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16

      

By Jason Ditz


(ANTIWAR.COM) — On Tuesday, President Trump capped off months of effort in Congress to pass a War Powers Act challenge to the US involvement in the war in Yemen, vetoing the bill and claiming it was a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”


The bill, SJ Res 7, was a straightforward bill under the War Powers Act of 1973. The bill noted that Congress never authorized the US war in Yemen, and demanded an end to it. The US Constitution grants sole power to declare wars to the Congress, and by extension the power to order an end to illegal wars.


         



      

It is a mere accident of the way bills work that actions under the War Powers Act, designed explicitly as a check on presidential attempts to illegally seize war-making powers, can even be voted by the president. Yet SJ Res 7 won such a narrow victory in the Senate that it would be highly unlikely that an override of the veto will even be attempted.


This threatens to set a very dangerous precedent, as after decades of presidents claiming unilateral war-making powers, Yemen was the first real challenge under the War Powers Act to get any momentum. That it was wiped away with an easy veto, and little controversy, only adds to the appearance that the president has unilateral war-making powers, at least as a de facto matter, and Congressional oversight exists only on paper.


By Jason Ditz / Republished with permission / ANTIWAR.COM / Report a typo


   

17

      

By Danny O’Brien


Hours after the ejection of Julian Assange from the London Ecuadorean embassy last week, police officers in Ecuador detained the Swedish citizen and open source developer Ola Bini. They seized him as he prepared to travel from his home in Quito to Japan, claiming that he was attempting to flee the country in the wake of Assange’s arrest. Bini had, in fact, booked the vacation long ago, and had publicly mentioned it on his Twitter account before Assange was arrested.


Ola’s detention was full of irregularities, as documented by his lawyers. His warrant was for a “Russian hacker” (Bini is neither); he was not read his rights, allowed to contact his lawyer nor offered a translator.


The charges against him, when they were finally made public, are tenuous. Ecuador’s general prosecutor has stated that Bini was accused of “alleged participation in the crime of assault on the integrity of computer systems” and attempts to destabilize the country. The “evidence” seized from Ola’s home that Ecuadorean police showed journalists to demonstrate his guilt was nothing more than a pile of USB drives, hard drives, two-factor authentication keys, and technical manuals: all familiar property for anyone working in his field.


         



      

Ola is a free software developer, who worked to improve the security and privacy of the Internet for all its users. He has worked on several key open source projects, including JRuby, several Ruby libraries, as well as multiple implementations of the secure and open communication protocol OTR. Ola’s team at ThoughtWorks contributed to Certbot, the EFF-managed tool that has provided strong encryption for millions of websites around the world.


Like many people working on the many distributed projects defending the Internet, Ola has no need to work from a particular location. He traveled the world, but chose to settle in Ecuador because of his love of that country and of South America in general. At the time of his arrest, he was putting down roots in his new home, including co-founding Centro de Autonomia Digital, a non-profit devoted to creating user-friendly security tools, based out of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.


One might expect the Ecuadorean administration to hold up Bini as an example of the high-tech promise of the country, and use his expertise to assist the new administration in securing their infrastructure — just as his own European Union made use of Ola’s expertise when developing its government-funded DECODE privacy project.






Instead, Ecuador’s leadership has targeted him for arrest as a part of wider political process to distance itself from WikiLeaks. They have incorporated Ola into a media story that claims he was part of a gang of Russian hackers who planned to destabilize the country in retaliation for Julian Assange’s ejection.


At EFF, we are familiar with overzealous prosecutors attempting to implicate innocent coders by portraying them as dangerous cyber-masterminds, as well as demonizing the tools and lifestyle of coders that work to defend the security of critical infrastructure, not undermine it. These cases are indicative of an inappropriate tech panic, and their claims are rarely borne out by the facts.


As expressed by the many technologists supporting Ola Bini in our statement of solidarity, Ecuador should drop all charges against him, and allow Ola to return home to his family and friends. Ecuador’s leaders undermine their country’s reputation abroad and the independence of its judicial system by this fanciful and unfounded prosecution.





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Danny O’Brien has been an activist for online free speech and privacy for over 20 years. In his home country of the UK, he fought against repressive anti-encryption law, and helped make the UK Parliament more transparent with FaxYourMP.  He was EFF’s activist from 2005 to 2007, and its international outreach coordinator from 2007-2009. After three years working to protect at-risk online reporters with the Committee to Protect Journalists, he returned to EFF in 2013 to supervise EFF’s global strategy. He is also the co-founder of the Open Rights Group, Britain’s own digital civil liberties organization.


In a previous life, Danny wrote and performed the only one-man show about Usenet to have a successful run in London’s West End. His geek gossip zine, Need To Know, won a special commendation for services to newsgathering at the first Interactive BAFTAs. He also coined the term “life hack.“


This article was sourced from EFF.org


Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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18

      

By Cindy Cohn


The recent arrest of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange surprised many by hinging on one charge: a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) charge for a single, unsuccessful attempt to reverse engineer a password. This might not be the only charge Assange ultimately faces. The government can add more before the extradition decision and possibly even after that if it gets a waiver from the UK or otherwise. Yet some have claimed that as the indictment sits now, the single CFAA charge is a sign that the government is not aiming at journalists. We disagree.  This case seems to be a clear attempt to punish Assange for publishing information that the government did not want published, and not merely arising from a single failed attempt at cracking a password. And having watched CFAA criminal prosecutions for many years, we think that neither journalists nor the rest of us should be breathing a sigh of relief.


The CFAA grants broad discretion to prosecutors and has been used to threaten, prosecute, and civilly sue security researchers, competitors, and disloyal employees, among others. It has notoriously severe penalties, often applied out of all proportion to the offense. Here the government says the single charge of attempted, apparently unsuccessful assistance in password cracking can carry five years in prison, although under the sentencing guidelines the actual sentence would likely be lower. Remember, there is no parole in the federal judicial system.


         



      

While we can all agree that we need some method for prosecuting malicious computer crimes, the lack of clear limits and exceptions, combined with draconian penalties, make the CFAA a powerful hammer that prosecutors can use against those who act against the wishes of a computer owner. That’s an especially broad reach in this age of networked computers. As the tragic prosecution of our friend Aaron Swartz for downloading scientific articles demonstrated, this also isn’t the first time that the CFAA has been used to bludgeon people for trying to inform the public.


Since journalists often work to provide us with information that the powerful do not want us to see, we do not believe this will be the last time we see the CFAA used to prosecute efforts central to journalism.


Of course, breaking into computers and cracking passwords in many contexts is rightly illegal. When analyzing the worst abuses of the CFAA, EFF has argued that the statute should only be applied to serious attempts to circumvent technological access barriers, including passwords. But even if the government has made a sufficient claim of a ‘legitimate’ CFAA violation here, it still must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt, and it should do so without relying on irrelevant arguments about whether WikiLeaks was truly engaged in journalism.


Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was charged in 2010 for her role in the release of approximately 700,000 military war and diplomatic records to WikiLeaks, which created front page news stories around the world and spurred significant reforms. The disclosure of classified Iraq war documents exposed human rights abuses and corruption the government had kept hidden from the public. While the disclosures riveted the globe, they also angered, embarrassed, and inconvenienced many, including the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, although no injuries or deaths were ever demonstrated as a result.


The Assange indictment, in contrast, arises from conversations the two had about an apparently unsuccessful attempt to access other classified documents. Here’s why it seems clear to us that the government’s charge of an attempted conspiracy to violate the CFAA is being used as a thin cover for attacking the journalism.


