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What Google and Facebook Are Hiding

The American Deep State Strikes Back

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • May 24, 2020

After several months of record-breaking traffic our alternative media webzine suffered a sharp blow when it was suddenly purged by Facebook at the end of April. Not only was our rudimentary Facebook page eliminated, but all subsequent attempts by readers to post our articles to the world’s largest social network produced an error message describing the content as “abusive.” Our entire website had been banned.

Facebook publishes a monthly report cataloging its actions to eliminate “improper content,” and although our publication was probably one of the largest and most popular ever so proscribed, the explanation provided was remarkably cursory, with our name mentioned in only two scattered sentences across the 47 page document.

Our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their coordination, our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and to individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

As I’ve previously discussed, characterizing our alternative media publication as an “anti-immigration” website “similar” to VDare seemed utterly bizarre considering that only about 0.2% of our 2020 content was republished from that source and many months had elapsed since we had last featured a piece on immigration. So I strongly suspected that the claim merely served as an excuse.

I don’t use Facebook or other social networks myself, and noticed little reduction in our daily traffic following that purge, seeming to demonstrate our lack of reliance upon social media. But a week later, this abruptly changed, and our regular daily readership dropped by a significant 15-20%, hardly a crippling blow but quite distressing, setting us back many months of previous growth.

This puzzled me. Why would the Facebook ban have had such limited initial impact but then suddenly become so much more serious? Eventually I discovered that a second, even more powerful Internet giant had also banned us, which explained the sharp drop. Our entire website and all its many millions of pages of serious content had been silently deranked by Google, thus eliminating nearly all our incoming traffic from search results. A few quick checks confirmed this unfortunate situation, best illustrated by a particularly striking example.

Just over a decade ago, I had published an important article entitled The Myth of Hispanic Crime, and for ten years it had always placed extremely high in Google searches, generally being ranked #2 across the 52,000,000 results for “Hispanic crime” and also #2 among the 139,000,000 results for “Latino crime.” The impact of my analysis on the heated public debate had also been quite considerable, and a few years ago a leading academic specialist even asked me to blurb his book on that subject. But my article had now vanished from all such Google searches.

Although Google holds an overwhelming monopoly for web searches across the Western world, comparable products such as Bing and DuckDuckGo using similar technology do exist, and these still list my article among their results, with Bing ranking it at #2 for “Hispanic crime” and “Latino crime,” while DuckDuckGo places it #4 in each. But no one would ever find it using Google.

All the other pages of our website have been similarly blacklisted, effectively eliminated from all web searches courtesy of Google’s information monopoly. This even included the periodical content library that I had built during the 2000s, containing the near-complete archives of hundreds of America’s most influential publications of the last 150 years. Millions of these important articles were available no where else, and their disappearance representing a tremendous loss to academic scholarship.

Google still does contains all these pages, and if the additional specifier “unz” is added to the search, the results do come up, but for anyone not knowing where to look, our entire website and all its content has completely disappeared. This explained our sudden 15-20% reduction in regular traffic.

Internet law is obviously quite murky, but it seems a great shame if Google has decided to use its software monopoly to severely manipulate search results and deliberately hide important information. The notion of Google “disappearing” an entire website and all its material is surely fraught with peril. Should Google’s executives be allowed to “disappear” whichever politicians or candidates they dislike? Should wealthy individuals or powerful groups be able to pay or lobby Google to have their critics removed from all search results?

During 2018 Google employees themselves took a very strong public stance on exactly this issue, protesting their own company’s willingness to produce a “censored” version of their search engine for use in China, a controversy that reached the national headlines, and soon forced executives to abandon the project. But although Google censorship of content within China still remains an inflammatory topic, Google censorship of American content is now apparently so routine and acceptable that it took me more than a week to discover that our entire website had been thrown down the Orwellian “memory hole.”

I’d always taken considerable pride that my Hispanic Crime article had spent a decade ranked #2 among nearly 200,000,000 Google results for that important topic, and was dismayed that Google “disappeared” it. But in fairness, I’d have to admit that those individuals whose views make themselves disagreeable to ruling political elites have sometimes suffered far worse retaliation. For example, my Saturday morning newspapers carried the latest episode in the unfortunate story of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissenting Saudi journalist whose critical writings in the Washington Post so irritated his government that they had him killed and his body dismembered with a bone-saw. Much as I liked my article, having it deranked by Google hardly seems a comparable fate.

For years our website has published a great deal of extremely controversial material, and many readers are probably much more surprised that Google and Facebook took so long to purge us rather than they finally did so.

Consider, for example, my own American Pravda series, which together with related articles runs 280,000 words and has drawn about 3 million pageviews, while attracting over 25,000 comments totaling another 3.5 million words. Many of these articles candidly address some of the most controversial aspects of the JFK Assassination, the 9/11 Attacks, and the history of World War II, topics so touchy that a couple of years ago the redoubtable Israel Shamir described me as the “Kamikazi from California,” and suggested along with numerous other observers that our website might soon be annihilated as a consequence. But aside from a rather lackluster rebuke from the usually ferocious ADL, absolutely nothing untoward happened.

Yet now we have been almost simultaneously banned by both Google and Facebook, America’s leading gatekeepers to the Internet, concerted action that hardly seems likely to have been coincidental, especially coming after years of apparent equanimity. So what had prompted this sudden purge?

I think the obvious answer was my most recent American Pravda installment, which attracted more early readership and social media interest than anything I had previously written, and which appeared just eight days before Facebook’s ban.

My article noted some important facts that are less widely known that they should be, and are quite embarrassing both to our own government and its overly subservient mainstream journalists.

For decades, the American media had regularly denounced the Chinese government for its notorious 1989 slaughter of the student protesters at Tiananmen and shamed its leadership for continuing to flatly deny that historical reality, with China’s demands for censorship of the massacre being a leading source of conflict with Google. However, I pointed out that more than twenty years ago the former Beijing bureau chief of the Washington Post, who had personally covered the events, published a long article in our most prestigious journalism review admitting that the infamous “Tiananmen Square Massacre” had never actually happened, and was just a concoction of incompetent journalists and dishonest propagandists. Yet for decades the promotion of that debunked hoax by our elite media has continued unabated.

As another example, I noted that back in 1999 our warplanes had bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing or wounding dozens of Chinese diplomats. At the time, our media uniformly reported the attack as a tragic accident, while ridiculing China’s government for alleging otherwise. However, just a few months later, many of the leading newspapers in Britain and the rest of the world revealed that the bombing had indeed been deliberate, quoting numerous NATO intelligence sources to that effect. But since the American media completely boycotted this major international story, very few Americans ever discovered that the Chinese had been telling the truth all along and our own government lying.

Although these historical items were important, they merely set the stage for a far more explosive analysis. The bulk of my 7,400 word article presented the very considerable circumstantial evidence that our current Coronavirus national disaster was entirely self-inflicted, being the unintended blowback from an extremely reckless American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), presumably organized by the Deep State Neocons or other rogue elements in our national security establishment.

This ongoing disease epidemic has already killed 100,000 Americans and wrecked our economy, so we can easily understand why the guilty parties would do all they could to prevent some of the critical information from getting into general circulation, pressuring Google and Facebook to suppress the crucial evidence. A few excerpts from my long analysis, now banned by America’s Internet giants, are worth once again repeating:

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

* * *

For obvious reasons, the Trump Administration has become very eager to emphasize the early missteps and delays in the Chinese reaction to the viral outbreak in Wuhan, and has presumably encouraged our media outlets to direct their focus in that direction.

As an example of this, the Associated Press Investigative Unit recently published a rather detailed analysis of those early events purportedly based upon confidential Chinese documents. Provocatively entitled “China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days”, the piece was widely distributed, running in abridged form in the NYT and elsewhere. According to this reconstruction, the Chinese government first became aware of the seriousness of this public health crisis on Jan. 14th, but delayed taking any major action until Jan. 20th, a period of time during which the number of infections greatly multiplied.

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one has apparently disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, elements within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Although criticism of the mainstream media has been the central theme of my American Pravda series, I always spend at least a couple of hours every morning carefully reading our leading newspapers, which I regard as unmatched sources of important information so long as their articles are treated with proper caution and rigor. As an example, I would note that most of the crucial evidence suggesting an American biowarfare attack was hidden in plain sight in such eminently respectable news sources as the NYT, the WSJ, and ABC News.

As our global confrontation with China has grown hotter, my morning New York Times has continued to provide invaluable information for anyone who is willing to read it carefully.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo probably ranks as the most prominent Deep State Neocon in the Trump Administration, and is a leading architect of our confrontation with China. Last week he broke quarantine to take a trip to Israel and hold important talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as reported in a 1,600 word NYT article. Although the majority of their discussion concerned American support for the proposed annexation of the Palestinian West Bank, a serious disagreement came with regard to Israel’s growing economic ties with China, with the piece noting that the Jewish State had “antagonized” Washington by allowing Chinese companies to make major infrastructure investments, some of them in sensitive locations. According to the three Times journalists, Netanyahu firmly stood his ground, determined to “push back” against Pompeo’s repeated warnings and refused to reconsider his government’s China policy.

But just a couple of days later, the Times then reported that Du Wei, the Chinese ambassador to Israel, age 57, had been found dead at his home, having suddenly fallen victim to “unspecified health problems.” The piece emphasized that he had become a leading public critic of America’s current policies toward China, and the juxtaposition of these two consecutive NYT articles raised all sorts of obvious questions in my mind.

According to standard mortality tables, an American male age 57 has less than a 1% chance of dying in a particular year, and given the similarity in overall life expectancy, the same must surely be true of Chinese males. Recently appointed Chinese ambassadors are likely to be in reasonably good health rather than suffering the last stages of terminal cancer, and such causes together with obvious, visible injuries account for more than half of all fatalities at around that age. Thus, the likelihood that the 57-year-old Chinese diplomat died naturally within that two day window was probably far less than 1 in 50,000. Lightning does sometimes strike under the most unlikely of circumstances, but not very often; and I think that the unexplained deaths of ambassadors during international confrontations probably fall into the same category.

It therefore seems exceptionally unlikely that the sudden demise of Ambassador Du was not somehow directly connected with the heated dispute between Pompeo and Netanyahu over Israel’s China ties that had occurred two days earlier. The exact details and circumstances are entirely obscure, and we can merely speculate. But since speculation has not yet been outlawed by government edict, an interesting possibility comes to mind.

In sharp constrast to the elected leaders of America’s vassal-states throughout Europe and Asia, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hardly regards himself as beholden to the American government. He is a powerful, arrogant individual who remembers the endless standing ovations that he enjoyed when he addressed our own House and Senate, receiving the sort of bipartisan public adulation that would be unimaginable for a Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular with half our Congress. So faced with demands by a Trump envoy that he sacrifice his own nation’s interests by cancelling important Chinese economic projects, he apparently disregarded Pompeo’s warnings and told him to get lost.

The classic 1972 film The Godfather ranks #2 in the IMDb Movie Database, and one of its most famous scenes concerns a conflict between a powerful and arrogant Hollywood film mogul and a visiting representative of the Corleone family. When the polite requests of the latter are casually disregarded, the movie tycoon awakens to discover the bloody head of his prized race-horse in his own bed, thereby demonstrating the serious nature of the warning he had received and indicating that it should not be disregarded. Pompeo had recently served as CIA Director, and I suspect he called in a few favors with elements of the Israeli Mossad and had them take lethal steps to convince Netanyahu that our demands that he reassess his ties with China were of a serious nature, not to be treated lightly. I strongly suspect that the controversial Chinese-Israeli economic ventures will soon be abandoned.

I had never heard of the unfortunate Chinese ambassador prior to his sudden demise, and under normal circumstances any such notions of American foul play might be dismissed as absurd. But consider that just a few months earlier, we had publicly assassinated a top Iranian leader after he was lured to Baghdad for peace negotiations, an act vastly more weighty than the plausible deniability of of a middle-aged diplomat being found dead in his own home of unknown causes.

A few days later, my Wall Street Journal carried an article entitled China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomats Are to Fight, beginning on the front page and running 2,200 words, by far the longest piece appearing in that day’s edition. Yet although the late Ambassador Du had been in the forefront of this ongoing Chinese campaign to challenge American influence, both in Israel and during his previous posting to Ukraine, and the sudden demise of this particular “wolf warrior” was surely known to the journalists, his name appeared nowhere in the text, leading me to wonder whether it had been deliberately excised to avoid raising obvious suspicions in the WSJ readership.

For hundreds of years since the Treaty of Westphalia, the lives of diplomats have been almost always treated as sacrosanct, and a typical response to breaking such international conventions might be tit-for-tat retaliation. China’s leadership tends to be remarkably pragmatic, and recognizes that its national strength is rapidly growing even as our own society decays and declines, so perhaps they will forego any such reaction, at least for the time being. But if any American diplomats or other ranking officials begin to suffer strange fatalities, the explanation may be less than mysterious, though Google and Facebook will certainly do their best to keep it so.

May 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

This Is Why You Can’t Trust The Fact Checkers

By Derrick Broze | The Last American Vagabond | May 11, 2020

For the last eight years I have worked as a writer, researcher, and investigative reporter for many well-known American independent media outlets. I have spent my time investigating digital surveillance technology, attacks on indigenous communities, and the overall growth of the government and corporate power. As someone working in this field, writing about topics which are often seen as controversial or “outside the mainstream” – censorship and personal attacks are part of the job description.

