New Global Study Highlights The Abuse Women Face Online

(AI) – One in ten tweets mentioning black women politicians and journalists in a sample analyzed by Amnesty International was abusive or problematic, the organization said today, as it released a ground-breaking study into abuse against women on Twitter conducted with Element AI, a global artificial intelligence software product company.

More than 6,500 volunteers from 150 countries signed up to take part in Troll Patrol, a unique crowdsourcing project designed to process large-scale data about online abuse. Volunteers sorted through 288,000 tweets sent to 778 women politicians and journalists in the UK and USA in 2017.

Amnesty International and Element AI then used advanced data science and machine learning techniques to extrapolate data about the scale of abuse that women face on Twitter. Element AI calculated that 1.1 million abusive or problematic tweets were sent to the women in the study across the year – or one every 30 seconds on average.

With the help of technical experts and thousands of volunteers, we have built the world’s largest crowdsourced dataset about online abuse against women. Troll Patrol means we have the data to back up what women have long been telling us – that Twitter is a place where racism, misogyny and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked,” said Milena Marin, Senior Advisor for Tactical Research at Amnesty International. “We found that, although abuse is targeted at women across the political spectrum, women of colour were much more likely to be impacted, and black women are disproportionately targeted. Twitter’s failure to crack down on this problem means it is contributing to the silencing of already marginalized voices.

Element AI is making its model available to try out for three weeks, to demonstrate the potential and current limitations of AI technology in this field. “This study is part of a long-term partnership between Amnesty International and Element AI. Taking a sober approach to AI, we make long-term commitments, dedicating our technical experts and tools to enable social good actors to do what they do best,” said Julien Cornebise, Director of Research, ‘AI For Good’ and Head of the London office of Element AI.

Politicians included in the sample came from across the US and UK political spectrums. The journalists included were from a diverse range of US and UK publications including The Daily Mail, The New York Times, Guardian, The SunGalDem, Pink News and Breitbart.

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Key findings

  • Black women were disproportionately targeted, being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets. One in ten tweets mentioning black women was abusive or problematic, compared to one in fifteen for white women.
  • 7.1% of tweets sent to the women in the study were problematic or abusive. This amounts to 1.1 million tweets mentioning 778 women across the year, or one every 30 seconds.
  • Women of colour, (black, Asian, Latinx and mixed-race women) were 34% more likely to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets than white women.
  • Online abuse against women cuts across the political spectrum. Politicians and journalists faced similar levels of online abuse and we observed both liberals and conservatives alike, as well as left and right leaning media organizations, were affected.

Amnesty International has repeatedly asked Twitter to publish data regarding the scale and nature of abuse on their platform, but so far the company has failed to do so. This hides the extent of the problem and makes it difficult to design effective solutions.

Troll Patrol volunteers collectively dedicated an incredible 2,500 hours analyzing tweets – the equivalent of someone working full-time for 1.5 years. “By crowdsourcing research, we were able to build up vital evidence in a fraction of the time it would take one Amnesty researcher, without losing the human judgement which is so essential when looking at context around tweets,” said Milena Marin.

Troll Patrol isn’t about policing Twitter or forcing it to remove content. We are asking it to be more transparent, and we hope that the findings from Troll Patrol will compel it to make that change. Crucially, Twitter must start being transparent about how exactly they are using machine learning to detect abuse, and publish technical information about the algorithms they rely on.

Background

Abusive content violates Twitter’s own rules and includes tweets that promote violence against or threaten people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Problematic content is defined as content that is hurtful or hostile, especially if repeated to an individual on multiple or cumulative occasions, but not as intense as an abusive tweet.

Amnesty International shared its findings with Twitter. In response, Twitter requested clarification on the definition of “problematic: in accordance with the need to protect free expression and ensure policies are clearly and narrowly drafted.

For full methodology please see here: https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/troll-patrol/findings


This article was originally published by Amnesty International on December 18th 2018. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and Tweets added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Satirical: FSB/Kremlin Prepared to Declassify All Documents Corresponding To 2016 Election Hacking Campaign

** WARNING: This article is a Satire. I know this is a “big word” for my American viewing audience, so to specify, the definition of a satire “is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.” Understand now? Didn’t think so. **

By now I think more and more people are starting to come to the realization/understanding that I have access to a lot of information that others do not, and have perhaps seen more than my fair share of things I shouldn’t have over the years. Not only do I remain one of Anonymous largest supporters, but dating back to 2015 I literally wrote the book(s) on how to remain/keep an Anonymous identity online. But on through today people look at my website and Twitter feed and ask, “how is it possible for one person to source so much content on a daily basis? How do you do it” they wonder?

Well, if you must know, I presided as contents specialist over one of the biggest “Russian Propaganda” outlets in the world from mid 2015 to November 2016 – at least according to the Washington Post and US liberal media, that is. If you didn’t pick up on it right away, this was also the exact same time period of the EU elections and US Presidential campaign season directly leading up to the month and year of Donald Trumps election – but that’s all just a coincidence, I think. Years after the fact, not only did my Government flag my work and the work I sourced to others as “Fake News,” but it has also been “Blacklisted” and banned from Google and Facebook as propaganda. Quite ironic that I have since gotten 4 different domains accepted for inclusion into Google News and 3 different pages verified by Facebook over the exact same period they were blacklisting all my previous work – don’t you think?

