Missouri Law Enforcement Debate on Cannabis

This is interesting.

There is a video at the site that you can view. Since I have limited bandwidth, I usually have to do things the old fashioned way and read them! So that is what I am sharing with you today. As a point of importance, there are two initiatives to legalize cannabis in Missouri that are going to be put forward as Constitutional amendments to the Missouri Constitution in 2016. I will provide more information on those in the near future.

Here is the article:

Missouri law enforcement debates over marijuana legalization

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Some police officers are coming out to advocate for marijuana legalization. Others are taking a stand that legalizing pot could be one of our worst mistakes. Fox 2’s Chris Hayes sat down with two active duty officers who sit at opposite sides of this debate, while carrying out the same mission to serve and protect.

One of the most recent vocal advocates of legalizing pot is a police chief in a small town in Lincoln County, Missouri. He’s with an organization called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). On the other side of this issue is a narcotics police lieutenant who works 40 miles south in Franklin County.

“When you open that door, it’s not a marijuana cigarette, it’s not a joint. You’re opening a whole new world of THC that Colorado can’t even begin to come close to getting its arms around, being quoted as one of the biggest social mistakes they`ve ever made,” Lt. Jason Grellner said.

Lt. Grellner is talking about Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who openly questioned his state’s decision to legalize recreational pot use. Grellner is vice president of the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition.

“What we hear from the other side is, ‘Don’t worry about it, people who smoke marijuana just sit in their house and smoke, they don’t get in their cars and go out.’ Well that`s not what’s happening in Colorado!” he said.

Grellner points to stories like 16-year-old Chad Britton, who died after being struck by a driver reportedly high on pot.

Earlier this month, the government released a report on the impact of legalization in Colorado. It highlights increases in marijuana-impaired driving, a 56.08 percent higher rate of youth marijuana use and a significant increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.

“We’re seeing people taking edibles and then being involved in horrible critical incidents. We’ve got college students jumping to their deaths,” Grellner said.

Levy Thamba, 19, jumped to his death in Denver after eating a marijuana cookie advertised to have six and a half servings of THC.

Grellner says it’s an example of why pot today is nothing like what most people might think.

“You would have to smoke 30 or more pot cigarettes in the 1970s, at one time, to get the amount of THC that you’re now getting,” Grellner said.

But Chief Larry Kirk says police departments should answer to taxpayers who’ve been funding a multi-billion dollar a year war on drugs.

“At some point you have to say, as a law enforcement officer, maybe you should use those resources for other things and put our efforts towards things that could be helping the community in a better way,” Kirk said.

“We’ve seen a lot of resources and we have not seen the effect we were told we would see. So maybe we should address that money with mental health issues, with true addiction issues and stop jailing and criminalizing people for making a responsible decision.”

Chief Kirk doesn’t want to advertise where he works, but says he’s not hiding it either. He’s commanded New Athens, Illinois Police and Old Monroe, Missouri. He says he’s not speaking out so he can smoke pot.

“My religion and my faith is LDS, Latter Day Saint Mormon, so I don’t consume alcohol, I don’t consume even caffeine for that matter, but I don’t go around exposing or espousing the fact we should make that illegal,” Kirk said.

Kirk says he still enforces the laws he doesn`t agree with.

“I think the idea that police officers should remain silent and somehow just be reactive and not be able to speak out about it, I think is silly…,” he said. “Just like in the 1960s during racial strife in the south, instead of hosing black Americans and sicking dogs on them, maybe more officers could have spoken out in regards to racial injustice.”

That’s where you’ll find agreement, in the concern for social consequences and equal justice.

Lt. Grellner says legalizing pot will hurt those who are struggling most.

“Where do you think these dispensaries are going to be? Do you think these dispensaries are going to be lining the streets of Ladue and Chesterfield? Or do you think they’ll pop up mainly, or starting out at least, in the poor socioeconomic areas around the region?”

Grellner and Kirk also agree on the need to improve how we treat addiction.

Jade Helm- Texas Ranger Shares His Knowledge

I received a link to the article below and then when I went to the site it was published on, malicious malware had taken over the site. Coincidence? I don’t know. In the interest of information redundancy, I am sharing this with you. But first, I must editorialize a bit!

