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Social Media Platform VOAT Goes Offline, Top Site in ‘Drain the Swamp’ Fight – Users Suspect Deep State Interference …Update: Back Up

VOAT was taken offline on Saturday morning. VOAT is a news aggregator and social networking service where registered community members can submit content such as text posts and direct links. VOAT prides itself on being free from censorship. VOAT is despised by the left and the deep state apparatus. If you go to https://voat.co, although hopefully it is back up by the time you get this. Just now I got the following at that site: HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable. A daily user wrote The Gateway Pundit on Saturday morning to tell us. This is the first time…

The Unholy Alliance Between DNA Sites and Facial Recognition

Technology that was once only seen in dystopian science fiction is rapidly infecting real life. Two means of collecting personal data – DNA databases and facial recognition software – are forming an unholy alliance, and the privacy implications could be devastating. Privacy concerns surrounding DNA and facial recognition aren’t anything new. As the popularity of DNA genealogy websites like Ancestry DNA and 23andMe increase, so do questions over who has access to that data and how it will be used. The use of facial recognition and other biometric data technology is on the rise, and people are expressing concerns (and…

Sources Say Facebook Wanted Financial Data For Years

Facebook may be under fire for how it handles the data on its more than two billion monthly active users, but the social media company has been trying to get its hands on financial information from the financial services firms for years, reported The Wall Street Journal. According to the report, which cites people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by the paper, as late as 2017 Facebook urged financial firms to let them use customer data that comes from its Messenger platform for advertising and other initiatives. Several financial firms that were concerned about privacy reached agreements with…

DHS Database To Track ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ And Independent Journalists

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will track influential independent journalists, bloggers and ‘conspiracy theorists’ through a centralized, searchable database. According to a publicly posted job listing, the DHS “Media Monitoring” initiative is seeking a contractor who can provide DHS with the ability to track over 290,000 journalists who influence online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, and social media platforms. Zerohedge.com reports: “Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers,” according to the job call, in order to help DHS agencies fulfill “a critical need to…

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile Hit With FCC Complaint Over Sale of Phone Location Data

On Friday, multiple activist groups and telecommunications experts filed a complaint with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) centering on how AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon sold their customers’ real-time location data to third parties without those customers’ informed consent. The move comes after multiple Motherboard investigations into how telecom companies either sold their customers’ data, or allowed it to fall into the wrong hands. “The Carriers’ actions have threatened public safety, contrary to Congress’ directive that the Commission ensure communications networks promote safety of life and property. The Carriers’ improper disclosure of location information enabled stalkers, people posing as police…

Study finds that a GPS outage would cost $1 billion per day

Since becoming fully operational in 1995, Global Positioning System technology has become widely adopted in the United States and abroad. The concept of satellite-based navigation has become so essential that other world powers, including China, Russia, the European Union, India, and Japan, have all started building their own regional or global systems. Now, one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject has assessed the value of this GPS technology to the US economy and examined what effect a 30-day outage would have—whether it’s due to a severe space weather event or “nefarious activity by a bad actor.” The study…

In Court, Facebook Blames Users for Destroying Their Own Right to Privacy

In April 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat before members of both houses of Congress and told them his company respected the privacy of the roughly two billion people who use it. “Privacy” remained largely undefined throughout Zuckerberg’s televised flagellations, but he mentioned the concept more than two dozen times, including when he told the Senate’s Judiciary and Commerce committees, “We have a broader responsibility to protect people’s privacy even beyond” a consent decree from federal privacy regulators, and when he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “We believe that everyone around the world deserves good privacy controls.” A…

Scientists Create “Deepfake” Software Allowing Anyone To Edit Anything Anyone Says On Video

Scientists at Stanford are doing their part to create what will be an inevitable dystopian nightmare. The staff at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Princeton University and Adobe Research have developed software that allows you to now edit and change what people are saying in videos, allowing anyone to edit anybody into saying anything, according to Observer.  The software uses machine learning and 3-D models of the target’s face to generate new footage which allows the user to change, edit and remove words that are coming out of a person’s mouth on video, simply by typing in new text.…

