in northern Italy.
Winemakers say the measures some of them have taken so far are a band-aid at best, not a lasting solution given the challenges they face.
Hotter temperatures that allow grapes to bloom earlier also leave them exposed to spring frosts, which tend to hang around longer in northern latitudes. Dramatic swings in temperature also create conditions for fungal rot, pests and drought.
Grapes that ripen more quickly in the warming weather can also develop higher levels of sugar and alcohol, overpowering their acidity, a crucial flavor profile in nearly all wines. Across Italy, alcohol levels have risen a percentage point in the last 30 years, according to national agricultural group Coldiretti. In some regions, classics like Chianti and Barolo have seen even larger spikes.
As a consequence, the harvest schedule has crept up by about a month in Italy, Germany and France, from October to early September or late August.
Pierre Trimbach, an Alsatian winemaker who grows Riesling and now harvests his grapes in the beginning of September, says the accelerated timeline comes at a steep price. ''You lose the really citrus, really grapefruit flavor,'' he explained.
Mr. Trimbach now says he fears the lower acidity levels will mean Riesling, a wine traditionally stored for decades, won't age as well.
''Riesling's great asset is being a vin de garde'--a wine you keep for 20, 30, 40 years. Today, you can open magnificent 40-year-old Rieslings. Will the wines produced today be as beautiful in 40 years? No one knows,'' he said.
If the changing climate forces the region's winemakers to stop growing Riesling altogether, Mr. Trimbach questions whether producers could really be considered Alsatian any more.
In the Bordeaux region, winemakers voted to go against convention and approve seven late-ripening grape varieties for use in Bordeaux-labeled wine, including Touriga Nacional, a Portuguese red, and Albari±o, a white grape grown in Spain.
Bordeaux winemaker Vincent Gauthier has experimented with varietals that allow him to take a different tack than some and extend his growing schedule to as late as November, in an effort to preserve subtler and more citrusy flavors. ''The ancient Bordeaux varietals that you'd know, Cabernet, Merlot, they ripen too much. They increasingly produce wines that feel Californian'--too rich,'' said Mr. Gauthier.
He now plants two hectares of Carm(C)n¨re and Petit Verdot, which can be harvested as late as early November. He's not alone. In 2000, Petit Verdot was planted on 375 hectares in Bordeaux. By 2018, it covered 1,093 hectares.
The break with tradition is raising hackles in a region deeply vested in its heritage, and many winemakers aren't ready to join in.
Philippe Bardet, whose vineyards lie in Saint-‰milion, says he is no hurry to adopt foreign imports and is doubling down on using Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, as his father did. ''The grape vine is a Mediterranean plant. She requires a little heat and a little drought,'' he said.
In Italy, long periods of drought are leading farmers to adopt new irrigation systems and humidity sensors. Some have begun cultivating grapes at high altitudes where cooler temperatures are ideal for retaining acidity and limiting the spread of diseases, molds and pests.
Researchers at Hochschule Geisenheim University, near Frankfurt, meanwhile, have developed technologies to simulate winegrowing conditions predicted for 2050, with their higher levels of carbon dioxide. By blowing a constant stream of CO2 over test crops of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, they have produced juicier, larger clusters of grapes.
But while a higher level of CO2 has a fertilizing effect and increases photosynthesis, that factor would be severely undercut by expected water shortages, which stunt a vine's development. This could preclude Germany from becoming Europe's next wine basket, as some onlookers hoping to turn a profit on the warming climate are betting.
''People perceive it as, we'll have breakfast outside and watch palm trees wave gently in the breeze. But we are still at a northern latitude,'' said Claudia Kammann, an ecologist who worked on the study. ''We will not be a copy of the Mediterranean, regardless of what people think.''
'Absolute noodgreep': netbeheerders schakelen reservesystemen in | Binnenland | AD.nl
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:20
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Unhoused
Opinion: Homelessness in Austin - A way forward - Opinion - Austin American-Statesman - Austin, TX
Thu, 29 Aug 2019 23:56
By Philip R. BerberWednesday Aug 28, 2019 at 4:17 PM
None of us want to see the homeless on the streets of Austin. Many have voiced their fear, concern and anger following recent changes in a city ordinance that allows the homeless to sit, stay and have tents in public places. This has amplified the visibility of homelessness on our streets and created a backlash. Tents and cardboard makeshift coverings are springing up and appearing more than ever. As a result, the shock and dismay felt by local residents is completely understandable.
Currently, Austin has 2,200 people living on the streets. There are over 6,000 in cities like Las Vegas, Boston, Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and San Jose. Seattle has 12,000. That's what we need to avoid. Austin can significantly reduce both its homeless population and public dollars spent on homelessness by learning from these cities. What worked and failed? What are the most effective strategies and policies?
''Housing First'' is a proven approach that redirects and invests funds from supporting the homeless on the streets to getting them off the streets. It offers permanent, affordable housing and the supportive services needed. It has been successful in many cities in the U.S. and abroad.
Additionally, it's also going to take a public-private partnership of leaders and organizations committed to and experienced in reducing homelessness. We need to bring together the City of Austin, the business community, property owners, real estate developers, homeless agencies and nonprofits, as well as the philanthropic community and faith-based organizations.
The city has already removed 680 veterans from the streets. This success serves as a perfect example of what can be achieved when the city partners with local organizations and stakeholders. The city also recently announced plans for a 100-bed shelter in South Austin and it is looking for additional potential housing throughout the city. It is proposing $62 million for homelessness in next year's budget, an increase of $17 million.
Austin also has a deep and committed group of homeless agencies. Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Caritas, LifeWorks, Front Steps, SAFE, Foundation Communities, Salvation Army, Green Doors, St. Louise House and ECHO are prime examples. All of them bring experience and have played an important role in housing and sheltering homeless people. More than ever, these agencies and leaders will need to collaborate.
Community First Village is a community of tiny homes and RVs in East Austin that has helped over 200 people come off the streets by offering housing and support. Visitors are coming from the U.S. and abroad to learn how this innovative organization has built this supportive and expanding community for the formerly homeless. It plans to add 300 more housing units, and recently revealed an ambitious plan to expand further. Community First has the potential to reduce Austin's homelessness by half! They are a key component to reducing homelessness in Austin '' and garner private and philanthropic support.
Next month Austin welcomes Lori Pampilo Harris, the city's newly recruited homeless strategy officer. In a similar role, she helped Orange County, Fla., reduce homelessness from 2,900 to 1,200 in three years. In Orlando, the ''Mayor's Housing First Initiative'' was central to their success, resulting in savings to Orlando of almost $20,000 per homeless person annually.
It's more cost-effective to house the homeless than provide the police, medical, judicial and emergency services required on the streets. Now is the time for people, plans and resources to come together to reduce homelessness in a sustainable way, for the well-being of all Austinites. It won't happen overnight, yet there is a path forward '' and a will and way to get this done.
Berber is the founder and chairman of Glimmer Austin, a local family foundation focused on alleviating and breaking the cycle of poverty.
Epstein Barr
The Epstein Associate Nobody's Talking About: The IDF-Linked Bond Girl Infiltrating the UK NHS | The Swamp
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:43
I have a story to tell you. A story that causes my heart to pound and my blood pressure to rise as I type each and every word. A true story of a woman of great wealth and power, who rode on Jeffrey Epstein's ''Lolita Express'' private jet on several occasions. She appears to be a German-born Israeli state intelligence operative based in London. An ex-model whose name appeared in the Panama Papers from the Mossack Fonseca leaks and who became embroiled in a FIFA corruption scandal with Sepp Blatter and his family. She is perhaps the closest example that you could possibly find to a real-life ''Bond Girl.'' Yet, she is almost completely unknown to the majority of us.
This lady has recently infiltrated the NHS through the UK Department of Health and Social Care with the help of Matt Hancock MP, and her presence signifies a major threat to the data security of every citizen of the United Kingdom. Every single piece of data about you, your health issues, your blood type, the model of the wireless pacemaker keeping you alive, every detail of every embarrassing medical problem in the hands of the Israeli state apparatus and potentially sold off to the highest bidder. You may think that this doesn't concern you. Why would you need to worry about a foreign far-right government which has been proven to meddle in the affairs of our country? Your data would be useless to them, surely? But that's not the world we live in anymore. Big data is the modern gold rush. The psychologists and marketing agents have mastered how to make you buy things; the next step is for them to successfully master making you do things, and for that kind of control over people, they need everybody's data.
When I was first researching the Jeffrey Epstein case, I trawled through every piece of official documentation that was available. I knew what I was looking for and how very dangerous it was. I had begun attempting to identify state assets through their movements, actions, associations, and by good old fashioned detective work. I was interested in identifying any MI5 or MI6 agents, Israeli Mossad, CIA, or any other part of a nation states spying apparatus. It's possibly one of the most dangerous hobbies on earth, spy hunting, and if I'm honest, I'm not even sure why I'm doing it. Regardless, Jeffrey Epstein's sweetheart deal was probably what they would give to a foreign intelligence operative. Epstein was a perfect place to begin fishing for potential spooks.
Once I find somebody who I suspect of being involved in espionage, I will track down all existing information on that individual and build the story of their lives as best as I can. I learn every known habit they have and instead of immediately writing an article about them, I just continue to note their activities with interest. I have been watching many potential state actors for a fair few years. I've also missed out on breaking a few good stories by waiting for too long. But I don't want to simply show you the past as much as I want to show you the present, and even possibly, the future.
In the Epstein case, one of the best pieces of evidence which was available to researchers was the flight manifest for his child trafficking molestation machine. There were many coded initials and a few famous names noted in the official documentation. As you probably already know, Bill Clinton and his Secret Service agents had ridden the infamous ''Lolita Express'' on many occasions. Naomi Campbell, Kevin Spacey, Alan Dershowitz and Chris Tucker also flew on the plane with the billionaire sex offender.
We all build up recognisable patterns of behaviour over time. When you investigate someone, you usually start by identifying these patterns and then looking for any divergences from the anticipated outcomes. In Epstein's planes flight manifest, a pattern which was visible from the information available is how he would use his private jet. He would use the plane for two main reasons. Most commonly he would fly himself and a number of his entourage to a destination, or alternatively he would fly people to meet him. The rarest occurrence was when Epstein would fly without any of his usual entourage and just one other passenger. There was only one name that jumped out from the flight manifest as a good example of when Epstein alternated from his routine. His second meeting with Nicole Junkermann.
As of 2019, Nicole Junkermann's current business portfolio is very impressive. She's often described as an ex-model, entrepreneur and investor, but Ms. Junkermann is much more than just what you see at first glance. Born in Dusseldorf, Germany on 27th April 1975, Nicole Junkermann studied Business Administration at the International University of Monaco, and then went onto study Management Development at the prestigious Harvard Business School in the United States. Amongst her many talents she is multilingual and can speak German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish. In 1998, after graduating from the University of Monaco, she co-founded ''Winamax,'' which was an early online gaming platform that existed before online gaming regulation became a priority for the authorities. Winamax was sold in 2001 and Junkermann would go on to invest in a recently created media rights company called ''Infront Sports and Media AG,'' where she would soon serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The then President and Chief Executive at Infront Sports and Media, Phillipe Blatter.
In 2002, Junkermann acquired the rights for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with her relatively new company Infront Sports and Media. The company was best known at this time for its president and chief executive, Philippe Blatter, the nephew of Sepp Blatter, the then president of FIFA. This overt nepotistic corruption left Junkermann's Infront Sports and Media as the company to market the TV rights to major FIFA tournaments. It went on to acquire the rights to all of FIFA's World Cups, and even though this deal was watered down in 2006, in 2011 FIFA again gave Infront permission to sell the TV rights, in the Asian markets, for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
During her time at Infront Sports and Media, Junkermann would be caught flying on Jeffrey Epstein's ''Lolita Express'' on three occasions. The first flight recorded, on 22nd March 2002, she would share with Epstein, Sean Koo, and one other passenger, but it's her second trip which really stands out. On Saturday 31st August 2002, Jeffrey Epstein and Nicole Junkermann would fly from Paris Le Bourget Airport to Birmingham Airport, in the UK, alone. They would return to Paris, via the same route, on Monday 2nd September 2002. For Jeffrey Epstein to fly without any of his normally present entourage is very unusual. So what was happening that weekend? I've done a lot of research on these dates, but as of yet, I do not have any answers.
At that time, Junkermann was 27 years old, so it's very unlikely that they were dating, as everyone knows Jeffrey Epstein isn't interested in fully sexually developed adults. Finding this anomaly on Epstein's plane manifest encouraged me to look deeper into the life of Nicole Junkermann, and amongst other things, whether or not she had any links to a state intelligence agency. Were Junkermann and Epstein meeting alone for innocent reasons? Even though Junkerman had made many investments already, she might have been trying to get more funds from an eager investor like Epstein. How Epstein originally accrued his billions is still quite a murky subject in itself.
Whatever the reason for these two incredibly rich people being together, this meeting was a very private one. Junkermann had also just completed Harvard University's Program for Management Development, and Jeffrey Epstein had a high-profile relationship with Harvard which, in 2003, led to him donating $30,000,000.00 to the Ivy League college. Was Epstein using the famous American college to recruit for his own businesses or other interests?
More Epstein later, but firstly, continuing with Junkermann's career, in 2005 she founded a private equity fund focused on media and sports investments in Asia and Europe called ''United in Sports'' and managed to raised '‚¬242.2 million for the venture in 2007. Her other project, Infront Sports and Media, was ultimately sold to a European private equity firm, Bridgepoint, for '‚¬600 million in 2011. In that year Nicole Junkermann had officially become one of the hottest investors in the world. Since her very first acquisitions which I've already referred to, Junkermann has invested in or purchased: Shanghai Really Sports, Ziggurat, Thousand-Child, Aloha, Jobbio, Emoticast, Elvie, Auctionata, Coindrum, Spoon Guru, Optiopay, Grabyo, Magnum Global Ventures, Songza, tausendkind, Revolut, Sentient Technologies, Here be Dragons, Soundtrack Your Brand, Groq, Catapult, Delivery Club, Relate IQ, DollarShaveClub, Bruhouse Brewery, Cage Warriors, Eagle Alpha, Gokixx, Rebuy.de, Travelbird, Healthtech Digital, OWKIN, Reporty Homeland Security, and Carbyne911. The latter four of these companies are of significant interest.
The link between Nicole Junkermann, the Israeli state intelligence services and the Israeli Defence Force is not a tenuous one. The ominously named ''Reporty Homeland Security'' was the first incarnation of what is now called ''Carbyne911'' and is referred to as simply ''Carbyne.'' Described as a ''global leader in public safety technology,'' Carbyne is a call handling platform app that allows you to, amongst other things, stream any ongoing emergency directly to the responding emergency services. It claims, in the information section of a promotional video on YouTube entitled ''Nicole Junkermann presents Carbyne,'' that it will:
''provide a plug and play solution that allows 911 callers to connect their smartphone features to the emergency operator so that the operator can make a better assessment of the emergency. Location data, audio, camera and video access can be shared, providing the operator with greater detail on the situation. The use of Carbyne's solution will allow emergency management teams to better triage their cases and improve the utilization of downstream emergency services.''They promise to combine the use of personal data, location data, live video, data from surrounding wearable tech, and even information from parked smart cars, to deliver more information to the emergency services who should be responding. They can pinpoint your location, even indoors, to within three feet, and they claim that they can even collect data from dropped calls. However, they fail to mention how they'll get the permission to use such masses of available data. Who are these angels behind this revolutionary technology which aims to get between a victim and the emergency services?
One of the directors of Carbyne is Nicole Junkermann. The chairman of the board of directors is Ehud Barak, the 10th Prime Minister of Israel, the 14th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, former Minister of Defense and former Head of Military Intelligence for Israel. Ehud Barak has had a long history as one of the more public faces of Israeli covert operations. Before he was Prime Minister, Ehud Barak was a big name in the IDF. Through the 1970's, he led many operations including famously disguising himself as a woman to kill members of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation). Ehud Barak has already been linked with Epstein, and Benjamin Netanyahu has helped to highlight those links for his own political gain.
Another of Carbyne's directors and board members is Brigadier Pinchas Buchris, the former Deputy Commander of an elite IDF operations unit and former Commander of the IDF 8200 Cyber Intelligence Unit. Amir Elichai is the Founder and CEO of Carbyne, he is also a former Israeli Army officer who served in various positions in the special elite forces and the intelligence corps. Alex Dizengof is Carbyne's Co-Founder & CTO. He's described as a Software Architect and Algorithms Developer. Dizengof had previously developed machine learning algorithms for robots and mobile platforms, as well as cyber security software for the Israeli Prime Minister's Office.
These people have always been serious Israeli State assets and it would be naive to think anything has changed. It seems that Nicole Junkermann has some serious partners, and it makes me wonder whether or not Jeffrey Epstein's original meeting with the then recently graduated Junkermann was as a recruiter for the Mossad.
The only tiny picture of the Healthtech Advisory Board from .gov
I watched Nicole Junkermann carefully as she was buying up many start-up tech firms and at the end of 2018 my worst possible fear was realised. Matt Hancock, Member of Parliament for West Suffolk and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the UK, appointed Nicole Junkermann to the Healthtech Advisory Board. For the vast majority of people living in the United Kingdom, the NHS is an institution which we cherish and adore. Many of us will protect the National Health Service with our lives because that's what it has done for us in our darkest days.
The Healthtech Advisory Board is described as a collection of clinicians, academics, and IT experts. The official government website says ''the board will look at how the NHS can harness the potential of technology and create a culture of innovation, with the aim of improving patient outcomes and reducing the workload on NHS staff.'' It fails to mention why it requires an Israeli intelligence linked venture capitalist who has been involved in multiple scandals. Their first official meeting took place on 19th November 2018'--see Appendix I for the other members of the Healthtech Advisory Board.
The two members which are of note relating to this story are Nicole Junkermann and Parker Moss, the latter happening to be the Chief Business Officer at OWKIN, which is one of the many companies in Junkermann's vast portfolio. OWKIN is an AI startup that uses machine learning to augment medical and biology research. On its own, the company would probably be a perfect fit for the future of the NHS, but because of its connection to Nicole Junkermann and Israeli intelligence, OWKIN should be seen as too much of a risk to the data protection for NHS users.
NJF Holdings website announces NHS big data win
On June 16th 2019, Nicole Junkerman's NJF holdings website issued an article under the title ''London Hospital's Could Offer Patient Data to Google-backed AI Startup in a Bid to Develop Better Drugs.'' It was exactly as I had expected. The convoluted title was celebrating the fact that OWKIN had already been promised NHS patient data, and they're already confidently announcing it to their investors, and their other associates. We need to call for Matt Hancock to remove Nicole Junkermann from the Healthtech Advisory Board as of immediate effect, and we should have an inquiry into how NHS data can be protected from hostile foreign intelligence agencies.
Junkermann and Epstein - Conclusions
I believe that the future unsealing of previously hidden evidence will confirm that Jeffrey Epstein had been working for multiple intelligence agencies. But he is most likely to have been recruited by the Israeli state. Junkermann has managed to avoid her connections with Epstein being out in the open, until now. But she is skilled at controlling her public profile. Nicole Junkermann has become more powerful over the past eight years, and I have seen negative information relating to her previous scandals being removed from the search results. Go check yourself. Type in Nicole Junkermann on Google search and go through all the articles which appear. They are overwhelmingly positive, or simply relate to one of her businesses, and this is very different to what you would have found only a few years ago. When I first started investigating Nicole Junkermann, there were many negative articles which have all but vanished. I'm not even sure that this story will survive.
So, I ask you all to share this and publish it on your blogs and websites, and to bring the name Nicole Junkermann into the public eye.
Also, if I disappear anytime soon, remember. It was probably the Mossad.
Appendix I
The other Healthtech Advisory Board members include Rachel Dunscombe, who was the CEO of the NHS Digital Academy and Director for Digital for Salford Royal NHS Group, but since being appointed to the Healthtech Advisory Board, she has also joined KLAS Arch Collaborative as their Global (non-US) Leader and Senior Tech Evangelist. Manoj Badale OBE who is described as a Digital Venture Builder and has business ties with the Murdoch family. David Gann CBE Vice President of Innovation at Imperial College London. Sir Mark Walport, an English medical scientist and former Chief Government Scientific Advisor to the UK Conservative Governments from 2013 until 2017. Nicola Blackwood the Baroness of North Oxford and a member of the House of Lords. Roger Taylor, who is Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. Jeni Tennison OBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Open Data Institute and lead developer for legistlation.gov.uk. Dan Sheldon, who is Head of Well Digital. Daniel Korski CBE, former Advisor to David Cameron and Hamid Karzai's governments'--and is someone who deserves their own article. Michelle Brennan, President of Johnson and Johnson, one of the pharmaceutical heavyweights.
Prince Andrew lawyers think photo with Epstein accuser is fake: Report - Business Insider
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 00:04
A source close to Prince Andrew says the royal has no memory of ever meeting Virginia Giuffre, a woman who accused Jeffrey Epstein of forcing her to have sex with Andrew when she was 17. The source told the London Evening Standard that Duke of York's legal team "seriously doubt" the photo taken of Andrew and Giuffre in 2001 is real. Buckingham Palace declined to comment when contacted by Insider. However, Andrew said in a previous statement that he sympathizes for Epstein's victims. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Prince Andrew's legal team thinks the infamous photo of Andrew with one of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers, shown above, could be fake, according to the Evening Standard.
The Duke of York reportedly has "absolutely no recollection" of meeting Virginia Giuffre, the woman who accused Jeffrey Epstein of forcing her to have sex with Andrew in 2001, a source told the newspaper.
The source, described as somebody "close to" Andrew, told the publication: "Look at his fingers in the photo. The duke has quite chubby fingers, they don't look right and nor does the height of the duke and the girl.
Read more: A Jeffrey Epstein accuser says Prince Andrew 'knows exactly what he's done' and that she won't stop until he's 'brought to justice'
"I understand his legal team have asked to have proper sight of the original photograph so they can carry out their own investigation as they seriously doubt its veracity."
Another source '-- described only as a "senior source," said Andrew has no memory of meeting Giuffre, who was previously known as Virginia Roberts.
They said: "The duke is adamant and has been consistent since 2011 that he does not recall ever meeting Miss Roberts, let alone the photo being taken."
The Standard's report comes a day after Giuffre said that she hopes Andrew "comes clean."
Speaking to reporters outside federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, Giuffre said: "I will never be silenced until these people are brought to justice."
When asked specifically about the royal, she said: "He knows what he's done, and he can attest to that."
She added: "He knows exactly what he's done, and I hope he comes clean about it."
Giuffre alleged in a 2015 defamation case that Epstein made her have sex with Andrew in his New York mansion, in London, and on his private island in the Virgin Islands back in 2001 '-- when she was 17 years old.
She also alleged that she had been "procured for sexual activities" by Ghislaine Maxwell, who was a close friend to both Epstein and the prince.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told Insider "we have nothing further to add to our previous statements."
Prince Andrew released a statement on Saturday, in which he said he "sympathizes" with Epstein's victims.
"I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year," reads the statement. "I have stayed in a number of residencies."
Read more: The Queen sat next to Prince Andrew as they drove to church on Sunday in a 'show of support' for her son amid the Epstein allegations
He added: "At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, hear, witness, or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.
"His suicide left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure."
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Child-Porn Investigation Caused New Mexico Observatory Closure: Report | Space
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 18:41
The Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was closed for 11 days in September 2018 to accommodate an FBI investigation. That investigation centered on the use of Sunspot Wi-Fi to access child pornography, according to court documents examined by the news agency Reuters.
(Image: (C) National Solar Observatory/NSF)
An FBI investigation into child pornography caused the peculiar closure of a New Mexico solar observatory earlier this month, according to the news agency Reuters.