To be clear, I am very concerned about this exercise. First of all, while there have been myriads of drills and Urban Warrior exercises off bases (and in violation of decent Constitutional practices) since the mid 90’s, this is the FIRST multi-state “exercise. Not just that, people are focusing on the South Western states, but it covers pretty much the entire southern border of the US. I have read articles that include Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in this exercise along with the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and, of course, the “hostile” states of Texas and Utah.

Speculation and concern over this operation is running rampant and also running the gamut from “it’s no big deal” to the “red, green and blue list will be implemented and people will be hauled off”.

While I have to say that I flatly don’t know what’s going on with this, I do have serious concerns and issues with this exercise. The US Military has no business trying to infiltrate American towns. The “sell” that 60-65 participants per town is going to bring $150k into the town’s economy is ridiculous. That would be about $2300 per day trying to remain undetected in US towns. It stinks on it’s face.

What we KNOW is that there are actually Muslim training camps located in the United States. The FBI knows this and numbers them as between 22 and 36 camps. There is a ISIS camp near El Paso. The southern border has been flatly unenforced and people have been streaming into our country from who knows where. Then we have this “exercise” going on.

Best case scenario is also the worst case scenario to me. If the “intelligence” of this federal government has decided to pre-position troops in an effort to thwart a terrorism attack, then the fact that the border has been effectively dissolved, and remains in such a state, makes them flatly complicit in any terrorism attack that occurs here on US soil.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think they will be rounding up patriotic leaders unless there is a massive cover afforded to those who would do such a thing. Like a complete interruption of our ability to communicate. The dynamics are just not in favor of such an action…In my opinion.

At any rate, below you will find the article I was able to get that has the full letter of the reported Texas Ranger in the body. If nothing else, perhaps all the attention being given to Jade Helm 15 could bring a positive Hawthorne Effect .

Here is the article with the link in the title:

Texas Ranger Drops Jade Helm Bombshell: “There Are Trains With Shackles On Them”

The reports about the coming Jade Helm 15 operation across the southwest continue to suggest that this is not merely a standard training exercise to prepare our military personnel for foreign engagements as has been suggested by officials.

A letter sent to Dave Hodges at The Common Sense Show by a concerned Texas Ranger indicates that the government is preparing for a scenario similar to what has been described in William Forstchen’s recent novella Day of Wrath in which ISIS terrorists cross the southern border of the United States and simultaneously attack soft targets across the nation.

But the letter doesn’t stop there. The Ranger, who has kept his identify private for obvious reasons and makes clear that the scope of Jade Helm is so secret that the intent is not completely clear, says that the JH15 mission objectives may go much farther than just preparing for terrorists. According to the law enforcement insider there are trains moving throughout Texas and some of them have been outfitted with shackles, presumably to “transport prisoners of some sort.” The claim adds further credence to a report about Jade Helm dissident roundups and arrests and widespread martial law declarations following an emergency.

His letter sheds some light on the Walmart store closings, suggesting at least one may be utilized in a national security capacity as a staging point for the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is apparently not trusted by anyone within the Texas Rangers organization, according to the source.

The full letter follows:

Hello Mr. Hodges,

I have been a Texas Ranger for quite some time, and as such, I am privy to much of what is going on with regard to the Midland Walmart store closing, the presence of ISIS on Texas soil and our preparations to combat an insurgent threat.

I will not give you my rank or location because it would not be safe to do so. It is a waste of time to try and trace the IP#, etc., as I have taken steps to ensure that this note cannot be traced back to me.  I understand and  realize that you seem to have a growing issue with people who will not go on the record with their inside knowledge or first-hand observations, but you cannot understand the pressure and scrutiny that some of us are under. I am taking a big risk writing this email to you.

The main reason that I am writing to you is to encourage you to keep writing on the growing threat of infiltration in Texas and I suspect other states as well. The infiltration I am writing about is not just Special Forces that are going to conducting covert drills in our state. that is concerning and I agree with you this involves martial law.  For now I am talking about ISIS and the danger that they pose to all of us. Our intelligence indicates that they have enough manpower & firepower to subdue a small town. The Midland Walmart takeover by DHS is a national security move in which we have been told falls under the Continuity of Government provisions. The Threat Fusion Centers are providing related information on what it is we are facing but the information sharing is only in one direction and that is very concerning.

