Almost 60% of Californians support Trump Deportations of Illegal Aliens | Apr 19 2018

Half of Californians support deportations, Muslim travel ban, survey finds

|| San Jose Mercury News

(Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)
A new UC Berkeley study shows not all Californians are opposed to Trump’s border wall

“About half of Californians say they support President Trump’s Muslim travel ban and more deportations of undocumented immigrants, according to a new poll that challenges the conventional belief that residents of the left-leaning Golden State are overwhelmingly allergic to the administration’s hard line on immigration.

The survey released Wednesday by UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society shows that while residents of the country’s only sanctuary state value diversity and inclusion on all fronts — from economic and racial justice to immigration reform — their viewpoints on politics, race and culture are sometimes complex and even contradictory.

“It’s a state whose progressive movement has grown and matured… and yet we’re still seeing high levels of inequality across the state and other social justice issues that are problematic,” said Olivia Araiza, director of the Haas Institute’s Blueprint for Belonging project, which commissioned the survey. The group, which opposes Trump’s policies, said it found some of the results unsettling.

About 24 percent of the survey’s participants said it’s “very important” for the U.S. to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants, while 35 percent said it’s “somewhat important,” according to the poll. That viewpoint even held true in the Bay Area, where 25 percent of those surveyed said increasing deportations is very important and 35 percent said it’s somewhat important.”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News

Gov’t Must Impose ‘Transgender’ Demands Nationwide, Says WA Federal Judge | Apr 18 2018

Gov’t Must Impose ‘Transgender’ Demands Nationwide, Says Judge

|| Breitbart

“A federal judge in Washington State has declared that all civic groups nationwide must accept people of both sexes into their single-sex spaces and activities, or else be stigmatized and sued by the federal government.

In legal jargon, Judge Marsha Pechman declared in a lawsuit against the Pentagon’s “transgender” policy that the federal government must use its powers to champion people who want to live as members of the sex, either inside the military or outside, just as it must use federal powers to suppress racism:

Today, the Court concludes that transgender people constitute a suspect class. Transgender people have long been forced to live in silence, or to come out and face the threat of overwhelming discrimination. Therefore, the Court grants summary judgment in Plaintiffs’ and Washington’s favor as to the applicable level of scrutiny. The Ban specifically targets one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, and must satisfy strict scrutiny if it is to survive.

In this context, the term “strict scrutiny” means that people who say they are transgender must be treated as members of the opposite sex by all federal or state agencies, universities, schools and civic groups that accept federal dollars, except in rare circumstances. Judges would approve exceptions in rare circumstances that are absolutely necessary and also narrowly tailored to achieve an important goal.

In practice, the judge is telling all civic groups that they will lose nearly all lawsuits if women try to exclude men from showers and bathrooms, athletic competitions, victims’ shelters, girls’ schools, civic competitions, or any single-sex civic group or practice.

The judge’s decision, if accepted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and by Supreme Court in 2020, would order the government to suppress and stigmatize any public recognition of any biological distinctions between the two different, equal and complementary sexes in a heterosexual society of women, men and children.

The judge is a feminist who would likely object to men who demand that women stay silent when their sexual privacy is violated and would object to the elimination of women’s athletics. But many feminists have embraced the transgender ideology because it blurs the civic distinctions between the two equal, different and complementary sexes. That blurring is sought by feminists who wish to compete for status and income against men in the workplace.

The transgender ideology says a person’s sex is determined only his or her feelings of “gender identity,” not by their biology. The ideology says the government agencies, such as the Pentagon, must force Americans to accept the wishes of men who deem themselves to be women and of the women who declare themselves to be men, even if those men and women decline any opposite-sex clothing or hormones, or cosmetic surgery.

Conservatives point out that men and women, teenage boys and teenage girls are very different, and prosper in a society which recognizes and accepts their equal, complementary and different priorities and capabilities.

Feminists say that pro-transgender policies will erase the concept of women — and of women’s rights —  because men will be women.

.. ..