First, the government spends much of the indictment referencing regular journalistic techniques that are irrelevant to the CFAA claim. The indictment includes the actual elements of the CFAA claim in paragraph 15. Here’s an attempt to translate it in plain English: pursuant to an agreement aimed at giving Assange access to secret government information, Manning gave Assange a scrambled portion of a password that would allow Manning to log into a computer in a way that would hide her identity from the government. Assange’s only alleged illegal act was trying to unscramble a portion of that password.






If the government wasn’t aiming further, it could have stopped there. But it didn’t. Instead it included descriptions of normal journalistic practices in the modern age: using a secure chat service, using cloud services to transfer files, removing usernames, and deleting logs to protect the source’s identity. The government includes in the indictment a cryptic comment by Assange: “curious eyes never run dry in my experience,” which it characterizes as “encouraging” violations of the law. The government’s inclusion of these facts, as well as its reference to the Espionage Act, is a strong signal that it believes these other actions should also be viewed as part of a crime.


On top of that, as they have since the 1990s when they want to feed the “hacker madness” narrative, the prosecutors added unnecessary computer allegations to the indictment. The indictment mentions Manning’s use of the Linux operating system, darkly described as “special software . . . to access the computer file” that contained the password. It describes the use of a secure online chat service called Jabber. It even includes the fact that Manning used a “special folder” in WikiLeaks’ cloud-based file transfer system. These facts are completely irrelevant to the single CFAA claim, but they, along with the Justice Department’s press release headline trumpeting Assange’s “hacking,” appear aimed at linking and even equating journalism and use of normal technical tools with the underlying crime.


Second, President Trump himself has blurred the distinction between what WikiLeaks is accused of here and mainstream journalism. In an interview just after the arrest, Trump received a lot of scorn for saying that he did not know much about WikiLeaks, an obvious lie. But what he said next should also be raising concerns about Trump’s view of the legality of normal journalistic practices: “I guess the concept is perhaps [Assange] is a reporter type and, you know, The New York Times is doing the same thing maybe and The Washington Post maybe the same thing.” Trump has made no secret of his hatred for these outlets and desire to create more liability for journalists revealing facts and news he doesn’t like to the public. His words here should give journalists pause.


Third, legally speaking, the claim in the indictment itself seems very small. The underlying act Assange is accused of—a single failed attempt to figure out a password—was not even important enough to be included in the formal CFAA charges leveled against Manning, even though it was known to the prosecutors and reported about long ago. The government made its CFAA case against Manning on her separate use of an “unauthorized” program (Wget) to actually access other materials she provided to WikiLeaks, in violation of the government’s terms of use. For separate reasons, this was not a legitimate use of the CFAA, as EFF argued in its amicus brief in support of Manning. The misapplication of the CFAA to Manning is actually still pending in the appeal of Manning’s case, which continues despite the commutation of her sentence.




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In the prosecutors’ desperation to find something, anything, to charge Assange, the U.S. government had to reach beyond the acts it used to court-martial Manning into something that apparently didn’t happen. While attempted violations of the CFAA are illegal, as with many other crimes, it’s still a remarkably small potatoes violation—with no apparent harm. It’s difficult to imagine that any U.S. Attorneys’ office would even investigate, much less impanel a grand jury and demand extradition for an attempted, unsuccessful effort to unscramble a single password if it wasn’t being done to punish the later publication of other materials.


From where we sit this prosecution feels sadly familiar. Just a few years ago this same statute was used by federal prosecutors to find something, anything, they could use to charge our friend Aaron Swartz. Swartz angered the government, first by downloading a bunch of judicial documents from the Pacer system and later, by downloading scientific journal articles from JSTOR. The government then continued the JSTOR prosecution even when JSTOR, the alleged victim, asked them to stop. Facing the CFAA’s draconian penalties, Swartz took his own life.


From these and other CFAA prosecutions we’ve tracked over at least the past 20 years, it’s nearly impossible to weigh the relatively narrow charge used to arrest Assange without considering the nearly decade-long effort by the U.S. government to find a way to punish Wikileaks for publishing information vital to the public interest. Anyone concerned about press freedom should be concerned about this application of the CFAA.



Cindy Cohn is the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. From 2000-2015 she served as EFF’s Legal Director as well as its General Counsel.  Ms. Cohn first became involved with EFF in 1993, when EFF asked her to serve as the outside lead attorney in Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography. 


This article was sourced from EFF.org


   
            


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19

      

By corbettreport


The former editor of Time / former Undersecretary of State for Public Policy thinks the US government propagandizing its own citizens is just fine and dandy.


And where did he deliver these remarks? At the CFR, of course! Shocking, I know.


#PropagandaWatch


         



      


SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=30888


   

20

      

By WeAreChange


President Trump has gone all-in on the “Race to 5G” that will support the Internet of Things and open up more reliance on artificial intelligence. Elon Musk has repeatedly warned about the rise of the AI “Immortal Dictator,” but massive investment in this technology continues regardless.


Luke Rudkowski and guest Max Igan look at the new government initiatives that have the potential to put the planet under complete control through surveillance, as well as the grave threat of electromagnetic pollution.  Max also discusses some of the solutions for countering this threat.


         



      


Visit our MAIN SITE for more breaking news http://wearechange.org/


STEEMIT: https://steemit.com/@lukewearechange


MINDS: https://www.minds.com/wearechange


OH YEAH since we are not corporate or government owned help us out http://wearechange.org/donate


Also see Activist Post writer B.N. Frank’s extensive archive on the topic of 5G HERE.


   

21

      

By Catherine J. Frompovich


The more technology consumers learn about the unknowns, specifically possible adverse health reactions to all the bombardment from super-sophisticated microwave technology, e.g., millimeter waves from 5G, the more concerns they have about living with thousands of small cell towers that will facilitate 5G technology, which is one thousand times faster than 4G, and about which we know nothing as to 4G adverse health effects.


Consumers are not bashful when they realize the downsides of 5G and, consequently, make a decision to prevent that network from being installed in their locale.  Therefore, those consumers may be looking for a “tool” that will help them get started in dealing with local government authorities who either promote 5G installations, or those who want to prevent 5G from being rolled out in their area.


Many cities have been successful in preventing 5G from ‘frying’ them.  See Some Northern California Cities Are Blocking Deployment of 5G Towers.


Below is a template FOIA Request a consumer used in her area to file a comprehensive 5G FOIA request. Correspondingly, concerned consumers can present it to proper local authorities to let them know “you mean business” about NO 5G in my back yard!


         



      

FOIA Request Template


This is a request for information per the Freedom of Information Act concerning the plans, if any, that you may have implemented concerning 5G Technology, the Smart Grid, replacement of telephone poles and LED lighting (see 1.11) and anything that may indicate you plan on facilitating [name your area] as a “smart city.”


1.1 Do you have a 5G strategy?


If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in a Word, PDF or picture format.


1.2 If yes, has the council published or provided to the public the opportunity to read and understand the City Council’s plan as it concerns 5G Strategy; was the replacement telephone poles with LED lighting part of the 5G strategy; has the public been informed of the benefits and/or risks involved in installing it, and been given the opportunity for public input? Where was this information published, and if, where?


1.3 I also request any document that you have received from any source (such as, but not limited to FEDA, Federal government, State government, 5G network installers, etc.) including the highest level of detail on all 5G technology that’s planned to be used and/or currently in use (LED street lights 1.11) in public spaces within the city limits of [your area] including the following information:


(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers.