But without making this about myself, one of the most interesting pieces of “information” I’ve ever come across in all my years online was the alleged dirt that “the Russians” were holding over Donald Trumps head. To be more exact, back in 2013, well before Donald Trump ever became President, he traveled to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant. As the story goes, one night that Donald Trump returned to his hotel room he was sent a “gift” – a gift of the flesh; a prostitute. However, what Donald Trump did not know at the time was that this prostitute was deliberately underage, and given that everything in Russia has been ‘wiretapped‘ dating back to the KGB days of the Cold War, the Russians have been holding this over Donald Trumps head as “Blackmail” ever since.

Consequentially enough, this is the real reason why Donald Trump has refused to sign US Congressional sanctions against Russia into law, the reason why Jared Kushner has tried to outsource so much business to Russia over the years, as well as why Donald Trump has been an apologist for Vladimir Putin since first taking office – “allegedly.” I also call this ‘alleged information‘ for a reason, because as the saying goes, “there is a difference between facts and information” and if I was ever actually able to prove any of this, Donald Trump would either resign or be impeached, and I would either be winning a Pulitzer prize for journalism or assassinated – take your pick. #WhatUpKhashoggi! Too soon?

Why Any of This Bring This Up?

I bring this up because yesterday afternoon I came across a press release from Nikolai Murashov, deputy director of the Federal Security Service CTRC, explaining how the FSB is prepared to declassify all correspondence related to the US election hacking campaign of 2016 – if the FSB’s counterparts in the USA don’t object to it, that is. Before breaking this down, you seriously have to understand much of a loaded statement this really is.

For example, between Robert Mueller, the House of Representative, US Senate and God knows how many lobbyists working for or on behalf of different inter-governmental agencies, the United States has quite literally spent two years and hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars collectively trying to figure out what the Russians were up to in 2016. Not only this, but despite all of this time, money and effort, not a single one of these investigations has actually concluded yet, been closed or even “solved.” Yet as we site here today, December 12th 2018, the Kremlin is saying that they are fully prepared to publish everything these people/investigators have spent years trying to figure out, entirely for free with no strings attached – lulz.

So Why Ask US Permission?

This is exactly why I say you have to understand how much of a loaded statement the FSB’s announcement this week really was, because indubitably this is just a “Troll.” But despite the hilarity of it all, this may be no joking matter.

Of course Russia is ready to release this information to the international public right now, I mean think about it. Despite however strong the US Oligarchy may be, soon enough someone is eventually going to have to ask or demand Mueller to start wrapping things up already, and even Congress knows they can’t possibly let a 4 year old investigation distract from new/critical talking points headed into the 2020 election season. Within the next year, possibly sooner, everyone working for this Government is going to have start moving on with their lives, stop pouting about being bested by the Russians in 2015/2016 and start closing their investigations. Put a different way, all of these Russian investigations are going to be coming to an end within the next year, more likely that not before the first Presidential debates in December 2019.

You better believe that Russia would love nothing more than to declassify all of their documents relating to the 2016 election hacking campaign right now, because it would completely undermine the results of every US investigation into it. Essentially, who cares what Mueller, Warner and Burr think about what Russia did when you can have the actual intelligence documents/blueprint straight from the source; straight from the Kremlin? Moreover, how hilarious would it be for the Kremlin to spontaneously release all of this material within weeks of the conclusion of all these two year long Federal investigations? It would make the last two years and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent look/seem utterly worthless.

Secondly, the FSB’s announcement this week only puts added pressure on Trump and the US Government. Think about it, what if Donald Trump or someone working in his cabinet actually says “No” to Russia and tells them not to declassify the material? Wouldn’t that make it seem like he was trying to hide something –  or was “colluding” with them if you will to keep something secret? Don’t you think the US press would jump all over that? Do you know how bad the Trump Administration would look if someone representing him actually told Russia not to go through with it? That’s what makes the FSB’s announcement this week such a world class troll, or ingenious depending on how you want to look at it – because so many people are going to get f*cked by it either way, whether Russia decides to publish the documents or not.

But Such Is Informational Warfare – Right?

The even funnier thing about all of this is that Russia has already admitted to trying to undermine or meddle in the 2016 US Presidential election several times throughout the course of the last year and a half – just not necessarily using those exact/specific words.

For example, in February 2017 Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu publicly announced the formation of Russia’s newest military unit, an “Informational Warfare Unit” specifically designed to combat fake news/propaganda against Russia and spread it on their behalf across the global theater. While Shoigu indicated the unit had been active for quite some time before February 2017, the occasion marked the first time the Russian military was willing to admit to its existence. If that’s not enough evidence to sway you, just a few weeks ago the Kremlin officially filed motion in a New York City court room to dismiss charges against 10 Russian operatives charged as being Wikileaks sources for the Hillary Clinton and DNC email hack/leaks.

