Category Archives: technology

Older iPhones Reported ‘Breaking’ After Apple Unveils iPhone 11

Right after Apple announced the iPhone 11, numerous owners of older iPhones began to report device malfunctions reminiscent of a 2017 debacle in which the company admitted slowing the performance of older phones – ‘officially’ in order to extend their battery life. 

At the time, Apple said in a statement that it had “never – and wound never – do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product.” 

According to USA Today, however, the coincidences are piling up

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About To Go Dark

We Need Our Mojo Back Vis-à-Vis China

(David P. Goldman) Bill Gertz is the dean of American defense journalists, and brings vast knowledge and an abundance of sources to his latest book. His review of China’s efforts to gain a decisive edge in military technology is indispensable reading for anyone concerned with the rapid rise of a prospective adversary. Gertz is a reporter first and foremost, and Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy distills the thinking of America’s military and intelligence establishment in a terse and highly readable presentation.

What We Don’t Know

The book’s lacunae are less the fault of the senior defense correspondent for the Washington Times and Washington Free Beacon than of the American national security establishment itself. Our institutions lack a clear understanding of what China is doing and what we should do in response. Amid the impressive mass of detail, readers are left to wonder what the Chinese really want. If they were to take over the world, what would they do with it? In the case of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, we know the answer, because we saw Germans and Russians at work as occupiers. China reached its present borders for the most part by 800 C.E. under the Tang Dynasty and has shown little interest in sending troops to occupy other countries.

A related question involves China’s order of battle. What does China hope to achieve with its anti-satellite weapons, carrier-killer missiles, anti-submarine devices and so forth? Gertz presents the sort of war scenario that staff officers grind out as a matter of course, without explaining what Chinese war aims might be.

A key issue is the distinction between China’s notorious theft of U.S. technology and its homegrown innovations. Not until page 185 do we read of the most striking and strategically important Chinese invention:

A major worry for American defense planners and intelligence strategists is China’s drive to deploy extremely secure quantum communications. This development was announced by China in August 2016 . . . Quantum communications for the Chinese are designed to produce encryption that is unbreakable—a capability that would hamper what has been a strategic advantage for the United States in relying on the very capable code breakers at the US National Security Agency.

Earlier in the book, Gertz had spent four pages recounting China’s theft, in 2013, of U.S. plans for the C-17 military transport plane. Reprehensible as that may be, it was not a game-changer. Quantum communications, a Chinese innovation, inaugurates a revolution in signals intelligence.

Gertz discusses Washington’s campaign to dissuade its allies from buying fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband technology from China’s national champion Huawei Technologies. By the time the book went to press, it was evident that the initiative was a humiliating failure; not a single country on the Eurasian continent bent to American threats, which included the suspension of intelligence-sharing. Quantum communications help explain why.

About to Go Dark

Not only the Chinese, but South Korean, Japanese, British and other teams are building the capability to embed quantum communications in the new 5G networks. Not only will China go dark to U.S. signals intelligence; the rest of the world will, too, and in short order. Huawei’s 5G systems will wipe out America’s longstanding advantage in electronic eavesdropping. The U.S. intelligence community spends $80 billion a year, mostly on SIGINT, and the whole investment is at risk. Washington’s view, dutifully reported by Gertz, is that Huawei’s dominance in 5G systems will allow China to steal everyone’s data. The reality is far more ominous, as I understand it. China will enable the rest of the world to cut off America’s access to everyone else’s data. When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged a senior German official not to buy Huawei’s broadband, the German replied that China hadn’t eavesdropped on Chancellor Merkel’s cell-phone conversations, as had the United States.

Huawei owns 40 percent of the patents related to fifth-generation broadband, largely because it spent twice as much on research and development as its two largest rivals (Ericsson and Nokia) combined. The strategic challenge to the United States comes not from Chinese technology theft, obnoxious as that is, but from Chinese innovation backed by state resources. The American intelligence community realized too late that China had gained the upper hand, and convinced the Trump administration to try to postpone the 5G rollout until it could work out what to do next. The failure is of such catastrophic proportions that no one in a position of responsibility dare acknowledge it for fear of taking the blame.