(b) Specification sheets of all 5G technology.


(c) What technology, e.g., units and arrays are not currently 5G, but can be 5G enabled, e.g., with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting?


(d) What U.S. and International safety standards are those of the City Council complying with for the 5G strategy and existing 5G technology?


(e) I request proof, e.g., a certificate from City Council, which confirms U.S. and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met.


1.4 I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulation of a 5G strategy.


1.5 I request the name(s) of the Officer(s) in charge of the 5G strategy and roll out, including their CV and qualifications in 5G and Smart Cities; and who their subject area expert or consultancy is, their CV and qualifications on 5G and Smart Cities.


1.6 Are you in talks with any experts, companies or entities about autonomous vehicles (AV) for public transport and/or private use on Public Highways in my town or elsewhere?


If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in a Word, PDF or picture format.


1.7 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of detail on:


(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers?


(b) Specification sheets of all technology.


(c) What type of communication system will those of the City Council be utilizing to control the vehicles?


(d) What U.S. and International safety standards does your AV strategy and rollout comply with?


(e) I request proof, e.g., a certificate from City Council, which confirms U.S. and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met.


1.8 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding the formulations of an autonomous public and private vehicle technology strategy.


1.9 Do you have a strategy for smart roads and smart signage on Public Highways and Public spaces?


If yes, I request to see the complete strategy, its ambitions and its objectives in a Word, PDF or picture format.


1.10 I also request a supplementary document that includes all levels of detail on:


(a) Companies and entities involved and the names of the company/entity officers?


(b) Specification sheets of all technology.


(c) What technology, e.g., units and arrays, will not be 5G, but can be 5G enabled, e.g., with current software, future software, hardware upgrades or retrofitting etc., and please, could you must be specific on anything here?


(d) What U.S. and International safety standards does your 5G strategy and rollout comply with?


(e) I request proof, e.g., a certificate from the City Council, which confirms U.S. and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met.


1.11 If no, I request all documentation, memos, emails and communication on companies and entities you’re in talks with regarding smart roads and smart signage. Are you planning, or have already implemented, an LED street lighting system rolled out?


1.12 If yes, please answer these questions:


(a) What are the CMS [Central Management Systems] and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?




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(b) What type of waveform is the LED; e.g., Square wave?


(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS?


(d) Can you control the PWM of each streetlight that’s connected to the system?


(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?


(f) What are the U.S. and International safety limits (low and high) for the amount of “flicker” (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to, and for how long?


(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the CMS and the LED streetlight system.


(h) Who is the company who is installing, or has installed, the CMS LED streetlight system?


(i) What company maintains and repairs the CMS and LED streetlight system?


(j) What entity or Officer is or will be responsible for monitoring the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?


(k) I request proof, e.g., a certificate from the City Council, which confirms U.S. and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met.


(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?


(m) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at daytime and nighttime?


(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED streetlights?


(o) How have you have addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?


1.13 If no, then I request a declaration from the City Council that you will not be installing LED streetlights in the future. If you cannot provide a declaration, I would like the following answered in the future tense:


(a) What are the CMS and specification of the software and hardware of the LED street light system?


(b) What type of waveform is the LED, e.g., Square wave?


(c) Can you control the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of the streetlight system using the CMS?




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(d) Can you control the PWM of each street light that’s connected to the system?


(e) What restrictions do you have in place for the control of the PWM?


(f) What are the U.S. and International safety limits (low and high) for the amount of ‘flicker’ (Hz) the Human Body and eyes can be exposed to, and for how long?


(g) I request to see the training manual and safety operation manual for the CMS and the LED streetlight system.


(h) Who is the company who is installing or has installed the CMS LED streetlight system?


(i) What company will maintain and repair the CMS and LED streetlight system?


(j) What entity and Officer is responsible for the safety standards for the CMS and LED streetlight system?


(k) I request proof, e.g., a certificate from City Council, which confirms that U.S. and International safety standards for workers and the public have been met.


(l) What is the amount of Blue Light leakage that’s safe for the public and workers during the LED streetlights operation?


(m) What level of LED streetlight exposure is safe for the public at daytime and nighttime?


(n) Is there a legal requirement for diffusers to be fitted to LED streetlights?


(o) How have you addressed the amount of Oxidative Stress on Human and Animal cells that’s produced from LED?


1.14  I request all memos, presentations, documents, plans, rollouts, emails and details regarding 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) / LiFi (Light Fidelity) in public spaces.



A hat tip with special thanks to Eileen Dannemann.


The above template, after reading it, suddenly becomes an educational tool for consumers, plus those in local government, who probably never heard from the 5G lobbyists and tech reps about the unknown health issues discussed.


Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.


Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.


Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.


Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)


Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available


   
            


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22

      

By Nathan Sheard and Jennifer Lynch


Thanks to a recent ruling by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Smith, drivers in Fairfax County, Virginia need not worry that local police are maintaining ALPR records of their travels for work, prayer, protest or play.


Earlier this month, Judge Smith ordered an injunction against the use of the license plate database, finding that the “passive” use of Fairfax County Police Department’s Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system violated Virginia’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (Data Act). This means that the Fairfax County Police will be required to purge its database of ALPR data that isn’t linked to a criminal investigation and stop using ALPRs to passively collect data on people who aren’t suspected of criminal activity. The ruling came in response to a complaint brought by the ACLU of  Virginia in support of Harris Neal, a local resident whose license plate had been recorded at least twice by the Fairfax police.


Judge Smith had previously dismissed the case. In a 2016 ruling, the court ruled that license plate numbers were not covered by the state law’s limits on government data collection, because alone, they did not identify a single individual. Virginia’s Supreme Court overturned that ruling.


         



      

EFF and the Brennan Center for Justice filed an amicus brief when the case came before the Supreme Court of the State of Virginia, holding that information collected using ALPR data is personally identifiable. Thus, the Data Act was applicable and required the Fairfax Police to purge plate information they collect using the system.


In its reversal, the Virginia Supreme Court found that the photographic and location data stored in the department’s database did meet the Data Act’s definition of ‘personal information,’ but sent the case back to the Circuit Court to determine whether the database met the Act’s definition of an “information system.” Judge Smith’s ruling affirms EFF’s view that the ALPR system does indeed provide a means through which a link to the identity of a vehicle’s owner can be readily made.


Often mounted on police vehicles or attached to fixed structures like street lights and bridges, ALPR systems comprise high-speed cameras connected to computers that photograph every license plate that passes. The systems then log, associate, and store the time, date, and location a particular car was encountered. This allows police to identify and record the locations of vehicles in real-time and correlate where those vehicles have been in the past.






Using this information, police are able to establish driving patterns for individual cars. Some ALPR systems are capable of scanning up to 1,600 plates per minute, capturing the plate numbers of millions of innocent, law-abiding drivers who aren’t under any kind of investigation and just living their daily lives.


The Fairfax County Police Chief says he has asked the county attorney to appeal the ruling. However, based on the broad language in the Virginia Supreme Court’s original opinion, we think it’s unlikely the trial court’s opinion would be overruled on appeal. Although the court’s ruling technically only applies to the Fairfax County Police Department, all Virginia state police agencies using ALPR should take note: passive collection and use of ALPR data violates state law and must be stopped.Using this information, police are able to establish driving patterns for individual cars. Some ALPR systems are capable of scanning up to 1,600 plates per minute, capturing the plate numbers of millions of innocent, law-abiding drivers who aren’t under any kind of investigation, and just living their daily lives.



