Liberty Defense

Police Adopting TSA-Style Scanners For Public Use

As this technology falls into the hands of local police agencies, police state practices will be able to scan civilians without their permission or awareness to produce “actionable items” for intervention. This would be an egregious violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting illegal search and seizure. ⁃ TN Editor

TSA-style body scanners are coming to public spaces, and that should scare the hell out of everyone.

If you thought the NYPD’s Z-Backscatter vans and police mini-Z’s were intrusive, you have not seen anything yet.

Soon, nowhere will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes, as police prepare to use HEXWAVE to spy on people in public spaces.

Last week the Salt Lake Tribune revealed that the Utah Attorney General and law enforcement are partnering with Liberty Defense, a 3D image scanning company that makes its money from scanning the public in real-time. (3D means capturing rich information (size, shape, depth) about the detection space. It can detect any material that has a physical form.)

Let’s start with their name — calling yourself Liberty Defense is an affront to liberty-minded Americans who do not want to be secretly spied on by Big Brother. Their tag line “Protecting Communities And Preserving Peace of Mind” is the exact opposite of what this device does.

Any device that is used to spy on the public is just that: a surveillance device. It is not a Defense of our Liberty.

As Fox Now 13 reported, police will use Liberty Defense’s, HEXWAVE to spy on people at mass gatherings like concerts, malls and stadiums.

“HEXWAVE could be deployed at mass gatherings like concerts, malls, stadiums, public transit stops and government buildings” Bill Riker, Liberty Defense’s CEO, said.

Over the past two years, I have warned people that TSA-style body scanners were turning public transit into mirror images of our airports by watchlisting and flagging suspicious people. But I could never have imagined that law enforcement would be putting them in malls and places of worship.

If you do not believe Fox News, then perhaps you will believe Liberty Defense, which openly admits that they want governments and businesses to put their 3D scanners in every public venue.

“Their challenge: efficiently securing high traffic areas with multiple entry points, such as hotels, schools, airports, public transit systems, entertainment venues and outdoor pedestrian locations in a secure, non-intrusive manner.”

If you are still not sure about law enforcement’s plans to scan the public, then perhaps you will take the Utah AG’s office word for it.

According to the AG’s “Memorandum of Understanding” police plan to use HEXWAVE to scan the public for two years, in but not limited to:

1.  Sporting & Concert Arenas, Stadiums and Olympic Venues; 
2.  Primary, Secondary and Higher Education Facilities; 
3.  Places of Worship, Facilities and Property Owned by or Affiliated with Faith Entities; 
4.  Government Offices, Buildings and Facilities; 
5.  Amusement Parks; and 
6.  Entertainment Events, Conventions, Shows & Festivals

Police will also use HEXWAVE to spy on the public during “non-business hours to get system exposure to the full range of potential operating conditions to include environmental, frequency/volume of use or other operating conditions to which HEXWAVE would be subjected.”

What does that mean? It means that law enforcement will be measuring public resistance to being scanned 24/7.

Liberty Defense CEO Bill Riker, worked for the Department of Defense and General Dynamics which speaks volumes about their desire to put 3D scanners everywhere.

It is unclear if Liberty Defense is a Homeland Security/DoD front, but one thing is certain: their desire to turn public venues into extensions of the police state could not not any clearer.

The spread of surveillance devices helps private corporations and law enforcement track and identify everyone; it does absolutely nothing to stop terrorism.

We must stop the spread of TSA-style body scanners before they are put in public transportation, convenient stores, public parks, etc.

Read full story here…




sandbox

The Sandbox: Unregulated Playgrounds For Technocrat Experiments

The establishment of so-called “Regulatory Sandboxes” are sweeping the world. This article reveals their nature: “While there is no precise definition of a regulatory sandbox, it is, broadly speaking, a framework within which innovators can test business ideas and products under regulatory supervision, without fear of penalties.”

The logic of this definition would have justified the grotesque medical experiments performed by Nazi scientists during WWII – anything goes, experiment on live communities, no penalties for consequences. ⁃ TN Editor

The fundamental business principles and very fabric of American utility infrastructure have remained basically unchanged for more than a century.