The Sunspot Solar Observatory, which sits high up on southern New Mexico's Sacramento Peak, was shuttered from Sept. 6 through Sept. 16 because of a "security issue" that, until now, had remained mysterious. The lack of information spawned a rash of rumors, which ran the gamut from an alien-life detection to espionage activity.
But the truth is out there at last. Reuters got ahold of federal court documents, which revealed that the FBI was investigating the apparent use of Sunspot Wi-Fi to download and distribute child pornography. [The World's Biggest Telescopes: How They Stack Up]
An FBI affidavit examined by Reuters "identified the suspect as a janitor under contract to clean the facility, whose laptop was found to have been used to connect to the observatory's wireless system," the news agency reported Wednesday (Sept. 19).
"The warrant issued by a U.S. magistrate in Las Cruces, New Mexico, showed that on Sept. 14 agents removed from the man's home three cell phones, five laptops, one iPad, an external hard drive, 16 thumb drives, 89 compact flash disks and other material," Reuters reported.
The FBI told Reuters that the suspect has not been arrested or charged with a crime, but the case is still under investigation.
Sunspot is a facility of the National Solar Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
AURA representatives have stressed that they've been cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation, though they've kept key details, including the nature of the activity being investigated, from the public.
"We recognize that the lack of communications while the facility was vacated was concerning and frustrating for some," AURA representatives said in a Sunday (Sept. 16) statement, which announced that Sunspot would reopen the next day.
"However, our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation," the AURA statement added. "That was a risk we could not take."
The FBI has also stayed mum, even keeping local law enforcement personnel in the dark, according to media reports.
Nine people, from AURA and New Mexico State University, currently work at Sunspot, AURA representatives have said. Astronomers at the observatory, which was established in 1947, study solar activity, solar physics and space weather. Its main instrument is the Dunn Solar Telescope, which was completed in 1969.
Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.
Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.
The Purge
Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech | Knight First Amendment Institute
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 13:46
After a decade or so of the general sentiment being in favor of the internet and social media as a way to enable more speech and improve the marketplace of ideas, in the last few years the view has shifted dramatically'--now it seems that almost no one is happy. Some feel that these platforms have become cesspools of trolling, bigotry, and hatred. 1. Zachary Laub, Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons , Council on Foreign Rel. (Jun. 7, 2019), https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/hate-speech-social-media-global-comparisons . Meanwhile, others feel that these platforms have become too aggressive in policing language and are systematically silencing or censoring certain viewpoints. 2. Tony Romm, Republicans Accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of Bias. Democrats Called the Hearing 'Dumb.', Wash. Post (Jul. 17, 2018), https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/17/republicans-accused-facebook-google-twitter-bias-democrats-called-hearing-dumb/?utm_term=.895b34499816. And that's not even touching on the question of privacy and what these platforms are doing (or not doing) with all of the data they collect.
The situation has created something of a crisis, both inside and outside of these companies. The companies are constantly struggling to deal with their new positions as arbiters of truth and kindness online, despite historically promoting themselves as defenders of free speech. Meanwhile, politicians from the two major political parties have been hammering these companies, albeit for completely different reasons. Some have been complaining about how these platforms have potentially allowed for foreign interference in our elections. 3. A Conversation with Mark Warner: Russia, Facebook and the Trump Campaign, Radio IQ|WVTF Music (Apr. 6, 2018), https://www.wvtf.org/post/conversation-mark-warner-russia-facebook-and-trump-campaign#stream/0 (statement of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): ''I first called out Facebook and some of the social media platforms in December of 2016. For the first six months, the companies just kind of blew off these allegations, but these proved to be true; that Russia used their social media platforms with fake accounts to spread false information, they paid for political advertising on their platforms. Facebook says those tactics are no longer allowed'--that they've kicked this firm off their site, but I think they've got a lot of explaining to do.''). Others have complained about how they've been used to spread disinformation and propaganda. 4. Nicholas Confessore & Matthew Rosenberg, Facebook Fallout Ruptures Democrats' Longtime Alliance with Silicon Valley, N.Y. Times (Nov. 17, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/technology/facebook-democrats-congress.html (referencing statement by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.): ''Mr. Tester, the departing chief of the Senate Democrats' campaign arm, looked at social media companies like Facebook and saw propaganda platforms that could cost his party the 2018 elections, according to two congressional aides. If Russian agents mounted a disinformation campaign like the one that had just helped elect Mr. Trump, he told Mr. Schumer, 'we will lose every seat.'''). Some have charged that the platforms are just too powerful. 5. Julia Carrie Wong, #Breaking Up Big Tech: Elizabeth Warren Says Facebook Just Proved Her Point , T he Guardian (Mar. 11, 2019), https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/11/elizabeth-warren-facebook-ads-break-up-big-tech (statement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)) (''Curious why I think FB has too much power? Let's start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power. Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn't dominated by a single censor. #BreakUpBigTech.''). Others have called attention to inappropriate account and content takedowns, 6. Jessica Guynn, Ted Cruz Threatens to Regulate Facebook, Google and Twitter Over Charges of Anti-Conservative Bias, USA Today (Apr. 10, 2019), https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/04/10/ted-cruz-threatens-regulate-facebook-twitter-over-alleged-bias/3423095002/ (statement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)) (''What makes the threat of political censorship so problematic is the lack of transparency, the invisibility, the ability for a handful of giant tech companies to decide if a particular speaker is disfavored.''). while some have argued that the attempts to moderate discriminate against certain political viewpoints. 7. Press Release, Louie Gohmert, U.S. Congressman, Gohmert Introduces Bill That Removes Liability Protections for Social Media Companies That Use Algorithms to Hide, Promote, or Filter User Content (Dec. 20, 2018) (statement of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex): '' Employees from some of these companies have communicated their disgust for conservatives and discussed ways to use social media platforms and algorithms to silence and prevent income to conservatives.'').
What is clear is that there is no simple solution to these challenges, and most of the ones that are normally presented tend not to deal with the reality of the problems or to understand the technical and societal challenges that likely make them impossible.
Some have argued for much greater policing of content online, and companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have talked about hiring thousands to staff up their moderation teams. 8. April Glaser, Want a Terrible Job? Facebook and Google May Be Hiring , S late (Jan. 18, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/01/facebook-and-google-are-building-an-army-of-content-moderators-for-2018.html (explaining that major platforms have hired or have announced plans to hire thousands, in some cases more than ten thousand, new content moderators). On the other side of the coin, companies are increasingly investing in more and more sophisticated technology help, such as artificial intelligence, to try to spot contentious content earlier in the process. 9. Tom Simonite, AI Has Started Cleaning Up Facebook, But Can It Finish?,Wired (Dec. 18, 2018), https://www.wired.com/story/ai-has-started-cleaning-facebook-can-it-finish/. Others have argued that we should change Section 230 of the CDA, which gives platforms a free hand in determining how they moderate (or how they don't moderate). 10. Gohmert Press Release, supra note 7 (''Social media companies enjoy special legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, protections not shared by other media. Instead of acting like the neutral platforms they claim to be in order obtain their immunity, these companies have turned Section 230 into a license to potentially defraud and defame with impunity'... Since there still appears to be no sincere effort to stop this disconcerting behavior, it is time for social media companies to be liable for any biased and unethical impropriety of their employees as any other media company. If these companies want to continue to act like a biased medium and publish their own agendas to the detriment of others, they need to be held accountable.''); Eric Johnson, Silicon Valley's Self-Regulating Days ''Probably Should Be'' Over, Nancy Pelosi Says, Vox (Apr. 11, 2019), https://www.recode.net/podcasts/2019/4/11/18306834/nancy-pelosi-speaker-house-tech-regulation-antitrust-230-immunity-kara-swisher-decode-podcast (statement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal)) (''230 is a gift to them, and I don't think they are treating it with the respect that they should. . . . And so I think that that could be a question mark and in jeopardy.... For the privilege of 230, there has to be a bigger sense of responsibility on it, and it is not out of the question that that could be removed.''). Still others have suggested that there should be no moderation allowed at all'--at least for platforms of a certain size'--such that they are deemed part of the public square. 11. 11 Robert Burnson, Twitter Beats Censorship Lawsuit By Banned White Nationalist, Bloomberg (Aug. 23, 2018), https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-24/twitter-beats-censorship-lawsuit-by-banned-white-advocate (self-proclaimed ''white advocate'' Jared Taylor argued that it was a violation of his rights to be removed from Twitter, but a California state appeals court rejected that argument).
As this article will attempt to highlight, most of these solutions are not just unworkable; many of them will make the initial problems worse or will have other effects that are equally pernicious.
This article proposes an entirely different approach'--one that might seem counterintuitive but might actually provide for a workable plan that enables more free speech, while minimizing the impact of trolling, hateful speech, and large-scale disinformation efforts. As a bonus, it also might help the users of these platforms regain control of their privacy. And to top it all off, it could even provide an entirely new revenue stream for these platforms.
That approach: build protocols, not platforms.
To be clear, this is an approach that would bring us back to the way the internet used to be. The early internet involved many different protocols'--instructions and standards that anyone could then use to build a compatible interface. Email used SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Chat was done over IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Usenet served as a distributed discussion system using NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol). The World Wide Web itself was its own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP.
In the past few decades, however, rather than building new protocols, the internet has grown up around controlled platforms that are privately owned. These can function in ways that appear similar to the earlier protocols, but they are controlled by a single entity. This has happened for a variety of reasons. Obviously, a single entity controlling a platform can then profit off of it. In addition, having a single entity can often mean that new features, upgrades, bug fixes, and the like can be rolled out much more quickly, in ways that would increase the user base.
Indeed, some of the platforms today are leveraging existing open protocols but have built up walls around them, locking users in, rather than merely providing an interface. 12. 12 For example, Google's Gmail service is based on open email protocols like SMTP and IMAP, but with additional features built on top of it. Facebook uses the Signal Protocol to handle end-to-end encryption for its Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger services. This actually highlights that there is not an either/or choice here between platforms and protocols but rather a spectrum. However, the argument presented here is that we need to move much more to a world of open protocols, rather than platforms.
Moving to a world where protocols and not proprietary platforms dominate would solve many issues currently facing the internet today. Rather than relying on a few giant platforms to police speech online, there could be widespread competition, in which anyone could design their own interfaces, filters, and additional services, allowing whichever ones work best to succeed, without having to resort to outright censorship for certain voices. It would allow end users to determine their own tolerances for different types of speech but make it much easier for most people to avoid the most problematic speech, without silencing anyone entirely or having the platforms themselves make the decisions about who is allowed to speak.
In short, it would push the power and decision making out to the ends of the network, rather than keeping it centralized among a small group of very powerful companies.
At the same time, it would likely lead to new, more innovative features as well as better end-user control over their own data. Finally, it could help usher in a series of new business models that don't focus exclusively on monetizing user data.
Historically, the internet moved more and more to a world of centralized platforms over decentralized protocols due, in part, to the incentive structure under the old internet. Protocols were difficult to monetize. Because of that, it was difficult to keep them updated and to provide new features in a compelling way. Companies often came in and ''took over,'' creating a more centralized platform, adding on their own features (and incorporating their own business models). They were able to put more resources toward those platforms (and business models), creating a virtuous cycle (and some number of locked-in users) for the platform.
However, that has brought its own difficulties. With control has come demands for responsibility, including ever greater policing of the content hosted on these platforms. It has also created concerns about filter bubbles and bias. 13. 13 Alex Hern, How Social Media Filter Bubbles and Algorithms Influence the Election, The Guardian (May 22, 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/22/social-media-election-facebook-filter-bubbles. In addition it has created a dominance of a few internet companies, and that (quite reasonably) makes many people uncomfortable. 14. 14 Everybody Wants to Rule the World, The Economist (Nov. 27, 2014), https://www.economist.com/briefing/2014/11/27/everybody-wants-to-rule-the-world.
Moving back to a focus on protocols over platforms can solve many of these problems. And other recent developments suggest that doing so could overcome many of the earlier pitfalls of protocol-based systems, potentially creating the best of all words: useful internet services, with competition driving innovation, not controlled solely by giant corporations, but financially sustainable, providing end users with more control over their own data and privacy'--and providing mis- and disinformation far fewer opportunities to wreak havoc.
The Early Problems with Protocols and What Platforms Do Well
While the early internet was dominated by a series of protocols, rather than platforms, the limitations of those early protocols show why platforms came to dominate. There are many different platforms, each one coming with its own set of reasons why they were successful for a time and failed (or not), but to help illustrate the issues discussed here, we'll limit our comparison to Usenet and Reddit.
Conceptually, both Usenet and Reddit are quite similar. Both involved a set of forums generally organized around a particular topic. On Usenet, these were called newsgroups. On Reddit, they are subreddits. 15. 15 About Usenet: Information About Usenet and Usenet.nl, Usenet.il , https://en.usenet.nl/usenet/ ; The Conversation Starts Here, Reddit, https://www.redditinc.com. Each newsgroup or subreddit tended to have moderators who were empowered to put different rules in place. Users could post new posts within each group, leading to threaded replies from others in the group, creating an approximation of a discussion.
However, Usenet was an open protocol (technically, the Network News Transfer Protocol, or NNTP) that anyone could tap into, using a variety of different applications. Reddit is a centralized platform controlled entirely by a single company.
To access Usenet, you initially needed a special newsreader client app (of which there were several) and then you would need to access a Usenet server. Many internet service providers originally offered their own (when I first got on the internet in 1993, I used Usenet via a news server at my university, along with the Usenet reader the university provided). As the web became more popular, more organizations attempted to provide a web front end to Usenet. In the early days this space was dominated by Deja News Research Service, which provided one of the first web interfaces to Usenet; it later added a bunch of additional features, including (most helpfully) a comprehensive search engine.
While Deja News experimented with a variety of different business models, eventually its search was shut down. Google acquired the company in 2001 16. 16 Michelle Delio, Google Buys Deja Archive, Wired (F eb. 12, 2001) , https://www.wired.com/2001/02/google-buys-deja-archive/. , including its Usenet archives, which it used as a key part of Google Groups (which still offers email-style mailing lists that are exclusive to the Google platform, and a web interface to much of Usenet and its newsgroups).
Much of Usenet was complicated and unclear (especially prior to the widespread advent of web interfaces). An early joke on Usenet was that every September the service would be filled with confused ''newbies,'' inevitably college freshman who had just been granted new accounts and had little idea of the prevailing practices and proper etiquette involved in using the service. September, then, tended to be the time during which a lot of old-timers found themselves frustratingly ''correcting'' the behavior of these new entrants until they conformed to the system's norms.
In the same spirit, the period after September of 1993 has been memorialized by old-school Usenet aficionados as ''the September that never ended'' and ''Eternal September.'' That was the moment that the proprietary platform America Online (AOL) opened its doors to Usenet, leading to a massive influx of users who weren't so easily tamed. 17. 17 Eternal September, Tv Tropes, https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EternalSeptember (''Then, in 1993, AOL opened up the then-dominant forum of the 'net, Usenet, to every customer, and Usenet was overrun. The social structure that had worked fine to incorporate a relative handful of newcomers was ineffective in a world where the newcomers vastly outnumbered the old guard. Worse, for every newbie that could be civilized or driven off, more and more took their place immediately. This is the Eternal September, the age the Internet now lives in; most of the old guard are gone, vanished, or formed more minor net societies within the larger Internet as a whole.'').
Since there were many different Usenet servers, the content is not centrally hosted but propagates across the various servers. This has advantages and disadvantages, including that different servers can treat different content in different ways. Not every Usenet server has to host every group. But it also means that there is not a central authority to deal with disruptive or trollish activity. However, certain servers could choose to block certain newsgroups, and end users could use tools such as kill files to filter out a variety of unwanted content based on criteria that the user themselves chose. 18. 18 Kill File, Jargon File, http://catb.org/jargon/html/K/kill-file.html (''Per-user file(s) used by some Usenet reading programs (originally Larry Wall's rn(1)) to discard summarily (without presenting for reading) articles matching some particularly uninteresting (or unwanted) patterns of subject, author, or other header lines. Thus, to add a person (or subject) to one's kill file is to arrange for that person to be ignored by one's newsreader in future.'').
Another major disadvantage to the original Usenet was that it was not particularly adaptive or flexible, especially in terms of larger-scale changes. As it was a decentralized set of protocols, there was an involved consensus process that required agreement from a wide range of parties before any changes to the protocol could be implemented. Even smaller changes often required considerable work and even then were not always recognized universally. Starting a new newsgroup was a fairly involved process. For certain hierarchies there was an approval process, but other ''alt'' categories were much easier to set up (although whether or not all Usenet servers would carry that board was not guaranteed). 19. 19 Moderated Newspaper, Archive.Today, https://archive.is/20120804234307/http:/www.big-8.org/wiki/Moderated_Newsgroups%23Who_can_force_the_moderators_to_obey_the_group_charter.3F#Who_can_force_the_moderators_to_obey_the_group_charter.3F. By comparison, it is easy to set up a new subreddit. Reddit has a product and engineering team that can make any changes it desires'--but the userbase has far less say in how those changes occur.
Perhaps the largest problem with the old system was the lack of an obvious business model. As the death of Deja News showed, it had never been particularly profitable to run a Usenet server. Over time, there has been a growth of ''professional'' Usenet servers that require payment to access, but those tended to come about much later, are not that large compared to an internet platform like Reddit, and are generally considered to be focused on trading in infringing content. 20. 20 Mike Isaac & Cecilia Kang, Facebook Expects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues, N.Y. Times (Apr. 24, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/technology/facebook-ftc-fine-privacy.html.
The Current Problems of Big Platforms
In the last two decades, the rise of internet platforms'--Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and others'--have more or less displaced the protocol-based systems used previously. With the platforms, there is a single (usually for-profit) company that runs the services for end users. These services tend to be funded first by venture capital and then by advertising (often highly targeted).
The platforms are all built on the World Wide Web and tend to be accessed through a traditional internet web browser or, increasingly, a mobile device app. The benefits of building a service as a platform are fairly obvious: the owner has ultimate control over that platform and thus is much better positioned to monetize the platforms via advertising of some form (or other ancillary services). This does, however, incentivize these platforms to acquire an ever increasing amount of data from their users to better target them.
This has resulted in reasonable concerns and pushback from both users and regulators, who are concerned that platforms are not playing fairly or not properly ''protecting'' the end-user data they have been collecting. 21. 21 Emily Bell, Facebook Moderation Is of Public Interest. It Should Be Public Knowledge, Colum. Journalism Rev. (May 23, 2017), https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/facebook-moderation-guardian.php.
A second problem facing the largest platforms today is that as they have become larger and more central to everyday lives, there is growing concern directed at the operators of these platforms about the content that they have enabled to be posted'--as well as the responsibilities those operators might have in policing or blocking that content. 22. 22 Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries & Amanda Willis, Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress, CNN (Apr. 11, 2018), https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/mark-zuckerberg-testifies-congress/index.html. They have faced increasing pressure from both users and politicians to police that content more proactively. 23. 23 Tony Romm, Republicans Accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of Bias. Democrats Called the Hearing 'Dumb.', Wash. Post (Jul. 17, 2018), https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/17/republicans-accused-facebook-google-twitter-bias-democrats-called-hearing-dumb/?utm_term=.895b34499816. In some cases, laws have been passed that more explicitly require platforms to delete certain content, slowly chipping away at the earlier immunity (e.g., the Communications Decency Act, Section 230, in the US, or the E-Commerce Directive in the EU) that many platforms enjoyed over their moderation choices.
Because of this, platforms have felt reasonably compelled not only to be more proactive but also to testify before various legislative bodies, to hire thousands of employees as potential content moderators, and to invest heavily in moderation technology. Yet even with these regulatory mandates and human and technical investments, it is still not clear that any platform can actually do a ''good'' job of moderating content at scale.
Part of the problem is that any platform moderation decision is going to upset someone. Obviously, those whose content was moderated tend not to be happy about it, but the same is true of others who wished to see or share that content. At the same time, in many cases a decision not to moderate content can also upset people. Currently, the platforms are receiving quite a lot of criticism for their moderation choices, including accusations (mostly evidence-free, to be sure) that political bias is driving those content moderation choices. As the platforms face pressure to take on more responsibility, every choice concerning content moderation they make puts them in a bind. Remove disputed content'--and anger those who created it or support it; refrain from removing disputed content'--and anger those who find it problematic.
This puts the platforms in a no-win position. They can keep throwing more and more money at the problem and continue to talk to the public and politicians, but it is unclear how this ever ends with enough people being ''satisfied.'' It is not difficult on any given day to find people upset with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube when they fail to take down certain content'--who can immediately be replaced by those upset with the platforms when they eventually do take down that content.
This setup is frustrating for everyone involved, and it's unlikely to get better anytime soon.
Protocols to the Rescue
In this article, I am proposing that we return to a world of protocols dominating the internet, rather than platforms. There is reason to believe that moving to a system of protocols could solve many of the problems associated with platforms today and that it could be done while minimizing the problems that were inherent to protocols a few decades ago.
While there is no silver bullet, a system of protocols could serve to do a better job of protecting both user privacy and free speech, while at the same time minimizing the impact of abusive behavior online and creating new and compelling business models that are more aligned with user interests.
The key to making this work is that while there would be specific protocols for the various types of platforms we see today, there would then be many competing interface implementations of that protocol. The competition would come from those implementations. The lowered switching costs of moving from one implementation to another would create less lock-in, and the ability for anyone to create their own interface and get access to all of the content and users on the underlying protocol makes the barriers to entry for competition drastically lower. You don't need to build an entirely new Facebook if you already have access to everyone making use of the ''social network protocol'' and just provide a different, or better, interface to it.
An example of this is already seen, to some extent, in the email space. Built on open standards such as SMTP, POP3 and IMAP, 24. 24Email Protocols '' POP3, SMTP and IMAP Tutorial, Siteground, https://www.siteground.com/tutorials/email/protocols-pop3-smtp-imap/ (providing a description of protocols). there are many different implementations of email. Popular email systems in the 1980s and 1990s relied on a client-server setup whereby the service provider (whether a commercial internet service provider, a university, or an employer) would host the email only briefly on a server, until they were downloaded to the user's own computer via some client software, like Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, or Thunderbird. Or, users could access that email via a text interface, such as Pine or Elm. 25. 25Comparison of Email Clients, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_email_clients (providing a long list of email clients).
The late 1990s saw the rise of web-based email, first with Rocketmail (eventually purchased by Yahoo, becoming Yahoo Mail) and Hotmail (purchased by Microsoft, years later becoming Outlook.com). Google introduced its own offering, Gmail, in 2004, which kicked off a new round of innovation, as Gmail offered vastly more storage space for email as well as a significantly faster user interface. 26. 26 Early Yahoo Acquisitions (the 1990s), SEO by the Sea, http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/01/early-yahoo-acquisitions-the-1990s/; Google + E-mail = Gmail, CNN Money (A pr. 1, 2004) , https://money.cnn.com/2004/04/01/technology/google_email/.
However, because of these open standards, there is a great deal of flexibility. A user can use a non-Gmail email address within the Gmail interface. Or he or she can use a Gmail account with an entirely different client, such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail. 27. 27 Check Emails From Other Accounts, Gmail Help, https://support.google.com/mail/answer/21289?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en (offering the Gmail fetcher setup as a way to use a non-Gmail address with the Gmail interface). On top of that, it's possible to create new interfaces on top of Gmail itself, such as with a Chrome extension. 28. 28 Brady Gavin, The Best Chrome Extensions for Making Gmail Better, How-To-Geek (Feb. 27, 2019), https://www.howtogeek.com/402035/the-best-chrome-extensions-for-making-gmail-better/ (providing an example of the number of add-ons for email systems today that will work across multiple email implementations).
