Antitrust Probe: Led By Texas, 50 State AGs Piling On Google

Shields up! Technocrats at Google have finally raised the alarm with the legal/political system who are waking up to the threat of Technocracy. Politicians and the Rule of Law are mortal enemies of Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the initiative’s leader, announced Monday.

The news confirms reports last week about the bipartisan investigation into Google’s practices. The probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not involved in the probe, Paxton said at a press conference.

Other attorneys general at the media conference emphasized Google’s dominance in the ad market and use of consumer data.

“When there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free, and harms consumers,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican. “Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy information? Is something really free if online ad prices go up based on one company’s control?”

An antitrust probe into Facebook was announced on Friday by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who will lead the case. Attorneys general from seven states plus the District of Columbia are participating in the Facebook investigation.

At the press conference Monday, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, a Democrat, said it “remains to be seen” if the two probes will be “a coordinated expansion.”

When reached for comment, a Google spokesperson pointed to a company blog post published Friday where it acknowledged it had received requests for information from the Department of Justice about its business practices and expects “state attorneys general will ask similar questions.”

“We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so,” Google said in Friday’s post.

The state investigations put an additional layer of pressure on both companies, which are already facing antitrust scrutiny on the federal level. Facebook confirmed an antitrust probe by the Federal Trade Commission in July after the agency slapped it with a $5 billion fine over its privacy practices. And the Department of Justice will conduct its own antitrust investigation into Google, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The attorneys general involved in the Google probe said their investigation would remain independent from those of other areas of government.

“The state attorneys general, they are an independent bunch,” Racine said. “And they can be quite tenacious. So I’m very confident that this bipartisan group is going to be led by the facts and not be swayed by any conclusion that may fall short, if you will, if it’s inconsistent with our facts, on the federal side. So we’re going to do what we think is right based on our investigation.”

Read full story here…




Irish State Ordered To Delete ‘Unlawful’ Data On 3.2m Citizens

The National ID card is a holy grail for Technocrats who want to track all human activity, and is being heavily promoted in the U.S. as well. Here, Technocrats in the Irish government suffered a huge setback. ⁃ TN Editor

The State has been told it must delete data held on 3.2 million citizens, which was gathered as part of the roll-out of the Public Services Card, as there is no lawful basis for retaining it.

In a highly critical report on its investigation into the card, the Data Protection Commission found there was no legal reason to make individuals obtain the card in order to access State services such as renewing a driving licence or applying for a college grant.

While the card will still be sought from people accessing some services directly administered by the Department of Social Protection, such as claiming social welfare payments, the commission’s report represents a major blow to the scope of the project, which has proved politically contentious and faced strong opposition from data-privacy campaigners.

Helen Dixon, the Data Protection Commissioner, told The Irish Times that forcing people to obtain such a card for services other than those provided by the department was “unlawful from a data-processing point of view”.

It has directed that the department cease processing applications for cards needed for such functions.

Ms Dixon said there had been a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what was permitted by the legislation underpinning the card.

She said the department assumed that the legislation included a “legal basis for public sector bodies to mandatorily demand the card, and it doesn’t, once you conduct the legal analysis”.

“What we can see when we trace through it is that practice in implementation has now diverged from the legislation that underpins it,” she added.

Enforcement action

Ms Dixon found the retention of data gathered during the application process for the total of 3.2 million cards issued to date was unlawful.

“We’ve made significant findings around the data relating to the supporting documentation retained, and proposed to be retained indefinitely by the department,” she said. This documentation can include personal information on issues such as refugee status and changes to gender as well as people’s utility bills.

“There’s a whole range of documentation and the indefinite retention of it in circumstances where the Minister has satisfied herself as to identity already … We believe there is no lawful basis for that.”

The department would face enforcement action, including potentially being taken to court by the commission, if it fails to act on the recommendations of the report.

The data would still be required during the application process, but must be destroyed after that, she said.

The commission also found that there was insufficient transparency around the card, and that the department had not made enough easily understood information available to the public.

Read full story here…




RideShare: Big Tech’s Ugly Disruption Of Public Spaces

Scooters, e-bicycles and ride sharing companies are invading public space in cities with ugly consequences, and a war is brewing between cities, their citizens and the Big Tech companies who have barged in to disrupt. ⁃ TN Editor

Summer is here and the electronic hum of scooters is filling city sidewalks all over the world. From L.A. to D.C., many American downtowns have hit their one-year anniversary with scooters, and European capitals have begun to allow them.