We expecting an attack on more than one Texas city or town by ISIS and/or any of their partners. I believe the information to be accurate. However, this makes the covert operations of groups like the Navy Seals and others under JH15 highly suspicious. We do not need the insertion of Special Ops into Texas towns and cities. I think that you are probably right about the intention of arresting political undesirables given what we know about JH15. I am of the opinion that whatever the mission objectives of JH15, they have nothing to do with the immediate threat. Therefore, I do not pretend to understand the full scope of JH 15 because there are unfolding operational details which are almost impossible to reconcile with what I already know to be fact based the evidence for what is going on.

Let me drop a bombshell that I have not seen you address. There are trains moving throughout Texas that have shackles inside some of the cars. I have not personally seen them, but I know personnel that have seen this. This indicates that these trains will be used to transport prisoners of some sort. I know from reading your articles that your default belief will be that these are for American political prisoners and will be transported to FEMA detention camps of some sort. We have been told by Homeland that these trains are slated for transporting captured terrorists, non-domestic. We are not sure we can trust this explanation because Homeland is keeping a lot from us and we are growing increasingly uncomfortable with their presence in Texas.

I wanted to tell also you that we believe that Pantex is a high value target for ISIS and much or our preparation is to thwart any action by terrorists against the facility.  I am wondering how in the hell you figured that out. Someone on the deep inside must be talking with you.

Keep writing Mr. Hodges, you and the underground media are making a difference. As I am sure you know, Colorado announced today that JH15 is suspended in that state. Unfortunately, we do not have that prerogative because we believe that we are under the threat of eminent attack here in Texas.

I do believe the ISIS threat is legitimate. But you are also correct to suspect the motives behind the JH15 drills. They are clouded in secrecy and we have been shut out regarding their operational intent. The people of Texas and all of the United States of America should be pushing back against JH15.

I will support the Feds in their preparation against ISIS. But the moment that this action turns against our locals is the moment I will perform my oath of office. I am not alone in this feeling. None of my brothers trust Homeland. We will have to see where this is going but I have a bad feeling.

You do your job and keep writing and I will do my job in upholding the Constitution

Thank You

The suspicions of the public are quite justified, it seems. The operational commanders for Jade Helm have compartmentalized the “exercise” to such an extent that no one, not the local and state law enforcement officers involved or the majority of military personnel, has any idea what is actually going on.

As noted in the letter, a realistic threat from our southern border certainly exists and as we’ve written previously, Border Patrol and Homeland Security have been capturing suspected terrorist operatives crossing into the United States for years. But the Texas Ranger who penned the letter says this is not necessarily the full scope of the massive Summer exercise.

And given that people within his own organization report seeing shackles in trains, is it completely out of the question to suggest that the government does, in fact, have procedures in place to detain, transport and imprison those suspected of terrorism, or those who may be suspected of being suspected?

When Gerald Celente warned of the Auschwitz Express back in a 2012 interview he wasn’t joking:

First it was the Patriot Act. Now it’s the National Defense Authorization Act. And then it was Obama’s Executive Order giving El Presidente Los Estados Unidos the supreme right to call Martial Law at a potential threat – a potential threat.

Then there’s Big Bro over there, Attorney General Eric Holder, who just passed these guidelines that could let them listen in to what we’re saying right now, listen to you on your cell phone, watch every stroke of your keyboard, and they at the White House could then determine whether or not the algorythms add up to you being a terrorist or a potential terrorist.

Big Brother never had it so good.

…all aboard the Auschwitz Express…

…That’s what’s going on here… and the people don’t see it, and they’re afraid to speak up… People don’t want to believe it.

Full Interview Via SGT Report

We will soon find out if Jade Helm is just another military exercise. Some are of the opinion that it could be used to facilitate a false flag operation that would then be used as justification to implement nationwide martial law and to activate Doomsday Executive Orders recently signed by President Obama.

It may sound wildly conspiratorial, but it wouldn’t be the first time a government has purposefully engaged in such conduct.

Doctors Want Glyphosate (Round Up) Banned!

So 30,000 Argentinian doctors have shown they have much greater powers of observation than all the doctors at the FDA, USDA, AMA, CDC, and NIH combined. I don’t know, but I wonder if Argentina doctors have the same kind of nefarious relationship with big pharma as the doctors in the US do. Let’s not forget that Monsanto is 85% owned by Pfizer.