As EFF’s Grassroots Advocacy Organizer, “nash” works directly with community members and organizations to take advantage of the full range of tools provided by access to tech, while engaging in empowering action toward the maintenance of digital privacy and information security.


Having witnessed the results of aggressive and militarized policing in the United States, Honduras, and Palestine; and as a target of racial profiling, biased broken windows policing, and police brutality in his own life; nash has worked extensively to help activists and communities mitigate the damage of harmful interaction with law enforcement. nash co-founded the Black Movement Law Project and is a founding member of Just Info, a 24-hour hot-line providing no-cost legal information in New York City. As a member of Mutant Legal, nash organized training’s in Ferguson, New York, and other cities on how to document police conduct, exercise legal rights, counteract state repression and actively participate in one’s legal defense.




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Immediately before joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation, nash worked with the Freshet Collective, one of two legal collectives providing legal support to Water Protectors arrested at Standing Rock. While with the Freshet Collective nash bottom-lined digital security, providing training on best practices, implementing protocols and familiarizing new collective members with tools for keeping sensitive arrestee information secure.


***


As Surveillance Litigation Director, Jennifer Lynch leads EFF’s legal work challenging government abuse of search and seizure technologies through the courts by filing lawsuits and amicus briefs in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, on important issues at the intersection of technology and privacy. Jennifer founded EFF’s Street Level Surveillance Project, which informs advocates, defense attorneys, and decisionmakers about new police tools, and in 2017, the First Amendment Coalition awarded her its Free Speech and Open Government Award for her work opening up public access to police surveillance records. Jennifer has written influential white papers on biometric data collection in immigrant communities and law enforcement use of face recognition. She speaks frequently at legal and technical conferences as well as to the general public on technologies like location tracking, biometrics, algorithmic decisionmaking, and AI, and has testified on facial recognition before committees in the Senate and House of Representatives. She is regularly consulted as an expert on these subjects and others by major and technical news media.


This article was sourced from EFF.org


   
            


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23

      

By B.N. Frank


It makes sense that prolonged exposure to any kind of unnatural radiation pulsing could cause or increase inflammation and pain.


There are doctors and scientists who have already acknowledged the link between exposure to Electrosmog and Fibromyalgia as well as other debilitating and painful conditions – even if your doctors have not.


From LiveLoveFruit.com:



The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences describes EMFs as invisible areas of energy, otherwise known as radiation.


When electromagnetic radiation is high (such as when you’re using your cell phone as a navigation tool (higher electro and magnetic fields)), and close to your body, it can cause damaging microwaves and free radicals within the body.


The National Cancer Institute provides a great chart to help you understand the levels of EMFs. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/electromagnetic-fields-fact-sheet


On the left side of the chart, power lines and computers are among the lowest sources of non-ionizing radiation, with microwaves, cell phones, smart meters and wi-fi being some of the highest. The more damaging ionizing radiation levels includes things like UV rays, x-rays and gamma rays used in diagnostic and therapeutic radiation (1).


There are five primary sources of electromagnetic frequencies that impact us on a daily basis (2):





Electric Fields: come from anything that has voltage, like anything electric (lamps, electrical wiring, outlets, extension cords, electrical appliances (like microwaves), and power outlets). Electric fields can affect the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. It can impede inter-cell communication anywhere in the body. This can lead to things like behavioral changes, altered cell growth, cell mutations, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and cancer.

Magnetic Fields: these fields occur if there is an imbalance in electrical wiring, or around electrical motors like those in your refrigerator. A common magnetic field most people are exposed to is the main power meter of your house. Avoid sleeping against the wall that has a power meter on the outside. The further you’re away from the source (five to six feet), the less intense the effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled magnetic fields as a class 3 carcinogen.

Power Lines: above ground or underground.

Metal Plumbing: older metal plumbing can carry a current.

Wireless Communications: wireless power meters (SmartMeters), cell phones, cell towers, wireless routers and cordless phones (especially the base – which transmits whether you are on or off the phone) expose you to both electric- and magnetic fields. When it comes to wireless communications, the radiation you’re exposed to decreases the further you’re away from the source.








From AlteredStates.com



Traditionally the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is related to environmental illness. In the current understanding there are basically three illnesses emerging: Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and electrosensitivity, also referred to as electromagnetic hypersensitivity. The symptoms overlap dramatically and usually consist of headaches, extreme fatigue, skin and lung problems, multiple chemical sensitivity, food allergies, sleeping disorders and general weakness.


A GOVERNMENT agency has acknowledged for the first time that people can suffer nausea, headaches and muscle pains when exposed to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, electricity pylons and computer screens. — Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent


Besides using drugs to control symptoms, an alternative method of healing Fibromyalgia is to remove the substances adversely affecting the immune system. What is often missed however is correcting the original source of the hypersensitivity. This is often times because the correlation between Fibromyalgia and EMFs is not widely known.


Because the nervous system is a primary site impacted by both chemicals and electromagnetic fields, those with nervous system damage from toxic exposures seem more susceptible to becoming ES too.Lucinda Grant, Advocate





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Last month, Activist Post published an article about the link between MS and Electrosmog exposure, “People Suffering from MS May Also Have Electromagnetic Sensitivity and Not Know It.”



Activist Post has published many articles about why reducing your exposure and your loved ones (including pets’) exposure to Electrosmog is never a bad idea.  After all, exposure is cumulative.



For more information, visit the following websites:



We Are The Evidence
Center For Safer Wireless
Dr. Madga Havas
Dr. Sam Milham
Electricsense
EMF Safety Network
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
National Association for Children and Safe Technology
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
SafeTechForSchools
Scientists for Wired Tech
SmartMeterHarm
StopSmartMeters.org
Take Back Your Power
The EI Wellspring

Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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24

      

By B.N. Frank


It makes sense that prolonged exposure to any kind of unnatural radiation pulsing could cause or increase inflammation and pain.


There are doctors and scientists who have already acknowledged the link between exposure to Electrosmog and Fibromyalgia as well as other debilitating and painful conditions – even if your doctors have not.


From LiveLoveFruit.com:



The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences describes EMFs as invisible areas of energy, otherwise known as radiation.


When electromagnetic radiation is high (such as when you’re using your cell phone as a navigation tool (higher electro and magnetic fields)), and close to your body, it can cause damaging microwaves and free radicals within the body.


The National Cancer Institute provides a great chart to help you understand the levels of EMFs. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/electromagnetic-fields-fact-sheet


On the left side of the chart, power lines and computers are among the lowest sources of non-ionizing radiation, with microwaves, cell phones, smart meters and wi-fi being some of the highest. The more damaging ionizing radiation levels includes things like UV rays, x-rays and gamma rays used in diagnostic and therapeutic radiation (1).


There are five primary sources of electromagnetic frequencies that impact us on a daily basis (2):





Electric Fields: come from anything that has voltage, like anything electric (lamps, electrical wiring, outlets, extension cords, electrical appliances (like microwaves), and power outlets). Electric fields can affect the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. It can impede inter-cell communication anywhere in the body. This can lead to things like behavioral changes, altered cell growth, cell mutations, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and cancer.

Magnetic Fields: these fields occur if there is an imbalance in electrical wiring, or around electrical motors like those in your refrigerator. A common magnetic field most people are exposed to is the main power meter of your house. Avoid sleeping against the wall that has a power meter on the outside. The further you’re away from the source (five to six feet), the less intense the effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled magnetic fields as a class 3 carcinogen.

Power Lines: above ground or underground.

