Arizona: Jobs Requiring Fingerprinting by State Will Now Require DNA Sample

February 19th, 2019

Via: AZ Central:

Arizona could soon be one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database.

And if the proposed legislation passes, many people — from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents — will have no choice but to give up their DNA.

Under Senate Bill 1475, which Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons.

The bill would even authorize the medical examiner’s office in each county to take DNA from any bodies that come into their possession.

The Department of Public Safety would maintain the collected DNA alongside the person’s name, Social Security number, date of birth and last known address.

Any DNA in the database could be accessed and used by law enforcement in a criminal investigation. It could also be shared with other government agencies across the country for licensing, death registration, to identify a missing person or to determine someone’s real name.

It could also be provided to someone conducting “legitimate research.”

A $250 fee could be collected from a person who submits biological samples, according to the bill. It’s not clear who would foot the cost for the dead.

Calling Your Bank? Be Prepared to Have Your Voice Biometrics Collected

February 19th, 2019

Via: FastCompany:

In Chase’s case, the biometric program was announced back in April, but there’s a good chance many customers missed the announcement. (I missed it, and I actually write about these topics for a living.) Now, when you call Chase, an automated recording informs you that your voice is being used to identify you in the hopes of preventing fraud. Pick up the phone and you’re being recorded to make a “voice print,” which, according to Chase’s website, “is created from more than 100 different physical and behavioral characteristics such as pitch, accent, shape of your mouth, and vocal tract as you speak with a customer service representative.” (What happens if some identity-thieving criminal calls first is still TBD.) Once your voiceprint is created, Chase will use it the next time you call to “quickly verify it’s you.”

“Stop the Online Conspiracy Theorists Before They Break Democracy”

February 19th, 2019

The conspiracy theorists are coming. Run for your lives!!!

Via: Guardian:

Organised conspiracy theorist networks have launched an all-out information war across Europe. At the heart of this is the QAnon movement. It expanded from the US to Europe and the UK at rapid speed, hijacking political debates on social media as well as mass protests in the streets in recent months. Our new analysis at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shows that European conspiracy theorists run increasingly sophisticated campaigns around critical junctions in national, regional and global politics. They even carried out social media operations to influence voters in German state elections, including the 2018 election in Bavaria.

The QAnon community, which began on the message-board site 4chan, strongly overlaps with the support networks of far-right movements such as the EDL and Pegida. Most recently, it co-opted yellow vest demonstrations and boosted hardline Brexit campaigns and Tommy Robinson protests. By injecting conspiratorial narratives into these movements, its members can leverage existing networks and alter their political direction. A commonly used tactic is to combine conspiricist hashtags with those of viral campaigns and trending topics. The scale this generates is disproportional enough to distort public perception: In 2018, ISD identified close to 30m uses of the word “QAnon” across Twitter, YouTube and forums such as Reddit and 4chan.

Americans Among Group Arrested in Haiti with Guns, Satellite Phones, Drones

February 19th, 2019

Via: Reuters:

Haitian police arrested a group of foreign nationals, including five Americans, armed with semi-automatic weapons, Haitian newspapers reported on Monday, adding to uncertainty in the impoverished Caribbean country after days of anti-government protests.

The U.S. State Department was aware that Haitian police arrested a group that included U.S. citizens, an official at the department said on Monday. Haitian police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported that seven foreigners and a Haitian were in the group picked up by police on Sunday night. Police found rifles, pistols, drones and satellite phones in their two vehicles, the newspaper said.

Other media said several of the men were U.S. citizens, one was Serbian and another from Russia.

Haitian newspapers printed names that corresponded to social media profiles of U.S. citizens claiming military backgrounds.

The Utterly Unbelievable Scale of U.S. Debt Right Now

February 18th, 2019

Via: National Post:

This week, the United States national debt ticked above US$22 trillion for the first time, an amount equivalent to $67,000 per U.S. citizen.

The U.S. federal government owes more money than any other institution in the history of human civilization. And it’s just getting worse. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in only 10 years the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio will be higher than any point since the Second World War.

Holding a $22 trillion pile of debt is not cheap. Although the United States benefits from ludicrously cheap interest rates on its treasury bills, in 2019 it will spend $383 billion just to service its debt. By 2023, interest payments are expected to be larger even than the U.S. defence budget. Even now, $383 billion dwarfs the entire federal budget of Canada.