This setup has many advantages for the end user. Even if one platform'--like Gmail'--becomes much more popular in the marketplace, the costs of switching are much lower. If a user does not like how Gmail handles certain features or is concerned about Google's privacy practices, switching to a different platform is much easier, and the user does not lose access to all of his or her old contacts or the ability to email anyone else (even those contacts that remain Gmail users).
Notice that this flexibility serves as a strong incentive on Google's part to make sure that Gmail treats its users well; Google is less likely to take actions that might lead to a rapid exodus. This is different than a fully proprietary platform such as Facebook or Twitter, where leaving those platforms means that you no longer are in communication in the same way with the people there and can no longer easily access their content and communications. With a system like Gmail, it is easy to export contacts and even legacy emails and simply begin again with a different service, without losing the ability to remain in contact with anyone.
In addition, it opens up the competitive environment much more. Even as Gmail is an especially popular email service, others are able to build up significant email services'--like Outlook.com or Yahoo Mail'--or to create successful startup email services that target different markets and niches'--like Zohomail or Protonmail. 29. 29 Rahul Biswal, Top 10 Best Free Email Service Providers 2019, Ecloudbuzz (Dec. 31, 2018), https://www.ecloudbuzz.com/best-free-email-service-providers/ (providing lists of popular email services that show a range of big, recognizable companies like Google, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo along with startups). It also opens up other services that can build on top of the existing email ecosystem, with less fear of a being reliant on a single platform that might shut them out. For example, both Twitter 30. 30 Christina Warren, Twitter's API Update Cuts Off Oxygen to Third-Party Clients, Mashable (Aug. 16, 2012), https://mashable.com/2012/08/16/twitter-api-big-changes/. and Facebook 31. 31 Amy Gesenhues, Facebook Cuts Off Access to API Platform for 'Hundreds of Thousands' of Inactive Apps, Marketing Land (Aug. 1, 2018), https://marketingland.com/facebook-cuts-off-access-to-api-platform-for-hundreds-of-thousands-of-inactive-apps-245265. have a tendency to switch product directions and to cut off third-party apps, but in the email space, there's a thriving market of services and companies like Boomerang, SaneBox, and MixMax, each of which provides additional services that can work on a variety of different email platforms. 32. 33 Schedule An Email to be Sent Later. Easy Email Reminders, Boomerang For Gmail, https://www.boomeranggmail.com.
The end result is more competition to make the service better, both between and within email services, and strong incentives to keep the major providers acting in their users' best interests, since the significantly lower lock-in gives those users the option to leave.
Protecting Free Speech, but Limiting Impact of Abusive Behavior
Perhaps the most controversial part in discussions about content moderation is what to do about ''abusive'' behavior. Nearly everyone recognizes that there is such behavior online and that it can be destructive, but there is no agreement on what it actually includes. Behavior that has concerned people can fall into lots of different categories, from harassment to hate speech to threats to trolling to obscenity to doxxing to spam and more. But none of those categories has a comprehensive definition, and much of it is in the eye of the beholder. For example, one person's attempt to express an opinion strongly can be seen by the recipient as harassment. Neither party may be ''wrong'' per se, but leaving it up to each platform to adjudicate such things is an impossible task, especially when dealing with hundreds of millions of pieces of content per day.
Currently, platforms are the ultimate centralized authority in dealing with these questions. Many have tackled the problem with increasingly complex bodies of internal ''law'' (whose ''rulings'' are often not evident to end users), which is then handed off to a large number of employees (frequently outsourced with relatively low wages), who are given very little time to make judgment calls on thousands of pieces of content. 33. 34 Nick Hopkins, Revealed: Facebook's Internal Rulebook on Sex, Terrorism and Violence, The Guardian (May 21, 2017), https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/may/21/revealed-facebook-internal-rulebook-sex-terrorism-violence.
Under such a system, both Type I (''false positive'') and Type II (''false negative'') errors are not only common; they are inevitable. Content that a large body of people believe should be taken down is left up, 34. 35 Parker Molloy, By Not Banning Alex Jones, Twitter is Making a Political Choice, The Verge (Aug. 8, 2018), https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/8/17662140/twitter-infowars-alex-jones-apple-facebook-spotify-pinterest-ban (explaining the criticism Twitter received for waiting long after most other internet platforms in removing the account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones). while content that many people believe should remain up is taken down. 35. 36 Sam Levin, Julia Carrie Wong & Luke Harding, Facebook Backs Down From 'Napalm Girl' Censorship and Reinstates Photo, The Guardian (Sep. 9, 2016), https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/09/facebook-reinstates-napalm-girl-photo. Multiple content moderation employees may view content in entirely different lights, and it is next to impossible for content moderators to take context into account (in part because much of the context may not be available or evident to them and in part because the time required to investigate each situation fully makes it impossible to do cost effectively). Similarly, no technological solution can properly take context or intent into account'--a computer cannot recognize things like satire or hyperbole, even at a level that would be obvious to any human reader.
A protocol-based system, however, moves much of the decision making away from the center and gives it to the ends of the network. Rather than relying on a single centralized platform, with all of the internal biases and incentives that that entails, anyone would be able to create their own set of rules'--including which content do they not want to see and which content would they like to see promoted. Since most people would not wish to manually control all of their own preferences and levels, this could easily fall on any number of third parties'--whether they be competing platforms, public interest organizations, or local communities. Those third parties could create whatever interfaces, with whatever rules, they wanted.
For example, those interested in civil liberties issues might subscribe to moderation filters or even add-on services released by the ACLU or the EFF. Someone deeply involved in politics might choose a filter from their designated political party (while this obviously raises some concerns about an increase in ''filter bubbles,'' there are reasons to believe the impact of such things would be limited, as we shall see).
Entirely new third parties could spring up focused entirely on providing a better experience. This need not just be around the content moderation filter, but around the entire user experience. Imagine a competing interface for Twitter that would be pre-set (and constantly updated) to moderate out content from trollish accounts, and to better promote more thoughtful, thought-provoking stories, rather than traditional clickbait hot takes. Or an interface could provide a better layout for conversations. Or for newsreading.
The key would be making sure that the ''rules'' are not only shareable but completely transparent and in the control of any end user. So, I might elect to use the EFF's openly available controls for Twitter, using an interface provided by a new non-profit, but then be able to tweak the settings if I prefer, say, more content about the EU. Or if I want to use the network mainly for reading news, I might use an interface provided by The New York Times. Or if I want to chat with friends, I could use a special interface designed for better communication among small groups of friends.
In such a world, we can let a million content moderation systems approach the same general corpus of content'--each taking an entirely different approach'--and see which ones work best. The centralized platforms are no longer the single-source arbiter of what is and what is not allowed. Rather, many, many different individuals and organizations would be able to tweak the system to their own levels of comfort and share them with others'--and allow the competition to happen at the implementation layer, rather than at the underlying social network level.
This would not entirely prevent anyone from using the platform from speaking, but if the more popular interfaces and content moderation filters chose, entirely voluntarily, not to include them, the power and impact of their speech would be more limited. This, then, presents a more democratic approach, in which the marketplace of filters is enabled to compete. If people feel that one such interface or filter provider is not doing a good job, they can move to another one or tweak the settings themselves.
Thus, we have less central control, less cause to claim ''censorship,'' more competition, a wider range of approaches, and more control pushed to the end users'--all while likely minimizing the reach and impact of content that many people find abusive. Indeed, the existence of a variety of different filter choices would likely change the reach of any individual proportionate to how problematic many consider that individual's speech to be.
As an example, there has been tremendous controversy over how platforms have handled the account of Alex Jones, the entertainer who runs InfoWars and has regularly supported various conspiracy theories. Users placed tremendous pressure on platforms to cut him off, and when they finally did, they faced corresponding pushback from his supporters claiming that they had only chosen to remove him from their platforms due to a bias against his politics. 36. 37 Eli Rosenberg, Facebook Wants to Cut Down on Misinformation. So Why Isn't It Doing Anything About Infowars?,Wash. Post (Jul. 14, 2018), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/07/14/facebook-wants-to-cut-down-on-misinformation-so-why-isnt-it-doing-anything-about-infowars/?utm_term=.eacf34e87542.
In a protocols-based system, those who have always believed that Jones was not an honest actor would likely have blocked him much earlier, while other interface providers, filter providers, and individuals could make a decision to intervene based on any particularly egregious act. While his strongest supporters would probably never cut him off, his overall reach would be limited. Thus, those who don't wish to be bothered with his nonsense need not deal with it; those who do wish to see it still have access to it.
The marketplace of the many different filters and interfaces (and the ability to customize your own) would enable much greater granularity. Conspiracy theorists and trolls would have more trouble being found on the ''mainstream'' filters but would not be completely silenced from those who wish to hear them. Rather than today's centralized system, where all voices are more or less equal (or completely banned), in a protocol-focused world the extremist views would simply be less likely to find mainstream appeal.
Protecting User Data and Privacy
A side benefit to this is that a protocol-based system would almost certainly increase our privacy as well. Under such a system, social media-style systems would not need to collect and host all of your data. Instead, just as the filtering decisions could move to the end, so too might the data storage. While this could develop in many different ways, one fairly straightforward method is that end users would simply build their own ''data stores'' via apps that they control. Since it is unlikely that we'd move back to a world where most people would be storing data locally (especially since we increasingly do things from a number of devices, including computer, smartphone, and tablet), it could still make sense to host this data in the cloud, but the data could remain entirely under the control of the end user.
In such a world, you might use a dedicated data store company, which would host your data in the cloud as an encrypted blob that the data store provider would not have access to'--but that you yourself could selectively enable access to for whatever purpose was necessary at any given moment. This data could act as your unique identity as well. Then, if you want to use the Twitter-like protocol, you could simply open up access to your databank for the Twitter-like protocol to access what is necessary. You would be able to set what it was allowed (and not allowed) to access, and you would also be able to see when and how it accessed your data and what it did with it. That means that you'd be able to cut off access at any time if anyone abused that access. In some cases, systems could be designed so that even as a service is accessing your data, it would be unable to collect specific data on you, only receiving aggregator or summary information in a hashed form, allowing an additional layer of privacy.
In this way, end users would still be able to make use of their own data for various social media tools, but rather than having that data locked up in opaque silos with no access, no transparency, and no control, the control would be moved entirely to the end users. The intermediaries are incentivized to be on their best behavior to avoid being cut off. The end user gets a better sense of how his or her data is actually used, and the ability to sign up for other services and even safely pass data from one entity to another (or multiple others) is improved, enabling powerful new features as well.
While there might be some fear that under such a system the various intermediaries would still be focused on sucking up all of your data, that need not be the case, for a few key reasons. First, given the ability to use the same protocol and switch to a different interface/filter provider, any provider that became too ''greedy'' for your data would run the risk of turning people off. Second, by separating the data store from the interface provider, the end user has much greater transparency. The idea is that you would store your data in a data store/cloud service in an encrypted format so that the hosting party would have no access to it. The interface provider would need to request access, and tools and services could be developed that would enable you (1) to determine what data platforms would be allowed to have access, for how long, and for what reasons and (2) to cut off that access if you were uncomfortable with how it was being used.
While it would be possible for an interface/filter operator to abuse its privileges to collect and keep your data, there are potential technical means around this as well, including designing the protocol such that it is expected to only pull your relevant data in close to real time from your data store. If it is not doing that and is accessing its own store of your data, warnings could be triggered that your data is being housed against your wishes.
Finally, as explained below in discussing the business model, there will be much stronger incentives for the interface providers to respect the privacy wishes of the end users, as their money is likely to be driven more directly by usage, rather than by monetizing the data. And upsetting your user base could lead them to flee, thereby harming the interface providers' own economic interests.
Enabling Greater Innovation
A protocol system, by its very nature, would likely lead to much more innovation in this space, in part by allowing anyone to create an interface for accessing this content. That level of competition could would almost certainly lead to various attempts to innovate, improving all aspects of the service. Competing services could offer a better filter, a better interface, better or different features, and much more.
Right now, we have only inter-platform competition, which happens to some extent but is fairly limited. It is clear that the market can accept a few giants, so while Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and some others may compete here or there for user attention, there is less incentive ] to improve their own services.
However, if anyone could present a new interface, or new features, or better moderation, then suddenly the competition within a specific protocol (previously a platform) could quickly become fierce. Various ideas might be tried and discarded, but the laboratory of the real world would likely show in short order how these services could innovate and provide more value much more quickly. Currently, many platforms offer up APIs that allow third parties to develop new interfaces, but the APIs are controlled by the central platforms'--and they can change them on a whim. Indeed, Twitter has famously shifted its support for APIs and third party developers many, many times'--but under a protocol system, the API would be open, with the expectation that anyone could build on it, and there wouldn't be a central company to cut a developer off. 37. 38 About Twitter's APIs, Twitter Help Center, https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-api.
On top of that, it would likely create entirely new areas for innovation, including in ancillary services, such as parties that focus on providing better content moderation tools or the competing databanks discussed earlier, which would serve simply to host access to your encrypted data, without having to have access to it or perform any specific actions on it. Those services might compete on speed and uptime rather than additional features.
For example, in a world of open protocols and private data stores, it is possible that a thriving business could develop in the form of ''agents'' that interface between your data stores and various services, automating certain tasks and providing additional value. A simple version of this could be an agent focused on scanning various protocols and services for relevant news on a particular topic or company and then sending an alert to you once it finds anything.
Creating New Business Models
One of the main reasons that protocols from the early internet have faded in comparison to centralized platforms is the business model issue. Having your own platform (if it catches on) has been a model that appears to print lots of money for the companies. However, building and maintaining a protocol has long been a struggle. Most of the work was usually done by volunteers, and protocols over time were known to atrophy without attention. For example, OpenSSL, a key security protocol that a very large percentage of the internet relied on, in 2014 was found to have a major security flaw known as Heartbleed. Around this time, it was noted that OpenSSL's support was almost entirely lacking. There was a loose group of volunteers and a single full-time person working on OpenSSL. The foundation that ran it historically had only received fairly modest grants. 38. 39 Jon Brodkin, Tech Giants, Chastened by Heartbleed, Finally Agree to Fund OpenSSL, Ars Technica (Apr. 24, 2014), https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/tech-giants-chastened-by-heartbleed-finally-agree-to-fund-openssl/ (''The open source cryptographic software library secures hundreds of thousands of Web servers and many products sold by multi-billion-dollar companies, but it operates on a shoestring budget. OpenSSL Software Foundation President Steve Marquess wrote in a blog post last week that OpenSSL typically receives about $2,000 in donations a year and has just one employee who works full time on the open source code.'').
There are lots of stories like this. As mentioned earlier, Deja News couldn't build much of a business out of Usenet, so it was sold off to Google. Email was never seen as much of a moneymaker as a protocol, and it was usually included free with your ISP account. A few early companies tried to build web platforms around email, but two significant such examples were quickly bought by larger companies (Rocketmail by Yahoo, Hotmail by Microsoft) to fold into larger offerings. 39. 40 Samuel Gibbs, How Did Email Grow From Messages Between Academics to a Global Epidemic?,The Guardian (Mar. 7, 2016), https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/email-ray-tomlinson-history. Eventually Google launched Gmail, and it did a fair amount to pull email into its own platform, but it was rarely seen as a huge driver of revenue. Still, the success Google and Microsoft had had with Gmail and Outlook, respectively, show that large companies can build very successful services on top of open protocols. If Google really messed up Gmail or did problematic things with this service, it is not difficult for people to move to a different email system and to retain access to everyone they communicate with.
We've already discussed competition among the various interface and filter implementations to provide a better service, but there would also likely be competition for business models. There would probably be experiments with different types of business models involving both the data store services'--which might charge for premium access and storage (as well as security)'--much as services like Dropbox and Amazon Web Services do today. There might also be a variety of different business models formed around implementations and filters. There could be subscription offerings for premium services or features or alternative forms of payment as well.
And while there are'--quite reasonable'--concerns about the data surveillance setup of the current advertising market on today's social media platforms, there is reason to believe that a less data-intensive ad model might thrive in the world described here. Again, with the data and privacy levels in the hands of the end users, the more aggressive collection of all data would not be as viable or useful. Instead, it's possible a few different types of ad models might develop.
First, there could be an ad model based on much more limited data, with a greater focus on matching intentions or on pure brand advertising. For a glimpse of this possibility, look back at Google's original ad model, which didn't rely so much on knowing everything about you but rather on knowing the context of your internet searches at that specific moment. Or, we could move back to a world of more traditional brand advertising, where endemic advertisers would search out appropriate communities. For example, an automobile company would look to advertise within micro-communities on a platform who have a stated interest in cars.
Alternatively, given the amount of control end users would have over their data, there could develop a reverse auction type of business model, under which the end users themselves might be able to offer up their data in exchange for access or deals from certain advertisers. The key is that the end user'--rather than the platform'--would be in control.
Perhaps most interestingly, there are some potential new opportunities by which protocols might actually be much more sustainable. In the last few years, with the development of cryptocurrencies and tokens, it has become theoretically possible to build a protocol that uses a cryptocurrency or a token that has some value attached to it, with the value of those items growing in conjunction with usage. 40. 41 Tom Simonite, The Decentralized Internet Is Here with Some Glitches, Wired (Mar. 5, 2018), https://www.wired.com/story/the-decentralized-internet-is-here-with-some-glitches/. A simple way of looking at this is that a token-based cryptocurrency is the equivalent of equity in a company'--but rather than the value being tied to the financial success of the company, the value of a crypto token is tied to the value of the overall network.
Without getting too deep into the weeds on how these work, these forms of currency have a value all their own, and they are attached to the protocol they are supporting. As more people use the protocol, the currency or token itself increases in value. In many cases, the use of the currency or token could be necessary to running the protocol itself'--thus, as the protocol is more widely used, demand for the currency/token increases, while the supply remains constant or expands along a previously designed growth plan.
This creates incentives for more people to support and use the protocol to increase the value of the associated currency. There are attempts right now to build protocols where an organization in charge of the protocol retains some percentage of the currency while distributing the rest. In theory, under such a system, if it were to catch on, the appreciation in value of the tokens/currency could help fund the ongoing maintenance and operation of the protocol'--effectively eliminating the historical problem of funding for open protocols that helped create the modern internet.
Similarly, there could be ways for the various implementers of interfaces or filters or agents to benefit from the increases in value of the tokens. Different models could result, but various implementations could be given a specific share of tokens, and as they help the network increase in usage, their own token value would increase as well. Indeed, token distribution could be tied to the number of users within a particular interface to create aligned incentives (albeit with some mechanism to avoid gaming the system with faked users). Or, as described above, the use of the tokens could be a necessary component of running the actual architecture of the systems, in the same manner that the Bitcoin currency is a key piece of how its open blockchain ledger functions.
In many ways, this setup better aligns the interests of the users of the service with the developers of the protocols and the interface designers. In a platform-based system, the incentives are either to charge users directly (putting the interests of the platform and the user somewhat at odds) or to collect more of their data to advertise to them. Theoretically, ''good'' advertising might be seen as valuable to end users, but in most cases, end users feel that the interests of the platform and the users tends to be misaligned when the platform is collecting so much data with the intention of targeting ads to them.
Under a tokenized system, however, the key driving factor is in getting more usage to increase the value of the tokens. This could, obviously, create other incentive challenges'--there are already concerns about platforms sucking up too much time, and any service faces challenges when it grows too big'--but again, a protocol would encourage competition to provide better user interfaces, better features and better moderation, thereby minimizing this challenge. Indeed, an interface might compete by providing a more limited experience and promote itself for its ability to limit information overload.
Still, the ability to align the incentives of the network itself with a financial benefit creates a rather unique opportunity that many are now exploring.
What Might Not Work
None of this is to say that a protocols-based system would solve all ills definitively. Much of what is suggested above is speculative'--and, indeed, we've already seen historically that platforms overtook protocols, while protocols had limited ability to thrive.
Complexity Kills
It is entirely possible that any protocols-based system will tend to be too complicated and too cumbersome to attract a large enough userbase. Users don't want to fiddle with tons of settings or different apps to get things to work. They just want to find out what the service is and be able to use it without much difficulty. Platforms have historically been quite good at focusing on the user experience aspect, especially around onboarding new users. 41. 42 Yoav Vilner, Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Getting Better in User Experience and Liquidity, Forbes (Jul. 14, 2018), https://www.forbes.com/sites/yoavvilner/2018/07/14/cryptocurrency-exchanges-are-getting-better-in-user-experience-and-liquidity/#20d5744b37f3.
One would hope, if we were to attempt a new protocols-based regime, that it could and would take lessons from the success of platforms these days and build on them. Similarly, the intra-protocol competition at the service level might create greater incentives for creating a better user experience'--and the same would be true of the value of an associated cryptocurrency whose value is literally tied to the creation of a better user experience. Indeed, providing the easiest and most user-friendly interface to access the protocol would likely be a key area of competition.
Finally, one of the reasons why platforms won out historically is that having everything controlled by a single entity also leads to some clear performance boost. In a world of protocols with separate data stores/interfaces, you would be much more reliant on multiple companies connecting together without delay. The internet giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon have really perfected having their own systems work together seamlessly, and introducing multiple third parties into the mix would bring greater risk. However, there have been widespread technological improvements in this area (and, indeed, the large platform companies have open-sourced some of their own technologies that enabled this). On top of that, broadband speeds have increased and should continue to do so, possibly minimizing this possible technical hurdle.
Existing Platforms Are Too Big and Will Never Change
Another potential stumbling block is that existing platforms'--Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and the like'--are already so large and so entrenched that it would be nearly impossible to unseat them with a protocols-based approach. This criticism presumes that the only way to achieve this is for a brand-new system to come about that relies on protocols. That could work, but the platforms themselves might consider using protocols as well.
The response many will have to the idea that the platforms could do this themselves is ask why they would do this, since it would inevitably mean getting rid of the monopolistic control they currently enjoy over the information in their system and allowing that data to return to the control of the end user and be used on competing services using the same protocol. However, there are a few reasons to think that some platforms might actually be willing to accept this tradeoff.
First off, as pressure on these platforms increases, they are increasingly going to need to acknowledge that what they are currently doing does not work and is unlikely to ever work. The current mode of operation is only going to lead to ever more pressure to ''solve'' what appear to be unsolvable problems. At some point, moving to a protocols system may be a way for the existing platforms to relieve themselves of the impossible burden of being the steward of what every person on their platform is doing.
Second, continuing with what they are doing is going to be increasingly costly. Already Facebook recently promised to hire another ten thousand moderators; YouTube has also promised to hire ''thousands'' of moderators. 42. 43 Anita Balakrishnan, Facebook Pledges to Double Its 10,000-person Safety and Security Staff by End of 2018, CNBC (Oct. 31, 2017), https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/31/facebook-senate-testimony-doubling-security-group-to-20000-in-2018.html. Hiring all those people is going to be an increasing cost on these companies as well. Switching to a protocols-based system would move the moderation element out to the ends of the networks or to competing third parties, taking that expense off the books for the large platforms.
Third, the existing platforms may explore the use of protocols as an effective way of competing against other large internet platforms in areas where they have much less ability to compete. For example, Google has tried and given up on multiple attempts at building a Facebook-style social network. 43. 44 Claire Cain Miller, Another Try by Google to Take on Facebook, N.Y. Times (Jun. 28, 2011), https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/technology/29google.html. However, if it continues to believe that there should be an alternative social network to Facebook, it may recognize the appeal of offering an open protocols-based system. In effect, recognizing that it would be unlikely to be able to build its own proprietary solution would make offering up an open protocol system an appealing alternative, if only to cut away at Facebook's position.
Finally, if the token/cryptocurrency approach is shown to work as a method for supporting a successful protocol, it may even be more valuable to build these services as protocols, rather than as centralized, controlled platforms.
