01/14/21

States Begin to Push Back on Big Tech Censorship

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Google abused its monopoly power, FTC experts found - Mar ...

The nation is watching the actions of big tech and legislators are pursuing actions to be taken due to censorship. Existing law including anti-trust and new law is being reviewed and rightly so.

Below are a couple of states on the path in the legal realm. State AG’s, as well as state legislators, are accountable to protect respective citizens and their rights, however, private corporations are not subject to 1st Amendment violations but other violations are on the table including abuse of user data and spying. Section 230 is the pivot point when it comes to Congressional action.

Big Tech's biased algorithms abuse consumers and limit ...

Idaho:

Newsweek: Your T1 WiFi, an internet service provider based in northwestern Idaho, will implement firewalls that restrict access to Facebook and Twitter at its customers’ requests. The provider notified patrons of the new option in emails sent over the weekend. Although customers received an initial message that indicated they would need to opt-out of firewalls to continue accessing both social networking sites, Your T1 WiFi later clarified that only those who prefer restrictions will see changes.

The internet provider said that all customers will be filtered into two separate lists, one that signals their interest in firewalls and another that denotes regular coverage. Bret Fink, the owner of Your T1 WiFi, told Newsweek on Monday that the company decided to restrict service this way after receiving numerous calls from individuals using its services. The customers requested that Facebook and Twitter become inaccessible to their respective households, citing concerns about “censorship,” as Your T1 WiFi noted in one of its recent emails.

“It has come to our attention that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in Censorship of our Customers and Information,” the company wrote. A customer posted screenshots of the email to Twitter on Sunday evening, and Fink verified its contents in his comments to Newsweek.

“We have the past couple days been fielding calls from customers voicing the concern that they do not want these sites allowed to be displayed on their internet feed…and that they do not want their children to go to these sites,” the email continued. “They could do this themselves but some do not have the technical knowledge to do so and it would be very tiresome for us to do it for them and it would be expensive to visit each customer that wants this done.”

Even more interesting is Florida:

(WFLA) — Some Florida Republicans are calling for action against social media “censorship” after President Donald Trump was removed from several platforms last week.

Multiple bills have been filed in Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session to prevent de-platforming on the basis of political speech.

After an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter banned President Trump from their platforms. Facebook said it was banning Trump indefinitely, or at least through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Twitter later followed suit and permanently suspended the @realDonaldTrump account due to “the risk of further incitement of violence.” Twitter also took action against the official @POTUS account.

Those moves by social media companies were applauded by Florida Democrats.

“We have never seen a president that would conduct himself in such a despicable way. So I think that his removal was justified,” State Sen. Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) said.

Google, Apple, and Amazon also took action to de-platform the conservative-leaning social media app Parler.

Florida Republicans like State Sen. Ray Rodrigues consider the actions an assault on free speech.

“It seems like big tech is using their resources to push their political agenda and to silence those who do not agree with them,” Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) said.

Legislation filed in the Florida Senate would require social media companies to inform users why they were banned within 30 days. SB 520 – filed Monday by Sen. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills) – would take effect July 1, 2021, if passed.

A bill in the House goes much further. HB 33 would allow users to sue if they’re banned for political or religious speech for a minimum of $75,000 in damages. The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Clermont).

“All we’re doing here is saying, ‘hey, there’s a new business regulation.’ If you’re ‘X’ amount of size, you cannot discriminate based on political viewpoint,” Sabatini said.

The House bill does allow social media companies to ban users for calls to violence, posting pornography, impersonation, or if a court orders the account to be removed.

“The companies could still moderate but they can’t use the moderation exception to Section 230 to basically publish what it is they like and don’t like,” Sabatini explained.

While the Senate version currently doesn’t go as far as the House bill, the sponsor pledged to make it stronger as it moves through the Legislature.

If the legislation ultimately passes, it could potentially be used by President Trump – who is a Florida resident – to seek retribution for his bans from social media platforms.

01/13/21

FBI is Investigating a Mysterious Postcard

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

SolarWinds hackers also breached the US NNSA nuclear ...

(Reuters) – The FBI is investigating a mysterious postcard sent to the home of cybersecurity firm FireEye’s chief executive days after it found initial evidence of a suspected Russian hacking operation on dozens of U.S. government agencies and private American companies.