The regulatory compact set forth for public utilities was driven by economic principles. Public utilities, beginning with railroads then the distribution of electricity and gas, were (and are) considered to be natural monopolies because the economies of scale are so great that it is more efficient for one firm to provide the service than for competitors to do so.

The absence of competition enables public utilities to exact monopoly profits by producing less and charging more — an economically inefficient outcome.

Regulation is a surrogate for competition and market forces. The role of public utilities regulators, therefore, is to ensure public utilities act in a prudent manner in lieu of competition and market forces. Rates are determined by regulators through what is known as the rate-of-return regulation with utilities earning a theoretically competitive return on their reasonable capital investments.

The requirement that prudency exists is a safeguard against the tendency of a monopoly to make excessive and unnecessary investments. Historically, the burden of proof for prudency has lied with the utility and is applied conservatively by public utilities commissions.

To earn a rate of return on capital investment, utilities must prove that benefits of an investment outweigh its costs. Although sensible in theory, this burden often results in an impassable test for utility investment in innovation — which is often inherently unproven.

In comparing data across industries, utilities rank the lowest in their spending in research and development (R&D) by orders of magnitude.

High technology companies often spend up to 25% of their revenue on R&D, whereas utilities typically spend less than 1% (usually much less). The average across all industries is roughly 5%. Until recently, utilities were not incentivized to change or innovate because steadily growing demand (load) justified large investments in traditional infrastructure that earned reliable annual returns.

Innovation challenges

But concern over climate change and the improving economics of renewables, electric vehicles, battery storage and the revolution of digital transformation are driving a step-change in utility business models. The confluence of these forces will require utilities and regulators to reevaluate traditional assumptions by recognizing and rewarding innovation.

We are at the precipice of multiple technological revolutions that will fundamentally change how essential services are provided and paid for.

If the driving principle behind public utility regulation is to ensure the prudency of capital investments, and operations and maintenance, in lieu of market forces, it stands to reason that in fundamental ways utilities and their unregulated corporate peers should behave similarly. In the case of investment in innovation, this is clearly not the case.

Read full story here…




Ohio

Ohio Rejects Renewables Mandate To Back Nuclear, Coal

This only proves that renewable energy is not a fait accompli as Sustainable Development wonks suppose. The partial rejection of renewable energy favors nuclear power over wind and solar, but has pitted the oil and gas industry against nuclear.  ⁃ TN Editor

The Ohio House on Wednesday passed a bill 53-43 that would subsidize nuclear and coal plants while eliminating a green energy mandate that now pushes utilities to more renewable energy and efficiency resources.

The “clean air program” would raise $190 million annually, charging ratepayers up to $1 monthly through 2026, mostly to fund First Energy Solutions’ Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants. The bill would also allow electric distribution utilities to charge customers a monthly fee, which requires state regulatory approval, to recover part of their ownership stake in Ohio Valley Electric Corporation’s (OVEC) Kyger Creek and Indiana-based Clifty Creek coal-fired plants.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate due to the support of Republicans and Gov. Mike DeWine, R, according to research firm ClearView Energy Partners VP Tim Fox, although state senators haven’t gone on the record to support nuclear subsidies. Ohio is expected to enact a nuclear assistance program before June 26, based on the deadlines FES has set to continue operation of its nuclear plants, Fox said in a note to clients.

While the House brought back some renewable provisions that had been stripped out in committee, advocates for renewable energy, natural gas and consumer rights bemoaned the passage of the bill, hailing it as a way to achieve President Donald Trump’s goal to subsidize coal plants.

By repealing the state’s broad renewable portfolio standard, the bill would eliminate a monthly surcharge of less than $5 from residential customers to help utilities obtain 12.5% of their power from renewable resources by 2027.

But while the bill eliminates the mandate, it contains other renewable provisions that helped garner support from 10 of 38 Democrats.

One amendment helped reduce permitting risk for the approval of small on-site industrial wind facilities, increasing the maximum from 5 MW to 20 MW for on-location self-generation wind-farms that could avoid Ohio Power Siting Board review. Another made room for five large-scale solar power projects to qualify for funding from the “clean air” program, after a House committee had stripped the bill of most of its renewable components.

