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Google Chrome Listening In To Your Room Shows The Importance Of Privacy Defense In Depth

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big_pia_guy2Originally Posted on June 18, 2015 by      

 

 

Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

It looked like just another bug report. “When I start Chromium, it downloads something.” Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines “Microphone: Yes” and “Audio Capture Allowed: Yes”.

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Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room.

A brief explanation of the Open-source / Free-software philosophy is needed here. When you’re installing a version of GNU/Linux like Debian or Ubuntu onto a fresh computer, thousands of really smart people have analyzed every line of human-readable source code before that operating system was built into computer-executable binary code, to make it common and open knowledge what the machine actually does instead of trusting corporate statements on what it’s supposed to be doing. Therefore, you don’t install black boxes onto a Debian or Ubuntu system; you use software repositories that have gone through this source-code audit-then-build process. Maintainers of operating systems like Debian and Ubuntu use many so-called “upstreams” of source code to build the final product.

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Jade Helm, Terrorist Attacks, Surveillance and Other Fairy Tales for a Gullible Nation

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This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
July 6, 2015
“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.” ― Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly

Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillance, the people believed it was done merely to keep them safe. The few who disagreed were labeled traitors.

When the government waged costly preemptive wars on foreign countries, insisting it was necessary to protect the nation, the citizens believed it. And when the government brought the weapons and tactics of war home to use against the populace, claiming it was just a way to recycle old equipment, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were labeled unpatriotic.

When the government spied on its own citizens, claiming they were looking for terrorists hiding among them, the people believed it. And when the government began tracking the citizenry’s movements, monitoring their spending, snooping on their social media, and surveying their habits—supposedly in an effort to make their lives more efficient—the people believed that, too. The few who disagreed were labeled paranoid.

When the government let private companies take over the prison industry and agreed to keep the jails full, justifying it as a cost-saving measure, the people believed them. And when the government started arresting and jailing people for minor infractions, claiming the only way to keep communities safe was to be tough on crime, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were labeled soft on crime.

When the government hired crisis actors to take part in disaster drills, never alerting the public to which “disasters” were staged, the people genuinely believed they were under attack. And when the government insisted it needed greater powers to prevent such attacks from happening again, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were told to shut up or leave the country.

Finally, the government started carrying out covert military drills around the country, insisting they were necessary to train the troops for foreign combat, and most of the people believed them. The few who disagreed, warning that perhaps all was not what it seemed, were dismissed as conspiracy theorists and quacks.

By the time the government locked down the nation, using local police and the military to impose martial law, there was no one left in doubt of the government’s true motives—total control and domination—but there was also no one left to fight back.

Now every fable has a moral, and the moral of this story is to beware of anyone who urges you to ignore your better instincts and trust the government.

In other words, if it looks like trouble and it smells like trouble, you can bet there’s trouble afoot.

For instance, while there is certainly no shortage of foul-smelling government activities taking place right now, the one giving off the greatest stench is Jade Helm 15. This covert, multi-agency, multi-state, eight-week military training exercise is set to take place from July 15 through Sept. 15 in states across the American Southwest.

According to official government sources, “Jade Helm: Mastering the Human Domain” is a planned military exercise that will test and practice unconventional warfare including, but not limited to, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and unconventional assisted recovery. The training exercise will take place in seven different southwestern states: California, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Nevada.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command will primarily lead this interagency training program but the Navy Seals, Air Force Special Operations, Marine Special Operations Command, Marine Expeditionary Units, 82nd Airborne Division, and other interagency partners will also be involved. Approximately 1,200 troops are expected to participate in these exercises.

The training is known as Realistic Military Training because it will be conducted outside of federal property. The exercises are going to be carried out on both public and private land, with the military reportedly asking permission of local authorities and landowners prior to land usage. The military map listing the locations that will host the exercise shows Texas, Utah, and the southern part of California as “hostile territory.” According to U.S. officials, these three areas are marked as hostile to simulate environments where American troops are viewed as the enemy. The other areas on the map are marked as permissive, uncertain (leaning friendly), or uncertain (leaning hostile).