This Will Worsen the Filter Bubble Issue
Some have argued that this approach would actually make some of the problems regarding abusive content online even worse. The argument is that allowing abusive individuals'--whether mere trolls or horrifying neo-Nazis '--to have any ability to speak their minds is going to be a problem. And to take it a step further, they would argue that by allowing for competing services, you'd end up with cesspool areas of the internet, where the worst of the worst would continue to gather unimpeded.
While I am sympathetic to this possibility, this does not seem to be inevitable by any stretch of the imagination. One point against this complaint is that we already have those people infesting the various social networks, and nothing so far has been successful in getting rid of them. But the larger point is that this would likely quarantine them to some extent, as their content would be less likely to get into the most widely used implementations and services on the protocol. That is, while they would be able to be vile in their own dark corners, their ability to infect the rest of the internet and (importantly) to seek out and recruit others would be severely limited.
To some extent, we have already seen this in action. When forced to congregate in their own corners of the internet after being expelled from sites like Facebook and Twitter, alternative services that cater solely to those users have not been particularly successful in scaling up or growing over time. There will always be some people with crazy ideas'--but allowing them their own little space in which to be crazy might better protect the wider internet, rather than constantly having to kick them off every other platform.
Dealing with More Objectively Problematic Content
A key assumption in much of this is that much of the ''objectionable'' content creating the headaches here are in a broad ''gray'' spectrum, rather than ''black and white.'' However, there is some content'--often content that violates various laws'--that is much clearer and not in the middle of the spectrum. There are legitimate reasons to raise concerns about how this setup might allow communities to form around things like child porn, revenge porn, stalking, doxing, or other criminal activities.
Of course, the reality is that these kinds of communities are already forming'--often on the dark web'--and the way they are dealt with today is mostly via law enforcement (and sometimes with investigative reporting). It seems quite likely that the same would be true under this setup as well. There is little reason to think that in a protocol-focused world, this problem would be all that different than what currently exists.
Also, with an open protocols system, there actually would be greater transparency, and some (such as civil society groups who monitor hate groups or law enforcement bodies) would even be able to build and deploy agents that monitor those spaces and would be able to set off notifications of particularly egregious commentary that requires more direct scrutiny. Someone who is being stalked, rather than having to track the stalker directly, might employ a digital agent to scan the wider set of protocols to determine if there is any content that suggests a concern and then directly alert the police or other relevant contacts.
Example in Action/How It Would Look in Practice
As described above, there are many ways this might play out. Existing services might find that the burdens of being a centralized platform are becoming too costly and so seek out an alternative model'--and a tokenized/cryptocurrency approach might even make that fiscally feasible.
Alternatively, new protocols might be created to enable this. There are already a number of attempts at various levels. Services like IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) and its related offering Filecoin are already laying the groundwork and infrastructure for a distributed set of services built on its protocol and currency. 44. 45 Go-Filecoin 0.2.2 is Released, Filecoin (May 17, 2019), https://filecoin.io/blog/go-filecoin-0.2.2-release/. The inventor of the World Wide Web itself, Tim Berners-Lee, has been working on a system called Solid, now housed at his new company Inrupt, that would help enable a more distributed internet. 45. 46 The Evolution of Solid, Solid, https://solid.inrupt.com/about. Other projects such as Indieweb have been bringing people together to build many of the pieces that could contribute to a future world of protocols instead of platforms. 46. 47 What is the IndieWeb?,IndieWebcamp, https://indieweb.org/.
In either case, if a protocol were set forth and began to pick up traction, we'd expect to see a few key things: multiple implementations/services on the same protocol, providing users a choice of which service to use, rather than limiting them to just one. We'd also likely start to see the rise of a new line of businesses involving secure data storage/data stores, as users would move away from making their data freely available to platforms and be more in control. It is likely that other new services and opportunities would spring up as a result of this as well, especially as there would be increasing competition to build a better set of services for users.
Conclusion
Over the last half-century of networked computing, a pendulum has been swinging between client-side and server-side computing. We went from mainframes and dumb terminals to powerful desktop computers to web apps and the cloud. Perhaps we will start to see a similar pendulum in this arena as well. We've gone from a world in which protocols dominated to one in which centralized platforms controlled all. Moving us back toward a world where protocols are dominant over platforms could be of tremendous benefit to free speech and innovation online.
Such a move has the potential to return us to the early promise of the web: to create a place where like-minded people can connect on various topics around the globe and anyone can discover useful information on a variety of different subjects without it being polluted by abuse and disinformation. Simultaneously, it could enable greater competition and innovation on the internet, while also giving end users more control over their own data and preventing giant corporations from having too much data on any particular user.
Moving to protocols, not platforms, is an approach for free speech in the twenty-first century. Rather than relying on a ''marketplace of ideas'' within an individual platform'--which can be hijacked by those with malicious intent'--protocols could lead to a marketplace of ideals, where competition occurs to provide better services that minimize the impact of those with malicious intent, without cutting off their ability to speak entirely.
It would represent a radical change, but one that should be looked at seriously.
Zachary Laub, HateSpeech on Social Media: Global Comparisons , Councilon Foreign Rel. (Jun. 7, 2019), https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/hate-speech-social-media-global-comparisons .
Tony Romm, RepublicansAccused Facebook, Google and Twitter of Bias. Democrats Called theHearing 'Dumb.', Wash.Post (Jul. 17,2018),https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/17/republicans-accused-facebook-google-twitter-bias-democrats-called-hearing-dumb/?utm_term=.895b34499816.
A Conversation withMark Warner: Russia, Facebook and the Trump Campaign, RadioIQ | WVTFMusic (Apr. 6,2018),https://www.wvtf.org/post/conversation-mark-warner-russia-facebook-and-trump-campaign#stream/0(statement of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): ''I first called outFacebook and some of the social media platforms in December of 2016.For the first six months, the companies just kind of blew off theseallegations, but these proved to be true; that Russia used theirsocial media platforms with fake accounts to spread falseinformation, they paid for political advertising on their platforms.Facebook says those tactics are no longer allowed'--that they'vekicked this firm off their site, but I think they've got a lot ofexplaining to do.'').
Nicholas Confessore & Matthew Rosenberg, FacebookFallout Ruptures Democrats' Longtime Alliance with SiliconValley, N.Y. T imes (Nov. 17,2018),https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/technology/facebook-democrats-congress.html(referencing statement by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.): ''Mr.Tester, the departing chief of the Senate Democrats' campaignarm, looked at social media companies like Facebook and sawpropaganda platforms that could cost his party the 2018 elections,according to two congressional aides. If Russian agents mounted adisinformation campaign like the one that had just helped elect Mr.Trump, he told Mr. Schumer, 'we will lose every seat.''').
Julia Carrie Wong, #BreakingUp Big Tech: Elizabeth Warren Says Facebook Just Proved Her Point ,T heGuardian (Mar. 11, 2019), https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/11/elizabeth-warren-facebook-ads-break-up-big-tech (statement of Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)) (''Curious why I think FB has toomuch power? Let's start with their ability to shut down a debateover whether FB has too much power. Thanks for restoring my posts.But I want a social media marketplace that isn't dominated by asingle censor. #BreakUpBigTech.'').
Jessica Guynn, TedCruz Threatens to Regulate Facebook, Google and Twitter Over Chargesof Anti-Conservative Bias, USAToday (Apr. 10,2019),https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/04/10/ted-cruz-threatens-regulate-facebook-twitter-over-alleged-bias/3423095002/(statement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)) (''What makes the threatof political censorship so problematic is the lack of transparency,the invisibility, the ability for a handful of giant tech companiesto decide if a particular speaker is disfavored.'').
PressRelease, Louie Gohmert, U.S. Congressman, GohmertIntroduces Bill That Removes Liability Protections for Social MediaCompanies That Use Algorithms to Hide, Promote, or Filter UserContent (Dec. 20, 2018) (statement of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex): '' Employeesfrom some of these companies have communicated their disgust forconservatives and discussed ways to use social media platforms andalgorithms to silence and prevent income to conservatives.'').
AprilGlaser, Wanta Terrible Job? Facebook and Google May Be Hiring , S late (Jan. 18, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/01/facebook-and-google-are-building-an-army-of-content-moderators-for-2018.html(explaining that major platforms have hired or have announced plansto hire thousands, in some cases more than ten thousand, new contentmoderators).
Tom Simonite, AIHas Started Cleaning Up Facebook, But Can It Finish?,W ired (Dec. 18, 2018),https://www.wired.com/story/ai-has-started-cleaning-facebook-can-it-finish/.
GohmertPress Release, supra note7 (''Social media companies enjoy special legal protectionsunder Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, protections notshared by other media. Instead of acting like the neutral platformsthey claim to be in order obtain their immunity, these companieshave turned Section 230 into a license to potentially defraud anddefame with impunity'... Since there still appears to be nosincere effort to stop this disconcerting behavior, it is time forsocial media companies to be liable for any biased and unethicalimpropriety of their employees as any other media company. If thesecompanies want to continue to act like a biased medium and publishtheir own agendas to the detriment of others, they need to be heldaccountable.''); Eric Johnson, SiliconValley's Self-Regulating Days ''Probably Should Be''Over, Nancy Pelosi Says, Vox (Apr. 11, 2019), https://www.recode.net/podcasts/2019/4/11/18306834/nancy-pelosi-speaker-house-tech-regulation-antitrust-230-immunity-kara-swisher-decode-podcast (statement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal)) (''230 is agift to them, and I don't think they are treating it with therespect that they should. . . . And so I think that that could be aquestion mark and in jeopardy.... For the privilege of 230, therehas to be a bigger sense of responsibility on it, and it is not outof the question that that could be removed.'').
11Robert Burnson, TwitterBeats Censorship Lawsuit By Banned White Nationalist, B loomberg (Aug. 23, 2018),https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-24/twitter-beats-censorship-lawsuit-by-banned-white-advocate(self-proclaimed ''white advocate'' Jared Taylor arguedthat it was a violation of his rights to be removed from Twitter,but a California state appeals court rejected that argument).
12For example, Google's Gmail service is based on open emailprotocols like SMTP and IMAP, but with additional features built ontop of it. Facebook uses the Signal Protocol to handle end-to-endencryption for its Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger services.
13Alex Hern, HowSocial Media Filter Bubbles and Algorithms Influence the Election,T heGuardian (May22, 2017),https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/22/social-media-election-facebook-filter-bubbles.
14Everybody Wants to Rule the World, TheEconomist (Nov. 27, 2014),https://www.economist.com/briefing/2014/11/27/everybody-wants-to-rule-the-world.
15AboutUsenet: Information About Usenet and Usenet.nl, Usenet.il , https://en.usenet.nl/usenet/ ; TheConversation Starts Here, Reddit ,https://www.redditinc.com.
16MichelleDelio, GoogleBuys Deja Archive, Wired(F eb.12, 2001) , https://www.wired.com/2001/02/google-buys-deja-archive/.
17EternalSeptember, TvTropes ,https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EternalSeptember(''Then, in 1993, AOL opened up the then-dominant forum of the'net, Usenet, to every customer, and Usenet was overrun. The socialstructure that had worked fine to incorporate a relative handful ofnewcomers was ineffective in a world where the newcomers vastlyoutnumbered the old guard. Worse, for every newbie that could becivilized or driven off, more and more took their place immediately.This is the Eternal September, the age the Internet now lives in;most of the old guard are gone, vanished, or formed more minor netsocieties within the larger Internet as a whole.'').
18Kill File, JargonFile ,http://catb.org/jargon/html/K/kill-file.html(''Per-user file(s) used by some Usenet reading programs(originally Larry Wall's rn(1)) to discard summarily (withoutpresenting for reading) articles matching some particularlyuninteresting (or unwanted) patterns of subject, author, or otherheader lines. Thus, to add a person (or subject) to one's kill fileis to arrange for that person to be ignored by one's newsreader infuture.'').
19Moderated Newspaper, Archive.Today ,https://archive.is/20120804234307/http:/www.big-8.org/wiki/Moderated_Newsgroups%23Who_can_force_the_moderators_to_obey_the_group_charter.3F#Who_can_force_the_moderators_to_obey_the_group_charter.3F.
20Mike Isaac & Cecilia Kang, FacebookExpects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues,N.Y. T imes (Apr. 24, 2019),https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/technology/facebook-ftc-fine-privacy.html.
21Emily Bell, Facebook Moderation Is of Public Interest. It ShouldBe Public Knowledge, Colum.Journalism Rev. (May 23, 2017),https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/facebook-moderation-guardian.php.
22Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries & Amanda Willis, Mark ZuckerbergTestifies Before Congress, CNN (Apr. 11, 2018),https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/mark-zuckerberg-testifies-congress/index.html.
23Tony Romm, RepublicansAccused Facebook, Google and Twitter of Bias. Democrats Called theHearing 'Dumb.', Wash.Post (Jul. 17,2018),https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/17/republicans-accused-facebook-google-twitter-bias-democrats-called-hearing-dumb/?utm_term=.895b34499816.
24EmailProtocols '' POP3, SMTP and IMAP Tutorial, Siteground ,https://www.siteground.com/tutorials/email/protocols-pop3-smtp-imap/(providing a description of protocols).
25Comparisonof Email Clients, Wikipedia ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_email_clients(providing a long list of email clients).
26Early YahooAcquisitions (the 1990s), SEOby the Sea, http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/01/early-yahoo-acquisitions-the-1990s/;Google+ E-mail = Gmail, CNNMoney (A pr.1, 2004) , https://money.cnn.com/2004/04/01/technology/google_email/.
27Check Emails FromOther Accounts, G mailHelp ,https://support.google.com/mail/answer/21289?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en(offering the Gmail fetcher setup as a way to use a non-Gmailaddress with the Gmail interface).
28Brady Gavin, The Best Chrome Extensions for Making Gmail Better, How-To-Geek (Feb.27, 2019),https://www.howtogeek.com/402035/the-best-chrome-extensions-for-making-gmail-better/(providing an example of the number of add-ons for email systemstoday that will work across multiple email implementations).
29Rahul Biswal, Top 10 Best Free Email Service Providers 2019,E cloudbuzz (Dec.31, 2018),https://www.ecloudbuzz.com/best-free-email-service-providers/(providing lists of popular email services that show a range of big,recognizable companies like Google, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo alongwith startups).
30Christina Warren, Twitter'sAPI Update Cuts Off Oxygen to Third-Party Clients, M ashable (Aug. 16, 2012),https://mashable.com/2012/08/16/twitter-api-big-changes/.
31Amy Gesenhues, FacebookCuts Off Access to API Platform for 'Hundreds of Thousands'of Inactive Apps, M arketingLand (Aug. 1,2018),https://marketingland.com/facebook-cuts-off-access-to-api-platform-for-hundreds-of-thousands-of-inactive-apps-245265.
33 ScheduleAn Email to be Sent Later. Easy Email Reminders, BoomerangFor Gmail , https://www.boomeranggmail.com.
34Nick Hopkins, Revealed:Facebook's Internal Rulebook on Sex, Terrorism and Violence,T heGuardian (May21, 2017),https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/may/21/revealed-facebook-internal-rulebook-sex-terrorism-violence.
35Parker Molloy, ByNot Banning Alex Jones, Twitter is Making a Political Choice, TheVerge (Aug. 8,2018),https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/8/17662140/twitter-infowars-alex-jones-apple-facebook-spotify-pinterest-ban(explaining the criticism Twitter received for waiting long aftermost other internet platforms in removing the account of conspiracytheorist Alex Jones).
36Sam Levin, Julia Carrie Wong & Luke Harding, FacebookBacks Down From 'Napalm Girl' Censorship and ReinstatesPhoto, TheGuardian (Sep.9, 2016),https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/09/facebook-reinstates-napalm-girl-photo.
37Eli Rosenberg, FacebookWants to Cut Down on Misinformation. So Why Isn't It DoingAnything About Infowars?, Wash.Post (Jul. 14,2018),https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/07/14/facebook-wants-to-cut-down-on-misinformation-so-why-isnt-it-doing-anything-about-infowars/?utm_term=.eacf34e87542.
38About Twitter's APIs, TwitterHelp Center ,https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-api.
39Jon Brodkin, Tech Giants, Chastened by Heartbleed, Finally Agreeto Fund OpenSSL, ArsTechnica (Apr. 24, 2014),https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/tech-giants-chastened-by-heartbleed-finally-agree-to-fund-openssl/(''The open source cryptographic software library secureshundreds of thousands of Web servers and many products sold bymulti-billion-dollar companies, but it operates on a shoestringbudget. OpenSSL Software Foundation President Steve Marquess wrotein a blog post last week that OpenSSL typically receives about$2,000 in donations a year and has just one employee who works fulltime on the open source code.'').
40Samuel Gibbs, HowDid Email Grow From Messages Between Academics to a GlobalEpidemic?, TheGuardian (Mar.7, 2016),https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/email-ray-tomlinson-history.
41Tom Simonite, TheDecentralized Internet Is Here with Some Glitches, Wired (Mar. 5, 2018),https://www.wired.com/story/the-decentralized-internet-is-here-with-some-glitches/.
42Yoav Vilner, CryptocurrencyExchanges Are Getting Better in User Experience and Liquidity, Forbes (Jul. 14,2018),https://www.forbes.com/sites/yoavvilner/2018/07/14/cryptocurrency-exchanges-are-getting-better-in-user-experience-and-liquidity/#20d5744b37f3.
43Anita Balakrishnan, FacebookPledges to Double Its 10,000-person Safety and Security Staff by Endof 2018, CNBC(Oct. 31, 2017),https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/31/facebook-senate-testimony-doubling-security-group-to-20000-in-2018.html.
44Claire Cain Miller, AnotherTry by Google to Take on Facebook, N.Y. Times (Jun. 28,2011), https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/29/technology/29google.html.
45Go-Filecoin 0.2.2is Released, Filecoin (May 17, 2019),https://filecoin.io/blog/go-filecoin-0.2.2-release/.
46The Evolution ofSolid, Solid ,https://solid.inrupt.com/about.
47What is theIndieWeb?, IndieWebcamp ,https://indieweb.org/.
Mike Masnick is the editor of Techdirt.
Essays and Scholarship
The Internet Is a Force of Nature. It's Our Job to Civilize It.
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:48
We're a long way from the halcyon days of the early internet, when the promise of a decentralized digital communications network meant anyone could talk to anyone without appealing to the gatekeepers. Knowledge would be liberated from elite newsrooms and stodgy old encyclopedia sets. ''Information wants to be free'' was the slogan of the day.
We've since learned ''free'' information often has a price.
Fast-forward to 2019, when science fiction author Neal Stephenson's book, Fall; or Dodge in Hell, traces a near future in which the internet is nicknamed the ''Miasma.'' The digital haves and have-nots are separated by who can afford human ''editors'' to curate the web, filter out the rubbish, and guard their employers' identities and information online. There are those privileged enough to float above the noise, selectively dipping in for reliable information, and those drowning in, and being driven mad by, the mass of disinformation and propaganda lurking below.
Science fiction reflects the cultural moment as much as it predicts the future, and Stephenson's vision extrapolates and intensifies today's challenges just plausibly enough to be unsettling.
Where's all this headed? Can we still turn things around and recapture that early dream?
Doc Searls at Global Summit.In a talk titled ''What If the Internet Was Safe?'' at Singularity University's Global Summit in San Francisco this week, Doc Searls, editor-in-chief of Linux Journal, and Richard Whitt, president of the GLIA Foundation and founder of the GLIAnet Project, took a stab at an answer.
According to Searls, we need to adjust how we look at the online world. Asking how to make the internet safe is like asking how to make gravity safe, he said. ''The internet is elemental. It's a genie that's not going back in the bottle.'' We can't make the internet safe any more than we can gravity, so instead, it's our job to civilize it.
Life in the WildWhitt, who is a former Googler, suggested the current situation, in which a lack of trust and a lack of accountability reign, was brought about by four, mostly familiar, root causes.
Network effects. Everybody wanted to be on Facebook because their friends were there. The more people there were on the inside, the more FOMO on the outside. Everyone piled in, until the company had captured a significant fraction of the world's population in their products. Google search improved the more people used it, and the more it improved, the more users it attracted. These effects bestowed quick growth and dominance on today's internet giants.
Web inputs. Users yield behavioral data (knowingly or not) that draws a picture of who they are, and what they like and dislike. Users also freely create content that draws in other users or can be mined for data. That is, users supply the inputs and outputs that drive the business.
The attention economy. A healthy platform is a platform stocked with highly engaged users. Companies are constantly questing after the next click and trying to figure out how to ensure users stick around. Strong engagement is driven by emotion'--joy but also anger and fear'--which has led to some of the ''pernicious societal issues which we're still grappling with.''
Platform dynamics. Digital platforms are still a fairly new type of business'--and a potent one at that. In the last two decades or so, economists have shown that platform businesses are uniquely powerful in a way the old, more familiar models can't match.
But simply attracting a billion users onto a platform doesn't a business make. Google figured out they could pair ads with search back in 2002, Facebook followed suit, as well as many others. It's the self-reinforcing interplay of these trends and practices and the incentives in the ad-based business model that have resulted in some of today's less-than-desirable outcomes.
That doesn't mean we're stuck with the system we've created. ''This is all something [that's] very new in the unfolding of this technology, and I would submit there's ample room for us to say, you know what, we want to shift course a little bit and do something different,'' Whitt said.
Take the Power BackIf the power is with the platforms today, the solution may be to invert that dynamic. Users are objects from which data is extracted and analyzed in the current model. A more people-friendly model would see us become clients and customers and regain some agency.
Richard Whitt at Global Summit.As Whitt wrote in a Fast Company article, '''...what if users had the same power as platforms? What if users had a whole layer advocating for them'--an arsenal of sophisticated tools to swat away invasive ads, safeguard their personal data, and negotiate fiercely with platforms?''
Whitt's GLIAnet Project aims to build an ecosystem of such tools.
One component that might enable this new agency would be the development of personal, local AIs that act on our behalf, as opposed to platform AIs, like Alexa or Google Assistant, that collect our data, store the information on their servers, and share it with vendors. These personal AIs would be like ''virtual envoys'' that interact and negotiate with platform AIs.
Further, our online profiles'--which websites we've visited or what we've purchased'--would no longer be free for the taking but stored locally. These profiles and the data in them could then be far more selectively shared (in part or whole) in exchange for services provided online.
Some tools already exist, such as ad-blockers and VPNs, but they aren't always easy to set up and use and they're standalone'--the GLIAnet Project hopes to gather everything together and provide a more user-friendly, all-encompassing ecosystem that's more or less plug-and-play.
With his project, Customer Commons, Searls is similarly working to shift the power dynamic.
Every app and online service you sign up for requires you agree to their terms of service. Just think of the hundreds of contracts you've automatically checked the ''agree'' box on over the years. These agreements are long, legal, and variable. No one reads the fine print. Most don't have the expertise to understand all the legal implications even if they did.
What if, instead of having terms presented to us, we presented our terms to companies? ''You can show me ads, but don't personalize them, and don't track me. These are my terms, if you agree to them, I'll happily use your service.'' Then you have one set of terms that you understand because you set them, and you'd never have to check another ''agree'' box again.
Back to the LandThis isn't about making the internet safe or stumbling on the perfect regulations. It's about taking the internet at face value and inventing the tools to live there more comfortably.
The natural world isn't safe. There's not much we can do to change that. Instead, we've adapted to nature with personal technologies like clothes and shelter that provide protection from the elements. Now we live in nearly every clime, and instead of being constantly under threat by the natural world, we enjoy and find inspiration out in the wild.
Why not apply this approach to the internet too?
Image Credit: Alina Grubnyak / Unsplash
Twitter relying on US/European gov-funded regime-change groups to crack down on foreign states | The Grayzone
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:40
Twitter is relying on organizations funded by the US government and European allies, such as right-wing lobby group Freedom House, to crack down on foreign state media and suspend accounts that challenge Washington's narratives.By Ben NortonTwitter has continued to demonstrate how Big Tech corporations in Silicon Valley operate as arms of the American national security state.
