Category Archives: Big Brother
British Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a veiled threat against media organizations, calling on The Guardian and other outlets to stop publishing the disclosures leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian first began its ongoing series based on the Snowden leaks in June, when far-reaching clandestine activity of the American NSA and British Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) were made public. UK lawmakers have not yet been “heavy handed,” the prime minister said, but if media does not cease such publication soon the government could soon crack down.
He suggested the government may employ D-Notices, official requests asking editors not to publish news items for national security reasons, if the coverage goes on.
By Elizabeth Harrington
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is “mining” Facebook and Twitter to improve its social media footprint and to assess how Tweets can be used as “change-agents” for health behaviors.
The NLM, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will have software installed on government computers that will store data from social media as part of a $30,000 project announced last week.
“The National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library and makes its stored information available online at no charge to consumers, health professionals, and biomedical scientists through a diverse suite of resources,” the agency said in a contract posted on Oct. 23. “Evaluating how its databases and other resources are utilized is an important component of continuing quality improvement and has long been an on-going program of NLM management through a potpourri of monitoring tools.”
By Daniel Taylor
Consumer appliances are now becoming activated and “smart.” RFID chips and wireless internet connections enable devices like televisions, refrigerators, printers, and computers to communicate with each other and generally make life easier for us. This comes at a price, however. Your privacy is eliminated.
A detailed multi-dimensional image of our daily lives will be built with this system. Individuals to entire group dynamics will be tracked. It will be unparalleled in history. Everything from daily travel routes to eating habits will be traceable. Every day objects will be transmitting data 24/7.
Now, insurance companies are anticipating this hyper-connected future. Will they spy on your eating habits and hike your health insurance costs?
As Mike Adams reported in March of this year, grocery store loyalty cards are being tracked by insurance companies to deny claims and raise health insurance rates. As the Wall Street Journal reported in early 2013,
Your company already knows whether you’ve been taking your meds, getting your teeth cleaned and going for regular medical checkups. Now some employers or their insurance companies are tracking what staffers eat, where they shop and how much weight they’re putting on — and taking action to keep them in line.
In the November-December issue of The Futurist, Richard Yonck writes, “In a world of total connectivity, the rate at which a household consumes sugar, salt, tobacco, and alcohol would potentially be an open book to insurers seeking to control costs.”
With the internet of things, spying on “unhealthy” habits will be a cinch. Wi-fi enabled refrigerators will read RFID tags on grocery products that are placed your fridge, and in turn send that data to the internet cloud. Are you eating a government approved diet? Taking your meds? If not, you will be paying a price for it in this nightmarish science fiction future that is soon to be science fact.
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
When Google announced last week that it would change its terms of service to allow it to show people’s social networking activity — like names, photos, ratings, reviews and comments — in ads across more than two million Web sites, it strongly emphasized that users could easily opt out.
Yet for some Google users, the opt-out process was not as easy as Google made it sound.
“Unfortunately, Google has joined Facebook in making it as confusing as possible for people to ‘opt out’ or control how their personal info is used,” Anna Varela, 47, a Web strategist at Georgia State University, wrote in an e-mail that echoed messages I received from other readers. She visited Google’s page for opting out, she wrote, but “found myself unsure if I should tick the opt-out box because it reads like you’re actually opting in.”
By Helen A.S. Popkin
A teenager who claimed “sarcasm” after talking on Facebook about shooting up a kindergarten spent months in jail this year for making a “terroristic threat.” Over the summer, Instagram photos of guns and money led to New York City’s largest gun bust ever. A mom’s Facebook photo of her baby with a bong led to her 2010 arrest.
While criminals — or those guilty of ill-placed sarcasm — aren’t wising up about social media oversharing, tools for monitoring Americans online are increasingly accessible and affordable to authorities, no NSA-level clearance required. Those in charge are monitoring more and more and social networks are happy to comply, especially where extra revenue is involved.
If you share something publicly on social media, “you should expect the world to read it,” said Andy Sellars, a staff attorney at the Digital Media Law Project. “And you should expect that world to include law enforcement.”
By Paul Joseph Watson
A man who attempted to sign up for Obamacare online was told that a fine of over $4,000 dollars a year for refusing to take out mandatory health insurance could be taken directly from his bank account, and that his drivers license would be suspended and a federal tax lien placed against his home, according to an entry on the HealthCare.gov Facebook page.
If true, the implementation of Obamacare is going to be a whole lot more draconian than Americans have been led to believe.
Will Sheehan claims that when he tried to sign up for Obamacare and then register to opt out, he received an ominous warning. Sheehan’s full Facebook post reads;
“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 “Silver Plan” and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I “opt-out” and chose to continue along with no insurance.
I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the “REPERCUSSIONS PORTION” for “non-payment” of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with “Non-Payment” and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy “Automatically withdraw” your “penalties” weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is “Free” or even “Affordable.”
Sheehan went on to point out that the site makes you input all your personal information before giving you an indication of the costs, meaning a database of the “uninsured” is being built. He added that he could not afford to pay the premium so would have to break the law and pay the fine, leaving him with no health care coverage.
The federal government has consistently denied that any fines pertaining to Obamacare non-compliance could be seized from bank accounts, despite reports last year that the IRS had hired 16,500 new agents to harass citizens who attempt to evade the new law.