In an effort to “enhance user security”, the social media giant Facebook will begin using AI to peruse through user content and judge whether users exhibit signs of potential suicide.

“This is software to save lives. Facebook’s new ‘proactive detection’ artificial intelligence technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders.”

So speaks the latest piece from TechCrunch about the controversial AI.

While the move to monitor mental health seems to cater to principles of safeguarding the public, it is not difficult to see it for what it is – an extension of surveillance over social media users.

If Facebook personnel were really concerned with the public’s mental health, perhaps a more productive investment of their time and resources would be to examine the nature of addiction and its relation to their blue-thumb service which has been shown to be more addictive than tobacco and alcohol while also producing changes in the brain similar to those observed with cocaine use.

An even more philanthropic action would be to look at the whole slew of negative impacts their service has had on their users:

“Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen time, lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavorable social comparison.”

That last one, unfavorable social comparison, is highly associated with depression and suicide. Here is another story relating how social media and screen time is associated with a higher suicide risk.

Are there people at Facebook that genuinely care about the well-being of public? Sure there are. But to believe that this giant data-collection apparatus is somehow imbued with a cultural imperative to decry surveillance on the behalf of corporations, the state, and its agencies is unreasonable.

Facebook became the company it is by selling its users out to third-party interests. This is undeniable.

What is also undeniable is the CIA’s interest in utilizing the information Facebook compiles on users (most of which users hand right over) for its own purposes of surveillance.

 

 

 

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Using sensor boxes containing,  “about $500 worth of gear the team had assembled, including a GPS module, a GSM cellular modem, a Raspberry Pi minicomputer to assemble the data about which cell towers the modem connects to, a cellular hotspot to upload the resulting data to the group’s server, and an Android phone running an older program called SnoopSnitch”,, Washington researchers identified anomalous cell-tower activity in the state that they believe indicates Stingray eavesdropping device activity.

So you don’t want your cell location tracked, for whatever reason, but you aren’t interested in buying any of those fancy signal blockers to slip over your phone. No worry, there is a very cheap way to ‘drop off the grid’, so to speak, with the knowledge of a basic scientific principle of electromagnetic radiation. But first, lets address the primary reason to learn techniques of ‘going black’.

In previous posts I have expatiated that your smart-phone is essentially a tracker’s dream. Rather than divesting resources to monitor targets through conventional private investigator means, people are literally doing surveyors a favor by purchasing a smart-phone which logs the location of the device along with a wide assortment of other identifying personal data.

Aiding in the legally sketchy surveillance of the cell-user are IMSI-catchers, commonly referred to as Stingrays, that covertly monitor your cell activity unbeknownst to you. Just how many of these surveillance apparatuses are currently operational is, according to Vocative, hard to determine:

“Almost by definition, it’s impossible paint a comprehensive look at stingrays in the U.S. That’s largely due to the fact that, as the FBI has testified in an affidavit, the devices came with nondisclosure agreements and police departments and agencies often promise the FBI to never admit they have such devices.”

So minus the determination to simply not carry around a cell-phone, it is a glaring uncertainty that you will not be tracked or surveyed. How do you increase privacy?

My preferred method of shielding a phone from unwarranted eavesdropping is to purchase some tin foil for a makeshift faraday cage which will block all electromagnetic signals from penetrating the conductive material. The foil makes good hats as well. 😉

In the video below I make a call to a phone and while it is ringing, wrap the device in foil. The ring-tone drops off but, as you can hear, the transmitting cell keeps peeling. The phone encased in foil simply cannot transmit or receive any signal. Do this if you want to ‘go black’ on the whim. But bear in mind, there are less technologically savvy ways to keep tabs on you.

 

Herein I have posted up a a link to Richard Grove’s Peace Revolution Podcast Episode 87 Titled Privacy & Surveillance: The Future of Freedom vs. The Architecture of Oppression.

Richard Grove is an interesting character to say the least. He personally experienced the destruction of the World Trade Centers on 9/11 as he was an employee with Marsh & Mclennan, a multi-service insurance brokerage firm which had some of its offices located in the trade towers. He relates that he was late for work that day, and was for that reason, spared the death so many of his fellow employees succumbed to.

Surviving 9/11, Grove set out o an educative journey to understand the nature of 9/11 and, long story short, started an educational podcast/ video montage rated #1 in Higher Education by Podomatic.com

Episode 87 is the best source for an introduction to the clandestine and anti-freedom nature of surveillance programs that I have ever observed. It therefore seems of benefit to you all. Please enjoy and consider visiting Grove’s site http://www.TragedyandHope.com

Here is the podcast link:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/peacerevolution/episodes/2015-02-25T13_27_50-08_00

 

The Washington Times now reports on the ubiquity of cell-phone signal interceptors used to hone in on and listen to your calls.

According to the article, some 400 devices are deployed and active throughout the U.S. to aid the objectives of various departments including the U.S. Marshalls Service, BATFE, ICE, and the IRS.

While the type of devices used have not been identified, at least by this article, one can be sure that IMSI Catchers are the predominant inventory used to eavesdrop on Americans.

IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) Catchers mimic and amplify the signals of a typical base station used for the transmission of electronic communications via cell-phone, this takes advantage of phone preference for base stations with the strongest signal. In doing so, the phone receiving a call in vicinity of the IMSI Catcher will utilize the IMSI in relay to other cell-towers down the route to the sender.

This “catching” of the device allows for configuration of the call to easily broken encryption so the details of the call can be siphoned for surveillance purposes.

According to Bloomberg, the “Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have warned that police are routinely misleading judges about the scope of IMSI catchers’ powers.”

And indeed the EFF has weighed in on this issue, citing the historical rationale for the provision of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

They enunciate that IMSI Catchers, “which could potentially be beamed into all the houses in one neighborhood looking for a particular signal—is the digital version of the pre-Revolutionary war practice of British soldiers going door-to-door, searching Americans’ homes without rationale or suspicion, let alone judicial approval. The Fourth Amendment was enacted to prevent these general fishing expeditions. As the Supreme Court has explained, a warrant requires probable cause for all places searched, and is supposed to detail the scope of the search to ensure ‘nothing is left to the discretion of the officer executing the warrant’.”

Apparently the legislative and judicial offices that impact the use of these systems are having difficulty in keeping up with their implementation and advancements. As Bloomberg reported, a Maryland delegate David Moon has opined that the law, “doesn’t seem to keep up with the technology.” 

It seems that not enough Americans care about the breeches being made on a daily basis to their constitutional freedoms. The law isn’t keeping up because the citizenry have not pushed for revisions, either out of ignorance of how they are being impacted, or a lackadaisical attitude in general.

As with any technology that fulfills a necessitated function, these devices will continue to spread until legal oversight imposes new restrictions. Until then, we must wonder if the statesman, much affiliated with the Trilateral Commission (co-founder), Zbigniew Brzezinski was portending the modern situation when he wrote about “America in the Technetronic Age” stating:

“[T]he capacity to assert social and political control over the individual will vastly increase. As I have already noted, it will soon be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and to maintain up-to-date, complete files, containing even most personal information about the health or personal behaviour of the citizen, in addition to more customary data. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”

I’d say he was spot on.