The benefit is obvious: Scooters provide on-demand, affordable mobility to any able-bodied smartphone user. As the vehicle’s fan base grows, however, so do the frustrations that provoke other urbanites to detest them — abandoned scooters left on walkways and even scooter-pedestrian collisions. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says escalating tensions are leading to “anarchy” on her city’s boulevards and footpaths. And an even bigger issue looms over arguments for and against this revamped child’s toy. Scooters may well be the Trojan Horse with which big tech colonizes the world’s public space.

Scooters (and dockless e-bikes) inhabit cities like few other consumer products ever have. Through location-tracking and app-based transactions, scooter barons oversee their business from a distance while storing their entire inventories on our streets and sidewalks for next to nothing. When in use, scooters generate revenue for Bird, Lime or some other “micro-mobility” company. When not in use, they just sit there, wherever there happens to be: a bike lane, a doorway, a neighbor’s front yard. Citizens have no lawful recourse, leading some to resort to micro-vandalism.

Scooters’ success in spite of the persistent backlash is a warning about whether tech can succeed in leveraging public space. A playbook seems to be taking shape. First, identify a point of friction in urban life (such as “the last-mile problem” in public transportation). Next, develop a profitable solution and deploy it in cities and ask for permission later. When people howl, let your early adopters fight the battle for you — use them as a shield whenever critics speak ill of your business model. Finally, push aggressive expansion while voicing support for sensible regulations that are essentially unenforceable.

Like Uber and Airbnb before them, scooter companies aim to satisfy their customers with little regard for how their businesses affect our cities’ ecosystems. All three services tamper with neighborhood norms in ways that are annoying at first and deeply disturbing upon further inspection. Via Airbnb, for instance, a quaint bungalow surrounded by family homes suddenly becomes a bachelor party pad replete with fresh groups of drunken idiots each weekend. Annoying. But what’s far more worrisome is recent data indicating that Airbnb is worsening the housing crisis in cities like Los Angeles and New Orleans. Landlords love Airbnb: Why lease a place to lower-income tenants for $900 a month when you can earn double by renting it out here and there to well-off tourists? When residential units are converted into the equivalent of chic motels, the pool of long-term housing decreases and rental prices rise.

As for Uber and other ride-sharing apps, originally framed as a solution to urban congestion, they are instead putting more cars on the road, making traffic worse. A San Francisco study found that bumper-to-bumper delays soared 62% from 2010 to 2016, and roughly half of this increase was caused by ride-sharing vehicles. Very few riders are choosing to share trips with other passengers and rates of car ownership in the city remain steady. The big loser has been public transit, particularly buses, whose ridership has decreased nearly 13% — a drop that presents grave challenges to a service that is both more affordable and energy efficient than Uber’s fleet of vehicles.

Read full story here…




Wozniak

Wozniak: Apple Cofounder Says ‘Delete Your Facebook Account!’

Big Tech pioneer Steve Wozniak understands the industry like few others and he is pointedly warning about the loss of privacy, recommending in particular that people get off of Facebook. ⁃ TN Editor

Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak deleted his Facebook account last year and is now telling anyone willing to listen to do the same before it’s too late.

TMZ interviewed Wozniak at Reagan National Airport in D.C. last Friday and asked him if he’s troubled by Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms infringing on his privacy. Woz responded by saying social platforms are eavesdropping on our private conversations, and sending personal data to advertisers. With the lack of privacy on social media, he said, most people should delete their accounts.

“There are many different kinds of people, and some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Woz told TMZ.

“But to many like myself, my recommendation is—to most people—you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”

Woz suggested, that at this point, there’s no way to stop the invasion of privacy by Big Tech.

“But, everything about you… I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices. Who knows if my cellphone’s listening right now.Alexa has already been in the news a lot,” he told TMZ.

So I worry because you’re having conversations that you think are private… You’re saying words that really shouldn’t be listened to, because you don’t expect it. But there’s almost no way to stop it,” Woz said.

Woz’s solution: allow social media companies to give users a choice of premium subscription plans, one where they pay to have their data more secure.

“People think they have a level of privacy they don’t. Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data more secure and private then everybody else handing it to advertisers.”

In an email response last April, Woz told USA Today that Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal information voluntarily shared with the company.

Woz said he’d rather pay for Facebook – adding that Apple “makes money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you’re the product.”

What is far more fascinating to us is that it took years for brilliant people such as Wozniak to grasp what was obvious to most others, even if those “others” are what the dormant, quiet and largely daft majority, would call “conspiracy theorists.”