U.S. officials familiar with the postcard are investigating whether it was sent by people associated with a Russian intelligence service due its timing and content, which suggests internal knowledge of last year’s hack well before it was publicly disclosed in December.

Moscow has denied involvement in the hack, which U.S. intelligence agencies publicly attributed here to Russian state actors.

The postcard carries FireEye’s logo, is addressed to CEO Kevin Mandia, and calls into question the ability of the Milpitas, California-based firm to accurately attribute cyber operations to the Russian government.

People familiar with Mandia’s postcard summarized its content to Reuters. It shows a cartoon with the text: “Hey look Russians” and “Putin did it!”

The opaque message itself did not help FireEye find the breach, but rather arrived in the early stages of its investigation. This has led people familiar with the matter to believe the sender was attempting to “troll” or push the company off the trail by intimidating a senior executive.

Reuters could not determine who sent the postcard. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are spearheading the probe into its origin, the sources familiar said.

The FBI did not provide comment. A FireEye representative declined to discuss the postcard.

A disinformation researcher from the Rand Corporation, Todd Helmus, received a similar postcard in 2019, based on an image of it Helmus posted to Twitter. Helmus, who studies digital propaganda, said he received the postcard after testifying to Congress about Russian disinformation tactics.

FireEye discovered the Russian hacking campaign – now known as “Solorigate” for how it leveraged supply chain vulnerabilities in network management firm Solarwinds – because of an anomalous device login from within FireEye’s network. The odd login triggered a security alert and subsequent investigation, which led to the discovery of the operation.

FireEye worked closely with Microsoft to determine that the infiltration at FireEye in fact represented a hacking campaign that struck at least eight federal agencies including the Treasury, State and Commerce Departments.

When the postcard was sent, FireEye had not yet determined who was behind the cyberattack. A person familiar with the postcard investigation said “this is not typically the Russian SVR’s playbook” but “times are rapidly changing.” SVR is an acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia.

A former U.S. intelligence official said the postcard reminded him of a now public mission by U.S. Cyber Command where they sent private messages to Russian hackers ahead of the 2018 congressional elections in the United States.

“The message then from the U.S. was ‘watch your back, we see you’ similar to here,” the former official said.

The extent of the damages tied to the U.S. government hack remains unclear. Emails belonging to senior officials were stolen from an unclassified network at the Treasury and Commerce Departments.FBI says 'ongoing' SolarWinds hack was probably the work ...

Related reading: Third malware strain discovered in SolarWinds supply chain attack

Now known in the cyber world, the heck of Solarwinds continues to rock the nation.

Kaspersky reports finding code similarities between the Sunburst backdoor in SolarWinds’ Orion platform and a known backdoor, Kazuar, which Palo Alto Networks in 2017 associated with the Turla threat group. Kaspersky is cautious about attribution, and notes that there are several possibilities:

  • Sunburst and Kazuar are the work of the same threat group.
  • Sunburst’s developers borrowed from Kazuar.
  • Both backdoors derived from a common source.
  • Kazuar’s developers jumped ship to another threat group that produced Kazuar.
  • Whoever developed Sunburst deliberately introduced subtle false flag clues into their code.

Reuters points out that Estonian intelligence services have long attributed Turla activity to Russia’s FSB (which was unavailable to Reuters for comment).

In an updated Solorigate advisory, CISA released detection and mitigation advice for post-compromise activity in the Microsoft 365 (M365) and Azure environment.

The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has responded to Solorigate by requiring that court documents be filed on paper, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Related reading: The SolarWinds Hackers Shared Tricks With a Notorious Russian Spy Group

Reuters: Investigators at Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said the “backdoor” used to compromise up to 18,000 customers of U.S. software maker SolarWinds closely resembled malware tied to a hacking group known as “Turla,” which Estonian authorities have said operates on behalf of Russia’s FSB security service.

The findings are the first publicly-available evidence to support assertions by the United States that Russia orchestrated the hack, which compromised a raft of sensitive federal agencies and is among the most ambitious cyber operations ever disclosed.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations. The FSB did not respond to a request for comment.