The judge’s legal decision was made April 13 in a lawsuit against the Pentagon’s transgender policies, which excludes people from military service if they want to be treated as members of the other sex. The Pentagon policies reject the vague guidelines pushed by transgender activists about who should be classified as male or female, and instead reaffirmed the normal biology-based distinction between male and female as the fairest way to describe people’s sex:

.. ..

But the judge seems to embrace the transgender ideology, and uses the “gender identity” term without quote marks, despite the inability of biologists to identify and measure a “gender identity’:

The term ‘transgender’ is used to describe someone who experiences any significant degree of misalignment between their gender identity and their assigned sex at birth … Experts agree that gender identity has a “biological component,” and there is a “medical consensus that gender identity is deep-seated, set early in life, and impervious to external influences.”

The judge also argues that her government-enforced redesign of the nation’s civic culture rests upon a claim that is only “widely understood,” but not actually confirmed by science or recognized by voters’ common sense:

The Court notes that the [Pentagon’s] Implementation Plan uses the term “biological sex,” apparently to refer to the sex one is assigned at birth. This is somewhat misleading, as the record indicates that gender identity—“a person’s internalized, inherent sense of who they are as a particular gender (i.e., male or female)”—is also widely understood to have a “biological component.”

These claims ignore the scientific evidence that the vast majority of children who claim an opposite-sex feeling of “gender identity” do drop that claim after puberty. Many adults also drop that claim after trying to live as members of the opposite sex, sharply weakening the claims that “transgender” people comprise a confirmable and permanent group.

Very few Americans claim to be transgender, but that rarity means they deserve maximum protection, says the judge:

While the exact number is unknown, transgender people make up less than 1 percent of the nation’s adult population … There are no openly transgender members of the United States Congress or the federal judiciary, and only one out of more than 7,000 state legislators is openly transgender.

People trying to live as members of the other sex deserve protection because of the harm they suffer, the judge said, even though she also disregarded the harm that would be caused by official suppression of sexual differences, such as the loss of sexual privacy in bathrooms or the health damage caused by “transgender” medical treatment of children. For example, training manual prepared by the Pentagon in 2016 said naked female soldiers must give “dignity and respect” to men who join them in their shared shower rooms.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

 

THE DISTURBING TRUTH ABOUT HOW AIRPLANES ARE MAINTAINED TODAY

In the last decade, most of the big U.S. airlines have shifted major maintenance work to places like El Salvador, Mexico, and China, where few mechanics are F.A.A. certified and inspections have no teeth.

“Not long ago I was waiting for a domestic flight in a departure lounge at one of the crumbling midcentury sheds that pass for an American airport these days. There were delays, as we’ve all come to expect, and then the delays turned into something more ominous. The airplane I was waiting for had a serious maintenance issue, beyond the ability of a man in an orange vest to address. The entire airplane would have to be taken away for servicing and another brought to the gate in its place. This would take a while. Those of us in the departure lounge settled in for what we suspected might be hours. From the window I watched the ground crew unload the bags from the original airplane. When the new one arrived, the crew pumped the fuel, loaded the bags, and stocked the galley. It was a scene I’d witnessed countless times. Soon we would board and be on the way to our destinations.

As for the first airplane, the one with the maintenance problem—what was its destination going to be? When you have time on your hands, you begin to wonder about things like this. My own assumption, as yours might have been, was that the aircraft would be towed to a nearby hangar for a stopgap repair and then flown to a central maintenance facility run by the airline somewhere in the U.S. Or maybe there was one right here at the airport. In any case, if it needed a major overhaul, presumably it would be performed by the airline’s staff of trained professionals. If Apple feels it needs a “Genius Bar” at its stores to deal with hardware and software that cost a few hundred dollars, an airline must have something equivalent to safeguard an airplane worth a few hundred million.

About this I would be wrong—as wrong as it is possible to be. Over the past decade, nearly all large U.S. airlines have shifted heavy maintenance work on their airplanes to repair shops thousands of miles away, in developing countries, where the mechanics who take the planes apart (completely) and put them back together (or almost) may not even be able to read or speak English. US Airways and Southwest fly planes to a maintenance facility in El Salvador. Delta sends planes to Mexico. United uses a shop in China. American still does much of its most intensive maintenance in-house in the U.S., but that is likely to change in the aftermath of the company’s merger with US Airways.