Metal Plumbing: older metal plumbing can carry a current.

Wireless Communications: wireless power meters (SmartMeters), cell phones, cell towers, wireless routers and cordless phones (especially the base – which transmits whether you are on or off the phone) expose you to both electric- and magnetic fields. When it comes to wireless communications, the radiation you’re exposed to decreases the further you’re away from the source.








From AlteredStates.com



Traditionally the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is related to environmental illness. In the current understanding there are basically three illnesses emerging: Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and electrosensitivity, also referred to as electromagnetic hypersensitivity. The symptoms overlap dramatically and usually consist of headaches, extreme fatigue, skin and lung problems, multiple chemical sensitivity, food allergies, sleeping disorders and general weakness.


A GOVERNMENT agency has acknowledged for the first time that people can suffer nausea, headaches and muscle pains when exposed to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, electricity pylons and computer screens. — Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent


Besides using drugs to control symptoms, an alternative method of healing Fibromyalgia is to remove the substances adversely affecting the immune system. What is often missed however is correcting the original source of the hypersensitivity. This is often times because the correlation between Fibromyalgia and EMFs is not widely known.


Because the nervous system is a primary site impacted by both chemicals and electromagnetic fields, those with nervous system damage from toxic exposures seem more susceptible to becoming ES too.Lucinda Grant, Advocate





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Last month, Activist Post published an article about the link between MS and Electrosmog exposure, “People Suffering from MS May Also Have Electromagnetic Sensitivity and Not Know It.”



Activist Post has published many articles about why reducing your exposure and your loved ones (including pets’) exposure to Electrosmog is never a bad idea.  After all, exposure is cumulative.



For more information, visit the following websites:



We Are The Evidence
Center For Safer Wireless
Dr. Madga Havas
Dr. Sam Milham
Electricsense
EMF Safety Network
Environmental Health Trust
Generation Zapped
National Association for Children and Safe Technology
Parents for Safe Technology
Physicians for Safe Technology
SaferEMR
SafeTechForSchools
Scientists for Wired Tech
SmartMeterHarm
StopSmartMeters.org
Take Back Your Power
The EI Wellspring

Image credit: Pixabay


   
            


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25

      

By MassPrivateI


For years, law enforcement has been claiming that drones will only be used for natural disasters, crime scene investigations, car accidents and rescue operations.


That is the bill of goods being sold to the public, but it is all a lie.


A perfect example of how law enforcement promises the public one thing and, after time passes, uses it for something else is taking place in Texas at the Memorial Villages Police Department (MVPD).


         



      


Two years ago, Click2Houston reported how the MVPD claimed that they would only use drones for “better emergency response during disasters.” They also used police officer and UAV pilot Larry Boggus to solidify their claim that drones would only be used for natural disasters saying, “drones are a huge asset for us because very quickly we were able to see the amount of houses that were damaged” during a 2018 storm.


I love it when police departments provide comic relief to prove my point.


It only took one year for the MVPD to prove their “Boggus” claim that drones would only be used during emergencies was a lie. (Pun intended.)


Last week, Click2Houston revealed that the MVPD is using drones to respond to home alarms and to identify suspicious people.


Mark Kobelan, the mayor of Piney Point Village, recently had to call police for a possible suspicious person. Within seconds, a drone was overhead.


When police use drones to respond to home alarms, don’t think for one second that they will only use them to fly over that particular home. When police respond to a possible break-in using a patrol car, they will typically drive around the neighborhood looking for suspicious people and possible signs of forced entry.


So what do you think police will use drones for?






All across the country their are numerous examples of police using drones to spy on crowds, but a Harvard Law School article titled “Drones as Crime-Fighting Tools in 2020: Legal and Normative Considerations” warned that the Boston Police Department’s plan to use “observation warrants” to justify spying on the public is a harbinger of what is to come.


As drones become ubiquitous, people’s expectations about potential drone surveillance will shift, and their Fourth Amendment protections from drones might, too: the contours of what is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment may adjust as people’s expectations of privacy evolve.


As the video above explains, sending police drones to investigate “potential crimes” means that everyone is a potential suspect. Police will use drones to spy on people’s homes, backyards and streets, looking for suspicious people, essentially turning our Bill of Rights into a paper tiger.


A perfect example of our Bill of Rights being turned into a paper tiger is the use of Stingrays. Law enforcement has been using Stingrays to intercept millions of innocent phone conversations and texts without a warrant.


Which is exactly how law enforcement plans to use drones.


Police Stingrays and drones are designed for mass surveillance and do not care if they spy on innocent people.




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As Andrew Ferguson, a David A. Clarke School of Law professor warned, “once you have flying cameras available, they will likely be used beyond the pilot project,” Ferguson said. “They will fly more and capture more data. This is a perfect example of how big data surveillance will change the power balance between citizens and police and erode community trust.”


Responding to “potential crime scenes” and false alarms


How often do police respond to false alarms?


A 2014 study by the Statesman found that 90% percent or 9 out of 10 home alarms are false alarms.  False alarms are so common that some police departments charge homeowners $300.00 to as much as $500.00 for responding to them.


To put it another way, a Google search of “police respond to false alarms” returned 9.4 million hits. So there is no question that launching a police drone to investigate millions of false alarms is a bad idea.


Allowing law enforcement to use drones to investigate potential crimes, suspicious people or conduct observation warrants will have a negative effect on Americans’ freedoms.


You can read more at the MassPrivateI blog, where this article first appeared.


Image credit: The Anti-Media


   
            


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26

      

By Dagny Taggart


Anti-gun activists and politicians are doing everything they can to effectively disarm the public.


Already this year, extreme and unconstitutional gun control measures have been proposed at the state and federal levels. There has been a lot of pushback, thankfully: a growing number of counties (and even some states) have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and are refusing to enforce gun-control laws that infringe on the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Sheriffs in Washington, Colorado, and New Mexico have publicly stated they will refuse to enforce new gun control legislation – and some are even willing to be jailed for their defiance.


Two extreme gun control bills have already passed the House this year and are awaiting Senate votes (they are unlikely to pass there, experts say).


         



      

Gun-grabbers are working on another target: banks.


Gun control advocates “are seeking to use access to financial services as a means to punish and suppress lawful firearm-related commerce,” writes the NRA in Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services:



First came Operation Choke Point, a supposed “anti-fraud” effort during the Obama administration that morphed into a campaign by federal regulators to intimidate banks and payment processers into refusing business with politically disfavored clients, including firearm-related businesses. That program was officially repudiated by the Trump Administration, but for some businesses, the damage had already been done.


Anti-gunners next turned directly to the financial service providers themselves, extorting them with “social justice” condemnation for “financing” mass shootings and insisting they drop their firearm industry clients or impose gun control-like conditions on doing business with them. Several national banks did just that.


Activist institutional investors in publicly-traded gun companies also tried to embarrass those companies with proxy actions designed to portray the businesses in a negative light. To date, those efforts have been largely unsuccessful. (source)



Gun control advocates are trying to intimidate banks into refusing service to gun companies.


Now, anti-gun members of Congress are attempting to use Choke Point-like tactics in an effort to intimidate banks and marginalize law-abiding businesses in the firearm sector:



Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) went so far as to berate the president and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank during a public oversight hearing for refusing to buckle to the pressure of the anti-gun lobby’s demands.


“How bad does the mass shooting epidemic have to get before you will adopt common sense gun safety policies like other banks have done?” Maloney demanded to know.


