Category Archives: Corruption

Let’s just mandate it: “NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat”

The National Security Agency issued new guidance on Tuesday for military and intelligence-community personnel, warning about the risks of cellphone location tracking through apps, wireless networks and Bluetooth technology.

The detailed warning from one of the nation’s top intelligence agencies is an acknowledgment that Silicon Valley’s practice of collecting and selling cellphone location information for advertising and marketing purposes poses a serious national-security risk to many inside the government….

Source: NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat – WSJ

In December 2019, the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring mandatory radio-based Remote Identification and tracking of all hobby radio controlled aircraft weighing more than 250 grams (about 1/2 pound). The Final Rule is expected in December of 2021. The NPRM itself eventually ends the radio control model aircraft hobby that currently exists, makes it legal to fly only certified, manufactured drones that are tracked in real time. The primary purpose is to clear the air space above your home and turn it over to AmazonGoogleUPS. The FAA asserts all rights to the airspace in your back yard, for example.

Every remote controlled aircraft would be required by Federal regulation to connect to the Internet and log its activities in an Internet cloud database, in real time. Those providing the cloud databases may offer them for free in exchange for who knows what – but the FAA itself proposed they might collect photo images and telemetry – such as WiFi and Bluetooth communications collected by the craft.

In effect, the FAA mandates a nationwide low level altitude surveillance network of potentially millions of drones collecting data in real time and logging it in data bases – that may as well be located in China.

Meanwhile, the US DoD and the US Department of the Interior banned the use of Chinese made drones over fears of their use for espionage.

While the left hand bans drones from collecting data, the right hand mandates that all drones must collect potentially invasive data on behalf of foreign organizations.

We know that U.S. firms and others are collecting massive amounts of private data through the use of apps on our smart phones. Google itself collects your location data, even when you turn location services off.

The primary business function of the Internet is surveillance to be used for many purposes.

“The FAA STOLE my video!” – notes XJet

FAA stole a video clip from will known RC Youtube producer XJet, cropped the video to remove his water mark, and then used it in an FAA video.

Shortly after he posted this, the FAA video has disappeared.

This is the same FAA that sold out to AmazonUPSGoogle to hatch a scheme to potentially de facto ban most hobby use of quadcopters and model aircraft in the U.S. (by pricing them out of existence). Final announcement on their rule making will be in December, probably the day after Christmas.

Twitter’s lack of security comes into focus

The extraordinary hacking spree that hit Twitter on Wednesday, leading it to briefly muzzle some of its most widely followed accounts, is drawing questions about the platform’s security and resilience in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.

Twitter said late Wednesday hackers obtained control of employee credentials to hijack accounts including those of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama, reality television star Kim Kardashian, and tech billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

….

Wednesday’s hack was the worst to date. Several users with two-factor authentication — a security procedure that helps prevent break-in attempts — said they were powerless to stop it.

“If the hackers do have access to the backend of Twitter, or direct database access, there is nothing potentially stopping them from pilfering data in addition to using this tweet-scam as a distraction,” said Michael Borohovski, director of software engineering at security company Synopsys.

In 2010, Twitter reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after it was found the company had lied about efforts to protect users’ information during an extended hack the year before.

Under the terms of the settlement, Twitter was barred for 20 years from misleading users about how it protects the security and confidentiality of private information.

Source: Twitter hack alarms experts already concerned about platform’s security – National | Globalnews.ca

Many Twitter accounts hacked as part of massive crypto currency fraud

Update: There appears to have been  a massive hack on Twitter involving many hundreds of accounts, if not more.  According to BNO News, this hack impacted accounts of corporations, politicians, celebrities and more as part of a digital currency scam.

As I no longer use Twitter very much, this sort of security breach might cause me to delete my Twitter account.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account, which is his preferred method of public communication, got hacked today as part of a massive crypto scam. For years now, Musk’s popular Twitter account with more than 30 million followers has been a target of cryptocurrency scammers trying to make money off his followers by creating accounts that […]

Source: Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account gets hacked as part of massive crypto scam – Electrek

Facial recognition’s 96 percent false positive rate

Close enough for government work, eh?

“If we would use the software only [to identify subjects], we would not solve the case 95-97 percent of the time,” Craig said. “That’s if we relied totally on the software, which would be against our current policy … If we were just to use the technology by itself, to identify someone, I would say 96 percent of the time it would misidentify.”

Source: Detroit police chief cops to 96-percent facial recognition error rate | Ars Technica

Six former eBay senior managers harassed a couple who ran a news site critical of eBay, now charged with Federal crimes.

These were very high level – executive level – staff who undertook a vicious harassment campaign:

Ex-execs arrested for alleged harassment of couple who run e-commerce news site.

Source: eBay execs sent roaches and “bloody pig mask” to harass journalists, feds say | Ars Technica

Wow. What sort of internal corporate culture leads to this type of behavior? eBay says all six were fired last fall and the CEO of eBay resigned at the time.

University of California to drop the SAT and ACT testing requirement

Yes! This is a permanent elimination:

The University of California board of regents, in a landmark move that could reshape the college admissions process across the country, voted Thursday to drop the SAT and ACT testing requirement.

Source: UC regents unanimously approve plan to drop SAT and ACT from admissions – SFChronicle.com

My own state has also eliminated SAT and ACT tests for public college admissions, starting this fall.

As the victim of a GRE testing failure decades ago that shaped my entire life, I am thrilled to see the end of these absurd testing regimes.

Continue reading University of California to drop the SAT and ACT testing requirement