Read More & Find Official Court Documents Here: https://roguemedia.co/2018/11/19/russian-federation-files-motion-requesting-dnc-clinton-hacking-lawsuits-be-thrown-out-of-court/

In the motion linked above, dated November 18th 2018, the Kremlin specifically demands that their operatives be granted immunity in this case, because hacking Clinton and the DNC were tied to a deliberate military operation – and military actions/operations are granted immunity in individual courtrooms worldwide, regardless of the country perpetrating them. Given that the US has the largest military on Earth and is actively engaged in 7 different War zones right now, perhaps no other country on Earth benefits more from this immunity than the US does. Regardless, in doing so, Russia is directly admitting that the Kremlin ordered the hack of Clinton and the DNC as part of a much broader military campaign/operation in 2016 – they are even willing to testify to this in court!

Given the evidence, I am not quite sure why none of these Federal investigations have concluded or why the US public is last to know, but it is a general fact that Russia has already admitted guilt into election hacking/meddling years ago. Quite frankly, it’s a marvel how the US press organizations operate. This is also why, on through to today, all those millions spent and years lost investigating Russia’s influence is utterly useless. Whether the Russians declassify these documents or not, we already know the truth, we already know Russia was behind all of this. The fact of the matter is that all of these never-ending investigations into Russian meddling are nothing more than wastes of time and money, abusing resources to keep producing news headlines, keep the American public living in fear of Russia while making Donald Trump look as corrupt as possible. In other words, all of these Federal investigations into Russian propaganda are nothing more than “American Propaganda” in their own right – farcical at best.

Sorry if this is the first time you are hearing any of this or you are the last to know. But keep watching CNN, I’m sure they’ll have a breakthrough on any of these investigations any day now 😂

UK Parliament Publishes Seized Facebook Documents from Cambridge Analytica Scandal/Investigation

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. Yesterday, December 5th 2018, U.K. lawmaker Damian Collins released the entire trove of Facebook documents seized as a result of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal and subsequent investigation, 250 pages in total. Among other things, the documents are said to detail Facebook‘s strategy/tactics when competing with other Apps or social platforms online, as well as how the company was known to White-list or protect the data from high paying companies/customers, whilst simultaneously exposing/exploiting the data of others.

Despite months of investigation, UK’s Parliament maintains that they have not been getting “straight answers” from Mark Zuckerberg or his company, which is why the decided to release the documents to the public this week – to step up public pressure on the company. Perhaps more importantly, the documents were also released as to give US authorities a chance to look over the information for themselves, especially considering that tens of millions of American voters were the ones implicated in the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data breach. If US authorities deem necessary, Facebook could face serious fines from the Federal Trade Commission in the near future- though that still remains to be seen.

For now, you have equal opportunity to view the documents in live time just as our own Government does – and honestly, how rare of an opportunity is that? This is why, along with UK’s Parliament, so too is Rogue Media Labs publishing the documents.

Download The Documents for Yourself: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/culture-media-and-sport/Note-by-Chair-and-selected-documents-ordered-from-Six4Three.pdf

Browse Through The Full Release:

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Sony PlayStation 4 Users Forced To Pay “Amusement Tax” In Chicago

I’m not quite sure why I never heard of this law before today, but apparently in the liberal utopia known as Chicago, Illinois, exists something known as “The Amusement Tax.” Officially passed into law in 2015, the bill forces Chicago-based business “owners, managers, operators of amusements or places where amusements are conducted to collect tax from patrons for witnessing or participating in amusements.” Now, if this sounds absolutely ridiculous or absurd to you, that’s because it is. But with that established, as of 2018, this same law has already added over $12 million dollars to Chicago’s annual budget – something particularly important for a city that is currently over $30 billion dollars in debt.

Now lumped in with a group of online “streamers” such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and others, all PlayStation 4 subscribers living in Chicago, Illinois, including customers of PlayStation Now, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Musicet cetera – will now be required to pay a 9% tax on all their subscriptions. According to a press release to its customers last month, the charges officially went into place for the first time on November 14th 2018. However, it is important to note that the tax itself is specifically related to streaming services, meaning that individual PlayStation games themselves will not be subjected to the 9% tax.

Press Release from Sony 11/14/2018:

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Full Text of Chicago’s Electronic Amusement Tax Bill:

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Propaganda Wars? NASA Announces New Mission for Manned Presence On Moons Surface by 2029

Ahh the good ole days, you remember? Back in the 1960’s and 70’s when economies were booming and the United States and Russia were smack in the middle of the Cold War, both trying to ignite “Nationalistic” fervor around “propaganda” campaigns tied to the international space race? Well, once again in 2018, it appears as though the more things change, the more they basically stay the same.

Three weeks ago, on November 6th 2018, Rogue Media Labs reported on a new space initiative outlined by Roscosmos, Russia’s National Space Agency, explaining how Moscow intendeds to build a permanently inhabitable base on the moon by the year 2030 – 2031. According to Dmitry Rogozin, the idea is to create a long-term, but not constantly manned base on the moons surface in order to study the satellite with the help of robot avatars” in hopes of “using lunar soil as a material for 3D printing” while attempting to “use helium-3 as the basis for rocket fuel.” Explaining how “Moscow does not intend to man their base year round, but intends to erect a long-term shelter that can be visited regularly by cosmonauts throughout the foreseeable future.

Full Article Available Here: https://roguemedia.co/2018/11/06/russia-announces-plans-for-permanent-moon-base/

Perhaps most importantly, at least for the purposes of this article, my report also specifically mentioned how “Moscow fully anticipates the program to be much larger than anything we have seen throughout history, including the US’s Apollo missions of the 60’s and 70’s.” Funny I should mention that because, as it turns out, a little more than 3 weeks following Roscosmos’ historical announcement, NASA announced a new initiative/mission of their own.

