Category Archives: Technology

Facebook Has the Highest Percentage of H-1B’s of any High Tech Company in U.S. | Apr 20, 2017

Reuters: 15% of Facebook Employees on H-1B Visas

|| Breitbart

“Reuters has found that more than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. staff are immigrants employed through H-1B temporary work visas.

Based on a review of U.S. Labor Department filings for 2016 regarding temporary visa programs, Reuters found 3,339 workers of approximately 22,000 Facebook employees working in the U.S. were employed directly through H-1B temporary visas.

At over 15 percent, Facebook had the highest percentage of H-1B contractors of any U.S. tech operating company.

Breitbart News has reported that although there are only new 85,000 H-1B temporary visas granted by the U.S. State Department each year, there are about 650,000 H-1Bs working in the American private sector, roughly 100,000 H-1Bs employed at U.S. universities, and an unknown number of H-1B spouses issued green card work permits.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

15% of Facebook employees are vulnerable to Trump’s likely changes for H-1B visas

|| VentureBeat.com

“(Reuters) – Among Silicon Valley’s top tech employers, Facebook could be the most vulnerable to U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected crackdown on guest-worker visas, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. Labor Department filings.

More than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa, giving the social media leader a legal classification as a H-1B “dependent” company. That is a higher proportion than Alphabet ‘s Google, Apple, Amazon, or Microsoft.

That could cause problems for Facebook if Trump or Congress decide to make the H-1B program more restrictive, as the president and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to do.

Both Trump and Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions have opposed the program in its current form. They have also indicated that they are open to reforming it to “ensure the beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest,” according to a draft executive order seen by Reuters. Reuters could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft.

The Trump administration has not proposed any new rules that would target companies with the H-1B “dependent” classification. But the fact that Facebook alone among major tech companies falls into that category suggests it is the most exposed in the industry to any changes in H-1B visa policy.

Facebook declined to comment on the matter.

Companies say they use them to recruit top talent. But a majority of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms, sparking criticism by skeptics that those firms use the visas to fill lower-level information technology jobs. Critics also say the lottery system benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.

H-1B dependent status is mostly held by these outsourcing firms such as India’s Tata Consultancy Services or Infosys. The status was introduced in the late 1990s in an effort to ensure that companies did not use the visas to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. The status requires companies to prove they cannot find U.S. workers for the jobs.”

….Continue reading more @ VentureBeat

 

Facebook Will Let Workers Join Glorious May Day Protests

|| Bloomberg Tech

“Facebook Inc. said it won’t punish employees who take time off to join pro-immigrant protests on May 1. And, in a nod to security staff, janitors, shuttle-bus drivers and others who work for Facebook contractors on campus, the company also said it will investigate if any of its vendors illegally crack down on their employees’ protest rights.

“At Facebook, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up,” a spokesman wrote in an emailed statement. “We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.”

Facebook notified employees of its policy in a posting on an internal forum April 14. A spokesman said it applies regardless of whether workers notify the company ahead of time. The Menlo Park, California, company also said it would re-evaluate its ties to any vendor if it breaks the law that protects workers’ rights to organize and protect themselves.

“It’s important not just to the engineers and H-1B holders that are traditionally thought of as the immigrants in tech but also to folks who are subcontracted but work side-by-side on those campuses,” said Derecka Mehrens, co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising, a union-backed coalition. “Immigrants play a critical role in the tech sector — both as engineers and coders but also in keeping tech campuses running smoothly.”

Many tech companies have been vocal in their opposition to aspects of Trump’s agenda. Facebook has criticized Trump’s immigration moves. At a rally in January at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin spoke against Trump’s executive order that closed U.S. borders to people from several majority-Muslim nations. Both companies, along with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., are among more than 120 firms that signed a February court filing opposing the travel ban.”

…Continue reading @ Bloomberg

 

|| Spectator.org

“An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.

Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.

John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.

A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”

The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.

Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).”

….Continue reading more @ Spectator.org

 

Wellesley Students Editors Endorse Silencing Opposing Speakers and Declare “Hostility May Be Warranted”

|| JonathanTurley.org

“We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country.  Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students.  The erosion of free speech has come in stages.  First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech.  Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes.

Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.”  It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson.  Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech.