However, the attacks on independent media have rapidly increased in the last four years, with many formerly active journalistic outlets ceasing to exist due to lack of traffic and thus, lack of funds. We have seen outlets outright branded “fake news” or accused of collusion with the Russian government. Some channels and websites have been unable to apply for advertising or use certain digital products based on these labels. Some channels and reporters have been deleted off social media and other digital platforms altogether. And, if the social media managers don’t delete you, they might just use the algorithm to hide your posts, limiting your ability to interact with the public.

Attack of the “Fact” Checkers

Perhaps the most insidious method is the recent use of “fact checkers” to limit the reach of an outlet, or simply brand them with the fake news scarlet letter to discourage readers from engaging. This has been increasing in the last 2 years and I personally know of several remaining indy media outlets who have had to decide whether or not to run certain articles or video reports out of fear they might be censored or banned. Of course, with the algorithmic games being played by social media platforms, most outlets are reaching a tiny fraction of what they once were.

Case in point, The Mind Unleashed. I have been part of the TMU team on and off for the last year or so. In that time we have been struggling to reach a small fraction of our 9 million Facebook followers. Part of the reason we are struggling to reach people is because we have the dubious recognition of being labeled fake news by Facebook and affiliated fact checkers.

In a recent article published in Newsweek Espanol, in partnership with Newsguard, The Mind Unleashed is described as a “site that promises to ‘promote and inspire unconventional thinking,’ but is actually dedicated to publishing falsehoods.” The quote was in reference to a story TMU had written about the origins of COVID-19 and the potential for the virus to have been created as a bio weapon.

Newsguard is one of a number of “fact checker” services which has proliferated since the election of Donald Trump to U.S. President. Newsguard is a browser plug-in for Chrome and Microsoft Edge that gives trustworthiness ratings to most of the internet’s top-trafficked sites. It uses a color coded system to warn readers of an article or website’s trustworthiness. In a previous investigation, TLAV writer Whitney Webb exposed the neoconservative roots of the Newsguard team. Webb wrote:

“Newsguard’s advisory board makes it clear that Newsguard was created to serve the interests of American oligarchy. Chief among Newsguard’s advisors are Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and Ret. General Michael Hayden, a former CIA director, a former NSA director and principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy seeking to “advise corporate clients and governments, including foreign governments” on security matters that was co-founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who also currently serves as the board chairman of major weapons manufacturer BAE systems.”

Newsguard started as a partnership between Steven Brill and Louis Gordon Crovitz, with Crovitz appearing to be the connection to the world of finance, media, and geopolitics. Crovitz held a number of positions at Dow Jones and at the Wall Street Journal, is a board member of Business Insider, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and claims to have been an “editor or contributor to books published by the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation.” As Webb noted, “the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is one of the most influential neoconservative think tanks in the country and its ‘scholars,’ directors and fellows have included neoconservative figures like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton and Frederick Kagan.”

Most recently, Newsguard has created a list of “Websites Publishing False Coronavirus Information” and a list “Super Spreaders” of false information. These lists include many well-known and credible independent media outlets. This is not to say that every website listed is credible and should be supported. The point is that these types of lists only serve to “blackball” certain outlets and schools of thoughts which counter the mainstream version of events.

Newsguard is not the only fact checker service operating in the current “post-truth era”. Social media companies like Facebook have partnered with several organizations with the stated aim of fact checking and debunking disinformation. Of course, these organizations tend to reinforce the narratives being woven by the mouthpieces in the corporate media and the puppet masters working the politicians.  For a moment Facebook partnered with reviled “fact checker” Snopes, but, after Snopes was discredited, Facebook has now partnered with companies like Lead Stories.

Lead Stories also “fact checked” The Mind Unleashed a couple times, always using arbitrary standards and semantics to make a story appear to be false or misleading. In one story, Lead Stories relies on data from the aforementioned Newsguard. So who is Lead Stories? The About page states that since January 2019 they have been a part of Facebook fact checker program. They describe the partnership as follows:

“Under the terms of this partnership we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Facebook’s systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Facebook and Facebook then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform. Facebook pays us to perform this service for them but they have no say or influence over what we fact check or what our conclusions are, nor do they want to.”

Lead Stories is run by Perry Sanders Jr., an attorney known for representing the family of rapper Notorious B.I.G. after his murder, and Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke, who helped create Lead Stories after 26 years with CNN. Despite Duke’s bio stating that he “did ground-breaking investigative reporting on the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal“, CNN is most known as a “super spreader” of propaganda and fake news. It is CNN, ABC, CBS, the Washington Post and others who actually helped cover up Epstein’s crimes. The entire Lead Stories team is filled with former and current CNN employees, as well as other MSM outlets.

Two other organizations that have partnered with Facebook and fact checked TMU are Science Feedback and Africa Check, both which claim to identify and expose the spread of disinformation. Science Feedback describes itself as “a worldwide network of scientists sorting fact from fiction in science based media coverage. Our goal is to help readers know which news to trust”. Africa Check says they are a non-profit attempting to “raise the quality of information available to society across the continent.”

As with Lead Stories and Newsguard, Africa Check uses semantics to label a story false or misleading. Science Feedback uses a similar strategy, casting The Mind Unleashed (and other alternative media sites) in a web of “disinformation” related to a report about the potential for a “mini ice age”.

Interestingly, Africa Check’s list of partners includes The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, yet another example of how the Gates’ spread their influence and agenda around the world – this time as part of an effort to control the dialogue around hot topics. Gates also funded the Event 201 pandemic simulation exercise which discussed the potential for censoring the internet or even arresting individuals who spread information that has been deemed false. Africa Check is also partnered with the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.

How to Limit Discussion and Control the Narrative

The strategy for the social media companies and fact checkers is simple: label someone fake news, lower their reach with algorithmic manipulation, force them to comply to arbitrary commands if they want the fake news label removed, control the narrative and shape the conversation.

Over the last two years I have seen good, hard working reporters and members of the independent/alternative media struggle to maintain integrity and report truthfully about controversial topics while also walking on egg shells in an attempt not to upset the fact checkers. For example, in late February, one writer had an article fact checked for discussing the various reports about COVID-19 being engineered in a lab. The Facebook fact checker stated:

“As explained in our fact-check, the claim that was reported in your article, namely that the coronavirus was created in a lab, is unsupported by evidence and is in fact contradicted by multiple scientific studies indicating that the virus originated naturally in wildlife.”

The writer of this particular order actually went to great lengths to make it clear that some sources disagreed with the claim, but according to Facebook’s fact checker, “it does not acknowledge that the claim is false to begin with, giving readers the misleading impression that there is legitimate scientific doubt over the issue when this is not the case.”

In other words, there is no reason to tell the public that some professionals and researchers have a different theory about the origins of the virus. No matter what was offered to the fact checker there was no compromise. Not only did they want the title to be changed and for an editor’s note to be attached acknowledging the apparently “false” claim, but they said they would not remove the fake news label if we took the article down. The options were essentially to keep the article up and comply, or keep it up, change nothing, and be labeled fake news.

In emails from Newsguard, TMU was admonished for “its history of promoting conspiracy theories related to the Sept. 11 attacks and the Douma, Syria chemical weapons attacks, as well as its promotion of marijuana as a cancer cure in stories”. It’s clear to see that anyone who does not buy the official narratives about the major geopolitical events of our day, or support the Big Pharma kool-aid – will be punished.

Unfortunately, the censors are winning because many in the alternative media are choosing to self-censor in the hopes that things will get better in the long run or that doing so will allow them to stay on the platform longer, and continue to reach more people. As we are now seeing, this is a losing strategy.

Two Years After the FB-Atlantic Council Partnership & the Independent Media Purge

What we are witnessing today, in May 2020, is the continuation of the fight against “fake news” which began immediately following the election of Donald Trump. In November 2016, Merrimack College associate professor Melissa Zimdars posted a public Google document titled, “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources” which went viral after being reported on by most corporate mainstream outlets.

Within a matter of weeks, a new list appeared online from an organization calling itself PropOrNot, an allegedly independent group of researchers trying to find the truth about the dissemination of Russian propaganda and fake news. This list also contained names of prominent independent media outlets like Anti Media, The Corbett Report, Mint Press News, and many others.

It was this combination of the Zimdars list and the PropOrNot list which had the immediate effect of placing a target on the vast majority of independent journalists and outlets who have also been accused of directly or indirectly conspiring with the Russians. Websites and social media pages for these outlets began to suffer a drastic reduction in reach and interaction with their audiences. Many websites have lost access to Google advertising money due to these false associations. The problem is that the majority of the mainstream media unquestionably reported on and repeated the claims made by these two lists without any attempt at investigative work.

In January 2018, PropOrNot would be exposed for their connections to The Atlantic Council, a think tank with connections to the western Military-Industrial Complex. Coincidentally, in May 2018, Facebook announced a partnership with the Atlantic Council, which officially claims to provide a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. The social media giant said the partnership was aimed at preventing Facebook from “being abused during elections.”

The press release promoted Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news by using artificial intelligence, as well as working with outside experts and governments.

“Today, we’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

The Atlantic Council of the United States was established in 1961 to bolster support for international relations. Although not officially connected to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Atlantic Council has spent decades promoting causes and issues which are beneficial to NATO member states. In addition, The Atlantic Council is a member of the Atlantic Treaty Organization, an umbrella organization which “acts as a network facilitator in the Euro-Atlantic and beyond.” The ATO works similarly to the Atlantic Council, bringing together political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats to promote values that are favorable to the NATO member states.

Officially, ATO is independent of NATO, but the line between the two is razor thin.

Essentially, the Atlantic Council is a think tank which can offer companies or nation states access to military officials, politicians, journalists, diplomats, etc., to help them develop a plan to implement their strategy or vision. These strategies often involve getting NATO governments or industry insiders to make decisions they might not have made without a visit from the Atlantic Council team. This allows individuals or nations to push forth their ideas under the cover of hiring what appears to be a public relations agency but is actually selling access to high-profile individuals with power to affect public policy. Indeed, everyone from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton to the family of international agent of disorder Zbigniew Brzezinski have spoken at or attended council events.

In 2016, The New York Times wrote “The Atlantic Council, which has seen its annual revenue grow to $21 million from $2 million in the last decade, offers access to United States and foreign government officials in exchange for contributions. Individual donors, like FedEx, have also helped fund specific reports that align with their agendas.” The Times wrote that giving financial support is rewarded with “an ‘unprecedented level of information and access,’ including the chance to have a corporate executive, if the company donates at least $50,000 a year, speak at an Atlantic Council event ‘with top U.S. and foreign leaders’ present.”

According to their website, “The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation by exposing falsehoods and fake news, documenting human rights abuses, and building digital resilience worldwide.” The DFRLab tracks global disinfo campaigns, fake news stories, and “subversive attempts against democracy while teaching the public skills to identify and expose attempts to pollute the information space.”

The Atlantic Council’s list of financial supporters reads like a who’s-who of think tanks and Non-Governmental Organizations. The Atlantic Council receives funding from the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment, Cato Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Rand Corporation, to name a few. In addition, various members of the Military-Industrial Complex are benefactors of the Atlantic Council, including Huntington Ingalls, the United States’ sole maker of aircraft carriers; Airbus, the plane manufacturer; Lockheed Martin, the shipbuilder and aviation company; and Raytheon, which makes missile systems. All of the companies have contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense and offer financial support to the Atlantic Council. The Council also receives support from Chevron and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Finally, the Atlantic Council receives direct financial support from the U.S. Departments of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Energy and from the U.S. Mission to NATO.

By October 2018 – only five months after the Atlantic Council partnership with Facebook – the social media giant announced they were unpublishing, or purging, over 500 pages and 200 accounts who are accused of spreading political spam. Several of these pages and writers were also removed from Twitter on the same day.

“Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Facebook stated in a blog post. Facebook states that the people behind this alleged spam “create networks of Pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names” and “post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups”.

Nearly 3 years later, we are still seeing the repercussions of the purge of independent media voices. In the wake of COVID-19 and calls for stemming the flow of “misinformation”, we will likely see more censorship and digital purging. Those who are attempting to stay informed and aware need to recognize that getting your news from Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc., will keep you trapped in a bubble of sanitized, state-approved information.

Step Outside the Matrix and Question Everything.

Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.

May 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus Gives a Dangerous Boost to DARPA’s Darkest Agenda

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | May 4, 2020

In January, well before the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis would result in lockdowns, quarantines and economic devastation in the United States and beyond, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon were working with the National Security Council to create still-classified plans to respond to an imminent pandemic. It has since been alleged that the intelligence and military intelligence communities knew about a likely pandemic in the United States as early as last November, and potentially even before then.

Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked – Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known? Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere “incompetence” in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold.

Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur? The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks. Though the government response to the September 11 attacks, like the Patriot Act, may be the most accessible example to many Americans, U.S. government efforts to limit the flow of “dangerous” journalism and surveil the population go back to as early as the First World War. Many of these policies, whether the Patriot Act after 9/11 or WWI-era civilian “spy” networks, did little if anything to protect the homeland, but instead led to increased surveillance and control that persisted long after the crisis that spurred them had ended.