Domination of E-Commerce and E-Finance

Huawei’s vision of a global broadband market under its domination is hardly a secret. This is a case where China has advertised its intentions while the US ignored the issue. Since 2011, the company’s website has promulgated an “eco-system” enabled by broadband networks that in turn would bring in Chinese e-commerce, e-finance, logistics, and marketing—in short, the whole array of business and financial services that will integrate the labor of billions of people into the greater Chinese model.

The world will become a Chinese company store: Chinese banks will lend the money, Huawei will build the broadband network and sell the handsets, Alibaba and JD.Com will market the products, Ant Financial will make micro-loans, and Chinese companies will build airports and railroads and ports. As an investment banker for a Hong Kong boutique from 2013 to 2016, I saw this first hand, and reported it here. Among other things, Huawei is building most of Mexico’s new national broadband network, including 5G capability, in a consortium with Nokia financed by a group led by Morgan Stanley and the International Finance Corporation. Huawei also dominates telecommunications infrastructure in Brazil and other Latin American countries. China’s tech dominance in America’s neighborhood, remarkably, has occasioned no official comment from Washington.

In my view, this is far more alarming than what Gertz envisions. He writes, “China will control all deals and win any business arrangements it seeks by dominating the information domain and thus learning the positions of bidders and buyers. All Chinese companies will be given advantages in the marketplace.”

That simply isn’t the way things work. China will lock whole countries into Chinese hardware through state-financed national broadband networks, including Brazil and Mexico, where construction is underway. It understands the network effect that made Amazon and Facebook dominant players in the U.S. market, and will use its financial and technological head start to establish the same sort of virtual monopoly for Chinese companies throughout the Global South.

China envisions a virtual empire, with military deployments to protect key trade routes, starting with oil from the Persian Gulf. China’s navy established its first overseas base in Djibouti last year. Meanwhile China has invested heavily in high-tech weaponry, including satellite killers. During the first minutes of war, the United States and China would destroy each other’s communications and reconnaissance satellites. But China has a network of thousands of high-altitude balloons around its coasts, too many for U.S. forces to destroy.

Why a Shooting War Is Unlikely

The dog that doesn’t bark in this particular night is China’s land army. China has about 40,000 marines and an additional 60,000 seaborne mechanized infantry, enough to invade Taiwan. Otherwise its ground forces are feeble. China spends about $1,500 to arm an infantryman, as compared to $17,500 for his American counterpart. China owns no ground-attack aircraft like the American A-10 or the Russian SU-25. Unlike the United States, China hasn’t equipped its forces for any foreign expeditions, excepting of course the threat against Taiwan. With few exceptions its military priority is control of its own coastline. That in my view is why a shooting war is not likely. America cannot win a war on China’s coast, and China has scant interest in fighting anywhere else.

As we examine the details, the picture of a Soviet-style communist regime bent on world domination falls apart. China’s concept of world domination is so different from what we imagine that it has halfway come to fruition before we noticed it. The broader issues are too complex to address in a review, but I feel obliged to add that there is quite a different way of looking at present-day China, as an imperial system with a 3,000 year history.

In extensive contacts with Chinese officials, I haven’t met a single dedicated communist, except for the distinguished professor of Marxist-Leninist studies who asked me to help his child find a job on Wall Street. I do not believe in Gertz’s distinction between the good Chinese people and the wicked communist leaders. The emperor (the leader selected by the Mandarin caste that today masquerades as communists) is the capo di tutti capi, whose job is to limit the depredations of local power centers and maintain order. Most mainlanders will tell you blandly that, without an emperor they would kill each other, as they indeed have done after the fall of every Chinese dynasty.