The editors heralded the Wellesley students who refuse to respect the free speech rights of those deemed to be hateful.  Simply defining such people as unworthy of free speech protections then allows the editors to become actual advocates of mob action to silence them:

“Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.”

So speech deemed as “undermining the existence and rights of others” is all that is needed to relieve the conscience of these students and allow them to indulge in their desire to forcibly silence those with whom that disagree.  There is no attempt of course to define what constitute speech that “undermines.” Rather the thrust is to legitimize the denial of free speech in the name of free speech.

Their bizarre understanding of free speech is laid out further in the statement that “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.”  Again, there is no definition of what is deemed “hateful” or “damaging” but it clearly does not include things that the editors agree with or have been taught are the products of ignorance: “We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.

Now that the editors have been properly educated that some views are unworthy of protection, they are ready to take the final step in calling for the silencing of those who “refuse to adapt their beliefs.”  If those people still insist on being heard, the editors declared that “hostility may be warranted.”  “Hostility”?

The war on free speech appears to have produced a perfect generation of petty tyrants “mentored” in the necessity — even the moral imperative — of silencing those with whom we disagree.

I suppose this is to be expected at a school with the motto: Non Ministrari sed Ministrare — Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

 

Mario Savio: Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964 Berkeley California

|| Youtube

Hillary Spied on Staff Emails | Apr 19, 2017

Crooked Hillary Spied on Her Own Campaign Staff

| theGatewayPundit

Crooked Hillary Clinton did not even trust her closest advisers. She spied on them.

The New York Post reported:

“Years before Hillary Clinton’s private email server ever became a campaign issue, Clinton spent a few months doing some digital snooping on her own staff.

The new book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (Crown, out now) reveals that in the summer of 2008, Clinton wanted an honest assessment of what had gone wrong in her failed presidential bid against Barack Obama.

To this end, she had a trusted aide access the campaign’s server and download the emails sent and received by top staffers.

“She believed her campaign had failed her — not the other way around — and she wanted ‘to see who was talking to who, who was leaking to who,’ said a source familiar with the operation,” Allen and Parnes reveal in the book. “Her political director, Guy Cecil, had talked with members of the media from his campaign account. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, was a tyrant. And far too many of her minions had fought for turf and status rather than votes.”

….Continue reading more @ TGP

 

7 Revelations from ‘Shattered’: New Book Detailing Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign

| Breitbart

“A new book released this week, titled Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, details the story behind Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential run against Donald Trump.

Written by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Sidewire’s Jonathan Allen, the book is the first to investigate why Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency was unsuccessful.

The book makes a number of revelations about Clinton and what happened during her campaign. Here are a few of the book’s claims:

Hillary apologized to Obama after conceding to Trump – Shortly after calling Donald Trump to concede defeat, Clinton called Barack Obama and said simply, “Mr. President, I’m sorry. Clinton felt she had let herself, Obama, and the Democratic Party down. “Obama’s legacy and her dreams of the Presidency lay shattered at Donald Trump’s feet. This was on her,” the book reads.

Obama privately criticized Clinton’s use of a private email server – Despite refusing to condemn Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified material on the campaign trail, Obama reportedly believed it “amounted to political malpractice.”

Clinton admitted to an aide that she “engenders bad reactions from people” – The book claims that Clinton admitted that her personality did not appeal to many ordinary voters, a theory confirmed by her election defeat.

Her campaign was badly organized – The campaign lacked focus and had power decentralized, making it difficult to focus on particular issues. “Hillary distributed power so broadly that none of her aides or advisers had control of the whole apparatus,” the book claims.

Huma Abedin sheltered Clinton from criticism – The book alleges that vice campaign chair Huma Abedin would rarely criticize Clinton, and “couldn’t be counted on to relay constructive criticism to Hillary without pointing a finger at the critic.”

Clinton was allegedly dumbfounded by the 2016 election’s populist upswing and her lack of white working class support – Confounded by the success of her Democratic primary challenger Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton reportedly told her longtime confidant Minyon Moore during the Democratic primaries: “I do not understand what is happening in our country.” She also questioned her staff on her to attract support from the white working class. “Why aren’t they with me?” she said. “Why can’t we bring them on board?”