To his credit, the Wells Fargo executive stood firm, replying, “We just don’t believe that it is a good idea to encourage banks to enforce legislation that doesn’t exist.” (source)



At stake for gun owners is whether the industries that provide firearms, ammunition, and related accessories will be able to participate in the economy at all if these tyrants get their way.


Some members of Congress are already deploying extreme measures.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), like Maloney, sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which is involved in banking oversight.


Ocasio-Cortez already seems quite at home in her new position and just fine with doing whatever it takes (ethical or not) to push her agenda. She recently told Politico, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and not everything has to be done through legislation explicitly. We can also use the tools that we have here to pressure change in other ways as well.”


That includes the implicit threat of telling regulated entities they are now on the Official Naughty List for not toeing the political line and unleashing activist hordes to bombard their social media feeds with defamatory accusations or to perhaps take more drastic action in the real world. (source)


Two senators have introduced a bill to stop banks from denying services to the gun industry.


On March 14, pro-gun Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes.


The Act would restrict banks’ access to loans from the Federal Reserve’s discount window if they refused to serve legal firearms businesses for reasons outside of “traditional” underwriting. In addition, the bill would also restrict payment card networks from declining to serve the industry because of political or reputational concerns.






A press release posted on Cramer’s website states:



A small number of banks controlling most of the financial sector could effectively illegalize legal commerce by refusing to finance certain industries or process certain transactions,” said Senator Cramer. “Look no further than pro-Second Amendment industries where such discrimination has already occurred. Big banks should not be the arbiters of constitutionality.”


“It’s not a bank’s job to create policy. They need to leave the policymaking to Congress,” said Senator Kennedy. “Banks should not be able to discriminate against lawful customers on the basis of social policy.  The banks should keep in mind that these lawful customers are the same hard-working taxpayers who bailed them out during the recession.  This legislation will ban big banks from refusing to do business with customers that may not share the same political values as the bank.  This kind of power move is an unfair assertion of dominance by the big banks, which is why it should be illegal.”


“American taxpayers need to be reassured their tax dollars that subsidize insurance and bailout policies for banking institutions aren’t weaponized in an attempt to eradicate a lawful industry because it has fallen out of favor with boardroom bureaucrats,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Senator Cramer’s leadership in confronting this issue guarantees social policies are debated and created by the elected officials Americans vote to represent their interests, not by faceless corporate boards representing the interest of the few. We applaud Senator Cramer for his clear vision in correcting this abuse of American trust and taxpayer dollars.” (source)



Others are speaking up to protect gun rights.


Cramer and Kennedy are not alone in their efforts.


Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, recently warned the banking industry that it should not attempt to restrict legal gun sales by denying financial services to members of the gun industry. He sent letters to eight bank CEOs reminding them that they should continue to provide credit and services to customers and companies that comply with federal and state law, and should not seek to replace legislators and policymakers:


“Banks serve customers who are geographically and politically diverse, and it is wrong to use essential banking services as a way to choke off such services to lawful, creditworthy businesses,” wrote Crapo. “Large banks, which receive significant forms of government support and benefits, should continue to provide credit and services to customers and companies that comply with federal and state law and should not seek to replace legislators and policymakers. Business lending decisions should be based on creditworthiness, rather than politics or political pressure.” (source)


In the last year, several banks have attempted to restrict what kinds of guns can be sold to the public and who they can be sold to by applying financial pressure, reports The Washington Free Beacon:



Bank of America announced last year it would deny services to companies that produce “military-style firearms.” Around the same time, JP Morgan Chase said it would limit its business with gun companies. Citibank went further by declaring  it would not do business with any company that sells what they called “high capacity” magazines or that sells firearms to adults between the age of 18 and 21.




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Wells Fargo has faced similar pressure from gun-control groups over the same period of time but has thus far bucked the trend and refused to deny business to gun companies. (source)



For the most part, gun-grabbers are being stopped from achieving their tyrannical agenda thanks to the division of political power in DC.


However, they remain determined to keep trying to impose their unconstitutional (and arguably unethical and immoral) ideas upon the rest of us at every turn.


As the NRA warns:



It is important to keep in mind that the national banks targeted by this legislation owe their very existence in large part to government and taxpayer largesse. Among other things, they benefit from public bailouts and federally-subsidized loan programs, as well as from infrastructure financed or subsidized by the government.


Private businesses generally enjoy broad discretion in setting their own policies and objectives, as is appropriate in our free market system. But exclusionary politics in the financial services industries hearken back to some of the most shameful episodes in American history. They are rightfully condemned, and have long been rightfully prohibited in other contexts. (source)



What do you think?


What do you think about gun control advocates pressuring banks to refuse service to gun companies? Do you think they will eventually get their way? Will more banks cave to the pressure? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


About the Author


Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.


This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.


   
            


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27

      

By Dagny Taggart


Anti-gun activists and politicians are doing everything they can to effectively disarm the public.


Already this year, extreme and unconstitutional gun control measures have been proposed at the state and federal levels. There has been a lot of pushback, thankfully: a growing number of counties (and even some states) have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and are refusing to enforce gun-control laws that infringe on the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Sheriffs in Washington, Colorado, and New Mexico have publicly stated they will refuse to enforce new gun control legislation – and some are even willing to be jailed for their defiance.


Two extreme gun control bills have already passed the House this year and are awaiting Senate votes (they are unlikely to pass there, experts say).


         



      

Gun-grabbers are working on another target: banks.


Gun control advocates “are seeking to use access to financial services as a means to punish and suppress lawful firearm-related commerce,” writes the NRA in Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services:



First came Operation Choke Point, a supposed “anti-fraud” effort during the Obama administration that morphed into a campaign by federal regulators to intimidate banks and payment processers into refusing business with politically disfavored clients, including firearm-related businesses. That program was officially repudiated by the Trump Administration, but for some businesses, the damage had already been done.


Anti-gunners next turned directly to the financial service providers themselves, extorting them with “social justice” condemnation for “financing” mass shootings and insisting they drop their firearm industry clients or impose gun control-like conditions on doing business with them. Several national banks did just that.


Activist institutional investors in publicly-traded gun companies also tried to embarrass those companies with proxy actions designed to portray the businesses in a negative light. To date, those efforts have been largely unsuccessful. (source)



Gun control advocates are trying to intimidate banks into refusing service to gun companies.


Now, anti-gun members of Congress are attempting to use Choke Point-like tactics in an effort to intimidate banks and marginalize law-abiding businesses in the firearm sector:



Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) went so far as to berate the president and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank during a public oversight hearing for refusing to buckle to the pressure of the anti-gun lobby’s demands.


“How bad does the mass shooting epidemic have to get before you will adopt common sense gun safety policies like other banks have done?” Maloney demanded to know.


To his credit, the Wells Fargo executive stood firm, replying, “We just don’t believe that it is a good idea to encourage banks to enforce legislation that doesn’t exist.” (source)



At stake for gun owners is whether the industries that provide firearms, ammunition, and related accessories will be able to participate in the economy at all if these tyrants get their way.


Some members of Congress are already deploying extreme measures.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), like Maloney, sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which is involved in banking oversight.


Ocasio-Cortez already seems quite at home in her new position and just fine with doing whatever it takes (ethical or not) to push her agenda. She recently told Politico, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and not everything has to be done through legislation explicitly. We can also use the tools that we have here to pressure change in other ways as well.”


That includes the implicit threat of telling regulated entities they are now on the Official Naughty List for not toeing the political line and unleashing activist hordes to bombard their social media feeds with defamatory accusations or to perhaps take more drastic action in the real world. (source)


Two senators have introduced a bill to stop banks from denying services to the gun industry.


