Sen Asks If ANY Studies Being Done on 5G Health Risks: Anyone? Anyone?

With a delivery as dry as Ben Stein’s teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, Sen Blumenthal asks telecom CEO if anyone is doing any health studies on 5G risks. Like Stein’s students, blank stares and no answers.

https://www.infowars.com/watch/

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Speed “Assist” Nanny-Tech Coming to USA and The Freedom of Classic Cars

Eric Peters, EPAutos.com, tells us what Speed “Assist” feels like after he tested a car with the feature to be mandated in EU by 2022 (and will of course be added to US cars as well). As cars become more expensive and take more control away from the driver, Eric talks about how attractive classic cars are from a financial as well as a liberty perspective.

https://www.infowars.com/watch/?video=5cdf0002a4dcf300173f238b

Rare-Earth Metals Found in Atmosphere of Exoplanet

KELT-9 b is the hottest exoplanet known to date.

In the summer of 2018, a joint team of astronomers from the universities of Bern and Geneva found signatures of gaseous iron and titanium in its atmosphere.

Now, these researchers have also been able to detect traces of vaporized sodium, magnesium, chromium, and the rare-Earth metals scandium and yttrium.

Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system that orbit around stars other than the Sun.

Since the discovery of the first exoplanets in the mid-90’s, well over 3000 exoplanets have been discovered.

Many of these planets are extreme compared to the planets in our solar system: Hot gas giants that orbit incredibly close to their host stars, sometimes within periods of less than a few days.

Such planets do not exist in our solar system, and their existence has defied predictions of how and why planets form. For the past 20 years, astronomers from all over the world have been working to understand where these planets come from, what they are made of, and what their climates are like.

An Extremely Hot Gas Giant

KELT-9 is a star located 650 light years from the Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Its exoplanet KELT-9 b exemplifies the most extreme of these so-called hot-Jupiters because it orbits very closely around its star that is almost twice as hot as the Sun. Therefore, its atmosphere reaches temperatures of around 4000 °C. In such heat, all elements are almost completely vaporized and molecules are broken apart into their constituent atoms – much like is the case in the outer layers of stars. This means that the atmosphere contains no clouds or aerosols and the sky is clear, mostly transparent to light from its star.

The atoms that make up the gas of the atmosphere absorb light at very specific colors in the spectrum, and each atom has a unique “fingerprint” of colors that it absorbs. These fingerprints can be measured with a sensitive spectrograph mounted on a large telescope, allowing astronomers to discern the chemical composition of the atmospheres of planets that are many light-years away.

The Exoplanet as a Treasure Trove

A team of researchers from the Universities of Bern and Geneva collaborated to use this technique, and made an interesting discovery: “Using the HARPS-North spectrograph on the Italian National Telescope on the island of La Palma, we found iron and titanium atoms in the hot atmosphere of KELT-9 b,” explains Kevin Heng, Director and Professor at the Center for Space and Habitabilty (CSH) at the University of Bern and a member of the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS. The team observed the KELT-9 system for a second time last summer, with the goal of confirming their previous detections, but also to proceed to search for additional elements that could be present in the data as well. Their survey included 73 atoms, among which some so-called rare-Earth metals. These substances are less common on Earth, but are applied in advanced materials and devices. Jens Hoeijmakers, who is the first author of the study which is now published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and who is a Postdoc at the CSH in Bern and at Geneva Observatory, says: “Our team predicted that the spectrum of this planet could well be a treasure trove where a multitude of species can be detected that have not been observed in the atmosphere of any other planet before.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/rare-earth-metals-found-in-atmosphere-of-exoplanet/

Facebook’s new chief lawyer helped write the Patriot Act

Jennifer Newstead, a Trump appointee who served in the Justice Department under President Bush, will soon be taking over as general counsel of Facebook, the company announced in a press release Monday afternoon. Newstead will take over from Colin Stretch, who announced plans to retire last year.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement included with the release.