…Continue reading more @  Breitbart

Fresno police chief: Shooter wanted to ‘kill as many people as he could’ as shooter screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’

| Fresno Bee

The suspect in Tuesday’s shooting rampage told police he decided to “kill as many people as he could” once he learned investigators had identified him as the suspect in last week’s slaying of a Motel 6 security guard, police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

“I can’t think of an incident we’ve had for a long period of time that even got close to what we saw today,” Dyer said.

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, now faces four counts of murder – three for Tuesday’s shooting, and one for the fatal shooting of the Motel 6 guard, Dyer said.

As soon as the first Fresno police officer arrived at Tuesday’s shooting scene, Muhammad dropped to the ground and told the officer “I did it. I shot them,” Dyer said at an evening news conference. He then identified himself and told the officer “You guys are looking for me,” the chief said.

Dyer said Muhammad also addressed him directly he arrived at the scene: “I’m sorry chief.”

Although Muhammad quoted the phrase “Allahu Akbar” at the scene and previously on social media, Dyer said the fatal shooting of three people near downtown Fresno Tuesday morning was motivated by race, not terrorism. All three of Tuesday’s victims were white, as was the security guard slain last week.

“What I do know is this is an absolute tragedy that nobody will probably be able to make sense of,” Dyer said. “Because it stems from an individual who is filled with hate – filled with anger – who set out to shoot some individuals in our city today for no reason whatsoever other than what we believe to be (his own) hate.”

Once he had been identified as the motel shooting suspect, Dyer said, Muhammad decided “he was going to kill as many people as he could today and that’s what he set out to do.” The suspected killer had cut his hair and shaved his braids, altering his appearance between the shootings.

Based on Muhammad’s apology and statements to police, Dyer said, he was aware of what he had done and of sound mind. Dyer did not believe Muhammad was taking any medications or undergoing any mental health treatment.

Muhammad was on federal probation until September stemming from a 2006 conviction for crack cocaine distribution and weapons charges. Court documents indicate he has been hospitalized several times for mental illness.”

….Continue reading more @ Fresno Bee by Rory Appleton

 

Employees in Belgium Getting Voluntary Chip Implants for ‘Convenience’ | Apr 05, 2017

Cyborgs at work: employees getting implanted with microchips

| Seattle Times

The technology in itself is not new. It’s just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

The technology in itself is not new. Such chips are used as virtual collar plates for pets. Companies use them to track deliveries. It’s just never been used to tag employees on a broad scale before. Epicenter and a handful of other companies are the first to make chip implants broadly available.

And as with most new technologies, it raises security and privacy issues. While biologically safe, the data generated by the chips can show how often an employee comes to work or what they buy. Unlike company swipe cards or smartphones, which can generate the same data, a person cannot easily separate themselves from the chip.

“Of course, putting things into your body is quite a big step to do and it was even for me at first,” said Mesterton, remembering how he initially had had doubts.

“But then on the other hand, I mean, people have been implanting things into their body, like pacemakers and stuff to control your heart,” he said. “That’s a way, way more serious thing than having a small chip that can actually communicate with devices.”

Epicenter, which is home to more than 100 companies and some 2,000 workers, began implanting workers in January 2015. Now, about 150 workers have them. A company based in Belgium also offers its employees such implants, and there are isolated cases around the world where tech enthusiasts have tried this out in recent years.

The small implants use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the same as in contactless credit cards or mobile payments. When activated by a reader a few centimeters (inches) away, a small amount of data flows between the two devices via electromagnetic waves. The implants are “passive,” meaning they contain information that other devices can read, but cannot read information themselves.

Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, says hackers could conceivably gain huge swathes of information from embedded microchips. The ethical dilemmas will become bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.

“The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get from a smartphone,” he says. “Conceptually you could get data about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how often you’re working, how long you’re working, if you’re taking toilet breaks and things like that.”

Libberton said that if such data is collected, the big question remains of what happens to it, who uses it, and for what purpose.

So far, Epicenter’s group of cyborgs doesn’t seem too concerned.

“People ask me; ‘Are you chipped?’ and I say; ‘Yes, why not,’” said Fredric Kaijser, 47, the chief experience officer at Epicenter. “And they all get excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me it’s just a matter of I like to try new things and just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future.”