Costin Raiu, head of global research and analysis at Kaspersky, said there were three distinct similarities between the SolarWinds backdoor and a hacking tool called “Kazuar” which is used by Turla.

The similarities included the way both pieces of malware attempted to obscure their functions from security analysts, how the hackers identified their victims, and the formula used to calculate periods when the viruses lay dormant in an effort to avoid detection.

“One such finding could be dismissed,” Raiu said. “Two things definitely make me raise an eyebrow. Three is more than a coincidence.”

Confidently attributing cyberattacks is extremely difficult and strewn with possible pitfalls. When Russian hackers disrupted the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in 2018, for example, they deliberately imitated a North Korean group to try and deflect the blame.

Raiu said the digital clues uncovered by his team did not directly implicate Turla in the SolarWinds compromise, but did show there was a yet-to-be determined connection between the two hacking tools.

It’s possible they were deployed by the same group, he said, but also that Kazuar inspired the SolarWinds hackers, both tools were purchased from the same spyware developer, or even that the attackers planted “false flags” to mislead investigators.

Security teams in the United States and other countries are still working to determine the full scope of the SolarWinds hack. Investigators have said it could take months to understand the extent of the compromise and even longer to evict the hackers from victim networks.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said the hackers were “likely Russian in origin” and targeted a small number of high-profile victims as part of an intelligence-gathering operation.

01/12/21

Cuba Re-Designated as State Sponsor of Terror

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

President Obama removed Cuba from the designation and it is expected early into the Biden administration, this action will again be reversed.

The United States has once again designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, accusing it of granting safe haven to terrorists and also providing support for acts of “international terrorism.” The move by the Trump administration comes days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, who would have liked to start where he and Obama left the US-Cuba relations in 2016. Former President Barack Obama had delisted Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 2015, seeking normalization of ties with the Communist State.

State Department officials say the decision is not politically motivated and argue Cuba has not met the standards to remain off the list during the Trump administration.

American Enterprise Institute research fellow Ryan Berg affirmed the basis of the Trump administration’s decision.

Cuba sees Obama terror promise as healing of historic wound

“Cuba has provided unequivocal support to terrorist and insurgent groups throughout Latin America for many decades, such as Colombia’s ELN and the FARC, to name just a few,” Berg told the Washington Free Beacon. “Today, it also continues to support the consolidated dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, aiding and abetting what the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has declared to be ‘crimes against humanity.’”

Havana has also played a role in helping China expand its influence in the Caribbean. In November, Cuba followed the lead of China in echoing far-left talking points regarding race relations in America at the United Nations, and China covered for Cuba on its record of harboring terrorism. China, meanwhile, has reportedly expanded its surveillance capabilities in the Caribbean, using telecommunications networks to spy on American mobile phones in the region.

The move could affect President-elect Joe Biden’s approach to reengaging with the communist country, a policy out of the Obama administration’s playbook. Biden’s transition team for the Department of Defense included Frank Mora, an Obama administration holdover who advocated lifting sanctions on Havana.

Berg said the Cuba policy favored by Mora and Biden would probably require a reversal of the decision to return Cuba to the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“A diplomatic opening with a country designated as a ‘state sponsor of terror’ is a difficult lift,” Berg said. “Therefore, one of the first steps to any Cuba opening would likely require a reversal of this decision.” source

01/12/21

Parler Sues Amazon

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

There are 3 counts in the lawsuit where a temporary restraining order is demanded so that Parler can restore their network.

Count One: Sherman Act, Section 1

AWS is prohibited from contracting or conspiring to restrain trade or commerce.

Count Two: Breach of Contract

AWS breached its contract with Parler by not providing thirty days’ notice before terminating its account.

Count Three: Tortious Interference with a Contract or Business

Expectancy By terminating Parler’s account, AWS will intentionally interfere with the contracts Parler has with millions of its present users, as well as with the users it is projected to gain this week.

The lawsuit is found here.

Parler received more than three-quarters of a million downloads between last Wednesday when a mob stormed the United States Capitol and Sunday when the app was suspended.

