Article 43

 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

And You Were Worried About Cookies

image: google ceo schmidt
 
One of the ways [reCAPTCHA] v3 checks validity is through examining whether you already have a Google cookie installed on your browser. Cookies are stored data about your interactions with a site, generally so elements can load again faster. Sign into a Google account, and reCAPTCHAs like you already…
 
but due to v3’s wider scope, a more comprehensive online profile must be in place too… The service gathers software and hardware information about site visitors, like IP address, browser plug-ins, and the device you’re using.
- Google’s ReCAPTCHAs Also Capture Your Private Information, MakeUseOf, 2018
 
reCAPTCHA Enterprise helps state governments reduce false claims by preventing adversaries from automatically reusing credentials on unemployment claims portals.
- How reCAPTCHA Enterprise protects unemployment and COVID-19 vaccination portals, Google Cloud Blog, 2021
 
Can’t get past captcha to request unemployment check
- Reddit Thread, 2021

I’m one of those that tries to practice good web surfing habits.  A noble, but USELESS exercise.

The FLORIDA UNEMPLOYMENT WEBSITE used to only use Google’s recaptcha - making it easy for them to learn whose filing for unemployment - but then during Covid, they got a validation service from ID ME

Dealing with that website was painful. I couldn’t sign up because it insisted on texting a code to my mobile phone number on file at the unemployment office, but the only number they have for me is a land-line that doesn’t have text. The system kept telling me to answer the text I never got, and never will get.

There was no number for tech support, and only a web form to fill out that kept kicking me out with a 500 ERROR - leaving me wondering if it actually worked.  I wrote to Governor DeSantis and the local news for help.  It took six weeks to finally sign up.  Now that place has copies of my driver’s license, mortgage bills, social security number, my face, etc.  Wait until these guys get hacked.

It brought back memories of the government’s 2015 OPM LEAK that included me and 20 million other Americans whose records were stolen.  For that the government gave us a lousy year of free credit monitoring.  Gee thanks.  They could have given us new social security and driver’s license numbers.  It’s not like after a year the files will disappear.  Although I bet they can set them up with self-destructs like OFFICE 365’S DATA RETENTION

If those files were MP3S or KINDLE EBOOKS they’d be locked down with DRM.

Since they’re not, the OPM files may be out there forever.  Here, protecting things like music and ebooks is more important than ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE DATA OF OURS

Computer analytics are OUT OF CONTROL, infosec is a LAUGH, and internet privacy even more laughable.

We need laws with teeth protecting privacy.  And better oversight of these companies with government contracts.

What do we do about GOOGLE who may know more about us - government and public - than the AKASHIC RECORDS?

Where is the public discussion?

---

Google Promises reCAPTCHA Isn’t Exploiting Users. Should You Trust It?
An innovative security feature to separate humans from bots online comes with some major concerns

By Owen Williams
One Zero
July 19. 2019

A surprising amount of work online goes into proving you’re not a robot. Its the basis of those CAPTCHA questions often seen after logging

They come in many forms, from blurry letters that must be identified and typed into a box to branded slogans like “Comfort Plus” ON THE DELTA WEBSITE - as if the sorry state of modern air travel wasnt already dystopian enough. The most common, however, is Google’s reCAPTCHA, which launched ITS THIRD VERSION at the end of 2018. It’s designed to drastically reduce the number of challenges you must complete to log into a website, assigning an invisible score to users depending on how “human” their behavior is. CAPTCHA, after all, is designed to weed out bot accounts that flood systems for nefarious ends.

But Google’s innovation has a downside: The new version monitors your every move across a website to determine whether you are, in fact, a person.

A necessary advancement?

Before we get into the how of this new technology, its useful to understand where it’s coming from. The new reCAPTCHA disrupts a relatively ancient web technology that has been harnessed for plenty of things beyond security.

CAPTCHA - which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart first appeared in the late ‘90s, and it was DESIGNED BY A TEAM at the early search engine AltaVista. Before CAPTCHA, it was easy for people to program bots that would automatically sign up for services and post spam comments by the thousands. AltaVista’s technology was based on a printer manual’s advice for avoiding bad optical character recognition (OCR), and the iconic blurry text in a CAPTCHA was specifically designed to be difficult for a computer to read but legible for humans, thereby foiling bots.

By the early 2000s, these tests were everywhere. Then came reCAPTCHA, developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and purchased by Google in 2009. It used the same idea but in an innovative way: The text typed by human users would identify specific words that programs were having trouble recognizing. Essentially, programs would scan text and flag words they couldn’t recognize. Those words would then be placed next to known examples in reCAPTCHA tests - humans would verify the known words and identify the new ones.

By 2011, GOOGLE HAD DIGITIZED the entire archive of the New York Times through reCAPTCHA alone. People would type in text from newspaper scans one blurry CAPTCHA at a time, ultimately allowing Google to make the Times back catalog searchable forever. While creating a velvet rope to keep bots off sites, Google had managed to conscripthuman users into doing the company’s grunt work.

There’s no way to opt out of reCAPTCHA on a site you need to use, forcing you to either accept being tracked or stop using a given service altogether.

With that achievement under its belt, reCAPTCHA switched to showing pictures from Google’s Street View software in 2014, as it does today. After pressing the “Im not a robot” box, you might be prompted to recognize which of nine images contain bicycles or streetlights. Behind the scenes, Google reduced the frequency at which people were asked to complete these tests by PERFORMING BAHAVIORAL ANALYSIS - reCAPTCHA can now run in the background and track how people use websites.