But while some were glad to see at least some renewable provisions in the bill, oil and gas groups blasted the nuclear support provisions as unnecessary.

Read full story here…




Brookings

Brookings: Making Sense Of The Backlash Against Online Platforms

Brookings Institution has deep connections with the Trilateral Commission that started the Technocratic New International Economic Order in 1973. Several Commissioners currently serve on its board. Thus, when Brookings speaks, TN listens. ⁃ TN Editor

Not long ago, information technology was heralded as a tool of democratic progress. Some referred to the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the Middle East as the “Facebook Revolution” because activists used social media to organize and rally fellow citizens. Online platform technologies, it was believed, helped promote equality, freedom, and democracy by empowering citizens to publish their ideas and broadcast their everyday realities unconstrained by gatekeepers, communicate freely with one another, and advocate for political reform.

In recent years, however, doubts have surfaced about the effects of information technology on democracy. A growing tech-skeptic chorus is drawing attention to the ways in which information technology disrupts democracy. No country is immune. From New Zealand to Myanmar to the United States, terrorists, authoritarian governments, and foreign adversaries have weaponized the internet. Russia’s online influence campaign during the 2016 United States presidential election demonstrated how easily and effectively bad actors could leverage platform technologies to pursue their own interests. Revelations about Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that acquired personal data from 87 million Facebook users, exposed Facebook’s failure to monitor the information third parties collect through its platform and prevent its misuse.

The concern extends beyond isolated incidents to the heart of the business model undergirding many of today’s large technology companies. The advertising revenue that fuels the attention economy leads companies to create new ways to keep users scrolling, viewing, clicking, posting, and commenting for as long as possible. Algorithms designed to accomplish this often end up displaying content curated to entertain, shock, and anger each individual user.[4] The ways in which online platforms are currently engineered have thus come under fire for exacerbating polarization, radicalizing users, and rewarding engagement with disinformation and extremist content. While many large technology companies have underinvested in protecting their own platforms from abuse, they have designed a service that has amplified existing political tensions and spawned new political vulnerabilities.

Countries around the world have responded to this growing threat by launching investigations, passing new laws, and commissioning reports. The U.S., meanwhile, has lagged behind other governments even in the face of well-documented abuses during the 2016 election. The U.S. has been slower to rein in “big tech,” in part, because of a fear of state overreach, the constitutional and cultural commitment to free speech, and a reluctance to constrain the capacity of dynamic companies to innovate.

The steps taken by governments around the world, on the other hand, can be explained by some broad principles shared across borders. A growing international consensus holds that the ways in which today’s dominant online platforms are currently designed poses an inherent threat to democracy. Across a number of countries, lawmakers share the view that the structural design of the attention economy has given rise to disinformation and its rapid spread online. Today’s powerful technologies, they argue, have coarsened public discourse by satiating the appetite for political tribalism, serving up information—true or false—that accords with each users’ ideological preference. They believe the ways in which dominant platforms filter and spread information online presents a serious political threat not only to newer, more fragile democracies but also to long-standing Western liberal democracies.

While lawmakers in the U.S. are beginning to critique the ways in which online platforms have failed to police their own technologies, there remains a reluctance to respond to the digital economy’s negative side effects by establishing terms to regulate the flow of information and classifying certain content as unacceptable. This, many believe, would violate First Amendment free speech rights. Meanwhile, other countries have identified a clearer regulatory role to mitigate the threat online platforms pose to democratic societies.

A similar divide between the actions taken in Europe and the U.S. on online privacy issues has taken shape. Europe has responded forcefully to protect users’ online privacy, bolstering its already robust set of privacy laws when it passed the General Data Protection Regulation in the spring of 2016. The law is widely recognized as the toughest and most comprehensive digital privacy law on the books and is grounded in a cultural attachment to protecting the right of individuals to control access to their personal information.

User Privacy

Online platforms that rely on targeted advertising to generate revenue are in the business of amassing as much personal information on their users as possible. For years, tech companies have been able to collect, use, and share users’ data largely unconstrained. A New York Times investigation found that Facebook gave a number of large technology companies access to users’ personal data, including users’ private messages. In another investigation, the Wall Street Journal found that smartphone apps holding highly sensitive personal data, including information on users’ menstrual cycles, regularly share data with Facebook. While Facebook users can prohibit the social media site from using their data to receive targeted advertisements, users are unable to prevent Facebook from collecting their personal data in the first place.