The airlines are shipping this maintenance work offshore for the reason you’d expect: to cut labor costs. Mechanics in El Salvador, Mexico, China, and elsewhere earn a fraction of what mechanics in the U.S. do. In part because of this offshoring, the number of maintenance jobs at U.S. carriers has plummeted, from 72,000 in the year 2000 to fewer than 50,000 today. But the issue isn’t just jobs. A century ago, Upton Sinclair wrote his novel The Jungleto call attention to the plight of workers in the slaughterhouses, but what really got people upset was learning how unsafe their meat was. Safety is an issue here, too. The Federal Aviation Administration is supposed to be inspecting all the overseas facilities that do maintenance for airlines—just as it is supposed to inspect those in America. But the F.A.A. no longer has the money or the manpower to do this.”

….Continue reading more @ Vanity Fair

More Opposition to California Sanctuary City Laws as San Diego Votes to Support Trump | Apr 17 2018

San Diego County supervisors vote 3-1 to support the Trump lawsuit against California sanctuary laws

|| U-T San Diego

“The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over laws that the state passed last year to limit its role in immigration enforcement.

The county will file an amicus brief at the first available opportunity, likely on appeal, said Kristin Gaspar, supervisor for District 3 and chairwoman of the board.

The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit against the state at the beginning of March over three laws.

SB 54, the law that received the most publicity when it passed, limits the ways in which local police can interact with federal immigration officials. Under the law, police can turn immigrants over to federal immigration enforcement agencies only if they have committed crimes listed in the legislation. It says local police cannot participate in task forces that are focused on immigration enforcement.

It also requires the California Attorney General to set policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement at public schools, libraries and hospitals.

AB 103 prohibits local governments across California from adding new contracts with the federal government for civil immigration detention or expanding old ones. It also requires the California Attorney General’s office to monitor conditions in existing immigration detention facilities in the state.

AB 450 says that employers cannot voluntarily allow immigration officials into non-public areas of the workplace unless the officers have judicial warrants. It also requires employers to notify employees about upcoming immigration inspections.

“We’re talking about people who are crossing the border illegally, coming into this county and committing a crime and them being let loose probably to commit another crime,” said Dianne Jacob, supervisor for District 2. “That creates a public safety issue and creates a problem in our neighborhoods.”

Gaspar, Jacob and Supervisor Bill Horn voted to support the lawsuit. Supervisor Greg Cox voted no. Supervisor Ron Roberts had a previous commitment and did not attend the meeting.

A long line of supporters and detractors addressed the board Tuesday morning after a group of people hoping to dissuade the supervisors from supporting the lawsuit rallied outside.

Supporters of the lawsuit felt that the laws in question were an overreach of state power and worried that it would inhibit the federal government from deporting people with criminal convictions.

Critics said they worried that allowing local police to work closely with federal immigration officials, which the laws limit, would create less safe communities because immigrant victims or witnesses wouldn’t call the police.

Many accused Gaspar of bringing the issue to a county vote to gain media attention for her campaign to take the Congressional seat of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.”

…..Continue reading more @ U-T San Diego

 

Jerry Brown Blames ‘Low-Life Politicians’ for ‘Sanctuary State’ Backlash

|| Breitbart

“California Governor Jerry Brown blamed “low-life politicians” for a growing backlash against the “sanctuary state” policies he has enacted in his state during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

Brown spoke as a revolt continues to spread throughout Southern California against the state’s sanctuary laws in the wake of a Department of Justice lawsuit filed last month against the Golden State’s “sanctuary” laws.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate three state laws — the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54) — under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Roughly a dozen local governments have joined the revolt, and many more are considering joining the lawsuit, with three new cities climbing aboard last week.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

Opposition to Sanctuary Laws in California Grow in Orange County and San Diego | Apr 12 2018

Orange, Newport Beach join other Orange County cities opposing California sanctuary law

|| Orange County Register

Vaughn Becht of Westminster chants, “Build that wall, build that wall!” outside Aliso Viejo City Hall during a meeting discussing whether or not the city should file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the City of Los Alamitos and also the Orange County Board of Supervisors in United States V. State of California on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

 

“Elected officials in Orange and Newport Beach, following hours of emotional testimony from both sides of the sanctuary issue, voted late Tuesday to oppose a new California law that protects people living in the country illegally.