No one should minimize the brutality of the present dynasty by any means; but it is no more reprehensible than the Ming, who buried a million forced laborers in the Great Wall, or the Qin, who destroyed the whole literary record of the Chinese kingdoms that preceded it and buried alive hundreds of scholars to ensure that no memory of the past survived. Every Chinese in a position of influence, when asked about the Muslim Uyghur minority in China’s far West, will say matter-of-factly, “We’re going to kill them all.” China has been exterminating “unruly barbarians” on its borders for thousands of years. That is why the Huns came to Europe and the Turks came to Asia Minor: Chinese punitive expeditions against these peoples forced them to migrate westward.

In China’s view, the “Century of Humiliation” that lasted from the First Opium War of 1848 to the Communist Revolution of 1949 was a temporary aberration that displaced China from its dominant position in the world economy, a position the present dynasty seeks to restore. If we do not want this to happen, we will have to dominate critical technologies, including quantum computing, quantum communications, broadband, Artificial Intelligence, and missile defense.

Weak Proposals

The recommendations that Gertz offers at the book’s conclusion do not convince me. He proposes to disengage economically from China; I should think that our object should be to introduce innovations that disrupt and discredit China’s state planning. We have none at the moment, but that is because American high-tech industry has invested overwhelmingly in software and left the manufacturing to Asia. We require a revival of American R&D on the scale of our response to Sputnik. Gertz also proposes “covert financial warfare” to disrupt China’s overseas borrowing. He does not seem to realize that China is a net creditor to the extent of $1.6 trillion, which means that it can finance its own requirements readily. He wants to crack down on Chinese nationals abusing their position in the United States, and so forth.

None of this will make a difference. Our problem is far graver. China now graduates four STEM bachelor’s degrees to every one of ours, and the ratio is rising. Foreign students earn four-fifths of all doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at U.S. universities. Because we have so few engineering students (just 5 percent of undergraduate majors), engineering faculties are small, which means that most of the foreign students return to teach in their own countries. The United States has trained a world-class engineering faculty at Chinese universities, such that the best Chinese students stay home. I know Chinese IT managers who will not hire Chinese students with a U.S. bachelor’s degree, because the Chinese programs are more rigorous.

We can only best China through innovation, and we are losing our edge in that regard. Nothing short of a grand national effort on the scale of the Kennedy moonshot or the Reagan Cold War defense buildup will get our mojo back.

Source: by David P. Goldman | Law & Liberty

Brussels Halts 5G Deployment Indefinitely: 5G project, says authorities, not compatible with radiation safety standards for their people

What about our people?

(Natural News) In the next year, preliminary 5G networks are set to roll out in China, the United States, South Korea, and Japan. In the next seven years, operators are projected to invest over $1 trillion to expand 5G wireless technology. With 5G, the telecom industry promises instant connectivity, paving the way for “smart cities.” 5G is a Big Tech dream come true – a data collection boon that will tie all internet-connected devices together and increase connectivity speeds up to 1000 times greater than existing 4G networks. As investors scramble to get a piece of the 5G pie, the technology is not projected for deployment in every first-world country, nor will it be accepted by every big city.

Brussels to halt 5G rollout over SEVERE HUMAN health risks

In fact, the Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, Céline Fremault, has vowed to halt 5G deployment. “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit,” states Fremault in an interview with L’Echo. “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not.”

No exceptions will be made in Brussels. Fremault warns that 5G violates Belgian radiation safety standards. Fremault is heeding the warning of over 240 scientists and doctors from over 41 nations who have published research documenting the harmful effects of 5G radiation on all biological life. These scientists have appealed to the United Nations, calling for a moratorium on 5G. The adverse effects of radio-frequency and millimeter waves on human and environ-mental health are well documented. 5G radiation has been shown to cause changes in bacterial growth, neuropyshiatric effects, DNA damage, and even cancer. Permissive countries (that sacrifice the health of their population) only consider the thermal effects of 5G. There’s much more to 5G radiation than that.