Here’s the article on the Argentinian doctors asking that glyphosate be banned:

30,000 Doctors in Argentina Demand that Glyphosate be Banned

Joining millions of citizen voices
pesticides_field_guys_735_350
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/30000-doctors-in-argentina-demand-that-glyphosate-be-banned/#ixzz3YcL327g5
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

If the millions of regular people who have asked Monsanto to stop selling their toxic chemicals is not enough, more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals are asking that glyphosate be banned.

The doctors are part of FESPROSA, Argentina’s Union of medical professionals. Citing the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that the glyphosate chemicals used in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Round Up (formulated to use on Round Up Ready crops) are “likely carcinogenic,” they add an additional disclaimer:

Glyphosate is also associated with:

  • Spontaneous abortions
  • Birth defects
  • Skin disease
  • Respiratory illness
  • Neurological disease

Where are the American doctors who can tell the WHO, and Monsanto the same thing? Instead of forcing Monsanto’s hand, other doctors have been retaliating against Dr. Oz who recently said that glyphosate was dangerous on world-wide television.

Read: Glyphosate Found in Urine, Blood, Breast Milk

FESPROSA also explained:

“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.”

The doctors also talk about vindicating one of their own:

Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.”

With evidence like this – how can any biotech shill talk about genetically modified food being ‘safe’ when the primary chemicals sold to grow them are killing the people of entire countries?

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/30000-doctors-in-argentina-demand-that-glyphosate-be-banned/#ixzz3YcJoOzJG
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

Databases, Databases, Can They Make Life Safe?

Databases, Databases, Can They Make Life Safe?

In Louisiana, they recently passed a state law that prohibits the use of cash for the purchase of second-hand goods. That seems a bit beyond the pale, but hey, they say it is to keep us safe so it has to be okay. Now, in Missouri and other states, laws are coming into effect that are putting some serious constraints on not just pawn shops, but on second hand goods in general. Here is Missouri’s current law, and this is what they want to enact at the state level to ensure that this database extends beyond the current realm of required participants.

In a town called Mountain View, the City Council passed an ordinance on March 9th that requires pawn shops, second hand merchants and even itinerant merchants and temporary sellers of second-hand or used goods to upload the personal identification information of people selling goods to them into a database and to hold onto to those goods for 5 days before they can resell them. That pretty much bears repeating. If you want to sell some of your used stuff to someone who wants to resell it, you will have to give them your state issued id, possibly your social security number, definitely your address and contact information, and be loaded into a database that is accessible by law enforcement or anyone with “secure” identification information that can search the database.

The question is, if you want to have a big yard sale, do they have the ability to require you to provide all the information of whomever you received goods from for the yard sale? The way it is worded, I would say, “Yes.”

You decide, here is an excerpt:

“Secondhand means property or goods received from or through an intermediary, property or goods acquired after being used by another, or property or goods not considered new.”

Now, if you’re like me and regularly become irritated with keeping paperwork (receipts) around for things you have purchased, could you be found to be in violation of this ordinance if you tried to sell these things? Again, the way this is worded, yes.

So law enforcement will be able to access this database and find out who sold what to which second hand seller. Doesn’t this put any red flags up for any of the deep thinkers on the city council in Mountain View? If law enforcement has access to this database simply to make queries, does it let law enforcement know who has any item in sufficient quantities to want to off load some of it?

The wording of the goods that will be required to be loaded into the database is Orwellian at best. Again, here is an excerpt with that language:

“Every person and/or business licensed by the city that is regularly engaged in or conducting business for the purchase, sale, barter, exchange, recycling, reselling or pawn of property or goods including but not limited to antiques, Jewelry, coins, any metal, including but not limited to aluminum, copper, gold, silver, brass, bronze and platinum.; gems, and semiprecious stones, watches, firearms, power tools, hand tools, computers, electronic equipment, cameras and camera equipment, including but not limited to film, digital and videotape, still and motion pictures cameras and camcorders, and associated recording and viewing equipment, electronic game equipment and game cartridges or discs, compact digital disks (CDs), digital video discs (DVDs), musical instruments and equipment, bicycles, and any self-propelled device not required to be licensed by the state department of revenue, including but not limited to every pawnbroker, flea market merchant, secondhand dealer of the goods described in this section, coin dealer, jeweler, and junk dealer, both wholesale and retail, shall, within ninety (90) days of the adoption of this article, maintain an electronic inventory…”

Another problem with this ordinance is that it looks like it gives room to find a seller of second hand or used goods in violation of the ordinance if they don’t acquire the information of the person who has purchased these used, pawned or second-hand goods. This thing brings up waaaay more questions than answers.