According to a press release dated November 29th 2018, NASA has just officially opened up bidding for “delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts, as one of the first steps toward long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon.” First proposals are due by January 2019 and missions to begin delivering supplies to the moons surface could begin as soon as this time next year. The objective you ask?  Deliver the technology and exploratory systems necessary “to return humans to the lunar surface” within the next ten years – by the year 2029. NASA hopes to use human exploration of the moons surface as a training operation or spring board or sorts to gather data and therefore better equip the agency to begin building more ambitions plans in the future, such as human exploration of Mars.

Today’s announcement marks tangible progress in America’s return to the Moon’s surface to stay,” says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The innovation of America’s aerospace companies, wedded with our big goals in science and human exploration, are going to help us achieve amazing things on the Moon and feed forward to Mars.” Reportedly, the mission will be operated under a $2.6 billion dollar budget, concluding by the end of the year 2029. Early reports indicated that Masten Space Systems is one of the industry front runners to head the mission.

Op-Ed: The Arithmetic Behind Trumps Election & The Political Fallout Which Followed

As I start the process of building a new website to compete with the industry big dogs, starting roughly 5 months from today once the EU election season officially kicks off, I look back at this time two years ago and cant help but be blown away by how much this country has fallen off. What I mean to say is I cant believe how much time, focus, effort, money, resources and progress we’ve lost following the election of Donald Trump in 2016. I cant help but think, has Trumps election set this country back 2 years, 4 years? 8 years? I’m not sure, you tell me.

I mean think about it, just look at the Mueller investigation in conjunction with both the Senate and House’s investigations into Russian interference during the 2015- 2016 election season. Sitting here almost 2 years after the fact, have any of these investigations concluded – what have they even found? No, and almost next to nothing. Moreover, has anything even really resulted or changed as a result of them? No, not really. Sure Google and Facebook have changed some policies since then, but they are both private corporate entities. What does the US Government have to show for itself? Right off the bat that’s two years and literally hundreds of millions of dollars wasted, straight down the metaphorical drain.

Now think about the fact that this was 2 years worth of time, money and resources not spent focusing on immediate threats to this country in the here and now, nor what lies ahead in the future.

Some Arithmetic for You: 2 years of investigations + 2 years lost looking back in the rear view mirror at what hit us in 2015-2016 instead of preparing for the future = 4 years and hundreds of millions of dollars lost.

Moreover, if all of this nonsense continues into the 2020 election season, we will have essentially lost 8 years of progress. As I then put forward, the election of Donald Trump for just 1 term in office may have already single highhandedly set the United States of America backwards almost a full decade – exactly what “those Russians” were hoping for, wasn’t it? The butterfly effect from all of this has also begun to spread around the entire world as well. China remains unafraid to battle us in a trade War, the US dollar is inflating, US national debt is skyrocketing and some of our nations closest historical allies are blatantly ignoring US foreign policy decisions – such as is the case with the Iranian Nuclear Treaty, Paris Climate Agreement and international Cyber Security Guidelines. Moreover, with the Senate now controlled by Republicans and the House controlled by Democrats, the people of the United States are already gearing up for another 2 years of legislative “gird lock” – ensuring that once again, just as was the case from 2014-2016, nothing will ever get done in this country on a political level.

Breaking down the fallout a little further, back when I was writing for Bankrupt Medi4 in 2017 I remember covering a story about a press conference given by Senator Mark Warner (R, NC), in which he told an audience of reporters how he had just learned about the use of “bots” to spread political misinformation and fake news online leading up to the 2016 election season. I also remember being absolutely blown away by his press conference, not at the information he was explaining, but rather because Senator Warner had never heard of the term “botnet” before that week. Yet, this is the man whose leading the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian hacking? How the hell can someone whose never heard of a botnet possibly be chosen to lead an investigation into perhaps the single most advanced and sophisticated hacking operation of all time? What in the world made/makes him qualified for such an en-devour? Nothing.

The fact of the matter is that these investigations always have been and still remain an absolute joke, being led by men/women who are completely and utterly unqualified for their positions. Heading into 2019 now, why do you think nothing has gotten done and these are still ongoing with no end in site? While we are on the subject, look no further than Robert Mueller and this whole “Russian collusion” investigation. Has he ever been more “famous” than he is today? I mean think about it, in 2018 hes essentially become a household name in this country. On top of this, he’s also personally been given a budget of tens of millions with more political subpoena power than almost anyone else in this country not named Donald Trump. But what has his investigation even accomplished? Whats become of nearly 30 million dollars and years worth of investigation? A handful of small indictments that the President could pardon if he really wanted to? Even Mueller knows he can do nothing to touch President Trump, his primary target of the entire investigation in the first place. So what is he even still doing on Capitol Hill then?

The answer is that this is simply the American Oligarchy at play. The people who have power, remain in power. The people with power, only get more power. What incentive does Mueller have to end his investigation? He’s automatically funded, has millions of dollars, more power than he’s ever had at any other point in his career and he’s become a celebrity who makes the national headlines on a near nightly basis to boot. When this investigation is over Mueller is essentially retired, this will be last greatest thing he is ever going to do with his career. Why walk away if he doesn’t have to? So he doesn’t. What incentive does Burr have to say that he has no idea what the hell he’s investigating in the first place? He doesn’t, so he pretends to play along – so and so forth.

