"On Monday, President Barack Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to saddle Internet service providers (ISPs) with many of the same burdensome regulations that telephone companies have to comply with. Why would the president seek to regulate a network that seems to be working efficiently without the government? The answer, unsurprisingly, is cronyism.
For years, Internet giants like Facebook, Google, and Netflix have been pushing for network neutrality to avoid paying for the traffic their users hog from ISPs. As it currently stands, Netflix and YouTube account for half of all peak-hour download traffic in the United States, often leading to slow buffering speeds during prime hours. As a result, some ISPs have sought to provide better service to their customers by suggesting that the Netflix and YouTubes of the world pay slightly more for their users to stream videos faster — a pretty clear-cut win for customers if ever there was one."
(Via.) RareDon’t be fooled: Net neutrality is all about cronyism
"A Stingray mimics a cellphone tower and forces all nearby mobile phones or devices to connect to it. Every phone that connects to the Stingray reports its number, GPS location, and the numbers of all outgoing calls and texts.”
https://www.gotenna.com - Encrypted and localized antennas that work without cell towers.Create your own network, text specific people and groups, even when you don't have cell tower service.
https://www.blackphone.ch/ - Blackphone combines a custom operating system with leading applications optimized for security.
"Although it appears to be spreading through a third-party OS X app store in China and consequently largely confined to that country, the development could be a taste of things to come for iDevice owners in other parts of the world if similarly designed malware is launched by other cybercriminals, or even the same group"
(Via.) Fox News ‘WireLurker’ malware targeting iPhones and iPads marks ‘new era’ in iOS attacks
Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker used pro bono lawyers from big law firms to attack religious freedom by issuing subpoenas to them. (Read one here.) One of the attorneys who issued the subpoenas is Kristen Schlemmer at Susman Godfrey, LLP. Her firm page is here.
"It’s all premised on the implausible idea that people who make and sell us food have no concern as to whether it makes us sick. It only takes a quick second, though, to realize that this idea just isn’t true. So long as there is a functioning, consumer-driven marketplace, customer focus, which presumably includes not killing you, is the best regulator. Producer reputation has been a huge feature of profitability, too. And hygiene was a huge feature of reputation — long before Yelp.
Lawrence Reed deals ably with other myths of the meat-packing industry. Sinclair’s book was not intended as a factual account. It was a fantasy rendered as a socialist screed. It did drum up support for regulation, but the real reason for the act’s passage was that the large Chicago meat packers realized that regulation would hurt their smaller competitors more than themselves. Meat inspections imposed costs that cartelized the industry. That’s why the largest players were the law’s biggest promoters. Such laws almost have more to do with benefiting elites than protecting the public."
"At the same time Gen. Keith Alexander was running the National Security Agency, the United States’ biggest spying outfit, he was also trading stocks in an obscure technology company that had a sweetheart deal with one of the NSA’s most important sources of intelligence—the global phone and Internet giant AT&T.
In 2008, Alexander bought and sold tens of thousands of dollars in stock in a company called Synchronoss Technologies Inc., based in Bridgewater Township, N.J., according to the retired Army general’s financial-disclosure forms. You’ve probably never heard of Synchronoss, but, like the NSA, it probably knows who you are. If you’ve ever activated a new iPhone or synced your personal information across multiple devices—such as your phone, and your home and office computer—there’s a chance that Synchronoss’s technology helped make it happen. The company’s customers are some of the largest telecommunications service providers in the world—including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable—along with their more than 3 billion mobile subscribers."
"Voting is important—to politicians, because it gives them a sense of validation. Good-government types like the whole balloting ritual, too, because they get warm fuzzies from seeing others invest time and energy into the institution that defines so much of their sense of self-worth. That's why you'll be endlessly nagged—and even receive implied threats—to punch your card, fill in the oval, or tap the screen for the candidate who disgusts you least. But in terms of influencing government officials, grimly performing what others insist is a duty every couple of years and then (with good reason) bitching about the outcome isn't the last word in civic participation."
(Via.) Reason.comHow to Make Life Inconvenient for Politicians Not Just on Election Day — But Every Day
"A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.
The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest."
(Via.) Washington TimesInside the Ring: Directive outlines Obama's plan to use the military against citizens
"I've been called crazy countless times in my life. I was called crazy when I quit school in my teens in order to go out into the world to gain true knowledge and experience. I was called crazy when I quit my 'secure' job at a bank and started an internet company in 1994 (which went on to be worth $240 million at its peak). I was (and still am) called crazy when I began to state forcibly in 2009 that we are nearing the very end of this monetary and financial system.