All of this is entirely too close to requiring identification to buy and sell for me. I assure you that if I want to sell a used tool, I am NOT going to give my id to someone to do so.

A basic human right is to be able to transfer goods that one either doesn’t need or that they would like to turn into something else.

Are we really going to be safer if we put everything into a database on who has sold what goods to which person? Heck, they’re saying the Russians hacked Obama’s email. How can any database be considered secure?

 

Genetic Altering of Human Embryos

Just because you can, does not mean that you should…Article is linked in the title:

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

Rumours of germline modification prove true — and look set to reignite an ethical debate.

Dr. Yorgos Nikas/SPL

Human embryos are at the centre of a debate over the ethics of gene editing.

In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published1 in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted—rumours that  sparked a high-profile debate last month2, 3 about the ethical implications of such work.

In the paper, researchers led by Junjiu Huang, a gene-function researcher at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, tried to head off such concerns by using ‘non-viable’ embryos, which cannot result in a live birth, that were obtained from local fertility clinics. The team attempted to modify the gene responsible for β-thalassaemia, a potentially fatal blood disorder, using a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9. The researchers say that their results reveal serious obstacles to using the method in medical applications.

“I believe this is the first report of CRISPR/Cas9 applied to human pre-implantation embryos and as such the study is a landmark, as well as a cautionary tale,” says George Daley, a stem-cell biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Their study should be a stern warning to any practitioner who thinks the technology is ready for testing to eradicate disease genes.”

Some say that gene editing in embryos could have a bright future because it could eradicate devastating genetic diseases before a baby is born. Others say that such work crosses an ethical line: researchers warned in Nature2 in March that because the genetic changes to embryos, known as germline modification, are heritable, they could have an unpredictable effect on future generations. Researchers have also expressed concerns that any gene-editing research on human embryos could be a slippery slope towards unsafe or unethical uses of the technique.

The paper by Huang’s team looks set to reignite the debate on human-embryo editing — and there are reports that other groups in China are also experimenting on human embryos.

Problematic gene

The technique used by Huang’s team involves injecting embryos with the enzyme complex CRISPR/Cas9, which binds and splices DNA at specific locations. The complex can be programmed to target a problematic gene, which is then replaced or repaired by another molecule introduced at the same time. The system is well studied in human adult cell and in animal embryos. But there had been no published reports of its use in human embryos.

Huang and his colleagues set out to see if the procedure could replace a gene in a single-cell fertilized human embryo; in principle, all cells produced as the embryo developed would then have the repaired gene. The embryos they obtained from the fertility clinics had been created for use in in vitro fertilization but had an extra set of chromosomes, following fertilization by two sperm. This prevents the embryos from resulting in a live birth, though they do undergo the first stages of development.

Huang’s group studied the ability of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to edit the gene called HBB, which encodes the human β-globin protein. Mutations in the gene are responsible for β-thalassaemia.

Serious obstacles

The team injected 86 embryos and then waited 48 hours, enough time for the CRISPR/Cas9 system and the molecules that replace the missing DNA to act — and for the embryos to grow to about eight cells each. Of the 71 embryos that survived, 54 were genetically tested. This revealed that just 28 were successfully spliced, and that only a fraction of those contained the replacement genetic material. “If you want to do it in normal embryos, you need to be close to 100%,” Huang says. “That’s why we stopped. We still think it’s too immature.”

His team also found a surprising number of ‘off-target’ mutations assumed to be introduced by the CRISPR/Cas9 complex acting on other parts of the genome. This effect is one of the main safety concerns surrounding germline gene editing because these unintended mutations could be harmful. The rates of such mutations were much higher than those observed in gene-editing studies of mouse embryos or human adult cells. And Huang notes that his team likely only detected a subset of the unintended mutations because their study looked only at a portion of the genome, known as the exome. “If we did the whole genome sequence, we would get many more,” he says.

Ethical questions

Huang says that the paper was rejected by Nature and Science, in part because of ethical objections; both journals declined to comment on the claim (Nature’s news team is editorially independent of its research editorial team.)

He adds that critics of the paper have noted that the low efficiencies and high number of off-target mutations could be specific to the abnormal embryos used in the study. Huang acknowledges the critique, but because there are no examples of gene editing in normal embryos he says that there is no way to know if the technique operates differently in them.