Read full story here…




facial recognition

Cities Take Lead On Blocking Facial Recognition Tech

Because there are no federal regulations to limit the spread of facial recognition technology, local activists across the nation are demanding action from cities, counties and states to stop it. ⁃ TN Editor

Cities and states are leading the crackdown on using facial recognition as lawmakers in Congress struggle to find a path to address concerns over the emerging technology.

Privacy and civil rights advocates have castigated facial recognition as overly invasive and potentially discriminatory. But with Washington appearing slow to act, critics are now targeting their efforts at the state and local level, where they believe legislation to restrict the technology can move faster and tougher action is likelier.

Their campaign has been bolstered by a series of wins in recent weeks. San Francisco last month became the first city to ban local government agencies from using facial recognition technology, followed last week by Somerville, Mass.

Meanwhile, several states are weighing proposals that would limit or temporarily halt the government’s use of the sensitive tech.

“The value of cities, and states as well, is that they are the laboratories of democracy,” Jacob Snow, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told The Hill in a phone interview. “It’s been heartening to see that right now they are leading the charge to limit face surveillance.”

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers have pledged they will offer bipartisan legislation on facial recognition technology sometime this year, but so far the most substantive action has been limited to a series of House Oversight Committee hearings.

“Congress is still in the early stages of educating itself about facial recognition,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has been raising concerns over the technology for years, said in a statement to The Hill. “And I fear by the time it does, the train will have left the station.”

Activists are hoping to ultimately direct the local grassroots passion toward Congress as they push for a temporary ban or at least more regulation.

Facial recognition technology, which scans people’s faces for the purpose of identifying them, has swept across the country in recent years without any government regulation or oversight. There is no federal law that provides safeguards on face scanning, a form of biometric surveillance.

While it’s difficult to determine how many law enforcement agencies currently use facial recognition technology, a 2016 study by the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology found that at least one on in four police agencies can run facial recognition searches. And according to market research firm Grand View Research, the government “facial biometrics” market is expected to spike from $136.9 million in 2018 to $375 million by 2025.

Skeptics of the government’s use of the technology – a coalition that includes civil liberties and civil rights activists and some leading tech companies – warn that it can provide authorities with unprecedented access to the daily lives of every person in the U.S., opening the door to a litany of privacy violations that could erode freedoms and raise the specter of constant surveillance.

And multiple studies have shown that some facial recognition technology is more likely to misidentify women and people of color, an issue that emerges when the software is trained on datasets of largely white men.

As airlines set up face scanners and police officers deploy the technology to find criminals, critics uniformly are calling for a halt.

“If we don’t act quickly and harness the growing backlash to this technology … and get real restrictions in place at both the local, state and federal level, then I think this technology will spread very quickly,” Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, said. “And that will normalize a type of surveillance that is incredibly invasive.”

Activists have launched a number of grassroots campaigns over the past year in states including Washington, California, and Massachusetts to push for local and state crackdowns, tallying up wins despite pushback from law enforcement and some tech trade groups.

Massachusetts is considering a bill that would bar state government agencies from obtaining or using facial recognition technology until the legislature passes regulations.

And in California, legislation that would bar the installation of facial recognition software in police body cameras is making its way through the Senate.

“By adding facial recognition software to police body cams, you are deploying thousands of cameras in California immediately and surveilling ordinary citizens 24 hours a day,” California Assemblyman Phil Ting told The Hill, explaining the impetus behind the bill. “I don’t know that ordinary citizens like [that surveillance].”

There are no states actively considering all-out bans, largely due to a delicate strategy employed by the coalition of privacy activists across the country, driven by the ACLU. They have targeted cities for bans while calling for a temporary pause, also known as a moratorium, at the state and federal level.

“States and the federal government can do things that cities can’t do in terms of setting up regulatory frameworks,” Ben Ewen-Campen, the city council member who introduced Somerville’s facial recognition ban, told The Hill. “The state has control of our criminal justice system in a way that cities never can.”

San Francisco and Somerville are offering a model for other cities, including Oakland and Berkley, which are considering their own bans.

Ewen-Campen, who cited national polls indicating most voters are skeptical of facial scanning, said he believes cities are acting in the vacuum left by Congress.

“Cities have no choice,” Ewen-Campen said. “Given the fact that right now, there are no regulations at the state or federal level and the technology is light years ahead of any kind of regulation, I don’t see another option.”

Read full story here…




Pre-Crime AI: ‘It Wasn’t Telling Us Anything We Didn’t know’

It is encouraging that some police departments are already beginning to drop pre-crime AI systems because they have not delivered the intended results, much less “preempting criminal activity.” ⁃ TN Editor

The Los Angeles Police Department took a revolutionary leap in 2010 when it became one of the first to employ data technology and information about past crimes to predict future unlawful activity. Other departments around the nation soon adopted predictive policing techniques.