Scientists Warn About The Dangers Of 5G Frequencies 

Dr. Martin Pall, Washington State University Professor calls the 5G rollout the “stupidest idea in the history of the world.” In his studies, he warns about the very high energy outputs required to ensure efficient penetration of electromagnetic frequency waves. He also documents the extraordinarily high numbers of antennae that are planned, which will increase exposure to the deeply penetrating radiation. He also warns about the extremely high pulsation levels and the high level interactions of 5G frequency on charged groups, including the voltage sensor charged groups. This rapid influx of pulsed electromagnetic frequency fields has been shown to stress the calcium channels of cells (voltage gated calcium channels or VGCC). Two body systems most impacted by pulsed EMFs are the eyes and the kidneys. In preliminary studies, the downstream effects of VGCC activation include cataracts, detached retinas, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Moreover, the fluids in the kidneys allow regeneration of electrical fields. This impacts the glomerular filtration and re-absorption, adversely affecting two major functions of the kidneys.

The influx of 5G antennas will send out deeply penetrating magnetic fields that will disturb electrically charged groups that are dissolved in the aqueous phases of the body. When these charged groups are excited to action, they can regenerate electric fields that are essentially identical to the electric fields pulsing from the original EMFs. The amplification of electrical fields across plasma membranes produces EMF effects deep within the body because voltage sensors in the body are sensitive to outside electric forces and will reverberate the frequency. 5G will be the greatest assault of electric forces the body has ever had to endure. Once 5G is rolled out, the assault will be non-stop.

Because Brussels is calling out the dangers of 5G and blocking its roll out, they are currently a world leader for protecting human health. To learn more about the risks of 5G, check out Radiation.News.

Sources include:
GlobalResearch.ca
MobileWorldLive.com
EMFacts.com
EHTrust.org

***

Trumps Neighborhood EXEMPTED From 5G Rollout

Town Manager: “We have been carved out,” Bradford said.
“That law does not apply to us.”

Amazon Facial Recognition Can Now Detect Your Fear

Amazon this week said that it’s Rekognition facial recognition software can now detect a person’s fear, according to CNBC.

Arun Sansar AFP Getty Images

As one of several Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services, Rekognition can be used for facial analysis or sentiment analysis by identifying different expressions and predicting emotions based on images of people’s faces. The system uses AI to ‘learn’ as it compiles data. 

The tech giant revealed updates to the controversial tool on Monday that include improving the accuracy and functionality of its face analysis features such as identifying gender, emotions and age range.

“With this release, we have further improved the accuracy of gender identification,” Amazon said in a blog post. “In addition, we have improved accuracy for emotion detection (for all 7 emotions: ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’, ‘Surprised’, ‘Disgusted’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Confused’) and added a new emotion: ‘Fear.’” CNBC

AI researchers at Microsoft, Kairos, Affectiva and others have spent considerable time and resources trying to read a person’s emotions based on their facial expressions, movements, voice and other factors.

That said, some experts have noted that people react and communicate differently based on culture and situation – which means that similar facial expressions and movements can convey more than one category of emotions. As such, researchers have warned “it is not possible to confidently infer happiness from a smile, anger from a scowl, or sadness from a frown, as much of current technology tries to do when applying what are mistakenly believed to be scientific facts,” according to the report. 

CNBC notes that Rekognition has faced criticism for its use by law enforcement agencies, as well as a reported pitch to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and that it has been used by organizations that work with law enforcement.

Source: ZeroHedge

‘Honey, Hold My Beer’: Watch drone shoot Napalm from accessory flamethrower

Move over Elon Musk’s “Not-A-Flamethrower” flamethrower. That is because a new flamethrower has been released to the public that can be easily mounted onto a DJI drone, can shoot napalm at targets up to 25 feet away for approximately 100 seconds.