Meanwhile, high-profile data breaches have highlighted the inability of some of the largest tech companies to protect users’ information from misuse. Cambridge Analytica, a political-data firm linked to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign targeted voters in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election by successfully collecting private information from as many as 87 million Facebook users, most of whom had not agreed to let Facebook release their information to third parties. The campaign used this data to target personalized messages to voters and “individually whisper something in each of their ears,” as whistleblower Christopher Wylie described. Just months after the Cambridge Analytica story, hackers successfully broke into Facebook’s computer network and exposed nearly 50 million users’ personal information.

While users enjoy free access to many tech platforms, they are handing over their personal information with little understanding of the amount, nature, or application of the data tech companies hold on them and little ability to stop its collection. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that entire political systems and processes, not just individual users, are vulnerable when large tech companies fail to properly handle users’ data and leave the door open to those interested in exploiting social and political rifts.

The European Union has made online user privacy a top priority, establishing itself as a global leader on the issue after it passed its General Data Protection Regulation. The law sets out new requirements for obtaining user consent to process data, mandates data portability, requires organizations to notify users of data breaches in a timely fashion, and allows steep fines to be imposed on organizations that violate the regulation. Less than a year after GDPR’s passage, French officials levied a hefty $57 million fine against Google for failing to inform users about its data-collection practices and obtain consent for targeted advertising. After confronting pressure from the European Commission, Facebook agreed to make clear to users that it offers its services for free by utilizing personal data to run targeted advertisements. In Ireland, Facebook is facing several investigations into its compliance with European data protection laws. These moves signal Europe’s commitment to tough enforcement under its new privacy regime.

Read full story here…




farmland

Foreigners Now Own 30 Million Acres Of Prime U.S. Farmland

Globalization is about taking resources out of the hands of their owners and concentrating in the hands of oligarchs. In the U.S., over 12% of our own shrinking farm acreage is owned by foreign interests. This is the over-arching goal of Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and porkproducer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6]Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in LuoheHenan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

Read full story here…




Georgetown

Georgetown Law: Face Surveillance In The U.S.

Georgetown Law lays down the total surveillance society with skilled and documented precision. Detroit and Chicago may be the first to have China-like surveillance with cameras everywhere, but more cities are close behind. Technocracy is coming, and is dangerously close. ⁃ TN Editor

Authorities in Guiyang have eyes everywhere. Thanks to a vast, sophisticated camera system blanketing this Southwest Chinese city, police are purportedly able to locate and identify anyone who shows their face in public—in a matter of minutes. They can trace where you have been over the past week. If you are a citizen they can “match your face with your car, match you with your relatives and people you’re in touch with … know who you frequently meet.”

This is a reality made possible by real-time face surveillance. Thanks to face recognition technology, authorities are able to conduct biometric surveillance—pick you out from a crowd, identify you, trace your movements across a city with the network of cameras capturing your face—all completely in secret. No longer is video surveillance limited to recording what happens; it may now identify who is where, doing what, at any point in time.

It’s tempting to think that it is a remote, future concern for the United States. But for the millions of people living in Detroit and Chicago, face surveillance may be an imminent reality. Detroit’s million-dollar system affords police the ability to scan live video from cameras located at businesses, health clinics, schools, and apartment buildings. Chicago police insist that they do not use face surveillance, but the city nonetheless has paid to acquire and maintain the capability for years.

For millions of others in New York City, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., face surveillance is also on the horizon. And for the rest of the country, there are no practical restrictions against the deployment of face surveillance by federal, state, or local law enforcement.

There is no current analog for the kind of police surveillance made possible by pervasive, video-based face recognition technology. By enabling the secret and mass identification of anyone enrolled in a police—or other government—database, it risks fundamentally changing the nature of our public spaces.