….Continue reading more @ Seattletimes.com

 

Sheryl Atkisson On Getting Spied and more on Hannity

 

…..More on Sheryl Atkisson @ Sheryl Atkisson Web Site

‘Many of you have asked for the status of my computer intrusion lawsuit against the federal government. On March 19, 2017, a federal judge denied the government’s motion to dismiss my computer intrusion lawsuit, and transferred the case from Washington D.C. to the Eastern District of Virginia. Below are excerpts from the judge’s opinion, which […]”

More @ Attkisson v. Eric Holder, Department of Justice, et al

Susan Rice Behind Obama’s Unmasking of Incoming Trump Team | Apr 03, 2017

Susan Rice Requested Unmasking of Incoming Trump Administration Officials

| Medium.com

“Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.

The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.

“Unmasking” is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.

Under President Obama, the unmasking rules were changed. Circa originally reported:

As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

Three people close to President Obama, including his “fall guy” for Benghazi (Susan Rice), had authorization to unmask.

Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Not even mainstream outlets denied that some Trump officials had been spied on, with the NY Times reporting:

WASHINGTON — A pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.

According to WaPo, there were three sources for the reports, with Michael Ellis ultimately being blamed by WaPo and AP.

What’s striking about the Times story is the spin it took. Trump had previously claimed he had been “wire tapped” (quotation marks in his original Tweet), leading to media screams that he prove it. The Times’ own reporting proves that President Trump and his associates were spied on.

The Times, rather than admit Trump had been vindicated, instead focused its attention on the question of who leaked the reports to Nunes:

Since disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports, Mr. Nunes has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe going to the committee with sensitive information. In his public comments, he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.

Since when did journalists attempt to unmask sources? The Times, WaPo, and other outlets rely on anonymous sources in nearly every article about national security. It’s clear they have an agenda — that agenda is not telling the truth.

This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.”

…..Continue reading @ Medium.com

Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel

| Bloomberg

“White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations — primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.

Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president’s inauguration.”

….Continue reading @ Bloomberg.com

 

Report: Obama NSA Advisor Susan Rice Requested the Unmasking of Incoming Trump Officials

| theGatewayPundit

“Senior Fox News Correspondent, Adam Housley revealed on Friday that Intel Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) knows who unmasked the identities of Trump and his close associates.

Sources also told him that the unmasking was purely for political purposes to embarrass Trump and had NOTHING to do with national security.

Now this..
According to activist and author Mike Cernovich the leaker and unmasker is Susan Rice.

Susan Rice made a name for herself when she said the Benghazi massacre was a protest and when she defended deserter Bowe Bergdahl for ‘serving admirably.””

….Continue reading more @ theGatewayPundit

 

FLASHBACK: Susan Rice Said ‘I Know Nothing’ About Unmasking of Trump Officials on Mar 22

| Free Beacon | PBS

“Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, reportedly requested on several occasions the identities of “masked” U.S. persons in intelligence reports linked to President Trump’s transition and campaign. The revelation contradicts Rice’s past comments on March 22, when she claimed she knew “nothing” about the intelligence reports.

White House lawyers discovered Rice’s dozens of requests last month, during a National Security Council review of the “government’s policy on ‘unmasking’ the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally,” Eli Lake of Bloomberg reported Monday, citing U.S. officials.

But Rice, who Newsweek once called Obama’s “right-hand woman,” denied during a PBS interview last month having any knowledge of the intelligence community’s alleged incidental surveillance of Trump’s transition team.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, asserted in March that he had seen evidence that some of the Trump transition team’s communications with foreign actors were surveilled by the Obama administration.

“What I’ve read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know if the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read,” Nunes said.

On “PBS NewsHour” on March 22, Judy Woodruff asked Rice about Nunes’ claims.

“I know nothing about this,” Rice responded at the time. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”

“So, today, I really don’t know to what Chairman Nunes was referring, but he said that whatever he was referring to was a legal, lawful surveillance, and that it was potentially incidental collection on American citizens,” added Rice, who went on to criticize Trump for his accusation that Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign.

Lake’s reporting on Monday for Bloomberg appears to contradict Rice’s answer.”

….Continue reading and viewing more @ Freebeacon.com

 

The Conservative Case Against Trashing Online Privacy Rules

| Wired

PROTECTING INTERNET PRIVACY should be a bipartisan issue, right? After all, Americans seem united in their dislike of the phone and cable behemoths that dominate internet service in the US.