In Newport Beach, the City Council voted unanimously during closed session to support a federal lawsuit filed by the Trump administration against California. The Newport Beach council also voted 7-0 for a resolution that says the city is publicly opposed to the law.

In Orange, the council voted 3-2 for a resolution against the California Values Act, the law that limits cooperation between federal immigration agents and local law enforcement and provides protection to unauthorized immigrants in public schools, libraries and medical centers. The Orange resolution says the city will not comply with state law, but resolutions are largely symbolic and it’s unclear whether it will have any impact on day-to-day operations.

“It’s making our voice heard, and supporting the County of Orange who really is the one dealing with custody and ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) communication issues,” Councilman Fred Whitaker said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Opponents of illegal immigration hailed the latest votes as victories as the anti-sanctuary movement continues to gain momentum in Orange County.

In the past three weeks, cities that have passed resolutions or taken other measures to protest the state law are Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Yorba Linda, Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley and San Juan Capistrano. Orange County has as well.

In Orange, Mayor Teresa Smith and Councilman Mike Alvarez voted against it. Smith said the ordinance undermined trust and inclusion in the community. Alvarez said he would prefer to sit out the debate but would be interested in voting on something stronger that states, “We’re not a sanctuary city.”

Councilmen Whitaker and Mark Murphy brought the issue before the council. Councilwoman Kim Nichols joined them in support, saying that the California law is in conflict with federal laws.

Whitaker said Orange is “a welcoming city” but officials need to abide by the rule of law.

Several of the speakers in opposition of the law erroneously said that the California Values Act, known as California’s sanctuary law, prohibits communication between federal immigration agents and local law enforcement, barring cooperation between the agencies upon the release of potential deportable criminals from jail. Actually, the law limits but does not prohibit the two sides from working together.

The Westminster City Council is scheduled to take up the issue on Wednesday, April 11.”

….Continue reading more @ OC Register | Story by Roxana Kopetman

 

Red California’s revenge on sanctuary laws

|| U-T San Diego

“California is always the familiar Democratic blue in those political maps on TV, but the state still has notable swaths of red, particularly in the south.

And red California is making itself known through a local government rebellion against the sanctuary state.

On Wednesday night, Escondido joined President Donald Trump’s effort to dismantle California’s sanctuary laws, which, among other things, prohibit local law enforcement from telling federal officials when unauthorized immigrants are being released from custody unless they’ve been convicted of one of 800 specific crimes.

Orange County, Los Alamitos, Yorba Linda, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo and now Escondido have all taken action to support the Trump suit to overturn the state laws.

The West Covina City Council declined to join the movement Tuesday night, even though the city had taken an official position against the key sanctuary law a year ago. Unlike the others, West Covina has a plurality of Democratic voters.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to discuss taking action against the sanctuary laws in closed session on April 17.

Amid some loud, ugly words and mind-numbingly repetitive rhetoric Wednesday night, one quiet revelation surfaced before the Escondido City Council voted 4-1 to file a “friend of the court” brief supporting the administration’s lawsuit.

City Attorney Michael McGuinness said Friday is the court’s deadline to file an amicus curiae brief. That limits the options available to the supervisors.

They could direct the county to file its own lawsuit like Huntington Beach, which is a much, much larger undertaking than filing a supporting brief. They could pass an ordinance like Los Alamitos to opt out of the sanctuary laws, though that’s a legally questionable move. They could do something else, or do nothing.

Board Chair Kristin Gaspar, who is running for Congress, called the meeting to discuss opposing the sanctuary laws.