Hackers That Took Down Saudi Oil Site Probing U.S. Power Grid

A group of hackers that shut down a Saudi Arabian oil and natural gas facility in 2017 is now targeting electric utilities, according to the cybersecurity company Dragos Inc. The group, Xenotime, has been probing utilities in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions since late 2018, Hanover, Maryland-based Dragos said in a blog post Friday. They’ve focused mostly on electronic control systems that manage the operations at industrial sites, Dragos said. U.S. officials have long warned grids are acutely vulnerable to cyber attacks. Disrupting a region’s electrical infrastructure could cause widespread chaos, triggering blackouts and crippling financial markets, transportation systems and…

U.S. Government security keys vulnerable to hackers, for the dumbest imaginable reason

Physical security keys, like those sold by Yubico, Thetis and Kensington, are a great way to lock down your digital lives. They also tend to be wicked fast compared to the wait you have to put on while you’re waiting for a 2FA password to arrive via SMS or typing in a verification code from an app like Google Authenticator. Unless of course said security key is deeply, deeply borked. From Engadget: Yubico is recalling a line of security keys used by the U.S. government due to a firmware flaw. The company issued a security advisory today that warned of…

Google Stadia Is About To Show Everyone Why Broadband Usage Caps Are Bullshit

We’ve noted for years how broadband providers have increasingly imposed arbitrary, confusing, and punitive usage caps and overage fees to cash in on the lack of competition in US broadband. Not only have industry executives admitted these limits aren’t technically necessary, they’ve increasingly been abused to hamstring competitors. AT&T, for example, doesn’t impose the limits on its broadband customers who use its streaming video service (DirecTV Now), but will impose the added charges if you use a competitor like Netflix. For more than a decade ISPs have slowly but surely imposed such limits hoping that consumers wouldn’t notice (think of…

‘The Left Has Won The Culture Wars. Now They’re Just Driving Around Shooting Survivors’

Joe Rogan and entrepreneur Naval Ravikant discussed how the left has been able to win “culture wars” by controlling social media platforms. Their discussion comes as Big Tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have made moves to increase censorship of users and platforms that they say are in violation of their respective rules and codes of conduct — many of whom are politically right-leaning. Some large media companies such as the New York Times and Vox argue that the act of removing users for spreading hate speech radicalizes young people. “One great tweet I saw was, ‘The left…

Jordan Peterson Close To Launching “Anti-Censorship” Social Media Platform

Psychologist and author Jordan B. Peterson announced this week that progress on Thinkspot, his subscription-based “anti-censorship” social media platform, has the project closer to launch. Peterson and his team are beta testing the product, which he calls “an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse”, according to the Washington Times. It comes at a time when social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest have been accused of arbitrarily enforcing vague terms of service and overreaching in their left-wing biased policing of their respective platforms. “Announcing Thinkspot: a new online communication platform (as promised post-Patreon),” Peterson wrote Wednesday on Facebook. Recall,…

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers. Whitney WEBB With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media…

Facebook Shares Fall Amid Reports Zuckerberg May Have Wilfully Ignored Privacy Violations

The world’s biggest social media site has been wrestling with accusations that it allowed third parties access to personal user data. The news that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg could have been aware of his company’s questionable privacy practices but failed to refer them to federal agencies did not go over well with investors, with Facebook shares tumbling 2 percent on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the WSJ said that Facebook had unearthed internal e-mails dating back to 2012, which “appear to show Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company”. The emails appear to indicate that…

Tesla says solar roof is on its third iteration, currently installing in 8 states

Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever installations of the Tesla solar roof, after opening up orders for the product in the second quarter of that year. Musk noted during the company’s Q2 2017 earnings call that both himself and Tesla CTO JB Straubel had the tiles installed and operating on their homes. The company also announced last…

Hackers stole a US Customs and Border Patrol facial recognition database

Data from facial recognition scans performed by US Customs and Border Patrol on travelers crossing at an unnamed lander border point (an anonymous source says it’s a US-Canada crossing) have been stolen by hacker or hackers unknown. The CBP doesn’t know how many records were leaked, but estimates the number at less than 100k. The CBP refused to state which contractor breached the data, but the memo it sent to the Washington Post about the breach was titled “CBP Perceptics Public Statement” and since Perceptics is a CBP contractor that does facial recognition (as well as license plate cameras and…