Free Speech. When used on public gatherings, face surveillance may have a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights to unabridged free speech and peaceful assembly. This is something law enforcement agencies themselves have recognized, cautioning: “The public could consider the use of facial recognition in the field as a form of surveillance …. The mere possibility of surveillance has the potential to make people feel extremely uncomfortable, cause people to alter their behavior, and lead to self-censorship and inhibition.”3

Privacy. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority in Carpenter v. United States: “A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing into the public sphere.”4 The Court, examining police use of historic cell-site location information, noted that for the government to “secretly monitor and catalogue every single movement” of someone across time unconstitutionally violated society’s expectations about what law enforcement can and should be able to do.5

Face surveillance technology can facilitate precisely this type of tracking, locating where someone is and has been by the location of the camera that captures that person’s face. If mounted on churches, health clinics, community centers, and schools, face surveillance cameras risk revealing a person’s “familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations,” the very “privacies of life” that the Supreme Court in Carpenter suggested receive protection under the U.S. Constitution.6

Bias. The risks of face surveillance are likely to be borne disproportionately by communities of color. African Americans are simultaneously more likely to be enrolled in face recognition databases and the targets of police surveillance use.7 Compounding this, studies continue to show that face recognition performs differently depending on the age, gender, and race of the person being searched.8 This creates the risk that African Americans will disproportionately bear the harms of face recognition misidentification.

Detroit’s “Real-Time Video Feed Facial Recognition

A sign on the side of Summit Medical Center designates it as a Green Light Partner with the Detroit Police Department (DPD). It informs the public that this women’s health care clinic is monitored by video cameras whose feeds are viewed down at DPD headquarters.9

This sign, and ones just like it at more than 500 locations across Detroit, is meant to deter crime and make residents feel safe, informing the public that the area is being watched.10

What the signs do not say is that many of these video cameras may also be connected to a face surveillance system, enabling them to record not only what is happening at a given location, but who is at that location at any given moment. DPD has purchased the capability to locate and identify anyone who has an arrest record, in real-time, using video cameras mounted across the city.11

From the perspective of quickly solving the crimes that aren’t deterred by the Project Green Light Signs, this may sound like a good thing. Police are able to more quickly identify repeat offenders and make arrests.

But face surveillance doesn’t identify crime; it identifies people. With such a system, all people caught on camera—passersby, patrons, or patients—are scanned, their faces compared against the face recognition database on file. For patients visiting Summit Medical Center to terminate a pregnancy, receive HIV treatment, counseling, or another service, this probably sounds less like a guarantee of safety and more like an invasion into a deeply personal moment in their lives.

At Odds With The Will Of The Public

“The technology is here and being used by police departments already. There’s an article … from China, just this week at a concert, where a concertgoer went and was arrested within minutes based off of facial recognition data at that concert. It is here. We have to balance public safety versus people’s Constitutional rights. That’s our job. But our job is to uphold the Constitution, the Constitution of Illinois and the Constitution of the United States. And I’ll remind people of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, for the right of people to peaceably assemble.” — Rep. Tim Butler (R)

Chicago’s expansive face surveillance capabilities run counter to the strong interest in protecting citizens’ biometric data expressed by the state legislature. Illinois passed the first, and the country’s most protective, biometric privacy law in 2008. The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) guards state citizens against the collection, use, and dissemination of their biometric information without their express, written consent—but only by commercial entities.

Public agencies, such as law enforcement, are notably exempt from BIPA’s requirements. However, recent debate in the state House over a police drone bill suggests that legislators, and by extension the public, may be similarly uncomfortable with the prospect of biometric surveillance by the police. House members repeatedly voiced alarm at the prospect of the drones being equipped with facial recognition capabilities. Members characterized the prospect as “truly terrifying” and “somewhat of an Orwellian reach into crowd control”—a capability that may run afoul of the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.

Nonetheless, Chicago authorities appear intent on operating at odds with the concerns that many state lawmakers have expressed regarding biometric privacy. The limited information that is available suggests that Chicago is home to the most widespread face surveillance system in the United States today. An amendment proposed last year to Chicago’s Municipal Code additionally attempted to circumvent the protections BIPA afforded to citizens. The amendment would have permitted commercial entities that have signed an agreement with police to be able to use face recognition systems to meet whatever “security needs” they may have.54

This proposal—and CPD’s secretive face surveillance system—creates a stark divide between the privacy protections for Illinois residents outside Chicago, and those within.