Using this history as a lens, it is possible to look at the current coronavirus crisis to see how the long-standing agendas of ever-expanding mass surveillance and media censorship are again getting a dramatic boost thanks to the chaos unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, this crisis is unique because it also has given a boost to a newer yet complimentary agenda that — if fulfilled – would render most, if not all, other government efforts at controlling and subduing their populations obsolete.

DARPA Dystopia

For years, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has remained largely out of sight and out of mind for most Americans, as their research projects are rarely covered by the mainstream media and, when they are, their projects are often praised asbringing science fiction movies to life.” However, there have been recent events that have marred DARPA’s often positive portrayal by media outlets, which paint the agency as a beacon of scientific “progress” that has “changed the world” for the better.

For instance, in 2018, a group of European scientists accused the DARPA’s “Insect Allies” program of actually being a dystopian bioweapons program that would see insects introduce genetically modified viruses into plants to attack and devastate a targeted nation’s food supply. DARPA, of course, maintained that its intent to use these insects to genetically modify plants was instead about “protecting” the food supply. Regardless of DARPA’s assertions that it is merely a “defensive” program, it should be clear to readers that such a technology could easily be used either way, depending on the wielder.

Though DARPA’s futuristic weapons of war often get the most attention from media, the agency has long standing interests in tinkering with, not just the biology of plants, but of humans. DARPA, which is funded to the tune of approximately $3 billion a year, has various avenues through which it pursues these ambitions, with many of those now under the purview of the agency’s “Biological Technologies Office” (BTO), created in 2014. As of late, some of DARPA’s human biology and biotech projects at its BTO have been getting a massive PR boost thanks to the current coronavirus crisis, with recent reports even claiming that the agency “might have created the best hopes for stopping Covid-19.”

Most of these technologies garnering positive media coverage thanks to Covid-19 were developed several years ago. They include the DARPA-funded platforms used to produce DNA and RNA vaccines, classes of vaccine that have never been approved for human use in the U.S. and involve injecting foreign genetic material into the human body. Notably, it is this very class of vaccine, now being produced by DARPA-partnered companies, that billionaire and global health “philanthropist” Bill Gates recently asserted has him “most excited” relative to other Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Yet, key aspects regarding these vaccines and other DARPA “healthcare” initiatives have been left out of these recent positive reports, likely because they provide a window into what is arguably the agency’s darkest agenda.

“In Vivo Nanoplatforms”

In 2006, DARPA announced its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which sought to determine “whether an individual will develop an infectious disease prior to the onset of symptoms.” The PHD program planned to accomplish this by “identifying changes in the baseline state of human health through frequent surveillance” with a specific focus on “viral, upper respiratory pathogens.”

Three years later, in 2010, DARPA-funded researchers at Duke University created the foundation for this tool, which would use the genetic analysis of blood samples to determine if someone is infected with a virus before they show symptoms. Reports at the time claimed that these “preemptive diagnoses” would be transmitted to “a national, web-based influenza map” available via smartphone.

Following the creation of DARPA’s BTO in 2014, this particular program gave rise to the “In Vivo Nanoplatforms (IVN)” program. The diagnostics branch of that program, abbreviated as IVN:Dx, “investigates technologies that incorporate implantable nanoplatforms composed of bio-compatible, nontoxic materials; in vivo sensing of small and large molecules of biological interest; multiplexed detection of analytes at clinically relevant concentrations; and external interrogation of the nanoplatforms without using implanted electronics for communication.” Past reports on the program describe it as developing “classes of nanoparticles to sense and treat illness, disease, and infection on the inside. The tech involves implantable nanoparticles which sense specific molecules of biological interest.”

DARPA’s IVN program has since helped to finance and produce “soft, flexible hydrogels that are injected just beneath the skin to perform [health] monitoring and that sync to a smartphone app to give the use immediate health insights,” a product currently marketed and created by the DARPA-funded and National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded company Profusa. Profusa, which has received millions upon millions from DARPA in recent years, asserts that the information generated by their injectable biosensor would be “securely shared” and accessible to “individuals, physicians and public health practitioners.” However, the current push for a national “contact tracing” system based on citizens’ private health data is likely to expand that data sharing, conveniently fitting with DARPA’s years-old goal of creating a national, web-based database of preemptive diagnoses.

Profusa is also backed by Google, which is intimately involved in these new mass surveillance “contact tracing” initiatives, and counts former Senate majority leader William Frist among its board members. They are also partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The company also has considerable overlap with the diagnostic company Cepheid, which recently won FDA approval for its rapid coronavirus test and was previously awarded lucrative government contracts to detect anthrax in the U.S. postal system. As of this past March, Profusa again won DARPA funding to determine if their injectable biosensors can predict future pandemics, including the now widely predicted “second wave” of Covid-19, and detect those infected up to three weeks before they would otherwise show symptoms. The company expects to have its biosensors FDA licensed for this purpose by early next year, about the same time a coronavirus vaccine is expected to be available to the general public.

“Living Foundries”

Another long-standing DARPA program, now overseen by BTO, is known as “Living Foundries.” According to DARPA’s website, Living Foundries “aims to enable adaptable, scalable, and on-demand production of [synthetic] molecules by programming the fundamental metabolic processes of biological systems to generate a vast number of complex molecules that are not otherwise accessible. Through Living Foundries, DARPA is transforming synthetic biomanufacturing into a predictable engineering practice supportive of a broad range of national security objectives.”

The types of research this “Living Foundries” program supports involves the creation of “artificial life” including the creation of artificial genetic material, including artificial chromosomes, the creation of “entirely new organisms,” and using artificial genetic material to “add new capacities” to human beings (i.e. genetically modifying humans through the insertion of synthetically-created genetic material).

The latter is of particular concern (though all are honestly concerning), as DARPA also has a project called “Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering,” which – despite having “mammalian” in the name – is focused specifically on improving “the utility of Human Artificial Chromosomes (HACs),” which DARPA describes as a “fundamental tool in the development of advanced therapeutics, vaccines, and cellular diagnostics.” Though research papers often focus on HACs as a revolutionary medical advancement, they are also frequently promoted as a means of “enhancing” humans by imbuing them with non-natural characteristics, including halting aging or improving cognition.

DARPA is known to be involved in research where these methods are used to create “super soldiers” that no longer require sleep or regular meals, among other augmented “features,” and has another program about creating “metabolically dominant” fighters. Reports on these programs also discuss the other, very disconcerting use of these same technologies, “genetic weapons” that would “subvert DNA” and “undermine people’s minds and bodies.”

Another potential application being actively investigated by DARPA is its BioDesign program, which is examining the creation of synthetic organisms that are created to be immortal and programmed with a “kill switch” allowing a synthetic, yet organic organism to be “turned off” at any time. This has led some to speculate such research could open the doors to the creation of “human replicants” used for fighting wars and other tasks, such as those that appear in the science fiction film Bladerunner.

However, these genetic “kill switches” could also be inserted into actual humans through artificial chromosomes, which – just as they have the potential to extend life – also have the potential to cut it short. Notably, it was revealed in 2017 that DARPA had invested $100 million in “gene drive” research, which is involves the use of genetic modification to wipe out entire populations, explaining why it it often referred to as a “genetic extinction” technology.

In addition, other DARPA experiments involve the use of genetically modified viruses that insert genetic material into human cells, specifically neurons in the brain, in order to “tweak” human brain chemistry. In one example, DARPA-funded research has altered human brain cells to produce two new proteins, the first allowing neural activity to be easily detected by external devices and the second allowing “magnetic nanoparticles” to “induce an image or sound in the patient’s mind.”

“Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology”

Changing human brain chemistry and functionality at the cellular level is only one of numerous DARPA initiatives aimed at changing how human beings think and perceive reality. Since 2002, DARPA has acknowledged its efforts to create a “Brain-Machine Interface (BMI).” Though first aimed at creating “a wireless brain modem for a freely moving rat,” which would allow the animal’s movements to be remotely controlled, DARPA wasn’t shy about the eventual goal of applying such brain “enhancement” to humans in order to enable soldiers to “communicate by thought alone” or remotely control human beings (on the enemy side only, so they say) for the purposes of war.

The project, which has advanced greatly in recent years, has long raised major concerns among prominent defense scientists, some of whom warned in a 2008 report that “remote guidance or control of a human being” could quickly backfire were an adversary to gain access to the implanted technology (opening up the possibility of “hacking” a person’s brain), and they also raised concerns about the general ethical perils of such technologies. Work began in 2011 on developing “brain implants” for use in human soldiers, officially with the goal of treating neurological damage in veterans, and such implants have been tested on human volunteers in DARPA-funded experiments since at least 2015.

Concerns, like those raised by those defense scientists in 2008, have been regularly dismissed by DARPA, which has consistently claimed that its controversial research projects are tempered by their in-house “ethical experts.” However, it worth noting how DARPA’s leadership views these ethical conundrums, since they ultimately have the last word. For example, in 2015, Michael Goldblatt, then-director of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), which oversees most aspects of the agency’s “super soldier” program, told journalist Annie Jacobsen that he saw no difference between “having a chip in your brain that could help control your thoughts” and “a cochlear implant that helps the deaf hear.” When pressed about the unintended consequences of such technology, Goldblatt stated that “there are unintended consequences for everything.”

Thus, it is worth pointing out that, while DARPA-developed technologies – from human genetic engineering to the brain-machine interfaces – are often first promoted as something that will revolutionize and improve human health, DARPA sees the use of these technologies for such ends as being on the same footing as other dystopian and frankly nightmarish applications, like thought control. BMIs are no exception, having first been promoted as a way to “boost bodily functions of veterans with neural damage or post-traumatic stress disorder” and to allow amputees to control advanced prosthetics. While these do indeed represent major medical advances, DARPA’s leadership has made it clear that they see no distinction between the medical use of BMIs and using them to exert near total control over a human being by “guiding” their thoughts and even their movements.

Such stark admission from DARPA’s leadership makes it worth exploring the state of these current “brain-machine” interface programs as well as their explicit goals. For instance, one of the goals of DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program involves using “noninvasive or minimally invasive brain-computer interfaces” to “read and write” directly onto the brain.

According to one recent report on DARPA’s N3 program, one example of “minimally invasive” technologies would involve:

an injection of a virus carrying light-sensitive sensors, or other chemical, biotech, or self-assembled nanobots that can reach individual neurons and control their activity independently without damaging sensitive tissue. The proposed use for these technologies isn’t yet well-specified, but as animal experiments have shown, controlling the activity of single neurons at multiple points is sufficient to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain.”

Though the purported goal of N3 is related to creating “thought-controlled” weapons that react and fire based on a soldier’s thoughts, the fact that the technology is also bidirectional, opens up the disturbing possibility that efforts will be made to control and program a soldier’s thoughts and perceptions as opposed to the other way around. This may be more of the plan than DARPA has publicly let on, since official military documents have openly stated that the Pentagon’s ultimate goal is to essentially replace human fighters with “self-aware” interconnected robots “who” will both design and conduct operations against targets chosen by artificial-intelligence systems. This weapons system of the not-so-distant future seems to have little room for human beings, even those capable of “controlling” weapons with their minds, suggesting that futurist military planners see soldiers with BMIs as a “weapon” that would also become connected to this same AI-driven system. It is also worth pointing out that DARPA has been attempting to create an “artificial human brain” since 2013.

In addition, reports on DARPA’s BMI efforts have suggested that this bidirectional technology will be used to “cloud the perception of soldiers” by “distancing them from the emotional guilt of warfare,” a move that would set a dangerous precedent and one that would surely result in a marked jump in war crimes.

Of course, these are just the admitted, potential “military” applications of such technology. Once this technology moves from the military to the civilian sphere, as several DARPA inventions have in the past, their use for “remote guidance”, “thought control” and/or the programming of thoughts and experiences is more than likely to be misused by governments, corporations and other power-brokers in the U.S. and beyond for the purposes of control.

The entrance of BMIs into the civilian sphere isn’t very far away, as DARPA executives and researchers who have worked on the N3 and other DARPA-backed BMI programs have since been “scooped up” by Verily (a Google-GlaxoSmithKline partnership), Elon Musk’s Neuralink and Facebook’s Building 8 – all of which have been working to bring “neuro-modulation” devices and BMIs to market.

“Human Bio-reactors”, “Nanotherapeutics” and DARPA-funded gene vaccines

As detailed above, DARPA often frames the controversial technologies it develops as being developed to mainly advance medicine and healthcare. Aside from the technologies already discussed, it is important to note that DARPA has been very interested in healthcare, specifically vaccines, for sometime.

For instance, in 2010, DARPA began developing a class of vaccine that could “inoculate against unknown pathogens,” a component of its Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals program. The vaccine would inject thousands of synthetic antibodies, such as those developed through DARPA’s “Living Foundries” program, into the human body. These synthetic antibodies or “synbodies” would then “create an immunity toolkit that can be combined in myriad ways to tackle virtually any pathogen.”