Unfortunately, even though we live in a ‘Democracy,‘ we are stuck with the people in power – whether we like it or not. So, here’s to another 2 years and hundreds of millions more dollars spent trying to figure out how the hell the Russians got the better of us 3 years ago. Well done America, who cares about the future anyways – right?

Op-Ed: America’s Dystopia or The New Reality? I Honestly Don’t Know Which Anymore.

My whole life I have been told “just wait until you get older, things will change – things will get better.” Now into my 30’s however, I look at the world around me and things are no different than they have always been. In fact, things have only gotten worse.

When I was 2 years old (1988), George Bush became President. My freshmen year of high school (2000), George Bush became President. When I was 30 years old (2016), Jeb Bush was one of the leading Republican candidates to become next President. When I was 6 years old (1992), Bill Clinton became President. Then, 24 years later, his wife Hillary Clinton was at one point considered to be the odds on favorite to become the nations next President for another 4-8 years. Are we living in an Oligarchy or a Democracy? I honestly don’t know anymore.

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Here’s a rhetorical question, do you still believe you have a choice/vote in any of these elections? Or are you simply being given a handful of people to vote for or choose from? For example, Presidential election primaries usually consist of only a dozen or so contenders, so who gets to decide who those dozen people will be – is it you? No. Therefore, whether you like to admit it or not, voting merely gives people the “illusion” of actually having a choice; the fact of the matter is that you are given a choice to choose from, that is not the same as absolute “freedom” or “Democracy” – no matter how much they want you to believe otherwise.

I graduated college in 2009, just in time for “The Great Recession” and the conditions created by it are all I have known my entire adult/professional life. Unlike our silver spoon-fed politicians and President, I do not know what it is like to work or live in an America which is “great” and/or prosperous. US Congress has operated the US Government under an annual budget deficit every year since 2002 and as a result, our nations National debt now sits at over 21 trillion dollars. Unfortunately though, this figure is only dwarfed in comparison to combined collective “private” debt of American citizens, which currently sits at around 40 trillion. Whether anyone on Capitol Hill wants to admit it out loud or not, or country and its peoples are entirely broke – and not just morally.

The older I get, the less it seems to matter. The average age of Congress is 61 years old and the baby boomers have had a strangle hold on this world/Government since birth. I cant help but wonder, will my generation ever get a seat at the big table or turn in the drivers seat? At 32 years old now, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

Donald Trump is 72 years old and his now famous slogan is “Make America Great Again,” but lets take a second to break this statement down, shall we? In trying to make America great again, Trump is admitting that this country is no longer great, or has at least slipped. It is no surprise, Donald Trump lived his “Glory Days” in the 60’s and 70’s – perhaps the single most prosperous time in America’s history. Even his MAGA slogan was stolen from JFK, whom once stated that “America does not have highway systems because it is great, America is great because of its highway systems.

From Barack Obama to Donald Trump, our elected officials all sit in front of microphones and tell the people that “if you just work hard and go to school, anyone can succeed in this country.” Of course they actually believe this. After-all, the system worked just fine for them – didn’t it? Today over half the baby boomers currently “serving” in US Congress are millionaires, and when they were young this country was full of opportunity. What did going to college get me by comparison? $92,000 in student loan debt and the worse credit score you can imagine, destroying my chances of ever getting a loan or starting a business in the future. In fact, the boomers have only exploited the college/university for financial gain. College tuition rates have increased by more than 600% since the 1970, far outpacing the rate of inflation. Did I mention that as of 2016 no other demographic in the United States has a higher unemployment rate than young people in their early 20’s – just after graduating college? This figure is nearly double that of the closest demographic.

The truth of the matter is times have changed. At no other time in history has America grown at a slower rate than it has over the last 10 years. The job market has become over-saturated and in 2016 you are no longer considered special for having gone to college or obtained a college degree. In 2018 a college degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma in the 1970’s – it only costs about 6x as much as it used to in order to obtain one.

This is the fundamental disconnect between our elected officials and the millennial generation as it presently exists. Only our generation understands what it is like to grow up in this country anymore. Our leaders have already made it and have been in charge for the last 4 decades – literally my entire lifetime. They have no understanding and cant possibly relate to America’s modern struggles, the America the boomers remember no longer exists anymore, only in their minds/memories.

I look around at the state of our country and the world today, we have had to print out trillions of dollars just to stave off full economic collapse. All money to be paid back, with interest, at a later date in time – saddling future generations with crippling debt. Whether they like to admit or not, the EU’s economic system is fundamentally flawed. Spain and Greece have already collapsed and there is a reason why the UK is trying to ‘run for the hills’ as fast as they can – even if they know full well they will never make it. To the East, Russia’s inflation is skyrocketing and from Iran to Russia to Africa, different nation-states around the world are all attempting to drop the US dollar before we reach inevitably reach the 21 trillion “Event Horizon.