On August 19, the social media giant announced that is relying on numerous organizations funded by the US government and European allies to help it police foreign state media on its platform.
Among the Twitter allies is Freedom House, a notorious right-wing lobby group almost entirely bankrolled by Washington that is heavily invested in regime-change operations against foreign adversaries.
In announcing new changes to its advertising policies, Twitter reflected the relationship with the US national security state: ''Going forward, we will not accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities,'' the tech company said.
The social media platform explained that the decision was made to ''protect healthy discourse and open conversation.'' But there are crucial exceptions to the ban '-- exceptions that just so happen to target Official Enemies of the US government, while shielding Washington's allies.
Twitter added an important qualifier to its public announcement: ''This policy will not apply to taxpayer-funded entities, including independent public broadcasters.''
That was a clear indication that state-backed media channels funded by the US and European governments, such as the United States' NPR, Britain's BBC, or Germany's DW, will be excluded from the advertising ban.
Russia-backed media outlets, such as RT and Sputnik News; China-backed media, like the Global Times and Xinhua; and Iran-backed media, including Press TV and Hispan TV, are also ''taxpayer-funded entities,'' to use Twitter's language. But the social media company is not excluding these networks from its new policy.
In other words, the Big Tech corporation has effectively announced a ban on media outlets backed by states that are enemies of the US government, without quite saying it.
Twitter cracking down on US government adversaries China, Venezuela, and IranThis announcement came while Twitter was intensifying its censorship of foreign governments that are targeted by the United States for regime change.
On August 21, the social media giant suspended the English-language account of Venezuela's democratically elected leftist President Nicols Maduro. (The account was restored two days later, after public backlash.)
This is not the first time Twitter has targeted Venezuela. The Big Tech corporation has on several occasions suspended and un-verified hundreds of accounts run by Venezuela's internationally recognized government, including numerous state bodies.
At the same time, Twitter has verified the accounts of US-backed coup leaders and their fictitious state bodies and phony ambassadors, even though none of these figures has been recognized by the United Nations, they do not control any real institutions, and they have no institutional power inside Venezuela.
Twitter carries out regular purges against other Official Enemies of the US government as well, such as Iran.
In these purges of alleged ''government-linked'' accounts, the social media giant frequently censors individual journalists, activists, and communicators who have no actual links to their states, but simply support these governments and tweet information that contradicts Western corporate media narratives.
In August 2018, The Grayzone spoke with a censored Iranian student journalist whose popular Twitter account was suspended in one of these purges.
In fact, the day Twitter announced its new ban on state media advertisements, this August 19, it also carried out a massive purge of hundreds of accounts that it claimed were part of a Chinese ''state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong.''
Among the accounts deleted were average people who say they have no links whatsoever to the Chinese government, but simply opposed US government-backed violent insurgents wreaking havoc in Hong Kong.
Even a 24-year-old Croatian student in London who was carrying out anti-China and anti-Russia research had his account suspended in this crackdown on a supposed ''Chinese state-backed operation.'' His case was highlighted by a highly sympathetic BBC (which will not be affected by Twitter's new state media ban).
Twitter policy 'informed by' American/European government-funded lobby groupsWhen one looks at the sources Twitter is relying on to make these decisions to crack down on foreign media outlets, it is unsurprising that the policy serves the interests of the US government.
This is because the social media company stated openly in its public announcement that its policy ''has been informed by'' numerous groups that are funded by Washington and its European allies.
Twitter disclosed six organizations that it is relying on to develop its blacklist of foreign state media outlets.
Most of these groups claim to be ''non-governmental organizations'' (NGOs), but in fact receive substantial financing from Western governments, which have a vested interest in the work the ''NGOs'' produce.
An excerpt from Twitter's announcement on its policy banning state media advertisingFreedom House, a 'virtual propaganda arm of the government and international right wing'Most striking among the organizations Twitter is relying on is Freedom House, a notorious right-wing lobby group that is funded to the hilt by the US government, and that has actively fueled numerous Washington-backed regime-change campaigns, from Venezuela to Nicaragua, from Ukraine to Syria.
For years the organization has shown a consistent bias in favor of US-backed dictatorships, whitewashing authoritarian regimes in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East that happen to be Washington's allies, while portraying America's Official Enemies '-- especially independent socialist governments '-- as maleficent ''totalitarian'' regimes.
World renowned scholar Noam Chomsky described Freedom House as ''a virtual propaganda arm of the government and international right wing.''
In their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Chomsky and co-author Edward S. Herman detailed how Freedom House praised British-colonized apartheid-era Rhodesia while demonizing its independent post-colonial government, and how it sung the praises of right-wing US-backed forces in El Salvador as noble democrats while condemning Nicaragua's leftist government as a bloody dictatorship.
Chomsky and Herman wrote that Freedom House ''has expended substantial resources in criticizing the media for insufficient sympathy with U.S. foreign-policy ventures and excessively harsh criticism of U.S. client states.''
On its website, Freedom House discloses that its ''Primary funding for Freedom House's programs comes in the form of grants from USAID and U.S. State Department, as well as from other democratic governments'--Canada, the EU, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden'--and from private foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.''
Freedom House's US government funding in 2017Freedom House's own annual financial statements state that it is ''substantially funded by grants from the U.S. Government.'' US government funding accounted for 86 percent of Freedom House's revenue in 2016, 90 percent in 2017, and 88 percent in 2018.
At the United Nations, Cuba has even accused Freedom House of being linked to the CIA and working with US-backed right-wing terrorist groups. (The US government responded claiming this is ''simply not true,'' stressing that Freedom House is funded by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID '-- although this group has longstanding links to the CIA.)
More US/European government-funded groups relied on by TwitterThis is not the only US government-funded group Twitter is relying on for its foreign state media blacklist.
The Big Tech corporation also named Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as an ally. RSF is funded and supported by numerous Western governments and governmental bodies, including the US government's right-wing regime-change arm the National Endowment for Democracy; the Council of Europe; the French Development Agency; the French defense, foreign, interior, and culture ministries; the Swedish International Development Agency; and the longtime US government-linked Ford Foundation.
Reporters Without Borders has for years also been criticized for its bias against governments that are targeted by the US and Europe for regime change. RSF has shown a particularly extreme prejudice against Venezuela, portraying oligarch-owned right-wing media outlets and US-funded opposition groups that have actively participated in numerous violent coup attempts against the democratically elected socialist government as hapless victims of an autocratic regime.
Another ally named by Twitter, the European Journalism Centre, lists on its website ''global partners'' including the European Commission; the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science; and the Google News Initiative.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) are the only organizations Twitter is relying on that are not funded by Western governments.
CPJ is bankrolled by massive Western corporations and corporate media giants (along with state media outlets from Western allies like Qatar's Al Jazeera), whereas EIU is owned by the same parent company that publishes The Economist, a right-wing pro-corporate media outlet.
Growing censorship of alternative voices on social mediaWhat this list of allied organizations clearly demonstrates is that, to Twitter, organizations funded by the United States and European governments are somehow immune from bias and ''protect healthy discourse and open conversation'' in a way non-Western government-backed organizations never could.
To Silicon Valley tech giants, the American and European governments and media outlets and organizations they fund are apparently superior to state media outlets backed by China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, or other non-Western countries.
Twitter's ban on advertising by state media outlets follows a years-long campaign by anti-Russia hawks in Washington to censor the Moscow-funded network RT. This initiative has expanded into a wider crackdown on Iranian, Chinese, and Venezuelan state media channels.
The constantly expanding crackdown has also led to censorship of independent alternative media outlets, both inside and outside of the United States, targeting outlets that are not linked to any states, but simply diverge from the semi-official Washington line.
This is only the latest development in a global information war spun out by the US national security state and its cut-outs. As the neoconservative apparatchick Jamie Fly warned, ''we are just starting to push back'... this is just the beginning.''
Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.
OTG
Ransomware hits hundreds of dentist offices in the US | ZDNet
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:50
Hundreds of dental practice offices in the US have had their computers infected with ransomware this week, ZDNet has learned from a source.
The incident is another case of a ransomware gang compromising a software provider and using its product to deploy ransomware on customers' systems.
In this case, the software providers are The Digital Dental Record and PerCSoft, two Wisconsin-based companies who collaborated on DDS Safe, a medical records retention and backup solution advertised to dental practice offices in the US.
Company paid ransom demandOver the last weekend, a hacker group breached the infrastructure behind this software, and used it to deploy the REvil (Sodinokibi) ransomware on computers at hundreds of dentist offices across the US.
The security breach came to light on Monday, when dentists returned to work, only to find out they couldn't access any patient information.
A source impacted by the ransomware tells ZDNet that the two companies opted to pay the ransom demand. The Digital Dental Record and PerCSoft have been sharing a decrypter with impacted dental offices since Monday, helping companies recover encrypted files.
The recovery process has been slow, as most ransomware recovery operations tend to be, with some dental offices claiming on a Facebook group that the decrypter either didn't work, or didn't recover all their data.
The Digital Dental Record and PerCSoft did not return phone calls or emails seeking additional information prior to this article's publication.
Has happened twice beforeThis incident is the third time a hacker group has compromised a managed service provider (MSP) and used its infrastructure to deploy the REvil (Sodinokibi) ransomware.
The first one happened in June, when a group breached several yet to be identified MSPs and used the Webroot SecureAnywhere console to infect customer PCs with REvil (Sodinokibi).
The second incident happened the weekend before the attack on DDS Safe. Hackers breached another MSP company and used its infrastructure to deploy ransomware on the IT network of 22 Texas counties (initially reported as 23).
In a report published today, Fidelis Security ranked REvil (Sodinokibi) as one of the most active and widespread ransomware strains this year, with a market share of 12.5%, fourth behind Ryuk, Phobos, and Dharma.
Ironically, The Digital Dental Record advertises DDS Safe on its website as a way to safeguard files from ransomware attacks.
Some Airlines Banning All MacBook Pros From Checked Luggage and Preventing Use During Flights - MacRumors
Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:40
Following Apple's recall of
some 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro models with faulty batteries, airlines around the world are starting to implement bans, some of which affect other non-impacted
MacBook Pro models.
Qantas airlines, for example, told Bloomberg that all 15-inch MacBook Pro models are banned from checked luggage and must remain switched off for the duration of the flight. That ban applies not only to machines with faulty batteries, but also perfectly fine MacBook Pro models not subject to recall.
Virgin Australia, meanwhile,
has banned "all Apple MacBooks" from checked luggage, requiring customers to put their MacBooks in their carry-on luggage.
Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have both posted warnings on their website letting customers know that affected 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro models cannot be brought on board at all unless those models have received a replacement battery.
At the beginning of August, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued warnings to aircraft operators reminding them that affected 15-inch MacBook Pro models with faulty batteries should be kept switched off during flight.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration gave similar warnings to U.S. airlines, reminding them of recall rules that prevent affected MacBook Pro models that have not received replacement batteries from being placed in checked luggage. United Airlines, one of the major operators in the U.S., asks passengers not to use affected models during flight.
Apple launched a voluntary recall and replacement program for 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro models sold between September 2015 and February 2017 as the models contain batteries that can overheat and pose a fire safety risk.
Apple has been offering free replacement batteries since June and a 15-inch MacBook Pro that has had a battery repair is no longer in danger of overheating and can be safely used on airplanes and other locations.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way for an airline to determine what year a MacBook Pro is from and further, whether it's had a battery replacement, which is leading to confusing rules on MacBook Pro usage that vary from airline to airline. Difficulty checking model numbers also makes it hard to enforce bans, and it's not clear how strict each airline is with the rules, which could lead to some non-banned models being flagged.
Customers who have a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2015 who have not replaced the battery should contact Apple immediately for a free replacement. Apple sold approximately 432,000 potentially affected units in the United States, along with 26,000 in Canada.
Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey's Account Hacked - The New York Times
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 22:10
Technology | Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey's Account Hacked Image Jack Dorsey's Twitter account began posting racial epithets, profanities and bomb threats on Friday afternoon. Credit Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times Aug. 30, 2019Updated 5:54 p.m. ET
Hackers took over the Twitter account of Twitter's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, on Friday and used the account to broadcast a string of racist messages and bomb threats.
In the posts, the attackers claimed that Twitter's San Francisco headquarters would be bombed, and used Mr. Dorsey's account to retweet posts from several individuals appearing to claim responsibility for the hack.
The offensive posts were quickly deleted from Mr. Dorsey's account. It appeared that the hackers used a third-party service called CloudHopper to make posts under Mr. Dorsey's name. Twitter confirmed that the account had been compromised.
The brief takeover is a reminder of the challenges and risks facing celebrities and public officials who conduct business on Twitter. In 2017, President Trump's Twitter account was momentarily deactivated by a contractor with the social media company, and security experts worry that world leaders' social media accounts do not have sufficient protections.
''We're aware that @jack was compromised and investigating what happened,'' the company said in a tweet.
The group that took over Mr. Dorsey's account Friday called itself Chuckling Squad and posted several hashtags promoting itself. It also posted several messages from Mr. Dorsey's account using racial slurs and praising Adolf Hitler.
The incident on Friday was not the first time that Mr. Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of the financial technology company Square, has lost control of his Twitter account. In 2016, a group of hackers going by the name OurMine conducted a similar attack that allowed them to post from Mr. Dorsey's account.
The group also took over social media accounts belonging to Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook.
But OurMine's messages were not racist or violent. Instead, the hackers claimed they were simply testing the security practices of some of the most influential figures in the technology industry. OurMine also successfully took over a New York Times account and posted a hoax about a missile attack.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Apple iPhone Hack Exposed By Google Breaks WhatsApp Encryption
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 22:15
iPhone hack disclosed by Google researchers completely undoes encryption used by WhatsApp and other major messaging providers.
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesThe potential impact of the latest attack on iPhones is massive, not to mention hugely concerning for every user of Apple's famous smartphone.
That simply visiting a website can lead to your iPhone being hacked silently by some unknown party is worrying enough. But given that, according to Google researchers, it's possible for the hackers to access encrypted messages on WhatsApp, iMessage, Telegram and others, the attacks undermine the security promised by those apps. It's a stark reminder that should Apple's iOS be compromised by hidden malware, encryption can be entirely undone. Own the operating system, own everything inside.
Among the trove of data released by Google researcher Ian Beer on the attacks was detail on the ''monitoring implant'' hackers installed on the iPhone. He noted that it had access to all the database files on the victim's phone used by those end-to-end encrypted apps. Those databases ''contain the unencrypted, plain-text of the messages sent and received using the apps.''
The implant would also enable hackers to snoop on Gmail and Google Hangouts, contacts and photos. The hackers could also watch where users were going with a live GPS location tracker. And the malware stole the "keychain" where passwords, such as those for all remembered Wi-Fi points, are stored.
Shockingly, according to Beer, the hackers didn't even bother encrypting the data they were stealing, making a further mockery of encrypted apps. "Everything is in the clear. If you're connected to an unencrypted Wi-Fi network, this information is being broadcast to everyone around you, to your network operator and any intermediate network hops to the command and control server," the Google researcher wrote. "This means that not only is the end-point of the end-to-end encryption offered by messaging apps compromised; the attackers then send all the contents of the end-to-end encrypted messages in plain text over the network to their server."
Beer's ultimate assessment is sobering: "The implant has access to almost all of the personal information available on the device, which it is able to upload, unencrypted, to the attacker's server."
And, Beer added, even once the iPhone has been cleaned of infection (which would happen on a device restart or with the patch applied), the information the hackers pilfered could be used to maintain access to people's accounts. "Given the breadth of information stolen, the attackers may nevertheless be able to maintain persistent access to various accounts and services by using the stolen authentication tokens from the keychain, even after they lose access to the device.
Iphone users should upgrade to the latest iOS as soon as they can to get a patch for the flaw, which was fixed earlier this year. Apple did not comment.
The attack has a significantly wider impact than a previously reported WhatsApp-based hack. In May, a human rights lawyer in the U.K. was targeted by iPhone malware allegedly created by Israeli firm NSO Group. In that case, the hack was limited and targeted, launching only when a call was made to the WhatsApp of the victim. But in the latest attacks, thousands could've had their data stolen'--the unnamed websites that launched the malicious code had thousands of visitors, according to Google.
Zuk Avraham, CEO of mobile security firm ZecOps, said this was likely only the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of thousands could well be infected with similar malware, he warned. (Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication).
Avraham said he'd analyzed many cases of attacks on iPhones and iPads. He said he wouldn't be surprised if the number of remotely infected iOS devices was anywhere between 0.1% and 2% of all 1 billion iPhones in use. That'd be either 1 million or 20 million.
"The only way to fight back is to patch vulnerabilities used as part of exploit chains while strategic mitigations are developed. This cannot be done effectively solely by Apple without the help of the security community," Avraham added.
"Unfortunately the security community cannot help much due to Apple's own restrictions. The current sandbox policies do not allow security analysts to extract malware from the device even if the device is compromised."
SJWBLMLGBBTQQIAAPK
Calvin Klein is using plus-size models to reinvent its brand
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 03:54
This past spring, you couldn't miss her.
Commanding 4,000 square feet of premium Soho air space and wearing nothing by CK underwear, the indie rapper Chika gazed knowingly from Calvin Klein's massive billboard '-- just like Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner before her.
But the 22-year-old musician's proudly plus-size body type felt like a rebuke against the brand's traditional muses and their famously skinny silhouettes.
The recent ad's aftershocks included a feature in Time magazine, an InStyle interview and '-- thanks to a slew of Instagram tags '-- millions of digital impressions. But while Chika called her campaign coup a ''happy surprise,'' it was actually a deliberately canny move from Calvin Klein HQ.
Once the chicest name at New York Fashion Week, the brand didn't even bother to present this past February nor is it on the show schedule that begins Friday.
Rather, Calvin Klein has recently slipped in its stilettos thanks to an ill-fated allegiance with designer Raf Simons, the beloved Belgian artiste who was named chief creative officer and lead designer in 2016. Simons' collections were Vogue-lauded sensations but also retail duds thanks to their futuristic shapes and menacing graphics, many licensed from Warhol's ''Death and Disaster'' series.
Kate Moss in a Calvin Klein advertisementWhen Simons left the label in December, parent company PVH called his' two-year tenure a ''fashion miss,'' and retail analysts estimated his otherworldly and sometimes just odd creations cost the label a whopping $240 million.
PVH stock plunged 7.4 percent in May. Calvin Klein shuttered its Fifth Avenue flagship and skipped the costly '-- but, in terms of high-profile publicity, major '-- Met Gala, where it used to host a table loaded with starlets including Margot Robbie and Emma Watson.
It seemed like a death knell. But some experts argue it could be a fresh start and a chance to shake off the cobwebs.
''Letting those things go is actually quite savvy,'' says Tyler McCall, who analyzes retail strategy as editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com. ''At first, there was a real sense of loss. Calvin was so legendary! But the brand pivoted quickly into what works: the underwear in extended sizing, the nostalgia for the '90s, the push for diverse bodies in casting.''
Calvin Klein, once known for being a major trendsetter in youth culture '-- creating often controversial waves with ads starring a 15-year-old Brooke Shields, a skeletal Moss, a muscle-rippling Mark Wahlberg '-- is finally catching up to Gen Z's more inclusive, individual idea of cool.
''Contrast that with a brand like Victoria's Secret, who can't acknowledge that women exist above a size 12. They very publicly excluded trans women and plus-size women from their runway. And now, their sales are tanking,'' McCall adds. ''Meanwhile, Calvin Klein .'‰.'‰. is actually listening to [young shoppers].''
According to company sources, the brand's new strategy includes recruiting an invisible grid of ''micro-influencers'' (read: fun but not necessarily famous Instagrammers) to weave a new fan base for the brand.
Beth Ditto in a Calvin Klein advertisementThe company's chief marketing officer, Marie Gulin-Merle, told The Post: ''We believe the most compelling and engaging campaigns are those that embrace not just diversity of race, body type, sexual orientation or gender identity, but also diversity of opinion and experience.''
That may explain why the new ''#CKPartners'' include dozens of plus-size women and men, along with sometime-models such as mental-health blogger Elena Sanchez, Sikh tailor Devkaran Singh Mattakul and disability advocate Kate Virginia posing in her wheelchair.
Of course, reliable thirst traps like Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell sprawl across much of Calvin Klein's billboard and Instagram real estate '-- but now they're joined by trans bombshell Indya Moore and queer pop icon Beth Ditto, who smolders in plus-size lace lingerie.
Can embracing the full human spectrum, and shedding the waif look for good, save CK One from being CK Done?
Current numbers give a cautious thumbs-up, with the brand's luxury fragrances claiming a quarter of the spots on Amazon's bestseller list and its social-media followers surpassing American fashion titans Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren.
But the brand needs to follow through on its promise of inclusion by spotlighting more than one plus-size model at a time, whether it's on a building or just a handheld phone screen.
As Essence beauty director Julee Wilson has said, inclusion ''isn't just right, it's good business. Once brands understand the profits they are blatantly missing, hopefully things will get better.''
And if Calvin Klein likes anything more than getting cool cred, it's getting back those missing profits.
Dior Yanks Perfume Ad For 'Sauvage' That Features Native Americans | Crooks and Liars
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:53
Somewhere, some marketing geniuses thought putting Johnny Depp out in a western landscape with background images of Native Americans to hawk a brand of men's perfume was a good idea. And maybe it was, if you ignore the blatant cultural appropriation. But then the sticky name of the perfume itself came up, Sauvage, and people were not amused.
The ad was pulled from social media, and it likely won't be aired here after the swift backlash, but you can view it above.
Source: Washington Post
The ad seemed like something that would be unlikely to be approved in the turbo-charged era of race and social media in which we live.
But there it was, on French luxury fashion company Christian Dior's Twitter feed, to sell a new perfume.
''An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory,'' it said. ''More to come.''
The text was paired with an image of a Native American dancing on a Western bluff as the sun set behind him. The perfume's name? Sauvage, or savage in English, a racial stereotype with a long history of use against Native Americans, including in advertisements.
The ad touched off a quick reaction on social media, with many accusing the company of deploying an insensitive depiction of Native Americans to sell its wares. The description for the perfume, a classic Dior fragrance that has been remade, says it exudes ''warm oriental tones and wild beauty that comes to life on the skin.''
''The fragrance of a new frontier: an interpretation with a rich, heady trail that celebrates the magic of wide-open spaces.''
The company pulled the ad from Twitter after wide backlash.
'Will & Grace' Star Eric McCormack Calls for Blacklist of Hollywood's Trump Supporters
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 03:56
Will & Grace star Eric McCormack actively called for a blacklist of supporters of President Donald Trump in response to a Hollywood Reporter story detailing the Beverly Hills fundraiser the president is set to attend next month.''Hey, @ THR , kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don't wanna work with. Thx,'' Eric McCormack said on Friday.
Hey, @THR, kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don't wanna work with. Thx. https://t.co/7W3xPG3bI2
'-- Eric McCormack (@EricMcCormack) August 30, 2019
The actor faced quite a bit of backlash over his public call for a blacklisting.
Actor Isaiah Washington asked Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey if McCormack's tweet is acceptable on his platform.
''Hey @ jack is this tweet openly threatening to ''blacklist'' American Citizens in Hollywood okay for the good of society? Just asking for a friend,'' Washington said.
Hey @jack is this tweet openly threatening to ''blacklist'' American Citizens in Hollywood okay for the good of society? Just asking for a friend. https://t.co/nsy3OhQljP
'-- Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) August 30, 2019
How wonderfully fascist of you @EricMcCormack ! Yes, how dare anyone in a FREE COUNTRY actually be FREE to support someone that you don't or have an opinion that differs from yours. Anyone that doesn't get in line with your opinion should absolutely be blacklisted from work. ''¸
'-- Maeve Quinlan (@maevequinlan) August 31, 2019
Oh my goodness Mr. McCormack.