More importantly, the principle of protecting your personal online data from snooping wouldn’t seem to break down along tidy partisan lines. Democrats want to protect the little guy from exploitation by corporate interests. Republicans believe in individual liberty. And yet, the decision to revoke Federal Communications Commission rules that would have stopped internet providers from selling your data without your permission followed party lines almost perfectly. Almost.

No Democrat in either the House or Senate voted for the resolution that repeals Federal Communications Commission rules prohibiting ISPs from selling your browsing history without your opt-in permission. No Senate Republican voted against it. But 15 House Republicans bucked their party to join a unified Democratic caucus to vote against the resolution. Call it online profiles in courage.

“At the end of the day, it’s your data,” says representative Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), who voted against the repeal. “I don’t see how it could be anyone else’s.”

Davidson says ISPs tracking your web surfing habits to target ads is like the postal service or FedEx snooping through your letters to figure out what junk mail to send you. “If a guy could carry a letter on a horse for weeks and not open it, why can’t [internet providers] carry it for three seconds?” he asks. “What’s changed? It’s just that it’s easier now.”

For most Republicans, it seems, someone else’s private property rights took precedence: the cable and phone companies themselves. Davidson says he believes most of his colleagues subscribed to the free-market reasoning that because the ISPs built the networks, they could do with them what they pleased. But many people don’t have access to more than one home broadband provider–particularly in many of the rural districts that Republicans represent. That limitation was not lost on Republicans who broke rank.

“Consumers have little—if any—choice of internet service providers, because government severely restricts competition,” representative Tom McClintock (R-California) said in a statement. “As long as free choice cannot protect the consumer, rules like this are necessary.”

The Great Polarization

Money would seem to be another obvious driver of partisanship, but in the case of rescinding internet privacy protections, its influence wasn’t necessarily decisive.

The telecommunications industry has more than doubled its lobbying spending since 2000, and some of the resolution’s biggest backers, such as representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), have reportedly raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry.

The Great Polarization

Money would seem to be another obvious driver of partisanship, but in the case of rescinding internet privacy protections, its influence wasn’t necessarily decisive.

The telecommunications industry has more than doubled its lobbying spending since 2000, and some of the resolution’s biggest backers, such as representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), have reportedly raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry.

Even distrust of red tape and the former president wasn’t enough to convince Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) to vote for the resolution. “Think how you would respond if you hired a plumber to fix your sink and you later found him or her digging through your file cabinet, perusing your checkbook or reviewing credit card statements,” he said in a statement. “You would be appalled—and should be. To a large degree, that is what is happening with our use of the internet.”

….Continue reading more @ Wired.com

Grassley Asks Why Hillary and Aides Still have Security Clearance? | Mar 31, 2017

Senator Grassley Asks Why “Extremely Careless” Hillary Still Has Access To Classified State Dept. Info

| ZeroHedge

“Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, would very much like to understand why Hillary Clinton and 6 of her closest “research aides” may still have access to classified State Department information despite FBI Director Comey’s assertion that they were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

And, after sending numerous requests to John Kerry’s State Department that ‘shockingly’ fell on deaf ears, Grassely has sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson asking why Hillary’s security clearance hasn’t yet been revoked given that “any other government workers who engaged in such serious offenses would, at a minimum, have their clearances suspended pending an investigation.”

….Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

 

Nunes Did Nothing New By Viewing Raw Intel At The White House

| Daily Caller

“There is nothing new about House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes leaving the panel’s secure room beneath the Capitol Building and heading to the White House complex or a related facility nearby to view raw intelligence, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

For years, intelligence committee chiefs have trekked to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue or to an intelligence agency to view such super sensitive intelligence material, because the congressional secure room can’t handle such material.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra told TheDCNF that “if someone was going to present me with raw intelligence or unfinished intelligence or with intelligence which was designed for use by another part of the government, yeah, it’s very reasonable to expect that I would have to go somewhere else.” The Michigan Republican chaired the intelligence panel from 2004 to 2007.

Nunes has been harshly criticized by congressional Democrats for his decision to travel to the White House executive complex to view raw intelligence delivered by a whistleblower about allegations the Obama administration spied on then President-elect Donald Trump and his transition aides.