Throughout U.S. history, periods of massive debt accumulation have usually coincided with bad times: The Great Depression, the Civil War, etc. By any economic measure, however, the United States is currently doing fantastic. Major foreign wars have been stepped down. The jobless rate is at a 49-year low. Economic growth has been topping four per cent. The last time the U.S. economy was this good, the federal government was running budget surpluses to pay down the debt, rather than piling up debt faster than ever. The implication is that when the boom inevitably ends, U.S. deficits are set to explode even faster. “The economy is going well and we are looking at deficits that are four per cent of GDP going forward,” Congressional Budget Office director Keith Hall said in late January. “That is an unusual thing.”

Neuroscientists Say They’ve Found an Entirely New Form of Neural Communication

February 18th, 2019

Make sure everyone is bathed in directed energy weapon beams 5G network signals.

Via: ScienceAlert:

What they found was that slow periodic activity can generate electric fields which in turn activate neighbouring cells, constituting a form of neural communication without chemical synaptic transmission or gap junctions.

“We’ve known about these waves for a long time, but no one knows their exact function and no one believed they could spontaneously propagate,” Durand says.

“I’ve been studying the hippocampus, itself just one small part of the brain, for 40 years and it keeps surprising me.”

This neural activity can actually be modulated – strengthened or blocked – by applying weak electrical fields and could be an analogue form of another cell communication method, called ephaptic coupling.

The team’s most radical finding was that these electrical fields can activate neurons through a complete gap in severed brain tissue, when the two pieces remain in close physical proximity.

“To ensure that the slice was completely cut, the two pieces of tissue were separated and then rejoined while a clear gap was observed under the surgical microscope,” the authors explain in their paper.

“The slow hippocampal periodic activity could indeed generate an event on the other side of a complete cut through the whole slice.”

If you think that sounds freaky, you’re not the only one. The review committee at The Journal of Physiology – in which the research has been published – insisted the experiments be completed again before agreeing to print the study.

Durand et al. dutifully complied, but sound pretty understanding of the cautiousness, all things considered, given the unprecedented weirdness of the observation they’re reporting.

“It was a jaw-dropping moment,” Durand says, “for us and for every scientist we told about this so far.”

“But every experiment we’ve done since to test it has confirmed it so far.”

Radiation From Smartphones May Impair Memory In Teens

February 18th, 2019

Via: StudyFinds:

Don’t want your child to have a cellphone? One recent study gives you good reason to make kids wait as long as possible for their first mobile device: it appears that radiation from phones can hurt a teenager’s memory.

A research team at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute says that radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) may negatively affect an adolescent’s brain from cellphone exposure, causing potentially harmful effects on his or her memory performance. The authors say having the device close to one’s head lead to the greatest amount of radiation exposure.

The researchers studied nearly 700 public school students in Switzerland between ages 12 and 17. They examined how RF-EMF exposure from mobile phones over a year’s time affected memory in the adolescents, and found that memory processed and stored in the right brain hemisphere was particularly worsened. It’s believed that participants primarily held the phone up to the right side of their heads when talking, which likely led to the right hemisphere impairment.

“This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations.” says Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH, in a statement. “A unique feature of this study is the use of objectively collected mobile phone user data from mobile phone operators.”

But Röösli couldn’t rule out that puberty and other external factors may also have played a role in memory development among the children. Further research is needed to rule out such factors, as well as to determine what, if any, long-term risks come with radiation exposure from phones.

The authors note that handheld smartphone usage, such as browsing the web, texting, or playing games led to notably less exposure to the radiation and was not believed to impair the participants’ memory.

Life Imitates Akira: The NSA’s Fear of Psychic Nukes

February 18th, 2019

Via: Muckrock:

Agency wondered if ten psychics could cause a chain reaction that would cause a city to become lost in time and space.

The New Totalitarianism

February 17th, 2019

Via: Richard Dolan:

China Tracking Physical Locations of 2.5 Million People in Western Region of Country

February 17th, 2019

Via: South China Morning Post:

A Chinese surveillance firm is tracking the movements of more than 2.5 million people in the far-western Xinjiang region, according to a data leak flagged by a Dutch internet expert.

An online database containing names, ID card numbers, birth dates and location data was left unprotected for months by Shenzhen-based facial-recognition technology firm SenseNets Technology, according to Victor Gevers, co-founder of non-profit organisation GDI.Foundation, who first noted the vulnerability in a series of social media posts last week.

Exposed data also showed about 6.7 million location data points linked to the people which were gathered within 24 hours, tagged with descriptions such as “mosque”, “hotel”, “internet cafe” and other places where surveillance cameras were likely to be found.

“It was fully open and anyone without authentication had full administrative rights. You could go in the database and create, read, update and delete anything,” Gevers said.

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