Cleveland based ThrowFlame, the oldest flamethrower company in the US, is now selling on its website the TF-19 WASP Flamethrower Drone Attachment to anyone who has a DJI Spreading Wings S1000+ Professional Octocopter.

The lightweight flamethrower attachment has a one-gallon fuel capacity and is used primarily for agriculture burns, clearing debris from power lines, managing insects, and can even light back-burns to contain wild-fires, the company explained on its website.

The attachment is available for purchase for $1,500 or can be financed by Splitit for $83 per month.

Fox 8 Cleveland said with the increased buzz about the aerial flamethrower; a waiting list has already developed.

ThrowFlame specifically outlined to potential customers in the item description that drones with flame flowers are “federally legal and not considered weapons; however, users are still required to comply with the FAA’s UAS rules in addition to local ordinances.”

The company has several land-based flamethrowers called the X15 and XL18 that can shoot napalm 50 feet to 110 feet, respectively.

Ground-based flamethrowers have more capabilities than the TF-19 WASP, including the use for snow and ice removal and firefighting and training.

In comparison to Musk’s $500 not-a-flamethrower, well, it’s absolutely junk when compared to ThrowFlame’s products.

Source: ZeroHedge

“Alexa, How Do We Subvert Big Tech’s Orwellian Internet-of-Things Surveillance?”

Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power.

When every device in your life is connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), your refrigerator will schedule an oil change for your car–or something like that–and it will be amazingly wunnerful. You’ll be able to lower the temperature of your home office while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, while your fridge orders another jar of pickles delivered to your door.

It’s all in service of convenience, the god all Americans are brainwashed to worship. Imagine the convenience of turning on the light while seated on your sofa! Mind-boggling convenience at your fingertips–and since you’re already clutching your smart phone 24/7, convenience is indeed at your fingertips.

It’s also about control, and as we lose control of everything that’s actually important in our lives, the illusion of agency/control is a compelling pitch. Imagine being able to program your fridge to order a quart of milk delivered when it gets low but not order another jar of pickles when that gets low! Wow! That’s control, yowzah.

The Internet of Things is indeed about control–not your control, but control over you— control of what’s marketed to you, and control of your behaviors via control of the incentives, distractions and micro-decisions that shape behavior.

I Used Google Ads for Social Engineering. It Worked. (via Mark J.)

The control enabled by the Internet of Things starts with persuasion and quickly slides into coercion. Since corporations and government agencies will have a complete map of your movements, purchases, consumption, communications, etc., then behavior flagged as “non-beneficial” will be flagged for “nudging nags”, while “unsanctioned” behavior will be directed to the proper authorities.

Say you’re visiting a fast-food outlet for the fourth time in a week. Your health insurance corporation has set three visits a week as a maximum, lest your poor lifestyle choices start costing them money for treatments, so you get a friendly “reminder” to lay off the fast food or make “healthier” choices off the fast food menu.

Failure to heed the “nudges” will result in higher premiums or cancelled coverage. Sorry, pal, it’s just business. Your “freedom” doesn’t extend to costing us money.

Domestic corporate versions of China’s social credit score will proliferate. Here is evidence that such scores already exist:

Everyone’s Got A “Surveillance Score” And It Can Cost You Big Money (Zero Hedge)

Then there’s the surveillance. The Internet of Things isn’t just monitoring energy use and the quantity of milk in a fridge; it’s monitoring you–not just in your house, car and wherever you take your Personal Surveillance Device, i.e. your smart phone, but everywhere you go.

If you are a lookie-loo shopper–you browse the inventory but rarely buy anything–expect to be put in Category Three–zero customer service, and heightened surveillance in case your intent is to boost some goodies (shoplift).

Heaven help you if you start spending time reading shadow-banned websites like Of Two Minds: your social credit standing moves into the red zone, and your biometric scans at airports, concerts, retail centers etc., will attract higher scrutiny. You just can’t be too sure about people who stray off the reservation of “approved” corporate media.