Perhaps even worse, we continue to exhaust our fossil fuel reserves at alarming rates, destroying our planets environment while genociding its ecology. In fact, as was reported by the World Wildlife Fund’s most recent report, approximately 60% of vertebrates, 83% of freshwater species and 50% of the worlds coral reefs have been killed off over the course of the last 5 decades alone.

All of the countries/worlds current global conflicts, Wars, societal and economic problems have been created and perpetuated by one generation – the baby boomers, whom refuse to retire, step away from or relinquish control of this world. There’s no end in site. There are no term limits coming, no one in power is ever going to cast a vote to limit their own authority – talk of such is nothing more than just “pipe dreams.” John McCain literally served in office till he died, only death itself was enough to remove him from power – and he wont be alone.

The sad part of this story is that the millennial generation has within itself the capability of changing this world, if anyone ever retires or gives us a chance. In fact, as of 2015, for the first time in history there are more millennials living in this world than there are boomers – we are just outnumbered about 100:1 serving in Government. Even sadder though, this generation doesn’t seem to care. We are obsessed with music television and celebrities, worshiping vanity, materialism and false idols. The number one show in America the last two decades is literally called American Idol.

Almost no young person in this country cares about making a difference, because we know we cant – so no one tries. People know more about celebrity gossip and sports teams than our own Government, history and laws. People spend almost as much time sleeping as they do watching TV and more people play video games than read books. Not only is America’s youth powerless, we are the single dumbest generation in American history to boot.

In our disgust/frustration of the status quo we all sit back and say “fuck society,” but that doesn’t change anything – does it? It’s a damn shame to see. There is a philosophical way of thought called the “Law of Attraction,” which states that like attracts like; negative thoughts and beliefs manifest negative consequences/realities and positive thoughts and beliefs manifest positive results/realities. Therefore, if you say your life sucks then so it shall bet, your life will suck. You say you cant change the world and that it doesn’t matter what you do, then so be it – nothing will ever change. Apparently this philosophy must be true, because nothing ever seems to change.

Our generation has within itself the ability to change the world and end the rein of destruction that the baby boomers generation has bestowed upon this world, but simply screaming “I Dont Give A F*ck” and “F*ck Society” isn’t good enough. This is why I write, it’s the only thing I can do in this world. People say a revolution is coming, and I for one would certainly like to see what that looks like. Maybe one day…..


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New Study: 60% of Americans Believe Social Media Is Corrupting Society

A few years ago I remember writing that social media is slowly but surely contributing to the moral decay of America and that if I had some sort of button I could push that would magically end it all, I would almost certainly push that button. Granted this was before I ever created my first Twitter account and began paying Facebook for advertising space, my feelings on the matter haven’t necessarily changed over the years either. However, as it turns out, I am not alone.

According to a new Survey Monkey poll conducted by Axios for HBO, only 40% of Americans believe that social media represents a “net positive for society.” Meaning that 60% of Americans now believe social media is harmful to or having a negative impact on organized/civilized society. To gather data and asses results, Axios polled Americans based on political ideology, separating the answers of Democrats from Republicans and independents before cross referencing their answers for analysis. What they found was rather interesting. For example:

  • 57% of Americans believe that social media is actually taking away from or hurting free speech and Democracy – up 14% from this time in 2017. Oddly enough though, Democrats were the only group of pollsters that believe social media is increasing or helping free speech in this country, but the opinions of independents and Republicans combined essentially drowned them out. To be more exact, only 48% of Democrats believe social media takes away from free speech, down 10% from last year. Comparatively, 69% of Republicans believe social media harms or detracts from free speech in this country – up 17% since 2017.
  • 55% of Americans believe that that social media is being abused by politicians for political gain and that such abuse prevents law makers from adequately regulating the industry – up 15% from 2017.
  • 65% of Americans polled stated that the invention of smart phones has made their lives easier or better.
  • 51% of Americans said that their phones are the one piece of technology they “cant live without.
  • 63% of Americans say they sleep with their phones by their pillow each night.

As for why independents and Republicans believe that social media is taking away from internet freedoms and free speech in this country, they point to the “censorship” of political conservatives across Twitter and the closing of millions of Facebook accounts throughout the course of 2018 as evidence. As for why the opinions of so many Americans in general is falling in regards to social media, pollsters point to the recent Senate hearings and data breaches faced by Mark Zuckerberg and his company, which Americans now believe puts them and their privacy much higher risk. For example, well before Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress in 2018, a separate study from January 2017 found that 64% of all Americans have either had their identity stolen, or been a victim of some sort of data breach/leak.

However, there may be other factors at play here besides political ideology. As was once pointed out by Melissa Hunt, the associate director of clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania, there is a direct correlation between depression rates and the amount of time people spend in front of a computer or go online. Meaning that people whom tend to spend the majority of their time on a computer, tend to have higher rates of depression and suicide than those whom do not. Naturally then, it would make sense the Americans views of social media and online activity are beginning to sour the longer they are spending on it.

You can view Ms. Hunts study below or download it here: https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/pdf/10.1521/jscp.2018.37.10.751

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Russian Federation Files Motion Requesting DNC/Clinton Hacking Lawsuits Be Thrown Out of Court

I have got to admit, it is rather amusing piecing all of this information together as it is coming out. For example, you might remember two stories from last week. The first being an accidental leak of sexual assault charges to be filed against Julian Assange, and the second report outlining veiled charges to be filed against Julian Assange attached to the indictment of 12 Russian spies/hackers believed to be the sources behind Wikileaks release of Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s emails in the fall of 2016.