WhatsApp pledges to SUE users over off-platform misbehavior

WhatsApp is threatening users who violate its rules with lawsuits, even if the only evidence of “rule-breaking” exists outside of the Facebook-owned messaging app and the only judge is an AI. “WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse… even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform,” the company warned in an ominous FAQ entry posted on Monday. Off-platform evidence of ban-worthy behaviors, including “automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use,” could trigger not just “technological enforcement” but legal repercussions, the post warned – and…

New Cars To Be Equipped With Breathalyzers, Drivers Given Mental Health Assessments

If you thought the TAPS Act was bad, wait until you read this. Our politicians are hard at work introducing bills that promise to turn America into a mirror image of China. Rep. Kathleen Rice’s H.R. 3374 bill, otherwise known as the End Drunk Driving Act, would put breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices in every new car. According to the LI Herald, Rice wants to force auto manufacturers to put breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices in new cars by 2029. “The End Drunk Driving Act would mandate that, within 10 years, all cars sold nationwide come equipped with technology that would detect a driver’s…

How NeoCon Billionaire Paul Singer Is Driving the Outsourcing of US Tech Jobs to Israel

WASHINGTON — With nearly 6 million Americans unemployed and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel — a trend that has largely escaped media attention or concern from even “America first” politicians. The fact that this massive transfer of investment and jobs has been so overlooked is particularly striking given that it is largely the work of a single leading neoconservative Republican donor who has given millions of dollars to President Donald Trump. To…

A Year Later, U.S. Government Websites Are Still Redirecting to Hardcore Porn

Dozens of U.S. government websites appear to contain a flaw enabling anyone to generate URLs with their domains that redirect users to external sites, a handy tool for criminals hoping to infect users with malware or fool them into surrendering personal information. Gizmodo first reported a year ago that a wide variety of U.S. government sites were misconfigured, allowing porn bots to create links that redirected visitors to sites with colorful names like “HD Dog Sex Girl” and “Two Hot Russians Love Animal Porn.” Among those affected was the Justice Department’s Amber Alert site, links from which apparently redirected users…

How to turn your Apple Watch into a source of constant terror and dread

A friend was recently telling me about some IOS app they felt I should share on Boing Boing. The app reminds them, once daily to take a moment and appreciate themselves for who they are, be grateful for their time on Earth, and enjoy the opportunity to be here on this unique planet! You know, all that shit. I told this friend, “Friend, I don’t need that! I have an Apple Watch.“ My Apple Watch plays a key role in managing my mental and physical fitness. The watch serves me in two ways: My lower back pain is marginally better.…

Google Confirms Some Android Smartphones Had Pre-Installed Backdoor Malware

The malware was detected three years ago but was later found to have evolved. Hackers began to embed it in the firmware of low-priced Android smartphones, which were primarily sold in China. Google has confirmed that some Android devices had come with pre-installed backdoors right out of the box. As first reported by the Russia-based cybersecurity provider Kaspersky Lab back in 2016, the malware, called Triada, was initially a Trojan that would obtain root privileges and display intrusive ads on a user’s phone. Google virus analysts managed to wipe it out from all Android devices, but in the summer of 2017 it became clear that Triada had evolved from a rooting Trojan into a…

iOS 13 now shows a map of where apps have been tracking you when requesting permission

Apple continued its strong focus on privacy with the announcement of iOS 13 this week. The update includes several new privacy features, including a more detailed view of how apps have been using your location in the background. As you can see in the screenshots above, iOS 13 presents popup notifications when an app is using your location in the background. The notification also shows a map of the location data a specific app has tracked. The above screenshots show location data tracked by the Tesla app as well as the Apple Store app. In addition to showing the map,…

For two hours, a large chunk of European mobile traffic was rerouted through China

For more than two hours on Thursday, June 6, a large chunk of European mobile traffic was rerouted through the infrastructure of China Telecom, China’s third-largest telco and internet service provider (ISP). The incident occurred because of a BGP route leak at Swiss data center colocation company Safe Host, which accidentally leaked over 70,000 routes from its internal routing table to the Chinese ISP. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is used to reroute traffic at the ISP level, has been known to be problematic to work with, and BGP leaks happen all the time. However, there are safeguards and…