That same year, DARPA began funding efforts to create “multiagent synthetic DNA vaccines” that would be delivered into the human body via “noninvasive electroporation” and was quickly promoted in media reports as a way to quickly produce vaccines compared to traditional vaccine production methods. This category of vaccine would involve the same type of synthetic DNA that DARPA was also simultaneously researching for the purposes of both “enhancing” and “subverting” human beings at the genetic level. It was also this year, 2010, that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also began heavily funding DNA and RNA vaccines.

DNA vaccines, which were first created in 2005, have never been approved for human use in the United States and past studies have warned that they “possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards” and that “there is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications.” Another long-standing issue with such vaccines is mitigating “unwanted immune reactions” that result from natural immune response to the foreign genetic material they contain.

In 2011, DARPA announced its “Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics” program, which seeks to create a “platform capable of rapidly synthesizing therapeutic nanoparticles” aimed at combatting “evolving and even genetically engineered bioweapons.” DARPA’s plan for these nanoparticles, which media reports described merely as “tiny, autonomous drug delivery systems,” was to combine them with “small interfering RNA (siRNA),” which are snippets of RNA that can target and shut down specific genes. As Wired wrote at the time: “siRNA could be reprogrammed ‘on-the-fly’ and applied to different pathogens,” allowing nanoparticles to “be loaded up with the right siRNA molecules and sent directly to cells responsible for the infection.”

The creation of this program was shortly followed by DARPA’s decision in 2013 to fund Moderna Therapeutics to the tune of $25 million to develop their synthetic RNA vaccine production platform. DARPA funded the project to “develop platform technologies that can be deployed safely and rapidly to provide the U.S. population with near-immediate protection against emerging infectious diseases and engineered biological weapons.”

Then, in 2015, DARPA’s research into vaccines involving synthetic antibodies and synthetic genetic material expanded, with them giving $45 million to the DNA vaccine company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals. This same year, DARPA-funded RNA and DNA vaccines began to be framed differently by both DARPA researchers and the media – who described the technology as transforming the human body into a “bio-reactor.”

In the years since, DARPA-backed DNA and RNA vaccine companies, including Moderna, Inovio as well as Germany’s CureVac, have been unable to get their products licensed for human use, largely due to the fact that their vaccines have failed to provide sufficient immunity in human trials. Examples of these ineffective vaccines include CureVac’s attempt at a rabies vaccine and Moderna’s efforts to create a vaccine for the Zika virus (which was funded by the U.S. government).

Several workarounds for this issue have been proposed, including vaccines where the genetic material (RNA or DNA) “self-amplifies.” However, the workaround of choice to this lack of immune response and other obstacles for DNA/RNA vaccines is the incorporation of nanotechnology into these vaccines. As a result, the use of nanoparticles as the carriers for the genetic material in these vaccines has been widely promoted and studied, as well as touted as the best way to improve their stability, increase their targeted delivery ability and enhance the immune response they provoke.

The combination of DNA or RNA vaccines with nanotechnology has already become reality thanks to the companies leading that field. For instance, the DARPA-backed DNA vaccine company Inovio Pharmaceuticals utilizes what reports refer to as “DNA nanotechnology” in their line of synthetic vaccines branded as “SynCon” by the company, which uses an undisclosed computer algorithm to design its vaccines. It is an interesting coincidence, then, that the Inovio “SynCon” vaccine for Covid-19 now appears to be ahead of the rest of the pack, with backing from Bill Gates, DARPA, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and other government agencies.

DARPA – Saving us from Covid-19?

In January, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced it would begin funding vaccine candidates for the coronavirus outbreak, long before it became a major global issue. CEPI describes itself as “a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and co-ordinate the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats” and was founded in 2017 by the governments of Norway and India along with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That month, CEPI only chose two pharmaceutical companies to receive funding for their efforts to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 – Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

As previously mentioned, these two companies are DARPA-backed firms that frequently tout their “strategic alliance” with DARPA in press releases and on their websites. DARPA has also provided these companies with significant amounts of funding. For instance, the top funders behind Inovio Pharmaceuticals include both DARPA and the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the company has received millions in dollars in grants from DARPA, including a $45 million grant to develop a vaccine for Ebola. They were also recently awarded over $8 million from the U.S. military to develop a small, portable intradermal device for delivering DNA vaccines, which was jointly developed by Inovio and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), which also manages the “biodefense” lab at Fort Detrick.

In addition, the German company CureVac, which is also developing a CEPI-backed RNA vaccine for Covid-19, is another long-time recipient of DARPA funding. They were one of DARPA’s earliest investments in the technology, winning a $33.1 million DARPA contract to develop their “RNActive” vaccine platform in 2011.

In Moderna’s case, DARPA financed the production and development of their RNA vaccine production platform and their RNA therapy candidate for Chikungunya virus (their first for an infectious disease) was developed in direct collaboration with the agency. Since 2016, Moderna’s RNA vaccine program has received $100 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has since poured millions directly into both Moderna’s and Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccine efforts.

Gates’ backing of DNA and RNA vaccines is significant, given that Gates – a billionaire with unparalleled influence and control over global healthcare policy – recently asserted that the best options for a Covid-19 vaccine are these same vaccines, despite the fact that they have never before been approved for use in humans. Yet, thanks to the emergency authorizations activated due to the current crisis, both Moderna’s and Inovio’s testing for these vaccines has skipped animal trials and gone straight to human testing. They are also set to be fast-tracked for widespread use in a matter of months. Moderna’s clinical trial in humans began in mid-March, followed by Inovio’s in the beginning of April. Thus, they are not only Gates’ favorites to be the new vaccine, but are also slated to be the first to complete clinical trials and garner emergency U.S. government approval, especially Moderna’s vaccine which is being jointly developed with the government’s NIH.

The rapid rise to prominence of Moderna’s and Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccines has resulted in several media articles praising DARPA as having provided our “best hope” for thwarting the coronavirus crisis. In addition to its backing of Moderna’s and Inovio’s own efforts, DARPA itself, specifically DARPA’s BTO, is set to have a “temporary” vaccine for Covid-19 available in a matter of weeks that will involve the production of synthetic antibodies that would ostensibly provide immunity for a few months until a longer-lasting vaccine (such as those produced by Moderna and Inovio) is available.

DARPA’s antibody treatment for Covid-19 is pursuing two routes, including the “human body as bio-reactor” approach that would involve synthetic DNA or RNA being injected in order to prompt the body to produce the necessary antibodies. Defense One notes that DARPA’s Covid-19 treatment would utilize techniques that had resulted from the agency’s investments in microfluidics (the manipulation of liquids at the sub-millimeter range), nanotechnology fabrication and “new approaches to gene sequencing.”

Persistent Concerns

While most media reports have painted these DARPA-led efforts as entirely positive, it is worth noting that concerns have been raised, though these concerns have hardly gotten the coverage they warrant. For instance, Nature recently noted some key points regarding safety issues related to the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, including the fact that all “previous coronavirus vaccines have not all proven appropriate or even safe,” with some past attempts at coronavirus vaccines having resulted in antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). ADE results in cells more rapidly taking up the virus and speeding up the virus’ replication, increasing its infectiousness and virulence.

Nature also noted that the two coronavirus vaccines for SARS that managed to pass phase 1 trials ended up, in subsequent studies, causing immune hypersensitivity in mice “resulting in severe immunopathology,” i.e. permanent defects or malfunctions in the immune system. In addition, Nature also pointed out that it is unknown how strong an immune response is needed to confer immunity for Covid-19 and coronaviruses in general, making it incredibly difficult to gauge if a vaccine is even effective.

Another issue worth noting involves concerns raised about Inovio Pharmaceuticals by investment research firm Citron Research, which compared Inovio to Theranos, the disgraced medical technology company that had initially promised to offer diagnoses for numerous diseases via a simple blood test, but was later revealed to be a sham. Citron asserted that “It’s been over 40 years since Inovio was founded, yet the company has NEVER [sic] brought a product to market, and all the while insiders have enriched themselves with hefty salaries and large stock sales.”

Citron Research went on to say that the company’s claim to have designed their Covid-19 vaccine in only 3 hours based on a computer algorithm was hard to believe, stating that “Inovio has a ‘computer algorithm’ that no one else in the world has and is arguably one of the greatest breakthroughs in vaccine discovery in the past 100 years, and yet this ‘computer algorithm’ is not mentioned once in any of its 10-K’s or 10-Q’s? Sounds like Theranos to us.” It also noted that Inovio’s partnerships with pharmaceutical companies Roche and AstraZeneca ended up failing with those two companies canceling the partnership despite claims from Inovio’s CEO that whey would “continue to thrive.”

A Not-So-Hidden Agenda

Of course, these are just concerns focused on corporate behavior and obstacles towards making a Covid-19 vaccine in general. As this report has already shown in detail, DARPA’s other experiments with the same technologies (particularly genetic engineering, synthetic chromosomes, and nanotechnology) that are being used to produce RNA and DNA vaccines for Covid-19 are arguably more concerning. This is especially true given that DARPA-backed companies that describe themselves as “strategic partners” of the agency are those manufacturing these vaccines. In addition, thanks to backing from the U.S. government and Bill Gate, among others, they are are also slated to be among the first vaccines (if not the first) approved for widespread use.

It is certainly troubling that media coverage of DARPA’s efforts and the efforts of Moderna and Inovio have thus far not included critical reporting regarding the different branches of DARPA’s research that has produced the technology involved in creating these vaccines, leaving little room for public scrutiny of their safety, efficacy and their potential for unintended effects on human genetics.

This is particularly alarming given that, over the past several weeks, efforts have been taking shape in many countries to enforce mandatory vaccinations once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. In some countries, it appears likely that the Covid-19 vaccine will not be made mandatory per say, but will be required for those who wish to return to any semblance of “normalcy” in terms of public gatherings, working certain jobs, leaving one’s home for longer periods of time and so on.

Would those involved in creating such a mandatory vaccine, e.g. DARPA, pass up the opportunity to utilize the same technologies involved in producing the vaccine for some of their other admitted goals? This question, of course, has no obvious answer, but the fact that the arc of DARPA’s research is aimed at the weaponization of human biology and genetics in a way that is ripe for misuse, suggests very worrying possibilities that warrant scrutiny. Indeed, if one merely looks at how the crisis has been a boon for the Orwellian plans of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) and the federal government’s current efforts to dramatically increase its powers amid the current crisis, it becomes increasingly difficult to give government agencies like DARPA and their corporate partners like Moderna and Inovio the benefit of the doubt.

This is especially true given that – without a major crisis such as that currently dominating world events – people would likely be unreceptive to the widespread introduction of many of the technologies DARPA has been developing, whether their push to create cyborg “super soldiers” or injectable BMIs with the capability to control one’s thoughts. Yet, amid the current crisis, many of these same technologies are being sold to the public as “healthcare,” a tactic DARPA often uses. As the panic and fear regarding the virus continues to build and as people become increasingly desperate to return to any semblance of normalcy, millions will willingly take a vaccine, regardless of any government-mandated vaccination program. Those who are fearful and desperate will not care that the vaccine may include nanotechnology or have the potential to genetically modify and re-program their very being, as they will only want the current crisis that has upended the world to stop.

In this context, the current coronavirus crisis appears to be the perfect storm that will allow DARPA’s dystopian vision to take hold and burst forth from the darkest recesses of the Pentagon into full public view. However, DARPA’s transhumanist vision for the military and for humanity presents an unprecedented threat, not just to human freedom, but an existential threat to human existence and the building blocks of biology itself.

Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google & Apple set some lucky programmers up for lucrative monopoly with new rules for contact-tracing app

RT | May 4, 2020

Google and Apple have set out ground rules for public health authorities looking to develop contact-tracing apps on their platform, and the guaranteed monopolies they enable could make some lucky developers very rich.

The tech behemoths unveiled a library of reference code on Monday, along with a list of rules that public-sector partners will have to follow in order to use their proprietary contact-tracing platform, which uses anonymized Bluetooth IDs to alert the user if they’ve come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. As befits a platform whose privacy safeguards have been hyped to the heavens despite the checkered privacy histories of its creators, the contact-tracing interface will ban apps from using targeted advertising and accessing Location Services, theoretically preventing the tracking of users through space.

Google and Apple will also limit access to their platform to a single app per country – creating a guaranteed (and potentially lucrative) monopoly for whichever lucky developer gets the nod to develop a given country’s app. Their stated aim of picking one app per country (or state – the platform has made allowance for state-by-state differences in policy) is avoiding “fragmentation,” a seemingly logical reason. If hundreds of developers unleash their products on the market at the same time, vetting them for compliance would be all but impossible and delay the roll-out, while governments are clamoring for a standalone version of the platform ready in weeks, not months. Guaranteeing a monopoly on the product may also be a way to soften the blow of banning targeted advertising, typically a huge moneymaker for app developers.

However, the tech giants have already vowed to allow only those apps released by public health authorities to use their platform, and public health authorities aren’t required to turn a profit for shareholders. While the developers those authorities partner with will no doubt be cashing in, they’re unlikely to expect the same level of profits per download as a blockbuster private-sector app. Their payday would come based on the sheer volume of downloads, not high profit margins per user. Google and Apple have pledged to discontinue the platform once the virus has been sufficiently contained – a disturbingly vague endpoint, to be sure, but an endpoint nonetheless, indicating the gravy-train won’t be running forever.