But the widely hailed tool the LAPD helped create has come under fire in the last 18 months, with numerous departments dumping the software because it did not help them reduce crime and essentially provided information already being gathered by officers patrolling the streets.

After three years, “we didn’t find it effective,” Palo Alto police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said. “We didn’t get any value out of it. It didn’t help us solve crime.”

The Mountain View, Calif., Police Department spent more than $60,000 on the program between 2013 and 2018.

“We tested the software and eventually subscribed to the service for a few years, but ultimately the results were mixed and we discontinued the service in June 2018,” spokeswoman Katie Nelson said in a statement.

The program was designed to predict where and when crimes were likely to occur over the next 12 hours. The software’s algorithm examines 10 years of data, including the types of crimes and the dates, times and locations where they occurred.

Beyond concerns from law enforcement, the data-driven programs are also under increasing scrutiny by privacy and civil liberties groups, which say the tactics result in heavier policing of black and Latino communities.

In March, the LAPD’s own internal audit concluded there were insufficient data to determine if the PredPol software — developed by a UCLA professor in conjunction with the LAPD — helped to reduce crime. LAPD Inspector General Mark Smith said there also were problems with a component of the program used to pinpoint the locations of some property crimes.

In response, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore ended a controversial program intended to identify individuals most likely to commit violent crimes and announced he would modify others.

But Moore defended the PredPol software, saying it augmented the department’s efforts to target property crimes and was more accurate than human analysts at pinpointing potential hot spots.

“I believe in it,” Moore said. “I believe in location-based strategies.”

PredPol Chief Executive Brian MacDonald said the software was never intended to be the solution to reducing and preventing crime.

“We present them with a set of tools,” he said. “It’s virtually impossible to pinpoint a decline or rise in crime to one thing. I’d be more surprised and suspicious if the inspector general found PredPol reduced crime.”

Lowered expectations

Some police leaders and academics expected predictive technology to revolutionize law enforcement by preempting criminal activity.

That didn’t happen.

Read full story here…




somerville

Somerville, MA: Second City Bans Facial Recognition Technology

TN predicts that the city rush is on to ban facial recognition tech. In this case, Somerville got this right: “the public use of face surveillance can chill the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech.” ⁃ TN Editor

Is it a movement? Or just a couple of outliers that will forever remain on the periphery of the surveillance state? It’s too early to say, but at least we can now say San Francisco isn’t an anomaly.

Somerville, Massachusetts just became the second U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition in public space.

The “Face Surveillance Full Ban Ordinance,” which passed through Somerville’s City Council on Thursday night, forbids any “department, agency, bureau, and/or subordinate division of the City of Somerville” from using facial recognition software in public spaces. The ordinance passed Somerville’s Legislative Matters Committee on earlier this week.

Last month, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to ban the use of facial recognition tech by city government agencies. While it can’t keep the federales from rolling in and deploying the software against city residents, it does prevent local law enforcement from deciding this is the tech toy it can’t live without.

The ordinance passed in Somerville is pretty much the same thing. No local use, but federal-level use is OK. To be fair, the city can’t regulate the activities of the federal government. It could have forbidden local agencies from working with federal agencies using facial recognition tech, but it didn’t go quite that far.

This is a solid move, one that certainly looks smarter than allowing local cops to load up on tech that’s been roasted by Congress and (still!) sports a pretty gaudy failure rate.

If other cities are interested in joining the very short list of facial recognition banners, activists have created a few road maps for governments to use. At the moment, the greatest chance for success appears to be at the hyper-local level. The ACLU says it all comes down to cities making the most of their limited power.

Kade Crockford, director of the technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a phone call that at the state level, the ACLU is advocating for a moratorium or pause of facial recognition technology, while at the local level, the ACLU is advocating for bans.

“At the municipal level, it’s different,” Crockford said. “State governments have the capacity to regulate, whereas local governments really don’t. They don’t have the ability, for example, to create new institutions that could oversee, with sufficient care and attention, the implementation of an oversight or accountability system to guard against civil rights and civil liberties abuses.”

Generating momentum at the state level may be difficult until more cities are on board. If bans like these become more common, state legislators may respond favorably to wind direction changes and finally push back a bit against entrenched interests with an inordinate amount of power, like police unions and incumbent politicians with an authoritarian bent.

Read full story here…

Ordinance: Banning the usage of facial technology surveillance in Somerville

(link)

WHEREAS, the broad application of face surveillance in public spaces is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to carry and display a personal photo identification card at all times.