Puncture-Proof Tires Revealed by GM and Michelin

Could a tire be puncture-free, better for the environment, and minimize danger on roads? It sounds almost too good to be true. But, General Motors (GM) and Michelin have teamed up to execute exactly that, creating an airless tire.  The tire will be called Uptis, and is due to launch in 2024.  “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System” “Uptis” as it is more simply called, was first unveiled at the Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility in 2017. The aim is for a complete reshuffle of conventional wheels and tires, so that they are fully replaced as an assembly unit for passenger cars.  GM’s plan…

Maine governor signs bill banning internet providers from selling consumer data without consent

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed into law one of the nation’s strongest privacy bills on Thursday, banning internet service providers (ISPs) from using, selling or distributing consumer data without their consent. The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information would prohibit any ISPs in Maine from refusing to serve a customer, penalizing them or offering a discount in order to pressure consumers into allowing the ISP to sell their data. The law will take effect on July 1. Maine is one of the first states to take that step after California passed its own strict privacy law last year, setting off a flurry…

Doomed: Vending machine “sells likes and follows”

Quick Fix is an art installation—a vending machine—that sells likes and followers for your social media accounts. The products in the machine are easy to change. It can sell likes and followers for the following platforms: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. The coin acceptor can be setup so it accepts any currency in the world. Every order is saved in a database and its saved with the location of the exhibition, date, city, country. Quick Fix is commissioned by Pixelache in Helsinki and was produced in Dries [Depoorter’s] studio in Ghent, Belgium. Quick Fix premiered at Pixelache festival on 19 May…

Hillary Clinton Chosen as Keynote Speaker at Event on Cybersecurity – Yes, Really

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been selected as the keynote speaker of the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on October 7-10. Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, commented that, “Secretary Clinton’s extensive knowledge of foreign policy, her firsthand experience on the front lines of diplomacy, and her understanding of the challenges facing open, democratic societies give her a unique perspective on some of the most pressing conversations shaping our world today,” according to Business Wire. FireEye announced on Twitter, “We are pleased to announce that Former…

Apple Is Still Trying to Sue the Owner of an Independent iPhone Repair Shop

Despite initially losing the case last year, Apple is continuing its legal pursuit against the owner of a small, independent iPhone repair shop in Norway. Apple is attempting to hold the repair shop owner liable for importing what it says are counterfeit iPhone screens into his home country of Norway. Last year, Apple sued Henrik Huseby, the owner of an independent smartphone repair shop called PCKompaniet in the town of Ski, Norway. Apple sent Huseby a letter notifying him that a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S screens had been seized by Norwegian customs, and said that he must…

Google confirms that advanced backdoor came preinstalled on Android devices

Criminals in 2017 managed to get an advanced backdoor preinstalled on Android devices before they left the factories of manufacturers, Google researchers confirmed on Thursday. Triada first came to light in 2016 in articles published by Kaspersky here and here, the first of which said the malware was “one of the most advanced mobile Trojans” the security firm’s analysts had ever encountered. Once installed, Triada’s chief purpose was to install apps that could be used to send spam and display ads. It employed an impressive kit of tools, including rooting exploits that bypassed security protections built into Android and the…

DailyMail: 50% Drop In Traffic After Google June 2019 Core Update

Jesus Mendez, the SEO Director at MailOnline, which operators DailyMail.co.uk, has admitted publicly that the site took a massive hit by the June 2019 Google core update which began rolling out June 3rd. He said the site “lost 50% of daily traffic” because of this Google update. [Update: I want to be clear, I did not verify that Jesus Mendez actually posted this. It could have technically been someone who has something against him or the publication and posted using his name. Anyone can post under anyone else’s name without verification by Google. Also, if I would have asked prior…

Ring & Law Enforcement Use Walk Lights And Flood Lights To Spread Fear

I thought that after writing two articles about the dangers of purchasing Ring doorbells, there could not possibly be anything else to warn people about, but boy was I mistaken. Big Brother has found a new way to spread fear and paranoia to neighborhoods. Besides using the obvious, like equipping homes with facial recognition doorbells and creating neighborhood watchlists, Ring is taking it up a notch. Not much was made of Ring’s acquisition of Mr.Beams lights last year, a fact that I also overlooked. The above video, explains how Ring plans to spread fear by creating a network of spying walk…