And as of Monday:

Face­book Inc. said Mon­day it is re­mov­ing all con­tent men­tion­ing “Stop the Steal,” a phrase pop­u­lar among sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Trump’s claims about the elec­tion, as part of a raft of emer­gency mea­sures to stem mis­in­for­ma­tion and in­cite­ments to vi­o­lence on its plat­form in the lead up to Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden’s in­au­gu­ra­tion. More censorship…Stop the Steal is hardly violent speech in a public forum.

The logical question now is will Twitter and Facebook or Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram come clean about what was planned and coordinated on their platforms? Facebook owns WhatsApp, Telegram is owned by 2 Russians based in Germany, and Signal was developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC Whisper, in which Jack Dorsey invested.

Per Wikipedia with footnotes: Signal was reportedly popularized in the United States during the George Floyd protests. As U.S. protests gained momentum, on June 3, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted a recommendation for users to download Signal Messenger.[70] Heightened awareness of police monitoring led protesters to use the app to communicate. Black Lives Matter organizers had used the app “for several years”.[71][44] During the first week of June, the encrypted messaging app was downloaded over five times more than it had been during the week prior to the death of George Floyd.[71] In June 2020, Signal Foundation announced a new feature that enables users to blur faces in photos, in response to increased federal efforts to monitor protesters.[44][72]

Read that? Dorsey endorsed the protests and encouraged the protestors to use Signal…..blur faces? WTH?

How about this one just a few days ago?

Terror and Big Tech

How many protests were plotted and launched on big tech platforms and yet AWS targets Parler? Oh, the irony…. maybe just maybe… there should be a counter-suit against big tech or by Parler.

How about we just exposing facts… this lil’ website and author is trying… can you help?

ABC reported:

A few weeks ago, several members of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team set up a Zoom meeting with senior members of the Anti-Defamation League, the group that studies and tracks hate crimes, to hear recommendations for fighting domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism.

The weighty meeting, focused on one of the most complex threats facing America today, was initiated in the simplest of ways: The ADL requested a meeting through a form on Biden’s transition team website.

“I find it remarkable that … [they] are taking substantive time to meet with advocacy organizations like ours,” said ADL senior adviser George Selim, who participated in the meeting.

“What it says is that this issue is a priority for the incoming administration,” added Selim, one of the Department of Homeland Security’s top experts on domestic terrorism until he was sidelined in the early days of the Trump administration.

But even if such threats are a priority for the incoming team, transition officials acknowledge that when they take charge of the federal government in three weeks, the recent promise Biden made to “shut down violence and hate” will face significant challenges.

In fact, as part of its tone in recent years, the Trump administration has “chosen to defy the data” on domestic threats by publicly focusing on left-wing radical groups like Antifa, instead of white supremacists and anti-government ideologues “that the data show are much more prone to pushing people toward violence,” the former Homeland Security official said.

The majority of domestic terrorism investigations are focused on racially-motivated individuals, and white supremacists are “the biggest chunk of that,” Wray, the FBI director, told lawmakers in September. More here.

The progressives all dismiss the destruction and fear across America that began in Minneapolis and went on to major cities across the country by ANTIFA and BLM… that Wendy’s in Atlanta?

Atlanta protests after Wendy's shooting of Rayshard Brooks ...

Remember? The jewel of the south, Atlanta has yet to recover. Was all that coordinated on Facebook or Twitter? Inquiring minds want to know.

01/12/21

Procedures for the 25th Amendment

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats are moving forward with trying to remove President Donald Trump from office days after he allegedly incited violent riots at the Capitol.

Pelosi told her members in a letter that the House would attempt to pass a measure Monday to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. If he does not act, Democrats will proceed with impeaching Trump.

“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” she wrote.

Many so-called Trump supporters inside and outside government have called on Trump to resign to save and rebuild the government, transfer power peacefully, and restore confidence in the Republican Party.

 

Pelosi introduces legislation for 25th Amendment ...

Some questions and answers about the 25th Amendment:

WHY WAS IT PASSED?

The push for an amendment detailing presidential succession plans in the event of a president’s disability or death followed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. President Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1965 State of the Union promised to “propose laws to insure the necessary continuity of leadership should the President become disabled or die.” The amendment was passed by Congress that year and ratified in 1967.

HAS THE 25TH AMENDMENT BEEN INVOKED BEFORE?

Yes, presidents have temporarily given up power, but those instances have been generally been brief and voluntary, for example when the president was having a medical procedure.