Your impulses are easy to exploit: since every purchase is tracked, your vulnerabilities to impulse buys will be visible with a bit of routine Big Data analysis, and so the price of the treats you succumb to will go up compared to the indifferent consumer next to you. Sorry, pal, it’s just business. Your vulnerabilities, insecurities and weaknesses are profit centers. We’d be foolish not to exploit them to maximize profits, because that is the sole mission of global corporations.

Governments access the trove of surveillance for their own purposes.Monitoring phone calls, texts and emails is only the first step; privacy as a concept and a right has effectively ceased to exist other than as a legal abstraction and useful fiction. The Dawn Of Robot Surveillance: AI, Video Analytics, and Privacy.

Longtime correspondent Simon H. recently submitted a video link on The Internet of Things as well as a sobering and insightful commentary.

Here is an overview by James Corbett of the totalitarian reach of the 5G IoT and a technocratic surveillance dictatorship. All delivered as an unavoidable facet of inevitable tech progress.

The 5G Dragnet

There seems to be an idea that the only reason we have historically had privacy, civil liberties and general freedoms is because in the past we lacked the technology to eliminate them.

The future does indeed seem to have globalist technocracy written all over it which is to be presented as a simple matter of embracing technological progress and celebrating new technological wonders. Don’t think about the total surveillance taking place just marvel at the speed of your connections and the convenience of outsourcing all of your troubling personal sovereignty to machine assistants to make all of your decisions for you.

Anyone who resists this undemocratic future will be branded as a nostalgically foolish, technological Luddite. However, this new form of tech is completely different in nature to all of those that have preceded it. If we think in terms of macro and micro economics, then we can also look at current developments in terms of macro and micro sovereignties. This phenomenon is more pronounced in the UK than the US because of the sovereignty issues of the EU and Brexit.

Not only is our democratic sovereignty being eroded by supranational organization such as the EU, the IMF, the IPCC, markets and the central banking masters of the economic universe, etc., if we take surveillance capitalism, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) into consideration one can see that our sovereignty it is also under direct dual attack at an extreme and fundamentally personal level.

Against all of these things we are seeing extraordinary coalitions of resistance: Marxists, Anti-Capitalists, Anarchists, Austrian Libertarians and anyone of an old school left of right wing true liberalism who believe in the principles of democracy and sovereignty, freedom of speech, privacy and civil liberties.

The so called liberal progressives who support globalism and the technocracy are anything but liberal: they are imperialist totalitarians no better or less dangerous than the Nazis. We desperately need to strip them of their fake liberal and moderate claims and show them for what they truly are — sociopaths.

Thank you, Simon. Resistance can take many forms.

One approach is to minimize surveillance by stripping out apps from your smart phone, leaving it in a drawer most of the time, and disabling wifi in all appliances and devices you buy/own. This approach isn’t perfect, as surveillance is far beyond our control, despite Big Tech claims of transparency, privacy controls, etc., but nonetheless any reduction in data collection is meaningful.

More than 1,000 Android apps harvest data even after you deny permissions (via Mark J.)

Buy with cash and buy the absolute minimum. If you only buy real food–meats, vegetables, grains, fruit, etc.–you’ve effectively stripped out all the profit potential of our corporate overlords. Who is going to make a big profit offering you a discount on raw carrots? No one.

If your impulse buys are paid with cash, they can’t be tracked. Whatever you buy in person with cash can’t be tracked.

Limit your Personal Surveillance Device, i.e. your smart phone: disable its “always listening” and other capabilities; leave it in the drawer, etc.

How to Turn an Android Phone Into a Dumbphone in 8 Steps

Understand you’re being played and gamed 24/7; ignore all the marketing, pitches and propaganda. Make it a habit to ignore all marketing pitches, discounts, coupons, etc. Become an anti-consumer, minimizing trackable purchases and pursuing a DeGrowth lifestyle of repairing existing items and making everything you own last rather than replace it with a new item (this is the Landfill Economy I’ve discussed many times, with thanks to correspondent Bart D. who coined the phrase to the best of my knowledge).