And I was (and still am) called crazy for thinking bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have the potential to change everything."
(Via.) The Dollar Vigilante Think You Missed the Bitcoin Boat? You Didn't. It Hasn't Even Started Yet.
Manuel Medina understands this, too. That’s why the Bexar County Democratic Party chairman launched a new Spanish-language ad last Thursday on Univision, implying that tea party Republicans rank up there with ISIS as the organization most likely to behead us in our sleep.
"Tor, after all, doesn’t just let users hide their identities from the sites they visit, anonymously buying drugs on the Silk Road or uploading leaked documents to news sites through the leak platform SecureDrop. It’s also designed to circumvent censorship and surveillance that occurs much closer to the user’s own connection, such as in repressive regimes like Iran or China. And since Facebook uses SSL encryption, no surveillance system watching either Facebook’s connection or the user’s local traffic should be able to match up a user’s identity with their Facebook activity."
(Via.) WIRED Why Facebook Just Launched Its Own 'Dark Web' Site
"Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of U.S. power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity.
Concerns that the grand jury may bring no charges and thus stir new tumult in this city, where protests have been held nightly, have left many in the region — like school administrators to business owners — bracing for the decision, which could come next month.
"To blot people out of existence first you must blot them from your mind. Then you can persuade yourself that what you are doing is moral and necessary. Today, this isn’t difficult. Those who act without compassion can draw upon a system of thought and language whose purpose is to shield them – and blind us – to the consequences…
"When I regained consciousness, I was on my back in a pool of blood trying to assess the damage from the gunshot wound in my cheek. Was this a case of small entry, big exit, as often happens with bullets? Was the back of my head missing? I heard a voice saying, ‘Don’ worry, you be all right, you be all right,’ and when I opened my eyes I saw an old Hispanic man looking down at me like Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan. My ‘backup’ was nowhere in sight. They hadn’t even called for assistance—I never heard the famed ‘Code 1013,’ meaning ‘Officer Down.’ They didn’t call an ambulance either, I later learned; the old man did. One patrol car responded to investigate, and realizing I was a narcotics officer rushed me to a nearby hospital (one of the officers who drove me that night said, ‘If I knew it was him, I would have left him there to bleed to death,’ I learned later).
The next time I saw my ‘back-up’ officers was when one of them came to the hospital to bring me my watch. I said, ‘What the hell am I going to do with a watch? What I needed was a back-up. Where were you?’ He said, ‘Fuck you,’ and left. Both my ‘back-ups’ were later awarded medals for saving my life."
And beyond the widespread outrage over what seems like a strike against religious freedom in America, Metaxas sees “chilling” parallels with the social and political climate of 1930s Germany. That time and place is the backdrop to his best-selling book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian leader who was jailed and later executed for plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
"In a newly released video from a 2012 National Rifle Association event, Iowa Republican senate candidate Joni Ernst said that she would use a gun to defend herself from the government.
‘I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important,’"
"There was sharp disagreement over the facts in the case.
The defendants' lawyers said there was strong evidence the guards were targeted with gunfire from insurgents and Iraqi police, leading the guards to shoot back in self-defense. Federal prosecutors said there was no incoming gunfire and that the shootings by the guards were unprovoked.
The prosecution focused on the defendants' intent, contending that some of the Blackwater guards harbored a low regard and deep hostility toward Iraqi civilians.
The guards, the prosecution said, held 'a grave indifference' to the death and injury that their actions probably would cause Iraqis. Several former Blackwater guards testified that they had been generally distrustful of Iraqis, based on experience the guards said they had had in being led into ambushes."
(Via.) Fox NewsBlackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings
Missouri state Senator Jamilah Nasheed, a Democrat who was sponsored several “anti-gun” bills in her state, was arrested Monday night during a protest outside of the Ferguson Police Department. However, it’s what police officers found on her that is raising eyebrows.
Could an Irish man selling products globally using Bitcoin as the accepted currency be the next Amazon? Karl Edwards sells everything from e-cigaretes to barbecues and a whole lot more at his site buybybitcoin.com (as in buy by bitcoin), an easy little jingle to remember.
I wonder how this will compete with Amazon? Or will Amazon get ahead of the power curve by becoming early adapters and start accepting Bitcoins themselves?
The older (November 2013) CNN article entitled 8 things you can buy with Bitcoin right now says that, "Most of (Karl’s) business is still in government-sponsored dollars, though. He's not investing heavily in Bitcoin, as he still sees the currency as an experiment. 'At this stage, it's play money,’" Karl supposedly said.
