Posts tagged US

Facebook Goes Full “Black Mirror

Medium, facebook, black mirror, privacy, social capital, china, US, walled gardens

If we give in to the sheer gigantic sweep of Facebook and the convenience it creates, and feed all our collective information into its ever-more-intelligent algorithms; if news is read and messages are sent primarily within the Facebook network so that each of these interactions sows new data points in our profiles; and if we build up thousands upon thousands of these innocuous-seeming interactions over years and years, and those interactions are overlaid with face-recognized images, marketing data from online purchases, browsing histories and, now, GPS-tracked driving data, is this total bartering of privacy worth the buy-in to Zuckerberg’s “supportive,” “safe,” “informed,” “civically engaged,” global community?

via https://thebolditalic.com/facebook-goes-full-black-mirror-how-facebook-is-making-membership-a-prerequisite-to-everyday-e88fb03b0eb9

Where are they now? The Russian bots that disrupted the 2016 election

Medium, bots, russia, US, 2016, 2017, DNC, Trump

Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia was behind several hacking incidents, including the infamous email breach of the Democratic National Committee last year that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blames for her electoral loss. Hacking, however, was only part of the equation. The use of social media bots to spread fake news was part of a larger disinformation campaign to help Trump get elected. But now that the United States’ election is over, where are they?

via https://thinkprogress.org/russian-bots-where-are-they-now-e2674c19017b

SimSunrise  “The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each…

LLNL, nuclear test, film, US, nuke, sun, Now I am become Death the destroyer of worlds

video link

*SimSunrise* 

“The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. These are the declassified films of tests conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. These are the declassified films of tests conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.“

(via https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvGO_dWo8VfcmG166wKRy5z-GlJ_OQND5 )

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud

EFF, privacy, security, travel, US, USA, data, borders

The U.S. government reported a five-fold increase in the number of electronic media searches at the border in a single year, from 4,764 in 2015 to 23,877 in 2016.1 Every one of those searches was a potential privacy violation. Our lives are minutely documented on the phones and laptops we carry, and in the cloud. Our devices carry records of private conversations, family photos, medical documents, banking information, information about what websites we visit, and much more. Moreover, people in many professions, such as lawyers and journalists, have a heightened need to keep their electronic information confidential. How can travelers keep their digital data safe? This guide (updating a previous guide from 20112) helps travelers understand their individual risks when crossing the U.S. border, provides an overview of the law around border search, and offers a brief technical overview to securing digital data.

via https://www.eff.org/wp/digital-privacy-us-border–2017

Chelsea Manning to Be Released Early as Obama Commutes Sentence

Chelsea-Manning, wikileaks, whistleblower, US, Military, leaks

President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted Mr. Obama’s administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures. The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

via https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/obama-commutes-bulk-of-chelsea-mannings-sentence.html

How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell

geography, GPS, mapping, MR, VR, AR, kansas, US, glitch, GIS, bugs, design

For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat. As any geography nerd knows, the precise center of the United States is in northern Kansas, near the Nebraska border. Technically, the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of the center spot are 39°50′N 98°35′W. In digital maps, that number is an ugly one: 39.8333333,-98.585522. So back in 2002, when MaxMind was first choosing the default point on its digital map for the center of the U.S., it decided to clean up the measurements and go with a simpler, nearby latitude and longitude: 38°N 97°W or 38.0000,-97.0000. As a result, for the last 14 years, every time MaxMind’s database has been queried about the location of an IP address in the United States it can’t identify, it has spit out the default location of a spot two hours away from the geographic center of the country. This happens a lot: 5,000 companies rely on MaxMind’s IP mapping information, and in all, there are now over 600 million IP addresses associated with that default coordinate. If any of those IP addresses are used by a scammer, or a computer thief, or a suicidal person contacting a help line, MaxMind’s database places them at the same spot: 38.0000,-97.0000. Which happens to be in the front yard of Joyce Taylor’s house.

via http://fusion.net/story/287592/internet-mapping-glitch-kansas-farm/

Domestic terrorists threaten us more than Syrian refugees.