Nunes’ actions amount to collusion with the Trump White House, according to Democrats, led by California Democrat Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee’s ranking minority member.

The New York Times Thursday went further, identifying two White House National Security Council (NSC) officials who assisted Nunes. The NYT concluded the unmasking of the NSC officials “is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration.”

But Col. (Ret.) Jim Waurishuk, who served at the NSC, told TheDCNF such viewings are “routine,” especially at the White House complex.

“Speaking from my experience, I talked to members of both sides of the aisle,” he told TheDCNF. “I’ve done that a thousand times. I say that’s routine because that goes on all the time when you’re dealing with the intelligence committee or the armed services committees. We regularly obliged them. Cleared committee chairmen would go over the White House once or twice a week.

Members of the “Gang of Eight” — chairmen and ranking minority members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, plus top House and Senate leaders — cannot rely on getting real-time intelligence, raw intelligence or unfinished intelligence by sticking with their limited computers. They instead must travel elsewhere to access this highly sensitive information.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

United States National Intelligence Oversight – The “Gang of Eight”…

| TheConservativeTreehouse

One of the least understood aspects of congressional oversight is the elite group of elected politicians who are charged with congressional oversight over all intelligence activity. This highly important oversight group is called the Intelligence “Gang of Eight”.

The Gang of Eight are briefed on every covert operation that our various intelligence agencies carry out. They are directly responsible for oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The Go8 are responsible for overseeing all executive office policy as it relates to intelligence gathering and corresponding activity.  In short these eight elected representatives are in charge of all oversight of all U.S. intelligence operations, open and covert.

A position within the Gang of Eight comes as a result of holding one of the following eight positions: 1. The Speaker of the House, 2. The Minority Leader of the House, 3. the Majority Leader of the Senate, 4. the Minority Leader of the Senate, 5. the Chairperson of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, 6. the minority leader from the same committee; 7. The Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 8. the minority leader of the same committee.

It is important to understand that everything the White House, CIA, NSA, and U.S State Department does is approved by these eight members who are accountable to the U.S. electorate.  These eight representatives are the intelligence oversight “check” within the constitutionally established check and balance inside our federal government.

It is also important to understand that nothing ever happens without these eight members of congress being briefed on the occurrence.  If the United States are carrying out a covert CIA mission in Benghazi, these representative would know about and have approved.  If the United States is carrying out a covert CIA effort in Syria, these eight members would have to approve.”

…..Continue reading more @ theConservativeTreehouse.com

Congress Sells Out Online Privacy | Mar 31, 2017

How To Protect Your Online Privacy Now That Congress Sold You Out

| ZeroHedge

Authored by Eric Limer via Popular Mechanics

“All your private online data—the websites you visit, the content of your chats and emails, your health info, and your location—just became suddenly less secure. Not because of hackers, but because Congress just blocked crucial privacy regulations. This will allow your internet service provider to collect all your data and sell that info to the highest bidder without asking you first. Welcome to a brave new world.

A pair of resolutions, which passed through the Senate and House with exclusively Republican votes, roll back rules proposed by the Democratic leadership of the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration which, though passed in October, had not yet gone into effect.

The rules—which will be completely dead following the expected signature of President Trump—would have required ISPs to get explicit opt-in approval from customers before selling the following “sensitive data”:

This doesn’t just mean that sharing that information without your explicit permission will be fine and dandy. Since the rules were rolled back through the Congressional Review Act, the FCC is also barred from creating any “substantially similar” rules down the line.

In theory, the information collected will be stored under some sort of ID separate from your actual name. But that’s a cold comfort considering the level of detail in this sort of information would make your identity a dead giveaway, and ISPs can hardly be trusted to keep your identifying information suitably safe from prying eyes. After all, they’ll be building dossiers any hacker would love to steal.

What to do? There are a few things you can do to try and keep your data safe, and while they aren’t necessarily easy or free, they’re worth it if you value your privacy.

Opt out with your ISP

Your ISP may not need your permission to sell your data, but you can still go to them and tell them not to do it. The catch, of course, is this requires you to be proactive, and there’s no real guarantee that this will protect you completely. Still, do it. Get on the phone or visit the website of your ISP and opt out of every ad-related thing—and into every privacy-related thing—you can find. The process can be a little arduous—often requiring the use of your ISP-given email address that you probably never use—and it may not take effect immediately either. All the better reason to do it now.

