Three Interactive Tools for Understanding Police Surveillance – Activist Post

18-09-20 12:33:00,

By Jessica Romo

As law enforcement and government surveillance technology continues to become more and more advanced, it has also become harder for everyday people to avoid. Law enforcement agencies all over the United States are using body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, drones, and much more—all of which threat people’s right to privacy. But it’s often difficult for people to even become aware of what technology is being used where they live.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has three interactive tools that help you learn about the new technologies being deployed around the United States and how they impact you: the Atlas of Surveillance, Spot the Surveillance, and Who Has Your Face?

The Atlas of Surveillance

A map with a lot of dots representing different kinds of surveillance.

The Atlas of Surveillance is a database and map that will help you understand the magnitude of surveillance at the national level, as well as what kind of technology is used locally where you live.

Developed in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism, the Atlas of Surveillance is a dataset with more than 5,500 points of information on technology surveillance used by law enforcement agencies across the United States. Journalism students and EFF volunteers gathered online research, such as news articles and government records, on 10 common surveillance technologies and two different types of surveillance command centers.

By clicking any point on the map, you will get the name of an agency and a description of the technology. If you toggle the interactive legend, you can see how each technology is spreading across the country. You can also search a simple-to-use text version of the database of all the research, including links to news articles or documents that confirm the existence of the technology in that region.

Who Has Your Face?

The front page of the Who Has Your Face website

Half of all adults in the United States likely have their image in a law enforcement facial recognition database, according to a 2016 report from the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. Today, that number is probably higher. But what about your face?

Face recognition is a form of biometric surveillance that uses software to automatically identify or track someone based on their physical characteristics.

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Three More Arrested In Australia For Making Anti-Lockdown Posts Online – Activist Post

06-09-20 07:25:00,

By John Vibes

Earlier this week we reported that a pregnant woman from Melbourne, Australia, was arrested in her home for creating a social media page for an anti-lockdown protest. According to a new report from ABC news, three other Australians have also been arrested for making anti-lockdown posts online.

On Friday morning, a man named James Bartolo was also arrested in his home, and his arrest was recorded as well.

In the video, which was live-streamed through his Facebook page, Bartolo can be seen arguing with police who were gathered outside of his door, insisting that they did not have permission to enter his property.

“You don’t have authorization to be on the property,” he said.

Eventually, police busted through the door and made the arrest anyway. Since he did not go with the police willingly they stacked up additional charges against him, including resisting arrest and possession of prohibited weapons that were found in his home.

Bartolo is reportedly the fourth Australian the be arrested for incitement related to anti-lockdown posting online. After his arrest, Bartolo posted followup videos urging his friends and supporters to stay away from the upcoming protests in Melbourne on Sunday, calling the protests a “trap.”

He also suggested that large crowds at the protest could be used as an excuse to extend the lock-down measures. The region of Victoria is currently under level 4 restrictions, which includes a curfew and a limit on how far people can travel from their homes. As of now, there is no clear date for when the lockdown restrictions will be lifted in the region.

The crackdown and string of arrests were criticized by the Australian Human Rights Commission which posted a statement on Twitter regarding 28-year-old Zoe Buhler, the woman who was arrested in front of her children for organizing a protest on Facebook.

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— Australian Human Rights Commission (@AusHumanRights) September 3, 2020

Source: Truth Theory

John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture,

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Three decades after Soviet collapse, Russia tells UN it’s eliminated ‘extreme’ poverty, but millions still require govt help

27-06-20 05:08:00,

The disastrous 1990s are now a generation ago, but the scars still remain. Only now has Russia eradicated extreme poverty, and 18.1 million people still live below the subsistence minimum. However, things are slowly improving.

On Friday, Russia told the UN it had “achieved the goal of eliminating extreme poverty,” and outlined the country’s successes. 

Its review also highlights the strides it has made in reducing deprivation at all levels of severity, although it has fallen short of its own targets. In 2018, 12.6 percent of the population (18.4 million) lived below the subsistence level, and preliminary data for 2019 suggests the percentage has decreased to 12.3 percent (18.1 million). The goal set for 2019 was 12 percent.

“Subsistence level” is determined by the cost of living, including the price of food and mandatory payments and fees.

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President Vladimir Putin has named poverty reduction as one of his priorities and previously instructed the government to achieve a two-fold reduction by 2024, setting the target at 6.6 percent.

The review also highlights Russia’s successes in reducing hunger across the country, noting that, in 2018, only 1.6 percent of those over the age of 18 suffered from malnutrition.