Restricting access to a single app per country also opens the door to the kind of abuse (alleged) monopolies like Apple and Google are intimately familiar with – absent competition, an app developer has no reason to listen to users’ complaints.

While apps using the joint platform are prevented under the new rules from accessing location services, there are loopholes to be exploited – the US has already been using location data from mobile ads to track its citizens for weeks, for example.

Preexisting apps that use targeted advertising or access location services must turn those systems off to access Google and Apple’s platform, but it’s unclear how the tech giants expect to monitor those apps to make sure the offending snoop-ware isn’t switched back on.

Apps are also required to secure “opt-in” consent before accessing the platform or sharing a positive Covid-19 diagnosis. However, what’s good for the goose is apparently not good for the gander – an eagle-eyed coder perusing Apple’s code found that its “Exposure Notification” service was enabled by default, requiring no opt-in consent from the user.

Apple and Google hope to have the contact-tracing function integrated into their own operating systems within the next few months, meaning users won’t have a choice of whether or not they want the app – it will be integrated into the software that runs their phones by default. If Apple’s sneaky ‘always-on’ notification is any indication, smartphones are about to get a lot more intrusive.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | May 4, 2020

Last year, a U.S. government body dedicated to examining how artificial intelligence can “address the national security and defense needs of the United States” discussed in detail the “structural” changes that the American economy and society must undergo in order to ensure a technological advantage over China, according to a recent document acquired through a FOIA request. This document suggests that the U.S. follow China’s lead and even surpass them in many aspects related to AI-driven technologies, particularly their use of mass surveillance. This perspective clearly clashes with the public rhetoric of prominent U.S. government officials and politicians on China, who have labeled the Chinese government’s technology investments and export of its surveillance systems and other technologies as a major “threat” to Americans’ “way of life.”

In addition, many of the steps for the implementation of such a program in the U.S., as laid out in this newly available document, are currently being promoted and implemented as part of the government’s response to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This likely due to the fact that many members of this same body have considerable overlap with the taskforces and advisors currently guiding the government’s plans to “re-open the economy” and efforts to use technology to respond to the current crisis.

The FOIA document, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), was produced by a little-known U.S. government organization called the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). It was created by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its official purpose is “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.”

The NSCAI is a key part of the government’s response to what is often referred to as the coming “fourth industrial revolution,” which has been described as “a revolution characterized by discontinuous technological development in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, fifth-generation telecommunications networking (5G), nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and quantum computing.”

However, their main focus is ensuring that “the United States … maintain a technological advantage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies related to national security and defense.” The vice-chair of NSCAI, Robert Work – former Deputy Secretary of Defense and senior fellow at the hawkish Center for a New American Security (CNAS), described the commission’s purpose as determining “how the U.S. national security apparatus should approach artificial intelligence, including a focus on how the government can work with industry to compete with China’s ‘civil-military fusion’ concept.”

The recently released NSCAI document is a May 2019 presentation entitled “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview.” Throughout the presentation, the NSCAI promotes the overhaul of the U.S. economy and way of life as necessary for allowing the U.S. to ensure it holds a considerable technological advantage over China, as losing this advantage is currently deemed a major “national security” issue by the U.S. national security apparatus. This concern about maintaining a technological advantage can be seen in several other U.S. military documents and think tank reports, several of which have warned that the U.S.’ technological advantage is quickly eroding.

The U.S. government and establishment media outlets often blame alleged Chinese espionage or the Chinese government’s more explicit partnerships with private technology companies in support of their claim that the U.S. is losing this advantage over China. For instance, Chris Darby, the current CEO of the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, who is also on the NSCAI, told CBS News last year that China is the U.S.’ main competitor in terms of technology and that U.S. privacy laws were hampering the U.S.’ capacity to counter China in this regard, stating that:

“[D]ata is the new oil. And China is just awash with data. And they don’t have the same restraints that we do around collecting it and using it, because of the privacy difference between our countries. This notion that they have the largest labeled data set in the world is going to be a huge strength for them.”

In another example, Michael Dempsey, former acting Director of National Intelligence and currently a government-funded fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argued in The Hill that:

“It’s quite clear, though, that China is determined to erase our technological advantage, and is committing hundreds of billions of dollars to this effort. In particular, China is determined to be a world leader in such areas as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and synthetic biology. These are the industries that will shape life on the planet and the military balance of power for the next several decades.”

In fact, the national security apparatus of the United States is so concerned about losing a technological edge over China that the Pentagon recently decided to join forces directly with the U.S. intelligence community in order “to get in front of Chinese advances in artificial intelligence.” This union resulted in the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), which ties together “the military’s efforts with those of the Intelligence Community, allowing them to combine efforts in a breakneck push to move government’s AI initiatives forward.” It also coordinates with other government agencies, industry, academics, and U.S. allies. Robert Work, who subsequently became the NSCAI vice-chair, said at the time that JAIC’s creation was a “welcome first step in response to Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Russian, plans to dominate these technologies.”

Similar concerns about “losing” technological advantage to China have also been voiced by the NSCAI chairman, Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet – Google’s parent company, who argued in February in the New York Times that Silicon Valley could soon lose “the technology wars” to China if the U.S. government doesn’t take action. Thus, the three main groups represented within the NSCAI – the intelligence community, the Pentagon and Silicon Valley – all view China’s advancements in AI as a major national security threat (and in Silicon Valley’s case, threat to their bottom lines and market shares) that must be tackled quickly.

Targeting China’s “adoption advantage”

In the May 2019 “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview” presentation, the NSCAI discusses that, while the U.S. still leads in the “creation” stage of AI and related technologies, it lags behind China in the “adoption” stage due to “structural factors.” It says that “creation”, followed by “adoption” and “iteration” are the three phases of the “life cycle of new tech” and asserts that failing to dominate in the “adoption” stage will allow China to “leapfrog” the U.S. and dominate AI for the foreseeable future.

The presentation also argues that, in order to “leapfrog” competitors in emerging markets, what is needed is not “individual brilliance” but instead specific “structural conditions that exist within certain markets.” It cites several case studies where China is considered to be “leapfrogging” the U.S. due to major differences in these “structural factors.” Thus, the insinuation of the document (though not directly stated) is that the U.S. must alter the “structural factors” that are currently responsible for its lagging behind China in the “adoption” phase of AI-driven technologies.

Chief among the troublesome “structural factors” highlighted in this presentation are so-called “legacy systems” that are common in the U.S. but much less so in China. The NSCAI document states that examples of “legacy systems” include a financial system that still utilizes cash and card payments, individual car ownership and even receiving medical attention from a human doctor. It states that, while these “legacy systems” in the US are “good enough,” too many “good enough” systems “hinder the adoption of new things,” specifically AI-driven systems.

Another structural factor deemed by the NSCAI to be an obstacle to the U.S.’ ability to maintain a technological advantage over China is the “scale of the consumer market,” arguing that “extreme urban density = on-demand service adoption.” In other words, extreme urbanization results in more people using online or mobile-based “on-demand” services, ranging from ride-sharing to online shopping. It also cites the use of mass surveillance on China’s “huge population base” is an example of how China’s “scale of consumer market” advantage allowing “China to leap ahead” in the fields of related technologies, like facial recognition.

In addition to the alleged shortcomings of the U.S.’ “legacy systems” and lack of “extreme urban density,” the NSCAI also calls for more “explicit government support and involvement” as a means to speed up the adoption of these systems in the U.S. This includes the government lending its stores of data on civilians to train AI, specifically citing facial recognition databases, and mandating that cities be “re-architected around AVs [autonomous vehicles],” among others. Other examples given include the government investing large amounts of money in AI start-ups and adding tech behemoths to a national, public-private AI taskforce focused on smart city-implementation (among other things).

With regards to the latter, the document says “this level of public-private cooperation” in China is “outwardly embraced” by the parties involved, with this “serving as a stark contrast to the controversy around Silicon Valley selling to the U.S. government.” Examples of such controversy, from the NSCAI’s perspective, likely include Google employees petitioning to end the Google-Pentagon “Project Maven,” which uses Google’s AI software to analyze footage captured by drones. Google eventually chose not to renew its Maven contract as a result of the controversy, even though top Google executives viewed the project as a “golden opportunity” to collaborate more closely with the military and intelligence communities.

The document also defines another aspect of government support as the “clearing of regulatory barriers.” This term is used in the document specifically with respect to U.S. privacy laws, despite the fact that the U.S. national security state has long violated these laws with near complete impunity. However, the document seems to suggest that privacy laws in the U.S. should be altered so that what the U.S. government has done “in secret” with private citizen data can be done more openly and more extensively. The NSCAI document also discusses the removal of “regulatory barriers” in order to speed up the adoption of self-driving cars, even though autonomous driving technology has resulted in several deadly and horrific car accidents and presents other safety concerns.

Also discussed is how China’s “adoption advantage” will “allow it to leapfrog the U.S.” in several new fields, including “AI medical diagnosis” and “smart cities.” It then asserts that “the future will be decided at the intersection of private enterprise and policy leaders between China and the U.S.” If this coordination over the global AI market does not occur, the document warns that “we [the U.S.] risk being left out of the discussions where norms around AI are set for the rest of our lifetimes.”

The presentation also dwells considerably on how “the main battleground [in technology] are not the domestic Chinese and US markets,” but what it refers to as the NBU (next billion users) markets, where it states that “Chinese players will aggressively challenge Silicon Valley.” In order to challenge them more successfully, the presentation argues that, “just like we [view] the market of teenagers as a harbinger for new trends, we should look at China.”

The document also expresses concerns about China exporting AI more extensively and intensively than the U.S., saying that China is “already crossing borders” by helping to build facial databases in Zimbabwe and selling image recognition and smart city systems to Malaysia. If allowed to become “the unambiguous leader in AI,” it says that “China could end up writing much of the rulebook of international norms around the deployment of AI” and that it would “broaden China’s sphere of influence amongst an international community that increasingly looks to the pragmatic authoritarianism of China and Singapore as an alternative to Western liberal democracy.”

What will replace the US’ “legacy systems”?

Given that the document makes it quite clear that “legacy systems” in the U.S. are impeding its ability to prevent China from “leapfrogging” ahead in AI and then dominating it for the foreseeable future, it is also important to examine what the document suggests should replace these “legacy systems” in the U.S.

As previously mentioned, one “legacy system” cited early on in the presentation is the main means of payment for most Americans, cash and credit/debit cards. The presentation asserts, in contrast to these “legacy systems” that the best and most advanced system is moving entirely to smartphone-based digital wallets.

It notes specifically the main mobile wallet provider in India, PayTM, is majority owned by Chinese companies. It quotes an article, which states that “a big break came [in 2016] when India canceled 86% of currency in circulation in an effort to cut corruption and bring more people into the tax net by forcing them to use less cash.” At the time, claims that India’s 2016 “currency reform” would be used as a stepping stone towards a cashless society were dismissed by some as “conspiracy theory.” However, last year, a committee convened by India’s central bank (and led by an Indian tech oligarch who also created India’s massive civilian biometric database) resulted in the Indian government’s “Cashless India” program.

Regarding India’s 2016 “currency reform,” the NSCAI document then asserts that “this would be unfathomable in the West. And unsurprisingly, when 86% of the cash got cancelled and nobody had a credit card, mobile wallets in India exploded, laying the groundwork for a far more advanced payments ecosystem in India than the US.” However, it has become increasingly less unfathomable in light of the current coronavirus crisis, which has seen efforts to reduce the amount of cash used because paper bills may carry the virus as well as efforts to introduce a Federal Reserve-backed “digital dollar.”

In addition, the NSCAI document from last May calls for the end of in-person shopping and promotes moving towards all shopping being performed online. It argues that “American companies have a lot to gain by adopting ideas from Chinese companies” by shifting towards exclusive e-commerce purchasing options. It states that only shopping online provides a “great experience” and also adds that “when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.”

Another “legacy system” that the NSCAI seeks to overhaul is car ownership, as it promotes autonomous, or self-driving vehicles and further asserts that “fleet ownership > individual ownership.” It specifically points to a need for “a centralized ride-sharing network,” which it says “is needed to coordinate cars to achieve near 100% utilization rates.” However, it warns against ride-sharing networks that “need a human operator paired with each vehicle” and also asserts that “fleet ownership makes more sense” than individual car ownership. It also specifically calls for these fleets to not only be composed of self-driving cars, but electric cars and cites reports that China “has the world’s most aggressive electric vehicle goals…. and seek[s] the lead in an emerging industry.”

The document states that China leads in ride-sharing today even though ride-sharing was pioneered first in the U.S. It asserts once again that the U.S. “legacy system” of individual car ownership and lack of “extreme urban density” are responsible for China’s dominance in this area. It also predicts that China will “achieve mass autonomous [vehicle] adoption before the U.S.,” largely because “the lack of mass car ownership [in China] leads to far more consumer receptiveness to AVs [autonomous vehicles].” It then notes that “earlier mass adoption leads to a virtuous cycle that allows Chinese core self-driving tech to accelerate beyond [its] Western counterparts.”

In addition to their vision for a future financial system and future self-driving transport system, the NSCAI has a similarly dystopian vision for surveillance. The document calls mass surveillance “one of the ‘first-and-best customers’ for AI” and “a killer application for deep learning.” It also states that “having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure.”