In 2002, President George W. Bush became the first to use the amendment’s Section 3 to temporarily transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush was anesthetized for a colonoscopy. Section 4 of the amendment, which allow the Cabinet to declare the president unfit, has never been invoked.


HOW CAN THE CABINET DECLARE THE PRESIDENT UNFIT?

The 25th Amendment’s Section 4 lays out what happens if the president becomes unable to discharge his duties but doesn’t transfer power to the vice president himself.

The vice president and majority of the Cabinet can declare the president unfit. They then would send a letter to the speaker of the House and president pro tempore of the Senate saying so. The vice president then becomes acting president.

The president can send his own letter saying he is fit to serve. But if the vice president and majority of the Cabinet disagree, they can send another letter to Congress within four days. Congress would then have to vote. The president resumes his duties unless both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote say the president is not ready.

ISN’T THERE SOME OTHER LEGISLATION ABOUT THIS?

Section 4 of the amendment also gives Congress the power to establish a “body” that can, with the support of the vice president, declare that the president is unable to do the job. If they agree the president is unfit, the vice president would take over. But Congress has never set up the body.

01/12/21

Impeachment 2.0

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

195 lawmakers cosponsor articles of impeachment of President Trump.

Congressman Ted Lieu

Meanwhile, legal expert Jonathan Turley who is a Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University has this summary to offer Congress:

The author Franz Kafka once wrote, “My guiding principle is this. Guilt is never to be doubted.” Democrats suddenly appear close to adopting that standard into the Constitution as they prepare for a second impeachment of President Trump. With seeking his removal for incitement, Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but also free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before his term ends.

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.

When I testified in the impeachment hearings of Trump and Bill Clinton, I noted that an article of impeachment does not have to be based on any clear crime but that Congress has looked to the criminal code to weigh impeachment offenses. For this controversy now, any such comparison would dispel claims of criminal incitement. Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots. But he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to raise their opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to back the recent challenges made by a few members of Congress. Trump told the crowd “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”

These kinds of legal challenges have been made by Democrats in the past under the Electoral Count Act, and so Trump was pressing Republicans in Congress to join the effort on his behalf. He ended his remarks by saying a protest at the Capitol was meant to provide Republicans “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” He told the crowd, “Let us walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Moreover, marches are common across the country to protest actions by the government.

The legal standard for violent speech is found with Clarence Brandenburg versus Ohio. As a free speech advocate, I criticized that 1969 case and its dangerously vague standard. But even it would treat the remarks of Trump as protected under the First Amendment. With that case, the government is able to criminalize speech “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

There was no call for lawless action by Trump. Instead, there was a call for a protest at the Capitol. Moreover, violence was not imminent, as the vast majority of the tens of thousands of protesters were not violent before the march, and most did not riot inside the Capitol. Like many violent protests in the last four years, criminal conduct was carried out by a smaller group of instigators. Capitol Police knew of the march but declined an offer from the National Guard since they did not view violence as likely.

So Congress is now seeking an impeachment for remarks covered by the First Amendment. It would create precedent for the impeachment of any president blamed for violent acts of others after using reckless language. What is worse are those few cases that would support this type of action. The most obvious is the 1918 prosecution of socialist Eugene Debs, who spoke against the draft in World War One and led figures like Woodrow Wilson to declare him a “traitor to his country.” Debs was arrested and charged with sedition, a new favorite term for Democrats to denounce Trump and Republicans who doubted the victory of Joe Biden.

In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for a unanimous bench in one of the most infamous decisions to issue from the Supreme Court. It dismissed the free speech rights for Debs and held it was sufficient that his words had the “natural tendency and reasonably probable effect” of deterring people from supporting the international conflict.

That decision was a disgrace, but Democrats are now arguing something even more extreme as the basis for impeachment. Under their theory, any president could be removed for rhetoric that is seen to have the “natural tendency” to encourage others to act in a riotous fashion. Even a call for supporters to protest peacefully could not be a defense. Such a standard would allow for a type of vicarious impeachment that attributes conduct of third parties to any president for the purposes of removal.