I personally have never ever NOT worked with someone just because I had a difference with them politically.
It's absolutely heartbreaking that you would say something like this & then ask The Hollywood Reporter to get on board with you 🏼''¸ (so sad) https://t.co/wG9SsYpXlv
'-- Kristy Swanson (@KristySwansonXO) August 30, 2019
pic.twitter.com/5sZXWun9X9
'-- Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) August 30, 2019
The fundraiser is scheduled for September 17 and will be hosted not by a single celebrity supporter but ''Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, RNC co-chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., campaign manager Brad Parscale and Trump Victory finance chairman Todd Ricketts,'' the Hollywood Reporter noted.
The ticket prices range from $1,000 to $100,000.
McCormack's disdain for the president is not new. The actor said in 2016 that he would only perform at Trump's inauguration on one condition.
''A lobotomy,'' McCormack told The Wrap. ''My whole brain removed from my head.''
Brexit
EconomicPolicyJournal.com: No Deal Brexit: What Will Actually Happen
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:59
By George Pickering With scarcely two months to go until the date Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, mainstream pundits are increasingly coming to realise that the formerly remote prospect of a No Deal Brexit is now arguably the most likely outcome. New Prime Minister Boris Johnson based his entire leadership campaign around an explicit promise to leave the EU on October 31, either with a newly re-negotiated withdrawal agreement or with no deal at all, and given that the EU has repeatedly refused to return to the negotiating table, it's becoming unclear whether any outcome other than No Deal is even possible, at this point. This has led commentators to turn their attention toward the murky question of what will actually happen if Britain leaves the EU on October 31 without Parliament having passed a Withdrawal Agreement. However, many in the news media seem to be struggling under the weight of conflicting loyalties: their desire to communicate the facts of the situation on the one hand, versus their desire to persuade their readers that Brexit is bad on the other hand. The result has been an avalanche of substance-free propaganda and opaque writing, with the concrete facts about No Deal struggling to emerge from a thick miasma of alarmist speculation and hysterical denunciations.
So, if we set aside the politically tempting task of speculating about what might happen in the event of a No Deal Brexit, what can we say with certainty will happen? Naturally, the complexities and uncertainties of the whole situation leave us with only a small handful of facts that can be stated with certainty, and the following facts will surely not be the only consequences of a No Deal Brexit. Having set out these bare facts, however, it can be left to other articles, and to readers themselves, to judge what the more distant economic and political consequences may be.
Institutions and Laws
If Brexit occurs on 31 October with no deal, the UK would immediately lose its seat on the 28-person European Commission, which is the unelected body that wields both legislative and executive power over the EU's member states.
Britain would also withdraw its 73 members from the publicly elected 751-member European Parliament, which is able to approve, reject, or suggest amendments to legislation handed down by the Commission, but is not itself able to initiate legislation.
Britain would no longer need to be bound by current or future EU laws. However, it is widely expected that the UK government will adopt the vast majority of EU laws anyway, to avoid ''black holes in Britain's lawbook.'' In the event of a No Deal Brexit, the UK would also immediately leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and the role of highest court of appeal for UK civil and criminal cases will transfer to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Trade
If there is a No Deal Brexit, the UK would immediately leave the EU's Single Market, which would mean the UK would no longer be guaranteed tariff-free and quota-free movement of goods, services, capital, and people between the UK and countries in the EU, as well as the handful of non-EU countries in the Single Market (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein).
Leaving the Single Market would also mean the UK would no longer have to adhere to the uniform regulations the EU imposes to ensure a 'level playing field' within the Single Market. These regulations apply across the board in the countries where they are imposed, not just for goods that are actually traded between member states, and prescribe everything from food standards, to the use of chemicals, to working hours, to workplace health and safety procedures, and beyond. However, though the UK government would no longer be forced to retain these regulations, it may choose to do so anyway. In addition to leaving the Single Market, a No Deal Brexit would also result in the UK immediately leaving the EU's Customs Union. This would mean the UK would no longer have to enforce the same tariffs and quotas as other EU countries when trading with non-EU countries. In other words, the UK would regain the ability to independently set its own tariffs, and negotiate its own trade deals with other countries, rather than being covered by the EU's trade deals.
In summary, the UK would move from the inside to the outside of the EU's trade wall, losing its tariff-free trade with EU countries, but gaining the ability to pursue free trade with non-EU countries.
Payments and Subsidies
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the UK government will no longer be obliged to continue paying its annual 'membership fee' contribution to the EU budget, which officially amounts to around £19 billion per year. However, since 1985 the UK has received a reduction or 'rebate' on its membership fee, bringing the amount actually paid down to around £15 billion per year. The reason the UK receives this rebate is to offset the fact that the typical rules and criteria for calculating the EU membership fee were disproportionately penalising the UK, due to Britain's small agricultural sector and high openness to non-EU trade, compared with other EU countries. Leaving the EU with no deal would also mean the UK would no longer continue receiving any payments from the EU budget. These direct EU payments to the UK amount to around £4 billion per year, and mostly take the form of agricultural subsidies to farmers in poorer areas of Britain. Immigration
The immediate consequences of a No Deal Brexit on immigration are not at all clear, and little can be said with certainty other than that EU citizens would no longer necessarily be guaranteed free movement into the UK, and unlimited rights to live and work there. The power to determine UK immigration policy will revert back to the UK state itself, and therefore such policy will be subject to change with the changing whims of different particular governments and prime ministers.
In December, Theresa May's government published a plan stating that, in the event of a No Deal Brexit, EU nationals already living in the UK before 29 March 2019 would retain similar rights to live and work in the UK as they had enjoyed under EU membership, although the plan would ''make it harder'' for new migrants to move to the UK. However, in the intervening months an entirely new government has been formed under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and new Home Secretary Priti Patel has pledged to end freedom of movement for EU citizens and impose border restrictions on day one of a No Deal Brexit, although the specifics of this new plan remain unclear. The Irish Border
For most mainstream politicians and analysts, the issue of the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (part of the EU) has been arguably the single greatest difficulty in the whole Brexit process. Due to numerous factors, including the troubled history of the region, both the UK and the Republic of Ireland strongly reject the idea of imposing a hard border between the RoI and Northern Ireland, even in the event of a No Deal Brexit. However, this would create a major hole in the EU's trade wall, as well as in the UK's post-Brexit immigration controls, allowing completely free and unchecked movement of goods and people between the EU and the UK along the entire 310 mile Irish border. How, or even whether, this issue will be resolved remains entirely unknown.
Deep Fakes
AI Used For Social Engineering. Fraudsters Mimic CEO's Voice in Unusual Cybercrime Case | WSJ
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:51
Catherine Stupp at the Wall Street Journal reported on something we have predicted would happen in this blog. The article started out with:
"Criminals used artificial intelligence-based software to impersonate a chief executive's voice and demand a fraudulent transfer of '‚¬220,000 ($243,000) in March in what cybercrime experts described as an unusual case of artificial intelligence being used in hacking.
"The CEO of a U.K.-based energy firm thought he was speaking on the phone with his boss, the chief executive of the firm's German parent company, who asked him to send the funds to a Hungarian supplier. The caller said the request was urgent, directing the executive to pay within an hour, according to the company's insurance firm, Euler Hermes Group SA. Euler Hermes declined to name the victim companies.
Law enforcement authorities and AI experts have predicted that criminals would use AI to automate cyberattacks. Whoever was behind this incident appears to have used AI-based software to successfully mimic the German executive's voice by phone. The U.K. CEO recognized his boss' slight German accent and the melody of his voice on the phone, said R¼diger Kirsch, a fraud expert at Euler Hermes, a subsidiary of Munich-based financial services company Allianz SE."
This is essentially the next step up in the escalation of using social engineering in a case of CEO Fraud. You need to step your employees through new-school security awareness training to prevent human errors like this.
Let's stay safe out there.
U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:34
(Bloomberg) -- Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel ''large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,'' as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.
''A decade ago, today's state-of-the-art would have registered as sci-fi '-- that's how fast the improvements have come,'' said Andrew Grotto at the Center for International Security at Stanford University. ''There is no reason to think the pace of innovation will slow any time soon.''
U.S. officials have been working on plans to prevent outside hackers from flooding social channels with false information ahead of the 2020 election. The drive has been hindered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to consider election-security legislation. Critics have labeled him #MoscowMitch, saying he left the U.S. vulnerable to meddling by Russia, prompting his retort of ''modern-day McCarthyism.''
Risk Factor
President Donald Trump has repeatedly rejected allegations that dubious content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google aided his election win. Hillary Clinton supporters claimed a flood of fake items may have helped sway the results in 2016.
How Russia Meddling Became Social Media's Problem: QuickTake Q&A
''The risk factor is social media being abused and used to influence the elections,'' Syracuse University assistant professor of communications Jennifer Grygiel said in a telephone interview. ''It's really interesting that Darpa is trying to create these detection systems but good luck is what I say. It won't be anywhere near perfect until there is legislative oversight. There's a huge gap and that's a concern.''
False news stories and so-called deepfakes are increasingly sophisticated and making it more difficult for data-driven software to spot. AI imagery has advanced in recent years and is now used by Hollywood, the fashion industry and facial recognition systems. Researchers have shown that these generative adversarial networks -- or GANs -- can be used to create fake videos.
Famously, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele created a fake video of former President Barack Obama talking about the Black Panthers, Ben Carson, and making an alleged slur against Trump, to highlight the risk of trusting material online.
After the 2016 election, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg played down fake news as a challenge for the world's biggest social media platform. He later signaled that he took the problem seriously and would let users flag content and enable fact-checkers to label stories in dispute. These judgments subsequently prevented stories being turned into paid advertisements, which were one key avenue toward viral promotion.
In June, Zuckerberg said Facebook made an ''execution mistake'' when it didn't act fast enough to identify a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which her speech was slurred and distorted.
''Where things get especially scary is the prospect of malicious actors combining different forms of fake content into a seamless platform,'' Grotto said. ''Researchers can already produce convincing fake videos, generate persuasively realistic text, and deploy chatbots to interact with people. Imagine the potential persuasive impact on vulnerable people that integrating these technologies could have: an interactive deepfake of an influential person engaged in AI-directed propaganda on a bot-to-person basis.''
By increasing the number algorithm checks, the military research agency hopes it can spot fake news with malicious intent before going viral.
''A comprehensive suite of semantic inconsistency detectors would dramatically increase the burden on media falsifiers, requiring the creators of falsified media to get every semantic detail correct, while defenders only need to find one, or a very few, inconsistencies,'' the agency said in its Aug. 23 concept document for the Semantic Forensics program.
Semantic Errors
The agency added: ''These SemaFor technologies will help identify, deter, and understand adversary disinformation campaigns.''
Current surveillance systems are prone to ''semantic errors.'' An example, according to the agency, is software not noticing mismatched earrings in a fake video or photo. Other indicators, which may be noticed by humans but missed by machines, include weird teeth, messy hair and unusual backgrounds.
Deepfakes Can Help You Dance, But They're Not Always So Innocent
The algorithm testing process will include an ability to scan and evaluate 250,000 news articles and 250,000 social media posts, with 5,000 fake items in the mix. The program has three phases over 48 months, initially covering news and social media, before an analysis begins of technical propaganda. The project will also include week-long ''hackathons.''
Program manager Matt Turek discussed the program on Thursday in Arlington, Virginia, with potential software designers. Darpa didn't provide an on-the-record comment.
Tech Gap
The agency also has an existing research program underway, called MediFor, which is trying to plug a technological gap in image authentication, as no end-to-end system can verify manipulation of images taken by digital cameras and smartphones.
''Mirroring this rise in digital imagery is the associated ability for even relatively unskilled users to manipulate and distort the message of the visual media,'' according to the agency's website. ''While many manipulations are benign, performed for fun or for artistic value, others are for adversarial purposes, such as propaganda or misinformation campaigns.''
With a four-year project scale for SemaFor, the next election will have come and gone before the system is operational.
''This timeline is too slow and I wonder if it is a bit of PR,'' Grygiel said. ''Educating the public on media literacy, along with legislation, is what is important. But elected officials lack motivation themselves for change, and there is a conflict of interest as they are using these very platforms to get elected.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Pete Norman in London at pnorman6@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Davis at abdavis@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, Steve Geimann
(C)2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Trump Rotation
Trump's Personal Assistant Abruptly Resigns After Caught Leaking Details About Trump's Family and Oval Office Ops to Reporters
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 03:57
Trump's Personal Assistant Abruptly Resigns After Caught Leaking Details About Trump's Family and Oval Office Ops to Reporters by Cristina Laila August 29, 2019
President Trump's executive assistant Madeleine Westerhout resigned on Thursday after she was caught leaking details about Trump's family and Oval Office operations to reporters.
Westerhout joined Trump's transition team from the RNC and was not considered a 'Trump loyalist.'
Politico reported:
President Donald Trump's longtime executive assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, abruptly resigned from the White House on Thursday, after coming under scrutiny for sharing intimate details about the president's family with reporters, according to two sources familiar with the move.
In the past six months, Westerhout had tried to expand the boundaries of her job to encompass a broader set of tasks and to include foreign travel, said one adviser close to the White House, who suggested Westerhout had tried to act like a de facto chief of staff. This irked several White House officials and Cabinet secretaries who thought she should stick to her primary task of serving as the president's personal secretary with a desk just outside the Oval Office.
According to the New York Times, President Trump learned on Thursday that Westerhout had ''indiscreetly shared details'' about Trump's family and ''Oval Office operations'' during a recent ''off-the-record'' dinner with reporters in New Jersey.
This NYT report is accurate, per people familiar. She had an off the record conversation and reporter/s shared it. This info got back to the White House. https://t.co/rtXcy6RdrW
'-- Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 30, 2019
Trump's Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down - The New York Times
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 12:29
Politics | Trump's Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down Image Madeleine Westerhout, the president's personal assistant, was said to have indiscreetly shared details about the president's family and the Oval Office operations she was part of during a recent off-the-record dinner with journalists. Credit Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump's personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sits in front of the Oval Office and who has served as the president's gatekeeper since Day 1 of his administration, resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with her exit said.
Ms. Westerhout's abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of at a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president's working vacation, according to one of the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel issues.
The breach of trust meant immediate action: Ms. Westerhout, one of the people familiar with her departure said, was now considered a ''separated employee'' and would not be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Ms. Westerhout did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Ms. Westerhout, a former Republican National Committee aide who also worked for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, reportedly cried on election night because she was upset over Mr. Trump's victory. As such, the president at first viewed her warily, as a late convert to his cause who could not be trusted.
But some of Mr. Trump's top officials '-- like John F. Kelly, who has since left as chief of staff '-- tried to turn Ms. Westerhout into an ally who could help them manage Oval Office traffic. They hoped that she could block individuals from reaching the president on the phone or in person, and that she would report back on the calls and meetings that made it through.
Ms. Westerhout's power in the White House came almost entirely from proximity. She is not a name-brand White House aide and has never appeared on television, unless it was an accidental shot of her hovering behind her boss. But while she was not a decision maker, she enjoyed unique access to Mr. Trump.
She also often shared snapshots on her private Instagram account of her life in the West Wing, including travel to rallies and Trump properties, and in one post she joked that she had been responsible for printing out a piece of paper that Mr. Trump held up and referred to at a public event.
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'Fake Melania' conspiracy theory about body double is 'deranged', says Donald Trump | South China Morning Post
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 04:52
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honouring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama during a March 8 visit. Photo: AFP
Claims that body double for Melania Trump sometimes accompanies US leader were revived after visit to site of deadly Alabama tornadoTV show participants point to height difference in photos of woman with Trump in last week's tripTopic | Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honouring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama during a March 8 visit. Photo: AFP
China
"I've Never Seen Anything Like This": China Reels As Pork Prices Explode To Record Levels | Zero Hedge
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:10
One could see it coming from a mile away, but still the breakout in Chinese pork prices as a result of the country's "pig ebola" outbreak and the ongoing trade war with the US, is a sight to behold.
As the chart below shows, pork prices in China have soared to record highs in the past two weeks, adding pressure on a government trying to contain food-price inflation during the trade war with the U.S., even as the country's Producer Price index posted its first negative print in 3 years, putting China in a bind: contain soaring food inflation, or stimulate the economy and risk an angry public backlash (something we discussed extensively two weeks ago).
Prices of China's favorite protein - used in dishes such as lunchtime dumplings and spicy mapo tofu '-- have surged 18% in China in just two weeks, since the week ended Aug. 9 and are up more than 50% in the past year. The average price of pork, excluding offal, in the week ended Aug. 23 was 31.77 yuan a kilogram ($2.02 a pound), according to data from China's Ministry of Commerce.
The cause for the price surge is well-known: African swine fever, which has been raging across China, and Asia, has decimated pork supplies. China's pig herd had fallen 32% on year in July, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Some analysts expect 2019 production could fall as much as 50% by the time the "pig ebola" is contained.
Breakouts of African Swine Fever in 2019Speaking to the WSJ, Darin Friedrichs, senior Asia commodity analyst, at INTL FCStone in Shanghai said "it's hard to know where prices are going to go. We're in uncharted territory." He said his own grocery bills have increased by 35% for pork belly since November and 32% for pork chops since January.
As we reported earlier in August, the surge in pork prices and increases in the cost of vegetables were already the main driver of a 2.8% rise in the CPI in July, the fastest pace in 18 months, even as PPI dipped negative.
The 27% surge in pork prices - a core component of the Chinese CPI basket - lifted the headline inflation index by 0.59%. It could not have come at a worse time: due to the trade war between the US and China, Beijing's tariffs on U.S. pork have increased prices of American meat.
Traditionally, Chinese people typically eat far more pork than other meat; in fact China is the single biggest consumer of pork in the world. However, a customer at a wholesale market in Beijing told the WSJ her family was now eating more chicken than pork. Indeed, as pork prices rise to levels that are prohibitively high for many, consumers are changing their buying habits, pushing up prices for other meat. Chicken breast is about 20% more expensive than a year ago, while duck breast has nearly tripled in price to 14,600 yuan (US$2,125) a tonne, making duck farmers into overnight millionaires.
Pork prices are likely to remain elevated for some time, said Betty Wang, a senior economist at ANZ. She said farmers have culled so many pigs that it would take a while for supplies to build up again. "If people feel that food inflation is going up, it may spur policy actions," she added, although it wasn't clear just how Beijing can find a quick and easy substitute to domestic farms.
Until things normalize, Beijing has taken an idea from the Trump administration: outside the wholesale market, red banners advertised government subsidies for pork slaughterhouses. The government has been trying to push farms and slaughterhouses to increase production to relieve pressure on prices, but herd numbers continue to fall.
"I've never seen anything like this,'' said Xiao Tong, a vendor who has been selling pork for nearly 20 years in Beijing. "Every day the price rises more." Prices are so high that not only retail customers, but businesses can no longer afford to buy pork: she said even her longtime clients, such as local restaurants and construction companies, are trimming purchases.
Making matters worse, another major spike in prices is coming once short-term inventories are depleted. Chenjun Pan, a senior analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong, said storage levels of frozen pork seem to have also fallen in recent months.
Meanwhile, China's pork imports have jumped more than 60% in the second quarter, but foreign supplies have been constrained or are more expensive, especially with Chinese tariffs on US products. Beijing levied new tariffs totaling 50% on pork from the U.S. last year and in June suspended pork imports from Canada.
Pork prices have been a concern for Beijing because of its importance in the local diet. Chinese consumers eat an average of about 67 pounds a person each year, while per-capita consumption in the U.S. is around 51 pounds a year, according to data from the OECD.
One final tangent: roughly one year ago, there was a "modest proposal" floated in the darker corners of the internet, that if Trump wanted to win the trade war with Beijing and spark a social revolt, all he had to do was spark a deadly epidemic affecting China's preferred food source. One wonders if said proposal did not eventually make its way to the oval office...
War on Weed
High-potency cannabis and incident psychosis: correcting the causal assumption - The Lancet Psychiatry
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:16
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Nathan A GillespieNathan A Gillespie
AffiliationsGenetic Epidemiology, Statistical Genetics, and Translational Neurogenomics Laboratories, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavior Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
Search for articles by this author Jorien L TreurJorien L Treur
AffiliationsDepartment of Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Search for articles by this author Karin J H VerweijKarin J H Verweij
AffiliationsDepartment of Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Search for articles by this author Marta Di Forti and colleagues
1Di Forti M Quattrone D Freeman TP et al.The contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe (EU-GEI): a multicentre case-control study.
claim that the frequency of cannabis use and cannabis potency are responsible for substantial variation in the incidence of psychotic disorders. The authors assume that cannabis causes psychosis or psychotic symptoms without acknowledging compelling, alternative hypotheses.
2Minozzi S Davoli M Bargagli AM Amato L Vecchi S Perucci CA An overview of systematic reviews on cannabis and psychosis: discussing apparently conflicting results.
Most reports examining associations between cannabis and psychosis have been unable to adjust for confounding that arises from correlated genetic and environmental individual differences. This oversight includes the common omission of appropriate methods for resolving causality (eg, random assignment to case and control conditions, discordant twin pairs, propensity score matching, or recently advanced genome-based restricted maximum likelihood methods). Findings of our own and others illustrate that cannabis use might be higher among individuals with a genetic liability that predisposes such individuals to cannabis use and the development of psychosis or psychotic disorders. Giordano and colleagues'
3Giordano GN Ohlsson H Sundquist K Sundquist J Kendler KS The association between cannabis abuse and subsequent schizophrenia: a Swedish national co-relative control study.
co-relative case-control design, which extrapolated data for monozygotic twin pairs, reported that a large portion of the association between cannabis abuse and schizophrenia was not causal, but instead confounded by shared familial factors. Despite increases in the prevalence of cannabis use over a 30-year period in Australia, Degenhardt and colleagues
4Degenhardt L Hall W Lynskey M Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis.
found no evidence of any notable increase in schizophrenia. Based on our recent meta-analysis of the largest genome-wide association study of lifetime cannabis use to date (n=184'765), we estimated a genome-wide genetic correlation of 0·25 (SE 0·03, p<0·0001) with schizophrenia risk, indicating that genetic risk factors for cannabis use and schizophrenia are positively correlated.
5Pasman JA Verweij KJH Gerring Z et al.GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia.
This correlation could be explained by pleiotropic, causal, or reverse causal mechanisms. Mendelian randomisation is an approach that uses genetic variants associated with a modifiable exposure to estimate the causal relationship between variables. In our meta-analysis, we applied bidirectional mendelian randomisation and found a consistent pattern of evidence supporting a causal effect of schizophrenia risk on lifetime cannabis use.
5Pasman JA Verweij KJH Gerring Z et al.GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia.
By contrast, we found little evidence for any causal effect of cannabis use on schizophrenia risk. We acknowledged the lower power of the instrumental variable for lifetime cannabis use,
5Pasman JA Verweij KJH Gerring Z et al.GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia.
and our analyses were not based on cannabis use frequency or potency. Nevertheless, our findings strongly suggested that associations between measures of cannabis use and psychosis or psychotic disorders are far more nuanced than Di Forti and colleagues assume. In addition to correlated genetic liabilities, indirect and bidirectional processes are likely to affect the associations between cannabis use, misuse, and psychotic disorders. By not acknowledging the alternative, compelling and plausible mechanisms,
3Giordano GN Ohlsson H Sundquist K Sundquist J Kendler KS The association between cannabis abuse and subsequent schizophrenia: a Swedish national co-relative control study.
Di Forti and colleagues' conclusion regarding the harmful effect of high-potency cannabis use on mental health is likely to be overestimated.
This online publication has been corrected. The corrected version first appeared at thelancet.com/psychiatry on June 7, 2019
We declare no competing interests.