WHEREAS, face surveillance technology has been shown to be far less accurate in identifying the faces of women, young people, and people of color, and that such inaccuracies place certain persons at an elevated risk of harmful “false positive” identifications.

WHEREAS many of the databases to which face surveillance technology is applied are plagued by racial and other biases, which generate copycat biases in face surveillance data.

WHEREAS, the public use of face surveillance can chill the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech.

WHEREAS, the broad application of face surveillance in public spaces is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to carry and display a personal photo identification card at all times.

WHEREAS, the benefits of using face surveillance, which are few and speculative, are greatly outweighed by its harms, which are substantial.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE SOMERVILLE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS THE FOLLOWING:

Section 1. Definitions.

(A) “Face surveillance” shall mean an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying an individual, capturing information about an individual, based on the physical characteristics of an individual’s face.

(B) “Face surveillance system” shall mean any computer software or application that performs face surveillance.

(C) “Somerville” shall mean any department, agency, bureau, and/or subordinate division of the City of Somerville.

(D) “Somerville official” shall mean any person or entity acting on behalf of the Somerville, including any officer, employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor, or vendor.

SECTION 2. Ban on Government Use of Face Surveillance.

(A) It shall be unlawful for Somerville or any Somerville official to obtain, retain, access, or use:

(1) Any face surveillance system; or

(2) Any information obtained from a face surveillance system.

SECTION 3. Enforcement.

(A) Suppression. No data collected or derived from any use of face surveillance in violation of this Somerville and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority subject to the jurisdiction of the City of Somerville. Face surveillance data collected or derived in violation of this Ordinance shall be considered unlawfully obtained, and shall be deleted upon discovery.

(B) Cause of Action. Any violation of this Ordinance constitutes an injury and any person may institute proceedings for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or writ of mandate in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this Ordinance. An action instituted under this paragraph shall be brought against the respective City department, and the City and, if necessary to effectuate compliance with this Ordinance, any other governmental agency with possession, custody, or control of data subject to this Ordinance.

(C) Statutory Damages. Any person who has been subjected to face recognition in violation of this Ordinance, or about whom information has been obtained, retained, accessed, or used in violation of this Ordinance, may institute proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction against the City and shall be entitled to recover actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages of $1,000 or $100 for each violation, whichever is greater.

(D) Fees. A court shall award costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees to a plaintiff who is the prevailing party in an action brought under Section 3(B) or (C).

(E) Training. Violations of this Ordinance by a City employee shall result in consequences that may include retraining, suspension, or termination, subject to due process requirements.

###




hong kong

Young Hong Kong Protestors Outwit The Surveillance State

Necessity is the mother of invention as wary protestors dumped recognizable social media accounts for VPNs and end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. Basically, nobody trusts China anymore. ⁃ TN Editor

The moment the 25-year-old protester got home from demonstrations that turned violent – tear gas still stinging her eyes – she knew what she had to do: delete all of her Chinese phone apps.

WeChat was gone. So was Alipay and the shopping app Taobao. She then installed a virtual private network on her smartphone to use with the secure messaging app Telegram in an attempt to stay hidden from cyber-monitors.

“I’m just doing anything” to stay ahead of police surveillance and hide her identity, said the protester. She asked to be referred only by her first name, Alexa, to avoid drawing the attention of authorities amid the most serious groundswell against Chinese-directed rule in Hong Kong since 2014.

Protests that expanded over the past week against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China were marked by something unprecedented: A coordinated effort by demonstrators to leave no trace for authorities and their enhanced tracking systems.

Protesters used only secure digital messaging apps such as Telegram, and otherwise went completely analogue in their movements: buying single ride subway tickets instead of prepaid stored value cards, forgoing credit cards and mobile payments in favor of cash, and taking no selfies or photos of the chaos.

They wore face masks to obscure themselves from CCTVs and in fear of facial recognition software, and bought fresh pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

And, unlike the pro-democracy movement in 2014, the latest demonstrations also have remained intentionally leaderless in another attempt to frustrate police, who have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowds.

On Saturday, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced the postponement of the extradition bill, saying she hoped to return peace to the streets of the city. But the measure was not fully withdrawn and Lam still expressed support.

Protesters, meanwhile, have called for another major show of defiance on the streets on Sunday.

Amid the chaos, Hong Kong has offered a picture of what it looks like to stage mass civil disobedience in the age of the surveillance state.

“The Chinese government will do a lot of things to try to monitor their own people,” said Bonnie Leung, a leader of the Hong Kong-based Civil Human Rights Front.