Read full story here…

Ed note: more analysis on Orlando, Washington and New York City




raspberry

Robocrop: Raspberry-Picker Robot Set Boot More Workers

Goodbye fruit pickers. Designed by skilled Technocrats, this robot picker  will out-produce any human field worker by 40% or more. The tech is being adapted to all sorts of delicate crops that need to be picked. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Quivering and hesitant, like a spoon-wielding toddler trying to eat soup without spilling it, the world’s first raspberry-picking robot is attempting to harvest one of the fruits.

After sizing it up for an age, the robot plucks the fruit with its gripping arm and gingerly deposits it into a waiting punnet. The whole process takes about a minute for a single berry.

It seems like heavy going for a robot that cost £700,000 to develop but, if all goes to plan, this is the future of fruit-picking.

Each robot will be able to pick more than 25,000 raspberries a day, outpacing human workers who manage about 15,000 in an eight-hour shift, according to Fieldwork Robotics, a spinout from the University of Plymouth.

The robot has gone on trial in the UK, as the farming industry battles rising labour costs and Brexit-related shortages of seasonal workers.

Numbers of seasonal workers from eastern Europe have diminished, partly due to Brexit fears but also because Romania and Poland’s surging economies have persuaded their own workers to remain in their home countries .

The robot has been developed in partnership with Hall Hunter, one of Britain’s main berry growers which supplies Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. Standing at 1.8 metres tall, the wheeled machine with its robotic arm has begun field trials in a greenhouse at a Hall Hunter farm near Chichester in West Sussex.

Guided by sensors and 3D cameras, its gripper zooms in on ripe fruit using machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence. When operating at full tilt, its developers say the robot’s gripper picks a raspberry in 10 seconds or less and drops it in a tray where the fruit gets sorted by maturity, before being moved into punnets, ready to be transported to supermarkets.

The final robot version, expected to go into production next year, will have four grippers, all picking simultaneously.

Separate field trials in China have shown the robot can pick tomatoes, and it has also been let loose on cauliflower.

As robots don’t get tired, they can pick for 20 hours a day, but the biggest challenge has been getting them to adapt to different light conditions, says Rui Andres, portfolio manager at Frontier IP, one of the main backers of Fieldwork.

Andres says UK farmers typically pay £1 to £2 for a kilogram of raspberries picked by human workers. Fieldwork intends to lease its robots to farmers for less.

The robot is the brainchild of Dr Martin Stoelen, a lecturer in robotics at Plymouth University, who moved from aerospace engineering into robots and took inspiration from his grandparents’ farm in Norway. By tackling one of the most difficult soft fruits first, he hopes to be able to tweak the technology so the robot can be used to pick other berries, fruit and vegetables.

Read full story here…




College Students Secretly Photographed For Facial Recognition Research

Partially backed by government funding, the Professor blew off the critics of his research claiming it was being used for the ‘greater good’. There are ethical and legal considerations that are being blown off as well, giving others encouragement to ignore the law. ⁃ TN Editor

A professor at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus led a project that secretly snapped photos of more than 1,700 students, faculty members and others walking in public more than six years ago in an effort to enhance facial-recognition technology.

The photographs were posted online as a dataset that could be publicly downloaded from 2016 until this past April.

While professor Terrance Boult and CU officials defended the project and its efforts to protect student privacy, a University of Denver law professor questioned whether this is an example of technological advancement crossing ethical boundaries.

“It’s yet another area where we’re seeing privacy intrusions that disturb us,” said Bernard Chao, who teaches the intersection of law and technology at DU and previously practiced law in Silicon Valley for almost 20 years.

The CU Colorado Springs project, first reported last week by the Colorado Springs Independent, began in 2012 with funding from a variety of U.S. intelligence and military operations, including the Office of Naval Research, Special Operations Command and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was not clear how much funding the project received from government agencies.

Boult’s research originally was intended to analyze facial-recognition algorithms to determine whether they were up to snuff for use by the U.S. Navy. But it turned out the technology wasn’t as efficient as the Navy wanted.

“It was solved if you wanted to match two passport photos where the person is facing forward in good light, but not if you wanted to recognize someone 100 meters away,” Boult said.