If a Google cookie is present on your machine, or if the way you use your mouse and keyboard on the page doesn’t seem suspiciously bot-like, visitors will skip the Street View test entirely. But some privacy-conscious users have complained that clearing their cookies or browsing in incognito mode DRASTICALLY INCREASES the number of reCAPTCHA tests they’re asked to complete.

Users have also pointed out that browsers competing with Google Chrome, LIKE FIREFOX, require users to complete more challenges, which naturally raises a question: Is Google using reCAPTCHA to cement its own dominance?

Google’s perspective

To use its latest version of reCAPTCHA, Google asks that DEVELOPERS INCLUDE ITS TRACKING TAGS on as many pages of their websites as possible in order to paint a better picture of the user. This doesn’t exist in a vacuum: Google also offers GoogleAnalytics, for example, which helps developers and marketers understand how visitors use their website. It’s a fantastic tool, included on more than 100,000 OF THE TOP ONE MILLION visited websites according to “Built With,” but its also part of a strategy to monitor users’ habits across the internet.

The new version of reCAPTCHA fills in the missing pieces of that picture, allowing Google to further reach into those sites that might not use its Analytics tool. When pressed on this, GOOGLE TOLD FAST COMPANY that it won’t capture user data from reCAPTCHA for advertising and that the data it does collect is used for improving the service.

But that data remains sealed within a black box, even to the developers who implement the technology. The DOCUMENTATION for reCAPTCHA doesn’t mention user data, how users might be tracked, or where the information ends up - it simply discusses the practical parts of the implementation.

I asked Google for more information and what its commitment is to the long-term independence of reCAPTCHA relative to its advertising business - just because the two aren[t bound together now doesn[t mean they couldnt be in the future, after all.

“It will not be used for personalized advertising by Google.”

A Google representative says “reCAPTCHA may only be used to fight spam and abuse” and that ғthe reCAPTCHA API works by collecting hardware and software information, such as device and application data, and sending these data to Google for analysis. The information collected in connection with your use of the service will be used for improving reCAPTCHA and for general security purposes. It will not be used for personalized advertising by Google.”

That’s great, and hopefully Google maintains this commitment. The problem is that there’d no reason to believe it will. The introduction of a powerful tracking technology like this is a move that should come with public scrutiny because we’ve seen in the past how easily things can go sour. Facebook, for example, promised in 2014 that WhatsApp would remain independent, separate from its backend infrastructure but WENT BACK ON THAT DECISION after just two years. When Google acquired Nest, it promised to keep it independent but RECANTED FIVE YEARS LATER, requiring owners to migrate to a Google account or lose functionality.

Unfortunately, as users, there’s little we can do. There’s no way to opt out of reCAPTCHA on a site you need to use, forcing you to either accept being tracked or stop using a given service altogether. If you dont like those full-body scanners at airports, you can at least still opt out and get a manual pat-down. But if a site has reCAPTCHA, thereҒs no opting out at all.

If Google intends to build tools like this with the public good in mind rather than its bottom line, then the company must find better ways to reassure the world that it won’t change the rules when it’s convenient. If it were willing to open-source the project (as it has with many, many others), move it outside the company, or, at the very least, establish third-party oversight, perhaps we could start building that trust.

SOURCE - ARCHIVE

---

The IRS wants your selfie. ID.me CEO says don’t worry about it.

By Irina Ivanova
CBS News
January 28, 2022

“ID me”, the verification service that most U.S. states turned to during the pandemic to confirm the identity of people applying for unemployment aid, attracted public scrutiny this month when it was revealed that the Internal Revenue Service would start requiring anyone wanting to check their tax information online to register for an account with the private company.

The IRS move has sparked outrage among civil liberties advocates and ordinary taxpayers over concerns that the system - which requires users to upload their ID and submit a selfie or video chat with an agent - could expose troves of personal information to hackers. Some lawmakers also expressed reservations, with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon SAYING he is “very disturbed” by the IRS’ plan. The agency is paying $86 million on the contract.

Blake Hall, “ID me’s” founder and CEO, sees it differently. In an interview with CBS MoneyWatch, he described the company’s verification technology as both more inclusive than other identification options - many of which won’t verify anyone who lacks a credit report, for instance - and more secure.

“What we’re doing is simply the digital equivalent of what every American does to open up a bank account,” Hall said.

In Hall’s view, the IRS is under assault from burgeoning criminal gangs. ID.me has already stopped would-be fraud in “tens of thousands” of cases, he said.

Over a Zoom interview, Hall shared images of several would-be fraudsters who he said tried to fool “ID dot me” by wearing a mask to take a selfie. “If that check didn’t exist, those people would have become victims of identity theft,” Hall said.

Hall said that just 10% of the people who sign up with “ID me” can’t complete the company’s selfie process and need to move on to verify their identity with a video agent.

No alternative route

However, with 70 million Americans already signed up with the system, even 10% can add up to a lot. State officials have documented complaints of people being unable to prove their identity and being wrongly cut off from benefits. A REPORT from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia called the process “extremely difficult and tedious to complete.”

Several people reached out to CBS MoneyWatch to describe being caught in limbo after they were unable to verify themselves on “ID me”.