Earlier this year, the head of the Ministry of Labor, Anton Kotyakov, called poverty one of Russia’s most acute problems, and stated that the issue “needs to be put at the forefront of all our main areas of activity.”

Much of the country’s post-Soviet history has been blighted by economic difficulties. Less than a decade after the turmoil of the ’90s, the 2008 financial crash saw millions of Russians fall back into poverty, wiping out some of the gains from an eight-year boom. Just as that corner was turned, another recession followed in 2014, due to a combination of a collapse in oil prices and the fallout from the Ukraine crisis. Now, many fear the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will put paid to the progress that’s been made.

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‘A Tale of Three Crises: Comparing 1929 with 2008 and 2020’ – Global Research

20-03-20 08:10:00,

In September 2018 I wrote an article predicting the next economic crisis would occur in 2-3 years. I was wrong. It’s taken only 18 months. What follows are excerpts from that article, then entitled ‘Comparing 1929 with 2008 and the Next’. It is important to understand how the now three great economic crises of the last century are in many ways similar, marked by a joint collapse of financial markets and the real economy, the one determining the other, and vice versa, in a downward general spiral. In other words, how financial cycles and crises precipitate and enable real ‘great’ contractions (not normal recessions) and how, in turn, real economic collapse exacerbates financial collapse as well. It’s not that one causes the other; both cause each other.

What follows is the verbatim reproduction of that article (minus some comments on the then upcoming 2018 midterm elections. For the full article, go to my website)


The business and mainstream press this month, September 2018, has been publishing numerous accounts of the 2008 financial crash on its tenth anniversary. This month attention has been focused on the Lehman Brothers investment bank crash that accelerated the general financial system implosion in the US, and worldwide, ten years ago. Next month, October, we’ll no doubt hear more about the crash as it spread to the giant insurance company, AIG, and beyond that to other brokerages (Merrill Lynch), mid-sized banks (Washington Mutual), to the finance arms of the auto companies (GMAC) and big conglomerates (GE Credit), to the ‘too big to fail’ banks like Bank of America and Citigroup and beyond. These ‘reports’ are typically narrative in nature, however, and provide little in the way of deeper historical and theoretical analysis.

Parallels & Comparisons 1929 & 2008

It is often said that the initial months of the 2008-09 crash set the US economy on a trajectory of collapse eerily similar to that of 1929-30. Job losses were occurring at a rate of 1 million a month on average from October 2008 through March 2009. One might therefore think that mainstream economists would look closely at the two time periods—i.e. 1929-30 and 2008-09—to determine with patterns or similar causes were occurring.

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Three Extraordinary Australian Journalists: Burchett, Pilger and Assange – Global Research

09-02-20 09:15:00,

Australia has produced extraordinary journalists across three generations: Wilfred Burchett (deceased in 1983), John Pilger (80 years old but still active) and Julian Assange (48 years old, currently in London’s Belmarsh prison).

Each of these journalists made unique contributions to our understanding of the world. Although Australia is part of the western world, each of these journalists exposed and criticized Western foreign policy.

Wilfred Burchett

Wilfred Burchett lived from 1911 to 1983. He was a farm boy and his experience in the depression shaped his dislike of oligarchs and preference for the poor.  He went to Europe trying to volunteer for Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but that did not work out.  Instead, he assisted Jews escaping Nazi Germany.

Image result for Wilfred Burchett

Burchett became a journalist by accident. Having seen the reality in Germany, he started writing many letters to newspaper editors. One of the editors took note of his fluid writing style and intensity. They contacted him to ask if he would like to report for them. Thus began a forty year writing career.

He covered WW2, first stationed with British troops in India then Burma. Then he covered the Pacific campaign stationed with U.S. troops.  He was the first international journalist to report on Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. He evaded US military restrictions to go to Hiroshima and see reality for himself. In his story “The Atomic Plague”, published in the London Daily Express, Burchett said,  “I write this as a warning to the world” and “Doctors fall as they work”.   Immediately the US launched a campaign to smear his reputation and deny the validity of his story. The US military was intent on preventing people from knowing the long term effects of nuclear radiation.

Burchett’s report from Hiroshima was broadcast world wide and called the “scoop of the century”. It exemplified his career based on first hand observation and experience.

Over his 40 year career he reported the other side of the story from the Soviet Union, China, Korea and Vietnam. He wrote thousands of articles and over 35 books.  On China he wrote “China’s Feet Unbound” in 1952. Two decades later he wrote (with Rewi Alley) “China: The Quality of Life”.

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