But many are already troubled by Newstead’s history lobbying and legislating for more powerful electronic surveillance. As The Hill points out, a 2002 Justice Department press releasedescribes her as “helping craft” the legislation. Notorious Bush administration lawyer John Yoo described her as the “day-to-day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress” in his 2006 book.

Passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act greatly expanded the scope of the government’s surveillance powers, enabling new techniques like roving wiretaps and so-called “sneak-and-peek” warrants. Section 215 of the Patriot Act was used to justify the bulk collection of telephone records from US carriers, although both the ruling and the legal interpretation that justified it remained secret until the Snowden leaks.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/22/18511633/facebook-general-counsel-patriot-act-jennifer-newstead

Apple face-recognition blamed by New York teen for false arrest

A New York student sued Apple Inc. for US$1 billion, claiming the company’s facial-recognition software falsely linked him to a series of thefts from Apple stores.

Ousmane Bah, 18, said he was arrested at his home in New York in November and charged with stealing from an Apple store. The arrest warrant included a photo that didn’t resemble Bah, he said in a lawsuit filed Monday. One of the thefts he was charged with, in Boston, took place on the day in June he was attending his senior prom in Manhattan, he said.

Bah said he had previously lost a non-photo learner’s permit, which may have been found or stolen by the real thief and used as identification in Apple stores. As a result, Bah claimed, his name may have been mistakenly connected to the thief’s face in Apple’s facial-recognition system, which he said the company uses in its stores to track people suspected of theft.

“He was forced to respond to multiple false allegations which led to severe stress and hardship,” Bah said in the complaint.

Apple and Security Industry Specialists Inc., a security firm that’s also named as a defendant, declined to comment on the suit.

The case is Bah v. Apple Inc., 19-cv-03539, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/apple-face-recognition-blamed-by-new-york-teen-for-false-arrest-1.1247685

What Sony’s robot dog teaches us about biometric data privacy

The $2,900 pup is a companion robot, one Sony claims “learns its environment and develops relationships with people.” Aibo even enlists a camera in its nose to scan faces and determine who’s who so it can react to them differently.

Because of our office pet’s face-detecting capabilities, Sony doesn’t sell Aibo in Illinois. The state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) regulates the collection of biometric data, including face scans.

So Aibo’s out in the land of Lincoln, but the story doesn’t stop with Sony’s quirky robot. Illinois also limits access to facial recognition in home security cameras, a feature that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the consumer security market. Let’s take a closer look at BIPA, the growth of biometric tech in consumer products — and how other states in the US treat your biometric info.

Illinois law

The Biometric Information Privacy Act was established in 2008 to regulate “the collection, use, safeguarding, handling, storage, retention, and destruction of biometric identifiers and information.” BIPA defines “biometric identifiers” as retina scans, iris scans, fingerprints, hand scans, face scans and voiceprints.

Basically, an individual or a company needs “informed written consent” to use another individual’s biometric info.

State senator Terry Link for Illinois’ 30th district introduced Senate Bill 2400 on Feb. 14, 2008 to protect the biometric privacy of Illinois residents. State senators Christine Radogno, Iris Y. Martinez, David Koehler and Heather Steans served as co-sponsors of the bill. It was approved as the Biometric Information Privacy Act on Oct. 3, 2008.

Senator Link filed an amendment to BIPAon May 26, 2016 to redefine “biometric identifier,” to make it easier to collect certain biometric data, but later withdrew the amendment.

A Sony support page titled “Why Is Aibo Not for Sale in Illinois?” simply says:

Due to state regulations and policies, the Aibo™ robotic companion is not for sale or use in Illinois.

In order to mimic the behavior of an actual pet, an Aibo device will learn to behave differently around familiar people. To enable this recognition, Aibo conducts a facial analysis of those it observes through its cameras. This facial-recognition data may constitute “biometric information” under the law of Illinois, which places specific obligations on parties collecting biometric information. Thus, we decided to prohibit purchase and use of Aibo by residents of Illinois.

While Sony simply opted out of selling the face-detecting Aibo in Illinois, other companies, like Nest, sell their facial recognition-enabled cams in Illinois, with the facial recognition feature disabled.