Democrats are pushing this dangerously vague standard while objecting to their own remarks given new meaning from critics. Conservatives have pointed to Maxine Waters asking her supporters to confront Republicans in restaurants, while Ayanna Pressley insisted amidst the violent marches last year that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” and Kamala Harris said “protesters should not let up” even as some of those marches turned violent. They can legitimately argue their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this standard is filled with subjectivity.

The damage caused by the rioters this week was enormous, however, it will pale in comparison to the damage from a new precedent of a snap impeachment for speech protected under the First Amendment. It is the very threat that the framers sought to avoid in crafting the impeachment standard. In a process of deliberative judgment, the reference to a snap impeachment is a contradiction. In this new system, guilt is not doubted and innocence is not deliberated. This would do to the Constitution what the violent rioters did to the Capitol and leave it in tatters.

01/11/21

Biden Inauguration Donors

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

It is a cyberwar of a financial order… against America.

Let’s begin here with Section 230, shall we? Full immunity… and never amended. Just how decent is big tech? Well on the heels of Alphabet, the parent company of Google giving exclusive assistance to then-candidate Hillary Clinton and later as we find out that all big tech uses our data, which we are forced to approve is their terms of service as we are users, while they make big money off of us. Then we find out the conspiracy and collusion between all big tech operations against little and new Parler, as well as thousands of other websites as competitors. Big tech is more powerful than the federal government.

Section 230 is a piece of Internet legislation in the United States, passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 (a common name for Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996), formally codified as Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 at 47 U.S.C. § 230.[a] Section 230 generally provides immunity for website publishers from third-party content. At its core, Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an “interactive computer service” who publish information provided by third-party users:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

The statute in Section 230(c)(2) further provides “Good Samaritan” protection from civil liability for operators of interactive computer services in the removal or moderation of third-party material they deem obscene or offensive, even of constitutionally protected speech, as long as it is done in good faith.

There has been hearing after hearing on The Hill in many committees where the CEO’s of big tech are called out for their abuses and they simply defer to feeble apologies or blame algorithmic operations. As President Trump worked diligently to stop or amend Section 230….it ever happened at the congressional level…reading on, perhaps we know why…

Big Tech, Media, Fashion Exec.s Seek to Blackmail Pro-Life ...

Donations and donations and more donations.

Big tech colludes to protect Biden - Advance Australia

Even Australia gets-it.

TheBlaze reports: The Biden Inaugural Committee released its list of donors, which included big tech companies Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. The Biden Inaugural Committee published the list of its top donors on Saturday, all of whom contributed “over $200 to the 59th Presidential Inaugural activities.”

Besides the big tech giants, other notable benefactors include multinational telecommunications conglomerate Verizon, cable television behemoth Comcast, mass media company Charter Communications, defense, and aerospace manufacturer Boeing, health insurance provider Anthem, and medical technology company Masimo Corporation.

Several unions made donations, including the American Federation of Teachers COPE, United Food, And Commercial Workers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The amount of the donations are not provided, but the committee will have to disclose that information within 90 days after Inauguration Day, according to FEC guidance.

“President-elect Joe Biden’s newly formed inaugural committee will accept donations from individuals up to $500,000 and from corporations up to $1 million,” CNBC reported on Nov. 30.

An organization can be named a chair of the inaugural if it gives $1 million, and an individual can be designated as a chair if they donate $500,000. The VIP chair package includes “an invitation to virtual events with the President-elect and Vice President-elect and their spouses with virtual signed photos, along with ‘preferred viewing’ for the inauguration, among other things,” according to Fox News.

A since-deleted “donor” page on the Biden inauguration website had stated the committee “does not accept contributions from fossil fuel companies (i.e., companies whose primary business is the extraction, processing, distribution or sale of oil, gas or coal), their executives, or from PACs organized by them.”

Biden’s campaign had also banned donations from lobbyists and the oil and gas industry. Employees of fossil fuel companies were allowed to donate up to $200.

Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 is expected to be significantly smaller in scale because of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden’s inauguration will have a “virtual parade across America,” and feature “diverse, dynamic” performances.

“The parade will celebrate America’s heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect on the diversity, heritage, and resilience of the country as we begin a new American era,” the inaugural committee said in a press release.

“We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities this moment presents to allow all Americans to participate in our country’s sacred inaugural traditions,” said Presidential Inaugural Committee executive director Maju Varghese.