Arizona resident Michelle Ludlow said she tried to get a new driver’s license last summer at the HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC. Because government offices were closed for in-person business, Ludlow tried verifying herself online with “ID me” - trying for half an hour, over several days, with and without glasses. But the system wouldn’t recognize her face as the one on her license, she said.

“There was no alternative route to go if “ID me” couldn’t make a match with a selfie,” she said in an email.

Ludlow works in a tax-preparation office and is concerned the selfie step will make it impossible for some of her clients to access their IRS records.

“Some of our clients have trouble sending us documents via email, so I can only imagine their frustration at the new system - especially if it doesn’t work,” she said.

Mandatory arbitration

Critics of “ID me” also question the wisdom of having a private company that isn’t subject to open-records laws be the gatekeeper for Americans’ access to vital government services. They point out that “ID me” is required to keep users’ data for seven years - even when a person asks for its deletion - to comply with government requirements.

Users who sign up for “ID me” also have to agree to a mandatory arbitration provision, giving up their right to sue the company in court or join a class-action lawsuit if, for instance, their identity is stolen.

To this, Hall said that Americans could access government services without going online. For instance, taxpayers can request their IRS records and wage transcripts by calling the agency - assuming they[re in the 1 in 4 callers who can get through.

“There are alternative ways to interact with virtually every federal agency that we support,” he said.

“We’ve never been in favor of being the only way to get in,” he continued. “One day,” he suggested, “online identity verification will be much like credit cards, with several options users can choose from.”

“It should be more like Visa and banking,” he said of the emerging industry and its technology. “As long as you can meet the standards, folks should be able to pick who they want their login provider to be.”

SOURCE

---

Google ‘wiretapped’ tax websites with visitor traffic trackers, lawsuit claims
And this wiretap, is it in the room with us right now?

By Thomas Claburn
The Register
August 18, 2023

Google was sued on Thursday for allegedly “wiretapping” several tax preparation websites and GATHERING PEOPLE’S PERSONAL SENSITIVE DATA.

And by wiretapping, they mean Google Analytics code added by the tax firms themselves to their own websites to measure visitor traffic and demographics.

The COMPLAINT [PDF], filed in a US federal district court in San Jose, California, on behalf of plaintiff Malissa Adams and others, accuses Google of collecting personal data from US taxpayers using online tax filing websites offered by H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer, among others.

Google was sued on Thursday for allegedly “wiretapping” several tax preparation websites and gathering people’s sensitive personal data.

And by wiretapping, they mean Google Analytics code added by the tax firms themselves to their own websites to measure visitor traffic and demographics.

The >COMPLAINT [PDF], filed in a US federal district court in San Jose, California, on behalf of plaintiff Malissa Adams and others, accuses Google of collecting personal data from US taxpayers using online tax filing websites offered by H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer, among others.

“What made this wiretapping possible is Google Analytics’ tracking pixel, which is embedded in the JavaScriptof online tax preparation websites,” the complaint stated.

Google Analytics works like this, mainly: Google generates a snippet of JavaScriptcode to INCLUDE in your pages; when people visit those pages, the code pings home to Google, allowing the ads giant to record details of those individual visits. Site owners can then view dashboards summarizing their traffic: how many people were looking at what times, which countries they were in, what kind of device they used, and so on. There are other ways to add pages to Analytics.

“These tax preparation companies sent private tax return information to Google through Google Analytics and its embedded tracking pixel,” the lawsuit continued, “which was installed on their websites. These pixels sent massive amounts of user data to Google to improve its ad business and enhance its other business tools.”

Doing so is illegal, the complaint contended, because UNDER AMERICAN LAW tax-return information cannot be disclosed to unauthorized parties without consent from the payer. It will be interesting to see if the courts rule that Analytics actually vacuums up tax-return info.

Google Analytics can collect as many as 200 different metrics, according to the complaint, which says that while the ad giant maintains such information is not associated with individuals, “a Stanford and Princeton study [PDF] found that Googles tracking software is able to ‘successfully carry out de-anonymization’ through a simple process that leverages a user’s web browsing history collected by Googles tracking tools.”

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Full disclosure: Yes, like many websites, The Register uses Google Analytics among other tools to keep track of readership size.)

The tax privacy lawsuit follows a REPORT [PDF] released LAST MONTH by seven US lawmakers that said TaxAct, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer had admitted “that they shared taxpayer data via their use of the Meta Pixel and Google’s tools.”

The legislators’ dossier built on investigative work done by The Markup in early 2022, with the help of Mozilla Rally, to STUDY THE META PIXEL and how it collects data. A subsequent report from the news non-profit FOCUSED on tax company websites.

Though privacy concerns about “wiretapping” from tracking pixels and related scripts date back more than two decades, when they were referred to as “web bugs” or more euphemistically “web beacons,” government officials didn’t really get serious about raising the alarm and doing very little until Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018.

