Category Archives: Privacy

China’s Social Credit System – It’s Coming to the United States, by Marin Katusa

Everything is in place for the US government to copy China’s Social Credit Score system. From Marin Katusa at internationalman.com:

In 2015, a 16-year-old student from Jiangsu, China, tried to board a train.

She couldn’t even purchase a ticket.

The student, Zhong Pei, tried enrolling in classes at her university. But she was not allowed to do that either.

Zhong had committed a serious crime: She was guilty of being related to someone else.

Her father had killed two people and died in a car accident. So the Chinese government blacklisted her as “dishonest.”

It took her four months before she was able to overturn the decision and go to her university.

China’s Social Credit System – America’s New Nightmare?

What Zhong experienced was the result of testing for China’s new “Social Credit System.”

The SCS aims to be a unified program that provides a “social credit score” for every one of China’s 1.3 billion citizens.

But the Chinese government needed help develop the algorithms that determine social credit scores. So it enlisted eight companies for pilot programs, including its two largest, trusted social media companies: Tencent and Alibaba. They both came up with their own solutions: Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial rolled out its own “Sesame Credit” system. And Tencent had a nationwide system that was trialed for less than a day before it was taken down with pressure from the People’s Bank of China.

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Doug Casey on the Future of Privacy

In a word, the future of privacy looks bleak. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

The world has become totally digitized over the last couple of decades. Thanks to the Internet of Things [IoT], there are sensors everywhere. They’re not just on every street and in every store. They’re in your television, your car, your refrigerator, and God knows where else.

If you buy a new appliance today, it’s extremely hard not to end up with something that will monitor you. Of course, the argument’s made: “Well, if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” I suppose that’s true. Here’s a tip: you definitely shouldn’t commit a murder within purview of one of these devices.

But as Harvey Silverglate pointed out in his book, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, you don’t know what crime you may or may not be committing. Your only hope is that the government is too busy or too incompetent to focus on you.

It’s probably true that the average person only committed three crimes a day when Silverglate wrote the book in 2009. But so many laws have passed since then that the average person probably commits more like five or six crimes a day now.

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Doug Casey on What Happens After the Next 9/11

We’re one big crisis or tragedy away from a full-on police state. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Is a police state in the U.S. possible? Absolutely.

That’s because people are essentially the same the world over, regardless of their culture, religion, race, or what-have-you. A certain percentage of them are sociopaths.

There is a standard distribution of sociopaths across time and space. It’s a function of Pareto’s Law, better known as the 80-20 rule. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Another 20% are responsible for 80% of the crime. 20% of the population always winds up with 80% of the wealth. And so forth, through all areas of human endeavor. This observation can be represented by a bell-shaped curve – a “standard distribution” – with a small minority at each extreme, but the large majority in the middle. The people who will take us to a police state are sociopaths – criminal personalities who don’t respect the liberty or property of others. And sociopaths gravitate towards government, and eventually come to control it.

My view is that 80% of human beings are basically decent, get along, go along types. 20% are what you might call potential trouble sources, that can go either way. But then you take 20% of that 20% and you’re dealing with the sociopaths.

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The Coming Wave Of High-Tech Authoritarianism, by John Rubino

Authoritarianism is often a bear-market phenomenon. From John Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

One of history’s hard lessons is that collapsing financial systems beget authoritarian politics.

Today’s world, alas, is following this script, as rising debts lead to wrenching political changes in nearly every country that holds free elections, while fascism and socialism are once again being taken seriously by people who in normal times would inhabit the political center.

But there’s one big difference this time around: the advanced state of social control technology. Past governments, when trying to tamp down dissent, were limited to blunt-instrument policies like curfews, phone taps and press shutdowns. Today’s would-be Big Brothers can do vastly more, and in many cases will use the coming financial/political emergency as an excuse to place Orwell’s proverbial boot on their citizens’ necks.

Some examples from a recent Wall Street Journal article titled The Autocrat’s New Tool Kit:

• Chinese authorities are now using the tools of big data to detect departures from “normal” behavior among Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang region—and then to identify each supposed deviant for further state attention.

• The Egyptian government plans to relocate from Cairo later this year to a still-unnamed new capital that will have, as the project’s spokesman put it, “cameras and sensors everywhere,” with “a command center to control the entire city.”