Don’t buy wifi-enabled devices, and disable wifi if there are no non-wifi options available.

This subverts the value of the data Facebook, Google, et al. collect on you and sell to the highest bidder. If the data isn’t useful in selling you something, then the buyers of the data will at a minimum weed the non-controllable consumers out of the data pool.

Since any deviance outside “normal” attracts scrutiny, game the system by logging a baseline of “normal” purchases and activities. Appearing minimally ordinary has its advantages. Trying too hard to leave no digital footprint is itself highly suspicious.

Advocate for digital privacy / Freedom from Surveillance and AI Bill of Rights.There is still a narrow window in the U.S. for protecting and expanding civil liberties and privacy. Here is an example of a proposed Algorithmic Bill of Rights:

Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power. “To serve humans” takes on new meanings in Big Tech/ Big Government’s Orwellian the Internet of Things: To Serve Man (The Twilight Zone).

Source: by Charles Huge Smith | ZeroHedge

‘Oops, we did it again!’ NSA Caught Illegally Collecting Americans’ Phone Data

The NSA has been caught improperly collecting Americans’ phone data yet again, just months after a similar incident forced them to (supposedly) purge hundreds of millions of records captured without FISA authorization.

The agency unlawfully slurped up a “larger than expected” volume of call and text records from one US telecom provider under the metadata-collection program known as Section 215, according to a document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of its ongoing lawsuit against the agency. The heavily redacted file does not reveal which company was affected, or how many of its “call detail records” were illegally collected between October 3 and 12, 2018.

These documents further confirm that this surveillance program is beyond redemption and a privacy and civil liberties disaster,” ACLU National Security Project staff attorney Patrick Toomey told the AP. “There is no justification for leaving this surveillance power in the NSA’s hands.”

Revealingly, the NSA in its own internal documents assesses the blunder’s “impact on national security or international relations” to be “none.” Critics of the program, formerly known as StellarWind, have pointed to its acknowledged failure to stop a single terror event – the agency’s official rationale for eavesdropping on 3 billion phone calls every day – as one of many reasons it should be scrapped.

The agency “will assess the scope of the civil liberties and privacy impact of this incident upon completion of the investigation,” the report promises, though an “initial assessment is that the impact was limited given the quick identification, purge processes, and lack of reporting.”

Why is there no penalty? Why is there no consequence for doing this? This is illegal behavior – if it is illegal, what is the accountability for those who are collecting it?” journalist Ben Swann asked, referring to both the telecoms providing excess information and the government agency that has made at least three such “mistakes” in the last year.

The NSA never outs themselves and admits ‘We made a mistake’ – it only comes to light when the ACLU or some group sues,” Swann told RT.

If there is no accountability for those who continue to break the law – because that’s what they’re doing – then why would they ever stop doing that?

The NSA is reportedly in favor of discontinuing Section 215 altogether, allowing congressional authorization to lapse when it expires at the end of 2019, though President Donald Trump has declared he wants to keep it running indefinitely.

While the documents received by the ACLU suggest previous rumors about the agency’s use of the program – a security adviser to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed the NSA hadn’t used it since June, the last time it was forced to purge millions of improperly-collected records – were false, former NSA chief William Binney confirms the agency is only letting it go because they have something much more sinister going on.

There is no oversight of the upstream program,” Binney told RT, referring to an NSA program that collects not only phone records but emails, “chatter,” and “everything on the fiber optic network.” Upstream is “the major program that’s copying the collection of bulk data on everybody, not just in the United States but on the planet.

The Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Act, a bipartisan bill to end NSA bulk collection of US phone data and prevent the agency from restarting it which was introduced in the Senate earlier this year, appears to have come a bit too late.

Source: RT