More Context

“Though privacy concerns about “wiretapping” from tracking pixels and related scripts date back more than two decades, when they were referred to as “web bugs” or more euphemistically “web beacons,” government officials didn’t really get serious about raising the alarm and doing very little until Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018. [WEB]

SOURCE | COMMENTS

Posted by Elvis on 04/29/23 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

NWO - Dollars and DNA Redux

image: caronavirus

Doctors Were Bribed for COVID Vaccination Coercion

By Dr Joseph Mercola
Mercola
April 29, 2023

Story at-a-glance

· In late March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Within this $2 trillion stimulus package, $100 billion was earmarked for hospitals and local health centers that treated COVID patients

· Hospitals were reimbursed an extra 20% for each Medicare patient hospitalized with COVID, and the only criteria to receive that bonus was a COVID-positive PCR test

· The federal COVID-19 Treatments Add-On Payment program also paid hospitals bonuses for every COVID-19 patient treated with emergency-authorized COVID medications (Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, Baricitinib, Molnupiravir and Nirmatrelvir)

· Hospitals also received a 300% upcharge for COVID patients placed on ventilators, even after it became apparent that this was a death sentence. Somewhere between 50% and 86% of all ventilated COVID patients died, yet government never dropped the incentive to use ventilators. Why?

· Throughout 2020, evidence mounted showing the PCR test is incredibly unreliable above 35 cycles, and health agencies instructed labs to use 40 to 45 cycles. In essence, we had an epidemic of false positives, and financial incentives then drove hospitals to mistreat and kill countless patients, many of whom may not even have had COVID

As detailed in HOW COVID DIED FOR PROFIT, hospitals were financially INCENTIVIZED to diagnose patients with COVID and treat them with protocols known to be lethal, in part to “protect” the staff from infection. As if that weren’t bad enough, primary care providers across the U.S. were also bribed to coerce patients into getting the toxic COVID shot. The following documentwas posted to Twitter in mid-April 2023 by Rep. Thomas Massie, an award-winning scientist and Republican Congressman for Kentucky. [1]

“Ethically, shouldn’t doctors disclose when they’re profiting by recommending a drug or treatment - especially a drug or treatment for which there is no medical malpractice liability?” Massie said. [2]

Doctors Were Incentivized to Jab Babies Too

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the COVID shot for children, similar vaccination incentives were extended to them as well. As detailed in an Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid provider bulletin [3] dated July 2022, doctors received $50 for each Medicaid patient aged 6 months and older, who got the experimental shot.

Hospitals Received at Least $100 Billion From Taxpayers

In late March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. [4] Within this $2 trillion stimulus package, $100 billion was earmarked for hospitals and local health centers that treated COVID patients. [5] And, rather than simply agreeing to pay COVID patients’ bills, the government decided to pay hospitals extra - a lot extra - over and above the standard bill, provided they treated patients in a certain way. By the end of October 2020, $96 billion had already been disbursed. [6] Ostensibly, the additional bonuses for COVID patients were supposed to help hospitals recoup revenue that was lost due to the cancelation of elective procedures. But hospitals were supposedly filled to the brim with COVID patients, so just how much revenue was lost? The bonuses were also supposed to cover additional costs associated with caring for COVID patients, such as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation, but that could have just as easily been covered as an extra line item, rather than a flat double-digit percentage over and above the actual cost of the treatment.

COVID-Positive Medicare Patients Worth 20% More

As reported by KGNS.TV, a local Nebraska news station, in late March 2022: [7]

“According to the state, since COVID hit Webb County in March of 2020, about 85,000 people have contracted the virus, with roughly half of them serious enough to be admitted into the hospital. Almost immediately, the federal government stepped in to help pay for their care with millions of dollars.

KGNS took a deeper look into this to answer the question, ‘Is there a difference in how much hospitals get paid back by the government when caring for a positive COVID patient versus a non-COVID patient?’ The answer to that is ‘yes.’ People on government programs, such as Medicare, are worth more.

According to section 3710 of the Cares Act, hospitals are reimbursed by the government an extra 20% for each hospitalized Medicare patient. The only criteria for that extra money? A positive COVID test. [8] ,[9], [10]

For instance, hospital Medicare patient with pneumonia - without COVID - is worth about $7,700 to the hospital. But with COVID, that reimbursement jumps to over $9,200.

A Medicare patient with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome requiring a ventilator? Without COVID, the bill is around $34,000. But with COVID, that Medicare patient now worth almost $40,000. And the list goes on.

On top of those incentives, the federal COVID-19 Treatments Add-On Payment program also paid hospitals bonuses for every COVID-19 patient treated with emergency authorized COVID medications (Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, Baricitinib, Molnupiravir and Nirmatrelvir) and mechanical ventilation. [11] It doesn’t seem like decisionmakers considered the possibility that incentivizing hospitals to diagnose patients as having COVID might impact patient care, outcomes and/or COVID statistics, but it most certainly did. To presume hospitals would think twice about treating patients with a particular drug or put them on a ventilator when they get reimbursed top dollar for it is naive in the extreme. Especially when all they needed was a positive PCR test to justify it. Throughout 2020, evidence mounted showing the PCR TEST IS INCREDIBLY UNRELIABLE above 35 cycles, and health agencies instructed labs to use 40 to 45 cycles. In essence, we had an epidemic of false positives, and financial incentives then drove hospitals to mistreat and kill countless patients, many of whom may not even have had COVID. Former CDC director Robert Redfield and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have both stated they believe financial incentives drove up the COVID-19 death rate in the U.S. [12].

Vented COVID Patients Earned Hospitals 300% Upcharge

I strongly suspect the reason why so many COVID patients died was because they were forced onto mechanical ventilation, and the reason for that was because hospitals received a 300% bonus for patients requiring ventilation! That’s no minor incentive. As reported by USA Today back in April 2020: [13]

“Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Minn., a physician in Minnesota, was interviewed by “The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham on April 8 on Fox News and claimed hospitals get paid more if Medicare patients are listed as having COVID-19 and get three times as much money if they need a ventilator ...