USA, US, terrorism, religion, extremism, RWNJ

among the 27 fatal terror attacks inflicted in this country since 9/11, 20 were committed by domestic right-wing extremists. (The other seven attacks were committed by domestic jihadists, not by foreign terrorist organizations.) Of the 77 people killed in these 27 incidents, two-thirds died at the hands of anti-abortion fanatics, “Christian Identity” zealots, white anti-Semites, or other right-wing militants.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/11/robert_lewis_dear_is_one_of_many_religious_extremists_bred_in_north_carolina.html

The American Oligarchy

US, USA, government, corporatism, democracy, oligarchy, power, infuence, wealth, Princeton

What kind of oligarchy? As Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan explains, Gilens and Page’s findings provide support for two theories of governance: economic elite domination and biased pluralism. The first is pretty straightforward and states that the ultra-wealthy wield all the power in a given system, though some argue that this system still allows elites in corporations and the government to become powerful as well. Here, power does not necessarily derive from wealth, but those in power almost invariably come from the upper class. Biased pluralism on the other hand argues that the entire system is a mess and interest groups ruled by elites are fighting for dominance of the political process. Also, because of their vast wealth of resources, interest groups of large business tend to dominate a lot of the discourse.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy

Meet the Company That Secretly Built ‘Cuban Twitter’

the atlantic, zunzuneo, state, security, NSA, US, surveillance, politics, business, cuba, tunisia

If ZunZuneo looks ridiculous in retrospect, it’s because 2011 is a different country. We now know U.S. security apparatus may threaten the “open Internet” as much as an oppressive government, if not more. Clinton’s speeches as secretary of state dwell on freedom of expression but not freedom from surveillance, and now—following the NSA revelations—we have a good idea why. Beyond all this, as sociologist Zeynep Tufecki writes, it’s likely that the failure of ZunZuneo will threaten online activism abroad, even if it’s not associated with the U.S. government.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/04/the-fall-of-internet-freedom-meet-the-company-that-secretly-built-cuban-twitter/360168/

Global Currency

USD, US, UK, Bretton Woods, Monetary Policy, deception, debt, 1944

The dollar became world key currency some 65 years ago. To be precise: during the night of July 13th and 14th, 1944. For it was during that night that the US, and even today this fact is still hardly known, clandestinely changed the wording in the documents of the Bretton Woods conference. When the conference members – stemming from 44 nations – finally signed the Agreement, they had no clue, that the US had amended the word “gold” with “and US-dollar”. It was in this manner – which the UK later described as “pure deception” – that the US-dollar became the world key currency and the US a superpower. This deception is more than just tragic: for without it the current crisis could not have developed, since the enormous disequilibrium between the US and the rest of the world which has lead into this crisis was only possible due to the special role of the US-dollar.

http://www.utnr.net/global-currency/

Secret NSA Documents Show How the US Spies on Europe and the UN

UN, NSA, US, surveillance, EU

The classified documents, which SPIEGEL has seen, demonstrate how systematically the Americans target other countries and institutions like the EU, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and the UN. They show how the NSA infiltrated the Europeans’ internal computer network between New York and Washington, used US embassies abroad to intercept communications and eavesdropped on video conferences of UN diplomats. The surveillance is intensive and well-organized – and it has little or nothing to do with counter-terrorism.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/secret-nsa-documents-show-how-the-us-spies-on-europe-and-the-un-a–918625.html

Internet of food: Arduino-based, urban aquaponics

IOT, farming, agriculture, groworld, arduino, aquaponics, urban farming, urban agriculture, US, Oakl

“I feel knowledge of electronics and software programming makes me a better farmer than just having a hoe. Gardens that can communicate for themselves using the internet can lead to exchanging of ideas in ways that were not possible before. I can test, for instance, whether the same tomato grows better in Oakland or the Sahara Desert given the same conditions. Then I can share the same information with farmers in Iceland and China.”

http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/internet-food-arduino-based-urban-aquaponics-in-oakland/