Still, he maintains that the embryos allow for a more meaningful model — and one closer to a normal human embryo — than an animal model or one using adult human cells. “We wanted to show our data to the world so people know what really happened with this model, rather than just talking about what would happen without data,” he says.

But Edward Lanphier, one of the scientists who sounded the warning in Nature last month, says: “It underlines what we said before: we need to pause this research and make sure we have a broad based discussion about which direction we’re going here.” Lanphier is president of Sangamo Biosciences in Richmond, California, which applies gene-editing techniques to adult human cells.

Huang now plans to work out how to decrease the number of off-target mutations using adult human cells or animal models. He is considering different strategies — tweaking the enzymes to guide them more precisely to the desired spot, introducing the enzymes in a different format that could help to regulate their lifespans and thus allow them to be shut down before mutations accumulate, or varying the concentrations of the introduced enzymes and repair molecules. He says that using other gene-editing techniques might also help. CRISPR/Cas9 is relatively efficient and easy to use, but another system called TALEN is known to cause fewer unintended mutations.

The debate over human embryo editing is sure to continue for some time, however. CRISPR/Cas9 is known for its ease of use and Lanphier fears that more scientists will now start to work towards improving on Huang’s paper. “The ubiquitous access to and simplicity of creating CRISPRs,” he says, “creates opportunities for scientists in any part of the world to do any kind of experiments they want.”

A Chinese source familiar with developments in the field said that at least four groups in China are pursuing gene editing in human embryos

Need Another Reason to Hate Facebook?

As many of you who have known me for awhile know, I quit Facebook two years ago because of how flatly nefarious they are. The thing that threw me over the edge wasn’t really their sharing of data with the NSA, nor the algorithms they run to effectively become one with the Department of Precrime, but the fact that the extrapolation of “people of interest” in any “investigation” was extrapolated out to a factor of 6 between Facebook “friends”. So, say the Powers that Shouldn’t Be were looking at yours truly for thinking unregulated thoughts, they would include my “friends”, and their “friends, and the “friends” of those “friends, and the friends of the friends of the friend’s friends” all the way out to a factor of six friends away. Frankly, that just creeped me out. We are simply reaching entirely too much singularity and the burden of proof of innocence in any “crime”, be it real or imagined, has become one wherein you must prove your innocence against potentially digitally created guilt.

It’s enough to make one want to go Amish. But I don’t think I could blend…And there are other things, too. So that really isn’t an option. I could almost be a Luddite, too. But I’m not a technophobe, nor am I a technophile. I just believe that technology should serve us and that it can be used for greatly positive enhancements to the human experience. But if you take human dignity and accountability for preserving that dignity out of the equation, we become chattel to the entities controlling the pseudo reality in which we virtually live.

I digress. And no, it isn’t difficult to get me to digress when we are talking about such an invasive and pervasive thing as the issue of human privacy and dignity in the age of technocracy. So, without further adieu, here is the article I wanted to share with you:

Facebook DOES collect the text you decided against posting

Ever written out a status update or comment but decided against posting it? One techie has discovered Facebook collects this content, despite the company’s claims to the contrary

– See more at: http://www.information-age.com/technology/information-management/123459286/facebook-does-collect-text-you-decided-against-posting#sthash.puuUwkvB.dpuf

‘I realised that any text I put into the status update box was sent to Facebook’s servers, even if I did not click the post button’

 

Facebook collects all content that is typed into its website, even if it is not posted, a tech consultant has discovered.

In December 2013, it was reported that Facebook plants code in browsers that returns metadata every time somebody types out a status update or comment but deletes it before posting.

At the time, Facebook maintained that it only received information indicating whether somebody had deleted an update or comment before posting it, and not exactly what the text said.

>See also: War on the data beasts: don’t let Google, Facebook et al control your digital lives

However, Príomh Ó hÚigínn, a tech consultant based in Ireland, has claimed this is not the case after inspecting Facebook’s network traffic through a developer tool and screencasting software.

‘I realised that any text I put into the status update box was sent to Facebook’s servers, even if I did not click the post button,’ he wrote on his blog yesterday.

Referring to the GIF he created below, he found that a HTTP post request was sent to Facebook each time he wrote out a status, containing the exact text he entered.

‘This is outright Orwellian, and inconvenient,’ he said. ‘Since I am now aware of this, I am more cautious about what I enter into the text area.