“I have been vocal in my support of upholding the law and protecting the 3.5 million people who call San Diego home,” she said in a statement Thursday. “This issue was already decided in 2012 when the Obama-led Department of Justice and Supreme Court determined that local laws can’t override Federal law. I have asked our Counsel to prepare to discuss all of our options . . .”

It’s far from clear what the board will do. Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Gaspar want to support the Trump suit, while Greg Cox and Ron Roberts have indicated they don’t think the board should get involved. Supervisor Bill Horn said through a spokeswoman that he wants to wait until the board discusses the matter before commenting publicly.

There has been little communication between Gaspar and the other supervisors on this, and some where caught off guard when she announced the meeting.

If the county joins the movement, it would be the first jurisdiction with a Democratic plurality, slight as it may be, to do so. In contrast to the county’s political demographics, all five board members are Republican.

The politics on immigration crackdowns often seem to divide along partisan lines, but it’s more complex than that. Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump all have had versions of get-tough border and immigration policies, though none of the previous three matched Trump’s heated rhetoric on the issue.

Clinton launched the hotly disputed “Operation Gatekeeper” in San Diego in 1994 and deportations ramped up so much under Obama that some immigration advocates called him “deporter in chief.”

…Continue reading more @ U-T San Diego

 

Zuckerberg Gets Grilled in Front of Congress | Apr 11 2018

IF CONGRESS DOESN’T UNDERSTAND FACEBOOK, WHAT HOPE DO ITS USERS HAVE?

|| Wired

“What many young people feel about Facebook is they’ve kind of turned on us,” said Emmanuel Sessegnon, as he waited to enter the hearing room. “Whereas before we had this expectation when I signed up when I was 13, that when you’re on Facebook what you want to be public will be public, but what you want to be private will be private. What we see here is all this information that was leaked out by Facebook to these third-party companies…”

 

FACEBOOK CEO MARK Zuckerberg received a less than warm welcome in Washington, DC, where he testified before a joint hearing of two Senate committees Tuesday. Among the crowds of spectators lining up to watch Zuckerberg get grilled were members of the activist group CodePink, wearing oversized sunglasses with the words, “Stop Spying,” written across them. Another group wore t-shirts with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook scrawled on them in red Sharpie.

“What many young people feel about Facebook is they’ve kind of turned on us,” said Emmanuel Sessegnon, as he waited to enter the hearing room. “Whereas before we had this expectation when I signed up when I was 13, that when you’re on Facebook what you want to be public will be public, but what you want to be private will be private. What we see here is all this information that was leaked out by Facebook to these third-party companies, we just feel its inappropriate.”

Zuckerberg came to Congress to answer for a series of scandals that have plagued the company since at least the 2016 election. The first, of course, was the news that a Russian propaganda group called the Internet Research Agency used Facebook ads, fake accounts, and pages to influence voters in the run-up to the 2016 US election. The most recent was Facebook’s admission that a data firm named Cambridge Analytica received unauthorized accessto up to 87 million users’ private data without their consent beginning in 2014.

Anyone expecting Tuesday’s hearing to be a bloodbath, however, likely came away disappointed. The five-hour marathon felt more like Social Media 101, as Zuckerberg spent the bulk of his time in the hot seat walking through Facebook’s terms of service, the way advertisers target users, the way app developers access people’s information, and how and when and why Facebook collects and stores data. For close observers of both the company and the online ad ecosystem in general, the questions were largely rudimentary. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

FACEBOOK CEO MARK Zuckerberg received a less than warm welcome in Washington, DC, where he testified before a joint hearing of two Senate committees Tuesday. Among the crowds of spectators lining up to watch Zuckerberg get grilled were members of the activist group CodePink, wearing oversized sunglasses with the words, “Stop Spying,” written across them. Another group wore t-shirts with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook scrawled on them in red Sharpie.

“What many young people feel about Facebook is they’ve kind of turned on us,” said Emmanuel Sessegnon, as he waited to enter the hearing room. “Whereas before we had this expectation when I signed up when I was 13, that when you’re on Facebook what you want to be public will be public, but what you want to be private will be private. What we see here is all this information that was leaked out by Facebook to these third-party companies, we just feel its inappropriate.”