Boult and his team did more advanced research to try to improve the facial-recognition technology.

“The study is trying to make facial recognition better, especially at long range or surveillance applications,” Boult said. “We wanted to collect a dataset of people acting naturally in public because that’s the way people are trying to use facial recognition.”

Facial-recognition technology is being used more and more, including for things such as enabling Facebook to tag people in pictures, in helping government agencies to check passports or visas, and beyond.

To conduct the study, Boult set up a long-range surveillance camera in an office window about 150 meters away from the West Lawn of the Colorado Springs campus, a public area where passers-by would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The camera surreptitiously photographed people walking in the area of the West Lawn on certain days during the spring semesters of 2012 and 2013.

The candid shots caught students as they looked down at their phones, blurred in motion or walked out of frame altogether.

More than 16,000 images were taken, producing 1,732 unique identities. To protect student privacy, Boult said, he waited five years to release the dataset publicly. That way, people were unable to look at the pictures and figure out a student’s whereabouts in case of a domestic violence concern or a clandestine military placement, he said.

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Researchers Find 5,400 App Trackers That Send Data From iPhones

Necessary or not, most iPhone users have absolutely no clue what is being uploaded and to where. Data is the new oil of the 21st century and any data about you has value to others who are willing to pay for it. ⁃ TN Editor

Monitoring software used by The Washington Post on an ordinary iPhone found that no fewer than 5,400 app trackers were sending data from the phone – in some cases including sensitive data like location and phone number.

It’s 3 a.m. Do you know what your iPhone is doing?

Mine has been alarmingly busy. Even though the screen is off and I’m snoring, apps are beaming out lots of information about me to companies I’ve never heard of. Your iPhone probably is doing the same — and Apple could be doing more to stop it.

On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with […]

In a single week, I encountered over 5,400 trackers, mostly in apps, not including the incessant Yelp traffic. According to privacy firm Disconnect, which helped test my iPhone, those unwanted trackers would have spewed out 1.5 gigabytes of data over the span of a month. That’s half of an entire basic wireless service plan from AT&T.

The report does need to be viewed in context, however.

But there is legitimate cause for concern

But Jackson does make two good points about app trackers. First, transparency.

[His] biggest concern is transparency: If we don’t know where our data is going, how can we ever hope to keep it private?

With literally thousands of trackers transmitting data, it’s simply not practical for anyone to monitor that traffic and figure out which uses are legitimate and which aren’t.

Second, clear consumer protection policies.

To him, any third party that collects and retains our data is suspect unless it also has pro-consumer privacy policies like limiting data retention time and anonymizing data […]

The problem is, the more places personal data flies, the harder it becomes to hold companies accountable for bad behavior — including inevitable breaches.

Jackson may be angling for an Apple acquisition.

Jackson suggests Apple could also add controls into iOS like the ones built into Privacy Pro to give everyone more visibility.

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Mercola

Dr. Mercola Warns On The Impending 5G Apocalypse

The fact that the Technocrat elite flatly ignore stern and documented warnings against 5G, indicates that they have some ulterior agenda that they must accomplish regardless of the negative impact on humans. It is the establishment of Technocracy, aka, Scientific Dictatorship. ⁃ TN Editor
  

Are you still under the misconception that unchecked exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF) radiation is of no concern? Then I urge you to view the featured documentary, “5G Apocalypse — The Extinction Event” by Sacha Stone.

Please understand that while I am not in agreement with some of Stone’s conspiracy theories on the militarization of these frequencies, the science is beyond solid to justify concern about 5G without throwing in conspiracy allegations. I do believe that, overall, the documentary was well done and nicely packages the nonconspiracy information.

EMF Exposure Has Dramatically Increased Over the Past 100 Years

Indeed, even the earlier, and less intense, generations of wireless technologies have been shown to produce severe harm over time. As explained in my 2017 interview with Martin Pall, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, the primary danger of EMFs — and what drives the processes of chronic disease — is mitochondrial damagetriggered by peroxynitrites, one of the most damaging types of reactive nitrogen species.

Devices that continuously emit EMF radiation at levels that damage your mitochondria include your cellphone, cellphone towers, Wi-Fi routers and modems, baby monitors and “smart” devices of all kinds, including smart meters and smart appliances.