Google Fires Conservative Employee After He Slams Company’s ‘Outrage Mobs, Witch Hunts’ – Reports

Last month, a Google employee penned an article about the US tech giant, describing it as a place where “outrage mobs and witch hunts dominate its culture” – something that, as he put it, has become an “existential threat” to the company’s credibility. Google fired Mike Wacker, a conservative software engineer, after he published a post on Medium in which he suggested that the company’s “outrage mobs” and “witch hunts” target both outsiders and insiders, including its own employees, The Daily Caller reported. While the article was penned on 21 May, Wacker was reportedly put on paid administrative leave last…

Hackers May Soon Be Able to Tell What You’re Typing—Just By Hearing You Type

Thanks to the increasing sophistication of smartphone technology, hackers soon may be able to intercept and analyze the sounds of typing—and figure out exactly what people are writing on their devices. A growing body of academic research suggests that acoustic signals, or sound waves, produced when we type on our phones could be used by hackers to glean text messages, passwords, PINs and other private information. Such attacks could occur, experts say, if smartphone users were to download an app infected with malware that gains access to such smartphone sensors as microphones, accelerometers and gyroscopes. One recent study, one of…

European legal official OKs orders that force Facebook to globally remove insults to politicians like “oaf” and “fascist” (as well as synonyms)

Austria has incredibly broad libel laws — so broad that they prohibit disgruntled voters from calling politicians “oafs” or “fascists.” Predictably, this gave rise to a legal dispute between an Austrian politician and Facebook, when the former ordered the latter to remove a comment containing these two insults, and the whole mess ended up before the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU — a person whose decisions are not binding, but are incredibly legally influential. The Advocate General not only ruled that Facebook can be ordered to block insults to politicians globally (that is, insults to…

Apple wants to sell you a $1,000 stand so you can use its new $5,000 monitor

Apple just announced the Pro Display XDR, a $5,000 32-inch Retina 6K monitor designed to give users the highest possible grade of visual fidelity with more than a billion dynamic colors and an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. While the Pro Display XDR boasts an impressive list of features, its expensive price tag puts it far outside the range of most consumer-level monitors. On top of the $5,000 cost of the monitor, buyers will also need to pony up another $1,000 if they want a proper stand, since the Pro Display XDR is really just the screen alone. The Pro Stand…

Apple announces all-new redesigned Mac Pro, starting at $5,999

Having admitted that its glossy “trash can” Mac Pro of 2013 was a mistake, Apple has long promised that the next update to its most professional computer line would be a return to more modular, less thermally constrained computing. That is being realized today at WWDC 2019 with the official debut of an all-new redesigned Apple Mac Pro. Although it’s a new design, the 2019 Mac Pro is also a throwback to Apple’s classic “cheese grater” look. The interior is structured for modularity and flexibility, addressing one of the big pain points of the outgoing Mac Pro design. The new…

YouTube pushes children’s videos to pedophiles through content recommendation engine

A mom in Brazil became concerned as she watched the viewing numbers on innocent backyard clip her daughter posted to YouTube suddenly climb hundreds of thousands of views. The child posted a video of herself and a friend playing in the family pool. YouTube’s recommendation engine had been suggesting the video as recommended content to viewers who’d just watched other videos that contained sexually oriented video content. YouTube’s AI sexualized her kid and pushed her image to pedophiles. This happens a lot, apparently. “YouTube’s algorithm has been curating home movies of unwitting families into a catalog of semi-nude kids,” tweeted…

Did The Government Just Test The Internet Kill Switch?