It then discusses how “an entire generation of AI unicorn” companies are “collecting the bulk of their early revenue from government security contracts” and praises the use of AI in facilitating policing activities. For instance, it lauds reports that “police are making convictions based on phone calls monitored with iFlyTek’s voice-recognition technology” and that “police departments are using [AI] facial recognition tech to assist in everything from catching traffic law violators to resolving murder cases.”

On the point of facial recognition technology specifically, the NSCAI document asserts that China has “leapt ahead” of the US on facial recognition, even though “breakthroughs in using machine learning for image recognition initially occurred in the US.” It claims that China’s advantage in this instance is because they have government-implemented mass surveillance (“clearing of regulatory barriers”), enormous government-provided stores of data (“explicit government support”) combined with private sector databases on a huge population base (“scale of consumer market”). As a consequence of this, the NSCAI argues, China is also set to leap ahead of the U.S. in both image/facial recognition and biometrics.

The document also points to another glaring difference between the U.S. and its rival, stating that: “In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.”

The NSCAI document also touches on the area of healthcare, calling for the implementation of a system that seems to be becoming reality thanks to the current coronavirus crisis. In discussing the use of AI in healthcare (almost a year before the current crisis began), it states that “China could lead the world in this sector” and “this could lead to them exporting their tech and setting international norms.” One reason for this is also that China has “far too few doctors for the population” and calls having enough doctors for in-person visits a “legacy system.” It also cited U.S. regulatory measures such as “HIPPA compliance and FDA approval” as obstacles that don’t constrain Chinese authorities.

More troubling, it argues that “the potential impact of government supplied data is even more significant in biology and healthcare,” and says it is likely that “the Chinese government [will] require every single citizen to have their DNA sequenced and stored in government databases, something nearly impossible to imagine in places as privacy conscious as the U.S. and Europe.” It continues by saying that “the Chinese apparatus is well-equipped to take advantage” and calls these civilian DNA databases a “logical next step.”

Who are the NSCAI?

Given the sweeping changes to the U.S. that the NSCAI promoted in this presentation last May, it becomes important to examine who makes up the commission and to consider their influence over U.S. policy on these matters, particularly during the current crisis. As previously mentioned, the chairman of the NSCAI is Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) who has also invested heavily in Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies including the controversial start-up “incubator” Team8. In addition, the committee’s vice-chair is Robert Work, is not only a former top Pentagon official, but is currently working with the think tank CNAS, which is run by John McCain’s long-time foreign policy adviser and Joe Biden’s former national security adviser.

Other members of the NSCAI are as follows:

  • Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, with close ties to Trump’s top donor Sheldon Adelson
  • Steve Chien, supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence Group at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab
  • Mignon Clyburn, Open Society Foundation fellow and former FCC commissioner
  • Chris Darby, CEO of In-Q-Tel (CIA’s venture capital arm)
  • Ken Ford, CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
  • Jose-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University and former National Science Board member
  • Eric Horvitz, director of Microsoft Research Labs
  • Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services (CIA contractor)
  • Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners and former CEO of In-Q-Tel
  • William Mark, director of SRI International and former Lockheed Martin director
  • Jason Matheny, director of the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, former Assistant director of National Intelligence and former director of IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Project Agency)
  • Katharina McFarland, consultant at Cypress International and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition
  • Andrew Moore, head of Google Cloud AI

As can be seen in the list above, there is a considerable amount of overlap between the NSCAI and the companies currently advising the White House on “re-opening” the economy (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin, Oracle) and one NSCAI member, Oracle’s Safra Katz, is on the White House’s “economic revival” taskforce. Also, there is also overlap between the NSCAI and the companies that are intimately involved in the implementation of the “contact tracing” “coronavirus surveillance system,” a mass surveillance system promoted by the Jared Kushner-led, private-sector coronavirus task force. That surveillance system is set to be constructed by companies with deep ties to Google and the U.S. national security state, and both Google and Apple, who create the operating systems for the vast majority of smartphones used in the U.S., have said they will now build that surveillance system directly into their smartphone operating systems.

Also notable is the fact that In-Q-Tel and the U.S. intelligence community has considerable representation on the NSCAI and that they also boast close ties with Google, Palantir and other Silicon Valley giants, having been early investors in those companies. Both Google and Palantir, as well as Amazon (also on the NSCAI) are also major contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies. In-Q-Tel’s involvement on the NSCAI is also significant because they have been heavily promoting mass surveillance of consumer electronic devices for use in pandemics for the past several years. Much of that push has come from In-Q-Tel’s current Executive Vice President Tara O’Toole, who was previously the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and also co-authored several controversial biowarfare/pandemic simulations, such as Dark Winter.

In addition, since at least January, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon have been at the forefront of developing the U.S. government’s still-classified “9/11-style” response plans for the coronavirus crisis, alongside the National Security Council. Few news organizations have noted that these classified response plans, which are set to be triggered if and when the U.S. reaches a certain number of coronavirus cases, has been created largely by elements of the national security state (i.e. the NSC, Pentagon, and intelligence), as opposed to civilian agencies or those focused on public health issues.

Furthermore, it has been reported that the U.S. intelligence community as well as U.S. military intelligence knew by at least January (though recent reports have said as early as last November) that the coronavirus crisis would reach “pandemic proportions” by March. The American public were not warned, but elite members of the business and political classes were apparently informed, given the record numbers of CEO resignations in January and several high-profile insider trading allegations that preceded the current crisis by a matter of weeks.

Perhaps even more disconcerting is the added fact that the U.S. government not only participated in the eerily prescient pandemic simulation last October known as Event 201, it also led a series of pandemic response simulations last year. Crimson Contagion was a series of four simulations that involved 19 U.S. federal agencies, including intelligence and the military, as well as 12 different states and a host of private sector companies that simulated a devastating pandemic influenza outbreak that had originated in China. It was led by the current HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Robert Kadlec, who is a former lobbyist for military and intelligence contractors and a Bush-era homeland security “bioterrorism” advisor.

In addition, both Kadlec and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which was intimately involved in Event 201, have direct ties to the controversial June 2001 biowarfare exercise “Dark Winter,” which predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks that transpired just months later in disturbing ways. Though efforts by media and government were made to blame the anthrax attacks on a foreign source, the anthrax was later found to have originated at a U.S. bioweapons lab and the FBI investigation into the case has been widely regarded as a cover-up, including by the FBI’s once-lead investigator on that case.

Given the above, it is worth asking if those who share the NSCAI’s vision saw the coronavirus pandemic early on as an opportunity to make the “structural changes” it had deemed essential to countering China’s lead in the mass adoption of AI-driven technologies, especially considering that many of the changes in the May 2019 document are now quickly taking place under the guise of combatting the coronavirus crisis.

The NSCAI’s vision takes shape

Though the May 2019 NSCAI document was authored nearly a year ago, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in the implementation of many of the changes and the removal of many of the “structural” obstacles that the commission argued needed to be drastically altered in order to ensure a technological advantage over China in the field of AI. The aforementioned move away from cash, which is taking place not just in the U.S. but internationally, is just one example of many.

For instance, earlier this week CNN reported that grocery stores are now considering banning in-person shopping and that the U.S. Department of Labor has recommended that retailers nationwide start “‘using a drive-through window or offering curbside pick-up’ to protect workers for exposure to coronavirus.” In addition, last week, the state of Florida approved an online-purchase plan for low income families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Other reports have argued that social distancing inside grocery stores is ineffective and endangering people’s lives. As previously mentioned, the May 2019 NSCAI document argues that moving away from in-person shopping is necessary to mitigate China’s “adoption advantage” and also argued that “when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.”

Reports have also argued that these changes in shopping will last far beyond coronavirus, such as an article by Business Insider entitled “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing more people online and will forever change how Americans shop for groceries, experts say.” Those cited in the piece argue that this shift away from in-person shopping will be “permanent” and also states that “More people are trying these services than otherwise would have without this catalyst and gives online players a greater chance to acquire and keep a new customer base.” A similar article in Yahoo! News argues that, thanks to the current crisis, “our dependence on online shopping will only rise because no one wants to catch a virus at a shop.”

In addition, the push towards the mass use of self-driving cars has also gotten a boost thanks to coronavirus, with driverless cars now making on-demand deliveries in California. Two companies, one Chinese-owned and the other backed by Japan’s SoftBank, have since been approved to have their self-driving cars used on California roads and that approval was expedited due to the coronavirus crisis. The CPO of Nuro Inc., the SoftBank-backed company, was quoted in Bloomberg as saying that “The Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the public need for contactless delivery services. Our R2 fleet is custom-designed to change the very nature of driving and the movement of goods by allowing people to remain safely at home while their groceries, medicines, and packages are brought to them.” Notably, the May 2019 NSCAI document references the inter-connected web of SoftBank-backed companies, particularly those backed by its largely Saudi-funded “Vision Fund,” as forming “the connective tissue for a global federation of tech companies” set to dominate AI.

California isn’t the only state to start using self-driving cars, as the Mayo Clinic of Florida is now also using them. “Using artificial intelligence enables us to protect staff from exposure to this contagious virus by using cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology and frees up staff time that can be dedicated to direct treatment and care for patients,” Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida stated in a recent press release cited by Mic.

Like the changes to in-person shopping in the age of coronavirus, other reports assert that self-driving vehicles are here to stay. One report published by Mashable is entitled “It took a coronavirus outbreak for self-driving cars to become more appealing,” and opens by stating “Suddenly, a future full of self-driving cars isn’t just a sci-fi pipe dream. What used to be considered a scary, uncertain technology for many Americans looks more like an effective tool to protect ourselves from a fast-spreading, infectious disease.” It further argues that this is hardly a “fleeting shift” in driving habits and one tech CEO cited in the piece, Anuja Sonalker of Steer Tech, claims that “There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology. Humans are biohazards, machines are not.”

Another focus of the NSCAI presentation, AI medicine, has also seen its star rise in recent weeks. For instance, several reports have touted how AI-driven drug discovery platforms have been able to identify potential treatments for coronavirus. Microsoft, whose research lab director is on the NSCAI, recently put $20 million into its “AI for health” program to speed up the use of AI in analyzing coronavirus data. In addition, “telemedicine”– a form of remote medical care – has also become widely adopted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Several other AI-driven technologies have similarly become more widely adopted thanks to coronavirus, including the use of mass surveillance for “contact tracing” as well as facial recognition technology and biometrics. A recent Wall Street Journal report stated that the government is seriously considering both contact tracing via phone geolocation data and facial recognition technology in order to track those who might have coronavirus. In addition, private businesses – like grocery stores and restaurants – are using sensors and facial recognition to see how many people and which people are entering their stores.

As far as biometrics go, university researchers are now working to determine if “smartphones and biometric wearables already contain the data we need to know if we have become infected with the novel coronavirus.” Those efforts seek to detect coronavirus infections early by analyzing “sleep schedules, oxygen levels, activity levels and heart rate” based on smartphone apps like FitBit and smartwatches. In countries outside the U.S., biometric IDs are being touted as a way to track those who have and lack immunity to coronavirus.

In addition, one report in The Edge argued that the current crisis is changing what types of biometrics should be used, asserting that a shift towards thermal scanning and facial recognition is necessary:

“At this critical juncture of the crisis, any integrated facial recognition and thermal scanning solution must be implemented easily, rapidly and in a cost-effective manner. Workers returning to offices or factories must not have to scramble to learn a new process or fumble with declaration forms. They must feel safe and healthy for them to work productively. They just have to look at the camera and smile. Cameras and thermal scanners, supported by a cloud-based solution and the appropriate software protocols, will do the rest.”

Also benefiting from the coronavirus crisis is the concept of “smart cities,” with Forbes recently writing that “Smart cities can help us combat the coronavirus pandemic.” That article states that “Governments and local authorities are using smart city technology, sensors and data to trace the contacts of people infected with the coronavirus. At the same time, smart cities are also helping in efforts to determine whether social distancing rules are being followed.”

That article in Forbes also contains the following passage:

“… [T]he use of masses of connected sensors makes it clear that the coronavirus pandemic is–intentionally or not–being used as a testbed for new surveillance technologies that may threaten privacy and civil liberties. So aside from being a global health crisis, the coronavirus has effectively become an experiment in how to monitor and control people at scale.”

Another report in The Guardian states that “If one of the government takeaways from coronavirus is that ‘smart cities’ including Songdo or Shenzhen are safer cities from a public health perspective, then we can expect greater efforts to digitally capture and record our behaviour in urban areas – and fiercer debates over the power such surveillance hands to corporations and states.” There have also been reports that assert that typical cities are “woefully unprepared” to face pandemics compared to “smart cities.”

Yet, beyond many of the NSCAI’s specific concerns regarding mass AI adoption being conveniently resolved by the current crisis, there has also been a concerted effort to change the public’s perception of AI in general. As previously mentioned, the NSCAI had pointed out last year that:

“In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.”

Now, less than a year later, the coronavirus crisis has helped spawn a slew of headlines in just the last few weeks that paint AI very differently, including “How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fight Coronavirus,” “How AI May Prevent the Next Coronavirus Outbreak,” “AI Becomes an Ally in the Fight Against COVID-19,” “Coronavirus: AI steps up in battle against COVID-19,” and “Here’s How AI Can Help Africa Fight the Coronavirus,” among numerous others.

