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JonLP24

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 07:35 PM
Number of posts: 26,819

Journal Archives

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, an app for following storms, and a "level" app that can be used to help, for example, install shelves in a bedroom.

Through public records, interviews with developers, and technical analysis, Motherboard uncovered two separate, parallel data streams that the U.S. military uses, or has used, to obtain location data. One relies on a company called Babel Street, which creates a product called Locate X. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and special reconnaissance, bought access to Locate X to assist on overseas special forces operations. The other stream is through a company called X-Mode, which obtains location data directly from apps, then sells that data to contractors, and by extension, the military.

The news highlights the opaque location data industry and the fact that the U.S. military, which has infamously used other location data to target drone strikes, is purchasing access to sensitive data. Many of the users of apps involved in the data supply chain are Muslim, which is notable considering that the United States has waged a decades-long war on predominantly Muslim terror groups in the Middle East, and has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians during its military operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Motherboard does not know of any specific operations in which this type of app-based location data has been used by the U.S. military.

The apps sending data to X-Mode include Muslim Pro, an app that reminds users when to pray and what direction Mecca is in relation to the user's current location. The app has been downloaded over 50 million times on Android, according to the Google Play Store, and over 98 million in total across other platforms including iOS, according to Muslim Pro's website.

https://www.vice.com/amp/en/article/jgqm5x/us-military-location-data-xmode-locate-x?__twitter_impression=true

The Republican Party Is Racist and Soulless. Just Ask This Veteran GOP Strategist.

(Snip)

He huffed that the Republican Party had not merely drifted away from its core positions, as sometimes occurs with political parties: “Fair trade, balanced budgets, character, family values, standing up to foreign adversaries like Russia—we’re all against that now. You have to ask, ‘Does someone abandon deeply held beliefs in three or four years?’ No. It means you didn’t ever hold them.” He added: “I feel like a guy who was working for Bernie Madoff.”

Stevens, an erudite fellow who is also a novelist and a travel writer, has become an emblematic ex-Republican. He once believed in GOP ideals and ideas. Now he saw it all as a huge con. His new book is a confession and cri de coeur. The first line is blunt: “I have no one to blame but myself.” In these pages, Stevens self-flagellates, calling himself a “fool” for his decades of believing—and lying to himself—that the Republican Party was based on “a core set of values.” Acknowledging his role, Stevens writes, “So yes, blame me. Blame me when you look around and see a dysfunctional political system and a Republican Party that has gone insane.” The book offers one overarching prescription for the GOP: “Burn it to the ground and start over.”

In our conversation, Stevens exploded with loathing for the party he once faithfully (and lucratively) served. He rejected the common view that Trump had hijacked the GOP. No, he explained, the triumph of know-nothing Trumpism marked the culmination of an internal conflict that had existed for decades between the party’s “dark side” and its professed ideals. Even William F. Buckley Jr., often hailed as a grand public intellectual and the founding father of the modern conservative movement, was “a stone-cold racist” in the 1950s, Stevens pointed out. (Buckley at that time considered white people more “advanced” and more fit to govern.)

“A lot of us in the party liked to believe the dark side was a recessive gene, but it’s a dominant theme,” Stevens, a seventh-­generation Mississippian who was named for Confederate Gen. Jeb Stuart, told me. “And it’s all about race. The Republican Party is a white party and there still are more white people than non-white people.” So that is whom the party aims at—even if this will eventually be a losing proposition as the nation’s demographics continue to shift. Ronald Reagan achieved a landslide victory in 1980 by bagging 56 percent of white voters; 28 years later, John McCain lost with 55 percent of white voters. Perhaps the party’s fixation on white voters can work one more time with Trump in 2020. “But we’re talking about the Confederacy—literally,” Stevens said.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/08/racism-republican-party-stuart-stevens/?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=naytev&utm_medium=social

Louisville police, county attorney's office hide 738,000 records in Explorer sex abuse case

Louisville Metro Police concealed at least 738,000 records documenting the sexual abuse of Explorer Scouts by two officers — then lied to keep the files from the public, records show.