On March 14, pro-gun Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes.


The Act would restrict banks’ access to loans from the Federal Reserve’s discount window if they refused to serve legal firearms businesses for reasons outside of “traditional” underwriting. In addition, the bill would also restrict payment card networks from declining to serve the industry because of political or reputational concerns.






A press release posted on Cramer’s website states:



A small number of banks controlling most of the financial sector could effectively illegalize legal commerce by refusing to finance certain industries or process certain transactions,” said Senator Cramer. “Look no further than pro-Second Amendment industries where such discrimination has already occurred. Big banks should not be the arbiters of constitutionality.”


“It’s not a bank’s job to create policy. They need to leave the policymaking to Congress,” said Senator Kennedy. “Banks should not be able to discriminate against lawful customers on the basis of social policy.  The banks should keep in mind that these lawful customers are the same hard-working taxpayers who bailed them out during the recession.  This legislation will ban big banks from refusing to do business with customers that may not share the same political values as the bank.  This kind of power move is an unfair assertion of dominance by the big banks, which is why it should be illegal.”


“American taxpayers need to be reassured their tax dollars that subsidize insurance and bailout policies for banking institutions aren’t weaponized in an attempt to eradicate a lawful industry because it has fallen out of favor with boardroom bureaucrats,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Senator Cramer’s leadership in confronting this issue guarantees social policies are debated and created by the elected officials Americans vote to represent their interests, not by faceless corporate boards representing the interest of the few. We applaud Senator Cramer for his clear vision in correcting this abuse of American trust and taxpayer dollars.” (source)



Others are speaking up to protect gun rights.


Cramer and Kennedy are not alone in their efforts.


Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, recently warned the banking industry that it should not attempt to restrict legal gun sales by denying financial services to members of the gun industry. He sent letters to eight bank CEOs reminding them that they should continue to provide credit and services to customers and companies that comply with federal and state law, and should not seek to replace legislators and policymakers:


“Banks serve customers who are geographically and politically diverse, and it is wrong to use essential banking services as a way to choke off such services to lawful, creditworthy businesses,” wrote Crapo. “Large banks, which receive significant forms of government support and benefits, should continue to provide credit and services to customers and companies that comply with federal and state law and should not seek to replace legislators and policymakers. Business lending decisions should be based on creditworthiness, rather than politics or political pressure.” (source)


In the last year, several banks have attempted to restrict what kinds of guns can be sold to the public and who they can be sold to by applying financial pressure, reports The Washington Free Beacon:



Bank of America announced last year it would deny services to companies that produce “military-style firearms.” Around the same time, JP Morgan Chase said it would limit its business with gun companies. Citibank went further by declaring  it would not do business with any company that sells what they called “high capacity” magazines or that sells firearms to adults between the age of 18 and 21.




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Wells Fargo has faced similar pressure from gun-control groups over the same period of time but has thus far bucked the trend and refused to deny business to gun companies. (source)



For the most part, gun-grabbers are being stopped from achieving their tyrannical agenda thanks to the division of political power in DC.


However, they remain determined to keep trying to impose their unconstitutional (and arguably unethical and immoral) ideas upon the rest of us at every turn.


As the NRA warns:



It is important to keep in mind that the national banks targeted by this legislation owe their very existence in large part to government and taxpayer largesse. Among other things, they benefit from public bailouts and federally-subsidized loan programs, as well as from infrastructure financed or subsidized by the government.


Private businesses generally enjoy broad discretion in setting their own policies and objectives, as is appropriate in our free market system. But exclusionary politics in the financial services industries hearken back to some of the most shameful episodes in American history. They are rightfully condemned, and have long been rightfully prohibited in other contexts. (source)



What do you think?


What do you think about gun control advocates pressuring banks to refuse service to gun companies? Do you think they will eventually get their way? Will more banks cave to the pressure? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


About the Author


Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.


This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.


   
            


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28

      

By Eoin Higgins


(CD) – A group dedicated to regime change in Venezuela held a secret meeting on overthrowing the country’s government last week, according to reporting from The Grayzone Project.


Journalist Max Blumenthal on Sunday revealed a list of meeting attendees he obtained over the weekend from a source.




The list (in which the meeting is misdated as being on April 20) shows that the event, held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., boasted as attendees members of the State Department, the Colombian and Brazilian embassies, members of the Venezuelan opposition, and other officials in the American national security state.


The meeting comes after multiple failed attempts to depose the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who was elected in 2018. The President Donald Trump administration has made no secret of their intent to see Maduro gone—but thus far, nothing has worked.


“The CSIS meeting on ‘Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela,’” wrote Blumenthal, “suggests that the Trump administration is exploring military options more seriously than before, possibly out of frustration with the fact that every other weapon in its arsenal has failed to bring down Maduro.”


In the article, Blumenthal gave a brief overview of a number of the meeting’s more prominent attendees, including Iran-Contra veteran Roger Noriega and David Smolansky, a Venezuelan national who works with the right wing Organization of American States (OAS), a regional organization for the Americas led in recent years by hardline Venezuela regime change advocates.


“Few of these figures are well known by the public, yet many have played an influential role in U.S. plans to destabilize Venezuela,” explained Blumenthal.


Also in attendance was opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s envoy Carlos Vecchio. Vecchio’s presence at the meeting prompted journalist Anya Parampil to muse as to whether it was standard operating procedure for “ambassadors” to solicit invasions of their own countries.


“Since when do ‘ambassadors’ help plan foreign invasions of their own country?” asked Parampil.


Blumenthal told RT that his attempts to get attendees on the record about the details of the meeting were unsuccessful.




“They were extremely nervous that somebody in the media knew about the existence of this event,” said Blumenthal. “It was a very high-level meeting with basically the main people in Washington involved in making the sausage of Trump’s Venezuela policy and they wanted to keep it as private as possible.”


The meeting likely hints at a more aggressive attempt to depose Maduro in the coming month, Blumenthal added.


“It really does show that military options are being seriously considered at this point,” said Blumenthal.




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AntiWar writer Jason Ditz agreed.


“That the Trump Administration is considering attacking Venezuela as an option is no secret, as they tell reporters that much at seemingly every opportunity,” Ditz wrote. “That they are holding such events to discuss the details, however, suggest a U.S. war may be closer than anyone realizes.”


Watch Blumenthal’s interview with RT:




By Eoin Higgins / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo


Image credit: Anthony Freda Art


   
            


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29

      

By Elias Marat


The world was transfixed on Monday when horrific images of Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral engulfed in flames were broadcast across social media. Global news outlets in nearly every country were live-streaming the devastating fire across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


However, those watching the live-streamed broadcast on YouTube saw something strange—an excerpt from an Encyclopedia Britannica entry regarding the World Trade Center bombing on September 11, 2001 accompanied the footage. And while the text box may seem like a complete non-sequitur, it was actually a disclaimer meant to discourage the spread of what YouTube’s algorithms mistakenly flagged as a “conspiracy theory” or “fake news.”


As it turned out, the columns of smoke rising from the Gothic cathedral bore a startling resemblance to those of 9/11–and YouTube’s anti-conspiracy software was quick to kick into gear.


         



      

YouTube later apologized for the disclaimer. According to Bloomberg, a company spokesman said:


We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral … These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call. We are disabling these panels for live streams related to the fire.


The text boxes were introduced to YouTube last year in an announcement by Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki, who touted the system–which relies on websites including Wikipedia–as a new tool that would lead to a cessation of fake news videos’ virality on the platform.