References 1. Di Forti M Quattrone D Freeman TP et al.The contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe (EU-GEI): a multicentre case-control study.
Lancet Psychiatry. 2019;
6 : 427-436 2. Minozzi S Davoli M Bargagli AM Amato L Vecchi S Perucci CA An overview of systematic reviews on cannabis and psychosis: discussing apparently conflicting results.
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2010;
29 : 304-317 3. Giordano GN Ohlsson H Sundquist K Sundquist J Kendler KS The association between cannabis abuse and subsequent schizophrenia: a Swedish national co-relative control study.
Psychol Med. 2015;
45 : 407-414 4. Degenhardt L Hall W Lynskey M Testing hypotheses about the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003;
71 : 37 5. Pasman JA Verweij KJH Gerring Z et al.GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia.
Nat Neurosci. 2018;
21 : 1161-1170 Article InfoPublication HistoryIdentificationDOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30174-9
Copyright(C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ScienceDirectAccess this article on ScienceDirect Linked Articles
Marijuana Use May Increase Violent Behavior | Psychology Today
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:22
Source: Wikipedia Commons
New research published online in advance of print in the journal Psychological Medicine concludes that persistent use of cannabis may cause violent behavior as a result of changes in brain function due to smoking weed over many years.
Researchers have long debated a possible link between use of marijuana and violent crime. In contrast to alcohol, meth, and many other illegal drugs, the mellowing effects of cannabis seem unsuited to promoting violent behavior. However, ample previous research has linked marijuana use to increased violent behavior.
The sticky problem in such studies is the existence of many confounding factors involved in interpreting the correlation. It is very difficult to determine whether any statistical correlation between marijuana use and violent behavior represents a causal link or whether, instead, the two are associated through some other factor,s such as socioeconomic status, personality traits, or many other variables that are related to the propensity to use marijuana.
Moreover, the causal relation between smoking pot and violent behavior could be in exactly the opposite direction. That is, individuals who are involved in violence or who commit criminal offenses may also be people who are more open to using marijuana. After all, marijuana is an illegal substance in most places, so people with antisocial personality traits and those with tendencies toward lawlessness may be the type of individuals inclined to be more open to obtaining and using the illegal substance.
Not so, conclude neuroscientist Tabea Schoeler at Kings College London and her colleagues, "Together, the results of the present study provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to cannabis and subsequent violent outcomes across a major part of the lifespan." Let's examine the evidence provided by this new study.
What makes this new study more compelling than previous studies is that the researchers followed the same individuals for over 50 years from a young age to adulthood. This is precisely what one needs to solve the chicken-or-egg riddle with respect to cannabis and violence: Just look and see which one happens first.
The subjects were in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, comprised of 411 boys who were born around 1953 and living in working-class urban neighborhoods of London. Ninety-seven percent of them were Caucasian, and all of them were raised in two-parent households. The researchers took into consideration factors including antisocial traits as assessed by the Antisocial Personality Scale, alcohol use, other drug use, cigarette smoking, mental illnesses, and family history.
Hers's what they found: Most of the participants never used cannabis and they were never reported to have violent behavior. Thirty-eight percent of the participants did try cannabis at least once in their life. Most of them experimented with cannabis in their teens, but then stopped using it.
However, 20% of the boys who started using pot by age 18 continued to use it through middle age (32-48 years). One fifth of those who were pot smokers (22%) reported violent behavior that began after beginning to use cannabis, whereas only 0.3% reported violence before using weed. Continued use of cannabis over the lifetime of the study was the strongest predictor of violent convictions, even when the other factors that contribute to violent behavior were considered in the statistical analysis.
In conclusion, the results show that continued cannabis use is associated with a 7-fold greater odds for subsequent commission of violent crimes. The level of risk is equivalent to the increased risk of lung cancer from smoking cigarettes over a similar duration (40 years).
The authors suggest that impairments in neurological circuits controlling behavior may underlie impulsive, violent behavior, as a result of cannabis altering the normal neural functioning in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.
You may also like
Fields, R.D. Inhale or Don't?: Marijuana Hurts Some, Helps Others, Scientific American MIND, Sept. 1, 2009.
Fields, R.D. The Absurdity of "Medical Marijuana," BrainFacts.org Dec. 20, 2014.
Fields, R.D. Creativity, Madness, and Drugs. Scientific American, November 22, 2013.
Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than You Think - WSJ
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:20
Over the past 30 years, a shrewd and expensive lobbying campaign has made Americans more tolerant of marijuana. In November 2018, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize recreational cannabis use; New Jersey and others may soon follow. Already, more than 200 million Americans live in states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. Yet even as marijuana use has become more socially acceptable, psychiatrists and epidemiologists have reached a consensus that it presents more serious risks than most people realize.
Contrary to the predictions of both advocates and opponents, legalization hasn't led to a huge increase in people using the drug casually. About 15% of Americans used cannabis at least once in 2017, up from 10% in 2006, according to the federal government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. By contrast, almost 70% of Americans had an alcoholic drink in the past year.
But the number of Americans who use cannabis heavily is soaring. In 2006, about 3 million Americans reported using the drug at least 300 times a year, the standard for daily use. By 2017, that number had increased to 8 million'--approaching the 12 million Americans who drank every day. Put another way, only one in 15 drinkers consumed alcohol daily; about one in five marijuana users used cannabis that often.
And they are consuming cannabis that is far more potent than ever before, as measured by the amount of THC it contains. THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for the drug's psychoactive effects. In the 1970s, most marijuana contained less than 2% THC. Today, marijuana routinely contains 20-25% THC, thanks to sophisticated farming and cloning techniques and to the demand of users to get a stronger high more quickly. In states where cannabis is legal, many users prefer extracts that are nearly pure THC.
Cannabis advocates often argue that the drug can't be as neurotoxic as studies suggest because otherwise Western countries would have seen population-wide increases in psychosis alongside rising marijuana use. In reality, accurately tracking psychosis cases is impossible in the U.S. The government carefully tracks diseases such as cancer with central registries, but no such system exists for schizophrenia or other severe mental illnesses.
Some population-level data does exist, though. Research from Finland and Denmark, two countries that track mental illness more accurately, shows a significant increase in psychosis since 2000, following an increase in cannabis use. And last September, a large survey found a rise in serious mental illness in the U.S. too. In 2017, 7.5% of young adults met the criteria for serious mental illness, double the rate in 2008.
None of these studies prove that rising cannabis use has caused population-wide increases in psychosis or other mental illness, although they do offer suggestive evidence of a link. What is clear is that, in individual cases, marijuana can cause psychosis, and psychosis is a high risk factor for violence. What's more, much of that violence occurs when psychotic people are using drugs. As long as people with schizophrenia are avoiding recreational drugs, they are only moderately more likely to become violent than healthy people. But when they use drugs, their risk of violence skyrockets. The drug they are most likely to use is cannabis.
The most obvious way that cannabis fuels violence in psychotic people is through its tendency to cause paranoia. Even marijuana advocates acknowledge that the drug can cause paranoia; the risk is so obvious that users joke about it, and dispensaries advertise certain strains as less likely to do so. But for people with psychotic disorders, paranoia can fuel extreme violence. A 2007 paper in the Medical Journal of Australia looked at 88 defendants who had committed homicide during psychotic episodes. It found that most of the killers believed they were in danger from the victim, and almost two-thirds reported misusing cannabis'--more than alcohol and amphetamines combined.
The link between marijuana and violence doesn't appear limited to people with pre-existing psychosis. Researchers have studied alcohol and violence for generations, proving that alcohol is a risk factor for domestic abuse, assault and even murder. Far less work has been done on marijuana, in part because advocates have stigmatized anyone who raises the issue. Still, there are studies showing that marijuana use is a significant risk factor for violence.
A 2012 paper in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, examining a federal survey of more than 9,000 adolescents, found that marijuana use was associated with a doubling of domestic violence in the U.S. A 2017 paper in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, examining drivers of violence among 6,000 British and Chinese men, found that drug use was linked to a fivefold increase in violence, and the drug used was nearly always cannabis.
Before states legalized recreational cannabis, advocates predicted that legalization would let police focus on hardened criminals rather than on marijuana smokers and thus reduce violent crime. Some advocates even claim that legalization has reduced violent crime: In a 2017 speech calling for federal legalization, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said that ''these states are seeing decreases in violent crime.''
But Mr. Booker is wrong. The first four states to legalize marijuana for recreational use were Colorado and Washington in 2014 and Alaska and Oregon in 2015. Combined, those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. In 2017, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults'--an increase far greater than the national average.
Knowing exactly how much of that increase is related to cannabis is impossible without researching every crime. But for centuries, people all over the world have understood that cannabis causes mental illness and violence'--just as they've known that opiates cause addiction and overdose. Hard data on the relationship between marijuana and madness dates back 150 years, to British asylum registers in India.
Yet 20 years ago, the U.S. moved to encourage wider use of cannabis and opiates. In both cases, we decided we could outsmart these drugs'--enjoying their benefits without their costs. And in both cases, we were wrong. Opiates are riskier than cannabis, and the overdose deaths they cause are a more imminent crisis, so public and government attention have focused on them. Soon, the mental illness and violence that follow cannabis use also may be too widespread to ignore.
'--Mr. Berenson is a former New York Times reporter and the author of 12 novels. This essay is adapted from his new book, ''Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence,'' which will be published by Free Press on Jan. 8.
Clips
VIDEO - Barbie Rivera '' Pay Me $5K to Drug My Students? '' The Addiction Podcast
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 15:20
About 29 years ago, a public school teacher told Barbie Rivera that her 6 year old son had a mental disorder and she needed to put him on a mind altering drug '' Ritalin. Barbie thought that was nutty as her son was very bright, normal and already bilingual. She started home schooling him now has her own school '' called HELP Miami. Her story of how the drug companies offered to pay her $5K every year for every student she will recommend for medication is horrific.
VIDEO - Fentanyl drug bust: Investigators seize enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people - CBS News
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:58
Law enforcement officers in Virginia have seized enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people, busting a massive three-state drug ring as part of what they called "Operation Cookout." Thirty-five suspects were arrested, and four others are on the run.
"This opioid crisis is not an issue that is happening someplace else, or to someone else. It's happening right here in Norfolk," said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
In total, authorities seized over 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30 kilograms of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine and over $700,000. It's the largest drug takedown in Virginia in 15 years. They also seized roughly 24 firearms, including an AK-47. "We're not talking about $500 and $600 deals, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars," Terwilliger said. "You know, $20,000 in the trunk of somebody's car in a gym bag, you know, behind a local restaurant." Terwilliger said the bust spanned three states and that one of the 39 people charged ordered fentanyl from Shanghai and had it delivered to Virginia through the mail.
"The last thing we want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become the nation's largest drug dealer," he added. Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said the case should serve as a warning to other dealers. "If you're out there, you're using firearms, you're dealing drugs and you're hurting people in our communities, this is the group of people that's coming after you," he said. "And we're relentless." Meanwhile, the Coast Guard announced Thursday that the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward has seized about 2,800 pounds of cocaine during their first drug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The cocaine was worth an estimated $38.5 million.
Terwilliger said that most fentanyl comes from Chinese labs. There's been an increased effort to hold China accountable for drugs like fentanyl that are manufactured there and smuggled to the U.S. A bipartisan bill in the Senate would sanction Chinese labs and traffickers that export the drug.
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - 10 Candidates Set For Next Democratic Debate : NPR
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:33
The final lineup is set for the Democrats' third presidential primary debate. Some campaigns and pollsters have criticized the requirements for appearing on the debate stage.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The Democrats' race for the White House has been reduced by one. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is dropping out of the race. Here's a bit from the video announcement that came out last night.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: I know this isn't the result we wanted. We wanted to win this race. But it's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country.
MARTIN: The New York senator decided to leave the crowded Democratic field after failing to qualify for September's debate. Ten candidates, total, did make the cut. They had to meet the Democratic National Committee's polling and fundraising threshold. Midnight was the deadline for meeting that threshold. We're expecting a formal announcement from the DNC about that later today. NPR's senior political editor Domenico Montanaro is with us to talk about all the details. Hi, Domenico.
DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Hey there, Rachel.
MARTIN: Who's in? Who made it?
MONTANARO: Well, 10 people made it. I'll go through them just quickly. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Obama Housing Secretary Julian Castro, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who recently rebooted his campaign, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. So there you go. Just half the candidates in the first round of debates.
MARTIN: So what happens if you didn't make the debate stage? At this point, is your campaign essentially over?
MONTANARO: Well, not necessarily. The candidates will have another chance to make the debate stage in October with the same criteria so we very well may see a larger group, actually, in October than we have now and a return to maybe the candidates being split over two nights. But for some candidates, it certainly has meant the end. I mean, you played the clip of Gillibrand. Others have dropped out already. They've struggled to stand out in this field. I mean, it's almost two dozen candidates who've been seeking to take on President Trump. So these debates have really served as something of a first primary, in a way, you know, with the winnowing that they've done.
MARTIN: Right. Except no one has actually cast a ballot, in terms of voters, which is why some people are miffed. I want to talk about the frontrunners, though. Biden, Warren, Sanders. They are going to be on the same debate stage together for the first time, right?
MONTANARO: Yeah. And that's really the most significant dynamic in this upcoming debate. You know, Sanders' camp continues to say that he won't go after Warren, unless they're the last two standing. You know, he sees her as an ally for changing the country to be something more along the progressive lines of what he wants to see. Biden has been the focus of other candidates in the first two rounds of debates. Given that he continues to lead in the polls, he'll probably be the focus again. So for his part, he told reporters in South Carolina yesterday he welcomes the shrinking field.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
JOE BIDEN: I'm looking forward to getting to the place - assuming I'm still around - that it gets down to a smaller number of people so we can have more of a discussion instead of one-minute assertions.
MONTANARO: Well, I mean, debates are always going to be kind of one-minute assertions. So he kind of knows that. But he really needs to show some crispness in this upcoming debate that he really lacked, especially in that first debate, when Democrats are really looking for someone who can take on Trump. Otherwise, they're going to look elsewhere. And we've seen Elizabeth Warren continue to rise in not just the polls but fundraising and crowd size.
MARTIN: Yeah. So I want to get back to this idea about the DNC and the debates being, like, a first primary sort of speak. They set the qualifying rules. How are those who didn't make the cut for this debate reacting?
MONTANARO: Well, pretty typically, I'd say, for candidates who don't make a debate stage. Some are complaining about the process, like you were noting. So here was Tulsi Gabbard on Fox News.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT")
TULSI GABBARD: The whole thing gets a little bit confusing, and you've got to jump way down into the weeds of the numbers and the statistics. But I think the bigger problem is that the whole process really lacks transparency.
TUCKER CARLSON: Right.
GABBARD: People deserve having that transparency because ultimately it's the people who will decide who our Democratic nominee will be and ultimately who our next president, commander in chief, will be.
MONTANARO: Yeah. I mean, the Hawaii Congresswoman - you know, they're talking about the rules and the process. You know, the criteria for the debate has been out there for quite some time. She just didn't reach it. So, you know, transparency is certainly one of the things that some candidates like to talk about in these instances. But we've known what they are for a while.
MARTIN: And the fact of the matter is it is just an unprecedentedly large field, right? So we don't...
MONTANARO: Absolutely.
MARTIN: This is all kind of new territory. I'm going to put you on the spot. We know Kirsten Gillibrand is ending her run. Who do you think is next?
MONTANARO: I have no idea.
MARTIN: Come on.
MONTANARO: I mean, you know, I'm not going to try to predict that. I will say one thing, though. Tom Steyer is somebody who spent $12 million on ads and other things to try to get onto this debate stage. He failed to do so. And, well, we may see him in October. We'll see.
MARTIN: OK. NPR senior political editor Domenico Montanaro. Thank you.
MONTANARO: You're welcome.
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - Breaking Down Opioid Settlements : NPR
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:30
NPR's Scott Simon talks with Michelle Mello of Stanford Law School about how legally liable manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers can be for abuse of their products.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
This week, we got a look at how drug companies are being held responsible for the opioid crisis. According to reports, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family that owns it might try to resolve all claims against the company for up to $12 billion. Well, in Oklahoma, Johnson and Johnson was fined over $500 million by a court. But is justice really being done?
Michelle Mello of Stanford Law School joins us now from Palo Alto. Professor, thanks so much for being with us.
MICHELLE MELLO: A pleasure.
SIMON: I want to start with a question I think a lot of people might be wondering - why no criminal charges?
MELLO: Well, criminal charges in cases like this are quite rare. There have been maybe one or two cases where a drug company executive has been held criminally responsible for its marketing practices, but it's considered an extraordinary remedy. And there are some things we can criticize about that. And there are ways in which it really makes sense.
SIMON: Well, tell us about the ways in which they really make sense.
MELLO: Well, one way is that the schemes at issue here were really sprawling. This was not just one man doing something criminally inappropriate but rather pervasive, longstanding, industry-wide conspiracy, for lack of a better word, to promote these products.
And, you know, there may be a false sense of vengeance or accountability in pinning it on one individual and essentially letting others go free who were the ones that carried out this scheme. You could argue that the deterrent effect of legal action would be greater with a massive financial penalty that would really send a message to all other executives at all levels of a corporation that this could be their economic downfall.
SIMON: Did we see that with the $500 million judgment in Oklahoma? Is that a big enough penalty to be a deterrent, or is it just the cost of doing business for Johnson and Johnson?
MELLO: I think for a company on the scale of Johnson and Johnson, $570 million is not a lot of money. And we saw that in Wall Street's reaction to the verdict. To them, it was good news. This was probably the first time that having to pay $572 million was considered good news.
But let's just keep in mind that was just Oklahoma. Still at large is the massive federal multi-district litigation where Johnson is also a defendant. But then 48 out of the 50 states have also brought separate state-level litigation. And then there are a smattering of individual class actions as well.
SIMON: It is part of the challenge here that there are people who successfully use opioid painkillers and rely on them?
MELLO: I think that is part of the challenge. You know, sometimes we get caught up in the culpable behavior of a drug company as, you know, maybe we should. But we have to remember that at their heart, they make products that we want. We want these companies to continue in business because not only do we want their opioids, we want the other products that they make, and we need those products.
This is not like a Juul or a tobacco company where we might think, well, the world might be better off if they weren't in business. No, we need these companies to stay in business. The question is how to use the law to send incentives to behave responsibly while they're making those products.
SIMON: As you watch these opioid cases move through the legal system, do you think justice is on its way to being done?
MELLO: I think it probably is. The verdict in the Johnson and Johnson trial really suggests that the theories that the plan has put forward are going to be applicable to all the other claims that they're bringing in these other lawsuits. The real question for me is what will that money end up being used for, and how do we ensure that it goes toward addressing the problem that the litigation was intended to address.
SIMON: Do you have an answer to that question?
MELLO: We know from the tobacco litigation that, particularly in times of recession or when state budgets are straining, the temptation to raid these honey pots can just be overwhelming. We know from tobacco that in most states, very little of that money actually ended up going towards tobacco-use prevention and treatment. So, you know, media watchdogs can help. Consumer watchdog groups can help ensure it. But the courts aren't going to be involved in administering how those settlement funds are used, so it remains really an open question whether they will be used in the way that they're supposed to be.
SIMON: Michelle Mello of Stanford Law School, thanks so much.
MELLO: Thanks for having me.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - Trump And Fox News : NPR
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:25
NPR's Scott Simon talks with Carl Cameron, former Fox News chief political correspondent, about the president's recent tweets slamming the network.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
President Trump and Fox News on the verge of a breakup? President's been tweeting against Fox News Channel coverage and personalities recently, saying, quote, "we have to start looking for a new news outlet. Fox isn't working for us anymore." Thursday night, Fox host Neil Cavuto said, well, that's the point.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
NEIL CAVUTO: First of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you. I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you.
SIMON: We're joined now by Carl Cameron. He was the first Capitol Hill correspondent for Fox News and became the channel's chief political correspondent. He retired from Fox in 2017 and is now a founder of Front Page Live, a news aggregator site. Thanks so much for being with us.
CARL CAMERON: Thanks, Scott. It's a huge pleasure. I'm really appreciative.
SIMON: Well, you were always cited as one of the exceptions on FOX - a reporter, not a partisan, unlike some of the hosts. What do you think is going on when Neil Cavuto starts criticizing President Trump?
CAMERON: I think that it's a natural response by the journalists. It helps Fox's reputation having been bashed, rightfully so, on the entertainment side for the opinion mavens who often trade in the same sorts of falsehoods and memes, tropes and otherwise disinformation that is the real fake news, as opposed to what happens in news divisions. And Trump's attempt to threaten Fox by saying that his people, meaning his base, need to find another news outlet, good luck with that. And frankly, it's good to see the news department of Fox News calling Trump out and not being bullied.
SIMON: Has there been that tension for some time in Fox News between what I'll call news people and opinion people?
CAMERON: Absolutely. There were times in the past when the likes of Bill O'Reilly would get into a row with Brit Hume on Bill O'Reilly's show because Mr. O'Reilly was trading in opinion, and Mr. Hume chose to tell people what the actual facts of the story were. And that was not an uncommon situation with a lot of us who were on the air, and we're not on a lot of those talk shows anymore.
SIMON: Was it uncomfortable to work there, may I ask?
CAMERON: Well, the Trump campaign made it excruciatingly uncomfortable because he was fostering the kind of anger and often violence in his rallies, and some of it was directed at me as well just because of being part of the media. And to hear some of the people on the network you're broadcasting from talking about how great he is when he's doing things - or promising, at that point, things - that simply aren't possible - reference the wall that has not been built.
SIMON: Republicans, sometimes when they decline to run for reelection in Congress, will begin to ask how did Donald Trump take over the Republican Party. How was it that Donald Trump, if I might put it this way, seemed to take over Fox News?
CAMERON: Ratings. Scott, it's not public radio; it's a commercial business industry. And the problem with that is ratings equal revenue, and revenue is what matters to the people at the highest levels of the corporation. And when it works, they stick with it. And that's really unfortunate.
SIMON: Does tying yourself to Donald Trump become a good business plan when his approval rating is so low?
CAMERON: No, it doesn't help. And I would argue, too, that there are occasions when sitting presidents have been unseated. And in every single instance, it's when there are members of that president's party who were disaffected by his performance. And there are Republicans out there who are getting increasingly worried. We're seeing it in resignations and departures from within the administration. We're seeing it within the Republican Party with people who are resigning or deciding to leave the party. And those voices are louder. And if the leaders and the people who are actually engaged in the business of politics are abandoning it, think about what the average voter is thinking about.
This is bad for Trump. It's good for the country. And who knows what happens, whether it's good or bad, for the ratings of any other cable network.
SIMON: Carl Cameron, now of Front Page Live. Thanks so much for being with us.
CAMERON: A great pleasure, Scott. Thank you very much.
Copyright (C) 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - Straight Pride Parade Counter-Protesters Outnumber Parade Goers '' CBS Boston
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:09
August 31, 2019 at 6:44 pmBOSTON (CBS) '-- Boston Police established a large buffer zone between the Straight Pride Parade and counter-protesters Saturday. Counter-protesters booed and yelled chants, including ''Boston hates you,'' from the street as parade organizers held speeches on City Hall plaza.
''The point of being here today is to make sure that they know they are not welcome here in Boston,'' one counter-protester said.
The crowd on Congress Street was much larger than event's actual attendees.
The parade was organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America. Founder John Hugo told WBZ-TV on Friday, ''Straight is great. We love being straight. And there's nothing wrong with celebrating our sexual orientation.
Counter-protesters were kept to the street, a distance away from the Straight Pride Parade participants near the stage on City Hall Plaza (WBZ-TV)
Hours before the Straight Pride Parade was scheduled to begin on Saturday, counter-protesters of the event began to congregate at City Hall. By about 10 a.m., 200 people had gathered.