Military officials claim that the southwestern states were chosen because this exercise requires large areas of undeveloped land as well as access to towns and population hubs. These states purportedly also provide a climate and terrain that is similar to that of potential areas of combat for the United States, particularly Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Now the mainstream media has happily regurgitated the government’s official explanation about Jade Helm. However, there is a growing concern among those who are not overly worried about being labeled conspiratorialists or paranoid that the government is using Jade Helm as a cover to institute martial law, bring about total population control, or carry out greater surveillance on the citizenry.

In the first camp are those who fear that Jade Helm will usher in martial law.

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Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
June 2, 2015
“A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.”—Writers Against Mass Surveillance

THE GOOD NEWS: Americans have a right to freely express themselves on the Internet, including

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD  Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

making threatening—even violent—statements on Facebook, provided that they don’t intend to actually inflict harm.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis v. United States threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who was charged with making unlawful threats (it was never proven that he intended to threaten anyone) and sentenced to 44 months in jail after he posted allusions to popular rap lyrics and comedy routines on his Facebook page. It’s a ruling that has First Amendment implications for where the government can draw the line when it comes to provocative and controversial speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.

That same day, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the legal justification allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, officially expired. Over the course of nearly a decade, if not more, the NSA had covertly spied on millions of Americans, many of whom were guilty of nothing more than using a telephone, and stored their records in government databases. For those who have been fighting the uphill battle against the NSA’s domestic spying program, it was a small but symbolic victory.

THE BAD NEWS: Congress’ legislative “fix,” intended to mollify critics of the NSA, will ensure that the agency is not in any way hindered in its ability to keep spying on Americans’ communications.

The USA FREEDOM Act could do more damage than good by creating a false impression that Congress has taken steps to prevent the government from spying on the telephone calls of citizens, while in fact ensuring the NSA’s ability to continue invading the privacy and security of Americans.

For instance, the USA FREEDOM Act not only reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act for a period of time, but it also delegates to telecommunications companies the responsibility of carrying out phone surveillance on American citizens.

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FISA secrets: The Court That Lays Golden Unconstitutional Eggs

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new-logo25Marti Oakley        © copyright 2014 All rights reserved

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Legal v Lawful:  Weasel word swapping at its finest

Weasel word swaps are those words and phrases that sound as if they mean a certain thing and, most of you have been conditioned to believe mean something specific, when in fact, they do not. The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge William Pauley III who took it upon himself to violate the Constitutional rights of every American citizen when he decided that the unwarranted and illegal  NSA spying on virtually everyone, was LEGAL (he did NOT say lawful).  The swapping of the word legal as opposed to lawful requires a closer look.

Definition of legalize:

To make legal or lawful; to confirm or validate what was before void or unlawful; to add the sanction and authority of law to that which before was without or against law.  

In other words, the NSA Spying without probable cause, without obtaining a warrant  is and was1441183_401318466665654_1752838926_n unconstitutional and therefore, unlawful.  Pauley, who knew exactly what he was doing, attempted to by-pass the Constitutional prohibitions against exactly this kind of unfettered and lawless activity by the government and its incorporated agencies to make an otherwise Constitutionally prohibited activity appear to be lawful.

Law Dictionary:

Definition of Legal:  Blacks Law Fifth Edition page 803, column 1, para: 9

Conforming to the law; according to the law; countenanced by the law; good and effectual in law. Not forbidden or discountenanced by law; good and effectual in law.

This contrasts with a ruling earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon who ruled that the spying was in fact, unconstitutional and unlawful.

Here’s a clue:  More

NSA Spying vs. Trayvon Martin

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 new-logo25Marti Oakley

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The Trayvon Martin case is being used as a national diversion so that the public will focus on the hyped up court case and not on Benghazi-gate, the IRS scandal or, the massive NSA illegal spying recently exposed by Edward Snowden, the whistleblower.

The concentration on the Martin v Zimmerman case was blown up, puffed up, hyped up and dutifullycensor kept in the headlines of every Lame Street Media outlet.   DOJ “peacekeepers” from the Community Outreach department, were sent in to help the public “organize” protests which LSM focused on and allowed issues of real importance such as the illegal spying by a rogue government agency to slide into the back ground.

This is very much like the CIA was sent into Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lybia……to help people in those places (many of whom were bussed into the hot zones from parts unknown) “organize” the civil uprisings that overthrew the governments. More

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