Leung cited media coverage of Chinese use of artificial intelligence to track individuals and its social credit score system.

“We believe that could happen to Hong Kong, too,” she said.

The core of the protests is over the belief that Beijing – which was handed back control of the former British colony more than 20 years ago – is increasingly stripping Hong Kong of its cherished freedoms and autonomy.

But the identity-masking efforts by the protesters also reflects deep suspicions that lines between China and Hong Kong no longer exist – including close cooperation between Hong Kong police and their mainland counterparts who have among the most advanced and intrusive surveillance systems.

“It is the fundamental reason people are protesting in the first place,” said Antony Dapiran, who wrote a book on protest culture in Hong Kong. “They don’t trust Beijing, they don’t trust their authorities and the legal system, and they don’t like the blurring of lines between Beijing and Hong Kong.”

For many who had taken to the streets over the past week, the fight was a familiar one.

In 2014, protesters occupied Hong Kong’s main arteries for 79 days demanding full universal suffrage in the territory. Prominent student leaders and activists marshaled up support night after night in mini cities that had been set up on Hong Kong’s thoroughfares, until they were eventually cleared out by police.

Today, all of the most prominent leaders of that movement – Joshua Wong, only a teenager at the time of the protests, legal scholar Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, a sociology professor – are in jail.

The masses gathered around government buildings this week were without clear leaders. Demonstrators shared protest tips and security measures with people they had met just hours before to avoid a similar fate. Meetups were primarily planned on Telegram, which became the top trending app on the iPhone app store in Hong Kong in the days leading up to the protest.

“Information on personal safety was passed around on Telegram channels and group chats,” said Caden, a 21 year-old Hong Kong student in Indiana who returned home early to participate. When he among estimated 1 million marching on June 7 to begin the protest movement.

On the group groups, Caden received a barrage of advice which included changing your username on Telegram so it sounds nothing like your actual name, changing your phone number associated with app and using SIM cards without a contract.

“We are much more cautious now for sure than in 2014. Back then, it was still kind of rare for the police to arrest people through social media,” Caden said, declining to give his full name for fear of retribution. “All of this is definitely new for most people there.”

Read full story here…




climate change

Extensive Anthology That Refutes Man-Made Global Warming

Here is an extensive collection of articles debunking global warming and man-made climate change, by experts and scientists around the world. This collection is worth saving for the next time you are challenged for facts and authoritative sources.  ⁃ TN Editor

What I Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled

Countering The Fallacy Of Global Warming

Fifty Years Of Failed Apocalyptic Forecasts

The ever receding climate goalpost: IPCC and Al Gore “12 years to save the planet” (again)

https://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/…

The Environmentalist Left Has to Grapple with Its Failed, Alarmist Predictions | National Review

18 Spectacularly Wrong Apocalyptic Predictions Made Around the Time of the First Earth Day in 1970 – Frontiers of Freedom

Earth Day, 2019: Fifty Years of Apocalyptic Global Warming Predictions and Why People Believe Them, Part 1

Al Gore’s 2007 prediction that all arctic ice would be gone by 2014 now proven to be alarming fear mongering

Deja Vu: Media Again Warn Only 10-12 Years for Climate Action

Apocalypse Delayed | National Review

Credit Rating Agencies and ‘Climate Change’ More absurd predictions

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/…

Prominent French Scientist Reverses Belief in Global Warming – Now a Skeptic

The U.N.’s Global Warming War On Capitalism: An Important History Lesson

How UN Scientists Are Preparing For The End Of Capitalism

Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

Climategate 2.0: New E-Mails Rock The Global Warming Debate

Climategate 2.0

How to Discuss Global Warming with a “Climate Alarmist.” Scientific Talking Points to Win the Debate.

More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims – Global Research

http://www.populartechnology.net…

Leading Scientists Debunk Climate Alarmism | David J. Theroux

‘Global warming is not a crisis!’: Studying climate change skepticism on the Web

Climate Change Is Real. Too Bad Accurate Climate Models Aren’t.