If you go back in time to the end of World War I, around 1918 or so, and use that timeframe as a baseline of EMF exposure among the general public, you come to the astonishing conclusion that EMF exposure has increased about 1 quintillion times over the past 100 years.

It’s irrational to assume that this radical increase — an increase of 1 billion times — could not have adverse effects on the environment and human health. The reality is that most people are experiencing biological impacts as a result of this exposure, but have no appreciation of the damage it’s causing until it’s too late. Even then, it’s extremely difficult to link EMF exposure to the symptoms or the disease.

Understanding the Mechanisms of Harm

According to Pall’s research,1,2,3,4 low-frequency microwave radiation such as that from your cellphone and wireless router activates the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) located in the outer membrane of your cells. According to Pall, VGCCs are 7.2 million times more sensitive to microwave radiation than the charged particles inside and outside our cells, which means the safety standards for this exposure are off by a factor of 7.2 million.

Low-frequency microwave radiation opens your VGCCs, thereby allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell, which in turn activates nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide which react nearly instantaneously to form peroxynitrite.5

Peroxynitrite than catalyzes massive oxidative stress by the creation of free radicals that are associated with an increased level of systemic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, and are thought to be a root cause for many of today’s chronic diseases.

For an in-depth understanding of peroxynitrites and the harm they inflict, see “Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite in Health and Disease”6 — a 140-page paper with 1,500 references written by Dr. Pal Pacher, Joseph Beckman and Dr. Lucas Liaudet. It’s an epic paper and one of the best reviews I’ve ever read, and can be downloaded for free.

One of its most significant hazards of peroxynitrite is that it damages DNA. The European REFLEX study published in 2004 revealed the nonthermal effects of 2G and 3G radiation are actually very similar to the effects of X-rays in terms of the genetic damage they cause.7

Your body has the capacity to repair that damage through a family of 17 different enzymes collectively called poly ADP ribose polymerases (PARP). However, while PARP work well, they require NAD+ for fuel and when they run out of NAD+ they stop repairing your DNA, which can lead to premature cell death as over 100 to 150 NAD+ molecules are needed to repair every DNA strand break.

NAD+ is central to maintaining cellular and mitochondrial health, so the fact that PARP consumes NAD+ to counteract EMF damage is an important concern. Can you improve your NAD+ levels? Yes, but it’s a complex topic that really requires a book to carefully explain. As a first step, though, you need to reduce NAD+ consumption, which necessitates limiting your EMF exposure.

Damage Occurs Over Extended Periods of Time

Were the negative effects of EMFs immediately recognizable, matters would be much simpler. Alas, it doesn’t work that way. The damage accrues over time, similar to that from smoking. For years, you can get away without feeling any ill effects until, all of a sudden, you’re beset with debilitating symptoms.

Researchers are in general agreement that there’s a latency period of about 10 years or more before the damage shows up, which places children at greatest risk, since their exposures begin much earlier (nowadays in utero) and persist throughout life unless steps are taken to minimize their daily exposure.

While the controversy over EMF damage has centered around whether or not it can cause cancer, especially brain tumors, this actually isn’t your greatest concern. Since the damage is strongly linked to activation of your VGCCs, it stands to reason that areas where VGCCs are the densest would be most vulnerable to damage.

As it happens, the highest density of VGCCs are found in your nervous system, your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and in male testes. As a result, EMFs are likely to contribute to neurological and neuropsychiatric problems, heart and reproductive problems, including but not limited to cardiac arrhythmias, anxietydepressionautismAlzheimer’s and infertility.

Indeed, this is what researchers keep finding, and all of these health problems are far more prevalent and kill more people than brain cancer.

5G Linked to Significant Health Concerns

One of the main problems with 5G is that it relies primarily on the bandwidth of the millimeter wave (MMW), which is primarily between 30 gigahertz (GHz) and 300GHz,8 and are known to penetrate 1 to 2 millimeters of human skin tissue.9,10

Its ability to penetrate tissue and cause a severe burning sensation is exactly why MMW was chosen for use in crowd control weapons (Active Denial Systems) by the U.S. Department of Defense.11

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