A quick visit to the Nest Cam IQ Indoorpage says “Familiar face alerts require a Nest Aware subscription. Not available on Nest Cams used in Illinois.”

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor has an optional feature called familiar face alerts that you pay a monthly (or yearly) fee to access via the Nest Aware service. Like many other home security cameras with facial recognition, the IQ Indoor allows you to create a database with the faces of friends, family members, caregivers and any other people that regularly visit your home. That way, when you get a motion alert, the Nest app tells you it sees “Molly” or “Tyler.”

That feature won’t work in Illinois, even if you pay for Nest Aware. Google disables Nest’s facial recognition capabilities in the state: “We use a variety of factors to determine a user’s location, including IP address of their devices and the physical address associated with their account,” a Google spokesperson told me over email.

Privacy talk

Although BIPA remains the strictest state privacy law, Texas and Washington also regulate biometric information. A Texas law, established in 2009, similarly defines biometric identifiers as “a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or record of hand or face geometry.”

A section of the law states: “A person may not capture a biometric identifier of an individual for a commercial purpose unless the person: informs the individual before capturing the biometric identifier; and receives the individual’s consent to capture the biometric identifier.”

Washington’s 2017 House Bill 493 doesn’t specifically reference face or hand scans in its definition of biometric identifier. The definition also doesn’t include “a physical or digital photograph, video or audio recording or data generated therefrom, or information collected, used, or stored for health care treatment, payment, or operations under the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group for digital privacy, supports state regulation of biometric data.

“When you start to capture biometrics from people it turns a corner to where we think that shouldn’t be happening without the consent of the person who’s biometrics are being taken,” EFF senior staff attorney Adam Schwartz says during a phone interview while referencing Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

“What it says [BIPA] is that, one private person can’t take biometrics from another private person without their consent. And that’s where we [the EFF] would draw the line,” Schwartz adds.

The facial recognition landscape

At the same time that states are implementing biometric privacy laws, we’re seeing more consumer devices with facial recognition. Here’s a list of home security cameras you can buy today with facial recognition capabilities.

Not only is facial recognition more prevalent, we’re also seeing more products that enlist fingerprints or hand scans. The iPhone and other smartphoneshave fingerprint-scanning capabilities so you can quickly unlock your phone. I saw a smart lock at CES 2019 called the Elecpro US:E that relies on a face scan and a hand scan to unlock.

Airports are increasingly adding tech that scans faces or fingerprints to determine who you are, too. Schwartz refers to the growing popularity of biometric tech as a “normalization of biometrics,” something the EFF finds concerning, he says.

“If you start using biometrics to board your airplane because it’s convenient, other forms of biometrics seem more normal. We’re very concerned about that,” explains Schwartz.

Whether or not you’re personally concerned about your biometric data, expect to see more regulations around it in the coming years. Alaska, Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire are already working on their own biometric laws. And, given the influx of devices that use biometric information both for consumer and commercial purposes, more are probably on the way.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.cnet.com/news/what-sonys-robot-dog-teaches-us-about-biometric-data-privacy/

LED streetlights could damage eyesight and disrupt sleep, warns Public Health England

New streetlights installed on British roads could harm people’s eyesight and disrupt their sleep, Public Health England (PHE) has warned.

Councils across the country hope replacing existing bulbs in streetlights with new light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will help save money and reduce emissions.

Authorities in London, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Dundee, among others, have spent millions of pounds upgrading their lights.

But PHE warned the powerful new bulbs could interfere with people’s natural sleeping patterns, resulting in a feeling similar to “permanent jet lag”.

“Humans have a natural body clock that has an approximate 24-hour cycle. However, light is the main trigger to ensure that we stay entrained,” said John O’Hagan, head of the PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ed-streetlight-bright-sleep-damage-eyesight-public-health-england-a8285981.html

Facial recognition’s ‘dirty little secret’: Millions of online photos scraped without consent

Facial recognition can log you into your iPhone, track criminals through crowds and identify loyal customers in stores.