At 3pmET, it appears that Google Cloud (affecting Gmail, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook among others) mysteriously (and almost unprecedently) went offline. Google Cloud Status Dashboard This page provides status information on the services that are part of Google Cloud Platform. Check back here to view the current status of the services listed below. If you are experiencing an issue not listed here, please contact Support. Learn more about what’s posted on the dashboard in this FAQ. For additional information on these services, please visit cloud.google.com. Google Compute Engine Incident #19003 We are experiencing a multi-region issue with Google Compute…

Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Comcast, Instagram suffer devastating outages as Trump goes to war with Big Tech’s malicious censorship and fraud

It is no coincidence that two days after the Trump administration announced a massive DOJ anti-trust investigation into Google, dozens of tech companies have been disrupted via sweeping internet outages that many are calling the “internet kill switch.” Throughout the day today (Sunday), massive outages took down nearly all Google services (Gmail, Google, YouTube, Google Home, Google Hangouts etc.), and hard-hitting glitches hit all the following services, many of which are engaged in criminal activities that violate human rights and the freedom of speech in America: Gmail / Google / Google services YouTube Facebook Twitter Amazon and Amazon Web Services…

US Government Corrupted Technology for ‘Military Purposes’

Six years after former NSA contractor Snowden shed light on the US government’s questionable intelligence collection efforts, his message about the right to privacy appears to have been largely forgotten. Edward Snowden, a disgraced US intelligence staffer who leaked troves of classified documents, has warned of what he described as the intelligence services’ ever-increasing efforts to build a dystopian borderless social control system. Speaking via a livestream from Russia during the Open Dialogue event at Canada’s Dalhousie University, Snowden argued that US elites have become “absolutely intoxicated” by scientific advances and corrupted human knowledge toward a “military purpose”. “We’re in the midst of the greatest re-distribution of power since the industrial revolution, and this…

An attempt to make Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg step down as the company’s chairman has failed

An attempt to make Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg step down as the company’s chairman has failed. At the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday, shareholders had the opportunity to vote on Mr Zuckerberg’s leadership. Mr Zuckerberg is both Facebook’s chief executive and the chairman of its board of directors. He controls about 60% of the voting power and would only have lost if he voted against himself. Some investors have called for him to step down as chairman as they believe this would help him focus on running the company. One of those investors is Trillium Asset Management, which owns…

This Creepy AI Predicts What You Look Like Based on Your Voice

A new artificial intelligence created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pulls off a staggering feat: by analyzing only a short audio clip of a person’s voice, it reconstructs what they might look like in real life. The AI’s results aren’t perfect, but they’re pretty good – a remarkable and somewhat terrifying example of how a sophisticated AI can make incredible inferences from tiny snippets of data. In a paper published this week to the preprint server arXiv, the team describes how it used trained a generative adversarial network to analyze short voice clips and “match several biometric…

Amazon could face heightened antitrust scrutiny under a new agreement between US regulators

Amazon could face heightened antitrust scrutiny under a new agreement between U.S. regulators that puts it under closer watch by the Federal Trade Commission, three people familiar with the matter said. The move is the result of the FTC and the Department of Justice, the U.S. government’s leading antitrust enforcement agencies, quietly divvying up competition oversight of two of the country’s top tech companies, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the government’s work is confidential. The Justice Department is set to have more jurisdiction over Google, The Washington Post reported on Friday, paving the…

New Website Credder Aims to Fight Fake News, Promote Real Journalism

Do you trust the media? Most people don’t. A 2017 study of nine Western countries found that in not one did a majority of people think traditional news or social media sorted fact from fiction well. Trust in media has been falling since the 1970s, and particularly in the last few years, as alternative media challenged mainstream narratives and companies like Facebook and Google AdSense deprived traditional media of advertising income. Fake news is not reserved only for low-quality, clickbait websites. Some 72 percent of Americans agree that traditional media consistently report stories they know to be false or purposefully…

Apple’s privacy schtick is just an act…iTunes ‘purchase histories sold’ to data slurpers

Apple has been hit with a class-action complaint in the US accusing the iGiant of playing fast and loose with the privacy of its customers. The lawsuit [PDF], filed this month in a northern California federal district court, claims the Cupertino music giant gathers data from iTunes – including people’s music purchase history and personal information – and then sells that info to “data aggregators, data appenders, data cooperatives, list brokers, and other third parties.” “To supplement its revenues and enhance the formidability of its brand in the eyes of mobile application developers, Apple sells, rents, transmits, and/or otherwise discloses,…