The Courier Journal last year requested all records regarding sexual abuse of minors by two officers in the Explorer Scout program for youths interested in law enforcement careers.

Police officials and the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office said they couldn't comply, insisting all the records had been turned over to the FBI for its investigation.

But that wasn't true, according to records The Courier Journal recently obtained in the appeal of its open records case.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2020/11/11/lmpd-explorer-scandal-lawyers-say-police-lied-conceal-records/6224382002/

"I Don't See Them Accepting The Results." Scenes from Election Protests in Maricopa County Arizona

Tensions are running high outside of the Maricopa County Elections office in Phoenix, Ariz., where more than a hundred protestors have demonstrated for the last three nights to argue about the electoral process after former Vice President Joe Biden became the front-runner in the traditionally red state.

New York-based photographer Sinna Nasseri has spent most of this year on a road trip across America documenting the fraught political landscape, West Coast wildfires and life amid COVID-19 lockdown.

In Trump’s presidential race run on conflicting words and disinformation, photographs provide another layer of evidence to process—visual proof sliced out of the landscape that focuses your attention on particular moments, fractions of seconds. In Nasseri’s images, the confusion of 2020 is frozen using a flash, framing some of the most extreme points in the fight with the most fringe members of Trump’s base gasping in the final round.

Through his lens, supporters of President Donald Trump wrap themselves in flags and hold signs about QAnon, (a conspiracy which promotes Trump as the final defense against a “deep state” cabal of Democrats and Hollywood elite who traffic, rape, and cannibalize children); Boogaloo Boys in Hawaiian shirts strut with AR-15 rifles; and media spinsters Alex Jones and Mike Cernovich add to the chaos.

https://time.com/5908628/maricopa-county-arizona-protests/?amp=true

Click on the link for the photos.

Arizona Call for Biden Flipped the Mood at Trump Headquarters

WASHINGTON — With Florida looking red early on Tuesday night, President Trump and his advisers thought they were witnessing a repeat of election night 2016, when a victory in Florida foreshadowed a victory over all.

Inside the East Room, the mood was upbeat as hundreds of people, including cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and former officials who have remained loyal to Mr. Trump, mingled and dined on sliders and french fries. Officials who had been pessimistic about the president’s re-election chances suddenly started to picture four more years in power.

(Snip)

Mr. Trump and his advisers erupted at the news. If it was true that Arizona was lost, it would call into doubt on any claim of victory the president might be able to make.


What ensued for Mr. Trump was a night of angry calls to Republican governors and advice from campaign aides that he ignored, leading to a middle-of-the-night presidential briefing in which he made a reckless and unsubstantiated string of remarks about the democratic process. Standing in the East Room at 2:30 a.m., he dismissed the election as a “fraud” and claimed he wanted to stop the counting of votes and leave the results to the Supreme Court.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/us/politics/trump-fox-news-arizona.html#click=https://t.co/DD3vPdpNfX

EXPLAINER: Why AP called Arizona for Biden

(Snip)

But changing demographics, including a fast-growing Latino population and a boom of new residents — some fleeing the skyrocketing cost of living in neighboring California — have made the state friendlier to Democrats.

Many of the gains have been driven by the shifting politics of Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix and its suburbs. That’s where Biden sealed his victory. Maricopa County accounts for 60% of the state’s vote, and Biden ran up huge margins there.

In 2016, Trump carried the county by 4 percentage points, which helped propel him to a win. But two years later, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema flipped the seat from Republican control by winning the county by 5 points.

When the AP called the race for Biden, he was leading there by 9 percentage points.

https://www.azfamily.com/news/politics/election_headquarters/explainer-why-ap-called-arizona-for-biden/article_924ca49e-1e9b-11eb-8d70-ab46aeff34e0.html

A decades-long blue wave


Young voters, projected to turn out overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, could provide a huge advantage for Democrats not just this for this election, but for decades to come.