Jensen took it to his own Facebook page April 15, saying, in part “How can anyone not believe that increasing the number of COVID-19 deaths may create an avenue for states to receive a larger portion of federal dollars?” Already some states are complaining that they are not getting enough of the CARES Act dollars because they are having significantly more proportional COVID-19 deaths.

On April 19, he doubled down on his assertion via video on his Facebook page. Jensen said, “Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate. Why?”

Because if it’s a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for if they’re Medicare ח typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it’s COVID-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.

Jensen clarified ... that he doesn’t think physicians are ‘gaming the system’ so much as other ‘players,’ such as hospital administrators, who he said may pressure physicians to cite all diagnoses, including ‘probable COVID-19’, on discharge papers or death certificates to get the higher Medicare allocation allowed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ...

USA TODAY reached out to Marty Makary, a surgeon and professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, about the claim. Makary said in an email April 21 that ‘what Scott Jensen said sounds right to me.’”

Why Did Government Continue Paying for Deadly Protocol?

Why wasn’t the 300% bonus payment eliminated once it became apparent that putting COVID patients on ventilators was a death sentence? As early as April 9, 2020, Business Insider reported [14] that 80% of COVID-19 patients in New York City who were placed on ventilators died, which caused a number of doctors to question their use.

Somewhere between 50% and 86% of all ventilated COVID patients died, yet government never dropped the financial incentive to use ventilators. Why?

The Associated Press [15] also publicized similar reports from China and the U.K.  A U.K. report put the figure at 66%, while a small study from Wuhan, China, put the ratio of deaths at 86%. Data presented by attorney Thomas Renz in 2021 showed that in Texas hospitals, 84.9% of patients died after more than 96 hours on a ventilator. [16] The lowest figure I’ve seen is 50%. [17] So, somewhere between 50% and 86% of all ventilated COVID patients died, yet government never dropped the financial incentive to use ventilators. Why?

Incentives Put Nursing Home Patients at Risk Too

Nursing homes in some states also received incentive payments if they accepted hospital discharges. For example, in Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services (DHS) paid out $2,900 for every admission a nursing home received directly from a hospital. [18] This, even though by then, it was well-known that more than 80% of deaths occurred in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and live-in rehab centers. More than 90% of residents of these centers have at least one chronic disease and more than 70% have two conditions, which in turn can weaken their immune systems. [19] They also live in close quarters and share staff, which facilitates the spread of pathogens. But rather than protecting the elderly by NOT admitting potentially infected patients, the DHS paid these facilities to take them in.

Incompetence or Malice?

In the final analysis, it’s quite clear that the COVID pandemic was grossly mishandled. Either U.S. health agencies and political decisionmakers were inept and unqualified for the job at hand, or they acted with malice, and the outcomes of their financial incentivization of bad medicine were intended ones. Either way, their strategies were ill-conceived and resulted in needless death and suffering. Adding insult to injury, billions of taxpayer dollars were used to pay for it all. Financially incentivizing doctors and pediatricians to inject an experimental gene therapy into babies is, in my view, completely unconscionable, and should never have happened, but the same can be said for the continued use of ventilators. It seems medicine during the COVID pandemic became all about maximizing profits, without regard for health outcomes, and that is something that our health agencies must be held to account for.

Think Globally, Act Locally

National vaccine policy recommendations in the U.S. are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being seriously threatened. Not only are lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws, but global political operatives lobbying the United Nations and WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION are determined to take away the human right to autonomy and protection of bodily integrity. We must take action to defend our constitutional republic and civil liberties, including the right to autonomy, in America. That includes reforming oppressive mandatory vaccination laws and stopping the digital health ID that will make vaccine passports a reality for us, our children and grandchildren if we don’t take action today. Signing up to use the free online ADVOCACY GROUP by the NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC) gives you immediate, easy access to your own state and federal legislators on your smartphone or computer so you can make your voice heard. NVIC will keep you up to date on the latest bills threatening to eliminate - or expand - your legal right to make vaccine choices and give you guidance about what you can do to support or oppose those bills. So, please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal. From mercola.com

Footnotes

1,2 Twitter Thomas Massie April 13, 2023

3 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid Provider Bulletin July 2022

4 Revcycle Intelligence March 26, 2020

5 Fierce Health Care March 25, 2020

6 PGPF November 5, 2020

7,11 KGNS.TV March 28, 2022

8 Healthcare Finance News August 18, 2020

9 HFMA April 21, 2020

10 AHA Guidance for CARES Act Provisions April 16, 2020

12 Organic Lifestyle Magazine August 25, 2020

13 USA Today April 24, 2020, Updated April 27, 2020

14 Business Insider April 9, 2020

15 The Associated Press April 8, 2020

16 Citizens Journal December 20, 2021

17 Wall Street Journal December 20, 2020

18 WHA November 12, 2020

19 Newswise May 15, 2020

SOURCE - PDF - ALTERNATE SOURCE ON NEXUS NEWS

Related: DOLLARS AND DNA

Posted by Elvis on 04/29/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Kudos Mullvad VPN

snooping pc

Remember LAVABIT?