The North Face boasts of defacing its Wikipedia article with advertising

AdAge reports that North Face successfully placed advertising into articles at Wikipedia, without other editors of the publicly-editable encyclopedia noticing. This effectively allowed North Face to co-opt the site’s enormous influence in Google search results. According to the agency, the biggest obstacle of the campaign was updating the photos without attracting attention of Wikipedia moderators to sustain the brand’s presence for as long as possible, as site editors could change them at any time. The “hack” worked, at least for a while, evident in a quick Google search of some of the places mentioned in the campaign’s case study video.…

State law proposed in Michigan Senate to ban use of facial biometrics by law enforcement

The Michigan Senate is considering a bill which would ban the use of biometric facial recognition by law enforcement in the state, according to The Libertarian Institute. SB342 was introduced by Sen. Peter Lucido (R), which would impose a broad ban on law enforcement officials obtaining, accessing, or using facial recognition technology, or any information gathered with the technology. The bill defines any such use as a violation of the Fourth Amendment, as well as section 11 or Article I of the state constitution. The bill may be a response to the recent budget proposal by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer,…

If Regulators Won’t Stop The Sale of Cell Phone Users’ Location Data, Consumers Must

A Motherboard investigation revealed in January how any cellphone users’ real-time location could be obtained for $300. The pervasiveness of the practice, coupled with the extreme invasion of people’s privacy, is alarming. The reporting showed there is a vibrant market for location data generated by everyone’s cell phones—information that can be incredibly detailed and provide a window into people’s most sensitive and private activities. The investigation also laid bare that cell phone carriers AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and the many third parties with access to the companies’ location data, have little interest or incentive to stop. This market of your…

Apple Is Selling Your iTunes Listening Data Despite Its Privacy Claims…

Apple Inc. was sued by customers who claim the company is unlawfully disclosing and selling information about people’s iTunes purchases as well as their personal data, contrary to the company’s promise in advertising that “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.” Three iTunes customers from Rhode Island and Michigan sued Friday in federal court in San Francisco seeking to represent hundreds of thousands of residents of their home states who allegedly had their personal listening information disclosed without their consent. The disclosure of iTunes customers’ personal data isn’t only unlawful but can also be dangerous because it allows…

Apple and Samsung desperately want you to buy a new smartphone…

The smartphone industry has a two-part plan to tackle a global slowdown in sales: sell a pricey new type of mobile device that is able to transform into a tablet, and promote phones that can support super high-speed mobile internet standard 5G. But those flashy new features may not be enough to sway people to trade in their old phones immediately, as long as they’re in good condition. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker by shipment volume, earlier this year introduced the Galaxy Fold — a nearly $2,000 foldable smartphone that ran into early issues, which delayed its commercial release.…

HACKED: Perceptics, license plate reader provider for US Border Patrol at Mexico border

Hackers have breached Perceptics, which sells border security technology and license plate reader systems and the like to governments and other entities. The U.S. government uses their readers, including along the US-Mexico border. “The hacker known as ‘Boris Bullet-Dodger’ has published what appears to be internal data belonging to Perceptics, which provides license plate reader technology for the Mexico border,” reports Motherboard. Perceptics has contracts with U.S. Customs, The government of Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Motherboard confirms the breach, and reports that hackers have dumped data online. Excerpt: “We are aware of the breach and have notified our customers.…

First American Financial Corp. Leaked Hundreds of Millions of Title Insurance Records

The Web site for Fortune 500 real estate title insurance giant First American Financial Corp. [NYSE:FAF] leaked hundreds of millions of documents related to mortgage deals going back to 2003, until notified this week by KrebsOnSecurity. The digitized records — including bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and drivers license images — were available without authentication to anyone with a Web browser. Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. It employs some 18,000 people and brought…

Amazon preparing a wearable that ‘reads human emotions,’ says report

In a week of eyebrow-raising headlines surrounding the US-China trade spat, this latest report from Bloomberg still manages to stand out: Amazon is said to be working on a wrist-worn, voice-activated device that’s supposed to be able to read human emotions. This would be a rather novel health gadget, of the sort we’re more used to seeing in tenuous crowdfunding campaigns instead of from one of the world’s biggest tech companies. Bloomberg has spoken to a source and reviewed internal Amazon documents, which reportedly show the Alexa voice software team and Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division are collaborating on the wearable…