The technology — which is imperfect but improving rapidly — is based on algorithms that learn how to recognize human faces and the hundreds of ways in which each one is unique.

To do this well, the algorithms must be fed hundreds of thousands of images of a diverse array of faces. Increasingly, those photos are coming from the internet, where they’re swept up by the millions without the knowledge of the people who posted them, categorized by age, gender, skin tone and dozens of other metrics, and shared with researchers at universities and companies.

As the algorithms get more advanced — meaning they are better able to identify women and people of color, a task they have historically struggled with — legal experts and civil rights advocates are sounding the alarm on researchers’ use of photos of ordinary people. These people’s faces are being used without their consent, in order to power technology that could eventually be used to surveil them.

That’s a particular concern for minorities who could be profiled and targeted, the experts and advocates say.

“This is the dirty little secret of AI training sets. Researchers often just grab whatever images are available in the wild,” said NYU School of Law professor Jason Schultz.

The latest company to enter this territory was IBM, which in January released a collection of nearly a million photos that were scraped from the photo hosting site Flickr and coded to describe the subjects’ appearance. IBM promoted the collection to researchers as a progressive step toward reducing bias in facial recognition.

But some of the photographers whose images were included in IBM’s dataset were surprised and disconcerted when NBC News told them that their photographs had been annotated with details including facial geometry and skin tone and may be used to develop facial recognition algorithms. (NBC News obtained IBM’s dataset from a source after the company declined to share it, saying it could be used only by academic or corporate research groups.)

“None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way,” said Greg Peverill-Conti, a Boston-based public relations executive who has more than 700 photos in IBM’s collection, known as a “training dataset.”

“It seems a little sketchy that IBM can use these pictures without saying anything to anybody,” he said.

John Smith, who oversees AI research at IBM, said that the company was committed to “protecting the privacy of individuals” and “will work with anyone who requests a URL to be removed from the dataset.”

Despite IBM’s assurances that Flickr users can opt out of the database, NBC News discovered that it’s almost impossible to get photos removed. IBM requires photographers to email links to photos they want removed, but the company has not publicly shared the list of Flickr users and photos included in the dataset, so there is no easy way of finding out whose photos are included. IBM did not respond to questions about this process.

To see if your Flickr photos are part of the dataset, enter your username in a tool NBC News created based on the IBM dataset:

IBM says that its dataset is designed to help academic researchers make facial recognition technology fairer. The company is not alone in using publicly available photos on the internet in this way. Dozens of other research organizations have collected photos for training facial recognition systems, and many of the larger, more recent collections have been scraped from the web.

Some experts and activists argue that this is not just an infringement on the privacy of the millions of people whose images have been swept up — it also raises broader concerns about the improvement of facial recognition technology, and the fear that it will be used by law enforcement agencies to disproportionately target minorities.

“People gave their consent to sharing their photos in a different internet ecosystem,” said Meredith Whittaker, co-director of the AI Now Institute, which studies the social implications of artificial intelligence. “Now they are being unwillingly or unknowingly cast in the training of systems that could potentially be used in oppressive ways against their communities.”

HOW FACIAL RECOGNITION HAS EVOLVED

In the early days of building facial recognition tools, researchers paid people to come to their labs, sign consent forms and have their photo taken in different poses and lighting conditions. Because this was expensive and time consuming, early datasets were limited to a few hundred subjects.

With the rise of the web during the 2000s, researchers suddenly had access to millions of photos of people.

Amazon Rekognition enables users to track people through a video even when their faces are not visible.Amazon

“They would go into a search engine, type in the name of a famous person and download all of the images,” said P. Jonathon Phillips, who collects datasets for measuring the performance of face recognition algorithms for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. “At the start these tended to be famous people, celebrities, actors and sports people.”