Having just visited the website, it looks rather robust after less than a year… At least for a man who is just "dabbling in” crypto currency, there looks to be some proof of work here - he even has a verified by PayPal logo on his site. But that doesn’t mean much… does anyone have any experience with them yet? If so, leave your comments below.
On the other hand, OpenBazaar may be more decentralized and viable option, until larger organizations like Amazon, Paypal, etc., start accepting this form of payment - hopefully before they find themselves out of a rapidly growing community of people who trust cyber currency much more the current system.
Is this far fetched speculation? Perhaps, but who would have thought that Apple would have the courage to take a step back and protect their customers from “big brother”? How long will it last? Just as long as there are consumers who buy it and prove that they want their privacy.
Who knows what kind of jobs such diversity in the marketplace could open up amongst the local community? One would suppose (with just a cursory overhead pass), everything from local delivery of hemp (now legal in Tennessee) bracelets/clothing to a Wireless Gaming Chairs ($249.95), to local delivery of private underground lemonade manufacturers that cops seem to be so darned sure is best regulated… for your own good of course.
“Five-0 allows citizens to record and store data from every encounter with law enforcement. Find out how people in your community rate your local law enforcement. Submit your reviews and share them with family, neighbors, media and the international community. Rate and review law enforcement and create a safer community for all!"
Apple users can sign up to be on the notification list for the iOS version.
The doctors and experts that are saying [a travel ban wouldn't work] are working for the [Obama] administration and are repeating the administration talking points. Their arguments don’t make sense. The first argument about the screens doesn’t make sense because they don’t work during the 21-day incubation period and the second argument that they make is they say a travel ban would prevent health care relief workers from arriving in West Africa. No one is talking about banning flights into West Africa, of course physicians and nurses and health care workers should be allowed to go in there and we can send them in on charter flights or military C-130 aircraft with appropriate safety precautions. That’s very different from saying commercial airlines should fly, day after day after day, with hundreds of passengers connecting with thousands of passengers coming all throughout the country. The arguments they’re giving don’t make sense.
"As with every crisis in the history of the modern world, Ebola fears have given rise to debates over government power. When people are afraid, they have this irrational penchant for reaching out to government to save them. Never mind that the power might be abused or might not even be a necessary, much less suitable, power. Government is magic: if something is big, important, crucial, people long for government to do it.
So it is with Ebola. It’s terrifying. We can’t just allow people to wander around with the disease and infect others. We could all die under those conditions. So we need government to discern who has the disease, force these people against their will to stay away from others, and even to put together a plan for how to deal with mass outbreak, even if that involves creating camps of sick people and keeping them all there by force.
What do you libertarians want? Total laissez faire?
The U.S. government already has an extensive plan for dealing with communicable diseases, and these plans involve forcible quarantines. You can read all about it at the website for the Centers for Disease Control. "
President Obama on Friday appointed Ron Klain, a former chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joseph R. Biden Jr., as Ebola “czar” to manage the government’s response to the deadly virus as anxiety grew over its possible spread, according to a White House official.
Mr. Klain is known for his ability to handle high-stakes and fast-moving political crises. He was the lead Democratic lawyer for Mr. Gore during the 2000 election recount, and was later played by Kevin Spacey in the HBO drama “Recount” about the disputed contest.
A passenger died on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight after a vomiting fit on Thursday — and a top lawmaker said officials gave the corpse only a “cursory” exam before declaring that the victim did not have Ebola.
demanding “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession,”
"According to Phil Williams at News Channel 5, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson sent a scathing letter last week to the House Committee on Oversight complaining that Secret Service agents asked Nashville police officers to falsify a warrant during an investigation into a local resident who allegedly posted “threatening” comments about President Obama on Facebook.
Williams’ report notes that, in January of 2013, Secret Service agents working out of the Nashville field office visited the home of the resident who made the Facebook postings and knocked on his door. Then, an agent called local police and asked for backup, stating that the individual was refusing to let them in without a warrant and appeared to be armed. When Nashville police arrived, they informed the Secret Service agents that the man in question is a licensed gun owner, did not violate the law, and that a warrant would be required in order to investigate further. Chief Anderson said in his letter, ‘one of the agents then asked a [Nashville police] sergeant to ‘wave a piece of paper’ in an apparent effort to dupe the resident into thinking that they indeed had a warrant.’ Faced with a request to violate their oath of office and the rights of a citizen, the officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department flatly refused and left the scene.
Chief Anderson, upset that his officers were asked to violate a citizen’s rights in a way that could have escalated into a dangerous situation, contacted then Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and Assistant Director A.T. Smith to file a complaint. Pierson did not reply to Anderson, but Smith did so in a demeaning tone, essentially telling Nashville’s police chief to ‘mind [his] own affairs’ and refusing to investigate the incident."