Zuckerberg came to Congress to answer for a series of scandals that have plagued the company since at least the 2016 election. The first, of course, was the news that a Russian propaganda group called the Internet Research Agency used Facebook ads, fake accounts, and pages to influence voters in the run-up to the 2016 US election. The most recent was Facebook’s admission that a data firm named Cambridge Analytica received unauthorized access to up to 87 million users’ private data without their consent beginning in 2014.

Anyone expecting Tuesday’s hearing to be a bloodbath, however, likely came away disappointed. The five-hour marathon felt more like Social Media 101, as Zuckerberg spent the bulk of his time in the hot seat walking through Facebook’s terms of service, the way advertisers target users, the way app developers access people’s information, and how and when and why Facebook collects and stores data. For close observers of both the company and the online ad ecosystem in general, the questions were largely rudimentary. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

….Continue reading @ Wired.com

 

FOUR QUESTIONS CONGRESS SHOULD ACTUALLY ASK MARK ZUCKERBERG

|| Wired

 

“Mark Zuckerberg testified for almost five hours Tuesday in a televised Senate hearing about Facebook’s privacy practices and data abuse. More than 40 Senators had five minutes each to ask questions. Zuckerberg’s most frequent response? “My team will follow up with you.” House members will have their own chance to coax answers from the evasive Facebook CEO on Wednesday when he testifies before that chamber’s Energy and Commerce Committee.

It’s a rare opportunity. Zuckerberg has been heavily coached for the DC leg of his apology tour, but for the controlling CEO, with a cautiously curated personal brand, these hearings provide a forum to pin him down with facts and get his statements on the record.

The impetus for the hearing was the scandal over Cambridge Analytica, which collected data on 87 million Facebook users without their consent. But some of the most telling lines of inquiry on Tuesday focused on the longstanding tradeoffs from Facebook’s business model and the mechanics of data collection that Zuckerberg would prefer to obscure: How Facebook tracks you online and offline; what personal data you inadvertent reveal; how a $477 billion company that makes money from advertisers might still respect privacy.

There were few revelations, and a longer list of not-quite-answered questions. Some lawmakers had clearly been briefed by tech-savvy Facebook critics, but still couldn’t quite hit it home.

Toward the end of the hearing, Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) attempted to list the questions where she thought Zuckerberg had been less than candid. “During the course of this hearing these last four hours you’ve been asked several critical questions for which you don’t have answers,” Harris said.

With that in mind, we offer these suggested queries for House members:

1. How does Facebook track users when they’re not on Facebook?

Users are now accustomed to the notion that Facebook harvests every post, like, comment, and share to build profiles that inform the ads it displays to a user. But senators sounded a lot like ordinary Facebook users when they asked about whether, or how, Facebook tracks them when they are not on the social network. Consider this exchange with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).

Wicker: There have been reports that Facebook can track a user’s internet browsing activity even after that user has logged off of the Facebook platform. Can you confirm whether or not this is true?

Zuckerberg: Senator, I want to make sure I get this accurate, so it would probably be better to have my team follow up afterwards.

Wicker: You don’t know?

Zuckerberg: I know that people use cookies on the internet and that you can probably correlate activity between sessions. We do that for a number of reasons including security and including measuring ads to make sure the experience is the most effective, which of course people can opt-out of but I want to make sure that I’m precise.

Zuckerberg also got a lot of mileage from the line that Facebook doesn’t sell your data, until Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) shut him down by responding, “You clearly rent it!” Why not delve more into this rental agreement? The Wall Street Journal’s recent breakdown of all the data shared just to organize a pizza party is a good start.

Committee members could also ask about Facebook Pixel, its Like button, or other Facebook plugins that track consumers around around the web, even when they’re not logged in to Facebook. They could also probe more deeply about how data from Facebook gets combined with other sources, including shopping histories and public records.