As social media and user-generated content took over, photos of regular people were increasingly available. Researchers treated this as a free-for-all, scraping faces from YouTube videos, Facebook, Google Images, Wikipedia and mugshot databases.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/facial-recognition-s-dirty-little-secret-millions-online-photos-scraped-n981921

Are AirPods dangerous? 250 scientists sign petition warning of cancer

  • In 2018, Apple sold 29 million pairs of AirPods
  • The tiny wireless Bluetooth headphones fit into the ear canal
  • 250 scientists from over 40 countries have signed a petition to the WHO and UN to warn against radiowave radiation from WiFi, Bluetooth and cell data
  • The close proximity of AirPods to the brain and inner ear may raise cancer risks

Apple’s popular wireless AirPods headphones may pose cancer risks to wearers, according to a United Nations and World Health Organization petition.

Some 250 have signed the petition, which warns against numerous devices that emit radiofrequency radiation, which is used in WiFi, cellular data and Bluetooth.

AirPods in particular are concerning because they sit deeply enough within the ear canal to emit expose these fragile parts of the ear to dangerous among of radiation, some experts warn.

The scientific jury is still out on the whether or not the particular devices an cause cancer, but animal studies on the kind of radiofrequency radiation that they emit has suggested a link to cancer.

Radiowaves from Bluetooth AirPods may be carcinogenic, a group of 250 international scientists warned in a petition against minimally regulated wireless technology

Radiowaves from Bluetooth AirPods may be carcinogenic, a group of 250 international scientists warned in a petition against minimally regulated wireless technology

And, in some cases, the levels of radiation found to be carcinogenic were significantly lower than the maximum allowed by federal and international guidelines.

Last year, Apple sold 28 million pairs of its tiny, white wireless earbuds. The year before, they sold 16 million pairs. With a new design reportedly on the way, the technology company is set to profit even more on sound.

But the devices could be pumping more than beats into wearers’ heads.

The AirPods wirelessly connect with a phone via Bluetooth, the popular short distance radio communication technology.

Essentially, anything that communicates wirelessly using electromagnetic energy waves of varying types.

Bluetooth operates on one form involving low-power radiowaves.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6796679/Are-AirPods-dangerous-250-scientists-warn-be.html

Murdoch’s News Corp calls for Google breakup

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has called for Google to be broken up in Australia, the latest salvo in a battle between the corporate media giants.

In a petition to Australian regulators, News Corp’s local subsidiary complained that “Google enjoys overwhelming market power in both online search and ad tech services.”

Going a step further, the company accused Google of “abusing its to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and publishers.”

Earlier this week US presidential hopeful—and former federal consumer watchdog—Elizabeth Warren became the latest in a line of commentators to argue that firms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook hold “ too much power” in society.

News Corp echoed her argument that Google’s businesses should be split, or failing that, search and advertising businesses should be firewalled off from each other.

“While News Corp Australia recognises that divestment is a very serious step … divestment is necessary in the case of Google, due to the unparalleled power that it currently exerts over news publishers and advertisers alike.”

Australian watchdogs are seen as unlikely to recommend that Google be split, but the petition represents an intensification of the worldwide fight between Australian-born Murdoch and Google and Facebook.

News organisations accuse the tech giants of gaining huge commercial benefit from expensive to create content, while paying nothing and syphoning off advertising.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is one of several regulators across the world investigating the effect that have on competition in the media, advertising and advertising services markets.

News organisations in Australia have struggled in recent years with falling revenue and shrinking staff, as giants like Google and Facebook dominate the digital economy.

The downturn has prompted a string of mergers that have left the market with only three or four major media companies.

Local newspapers, once the lifeblood of communities across this vast country, run on a skeletal staff or have been forced to close.

Among them Murdoch’s News Corp is a dominant player, owning a slew of newspapers, television channels and the country’s only major cable television network.

Murdoch’s vast political influence has frequently come underfire from former prime ministers on both sides of Australian politics and is widely seen as pushing the tone of public debate to the right.

News Corp Australia is a subsidiary of News Corp, which owns 21st Century Fox, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and a raft of papers and TV platforms in Britain.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://phys.org/news/2019-03-murdoch-news-corp-google-breakup.html