Editors note: if you really want to impress Americans as an Oath Keeper, arrest the scum that are violating citizens rights.
(Via.) Ben Swann Truth In Media Oath Upheld: Nashville Cops Refused Secret Service Request for Illegal Search of Obama Critic
"In an effort to protect the private communications of iPhone and iPad users, Apple said on Wednesday its latest mobile operating system, the iOS8, has built-in encryption features that does not allow anybody – even police with search warrants – from accessing data stored on handheld devices.
News of the updated features was unveiled together with a statement to customers, some of whom expressed concern after it was revealed that Apple in the past complied with legally-binding police requests to unlock customer devices.
‘Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your pass code and therefore cannot access this data,’ Apple said on its website. ‘So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.’
The statement then attempted to shine some light on national security requests made by the government.
‘A tiny percentage of our millions of accounts is affected by national security-related requests. In the first six months of 2014, we received 250 or fewer of these requests. Though we would like to be more specific, by law this is the most precise information we are currently allowed to disclose.’"
(Via.) The Free Thought Project Apple Responds To Consumer Concern, Makes iPads, iPhones, Cop Proof, Even With Search Warrants
“...the video takes for granted that it is a good thing if an American gets a job at the expense of a foreigner. After all, the whole point of urging viewers to spend more money on American products is that this will cause ‘insourcing.’ Firms will lay off foreign workers and bring those jobs back home to the United States. But other things equal, why should we hold this ethical view? The question is even harder to answer once we consider that the foreign workers who, according to the video producers, will lose their jobs are probably extremely poor compared to the Americans who will get the jobs. Since when is it a noble thing to put a desperately poor person out of work?
This obvious (but unstated) national prejudice of the video provoked the following unintentionally ironic statement in the comments at YouTube: ‘I am Canadian but I always try to buy north american [sic] made when possible.’ I wonder if this Canadian actually means all of North America, including Mexico? Or does he just mean Canada and the United States? If he feels kinship with the members of his continent, what about the entire Western Hemisphere? Should he ‘buy Western’ to keep jobs for his buddies in Brazil, rather than shipping them to those parasites in Thailand? Going the other way, should Americans also try to increase their purchases of items made in state by 5 percent, so that Texans keep jobs in Texas, while Floridians keep jobs in Florida? Of course I'm kidding; I am trying to show the arbitrariness of adjusting one’s spending to ‘create jobs at home.’"
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.
Illinois State Police have set up their own Star Chamber to deny Illinois concealed carry license (CCW) applicants the right to carry.
The concept of a Star Chamber evolved out of 16th and 17th century England where ordinary courts failed to satisfy justice for the ordinary man or exempted nobility from punishment. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments and no witnesses. Eventually, the Star Chamber evolved into a political weapon like that used by the Illinois State Police.
There are a few interesting things about the scandal Lurie was embroiled in years ago. You can—and should—read all about it in the Los Angeles Times‘ excellent front-page expose from November 2011, headlined: “Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal: A company controlled by a longtime political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.” This Forbes piece is also interesting.
Ferguson #MikeBrown protesters stormed the upscale Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis on Monday afternoon.
The mall includes Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Kors, Talbots, Tiffany & Co. and several upscale stores.
The CDC deployed a team of 10 — three senior epidemiologists, a communication officer, a public health adviser and five epidemic intelligence officers, or "disease detectives" — to Dallas on the night of Sept. 30, hours after the agency announced that Duncan, a Liberian national who traveled to Dallas, had the Ebola virus. The next afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, head of the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; CDC director Tom Frieden; and David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, agreed during a conference call to set up an Emergency Operations Center in Dallas County with Jenkins in charge.
The Second Amendment of the United States was never written to protect hunting or target shooting. It was written by men who had just fought a successful armed revolution against the most advanced military of their day, and who wanted to ensure that future generations would be armed with weapons of contemporary military utility in order to stand against the day that once more, tyrants would attempt to consolidate power and lord over the people as their betters.
When Maj. Wakefield clears her throat, heads swivel. She too has questions: are the human targets positively identified as enemies? Are they demonstrating hostile intent? Because if not, you can't engage, she reminds them. And if you can engage, should you?
Then there is the issue of proportionality, she reminds them. You're not allowed to use excessive force when lesser force will get the job done. As the U.S. Field Manual on the law of land warfare puts it, "loss of life and damage to property must not be out of proportion to the military advantage to be gained" in any operation.