Driving the news: Pollsters and political scientists have been poring over two new reports by the liberal Center for American Progress and the Harvard Institute of Politics this month that examine both the growing size and enthusiasm among the nation's youngest voters.

The Harvard poll finds that 63% of 18- to 29-year olds "definitely" plan to vote. Their enthusiasm for Biden grew even stronger since September.

The Center for American Progress' models forecast a huge advantage for Democrats in future elections, based on demographics and voting patterns of today’s youngest generations — even taking account of trends that show that Americans tend to become more conservative as they age.

https://www.axios.com/blue-wave-decades-biden-democrats-62bc1d31-ffd2-4a4a-8f8a-b2f476c65876.html

DOJ Unveils More Sweeping Cyber-Charges Against Russian Intelligence Officers

The Justice Department unsealed charges against six alleged Russian government hackers on Monday and said they were behind a rash of recent cyberattacks — from damaging Ukraine's electrical grid to interfering in France's election to spying on European investigations and more.

The men work for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU — which also led Russian cyber-interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Justice Department officials said Moscow has only sustained or heightened its intensity of effort since then.

"No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite," said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.

"Today the department has charged these Russian officers with conducting the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group. ... No nation will recapture greatness while behaving in this way."

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/19/925423705/doj-unveils-more-sweeping-cyber-charges-against-russian-intelligence-officers?utm_campaign=politics&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social

The News Media Isn't Biased Against Trump. It's Biased For Him.

By Jonathan Chait

(Snip)

It is true that Trump found many of the questions posed to him difficult to answer and that Biden answered his queries more easily. It is also true that mainstream news coverage, in general, has depicted Trump in a brutally harsh light. (This, of course, omits conservative media, which functions as a state-controlled message machine.)

But it’s not the media’s fault that Trump continues to incriminate himself and is unable to answer simple questions. The problem is not that the media holds him to a difficult standard. He is held, by necessity, to a more forgiving standard than any modern president. But however low the bar is set, Trump continues to trip over it.

(Snip)

Imagine if Biden had been asked the same question. He would have had little difficulty saying, ‘No, the Democratic party is not the cover for a satanic sex ring.’ The reason reporters don’t pose this question to Biden is not because it would be too difficult for him to answer, but because it would be too easy.

(Snip)

Guthrie asked Trump why he tweeted “a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of bin Laden.” If Biden had tweeted out a claim that Trump had killed somebody, and that person was in fact alive, he would probably be asked about it — a lot. Indeed, if Biden had tweeted a ludicrous murder accusation, it would represent a crisis for his campaign so dire that the press would likely talk about little else. His allies would be pressed to denounce him, and Democrats would be discussing ways to force him off the ticket. For Trump, it was just another item on the list of questions.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/article/media-isnt-biased-against-trump-biden-liberal-news.html?__twitter_impression=true

US intelligence analysts feared Russia would dump hacked and forged Burisma emails targeting Biden a

US intelligence analysts feared Russia would dump hacked and forged Burisma emails targeting Biden as an 'October surprise,' report says


*US intelligence analysts suspected at least as far back as last month that a mixture of hacked and forged emails from the Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings might be dumped online as an "October surprise," The New York Times reported Wednesday.

*Russian military-intelligence hackers successfully breached Burisma's servers in January, The Times reported earlier this year.

*Wednesday's report said analysts contacted people with knowledge of the hack because they were concerned "the Burisma material would be leaked alongside forged materials in an attempt to hurt" the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.

*Earlier Wednesday, the New York Post published an article purporting to feature a "smoking-gun email" between a Burisma executive and Biden's son Hunter.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-intelligence-analysts-hacked-burisma-emails-russia-october-surprise-2020-10?amp&__twitter_impression=true
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