''We're here to celebrate our community. We're here to show up in the face of hate with love and joy,'' one man said. ''We should celebrate our differences and celebrate the ways in which people from all backgrounds have contributed to this country.''
Another man had pointed words for the Straight Pride Parade organizers, ''The organizers of the Straight Pride Parade have long and well-documented ties to white supremacists and anti-immigrant movements. In general, they are fascists who believe that they are the only acceptable type of being.''
While the group waited for the parade to arrive, they played music and held their own rally.
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VIDEO - Surgeon General "This Ain't Your Mother's Marijuana!" (Cannabis Will NEVER Be Legal Under Trump!) - YouTube
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VIDEO - Tom Elliott on Twitter: ".@nytdavidbrooks urges Dems: "The number one job is to get Trump out of office.'' https://t.co/zgc1Bu8Jzx" / Twitter
Sun, 01 Sep 2019 11:34
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VIDEO - Epstein Victim Reveals Unspeakable Horrors When 5 Years Old at Domed Temple on Orgy Island (Video) '' The Millennium Report
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VIDEO - Who Told it Better? Dave Chappelle vs Owen Benjamin - YouTube
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VIDEO - Dueling protests break out at "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston - YouTube
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 22:56
VIDEO - (1) All In w/Chris Hayes on Twitter: "WATCH: @chrislhayes on the electoral college: ''The weirdest thing about the electoral college is the fact that if it wasn't specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional.'
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 21:59
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VIDEO - Philadelphia Declares Public Health Emergency For Hepatitis A Outbreak '' CBS Philly
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 19:02
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) '-- Philadelphia has declared a public health emergency as hepatitis A cases continue to skyrocket. A major source of the problem is human feces on city streets.
The outbreak is centered in the Kensington area, and city leaders say it's mostly impacting the homeless community and drug users. But they say we all could be at risk.
''I know they're trying to help and down in Kensington, we don't get help down here,'' Kensington resident Niyad Vaughn said.
Help is on the way to deal with the hepatitis A outbreak. It began with the health department declaring a public emergency Thursday.
''The emergency declaration is to call the healthcare community to partner with us rapidly, to administer vaccines to as many of these folks as we can, as soon as we can, to quell this outbreak,'' Dr. Steven Alles, with the Philadelphia Department of Health, said.
Possible Hazmat Situation Forces Evacuation Of Hotel In Upper Saucon Township
Since January, 154 people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, compared to just 21 cases in all of 2018.
Officials want to vaccinate those most at risk '-- drug users and the homeless.
''Vaccinate them against hepatitis A and protect them from getting this and stop this outbreak,'' Alles said.
In addition to the pop-up shot clinics '-- like one this week in Kensington's McPherson Park '-- the city will install hand-washing stations in the next couple of weeks to help contain the contagious virus.
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The city also intends to provide public toilets and facilities.
''Great idea to keep us safe and keep our health and bodies clean,'' resident Lupo Vaughn said.
The city says the emergency will stay in effect until the health commissioner believes the outbreak is contained.
CBS3's Howard Monroe reports.
CBS3 Staff
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Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:32
VIDEO - Austin city leaders host third forum addressing homelessness | kvue.com
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 15:33
HOMELESS The Austin City Council met again to discuss what to do about the growing homelessness situation in Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- The Austin City Council and other leaders met again in front of hundreds of people on Thursday to discuss the growth of homelessness in the city.
The council met earlier this summer and made several changes to the ordinances concerning homelessness. Mayor Steve Adler said he expects to hear from the city manager regarding his plans for addressing homelessness on Friday.
In July, a public forum hosted by the Downtown Austin Alliance specifically addressed the camping and sit or lie ordinances that went into effect at the beginning of July. There were an estimated 300 people in attendance at that meeting.
Some of the talking points included the expansion of homeless shelters in Austin and how the City is looking to place shelters in each council district.
Earlier this month, City leaders hosted a town hall to discuss the recent homeless ordinance changes and what's next for tackling the homelessness issues the City is facing. Leaders discussed the importance of expanding housing, addressing mental health and addiction issues and expanding public-private partnership. Over 700 people attended that meeting.
Although much was discussed at these previous meetings, citizens still have their concerns.
WATCH: The City's plans for creating more homeless shelters in Austin
The third forum was held at Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.
Adler and Austin Police Chief Brian Manley were both in attendance, along with a number of other panelists.
"Just hearing what the perceptions are and what are the concerns of people is a really valuable thing because it helps us know what are the hot areas that we know we need to respond to," Adler said.
Housing was another hot topic at Thursday's forum. This time, panelists put more emphasis on what needs to be done while housing is being figured out.
Some called for emergency shelters, while other panelists put emphasis on the importance of the availability of wrap-around services.
People had mixed feelings leaving the meeting. Some left early out of frustration, while others said they were thankful for a chance to voice their concerns.
There is another forum planned for Tuesday night.
You can watch the entire forum here:
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Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:
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VIDEO - Wyclef Jean On If Michael Jackson Should Have Been Removed From VMA's '' Variety
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 04:58
August 30, 2019 9:52AM PTThe Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which is arguably the VMAs' highest honor, was shrouded with controversy this year, long before the show even happened. In the weeks leading up to Sunday night's show, rumor had it that MTV would drop Jackson's name from the honor, following the cloud cast over his legacy after HBO aired the docuseries, ''Leaving Neverland,'' which showcases two men reviving allegations of childhood sexual abuse against the singer (the Jackson estate is suing HBO over the film).
While Jackson's name officially remained on the award '-- as confirmed by a press release announcing Missy Elliott as this year's recipient '-- his name was rarely mentioned during the broadcast and in promos. However, Elliott did say during her acceptance speech, ''The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award means so much to me'' and also thanked MJ's sister, Janet Jackson.
But how did artists at the show feel about the issue? Variety caught up with two of them before the show, Wyclef Jean '-- who worked with Jackson briefly on a recording session in 1997 for a remix of a track, which never saw the light of day '-- and Naughty by Nature, and asked whether they felt the singer's name should be removed from the Video Vanguard Award.
Jean said that it's unfair to penalize the late singer unless allegations against him are proven. ''At the end of the day, I feel unless someone is there to defend themselves, [unless] something is proven in the court, it's just hard for me,'' Jean said, walking the red carpet with his wife and daughter. ''At the end of the day, I feel like if the person is not here to defend themselves, my opinion is going to be based on my family.''
Jean has previously spoken about Jackson's inspiration on his career, calling him ''my musical God.'' After his death, Jean said, ''He made me believe that all things are possible, and through real and positive music. He can live forever! I love Michael Jackson. God Bless him.''
Naughty by Nature, who joined fellow New Jersey natives Jean, Queen Latifah, Redman and Fetty Wap for a show-closing performance celebrating their home state and the site of the 2019 VMAs, had a stronger opinion, telling Variety that if MTV were to drop Jackson's name, they should drop the award altogether. (The first Vanguard award was presented at the inaugural VMAs in 1984; Jackson's name was added in 1991.)
''They should have dropped the idea of dropping his name,'' Naughty By Nature's Vin Rock said to Variety. ''Mike is the man. He's the epitome of an artist, a musician, overall talent, so you can never take away his body of work, so to have a statue or an award named after him, that should definitely stay.
''You've got to drop the whole award if you drop his name. Just drop it,'' DJ Kay Jee added. ''The music stands for itself and stands the test of time, and I don't think it's fair that he's not here anymore to even be able to defend himself versus a lot of things that's going on. So definitely, if you're going to drop his name, drop the award.''
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There's no stopping Mike Posner. The 31-year-old rapper was in the middle of a cross-country trek on foot when a rattlesnake bit him in the leg, landing Posner in the ICU for multiple days. Now, after a three-week break, the ''Cooler Than Me'' singer was spotted on Aug. 28, back in the same spot he [...]
If Natasha Bedingfield had an affiliated word bubble, you'd probably find such terms as perky, sunshine and empowerment. It wouldn't be wrong. Those vibes are precisely what made hits out of ''The Hills'' anthem ''Unwritten'' or the unshakable earworm ''Pocketful of Sunshine.'' They're the type of songs most of the world expected of her. She [...]
Billie Eilish slammed the German edition of Nylon magazine for its recent cover of her, which depicts her as a bald, topless sort of robot. ''what the f'-- is this s'--,'' Eilish wrote in a comment on Nylon's original Instagram post, which has since been deleted. ''1. i was never approached by nylon about this [...]
Without pushing this analogy past the breaking point, it's not surprising that Lana Del Rey and Quentin Tarantino are often mentioned in the same sentence, because their art is similar in so many ways. Both are that rare phenomenon: the superstar cult figure whose highly individual art exists outside the mainstream but has an audience [...]
It's official, Taylor Swift's ''Lover'' is an international hit. The global superstar set a new record in China this week after her latest album ''Lover'' became the most consumed, international full-length album in the country in 2019, more than doubling the previous record for album consumption within the first week. According to Universal Music Group, [...]
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Sat, 31 Aug 2019 01:14
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VIDEO - Bankrupt FIU Bridge Contractor Accused of Acting in 'Bad Faith' - NBC 6 South Florida
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:27
MCM was the general contractor on the FIU pedestrian bridge project, but was stripped of its FDOT certification after it collapsed in March 2018. By Tony PipitonePublished Aug 20, 2019 at 7:31 PM | Updated at 5:43 AM EDT on Aug 21, 2019 NEWSLETTERS Receive the latest local updates in your inboxThe trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of FIU bridge contractor MCM Tuesday accused the company of acting in "bad faith," by seeking to transfer any remaining assets to companies owned by the current owners' children and a wife.
In objecting to MCM's statement summarizing its plan for Chapter 11 reorganization, trustee attorney Johanna Armengol said the purported separation between MCM and the "new equity holder" would be "illusory," adding the assets "ultimately reap to the benefit of the family."
The new company, Frigate Holdings LLC, is composed of family members of the five Munilla brothers who own MCM, including the wife of one brother and three children.
Armengol called the plan a thinly veiled attempt at "estate planning," passing control of whatever emerges from bankruptcy to relatives.
Jordi Guso, attorney for Magnum Construction Management (renamed from Munilla Construction Management after the FIU bridge collapsed), rejected that claim.
He said the owners of the companies that would inherit MCM's assets were not part of MCM and would contribute $2 million in equity to the company that emerges.
"The second generation of Munillas is essentially doubling down on this business," Guso said during Tuesday's hearing.
He said they have "contributed, or caused to be contributed" another $11.5 million in value to MCM by pledging real estate interests as collateral for financing that has kept the business operating while seeking bankruptcy reorganization.
Guso said MCM having "no money available" to pay unsecured creditors would not be "bad faith," adding "regrettably there is no money" and "no future contracts at present" in what was once a $200 million pipeline of potential business.
MCM was the general contractor on the FIU pedestrian bridge project, but was stripped of its FDOT certification after it collapsed in March 2018, essentially preventing it from doing transportation projects and getting bonding for other work.
Judge A. Jay Cristol said he sensed "a bad smell" lingering over the plan, because creditors "would get nothing ... That concerns me."
"If this is a dirty deal and bad faith," then the plan could not be ultimately be approved, Cristol said. But, he added, another possibility us the plan "is the best that can be done ... there simply isn't enough money left for people."
The trustee is appointed by the court to investigate the operation of the business in bankruptcy and make sure those owed money by the company recover as much as possible. Others objected to the plan, as well.
The judge gave everyone 14 days to work out their differences on what's called the "disclosure statement" laying out MCM's plan. If they fail, he would rule on the objections.
Ultimately the judge will be asked to approve or reject the reorganization after a confirmation hearing now considered for possibly October.
Not lost in Tuesday's discussions: the fate of $42 million MCM's insurers have contributed to a pool of money for victims of the collapse, including the families of six who died.
Tens of millions more is being contributed by all but one of the 25 defendants in the wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits filed in state court.
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Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:10
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VIDEO - Sweden's Greta Thunberg has completed her sailing trip across the Atlantic. What can we learn from it?
Fri, 30 Aug 2019 00:08
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David Brooks NYTimes repub on staff sez- The number one job is to get Trump out of office - BookTV.mp3
The Addiction Podcast - Barbie Rivera -1- Her own son 28 years ago needed to be 'drugged'.mp3
The Addiction Podcast - Barbie Rivera -2- Her son was taught by the establishment that we was stupid.mp3
The Addiction Podcast - Barbie Rivera -3- Her own home school kids have been on a wide variety of drugs.mp3
The Addiction Podcast - Barbie Rivera -4- Drug companies paying $100 - $5000 for names of kids.mp3
Opiod expert from Stanford Law on NPR 'they make products we want.mp3
MSNBC nonstory about Barr Party At DC Trump Hotel.m4a
Dr. Ball -2- What Mann did AND UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paid for data to justify the claim the humans are causing Global Warming.mp3
Dr. Ball -INTRO- Danielle Smith reads the Michael Mann's statement regarding the lawsuit to Dr. Tim Ball.mp3
CH4 - Climate change, crime and Brexit are some of the issues making children worried, or unhappy.mp3
Dr. Ball -1- Background of the law suit - Dr Ball thinks Michael Mann rewrote Climate History in order to further the Climate Change narrative.mp3
Travel chaos in Hong Kong as protesters disrupt air and rail services.mp3
Brooks Trump is losing it ONE PBS.mp3
Brooks Trump vs Biden PBS.mp3
China Social credit score updte.mp3
confronting beto about fine people.mp3
crazy UVM hate stickers.mp3
dissent in russia PBS.mp3
Dorian report PBS.mp3
epstein update DN.mp3
harvard student from lebanon sotry.mp3
Hong Kong update new twist.mp3
IG Report with Peter King.mp3
israel hamas bombs DN.mp3
lindsey graham on Face the Nation re China.mp3
ms nevada kicked out.mp3
Newshour in depth on Brexit PBS.mp3
north korea submarine report NBC.mp3
proud to be an american.mp3
sakler family story DN.mp3
water scam underway DN.mp3
weird escapees report NBC.mp3
Barr party DN.mp3
best Biden gaffe.mp3
biden story deconstructed.mp3
Brexit news.mp3
Beto Pushes for a Mandatory Gun Buyback and National Gun Registry MEME FEST.mp3
Odessa TV Evac FINAL_01.mp3
BETO Fucked Up ISO.mp3
BETO on CNN guns cursing fucked up.mp3
Dueling protests break out at Straight Pride Parade in Boston -Pride Masquerading as hate.mp3
Straight Pride Parade Counter-Protesters Outnumber Parade Goers.mp3
Philadelphia Declares Public Health Emergency For Hepatitis A Outbreak.mp3
The City's plans for creating more homeless shelters in Austin KVUE.mp3
Community Advocate and APD at Austin Homelessness 'town hall'.mp3
Fox continues on Anti-Marijuhana stories - Surgeon General 'this ain't your mother's marijuhana'.mp3
  • 0:00
    and sucking all the scooters up into the
  • 0:01
    air and then throwing scooters all over
  • 0:03
    the place it's scooter NATO Adam curry
  • 0:12
    episode 11 this is no agenda from
  • 0:28
    northern Silicon Valley where it's a
  • 0:30
    beautiful day in the neighborhood
  • 0:31
    I'm still not gonna see the movie I'm
  • 0:33
    John see Devorah Sunday he's not
  • 0:39
    inspired that's great there goes 3 4 5 6
  • 0:45
    7 8 9 10 10 cars or so there you go
  • 0:51
    thank you for that report
  • 0:53
    you're welcome yes alright just in time
  • 0:57
    so we both got an experience upgrade
  • 0:59
    with our Skype I just wanted to say one
  • 1:05
    thing that I don't understand I after
  • 1:09
    that huge upgrade just before the last
  • 1:11
    show yeah the giant windows upgrade so
  • 1:15
    now when I click on if I open outlook
  • 1:17
    which I use for email any link did I
  • 1:21
    click on it does not open the browser
  • 1:23
    does not open this link I get a dialog
  • 1:26
    box that says something unexpected rent
  • 1:29
    went wrong with this URL and it gives me
  • 1:32
    the URL and that says the file or
  • 1:35
    directory is corrupted and unreadable
  • 1:37
    what the hell is that no idea I got it
  • 1:41
    I've got one what did you get I get mine
  • 1:44
    is I looked it up - this started
  • 1:48
    happening after that big upgrade you're
  • 1:49
    talking about yeah so I go so here's
  • 1:52
    what I do I've got one of my printer I
  • 1:56
    get Photoshop or or fan view whatever it
  • 1:58
    is I go to print and it immediately
  • 2:01
    prompts me to save the file
  • 2:03
    instead of printing oh really and it's
  • 2:06
    not like a PDF printer that's selected
  • 2:08
    or something well first I thought it was
  • 2:10
    something sketchy
  • 2:13
    they just need a reboot because this has
  • 2:16
    been happening you gotta you gotta shut
  • 2:17
    it down shake it and then reboot it and
  • 2:19
    see what happens like an etch-a-sketch
  • 2:20
    so i rebooted it didn't change anything
  • 2:23
    let me try Photoshop I went to Photoshop
  • 2:25
    same thing hit the print but it goes it
  • 2:29
    says save to file your prints pool no
  • 2:35
    doubt or something okay a lot of people
  • 2:42
    it's happened before is this note was
  • 2:45
    from 2012 trying to print a document and
  • 2:48
    the printer props to save the file
  • 2:49
    instead of printing it goes on it could
  • 2:52
    somebody help and there's no the help is
  • 2:53
    bullcrap there's no help as usual and
  • 2:56
    all these online when it comes to
  • 2:58
    Windows there's no help I just I just
  • 3:01
    recommend before we always recommend
  • 3:02
    here on the show just jiggle the handle
  • 3:04
    a little bit one of the solutions was
  • 3:09
    this reinstall the printer drivers oh
  • 3:16
    you you print a lot of stuff are you
  • 3:19
    whining I want to make sure this was
  • 3:21
    phenomenon that was just something to do
  • 3:24
    with the printer and I rebooted it yeah
  • 3:26
    so I went to the browser
  • 3:28
    let me just print a browser page yeah or
  • 3:31
    let me take the document that I was
  • 3:32
    gonna print in or a fan view and just
  • 3:35
    grab it and throw it under the browser
  • 3:37
    where it's now printable okay so I hit
  • 3:40
    the print button on the browser printed
  • 3:42
    fine huh great
  • 3:48
    [Music]
  • 3:56
    there you go there's Fletcher exactly it
  • 4:02
    sucks
  • 4:03
    anyway that's so much for our tech news
  • 4:06
    this morning very happy to bring that to
  • 4:08
    the everybody that's right well we had a
  • 4:10
    another shooting in Texas yesterday mass
  • 4:14
    shooting and this news I was watching
  • 4:20
    that football yeah well it was big here
  • 4:23
    of course well what the report that came
  • 4:25
    out first was two shooters one in Odessa
  • 4:28
    one in Midland the Midland is right to
  • 4:31
    the west of Texas and Odessa is down the
  • 4:34
    road further to the west of Texas so
  • 4:36
    they the first reports were you know 30
  • 4:39
    shots two different shooters two
  • 4:41
    different cities of course you know this
  • 4:44
    was not what it turned out to be and I
  • 4:48
    tuned into what station was this it was
  • 4:51
    the Odessa television station we know
  • 4:54
    that one part now these guys are in the
  • 4:56
    mall where there was no shooting but
  • 4:59
    they're in the mall it's one of those
  • 5:01
    setups where you have offices and etc
  • 5:03
    and radio stations used to have that I
  • 5:05
    guess this TV station people can look
  • 5:07
    through the window and see the TV studio
  • 5:09
    we know that one person has been taken
  • 5:11
    into custody that's all we know we don't
  • 5:12
    know about person that may have also
  • 5:15
    been involved there are multiple scenes
  • 5:17
    around town a lot of people saying is
  • 5:19
    videos of officers here and there we're
  • 5:22
    just seeing people oh we're running
  • 5:24
    through the most right going on over
  • 5:25
    here we're not sure what's going on at
  • 5:27
    the mall we probably need to get off
  • 5:32
    what happened here is people started
  • 5:36
    running past their windows so they panic
  • 5:47
    everywhere now five people did get
  • 5:51
    killed and we don't know very much about
  • 5:52
    it other than or at least as of this
  • 5:54
    morning it was one guy who was pulled
  • 5:57
    over on the road between Midland and
  • 6:00
    Odessa traffic stop he gets out shoots
  • 6:03
    the cop right away and then dry
  • 6:04
    to Odesa just shooting people on the
  • 6:06
    highway and i don't know what what
  • 6:09
    weapon he was using it seems like if
  • 6:11
    you're driving and shooting yeah a
  • 6:15
    handgun might be easier but he killed
  • 6:17
    five people and wounded at least 20
  • 6:19
    others while driving
  • 6:21
    apparently and then he stole a mail
  • 6:23
    truck and that's where they ultimately
  • 6:25
    got him and they got him in the mail
  • 6:27
    truck and they shot him dead so we may
  • 6:30
    never know exactly what was going on but
  • 6:32
    thank goodness Beto O'Rourke right away
  • 6:34
    went out to to go and politicize
  • 6:37
    everything so always about politics it's
  • 6:40
    not about these families these people
  • 6:44
    the people affected know right away we
  • 6:46
    got to go to politics cuz and then you
  • 6:48
    do it with us into your face like Beto
  • 6:49
    and then you know what when you're on
  • 6:51
    CNN throw in some of your curse words
  • 6:53
    he's been really good at that lately and
  • 6:55
    he seems to be gaining traction the
  • 6:57
    rhetoric that we've used the thoughts
  • 6:58
    and prayers that you just referred to it
  • 7:01
    has done nothing to stop the epidemic of
  • 7:03
    gun violence to protect our kids our
  • 7:06
    fans no stop so people are now bitching
  • 7:08
    and moaning they've been doing this for
  • 7:09
    a while about and it's mainly Democrat
  • 7:13
    Twitter were yelling at Republican
  • 7:15
    Twitter and it goes something like this
  • 7:22
    they're all bitching about these
  • 7:24
    thoughts and prayers the very same
  • 7:26
    people when a celebrity dies will say
  • 7:29
    r.i.p love and light you know it's it's
  • 7:33
    kind of stupid the epidemic of gun
  • 7:34
    violence and to protect our kids our
  • 7:37
    families our fellow Americans in public
  • 7:39
    places at a Walmart in El Paso we're 22
  • 7:42
    were killed in Sutherland Springs in a
  • 7:45
    church one or two a day all over this
  • 7:47
    country a hundred killed daily in the
  • 7:50
    United States of America we're averaging
  • 7:52
    about 300 mass shootings a year mass
  • 7:57
    shootings determined as what is it three
  • 7:59
    or more people hit by gunfire in one
  • 8:04
    incident I think this very is a very low
  • 8:07
    standard no other country comes close so
  • 8:10
    yes this is fucked up and if we don't
  • 8:12
    call it out for what it is
  • 8:14
    oh yeah
  • 8:16
    don't care man he'll just say whatever
  • 8:18
    he needs to say just to you out about
  • 8:20
    yeah I would send in a complaint to the
  • 8:22
    FCC Amy yes this is fucked up it's
  • 8:24
    closed so yes this is fucked up and if
  • 8:27
    we don't call it out for what it is if
  • 8:29
    we're not able to speak clearly if we're
  • 8:31
    not able to act decisively then we will
  • 8:33
    continue to have this kind of bloodshed
  • 8:35
    in America and I cannot accept that and
  • 8:38
    so we're gonna sleep as defiantly and as
  • 8:41
    strongly as we can but we're also gonna
  • 8:43
    take action
  • 8:43
    universal background checks so I thought
  • 8:47
    that would be good I so for the end of
  • 8:48
    show yes this is fucked up what do you
  • 8:53
    think yeah you got something better