‘However I can’t help but notice the adverse effect of my new found awareness ― am I experiencing the censorship of my own thoughts because of a faceless entity such as Facebook that doesn’t care about you? I very much believe that is the case.’

There is nothing in Facebook’s Data Policy that directly alludes to the fact that it collects content that is written but not posted.

However, the general ambiguity under the heading ‘What kinds of information do we collect?’ makes it unclear, such as: ‘We collect the content and other information you provide when you…create or share. This can include information in or about the content you provide.’

One thing is certain: most Facebook users do not expect the company to collect the text they decided against sharing.

>See also: Track record: how Facebook is normalising the privacy trade-off

The company faced a backlash in 2009 when it removed part of a clause that promised to expire the license it has to a user’s ‘name, likeness and image’, which it uses for external advertising, if they remove content from the site.

Following a protest campaign, it returned to the previous terms of use. However, it’s unclear what rights Facebook has over content that is not posted.

Information Age has contacted Facebook for comment.

– See more at: http://www.information-age.com/technology/information-management/123459286/facebook-does-collect-text-you-decided-against-posting#sthash.puuUwkvB.dpuf

Beware, Beware!

Did a radio show today essentially about the singularity and biometric identification regarding MorphoTrust and the Real ID comliant state issued identification. During that show, the host told me about a program that assigns a threat level to individuals that police are using before they pull someone over and such. Here is an article about it below….My thanks to the author! There’s a lot of homework here:

Cops scan social media to help assess your ‘threat rating’

By Brent Skorup
December 12, 2014

minority-report1

A national spotlight is now focused on aggressive law enforcement tactics and the justice system. Today’s professional police forces — where officers in even one-stoplight towns might have body armor and mine-resistant vehicles — already raise concerns.

Yet new data-mining technologies can now provide police with vast amounts of surveillance information and could radically increase police power. Policing can be increasingly targeted at specific people and neighborhoods — with potentially serious inequitable effects.

One speaker at a recent national law enforcement conference compared future police work to Minority Report, the Tom Cruise film set in 2054 Washington, where a “PreCrime” unit has been set up to stop murders before they happen.

While PreCrime remains science-fiction, many technology advances are already involved with predictive policing — identifying risks and threats with the help of online information, powerful computers and Big Data.

New World Systems, for example, now offers software that allows dispatchers to enter in a person’s name to see if they’ve had contact with the police before.  Provided crime data, PredPol claims on its website that  its software “forecasts highest risk times and places for future crimes.” These and other technologies are supplanting and enhancing traditional police work.

Public safety organizations, using federal funding, are set to begin building a $7-billion nationwide first-responder wireless network, called FirstNet. Money is now being set aside. With this network, information-sharing capabilities and federal-state coordination will likely grow substantially. Some uses of FirstNet will improve traditional services like 911 dispatches. Other law enforcement uses aren’t as pedestrian, however.

One such application is Beware, sold to police departments since 2012 by a private company, Intrado. This mobile application crawls over billions of records in commercial and public databases for law enforcement needs. The application “mines criminal records, Internet chatter and other data to churn out … profiles in real time,” according to one article in an Illinois newspaper.

Here’s how the company describes it on their website:

Accessed through any browser (fixed or mobile) on any Internet-enabled device including tablets, smartphones, laptop and desktop computers, Beware® from Intrado searches, sorts and scores billions of commercial records in a matter of seconds-alerting responders to potentially deadly and dangerous situations while en route to, or at the location of a call.

Crunching all the database information in a matter of seconds, the Beware algorithm then assigns a score and “threat rating” to a person — green, yellow or red. It sends that rating to a requesting officer.

For example, working off a home address, Beware can send an officer basic information about who lives there, their cell phone numbers, whether they have past convictions and the cars registered to the address. Police have had access to this information before, but Beware makes it available immediately.

Yet it does far more — scanning the residents’ online comments, social media and recent purchases for warning signs. Commercial, criminal and social media information, including, as Intrado vice president Steve Reed said in an interview with urgentcomm.com, “any comments that could be construed as offensive,” all contribute to the threat score.

There are many troubling aspects to these programs. There are, of course, obvious risks in outsourcing traditional police work — determining who is a threat — to a proprietary algorithm. Deeming someone a public threat is a serious designation, and applications like Beware may encourage shortcuts and snap decisions.