2. Does Facebook behave like a monopoly?

Quite a few legislators asked tried to get Zuckerberg to admit that Facebook is a monopoly. Zuckerberg was asked to name Facebook’s competitors and identify a viable alternative for users who want to leave Facebook and go elsewhere. Zuckerberg responded that the typical American uses eight different communication apps, neglecting to mention that Facebook owns a few of those other apps too, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

A straighter route might be to ask Facebook about specific instances where it has allegedly engaged in anticompetitive behavior, such as brazenly copying Snapchat’s features or acquiring Onavo, a tool that help Facebook identify the next Snapchat it needs to buy or crush.

3. Pull out a laptop and ask Zuckerberg to walk us through the process of changing the privacy settings on a Facebook account.

This would be mostly for dramatic effect, but in keeping with this week’s corporate theater. But it would also prove a point. Zuckerberg repeatedly insisted that users own their own data, can remove it at any time, and can control who has access to it while they are on Facebook.

Exercising that control is not that simple, however. Start with Facebook’s 3,200-word user agreement. “I say this gently: Your user agreement sucks,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) told Zuckerberg. “The purpose of the user agreement is to cover Facebook’s rear end. It is not to inform your users about their rights. You know that and I know that.”

Then there are Facebook’s privacy controls, which are famously difficult to find and opaque. Warning: this question could go well over your five minute allotment.”

….Continue reading more @ Wired.com

Youtube under fire by disgruntled Iranian activist | Apr 04 2018

YouTube Shooter ID’d as Iranian Azeri Vegan Activist Nasim Aghdam

|| Breitbart

“The shooter who took her own life after wounding four YouTube employees at the video hosting website’s San Bruno, California, offices on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Aghdam in multiple reports, after being described as a “white woman in a headscarf” earlier in the day.

ABC News quotes law enforcement sources with the identification:

JUST IN: Two law enforcement sources say authorities have preliminarily identified the YouTube shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a woman with previous addresses in the Southern California cities of Riverside and San Diego. https://t.co/vmWDgKsXJc

— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2018

Aghdam, said to reside in Southern California, had a long history of animal rights activism, and was quoted by the Los Angeles Times at a protest of the U.S. Marine Corps’ use of pigs to demonstrate battlefield wounds in 2009. She ran a series of very similar websites espousing vegan views.

In one video post on video hosting service Dailymotion, she claims to be from Iran in an introduction to a mock appearance on America’s Got Talent.

“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!” she declared on one of her websites, among one of many statements criticizing the company across her other websites and extensive social media presence, sometimes using the name Nasime Sabz Yeşil Nasim.

In a February Facebook post, for instance, she decried YouTube’s “hidden policy” of “discrimination” and “suppression of truth.”

.. ..

Her websites contain statements like, “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” and images complaining about her revenue from her YouTube videos, implying YouTube had been diminishing her earnings:

Aghdam also appears to have maintained at least two Instagram accounts, frequently captioning her posts in her — presumably native — Persian language. She makes frequent reference to Iran and the Azeri ethnic group that resides primarily in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart.com

 

An hour of terror: ‘Active shooter at YouTube HQ’

The chaos and fear that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies

|| San Jose Mercury News

Police officers congregate in a parking lot near YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, after a shooting took place. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Area News Group)

“SAN BRUNO — YouTube, where millions turn to watch news of the world unfold, became the subject of its own trending video feed Tuesday after its headquarters turned into a shooting ground for a woman who critically wounded an employee and injured two others in a courtyard before killing herself.

The shooter — a YouTuber who had recently ranted at the company for filtering her videos — called out “come at me or come and get me!” said senior software engineer Zach Vorhies, one of hundreds of employees who fled the building after witnesses described the sound of more than a dozen gunshots echoing through the building. Vorhies froze for a moment, he said, as he passed a man lying on his back with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his torso.

And for the next hour, the chaos and terror of two words that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies: “Active shooter at YouTube HQ,” one employee tweeted. Immediately, panic spread throughout the tech campus and across social media, as YouTube employees barricaded themselves in offices and conferences rooms while others fled in a stampede that one employee described as sounding like the rumble of an earthquake.

“Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk,” employee Vadim Lavrusik tweeted at 12:57 p.m. “Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers.”