Time Warner/Spectrum customers can find their privacy dashboard here. Comcast customers can opt out of some targeted programs using these instructions. Verizon customers can find opt out options here. Remember, your phone company is technically an ISP too, so look up your options on that front as well.

Opting out is an important first step, but it is not enough to actually preserve your privacy. Your ISP is not necessarily giving you the opportunity to opt out of all its ad-targeting programs. As the policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, Eric Null, told Gizmodo, it is “highly unlikely” the new FCC will go after ISPs that aren’t offering robust opportunities to opt-out.

Keep your data out of your ISP’s hands in the first place

Your ISP is uniquely suited to snoop on your information. Anything you put online has to pass through its hands. Email you send through Gmail, chats through Facebook Messenger—they all travel through your ISP before they reach the service that actually sends them on. But while it is impossible to cut your ISP out of this exchange entirely, you can hide the data as you are sending it.

Apps with end-to-end encryption can encrypt your private information on the phone or computer you’re using, ensuring that it is coded and protected through the entire delivery process. So while your ISP can see the data go by, they can’t make sense of it.

The most seamless solution is to pay for a Virtual Private Network—a VPN—which allows you to encrypt all the data that passes through your ISP. This means that while your ISP is still doing the work of hauling your data around, it can’t understand any of it. The downside to this is that VPNs (at least any VPNs you can trust) are not free. Most good ones will require a yearly subscription. Furthermore, you aren’t hiding your personal data from everyone, you are just entrusting it to the VPN instead of your ISP, so do your research and choose a VPN you trust not to sell you out. Fortunately, since VPNs exist exclusively to keep your data private, they are pretty incentivized to keep you happy.

The only one you can really trust to protect you is you.”

….Continue reading more @ ZeroHedge

Cisco Learned of Security Vulnerabilities Because of WikiLeaks CIA Dump

| Breitbart

“When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems swung into action.

The Wikileaks documents described how the Central Intelligence Agency had learned more than a year ago how to exploit flaws in Cisco’s widely used Internet switches, which direct electronic traffic, to enable eavesdropping.

Senior Cisco managers immediately reassigned staff from other projects to figure out how the CIA hacking tricks worked, so they could help customers patch their systems and prevent criminal hackers or spies from using the same methods, three employees told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Cisco engineers worked around the clock for days to analyze the means of attack, create fixes, and craft a stopgap warning about a security risk affecting more than 300 different products, said the employees, who had direct knowledge of the effort.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Congress to US citizens: Want online privacy? Pay up!

| Computerworld

Worried consumers may resort to buying VPN services and paying higher fees to ISPs to protect their privacy

“A congressional vote to repeal U.S. restrictions on broadband providers doesn’t mean that online privacy is dead. Consumers will just have to pay for it.

The coming repeal, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law, paves a clearer path for broadband providers to sell customers’ internet browsing history and other online data, without their consent.

Privacy advocates are worried. Imagine corporate giants snooping on your internet activities, and then bombarding your PC, phone and TV with targeted ads.

However, the privacy rule rollback might have an opposite effect, too. Expect broadband providers and other internet services to emerge offering online privacy protections, but at a price.”

…..Continue  reading more @ Computerworld

 

The Ultimate Online Privacy Guide

| BestVPN

Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations highlighted just how much we have sacrificed to the gods of technology and convenience something we used to take for granted, and once considered a basic human right – our privacy.

It is just not just the NSA. Governments the world over are racing to introduce legislation that allows to them to monitor and store every email, phone call and Instant Message, every web page visited, and every VoIP conversation made by every single one of their citizens.

The press have bandied parallels with George Orwell’s dystopian world ruled by an all-seeing Big Brother about a great deal. They are depressingly accurate.

Encryption provides a highly effective way to protect your internet behavior, communications, and data. The main problem with using encryption is that its use flags you up to organizations such as the NSA for closer scrutiny.

Details of the NSA’s data collection rules are here. What it boils down to is that the NSA examines data from US citizens, then discards it if it’s found to be uninteresting. Encrypted data, on the other hand, is stored indefinitely until the NSA can decrypt it.