I thought they were cool sticking up for their customers when the surveillance state CAME KNOCKING:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on - the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.

Here’s another cool company - MULLVAD.  They run a VPN service, and make a FREE OPEN-SOURCE privacy browser for the public.

The BROWSER is one reason I think they’re cool.

The Mullvad Browser is a privacy-focused web browser developed in a collaboration between Mullvad VPN and the Tor Project. Its designed to minimize tracking and fingerprinting. You could say it’s a Tor Browser to use without the Tor Network. Instead, you can use it with a trustworthy VPN. The idea is to provide one more alternative beside the Tor Network - to browse the internet with more privacy. To get as many people as possible to fight the big data gathering of today. To free the internet from mass surveillance.

Here’s the other:

Mullvad VPN Hit With Search Warrant in Attempted Police Raid

However, Swedish law enforcement left with nothing after learning Mullvad VPN has a strict no-logging policy when it comes to customer information.

By Michael Kan
PC Magazine
April 20, 2023

The risk of law enforcement raiding a VPN provider to try and obtain customer data nearly became real this week for MULLVAD VPN.

The company today REPORTED that Swedish police had issued a search warrant two days earlier to investigate Mullvad VPN’s office in Gothenburg, Sweden. ”They intended to seize computers with customer data,” Mullvad said.

However, Swedish police left empty-handed. It looks like Mullvad’s own lawyers stepped in and pointed out that the company maintains a strict no-logging policy on customer data. This means the VPN service will abstain from collecting a subscriber’s IP ADDRESS, web traffic, and connection timestamps, in an effort to protect user privacy. (Its also why Mullvad VPN is among our most HIGHLY RANKED VPN services.)

“We argued they had no reason to expect to find what they were looking for and any seizures would therefore be illegal under Swedish law,” Mullvad said. “After demonstrating that this is indeed how our service works and them consulting the prosecutor they left without taking anything and without any customer information.”

“Even if police had seized the company’s server, it would not have given them access to any customer information” due to the no-logging policy, Mullvad VPN said. 

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 04/26/23 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Rise of the Temp Workers Part 16 - Recruiting As A Service

image: wind up workers
 
The structure of the labour market has fundamentally changed, and what we used to think of as “unemployment” has been replaced by mass part-time work, much of it unwanted.
- Business Insider, December 2019

What do we call the successor to the FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE?

TEMPS, GIG WORKERS, PERMATEMPS, CONTRACTORS?

I though it was LABOR AS A SERVICE.

How about Raas - “Recruiting As A Service” ?

Just ask this guy who seems to think I’m a businessman that’s open to using his services.

 image: raas spam 

The relationships between staffing agencies and employers may be evolving.

Or devolving, depending how you look at it. 

Now that SO MANY OF US are DISPOSABLE WORKERS, and the GEN-Z CROWD may be getting sick of it to the point they’re ready to cross the line by walking off their jobs, vs in my day when we were so frightened, BRAINWASHED, and controlled, so desperate to pay the bills - we’d take any job - for any pay, and allow ourselves to GET STEPPED ON like DOORMATS.

And maybe employers are sick of it too, and want a better deal from the staffing companies that call us resources not people.

Forbes has a long ARTICLE on RaaS.  Some points:

In a commission-based contract, the recruiter’s motivation is transactional - Place candidate. Get paid. Repeat. As Sugar put it, “the recruiter’s primary incentive is to place a body and get paid.” They do this for many clients simultaneously and take no interest in (or accountability for) the long-term success of the candidates they bring you.

ProServeIT, which has offices across Canada and in France and Vietnam, is expanding and needed to hire several candidates per year in their Toronto area office. Their first solution was to lump hiring in with their HR function, but they soon realized that recruiting and HR required different skill sets.

The company’s hiring volume didn’t justify a dedicated, full-time recruiting team, so their next step was trying to work with traditional recruiting agencies. But Sugar found that they didn’t meet the company’s needs either. In a traditional recruiting agency relationship, the recruiter gets paid for candidate placement. In the case of ProServeIT, this was equivalent to 20% of the hires’ annual salary.

“The problem,” as Sugar pointed out, was that “the recruiter and the company didn’t share a singular goal.” Sugar said, “We’re not going to deal with you in the format that you want. We’re not going to deal in the 20% for every employee. It just doesn’t make any economic sense. We’re not getting the resources we want when we do this with you, so we have to go and find a new way.”

Sugar found a new way of engaging with recruiting firms that was a business model he was accustomed to in the world of IT support. He started off by talking to three different recruiters in Toronto who understood the technology landscape in Canada. After working with the recruiters for 6-7 months, the company developed a relationship similar to a managed service business with one of them. They set up a monthly structure in which they could hire up to 28 resources per year and agreed to pay a specific cost every month whether they used the service or not.

This fundamentally changed their recruiting model from a commission-based to a service-based contract. By changing the recruiter’s goal from earning a commission to retaining a long-term client, the recruiter become incentivized to place successful candidates. The relationship changed from the standard commission structure to more of a strategic partnership.

Sugar says they were able to drive down the cost of recruit from 20% per resource to a fixed monthly fee. They are seeing a return on investment using this method after three hires a year and they’re hiring much more than that, making it a very cost-effective solution. They’ve used the recruiters for positions ranging from entry level through executive. They evaluate the process every year, 90 days before renewal, to make sure its still a cost-effective method for them.