Flawed Climate Models

New Paper: Computer Predictions Of Climate Alarm Are Flawed

World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER

Climate Scientist: 73 UN Climate Models Wrong, No Global Warming in 17 Years

What You Never Hear About Global Warming — Sott.net

Satellites and Global Warming: Dr. Christy Sets the Record Straight

An interesting plot twist – call it an anomaly

Updated Global Temperature: No global warming for 17 years, 6 months – (No Warming for 210 Months)

No global warming at all for 18 years 9 months – a new record – The Pause lengthens again – just in time for UN Summit in Paris

How NOAA/NASA Doctored Temperature Data To Get Record Warm Years | PSI Intl

100% Of US Warming Is Due To NOAA Data Tampering

The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever

BREAKING: NOAA Fiddles With Climate Data To Erase The 15-Year Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

Massive Data Tampering Uncovered At NASA – Warmth, Cooling Disappears Due To Incompatibility With Models

Climate scientists versus climate data

Climate change whistleblower alleges NOAA manipulated data to hide global warming ‘pause’

Climate Scientists Rewriting The Past

Should Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann be Prosecuted for Climate Fraud? | PSI Intl

Climatology Sees One Of The Greatest Scientific Reversals Of All Time – The Rise And Fall Of The Hockey Stick Charts

Doubling The Hockey Stick Fraud

http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12…

IPCC HOCKEY STICK CURVE DEBUNKED STILL FURTHER

17 New (2017) Scientific Papers Affirm Today’s Warming Is Not Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable

Global Warming Bombshell

Index of /FOIA

Learn More About Climate Change

A New Low in Climate Science

Medieval Warm Period

Erasing The Medieval Warm Period

Easterbrook on the magnitude of Greenland GISP2 ice core data

In The Real World, Existential Threat of Global Warming + Climate Change Is A Double-Nothingburger

The Disgraceful Episode Of Lysenkoism Brings Us Global Warming Theory

What consensus? Less than half of climate scientists agree with the IPCC “95%” certainty

https://www.friendsofscience.org…

Oregon Petition (1998) Signed by 31,000+ Scientists and Experts

‘97% Of Climate Scientists Agree’ Is 100% Wrong

97 Articles Refuting The “97% Consensus” | Climate Dispatch

The 97 Percent Solution | National Review

The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’

Cook’s 97% Scam Debunked

97% Consequential Misperceptions: Ethics of Consensus on Global Warming

http://www.populartechnology.net…

Shock Poll: Meteorologists Are Global Warming Skeptics

Spot the Vested Interest: The $1.5 Trillion Climate Change Industry

https://www.investors.com/politi…

Curry Report: Sea-level rise within natural variation of past several thousand years

New Paper: Antarctic Sea Ice Growing, Not Shrinking

Ocean Acidification by Fossil Fuel Emissions

Ocean Acidification Claims are Misleading – and deliberately so | PSI Intl

Ocean Acidification is a lie

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/11…

FOI’s Reveal How NOAA Spin Lies About Ocean Acidification

The Myth of Ocean Acidification by Carbon Dioxide

What does the science really say about global warming and Midwest floods?

Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s, to ‘mini ice age’ levels: Sun driven by double dynamo

Ignore The Scare-Mongers: Number & Intensity Of US Hurricanes Have Remained Constant Since 1900 – The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Does CO2 correlate with temperature history? – A look at multiple timescales in the context of the Shakun et al. paper

The Greenhouse Effect Fallacy

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

The fallacy of the greenhouse effect

http://www.thesavvystreet.com/th…

Last 100 Years of CO2 & Temperatures: The IPCC’s HadCRUT Data Confirms CO2’s Small Impact On Global Warming

CO2 Science

http://co2coalition.org/wp-conte…

The 800 year lag in CO2 after temperature – graphed

New research in Antarctica shows CO2 follows temperature “by a few hundred years at most”

Non-Existent Relationship …CO2-Temperature Correlation Only 15% Of Last 165 Years

Climate Scandals: List Of 94 Climate-Gates

Why Politicized Science is Dangerous

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010…

https://climatechangedispatch.co…

Editorial bias and the prediction of climate disaster: the crisis of science communication

Matt Ridley: The Climate Wars And The Damage To Science

Science Is In Deep Trouble, New Paper Shows

Fatally Flawed Climate Science Paper ‘Should Be Withdrawn’

Robust Evidence NOAA Temperature Data Hopelessly Corrupted By Warming Bias, Manipulation

List of scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming – Wikipedia

A look at carbon dioxide vs. global temperature

The inconvenient truth about the Ice core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlations

Alleged Correlation between CO2 and Global Warming

Miami Herald: Search Results

Pachauri: It’s Too Late to Fight Climate Change

Central England Temperatures: Do They Provide Evidence That Current Global Warming Scare Is Totally Blown Out of Proportion?