The NSA can keep all data relating to non-US citizens indefinitely, but practicality suggests that encrypted data gets special attention.

If a lot more people start to use encryption, then encrypted data will stand out less, and surveillance organizations’ job of invading everyone’s privacy will be much harder. Remember – anonymity is not a crime!”

Continue reading more @ https://bestvpn.com/

FBI’s James Comey Talks About Sony Hack and ‘Privacy’ in the USA | Mar 09, 2017

Dems on Flawed End of Obama Wire tapping Scandal | Mar 24, 2017

Dems Claim Trump Team Not Wiretapped While Wiretapped

| PJ Media

“On January 20, the New York Times published a story on wiretapping of Trump insiders. In the print version, the headline was “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides,” although you’re going to have to squint to read the acknowledgment of the print headline at the bottom of the page.

Still, if you look through the actual article, you’ll find this paragraph:

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

On March 4, Trump tweeted:

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.

This, of course, has been the subject of lots of Claude Rains since then, as reporters and politicians announce they’re shocked, shocked at that accusation.

I’ve written about this before here and here, and I won’t go through the whole argument again as I’m not paid by the word, but the really inescapable conclusion was that either the New York Times reporting was false, or Trump was justified. The real question was identifying who in the Obama administration (or in the upper-level civil service staff) had been responsible for leaking information that identified a “US Person” — and would they be prosecuted for what appear to be felonious violations of 18USC793 and 50USC1801.

This strikes me as silly and disingenuous: it’s the same old “well, it wasn’t really a wiretap and it wasn’t really a wiretap of Trump” defense.

Now, after a lot of talk during hearings on Monday that no one saw evidence that Trump had been wiretapped, today Devin Nunes announced (quoting from his press release):

As a commenter at Instapundit pointed out, this is starting to look like the old Washington tradition, the “modified limited hangout.”

The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping @ theAtlantic.com

 

So, this is getting even more interesting now. It appears now that a number of Trump insiders were intercepted, and no, I’m not buying the argument that Trump saying “wiretapped” was wrong, especially since that’s exactly what was reported.

And it appears now that people trying to maintain that Trump was “lying” about being wiretapped are being driven to the interesting defense that it was a lie because the U.S. wasn’t actually wiretapping Trump people when the U.S. was wiretapping Trump people.

Which is, at least, good for a laugh.

In the meantime, though, I think Colonel Mustard should lawyer up: the bobbies are closing in.”

…Continue reading @ PJ Media

  – Some of the most interesting reads on the internet are the comment sections of the sites, sometimes they are the most interesting part of the site.

We’ll make a concerted effort to include more content from comments sections to contibute to the dialogue. /CJ

| From the comments @ PJ Media

News on this topic is being updated as I write but here’s how I see it.

There were illegally obtained intercepts of Trump communications (call them wiretaps, or intercepts, or whatever). They show Trump did nothing wrong but they can be used to continue to push the narrative ‘Trump was involved with the Russians to hack the election’ and keep the Trump administration mired in a haze of innuendos and suspicion thereby damaging his administration.

But they have a problem.

They can’t reveal their information because people will ask the obvious questions, ‘Who gave you this information? Who obtained it? How was it obtained?’

The Democrats and enemies of Trump are in a bind.

If they release what they have they will have to explain who gave them the intel and give a detailed account of how it was obtained.

That’s why you have Come[d]y saying, ‘we have information but I can’t tell you what it is’.

If they release the intel their game is up because they will have to reveal the sources and methods.

But having already admitted they have the intel but they aren’t going to release it because the investigation is ongoing only makes things worse for
them.

Democrats are screaming to release the evidence and wondering why Comey isn’t releasing the intel that will take Trump down.

Which leads to this:

If they release what they have the ‘Deep State’ (Obama White House staff) players will be exposed.

It’s like witnessing a crime while you’re committing a crime.

…More @ PJ Media

Obama Trump Spying Scandal | Why Obama Must Testify | Mar 22, 2017

Mr. Comey Goes to Congress to Get Grilled by Gowdy | Mar 21, 2017

Bezos’ CIA Washington Post Connection Exposed by Trump Leak | Mar 02, 2017