However, new research released by Catalin Cimpanu of ZDNet today shows that just days before the US Justice Department accidentally leaked future charges to be filed against Assange on November 15th, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation filed a court document in New York City on November 9th requesting that all charges levied against those 12 Russian spies/hackers be dropped/thrown out of court.  In the 15-page letter, the Russian Federation argues that the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) grants Russia immunity in this matter.

As their letter states, “the FSIA provides that foreign sovereign States enjoy absolute jurisdictional immunity from suit unless a plaintiff can demonstrate that one of the FSIA’s enumerated ‘exceptions’ applies.” Moreover, “the DNC’s allegations regarding a purported ‘military attack’ by ‘Russia’s military intelligence agency’ do not fall within any of the FSIA’s enumerated exceptions to the Russian Federation’s sovereign immunity.” More specifically, Russia argued that a country’s military operations are immune from civil lawsuits like the one filed by the DNC, stating that “any alleged military attack is a quintessential sovereign act that does not fall within any exception to the FSIA or the customary international law of foreign sovereign immunity. The Russian Federation’s sovereign immunity with respect to claims based upon such allegations is absolute.

View/Download Full FSIA Act: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-90/pdf/STATUTE-90-Pg2891.pdf

Russia also points out that, given US military operations all around the world, perhaps no other country on Earth has benefited from such international immunity over the decades. Stating that “the United States benefits significantly from the sovereign immunity that it enjoys (and U.S. officials enjoy) in foreign courts around the world with respect to the United States’ frequent acts of cyber intrusion and political interference. As current and former U.S. officials have acknowledged on many occasions, the United States–acting primarily through the National Security Agency (NSA) within the U.S. Department of Defense–is one of the most prolific practitioners of cyberattacks and cyber-intrusions on the planet.

As the Russian Ministry of Defense is quick to point out, the United States of America currently hosts over 900 active duty international military bases outside of US borders, whereas Russia only operates two. Moreover, the United States has dropped bombs on 7 different countries since 2001, compared to Russia’s 3. Additionally, no one should be ignorant enough to think that Russia is the only country spying on or launching cyber attacks against others, including their own allies. For example, you might remember Barack Obama was caught hacking/spying on Angela Merkel and other European allies in 2013, well before the Russian hacking fiasco in 2016? Therefore, if the United States and/or New York City was ever arrogant enough to bring this particular case forward against Russia, it would only serve to open up a “Pandora’s Box” of international lawsuits to be filed back against the United States under the same grounds -something that Russia argues is not in the US’s best interests.

The Russian Federation argues that such incidents outlined in the US’s indictment from this July are “State-to-State matters” and should therefore be resolved between governments, not in courts. “The DNC’s allegations do not permit the U.S. District Court to exercise jurisdiction in this case” argues the Russian Federation, demanding that the US throw out to case before it ever goes to trial.

Full Motion Filed by Russian Federation:

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88% of IT Professionals Believe World Is Currently At Cyber-War

Late last year the United States officially recognized “cyber” as the 5th domain of Warfare, officially joining more traditional venues such as land, air, sea and space. The  move came as a countermeasure to the international declarations of others, including Russia’s announcement of the formation of a new “informational warfare” military unit months beforehand. 2017 and 2018 have also seen many different people, parties and countries around the world take bold new stances in regards to cyber Warfare. This includes the German Armies formation of a new Cyber Command unit, NATO’s re-classification of the internet/cyberspace as a domain of Warfare, the United States attempts to re-classify US-CYBERCOM as a military unit and global leaders calling for the drafting of a new “Digital Geneva Convention” – specifically to draft a new set of internationally recognized rules, guidelines and standards governing informational/cyber warfare into the future.

I bring this up because I have recently come across several studies that I find particularly interesting. The first is a study from Venafi, finding that 86% of American based Informational Technology workers believe that the world is currently at “Cyber War.” Breaking down the study a little further, according to the same research, 88% of those same IT workers believe that attacks which disrupt election infrastructure technically constitute acts of war. This includes things such as attacks against election infrastructure, voting machines and “machines that transmit, store, tabulate and validate electoral data.” Moreover, 86% believe that misinformation campaigns designed to manipulate public opinion for political outcome/gain also constitute acts of cyber war. Interestingly enough, 40% of IT professionals believe that cyber war already has and is actively costing human lives, only 3% of respondents believe that it is impossible for people to die from cyber wars/attacks.

The second study was conducted by researchers at The Military Times, an American based military news outlet. According to a poll of thousands of active Duty military personnel, almost a half of all soldiers and commanders in the US Armed Forces, 46% to be exact, believe that the United States will be drawn into some sort of large-scale armed conflict in 2019 – though they did not specify where or whom with. However, 89% of those same respondents stated that cyber attacks/terrorism represent the single greatest risk to the country at the same moment in time, and 71% state that Russia is the US’s single greatest enemy – up 18% from 2017.

