Amazon has appointed former NSA head General Keith Alexander to its board of directors, prompting privacy advocates to suggest the move could be connected to Alexander’s previous experience in overseeing mass surveillance operations.
“We’re thrilled to elect a new member to our Board of Directors this month. Welcome, General Keith Alexander!” Amazon announced in a tweet:
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 9, 2020
Alexander served as NSA director from 2005 until he retired in March 2014. He oversaw the agency’s monolithic program, encompassing illegal mass spying on Americans, which officials lied about.
Wow, the former director of the NSA? nothing nefarious about that at all.
— MAX 👁 PROPAYNE X (@Black24Boi) September 9, 2020
Under Alexander, the NSA deployed the PRISM tool to sweep up vast amounts of data from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook to name a few.
Edward Snowden, who exposed the NSA activity, had some choice words about Amazon’s appointment:
🚨🚨 It turns out "Hey Alexa" is short for "Hey Keith Alexander." Yes, the Keith Alexander personally responsible for the unlawful mass surveillance programs that caused a global scandal. And Amazon Web Services (AWS) host ~6% of all websites. 🚨🚨https://t.co/6hkzsHjxh9
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 9, 2020
Amazon hosts a massive amount of web traffic, so it figures:
“Alexa, what is everyone in the world doing right now?”
— Btcn Ftrs (@BtcnFtrs) September 9, 2020
Nothing to see here, except that the former NSA spy chief Keith Alexander is on the board of directors of Amazon which has CIA contracts and a monopoly on many services on the internet. pic.twitter.com/vgC2JYiiaa
— Esha (@eshaLegal) September 9, 2020
Nothing to worry about, the US government would never dream of accessing all of data stored on Amazon AWS https://t.co/M3jBiP3aJI
— Micah Lee (@micahflee) September 9, 2020
Glen Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who reported exclusively on Snowden’s leaks, also chimed in:
Gen. Keith Alexander was head of NSA when it secretly built a massive domestic surveillance system aimed at Americans – the one an appellate court just ruled likely illegal.
Amazon just appointed him to its Board of Directors, again showing who they are:https://t.co/6s5VAeRIMK
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 9, 2020
Others speculated that Alexander’s hiring has more to do with Amazon going after lucrative Pentagon contracts:
NSA and the DoD in general have had a tight relationship Microsoft in the past, which is why it's not surprising Microsoft won the JEDI contract. Clearly Amazon is working a new angle to make sure they can land more DoD contracts in the future.
— Roman McClaine (@RomanMcClaine) September 9, 2020
Zero Hedge points out the deep state angle of all this, noting that last week, “Amazon literally accused Trump of unprecedented corruption in a public letter and less than a week later it effectively brings the NSA on board.”
The massive backlash against Sadiq Khan’s odious ULEZ scheme is accelerating, with a quarter of all spy cameras sabotaged or missing.
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DHS Sought To Assign Social Credit Style “Risk Scores” To Social Media Users
Newly-obtained documents reveal.
In a sharp spotlight on the interplay between national security and individual privacy, newly disclosed documents have unveiled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) entered into a contract with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2018 to develop a project, dubbed “Night Fury,” designed to analyze and assign “risk scores” to social media accounts.
The Brennan Center for Justice procured these documents through a public records request, and Motherboard was the first to report on them. Project Night Fury aimed at utilizing automation to detect and evaluate social media accounts for connections to terrorism, illegal opioid distribution, but also disinformation campaigns.
The DHS document stated, “The Contractor shall develop these attributes to create a methodology for developing a ranking, or ‘Risk Score,’ associated with the identified accounts.”
Project Night Fury had also planned on incorporating involvement from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide “cross-mission operational context,” according to one of the documents.
Experts had warned DHS about the inherent difficulties and biases involved in automated judgment for these matters, citing that characteristics like being “pro-terrorist” have no concrete definition.
Notably, DHS terminated Project Night Fury in 2019. However, it underscores the agency’s continued interest in social media as a resource for analysis. This comes in the wake of earlier reports of CBP utilizing an AI-powered tool, Babel X, for analyzing travelers’ social media at US borders.
While Night Fury’s focus was initially on “counter-terrorism, illegal opioid supply chain, transnational crime, and understanding/characterizing/identifying the spread of disinformation by foreign entities,” the documents indicate that UAB’s work was intended to “scale to other DHS domains” and “build next generation capabilities.”This post was originally published at Reclaim The Net
Like, Totally Orwellian: Nearly A Third Of GenZ Favors ‘Government Surveillance Cameras In Every Household’
Nearly one-third of Generation Z says they’d be just fine with government-installed surveillance cameras in every household under the guise of reducing domestic violence and other illegal activity.
“Would you favor or oppose the government installing surveillance cameras in every household to reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity?” asks a new survey from the Cato Institute. Of the responses, 29% of those aged 18-29 said yes.
As the NY Post notes;
In 1791, the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed building a “panopticon” in which people’s behavior could be monitored at all times.
But Bentham’s panopticon was meant to be a prison. A sizable segment of Generation Z would like to call it home.
When it comes to other age brackets, 20% of millennials (between the ages of 30 and 44) also want everyone watched.
Then, wisdom appears to kick in – as just 6% of Americans aged 45 and older were OK with government surveillance in every home.
Broken down by politics, 19% of liberals and 18% of centrists agreed that our daily lives should be monitored by the government for our own safety, while 9 – 11% of those who identify as conservative, very conservative, or very liberal agreed in what appears to be a “horseshoe” issue that unites both ends of the political spectrum.
It’s the middle that has the ethic of old East German secret police — or the KGB.
Maybe that’s not surprising considering the way respectable liberal institutions now run themselves.
From Ivy League campuses to the publishing industry and the digital domains of Facebook, there is an Orwellian sense of perpetual emergency, an irrational fear that misinformation and hate speech will overwhelm society unless every utterance is subject to a censor’s scrutiny.
Even Orwell didn’t imagine Newspeak would require new pronouns. -NY Post
Broken down by race, 33% of black Americans said they’re fine with government in-home surveillance, as did 25% of hispanics, 11% of whites, and 9% of asians respectively.
The question was asked as part of the Cato Institute’s survey on American attitudes on the prospect of a ‘central bank digital currency.’ What’s interesting about that is that 53% of Americans who support a CBDC also support in-home surveillance cameras.
Notably, Americans who support a CBDC stood out in how they think about in‐home government surveillance cameras. A majority (53%) of Americans who support a CBDC support the government installing in‐home surveillance cameras to reduce abuse and other illegal activity. This suggests that some of the psychology behind support for a CBDC springs from an above average comfort level with trading some personal autonomy and privacy for societal order and security. -Cato Institute
What’s more, those who view the Federal Reserve favorably are more likely to support a CBDC (duh).
Sheep gonna sheep?This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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