At the time, the CEO said:







When there are videos that are focused around something that’s a conspiracy — and we’re using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia — then we will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event.



Last year’s announcement came as YouTube, a division of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, came under fire for allowing its algorithm to direct traffic from so-called “moderate” mainstream content to videos seen as on the fringes of political discourse, including holocaust denial videos, 9/11 conspiracy theories, hoaxes and a host of other videos ranging from the misleading to the outright false that are seen as contributing to a growing culture of viral “fake news” on the Web.


Yet the new system–which YouTube claims generates information boxes below videos “tens of millions” of times per week– has hardly sated critics of social media giants including Twitter, Facebook and Google.




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Just last month, video footage of the attack on mosques in New Zealand was unrolled across various social media video-streaming platforms ranging from Twitter to YouTube and LiveLeak, leading to a frenzied effort to pull the videos from sites across the Web.


The Wall Street Journal called the video’s rapid spread  “a gruesome example of how social-media platforms can be used to spread terror despite heavy spending by their owners to contain it.”


Government officials in the United States and Europe also called on social media platforms to create new ways to halt the spread of “toxic videos” and “hate content,” while New Zealand’s authorities warned netizens that they may face up to ten years in prison for possessing the video.


However, as Monday’s warning shows, attempts to introduce automated censorship or advisory filters can often lead to false-positives and the removal or mislabeling of decidedly non-“toxic” information that is of interest to the public.


This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.


   
            


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30

      

By Catherine J. Frompovich


The series “If Truth Be Told” probably could be considered lacking in credibility if I did not include some of the facts about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) apparently condone, and may even encourage, scientists to manipulate and skew their factual scientific findings when those findings do not fit in line with Big Pharma’s propaganda about vaccines, which they promote as “biologicals,” a technical term to preclude standard drug testing on new vaccines!


Many shady-like characters and their incredible fact-changing stories have surfaced over the years, e.g.,


• The Thomas Verstraeten [Robert Davis and Frank DeStefano] reported original findings in the late 1990s indicating a vaccine caused autism, but was shanghaied into a whitewashed report after the June 2000 Simpsonwood Conference where 75 top honchos from CDC, FDA, Big Pharma and the World Health Organization (WHO) met in utter secrecy and, after ‘heated’ discussions, gave Dr. Verstraeten, the CDC epidemiologist, the specific mandate to rework his findings to prove there was no cause and effect. The facts are disclosed in the following online links:




Thimerosal VSD Study Phase 1 update 2/29/00 PDF file [259 pages, plus charts and papers from Verstraeten, Davis and DeStefano] http://putchildrenfirst.org/media/2.9.pdf

https://vaccinepapers.org/wp-content/uploads/Study-Results-Disclosed-at-Simpsonwood.pdf
https://www.safeminds.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Simpsonwood_Overview.pdf

         



      


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sa4FclK0qs (8:26 minutes)


• The now famous whistleblower, William Thompson’s (PhD) documentation of how the CDC gathered together into a room their scientists, who worked on another “no autism connection ‘science’ study,” and asked them to deposit their research papers, etc. into a huge trashcan the CDC provided so the actual, factual results of “cause and effect” could be destroyed. However, Dr. Thompson saved all his files, etc. and subsequently contacted Brian Hooker, PhD, who has an autistic son.  Thompson provided the documentation and story how the CDC deliberately withheld the science proving the MMR vaccine caused autism in young black boys under three years of age.


The proof is in the documentary VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe



Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe Official Trailer from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.


https://vimeo.com/159566038


• Another CDC PhD scientist, Coleen Boyle, has the reputation of pulling off some favorable ‘science’ exonerating Agent Orange of its associations with many diseases.



As part of the Agent Orange staff, Dr. Boyle served as the principal investigator for the Vietnam Experience mortality studies and as senior epidemiologist for a large, multi-centered cancer case-control study.


Source: Agent Orange, Corporatism, Government, Coleen Boyle…. and Autism?



Dr. Coleen Boyle surfaces again in this featured story about Poul Thorsen, PhD, the MASTER MANIPULATOR [https://www.amazon.com/Master-Manipulator-Explosive-Embezzlement-Government/dp/151070843X] who currently is under eleven (11) indictments regarding wire fraud and money laundering, and for ripping off the U.S. CDC to the tune of between One and Two MILLION Dollars.


Thorsen also used Danish demographics he was not permitted to use for his falsified study that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism.


Dr. Boyle was aware of that sticky-wicket issue about not getting Danish permission to use certain demographics, etc., but flew to Denmark to ‘save the deal’.  It’s documented in the book, Master Manipulator.


On page 50 of MM, we read this:







By showing DeStefano how easy it would be to skew, massage, or manipulate the data, Dr. Boyle set the tone for the secret Simpsonwood meeting to be held in two months.



On page 146 of MM, we read:



The only thing Thorsen would ever discover was how to exploit the needy CDC, which long before the autism epidemic of 2000 had become politically corrupt in its search to find ‘no link’ between the dioxins of Agent Orange, the flights of Operation Hand, and the U.S. Army troops on the ground.


A victory for Monsanto, Dow Chemical, other vendors in the Agent Orange supply chain, the Reagan White House, and the CDC, in particular Coleen Boyle who would end up being promoted over and over again.  Impervious Boyle rose at Teflon CDC.



On page 164 of MM, this rather disturbing information:


What drove Diana Schendel [Dr. Thorsen’s love interest in the Atlanta CDC office] to seek what she believed was protection from her new higher ups at Aarhus University?  Was it her guilt?  The guilt of knowing the truth that she, along with her former CDC boss Dr. Coleen Boyle and Poul Thorsen, knew about the ‘flattening’ of the data to show no association that autism, in fact, was on the decline in Denmark after thimerosal was removed? Was it the tenuous feeling she had felt in 2009, being fingered as an accomplice in the Poul Thorsen financial crimes? Was it her fear of receiving her second letter of reprimand in six years from her employer, which could put her on probation again, and even fire her?


On page 244 of MM, this:


CDC’s flower of evilis not a plant that grows outside its Druid Hills headquarters in Atlanta, but the great lengths it has gone to and the costs it has burned through to keep the veil that vaccines are safe intact and that the metals that are unnatural to the human body like mercury and aluminum compounds, don’t pose threat to babies, infants, children, and pregnant women jabbed over and again in a ceaseless, out of control, bloated vaccine program.


According to Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Children’s Health Defense, there’s “New Evidence of Ongoing Corruption and Scientific Misconduct at CDC.”





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Thorsen and his collaborators did not obtain permission from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct their research, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 and Pediatrics in 2003. In 2011, The Department of Justice indicted Thorsen on 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for stealing over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research. The product of Thorsen’s work for CDC was a series of fraud-tainted articles on Danish autism rates that, today, form the backbone of the popular orthodoxy that vaccines don’t cause autism.


In 2009, when CDC discovered that Thorsen never applied for the IRB approvals, staff did not report the errors and retract the studies. Rather, FOIA documents show that CDC supervisors ignored the missteps and covered up the illegal activity.


Source: World Mercury Project


Corruption, fraud, lying and anything else that can prove vaccines are ‘safe’ and don’t cause autism goes on into perpetuity within the CDC, while Congress does nothing to provide the “checks and balances” our supposed form of U.S. governance provides.


It’s time for Truth to be told, and scam/sham scientists within CDC are prosecuted!


Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.


Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.


Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.


Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)


Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available


   
            


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