Facebook: Another three billion fake profiles culled

Facebook has published its latest “enforcement report“, which details how many posts and accounts it took action on between October 2018 and March 2019. During that six-month period, Facebook removed more than three billion fake accounts – more than ever before. More than seven million “hate speech” posts were removed, also a record high. For the first time, Facebook also reported how many deleted posts were appealed, and how many were put back online after review. In a call with reporters on Thursday, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hit back against numerous calls to break up Facebook, arguing its size made…

Americans believe that they should own the mountains of data produced by their cars, but they don’t

Your car is basically a smartphone with wheels, and it gathers up to 25gb/hour worth of data on you and your driving habits — everything from where you’re going to how much you weigh. Cars gather your financial data, data on the number of kids in the back seat, and, once they’re connected to your phone, data on who you call and text. To the extent that Americans know this is going on, they believe that the data their cars generate rightly belongs to them, and if someone else is accessing it, that it should be with their explicit consent…

A self-appointed wing of the American judicial system is about to make it much harder to fight terms of service

The American Law Institute is a group of 4,000 judges, law profs and lawyers that issues incredibly influential “restatements” of precedents and trends in law, which are then heavily relied upon by judges in future rulings; for seven years they have been working on a restatement of the law of consumer contracts (including terms of service) and now they’re ready to publish. The ALI’s restatement affirms that terms of service are enforceable, even when they are not read by the people they affect, and even if they are written in impentrable legalese that no one could be expected to comprehend.…

Amazon is 3D-scanning people’s bodies in exchange for gift cards

Amazon has been conducting research that involves digital 3D “scans” of people’s bodies in exchange for a $25 Amazon gift card. The e-commerce giant is currently carrying out the image study at two different locations in New York City.  Mashable became aware of the research program after a staff member was targeted with an advertisement on Instagram. The ad led to an online form where would-be participants were able to sign up for a 3D body scan session. The signup page for the study claims that Amazon  takes 3D scans, photos, and videos of study participants, both fully clothed and…

DARPA developing bi-directional wireless brain-to-machine interface to control weapons and other applications, like making you see and feel things

DARPA wants to wirelessly connect human brains to machines, allowing soldiers to fully control weapon systems, view things remotely like a Three-Eyed Raven, or feel stuff remotely. Imagine the potential applications, not only for military control of airplanes and weapons, but also for civilian uses, from controlling artificial vision systems to completely immersive virtual reality systems that will transport your consciousness to alternate relatives. It’s the stuff of science fiction, but scientists have already made some advances in the field. The first human neuroprosthetic devices appeared in the mid-1990s, allowing patients to crudely control artificial limbs. But those required surgical…

Why the Air Force is investigating a cyber attack from the Navy

The Air Force is investigating the Navy for a cyber intrusion into its network, according to a memo obtained by Military Times. The bizarre turn of events stems from a decision by a Navy prosecutor to embed hidden tracking software into emails sent to defense attorneys, including one Air Force lawyer, involved in a high-profile war-crimes case of a Navy SEAL in San Diego. The tracking device was an attempt to find out who was leaking information to the editor of Navy Times, a sister publication. A similar tracking device was also sent to Carl Prine, the Navy Times editor,…

Facebook wants to combat fake news with ID checks – with ‘grave implications’ for our privacy

The last time I recall someone demanding: “Show me your ID” was on the streets of Beirut during the final days of the civil war. Now, I get the same thing when I log into Facebook. Facebook started rolling out a new tool in April 2019. Under updated procedures, the social media website would request ID verification for people who wish to advertise or promote political posts or ads. The announcement received very little publicity, but it can be interpreted as Facebook’s latest attempt to curb Russia’s anticipated interference in EU elections and prepare to manage any meddling in the…

5G Danger: Hundreds Of Respected Scientists Sound The Alarm About Health Effects As 5G Networks Go Up Nationwide

Even though many in the scientific community are loudly warning about the potential health effects that 5G technology could have on the general population, Verizon and AT&T are starting to put up their 5G networks in major cities all across the nation.  Today, the total number of cell phones exceeds the entire population of the world, and the big cell phone companies are making a crazy amount of money providing service to all of those phones.  And now that the next generation of cell phone technology has arrived, millions of cell phone users are looking forward to better connections and…