It is indeed striking how the coronavirus crisis has seemingly fulfilled the NSCAI’s entire wishlist and removed many of the obstacles to the mass adoption of AI technologies in the United States. Like major crises of the past, the national security state appears to be using the chaos and fear to promote and implement initiatives that would be normally rejected by Americans and, if history is any indicator, these new changes will remain long after the coronavirus crisis fades from the news cycle. It is essential that these so-called “solutions” be recognized for what they are and that we consider what type of world they will end up creating – an authoritarian technocracy. We ignore the rapid advance of these NSCAI-promoted initiatives and the phasing out of so-called “legacy systems” (and with them, many long-cherished freedoms) at our own peril.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Meet The Companies Poised To Build The Kushner-Backed “Coronavirus Surveillance System”

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | April 11, 2020

The three companies behind the leading proposal to build a “national coronavirus surveillance system”, an initiative spearheaded by Jared Kushner, boast deep ties to Google, intelligence-linked venture capital firms as well as one of last year’s eerily predictive “pandemic” simulations.

On April 7, Politico reported that the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was spearheading an all-private sector taskforce that aims to build a “national coronavirus surveillance system” in order to “give the government a near real-time view of where patients are seeking treatment and for what.”

This proposed nationwide network, according to that report, would be used to better inform government decision-making regarding which parts of the United States may “safely relax social-distancing rules” and those that may not. Politico treaded lightly in its discussion of such a system’s likely effects on civil liberties, but did note that some critics have compared this proposed system “to the Patriot act enacted after the 9/11 attacks.”

According to Politico, three companies collectively sent out a memo on March 22 to three administration officials – Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. The memo was “widely circulated” throughout the administration relative to other submitted proposals. Those companies – Collective Medical, PatientPing and Juvare – asserted in the memo that they could collectively “supply the government with information on where and how many patients are seeking care across 80 percent of the U.S. ‘in short order.’”

Two of those companies, Collective Medical Technologies and PatientPing, declined to comment on the memo and its contents. A representative from Juvare, however, stated that the company has “spoken with officials across several federal agencies including FEMA, HHS and the CDC about its various emergency preparedness and data tools.”

Though the article downplayed the privacy concerns such a system would create, it failed to note the direct and troubling ties of these three companies, not only to Silicon Valley giants with dubious records regarding data privacy and coordination with U.S. intelligence agencies, but also ties to controversial simulations that took place last year and seemingly predicted the current coronavirus crisis.

Collective Medical Technologies

Utah-based Collective Medical Technologies is currently the nation’s largest “healthcare collaboration network” and was recently described by Forbes as having “conquered emergency rooms on a bootstrap.” Its current CEO, Chris Klomp, worked at the Mitt Romney-founded Bain Capital, whose alumni also include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and current CEO of Google’s YouTube, Susan Wojicki.

One of Collective Medical’s largest investors is the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which poured $47.5 million into the company in 2017. Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in both Google and Amazon, counts former Secretary of State Colin Powell among its “strategic advisors” and has managed a $200 million “pandemic and biodefense fund” since 2006 that has been coordinated in part with the World Health Organization. That same year, Dr. Thomas Monmath, former chief of the Fort Detrick bioweapon lab’s Virology Division and former senior science advisor to the CIA, also joined Kleiner Perkins to help “advance innovation” in relation to this specific fund. Dr. Monmath is also a former executive at an Emergent Biosolutions subsidiary.

Kleiner Perkin’s pandemic fund has heavily invested in companies that compose the Emergent Biosolutions-run Alliance for Biosecurity, such as BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, as well as NovaVax, which recently entered into a major partnership with Emergent Biosolutions to produce a coronavirus vaccine. Emergent Biosolutions, one of the most scandal ridden vaccine companies in the country with deep ties to the U.S. government and the Pentagon, is the subject of an investigation recently published by The Last American Vagabond.

PatientPing

Boston-based PatientPing is another company in this private sector triad lobbying to form a new national “health” surveillance system in the name of combatting the coronavirus epidemic. Founded by Jay Desai and David Berkowicz, PatientPing is a technology company focused on information-sharing in order to create a “healthcare collaboration network.” The company’s first lead investor was Google Ventures, often referred to in press releases and media reports simply as “GV.” Dr. Krishna Yeshwant of Google Ventures sits on PatientPing’s board and he also led GV’s investment in Editas Medicine, the CRISPR gene-editing start-up backed by Bill Gates and his former scientific advisor Boris Nikolic.

As its name suggests, GV is the venture capital arm of Google and over a third of its investments are in the “life sciences.” It frequently co-invests in companies with In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. The cooperation is hardly surprising if one is aware of Google’s history, as the technology behemoth was a beneficiary of In-Q-Tel funding in its early days.

Google’s use (or rather misuse) of private data is well-known and they have recently been in the news in relation to the coronavirus after giving the government broad access to the private location data of Android smartphone users to allegedly help track the virus’ spread. GV’s association with In-Q-Tel and their interest in a company like PatientPing is notable given that In-Q-Tel, particularly In-Q-Tel’s current Executive Vice President Tara O’Toole, has long promoted mass surveillance programs that utilize healthcare IT services just like those offered by PatientPing and Collective Medical Technologies. O’Toole is a key and recurrent figure in The Last American Vagabond’s “Engineering Contagion” series.

PatientPing’s other lead investor is the venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz. Andreesen Horowitz is advised by former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, an associate of pedophile and intelligence asset Jeffery Epstein as well as billionaire Bill Gates. This same venture capital firm is also one of the lead investors in Toka, an Israeli intelligence-linked “start-up” founded by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was also a close associate of Jeffrey Epstein. Toka describes its product portfolio as “empower[ing] governments, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies to enhance Homeland Security with groundbreaking cyber-intelligence and operational capabilities” by allowing government’s covert access to consumer electronic devices. Two members of Andreesen Horowitz, Jeff Jordan and Vijay Pande, sit on PatientPing’s board.

Juvare

The last of the three companies poised to build a national coronavirus surveillance system is the emergency management software company Juvare. One of their key products is called EMTrack, which – according to Juvare’s website – provides its clients the ability to track “patients, people, pets and populations throughout any kind of event.” Its software, in general, relies heavily on Google-made or owned software.

Juvare boasts that its products have been used by the government to coordinate responses to mass shootings, such as the Las Vegas and Pulse Nightclub shootings, and past pandemic scares such as Swine Flu (H1N1), Bird Flu, Ebola and SARS. Juvare’s software products are used by 80% of state public health agencies and over 50 different U.S. federal agencies – including the FBI, the State Department and Homeland Security. It is also a contractor for the U.S. military. In Mid-March, it released a “free” software add-on for existing clients in government to track coronavirus cases including “presumptive cases” as well as the number of those under “mandatory and voluntary” quarantines.

Juvare was a notable private sector participant in the series of “Crimson Contagion” simulations that were conducted last year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Crimson Contagion, overseen and designed by HHS Assistance Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec (also a key player in the “Engineering Contagion” series), simulated the U.S. government’s response to a massive viral pandemic four times between last January and August. Those simulations involved both large and small-scale exercises that brought together 19 different federal agencies, 12 states and several private companies. One focus of those simulations, which preceded the coronavirus crisis by a matter of months, was the use of the surveillance in order to better enforce “social distancing” among Americans.

Here to help?

Though these private companies – as noted by Politico – are now offering their services of “surveillance” to the U.S. government “for free,” it is difficult to believe that their offer is altruistic in nature given their ties to companies and organizations that have long lobbied for or actively participated in mass surveillance for years, long before the current coronavirus came to dominate headlines and the public consciousness.

Much like the Patriot Act after 9/11, the current pandemic crisis is being used to expand mass surveillance programs, programs that are unlikely to end after the pandemic fades. To the contrary, if history is any indicator, such sweeping new surveillance systems will instead be further expanded.

It is also worth pointing out the significance of Jared Kushner’s involvement in leading this effort, as his wife Ivanka Trump – the President’s daughter – was one of the leading proponents of a controversial program last year called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA). HARPA seeks to create a new government “health” agency aimed at stopping mass shootings before they occur. This agency’s main program, called “Safe Home (Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes), aims to develop an artificial intelligence-based system that would analyze data harvested from consumer electronic devices as well as information provided by health-care providers to identify those who might threaten others.

Though HARPA ultimately failed to gain traction, a similarly Orwellian mass surveillance system is now being promoted in its place, with coronavirus now replacing mass shootings as the official justification. The superficial re-branding of this new, far-reaching mass surveillance system aims to justify its imposition by framing it as a solution to whatever is currently inspiring the most fear among Americans, with the hope that something sticks. These transparent attempts to gain public consent for further expansion of unconstitutional surveillance strongly suggests that such a system is aimed at expanding authoritarianism and further reducing American civil liberties and has little to do with protecting “public health” and assisting the country’s response to coronavirus.

April 12, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Repeat of Iowa caucus looms in Nevada as problems are illuminated (& ignored)

By Helen Buyniski | RT | February 17, 2020

The same issues that led to the Democratic debacle in Iowa earlier this month are poised to make next week’s vote in Nevada equally hellish – yet party leaders seem unwilling to connect the dots or recognize the problem.

Early voters in Nevada have already faced long lines, technical difficulties, and monumental uncertainty about the voting process with voting underway since Saturday due to close Tuesday before the general caucus this coming Saturday.

We’ve seen this movie before

The slow-motion car-crash caucus volunteers have sketched out in their heads bears a strong resemblance to the events of Iowa. They’re willing to discuss it in interviews with the media, but always anonymously, for fear of angering what is apparently a vengeful party. But the Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez and his state-level minions insist all is well.

The off-the-shelf Google forms that were quickly substituted for the buggy app that killed the Iowa caucus have already malfunctioned at some early voting sites, leaving some Nevadans waiting for three or four hours trying to vote. Meanwhile, no one seems to be on the same page regarding how the results from 80 early voting sites will be distributed among the 2,000 precincts where caucuses are to be held. Local politician Dan Rolle discovered the paper ballots used for early voting lacked precinct numbers, seemingly guaranteeing the party would be unable to count those votes and distribute them to the proper precinct by Saturday.

Some volunteers have reportedly received no training in using their DNC-purchased iPads, which they are supposed to use to scan the paper ballots marked up by early voters. A web-based Google app that has been dubbed the “Caucus Calculator” is supposed to divvy these up and send them around to the precincts for caucus day – wrinkles pointed out by Rolle notwithstanding. Caucus site leader Seth Morrison warned that volunteers were using an “untested software tool,” advising CNN viewers in Nevada to vote early because the volunteers had “never seen or handled” the tool being prepared for Saturday’s caucus. Perez seemed more concerned that a CNN reporter had called the “online tool” an “app” than he was to learn that volunteers didn’t know how to use it. At the same time, Rolle observed that the tool wasn’t being used at all.

One presidential aide suggested to the Washington Post that Nevada Democrats were “making it up as they go along” in their belated rush to conjure up a technological solution to replace the Shadow app. As an added wrinkle, Nevada was supposed to use two versions of the app, which was notoriously built by former Hillary Clinton staffers with money from the Pete Buttigieg campaign – one to tabulate the early votes, and another for the caucus.

Keeping everyone in the loop regarding replacement processes has proved difficult, with multiple campaigns’ aides complaining that notice of a critical conference call nearly passed them by. One aide was unable to join in at all because he was in the middle of a training session. Another update on process reportedly made it to journalists before the party distributed it to all the campaigns.

‘Trust us, we’re experts’

The party has reportedly brought in “security experts” to troubleshoot early voting issues, though this is hardly encouraging given the prevalence of DNC insiders among these so-called experts. The replacement process for the Shadow app was reportedly designed with input from the Department of Homeland Security, the DNC, and Google, and Nevada Democratic Party executive director Alana Mounce insisted the party was “confident in our backup plans and redundancies” in a memo to the campaigns on Thursday.

Nevada Democrats have done their best to squelch rumors that the contest is rigged, explaining that former Buttigieg staffer Emily Goldman, hired earlier this month as “voter protection director” for the party, will not have the ability to affect the caucus outcome. And the progressive watchdogs have moved on to Utah, where the state party chair has a history of virulently attacking Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders leads the pack of Democratic contenders in Nevada, according to RealClearPolitics, with former vice president Joe Biden trailing by three points. Buttigieg, the beneficiary of the Iowa mess, lags behind even billionaire Tom Steyer. Sanders emerged the victor from the New Hampshire primary, though media coverage mystifyingly focused on the second-place finish of Buttigieg and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar – even talking up New York plutocrat Michael Bloomberg, who wasn’t on the ballot in that state, rather than discuss the democratic socialist’s triumph.

February 17, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Are DNC insiders weaponizing ‘election security’ to seize control of 2020 primaries?

By Helen Buyniski | RT | February 12, 2020

Google and a dodgy “election security” nonprofit are reaching out to Democratic campaigns with free security tools, even offering to activate them. After the Iowa debacle, campaigns should be wary of DNC insiders bearing gifts.