It is also disconcerting that police would access and evaluate someone’s online presence. What types of comments online will increase a threat score? Will race be apparent?

These questions are impossible to answer because Intrado merely provides the tool — leaving individual police departments to craft specific standards for what information is available and relevant in a threat score. Local departments can fine-tune their own data collection, but then threat thresholds could vary by locale, making oversight nearly impossible.

Tradition holds that justice should be blind, to promote fairness in treatment and avoid prejudgment. With such algorithms, however, police can have significant background information about nearly everyone they pull over or visit at home. Police are time-constrained, and vulnerable populations – such as minorities living in troubled neighborhoods and the poor — may receive more scrutiny.

No one wants the police to remain behind a thick veil of ignorance, but invasive tools like Beware — if left unchecked — may amplify the current unfairness in the system, including racial disparities in arrests and selective enforcement.

Intrado representatives defend Beware’s perceived intrusiveness, pointing out that credit agencies have similar types of information. This data-mining program, however, goes beyond financial records to include social media, purchases and online comments when assigning a rating.

And no system is foolproof. Congress, for example, recognizes the sensitivity of the information that lenders and employers have, because errors can cause serious financial harm. The Fair Credit Reporting Act therefore gives consumers the right to access their credit reports and make corrections.

The risks to life and property, however, are far higher and more unpredictable in the law enforcement context. Yet there is no mechanism for people to see their threat “ratings” — much less why the algorithm scored it. You have no ability to correct errors if, say, someone with the same name has a violent criminal record.

Another effect is that these technologies give law enforcement the ability to routinely monitor obedience to regulatory minutiae and lawmaker whims. Police officers now boast, for example, that the Beware system allows the routine code enforcement of a nanny state — such as identifying homeowners so overgrown trees on a property can be trimmed.

Beware can also encourage fishing expeditions and indiscriminate surveillance in the hopes of finding offenders. Police used Beware recently at a Phish concert in Colorado, for example, checking up on concertgoers based on car license plates.

Perhaps the most serious issue is that such systems may be used as pretext in unconstitutional investigations. John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke reported for Reuters last year that a secretive Drug Enforcement Administration unit regularly funnels information to other law enforcement agencies in order to launch criminal investigations. This information is frequently acquired via intelligence intercepts, wiretaps and informants. As the FirstNet national wireless network rolls out, federal-state coordination will likely increase opportunities for police to receive sensitive information from powerful federal agencies.

Data-mining gives police significantly more information to create reasonable suspicion for suspects that federal agencies flag. Officers could receive a search or arrest warrant with the help of information gleaned from Beware and other databases, like those tracking license plates. If an arrest follows, data-mining helps provide the police with the legal pretext to engage in these fishing expeditions. Defendants will likely have no opportunity to challenge the legality of the original surveillance that led to their arrest.

As predictive policing investment ramps up, and local police and federal agencies increasingly coordinate, more secrecy becomes more valuable. Local police and prosecutors often refuse to disclose how they gain information about defendants because federal agencies prohibit them from discussing these technologies. In Baltimore, for example, police recently dropped evidence against a defendant rather than reveal information about cellphone tracking that the FBI did not want disclosed in court.

Yet police might not acquire some of this equipment if the local community is made fully aware of its use. Consider, the city council of Bellingham, Wash., recently rejected a proposed purchase of Beware. The police department had applied for, and received, a one-time $25,000 federal grant to cover some of the $36,000 annual cost of Beware. At a mandatory hearing about the purchase, Bellingham citizens discovered how Beware worked and opposed the purchase because of both the cost and the privacy implications. The funds were subsequently redirected.

This rejection demonstrates that many modern policing techniques — and the accompanying secrecy — can antagonize the average citizen. The occasional appearance of sniper rifles and military vehicles only stokes that sentiment. Local police forces increasingly receive military surplus equipment and federal lucre from an alphabet soup of U.S. agencies and opportunistic contractors. Now police are using, typically without residents’ knowledge, powerful databases, along with cellphone and license-plate trackers.

Police need guidance about under which circumstances these sophisticated databases can be used. An inaccurate threat level for a residence, after all, can change how police approach a situation. Failure to update who lives at a particular residence, for example, could transform a green rating into a red rating — turning a midday knock on the front door into a nighttime SWAT raid.

 

PHOTO (TOP): Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Courtesy of  20th Century Fox

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