What can we call the successor to OUTSOURCING 2.0?

Can’t wait to see what they come up with to dehumanize us some more.

Posted by Elvis on 04/26/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Liars Laptops Bots and Fake News

image: 279 lies

Twitter Files: Employees Knew the Media’s Favorite Russian Bots List Was Fake
“I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is.”

By Robby Soave
Reason
January 27, 2023

The ALLIANCE FOR SECURING DEMOCRACY (ASD) is a nonprofit organization that leverages the purported expertise of former U.S. national intelligence officials to identify Russian influence on social media. It’s advisory council includes the neoconservative writer Bill Kristol, Hillary Clinton campaign official John Podesta, and various former employees of national security agencies.

ASD maintains Hamilton 68, a dashboard that monitors the accounts of 600 Twitter accounts alleged to be Russian bots. The dashboard was highly regarded by the mainstream media: Favorable coverage of ASD’s work appeared in POLITICO (:The Russian Bots Are Coming. This Bipartisan Duo Is On It."), THE WASHINGTON POST ("Russia-linked accounts are tweeting their support of embattled Fox News host Laura Ingraham"), and elsewhere.

But according to new revelations uncovered by independent journalist Matt Taibbi as part of THE TWITTER FILES, the accounts on ASD’s list weren’t Russian bots. Moreover, Twitter content moderators knew the list was inaccurate but were reluctant to criticize it due to fears of bad press.

Indeed, Taibbi published screenshots of several emails that show Twitter’s former trust and safety czar, Yoel Roth, discovering the list was wrong. The dashboard “falsely accuses a bunch of legitimate right-leaning accounts of being Russian bots,” he wrote. “I think we need to just call this out on the bullshit it is.”

 
image: twitter files screenshot
 

Ultimately, Roth did not publicly denounce the list as bullshit - in part because other Twitter employees dissuaded him. “We have to be careful in how much we push back on ASD publicly,” said one communications official.

Taibbi notes that several of the officials who advised against a public confrontation with ASD eventually left Twitter to work for Democratic political figures.

This is all extremely damning. An organization with ties to the U.S. national security apparatus falsely portrayed a bunch of mostly right-leaning, Trump-supporting Twitter content as nefarious and Russian in origin. The mainstream media eagerly peddled this incorrect narrative. And Twitter wavered on pushing back because elite sentiment was so disposed to imagine Russian operatives hiding behind every curtain.

SOURCE

---

Eleven Minutes of Media Falsehoods, Just On One Subject, Just On One Station

This special report hoped to make a list of all the editors’ notes and retractions that would be needed because of the #TwitterFiles. The problem turned out to be too big to count.

By Matt Orfalea and Matt Taibbi
Racket News
April 25, 2023

The plan was a comprehensive count. With a sizable team of smart temporary hires, each looking into a different area of the #TwitterFiles, we thought counting all the mainstream news stories that would need retracting or correcting in light of information found in Twitter documents would make for an easy little sidebar, something simple for the public to digest.

The idea seemed easy. We would take a Twitter doc raising questions about a news story, and writea suggested note for the story’s editor. In a lot of cases it wasn’t clear the piece was wrong exactly, but that new information might require a call or two to clear up a quote, add an update about a source, correct a fact or two, etc.

In the Files there were around a few dozen discrete incidents in which Twitter had concerns internally, and where the public might want to know what those were. The “Hamilton 68” fiasco, in which a think-tank called the Alliance for Securing Democracy purported to track 600 Twitter accounts linked to “Russian influence activities” but turned out to mostly be following ordinary Americans, Canadians, and British, was an example of a relatively easy fix for an editor. If you used the Hamilton “dashboard” of accounts as a source for a story ABOUT “Russian bots,” you probably needed either to retract altogether, or add a note saying the Russian-ness and bot-ness of those accounts has since been called into question.

In a few cases, news organizations have already added editors notes as threads were released - we should commend Mother Jones for ADDING SUCH UPDATES to many of their articles which referenced Hamilton - which gave cause for optimism. Maybe we could convince other reporters and editors to make the corrections ahead of time. How big of a job could that be?

Too big, as it turned out. Once humorously obsessive Matt Orfalea got going on the project, he quickly fell into a funk. He started just by looking just for video clips of broadcast or cable outlets referencing Hamilton 68, and immediately started racking up ridiculous numbers.

The first time he mentioned he was having a fit/time problem with the video, I was skeptical. Orf wasn’t counting print stories at first, and didn’t venture initially into other incidents beyond Ham68. It didn’t seem possible there could there be too many instances to compile on video. But there were. A large part of his logistical problem involved MSNBC, whose extravagant on-air warnings of Russian bots were fattening his compilation. “I thought, ‘If I could only do this without MSNBC, I could get this down to a manageable size,’” he said.

That led to an idea of making a separate video that only chronicled MSNBC making Hamilton-inspired references to Russian bots. “I was relieved, he said. “I thought, ‘This way, I might be able to make a video about everyone else.’”

The rest of the team eventually had to scrap the idea of counting all the reporting problems suggested by the #TwitterFiles. The amazing, agonizing video above shows why. During the time period in question - mainly the period between 2016 and 2022 - false innuendo generated either by government agencies or so-called “anti-disinformation: sites constituted such a huge part of everyday media coverage that it was almost easier to identify the stories not generated by this subterranean information cartel.