While I am unable to find the study today, I remember covering a poll released by Russia Today during the summer of 2016. In it, around 43% of Russian citizens believe the the United States and Russia are currently at War, and greater than 60% of Russian citizens believe that eventual War with the United States is inevitable – especially given the state of international affairs under President Obama at that moment in time. A different study from 2017 found that 73% of Russian citizens believe the the US is actively engaged in manipulating the science and technology of foreign countries, including Russia. Indubitably, these fields would also cover cyber and cyber-warfare.

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New Study: 63% of IT Security Professionals Believe our Elected Officials are Cyber Security Illiterate

A new study conducted by researchers at Venafi attempted to asses the level of competency industry insiders believe our elected officials serving in Government office posses when it comes to drafting, passing or enacting new cyber security laws/policies. According to Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi, “Over the last several months we’ve seen government officials from across the globe propose dangerous surveillance laws and protocols.” Protocols and initiatives which can, in theory, expose or compromise “all types of classified intelligence and other highly sensitive government data.This is exactly why researches wanted to observe the opinions/beliefs of active IT security professionals, to gauge whether or not they believe our Government and society is going in the right direction when it comes to National cyber security initiatives or policies.

To gather data, researches interviewed approximately 515 information technology (IT) employees at the August 2018 BlackHat Cyber Security Conference. By doing so, Venafi hopes to use the research to influence the actions of elected officials in the future, by providing them with an accurate depictions of today’s cyber security political landscape and showing them areas where they need to focus on or improve.

Key Findings from The Study:

  • 88% of Government officials believe that Government employees should be required to complete a basic cyber security training course, something they presently do not.
  • 66% of IT professionals believe that the Government officials should not be allowed to access the encrypted data of their customers, and companies should not be required to install back-doors to bypass encryption on their products – something Jeff Sessions and the DoJ currently mandates.
  • 65% of the professionals surveyed stated that allowing back-doors to encrypted data, such as is the case with election data, only serves to make said elections themselves less safe – only 16% said they thought it would make elections safer.
  • 63% stated that they do not believe our Government officials understand the basic fundamentals or risks/vulnerabilities effecting our Nations digital infrastructure.
  •  67% stated that they do not believe our Government officials understand the basic fundamentals or risks/vulnerabilities targeting our Nations physical infrastructure.

Department of Justice Accidentally Leaks Expected Charges Against Julian Assange

In one of the most bizarre story-lines you will ever come across, 100% ironically, the United States Department of Justice has just “leaked” a partial list of expected charges to be filed against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange once his asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy comes to an end. The accident came in conjunction with the release of a now once again already sealed document Thursday, November 15th 2018, outlining the DoJ’s upcoming court case against Seitu Sulayman Kokayi – whom will soon be facing charges of sexual misconduct. More specifically, Kokayi will be charged with “violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2242(b).

However, pages 2 and 3 of the 3 page document shift from Kokayi’s case to begin outlining charges expected to be filed against Julian Assange. Given their mistake, the document featured below has already been “re-sealed/redacted.” But in statements to The Daily Beast, the DoJ admits to their mistake, explaining how its suspected that someone working in their offices made a clerical filing error, or accidentally copy and pasted portions of Assanges case onto Kokayi’s – because the two men will essentially be facing at least some similar charges.

As the document contained below outlines:

3. The United States has considered alternatives less drastic than sealing, including, for example, the possibility of redactions, and has determined that none would suffice to protect this investigation. Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.

11. REFERENCES TO GOVERNING CASE LAW (Local Rule 49(B)(2))

4. The Court has the inherent power to seal charging documents. United States
V. Wuagneux. 683 F.2d 1343, 1351 (11″‘ Cir. 1982); State of Arizona v. Mavpennv. 672 F.2d 761, 765 (9″^ Cir. 1982); Times Mirror Comnanv v. United States. 873 F.2d 1210 (9″‘ Cir. 1989); see also Shea v. Gabriel. 520 F.2d 879 (U* Cir. 1975); United States v. Hubbard. 650 F.2d 293 (D.C. Cir. 1980); In re Brauehton. 520 F.2d 765, 766 (9″^ Cir. 1975). “The trial court has supervisory power over its own records and may, in its discretion, seal documents if the public’s right of access is outweighed by competing interests.” In re Knight Pub. Co.. 743 F.2d 231, 235 (4″^ Cir. 1984). Sealing charging documents is appropriate where there is a substantial probability that the release of the sealed documents would compromise the government’s ongoing investigation severely. S^ e^g. In re Search Warrant for Secretarial Area Outside Office of Gunn. 855 F.2d 569, 574 (8″^ Cir. 1988); Matter of Eve Care Phvsicians of America. 100 F.3d 514, 518 (7″‘ Cir. 1996); Matter of Flower Aviation of Kansas. Inc.. 789 F.Supp. 366 (D. Kan. 1992).

III. PERIOD OF TIME GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO HAVE MATTER REMAIN
UNDER SEAL (Local Rule 49(B)(3))

5. The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.

6. Upon occurrence of the event specified in paragraph 8, pursuant to Local Rule 49(B)(3), the sealed materials will be automatically unsealed and handled as such. WHEREFORE, the United States respectfully requests that the criminal complaint, the supporting affidavit, and the arrest warrant in this matter, as well as this Motion to Seal and proposed Order, be sealed until further order of the Court.

Full Accidental Leak from DOJ – See pg’s 2 & 3:

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