Election security nonprofit Defending Digital Campaigns (DDC) has partnered with Google to offer free Titan security keys to Democratic presidential campaigns. Not only will these benevolent guardians of the democratic process let the candidates have the keys, part of Google’s Advanced Protection security program, free of charge – they’ll even install and activate the new security systems themselves! What could go wrong?

Candidates would be wise to think twice about accepting the seemingly-generous offer, or any other “free election security” bait, especially after the disaster of the Iowa caucuses. That vote collapsed not because of a foreign hack, but because Shadow Inc., an organization staffed almost entirely by former Hillary Clinton operatives, sold Iowa Democrats a difficult-to-use app that mangled vote counts. While Shadow was supposedly “vetted for cybersecurity and technical considerations” by “third-party experts,” many of the security “experts” peddling their services to the Democrats are veterans of the same Clinton and Obama campaigns as Shadow’s staff. And of course the 2020 Democratic National Committee, which insisted Iowa use an app to report results instead of calling them in by phone for security reasons, is positively bristling with insiders left over from 2016.

Defending Digital Democracy, the “security experts” Iowa Democrats were already paying to train volunteers in electoral “worst case scenarios,” is – unsurprisingly, given the name – run by the same Clinton and Romney staffers who sit on Defending Digital Campaigns’ board, Robby Mook and Matt Rhoades. Founded by former Obama Pentagon Chief of Staff Eric Rosenbach and advised by top Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, DDD has been “protecting” elections with the help of CrowdStrike founder (and Russiagate Patient Zero) Dmitri Alperovich since 2017. The Fear of Russian Meddling industry appears to be one big happy family, none of whom, it seems, have ever heard of paper ballots – one sure-fire way to avoid outside interference in an election.

The links between the various groups are extensive and complex enough to fill several articles, but looking at their financial backers is instructive. Shadow and DDC were both bankrolled by LinkedIn co-founders – Reid Hoffman provided the startup capital for Shadow’s parent corporation Acronym, while DDC’s treasurer and largest donor is Allen Blue. Hoffman also provided the financing for “disinformation experts” New Knowledge’s phony Russian bot operation in Alabama in 2017, which – if its own numbers are to be believed – handed the traditionally-red state’s open Senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones by weaponizing fear of Russian meddling.

There’s no stronger proof that all this “election security” talk is mere pageantry than in the DNC’s appointment of former Clinton campaign director John Podesta to the 2020 convention’s Rules Committee. Podesta has no business being anywhere near election security – it was his inability to recognize “phishing” that led to the Clinton campaign’s emails being spread all over the internet by Wikileaks in the runup to the 2016 election. Podesta, like Mook, has been aggressively pushing the threat of Russian election interference ever since, absent a shred of proof that the dreaded “meddling” is coming from anywhere but inside the country.

Some naive individuals might question whether party insiders would really try to steal another primary after the catastrophe of 2016 handed Trump his victory. But those responsible for that trainwreck were never punished, defending themselves in court with the rationale that party bylaws allowed them to pick candidates in smoke-filled rooms should they so desire. Moreover, nothing has come of the revelation former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign paid $40,000 to Shadow before the company’s app nearly handed him victory in Iowa, or that parent company Acronym’s CEO is happily married to a Buttigieg staffer. Worse, last week it emerged that Buttigieg staffer Emily Goldman has signed on to the Nevada Democratic Party as “voter protection director” – a full-time position – now that Nevada has dropped the Shadow app for its own caucus.

Yet calls for DNC chair Tom Perez to resign, motivated by all these scandals and more, have fallen on deaf ears. Knowledge of the metastasizing conflicts of interest within the party has merely circulated on social media to the point where few in its progressive wing believe a fair election is possible. Inviting Google – which was 100 percent in the bag for Clinton in 2016, according to whistleblowers and researchers alike – and yet another Russia-obsessed, insider-heavy “election security” group to install free “protection” in one’s campaign infrastructure is inviting the local foxes to install security for one’s shiny new henhouse. Unless a candidate is secure in being the establishment’s pick, they would be wise to leave this Trojan horse outside the gates.

February 12, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Internet Censorship on 9/11 Freefall

911FreeFall.com | December 2019

Host Andy Steele is joined by James Corbett of The Corbett Report to discuss the steps that YouTube has taken in recent years to diminish the presence of alternative information and voices on its platform.

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES
9/11: A Conspiracy Theory

YouTube Blacklists Federal Reserve Information. It’s Up To YOU To Spread It!

Chris Hayes’ tweetstorm

Google Video in 2006 (note multiple 9/11 and truth related videos on front page)

Outrage as YouTube Reportedly Blocks History Teachers Uploading Hitler Archive Clips

What is a ‘False Flag’ Attack — and Was Boston One? (Yahoo / The Atlantic)

YouTube To Delete All Accounts That Aren’t “Commercially Viable” Starting Dec. 10th

Be Careful What You Wish For: TikTok Tries To Stop Bullying On Its Platforms… By Suppressing Those It Thought Might Get Bullied

TikTok owns up to censoring some users’ videos to stop bullying

Episode 344 – Problem Reaction Solution: Internet Censorship Edition

nterview 1465 – Glyn Moody on the EU Copyright Directive

Corbett Report on Minds / Bitchute / Steemit / IPFS

February 5, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 3 Comments

Twitter Shutters Dozens of Venezuelan Government-Linked Accounts

By Morgan Artyukhina | Sputnik | 08.01.2020

Dozens of Twitter accounts for figures and institutions related to the Venezuelan government, including military branches, political leaders and journalists, were suddenly suspended without explanation on Tuesday, a day after Washington condemned the National Assembly for failing to re-elect presidential claimant Juan Guaido.

The social media giant has suspended the accounts of numerous Venezuelan government institutions, including the country’s Army, Navy, National Guard, Air Force, Central Bank, Finance Ministry, Oil Ministry, National Center for Information Technology (CNTI) and National Commission for Information Technology.

The accounts of government figures like Victor Clark, the governor of Venezuela’s Falcon state; former Bolivarian National Army Forces General Commander Jesus Suarez; and Freddy Bernal, the coordinator of the country’s subsidized food distribution program, the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP), were also shut down.

Still other accounts shuttered include Red Radio Venezuela, the presidential press office and the press office for the mayor of Caracas.

According to TeleSur, no explanation has been given for the suspensions, just a notice that the accounts had ostensibly violated Twitter’s terms of use.

While a few of the accounts have since been unlocked, such as Bernal’s and the Finance Ministry’s, most remain locked.

Toeing the State Department Line

TeleSur noted that according to Twitter’s rules, an account can be closed if it’s being used for spam, has been hacked, participates in abusive or bellicose behavior or impersonates another account – but the closed accounts haven’t violated any of these rules.

The crackdown mirrors one by the social media giant in September that targeted numerous Cuban news outlets and journalists. As Sputnik reported, dozens of Cuban accounts were shut down just moments before Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel addressed the nation about a chronic fuel shortage caused by US sanctions and collective methods of coping with the shortages.

Twitter has steadily treaded closer to the US State Department’s line in recent years, adopting the same bellicose stance against accounts associated with governments targeted by Washington, including those of Venezuela, Iran, Russia and China. Under the guise of combating disinformation, Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, have closed down accounts spreading information and news that run counter to the US government’s official line on events such as the Guaido’s declaration of his own interim presidency and the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong. However, in the recent crackdowns on Cuban and Venezuelan accounts, Twitter has not even attempted to offer a veil of justification.

Washington Decries Guaido’s Ouster

On Sunday, Guaido failed to secure re-election as the speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, a post he received in January 2019 amid rotating leadership of the legislature by the country’s opposition parties. Instead, 81 of the 150 lawmakers chose Luis Parra, an independent opposition member representing Yaracuy State.

Parra recently left the centrist opposition party Primero Justicia, the party of Henrique Capriles, who challenged Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the 2013 presidential election.

Unsure if he would win re-election, Guaido postured as if he had been barred entry to the legislature, attempting to scale the fences outside on Sunday. However, there’s no evidence Guaido was actually prevented from entering the building in a normal way, especially since Guaido loyalists like William Davila entered without trouble.

Video footage later emerged showing Guaido refusing to enter unless in the company of several lawmakers whose parliamentary immunity has been revoked for alleged criminal offenses, Venezuelanalysis noted.

After opposition members failed to convince Guaido to enter, he and they later met at the headquarters of anti-government newspaper El Nacional, declaring the parliament’s vote void and re-electing Guaido as speaker, with several figures standing in for legislators who had left the country.

Washington quickly denounced the events in the National Assembly, with US Vice President Mike Pence declaring Guaido the country’s “only legitimate president” and US Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliot Abrams promising new sanctions against Maduro.

Guaido’s claim to be interim president is recognized by roughly 50 countries, mostly European and US-allied nations, while Maduro, who won reelection in 2018, remains recognized as the president of Venezuela by roughly 75% of the world’s nations. Since January 23, 2019, Guaido has launched four attempted coups d’etat, each of which has gained less traction than the last.

January 9, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights as Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent

Mnar Muhawesh speaks with journalist Daniel McAdams about being permanently banned from Twitter, social media censorship and more.

By Mnar Muhawesh – MintPress News – November 14, 2019

It’s an open secret. The deep state is working hand in hand with Silicon Valley social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google to control the flow of information. That includes suppressing, censoring and sometimes outright purging dissenting voices – all under the guise of fighting fake news and Russian propaganda.

Most recently, it was revealed that Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is an active officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.

In other words: he specializes in disseminating propaganda.

The news left many wondering how a member of the British Armed Forces secured such an influential job in the media.

The bombshell that one of the world’s most influential social networks is controlled in part by an active psychological warfare officer was not covered at all in the New York Times, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC or Fox News, who appear to have found the news unremarkable.

But for those paying attention and for those who have been following MintPress News extensive coverage of social media censorship, this revelation was merely another example of the increasing closeness between the deep state and the fourth estate.

Amazon owner, and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.

Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.

In their book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen wrote:

What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first.

Another social media giant partnering with the military-industrial complex is Facebook. The California-based company announced last year it was working closely with the neoconservative think tank, The Atlantic Council, which is largely funded by Saudi Arabia, Israel and weapons manufacturers to supposedly fight foreign “fake news.”

The Atlantic Council is a NATO offshoot and its board of directors reads like a rogue’s gallery of warmongers, including the notorious Henry Kissinger, Bush-era hawks like Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and author of the PATRIOT Act, Michael Chertoff, a number of former Army Generals including David Petraeus and Wesley Clark and former heads of the CIA Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell.

39 percent of Americans, and similar numbers of people in other countries, get their news from Facebook, so when an organization like the Atlantic Council is controlling what the world sees in their Facebook news feeds, it can only be described as state censorship on a global level.

After working with the council, Facebook immediately began banning and removing accounts linked to media in official enemy states like Iran, Russia and Venezuela, ensuring the world would not be exposed to competing ideas and purging dissident voices under the guise of fighting “fake news” and “Russian bots.”

Meanwhile, the social media platform has been partnering with the US and Israeli governments to silence Palestinian voices that show the reality of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The Israeli Justice Minister proudly revealed that Facebook complied with 95 percent of Israeli government requests to delete Palestinian pages. At the same time, Google deleted dozens of YouTube and blog accounts supposedly connected to the government of Iran.

In the last week alone, Twitter has purged several Palestinian news pages, including Quds News Network — without warning or explanation.

Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah wrote,

This alarming act of censorship is another indication of the complicity of major social media firms in Israel’s efforts to suppress news and information about its abuses of Palestinian rights.

Alternative voices not welcome

The vast online purge of alternative voices has also been directed at internal “enemies.”

Publishers like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning are still being held in solitary confinement in conditions that international bodies and human rights groups call torture, for their crime of revealing the extent of the global surveillance network and the control over the media that Western governments have built.

As attempts to re-tighten the state and corporate grip over our means of communication increases, high-quality alternative media are being hit the hardest, as algorithm changes from the media monoliths have deranked, demoted, deleted and disincentivized outlets that question official narratives, leading to huge falls in traffic and revenue.

The message from social media giants is clear: independent and alternative voices are not welcome.

One causality in this propaganda war is Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a public advocacy group that argues that a non-interventionist foreign policy is crucial to securing a prosperous society at home. McAdams served as Senator Paul’s foreign affairs advisor between 2001 and 2012. Before that, he was a journalist and editor for the Budapest Sun and a human rights monitor across Eastern Europe.

McAdams, who spent much of his time on Twitter calling out the war machine supported by both parties, was recently permanently banned from the platform for so-called “hateful conduct.” His crime? Challenging Fox News anchor Sean Hannity over his hour-long segment claiming to be against the “deep state,” while simultaneously wearing a CIA lapel pin. In the exchange, McAdams called Hannity “retarded,” claiming he was becoming stupider every time he watched him.

Yes, despite that word and its derivatives having been used on Twitter over ten times in the previous minute, and often much more aggressively than McAdams used it – only McAdams fell victim to Twitter’s ban hammer. Something didn’t make sense about this ban. One only needs to read the replies under any of President Trump’s tweets to see far more hateful speech than what McAdams displayed to suspect foul play.

I spoke with McAdams about the ban and began by asking him if he accepts the premise of the ban, or if he believes something else was afoot.

November 15, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , | 1 Comment