No Trend In Extreme Weather In The US

Embarrassing fail…IPCC

The History Of The Modern “Climate Change” Scam

Climate Racketeering

Climate “Science” on Trial; Data Chiropractioners “Adjust” Data

https://www.investors.com/politi…

Table of Contents

http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoy…

3 Chemists Conclude CO2 Greenhouse Effect Is ‘Unreal’, Violates Laws Of Physics, Thermodynamics

New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model

Full text of “Fritz Vahrenholt The Neglected Sun”

Solar Evidence of Global Warming

Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges

The missing link between exploding stars, clouds, and climate on Earth: Breakthrough in understanding of how cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth’s cloud cover and thereby climate

Cosmic influences on the atmosphere

Depak Lal: India Should Join U.S. And Abandon Paris Agreement – The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Temperature History

Historical Temperatures – Charts/Graphs

UK December coldest for 100 years

What Science Reveals About Climate Change

New Paper Documents Main Reasons For International Controversy About The IPCC’s SR1.5 Report

GWPF Welcomes Grantham Institute Acknowledgement That “CO2 Benefits Are Indeed Good News”

Royal Society Misrepresents Climate Science

Pandelidis climate column riddled with errors

Evidence Mounts Against Climate Prediction That Inspired ‘Day After Tomorrow’ Disaster Flick

The global warming salesmen are polluting science again

Scientists Prove Man-Made Global Warming Is A Hoax

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Reality: The Former Vice President’s Home Energy Use Surges up to 34 Times the National Average Despite Costly Green Renovations, by Drew Johnson

C3

The March for … What?

Global Temperature Graphs

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate Will cause harmful global cooling!

A history of fears about the climate: Fabius Maximus website

World leaders duped by manipulated global warming data

Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Who Endorsed Obama Now Says Prez. is ‘Ridiculous’ & ‘Dead Wrong’ on ‘Global Warming’

Obama’s Motorcade for Climate Change Talks Costing $784,825 – Washington Free Beacon

What global warming? Antarctic ice is INCREASING by 135billion tonnes a year, says NASA

https://www.investors.com/climat…

https://www.investors.com/global…

Here are a few useful websites/blogs:

Watts Up With That?

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) – Common Sense on Climate Change

JoNova

Climate Change Archives

climate science

Global Climate Scam

Climate Depot

Climate Etc.

Welcome

The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

“Not here to worship what is known, but to question it” – Jacob Bronowski. Climate and energy news from Germany in English – by Pierre L. Gosselin

Youtube videos:

For light-hearted: Dilbert on Climate Change

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Human Rights Lawyer: Facial Recognition Is Arsenic In The Water Of Democracy

One critic of Social Engineering and Digital Slavery, aka Technocracy, suggests that “Mass surveillance has a chilling effect that distorts public behaviour.” Indeed, the world has little time left to reverse the trend. ⁃ TN Editor

Automated facial recognition poses one of the greatest threats to individual freedom and should be banned from use in public spaces, according to the director of the campaign group Liberty.

Martha Spurrier, a human rights lawyer, said the technology had such fundamental problems that, despite police enthusiasm for the equipment, its use on the streets should not be permitted.

She said: “I don’t think it should ever be used. It is one of, if not the, greatest threats to individual freedom, partly because of the intimacy of the information it takes and hands to the state without your consent, and without even your knowledge, and partly because you don’t know what is done with that information.”

Police in England and Wales have used automated facial recognition (AFR) to scan crowds for suspected criminals in trials in city centres, at music festivals, sports events and elsewhere. The events, from a Remembrance Sunday commemoration at the Cenotaph to the Notting Hill festival and the Six Nations rugby, drew combined crowds in the millions.

San Francisco recently became the first US city to ban police and other agencies from using automated facial recognition, following widespread condemnation of China’s use of the technology to impose control over millions of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

When deployed in public spaces, automated facial recognition units use a camera to record faces in a crowd. The images are then processed to create a biometric map of each person’s face, based on measurements of the distance between their eyes, nose, mouth and jaw. Each map is then checked against a “watchlist” containing the facial maps of suspected criminals.

Spurrier said: “I think it’s pretty salutary that the world capital of technology has just banned this technology. We should sit up and listen when San Francisco decides that they don’t want this on their streets.

“It goes far above and beyond what we already have, such as CCTV and stop-and-search. It takes us into uncharted invasive state surveillance territory where everyone is under surveillance. By its nature it is a mass surveillance tool.”

She said a lack of strong governance and oversight could allow the police to roll out live facial recognition by stealth, without a meaningful debate on whether the public wanted it or not. The technology was developing so fast, she said, that government was failing to keep up.

“There is a real sense of technological determinism that is often pushed by the big corporations, but also by law enforcement and by government, that it’s inevitable we’ll have this, so we should stop talking about why we shouldn’t have it,” she said.

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