“I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs,” project manager Todd Sherman tweeted at 1:10 p.m. “Peeked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front.”

On Tuesday night, a law enforcement source identified the shooter as Nasim Aghdam of the Southern California town of Menifee.

A law-enforcement source told the Bay Area News Group late Tuesday afternoon that the shooting may have been fueled by a domestic dispute and that the suspect was targeting a boyfriend, not others who were injured. But in an interview Tuesday night, her father Ismail Aghdam told this news organization his daughter was a vegan activist who was angry with YouTube because the company stopped paying for her content.

The source said the woman had no criminal history in San Mateo County. It’s not yet clear how she was able to pass through stringent lobby security.

In front of a phalanx of news media, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini described how three officers were met with a multitude of fleeing employees at the Cherry Avenue campus when they arrived within two minutes of the 12:46 p.m. emergency call.

“We have one subject who is deceased inside the building with a self-inflicted wound at this time, (who) we believe to be the shooter,” Barberini said within hours of the shooting.

The woman used a handgun, the chief said, but he would not confirm a motive.

He praised YouTube employees, some of whom stopped to care for a shooting victim at the front of the building while officers raced past to find to search for the shooter just before 1 p.m.”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News

44 Democrats & Pakistani Awan Bros in Congress IT Scandal Heats Up | Apr 3 2018

‘The Biggest Story You Never Hear About’: Reporter Sounds The Alarm On Awan Brothers Scandal

|| TGP

New Congressional documents reveal all 44 House Democrats who hired IT staffer Imran Awan waived the background check on the shady Pakistani national. 

“The Daily Caller reports:

‘Every one of the 44 House Democrats who hired Pakistan-born IT aides who later allegedly made “unauthorized access” to congressional data appears to have chosen to exempt them from background checks, according to congressional documents.

All of them appear to have waived background checks on Imran Awan and his family members, even though the family of server administrators could collectively read all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats, and despite background checks being recommended for such positions, according to an inspector general’s report. The House security policy requires offices to fill out a form attesting that they’ve initiated background checks, but it also includes a loophole allowing them to simply say that another member vouched for them.

The reporter behind the new Awan report, the Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak, joined Fox Business Network Monday to discuss his story.

“If they would have run this background check it would have found out not only multiple criminal convictions, but $1 million bankruptcy, a dozen lawsuits… it would have found a whole host of major red flags and the Democrats didn’t do any of those checks,” Rosiak told host Maria Bartiromo.

“As a result they gave these guys access to everything and IG determined that they were funneling data off the House network.”

“This is the biggest story that you never hear about,” Rosiak added.

 “It’s a hack on the Congress by foreigners and the Democrats didn’t care about it, they didn’t stop it. These are the same people who were talking constantly about cyber breaches and Russia. And if you care about one, you’ve got to care about the other.”

“So why haven’t they addressed it?”

“It basically destroys that Russian narrative just because it shows that they didn’t actually care about cyber-security and they haven’t responded to this. And thirdly, it could just be a question of, do these guys have something on members of Congress?” the Daily Caller reporter said.

IT specialist Imran Awan worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz for thirteen years since she was first elected to national office in 2004 as a Florida representative. She only fired him after he was arrested and would have kept paying her “IT expert” even after he fled to Pakistan. The Awan brothers IT ring had access to emails and computer data from an estimated 800 lawmakers and staffers.

Three Pakistani brothers who managed the IT affairs for several Democratic government officials were relieved of their duties in February on suspicion that they accessed specific computer networks without permission, also known as hacking Imran Awan, who started working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, received $164,600 in 2016, with close to $20,000 of that coming from Wasserman Schultz.

His brother Jamal, who started working as a staffer in 2014, was paid $157,350.12 in 2016. Abid, who started working in 2005, was paid $160,943 in 2016. Imran’s wife, Hina Alvi, who was employed as a staffer since February 2007, was paid 168,300 in 2016. Rao Abbas was paid $85,049 in 2016. Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives in February.”

…Continue reading more @ The Gateway Pundit