• Moscow already has some 5,000 cameras installed with facial-recognition technology, and it can match faces of interest to photos from passport databases, police files and social media.

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Forced Blood Draws and Implied Consent Laws Make a Mockery of the Fourth Amendment, by John W. Whitehead

When they can take samples from your body without a warrant or consent, there is no Fourth Amendment left. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation

You think you’ve got rights? Think again.

All of those freedoms we cherish—the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant, or search and detain us without probable cause—amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will.

This is the grim reality of life in the American police state.

Our so-called rights have been reduced to technicalities in the face of the government’s ongoing power grabs.

Consider a case before the U.S. Supreme Court (Mitchell vs. Wisconsin) in which Wisconsin police officers read an unconscious man his rights and then proceeded to forcibly and warrantlessly draw his blood while he was still unconscious in order to determine if he could be charged with a DUI.

To sanction this forced blood draw, the cops and the courts have hitched their wagon to state “implied consent” laws (all of the states have them), which suggest that merely driving on a state-owned road implies that a person has consented to police sobriety tests, breathalyzers and blood draws.

More than half of the states (29 states) allow police to do warrantless, forced blood draws on unconscious individuals whom they suspect of driving while intoxicated.

Seven state appeals courts have declared these warrantless blood draws when carried out on unconscious suspects are unconstitutional. Courts in seven other states have found that implied consent laws run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. And yet seven other states (including Wisconsin) have ruled that implied consent laws provide police with a free pass when it comes to the Fourth Amendment and forced blood draws.

With this much division among the state courts, a lot is riding on which way the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Mitchell and whether it allows state legislatures to use implied consent laws as a means of allowing police to bypass the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in relation to forced blood draws and unconscious suspects.

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The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data, by John W.

The only data corporations and the government don’t want is that which is purely trivial, like how much belly-button lint you gathered last week. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about… Your digital identity will live forever… because there’s no delete button.”—Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Uncle Sam wants you.

Correction: Big Brother wants you.

To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data.

That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the government and Corporate America: data bits and economic units to be bought, bartered and sold to the highest bidder.

Those highest bidders include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns.”

Your phones, televisions and digital devices are selling you out to politicians who want your vote.

Have you shopped at Whole Foods? Tested out target practice at a gun range? Sipped coffee at Starbucks while surfing the web? Visited an abortion clinic? Watched FOX News or MSNBC? Played Candy Crush on your phone? Walked through a mall? Walked past a government building?

That’s all it takes for your data to be hoovered up, sold and used to target you.

This is the age of surveillance capitalism.

Incredibly, once you’ve been identified and tracked, data brokers can travel back in time, digitally speaking, to discover where you’ve been, who you’ve been with, what you’ve been doing, and what you’ve been reading, viewing, buying, etc.

Once you’ve been identified in this way, you can be tracked endlessly.

“Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages,” writes journalist Evan Halper.

No one is spared.

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You’re Never Alone: Tech Tyranny and Digital Despots, by Laura Valkovic

Privacy is much harder to come by than you might think. They’re monitoring everything you do. From Laura Valkovic at libertynation.com:

Our civilization has entered the digital age. The technological realm has become pervasive, and we can hardly escape it in our daily interactions. But can we trust those steering the ship? As each day brings new insight into the fraudulent use of personal data, breaches of privacy, and attempts to filter our perception, we need to be more aware than ever. With today’s hasty technological development, few people stop to examine how these changes will affect our privacy, liberty, or our ability to control our own lives. Each week, Liberty Nation’s You’re Never Alone will catch you up on the facts you need to know.

This installment features the latest updates on 5G evolution, a Google privacy invasion, and the way your worldview can be shaped by spying politicos.

Feel The Gs

Last week, we looked at the congressional push to roll out 5G technology across the U.S. as hastily as possible, an agenda which just received a boost from the commander-in-chief. President Trump made it clear on Twitter that he is not only behind 5G, but that he even wants 6G! Not that anybody knows what 6G might actually be. Only a few days after Vice President Mike Pence told European nations to “be vigilant” over possible security threats posed by China’s Huawei network, Trump tweeted that he wanted U.S. technology to beat out alternatives based on merit and not by “blocking” competitors:

I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future. I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!

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