This is part of the new media strategy in the Censorship-Industrial Complex age: in addition to downgrading and deamplifying dissent, fringe political ideas, controversial takes, offensive speech, and, yes, even true errors and foreign propaganda, the CIC softens up audiences to accept certain ideas through sheer, unrelenting repetition. Youre not hearing one or two stories about Russian bots or evil anti-vaxxers or even the treachery of Jill Stein and the Green Party, youҒre hearing hundreds just on one channel, and God knows how many more in other outlets and via social media. Ones defenses wear down after a while, and there’s a natural instinct to grow afraid of suggesting the opposite around friends after a while.

What was true of the bot story then is still true of other topics now. How many Ukrainian flag emojis have you seen? How many stories blaming everyone but the obvious suspect for the Nord Stream blast? How relatively nervous are you to say something even mildly counter-narrative about those subjects? Contrary to what we might imagine, conviction can be worn down by volume, like shingles cracking under years of weather.

Lastly, it’s appropriate to use strong language to describe what MSNBC did with Ham68, because they have to have known for a while these reports were problematic. Even the release of the “NEW" HAMILTON 2.0 IN 2019, in which the think-tank said it would henceforth only cite sources that “we can directly attribute to the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian governments,” should have been a red flag for anyone who did stories based on their earlier dashboard.

But MSNBC apparently didn’t go back and examine prior claims then, and have repeatedly refused requests by me and others to do so since. They don’t care, and as Orf shows, they don’t care in high, high volume.

Kudos to Orfalea for having the patience and discipline to record all of this in one place with his trademark editing wizardry, creating a video that pounds the insanity of the period into your head so repeatedly that it just might prevent the otherwise inevitable memory-holing of this episode. Eleven minutes thirty! Imagine how much video it would have taken to capture the list we tried to make.

SOURCE

---

New Testimony Reveals Secretary Blinken and Biden Campaign Behind the Infamous Public Statement on the Hunter Biden Laptop

Press Releases
House Judiciary Committee
April 20, 2023

New testimony by Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and one of the 51 signatories of the ”PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE HUNTER BIDEN EMAILS” revealed that U.S. Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN, then senior advisor to the Biden campaign, was the impetus of the public statement signed in October 2020 that falsely implied the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden was the product of Russian disinformation. In response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) just sent a LETTER to Secretary Blinken demanding documents and communications related to the Committees’ investigation.

BACKGROUND:

On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published a REPORT detailing how Hunter Biden used the position and influence of his father, now-President Joe Biden, for personal gain with the apparent awareness of President Biden. The article reported on several emails found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden that he had abandoned in a Delaware computer shop. The contents of the emails cast doubt on President Biden’s previous denials of speaking to his son about his international business dealings.

Within five days of the article, on October 19, 2020, 51 former intelligence officials released a public statement attempting to discredit the contents of the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden, stating that the story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” News publications immediately ran with the statement, with Politico publishing a story with the conclusive headline, “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former officials say.” During the final presidential debate on October 22, then-Vice President Biden cited the public statement to rebut President Trumps criticism of the Biden family business dealings.

NEW INFORMATION:

The Committees recently conducted a transcribed interview with Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director of the CIA and one of the 51 signatories of the public statement. In his transcribed interview, Morell testified that on or around October 17, 2020, Blinken served as a senior advisor to the Biden campaign and reached out to him to discuss the Hunter Biden laptop story. According to Morell, although your outreach was couched as simply gathering Morell’s reaction to the Post story, it set in motion the events that led to the issuance of the public statement. 

That same day, October 17, Blinken also emailed Morell an article published in USA Today alleging that the FBI was examining whether the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a “disinformation campaign.” The very bottom of the email he sent to Morell included the signature block of Andrew Bates, then-director of rapid response for the Biden campaign.

Morell testified that his communication with Blinken was one of a few communications he had with the Biden campaign, explaining that he also received a call from Steve Ricchetti, Chairman of the Biden campaign, following the October 22 debate to thank him for writing the statement.  Morell also explained that the Biden campaign helped to strategize about the public release of the statement. Morell further explained that one of his two goals in releasing the statement was to help then-Vice President Biden in the debate and to assist him in winning the election.

Based on Morell’s testimony, it is apparent that the Biden campaign played an active role in the origins of the public statement, which had the effect of helping to suppress the Hunter Biden story and preventing American citizens from making a fully informed decision during the 2020 presidential election.
Although the statement’s signatories have an unquestioned right to free speech and free association - which we do not dispute - their reference to their national security credentials lent weight to the story and suggested access to specialized information unavailable to other Americans. This concerted effort to minimize and suppress public dissemination of the serious allegations about the Biden family was a grave disservice to all American citizens informed participation in our democracy.

Read the full letter to Secretary Blinken HERE.

Posted by Elvis on 04/26/23 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 7 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Statistics

Total page hits 13240874
Page rendered in 4.2499 seconds
40 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3645
Total Comments: 341
Most Recent Entry: 06/16/2024 08:48 am
Most Recent Comment on: 06/14/2023 06:21 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 7
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 588 on 01/11/2023 03:46 pm


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

Politics and religion are obsolete; the time has come for science and spirituality. - Pandit Nehru

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

April 2023
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30            

Most recent entries

Must Read

RSS Feeds

BBC News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Favorites

BLS and FRED Pages

Reference

Other Links

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights