Culture


NSA Finalizes $6.7 Billion in Classified Tech Contracts

 

23rd Oct 2018

After two years, the NSA finished rebidding its “Groundbreaker” program and is beginning work on a secretive new set of communications contracts.

The National Security Agency is quietly beginning work on a new series of three communications contracts valued at $6.7 billion.

Details are sparse because the classified contracts—collectively called Greenway—were secretly awarded to telecommunications giant AT&T and defense contractors General Dynamics and ManTech International over the past year. Redacted legal documents following a protest of one of the contracts in March indicate the NSA’s goal is to “technically evolve” its IT environment.

NSA’s Greenway program is a continuation of its classified Groundbreaker program, which dates back to then-NSA Director Michael Hayden’s decision to outsource the agency’s IT operations to industry.

At the time, Hayden said the contract would allow NSA to “refocus assets on the agency’s core missions of providing foreign signals intelligence and protecting U.S. national security-related information systems by turning over several information technology infrastructure services for industry’s purview.”

NSA awarded the first $5 billion Groundbreaker contract in 2001 to a joint alliance of contractors called the Eagle Alliance, led by Computer Science Corp., which became CSRA. The same Eagle Alliance companies, which included Northrop Grumman, held the business for well over a decade before the NSA decided to break the Groundbreaker program up into smaller pieces, resulting in Greenway.

 

 

 

 

source/Read more: https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2018/10/nsa-finalizes-67-billion-classified-tech-contracts/152165/

Survey: 82% of American Teens Own an Apple iPhone

23Oct 2018

82 percent of American teenagers claim to own an Apple iPhone in a recent survey, making the iPhone the most dominant brand.

According to a Piper Jaffray survey, 82 percent of teenagers in the United States claimed to own an Apple iPhone, while 86 percent of teenagers predicted their next phone to be an iPhone too — making the iPhone the most popular phone for teenagers in the United States.

The results were significantly higher than Android, with just 10 percent of teenagers predicting their next phone to be an Android.

“Overall, we view the survey data as a sign that Apple’s place as the dominant device brand among teens remains intact,” declared the survey’s analysts.

iPhone ownership has risen considerably over the past four years, despite a report this year which indicated Apple’s reputation had suffered a hit.

Just over 60 percent of teenagers owned an iPhone in Spring 2014, according to Piper Jaffray.

Last month, Fox10 reported that 5 times more Millennials than Baby Boomers were prepared to get into debt to have the latest iPhone, and 19 percent of people would rather have unlimited phone data over an “excellent credit score.”

 

 

 

 

source: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/10/22/survey-82-of-american-teens-own-an-apple-iphone/

Antifa smashes the windows of US Marine Corps Recruiting office and damage 22 car

Grow up, you fucking idiots.

8th Aug 2018

The extreme leftist terrorist organization Antifa went on yet another rampage smashing the windows of Shattuck Ave US Marine Corps Recruiting office in #Berkeley

Members of the far left extreme group smashed out the windows of the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office in Berkeley, California during a violent protest, on Sunday.

During the violent protest, Antifa also set a vehicle on fire and damaged 21 other cars in the city, slashing tires and smashing out windows, Fox News reported. The extremist group also lit trash cans on fire, adding more to destruction across the city in what they called its protest against members of the “alt-right.” Police arrested 20 people throughout the day who were allegedly involved in the violence and vandalism.

Berkeley police tweeted out a photo of weapons they confiscated from the protest, including knives, metal poles, pieces of wood and mace.

Witness and filmmaker Ford Fischer told Fox News that after the windows of the Marine recruitment office were broken, Antifa threatened him and told him to flee the scene.

“After I filmed the Antifa break the Marine Corps office window and throw a torch into a dumpster, one of them called a few over to confront me,” Fischer said. “They basically told me to leave, implying attack if I didn’t. I left. ‘Get the f*** back. Cops aren’t here. They won’t help you.’”

Neither group protesting received the required permits to host rallies in the city and authorities banned masks as well as a list of objects that could have been used as weapons Friday.

Photos and names of some of the people arrested by Berkeley Police:

 

 

source/read more:http://milnenews.com/2018/08/07/video-antifa-smashes-the-windows-of-us-marine-corps-recruiting-office-and-damage-22-cars-20-arrested/

Facebook bans Infowars for using ‘hate speech’ as Apple removes Alex Jones’ podcasts

4th August 2018

Facebook has shut down InfoWars’ page saying the conservative news outlet used hate speech. An editor at the website says the social media giant failed to tell it what the offending posts were.

InfoWars Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in a tweet that the account has been “permanently banned” for “unspecified” hate speech. Visitors to InfoWars page are now greeted with a message saying: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now”.

Describing the development as a “chilling precedent for free speech,” Watson said that Facebook did not tell the media organization what the offending posts were.

“To all other conservative news outlets – you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun,” he wrote.

Facebook said in a blog post on Monday that it was banning four of the pages belonging to Infowars founder Alex Jones for repeatedly uploading content in breach of the social network’s community standards.

The company said that when it deletes content, the removal counts as a strike against the person that uploaded it. It added that the reason for removing Jones’ pages was not related to concerns over false news.

“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” Facebook explained.

“While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”

Jones is being sued by parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting for claiming that the attack was a hoax. Late last month the parents slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for failing to protect them from harassment by conspiracy theorists.

The development comes after Apple removed Jones’ daily podcasts from its podcast directory.

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

Apple Podcasts is arguably the most important platform in the podcasting industry. It drives a substantial amount of traffic to the podcasts it features on its homepage or in its charts.

 

 source/read more: :https://www.rt.com/usa/435217-infowars-banned-facebook-apple/

Parents of three transgender teens sue Warren County judge to allow name change

5th August 2018

A federal lawsuit claims a Warren County judge suggested a transgender teen was influenced by Caitlyn Jenner and wasn’t sincere about his gender identity when the teen’s parents requested to legally change their minor’s name.

The parents of that 15-year-old teen and two other transgender teens are suing Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Joseph W. Kirby to allow their children to change their legal names from female to male. The parents claim Kirby discriminates against transgender minors in refusing to allow them to select a name that reflects their gender identity.

The plaintiffs in the suit include the parents of one transgender teen Kirby has already ruled against, parents of another teen whose hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14, and a single parent who plans to file a petition for a name change for her transgender teen.

The judge cited the 15-year-old’s age as the reason for refusing the legal name change, but the suit also claims “Kirby suggested that [teen’s] expression of his gender identity was not sincere, but instead was the result of exposure of media coverage of the transition by Caitlyn Jenner.”

The suit cites the judge’s comments about Jenner during exchanges with the teen’s parents and the teen.

Judge to parents: “Well, explain to me the process. When did …. [child’s name] come to you and tell you that she associates herself as a boy?

Father: “It was actually last August.”

Judge: “Kind of when he [Jenner] made the papers and everybody was doing it kind of thing?”

Mother: “No, I don’t believe so.”

Judge: “Was it about the time that it kind of made headlines about a year ago and a half ago?  … Everybody was talking about all the transgender transformations were coming out in the paper?”

Judge to teen: “… How long have you known?

Teen: ” There’s always been a feeling of distress about it as long as far back as I can remember really … But then around when I learned that you can be transgender, I kind of clicked, and you know, that’s what I was upset about – that I wanted to be a boy but I couldn’t.”

Judge: That’s what I was referring to a couple of years ago when it hit the papers, and people were starting, they were identifying themselves or associating themselves with it. Uh, because it was not something that people were talking about.”

Teen: “I guess that never struck me because I’ve known transgender people since I was a kid …”

Judge: “But weren’t they known as cross-dressers back then or did they actually go through the physical? … I just look at Bruce Jenner set the stage nationally for it, maybe even all of the world.”

“The judge failed to consider the evidence presented by the families and doctors that the name change is in the best interest of the teenager and, instead, substituted his own skeptical views,” said attorney Joshua Engel, who filed the suit along with attorney Joshua Langdon.

Kirby’s ruling in refusing the 15-year-old’s petition said the change “was not reasonable and proper and in the child’s best interest at this time.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/warren-county/parents-of-three-transgender-teens-sue-warren-county-judge-to-allow-name-change

South Africa to change constitution to legalize taking away white farmers’ land

1st August 2018

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the ruling African National Congress must initiate a parliamentary process to enshrine in the constitution a proposed amendment, paving the way for land grabs without compensation.

Ramaphosa, who vowed to return the lands owned by the white farmers since the 1600s to the country’s black population after he assumed office in February this year, said on Tuesday that the ANC would introduce a constitutional amendment in parliament.

“The ANC will through the parliamentary process finalize the proposed amendment to the constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be effected,” Ramaphosa, a prominent trade union leader and a close associate of Nelson Mandela, said in a televised address on Tuesday.

The millionaire ex-businessman argued that “it has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit” about the proposal, which is viewed by the South African white minority as forceful expulsion that can incite violence against farmers.

There have been growing fears that the planned expropriation will deal a blow to commercial farming in the country and might put it on the verge of a food production crisis, like the one that struck Zimbabwe when it unleashed a similar crackdown on white farmers in 1999-2000.

Promoting his plan to boost land redistribution in March, Ramaphosa sought to assure white citizens, who constitute roughly nine percent of the total population, that the government would handle the controversial matter through “dialog, discussion, engagement, until we find good solutions that take our country forward.”

“There is no reason for anyone of us to panic and start beating war drums,” he said at the time, noting that nothing should prevent farming activities from continuing as normal.

However, many of the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa, do not take the government’s promises at face value, instead seeking asylum abroad from what they say is a surge in violence and government-fueled hostility against them.

Last month, a call from Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to provide emergency visas for South Africa’s white farmers, who are reportedly facing persecution at home, sparked a diplomatic scandal, with the head of the South African opposition labeling Australia “a racist country” for granting refuge to white farmers both in the Mandela era and now.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.rt.com/news/434784-south-africa-amendemnt-land-expropriation/

Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal

1st Aug 2018

Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials.

The planned move represents a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search engine in the country.

Google’s search service cannot currently be accessed by most internet users in China because it is blocked by the country’s so-called Great Firewall. The app Google is building for China will comply with the country’s strict censorship laws, restricting access to content that Xi Jinping’s Communist Party regime deems unfavorable.

The search app will “blacklist sensitive queries.”

The Chinese government blocks information on the internet about political opponents, free speech, sex, news, and academic studies. It bans websites about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, for instance, and references to “anticommunism” and “dissidents.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/google-china-search-engine-censorship/

Twitter hires academics to monitor its ‘health’ and combat hate speech

1st Aug 2018

Twitter has hired academics from institutions including Oxford University to help it combat “intolerant discourse” and monitor the “health” of the social network.

The firm is working with social psychology Professor Miles Hewstone and John Gallacher, along with Dr Marc Heerdink from the University of Amsterdam, to study the spread of hate speech.

The move is part of Twitter’s aim to create algorithms that better distinguish between hate speech and conversations that break the “norms of politeness”.

 

source/read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/07/30/twitter-hires-academics-monitor-healthand-combat-hate-speech/