President Donald Trump has proclaimed that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration.

01/11/21

Apple Bans 39,000 Apps After Demands By The CCP

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

And counting… including the newly launched conservative open free speech social media site Parler.

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Apple removed 39,000 game apps on its China store Thursday, the biggest removal ever in a single day, as it set year-end as deadline for all game publishers to obtain a license.

The takedowns come amid a crackdown on unlicensed games by Chinese authorities.

Including the 39,000 games, Apple removed more than 46,000 apps in total from its store on Thursday. Games affected by the sweep included Ubisoft title Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20, according to research firm Qimai.

Qimai also said only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on Apple store survived the purge.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple initially gave game publishers an end-of-June deadline to submit a government-issued licence number enabling users to make in-app purchases in the world’s biggest games market.

Apple later extended the deadline to Dec. 31. Cases still pending.

China’s Android app stores have long complied with regulations on licenses. It is not clear why Apple is enforcing them more strictly this year.

Analysts said the move was no surprise as Apple continues to close loopholes to fall in line with China’s content regulators, and would not directly affect Apple’s bottom line as much as previous removals.

“However, this major pivot to only accepting paid games that have a game license, coupled with China’s extremely low number of foreign game licenses approved this year, will probably lead more game developers to switch to an ad-supported model for their Chinese versions,” said Todd Kuhns, marketing manager for AppInChina, a firm that helps overseas companies distribute their apps.

In December, shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) were down a bit after the company removed thousands of paid game apps from its China App Store.

Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock rose after the company reportedly plans a price increase for its ESPN+ streaming service.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that tech giant Apple planned to remove thousands of game apps from its App Store in China due to government pressure. Apple reportedly warned Chinese developers earlier this month that paid gaming apps were at risk of removal.

China requires paid video games to be licensed before being released, a policy that has been in effect for the past four years. However, app developers have been able to get around that rule on Apple’s platform. Apple began closing the loophole this year, the Journal reports.

On Thursday, Apple followed through by removing 39,000 game apps from its China App Store, according to Reuters. These include popular titles like Assassin’s Creed Identity and NBA 2K20. Just 74 of the top 1,500 paid game apps on the China App Store are still available, according to research firm Qimai.

The license requirement applies to paid games and games with in-app purchases, so the move by Apple could push more developers to opt for an ad-supported model. Apple takes a cut from the sales of apps and in-app content, so such a shift would hurt Apple’s sales in China. source

*** Expect more stock price decline given the recent anti-trust cases in the legal pipeline against Apple and other big tech corporations. Apple and Google both take a cut of the revenue of the apps on their respective stores.

The factory in China where Apple products, specifically iPhones, undergo final assembly has approximately 230,000 workers. In the US, there are only 83 cities that have the same population as this factory’s number of employees. Meaning the number of possible workers in the US is not enough to cover Apple’s needs.

In China, an estimated quarter of their workforce lives in company-owned dormitories. These barracks are located on factory property. Many people are living and working at the factory. Such jobs are in high demand in China, and they can hire many people overnight. These examples prove that the measure, speed, and efficiency of Chinese manufacturing surpass anything the US is presently capable of. (read slave labor)

'Made in China 2025': is Beijing's plan for hi-tech ...

Apple is a willing partner in the China 2025 plan. You will then understand the China policy of President Trump and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Continue reading…you need to understand the past implications and those when Biden takes office.

When the US and ultimately the rest of the Western world began to engage China, resulting in China finally being allowed into the World Trade Organization in the early 2000s, no one really expected the outcomes we see today.

There is no simple disengagement path, given the scope of economic and legal entanglements. This isn’t a “trade” we can simply walk away from.

But it is also one that, if allowed to continue in its current form, could lead to a loss of personal freedom for Western civilization. It really is that much of an existential question.

Doing nothing isn’t an especially good option because, like it or not, the world is becoming something quite different than we expected just a few years ago—not just technologically, but geopolitically and socially.

China and the West

Let’s begin with how we got here.

My generation came of age during the Cold War. China was a huge, impoverished odd duck in those years. In the late 1970s, China began slowly opening to the West. Change unfolded gradually but by the 1990s, serious people wanted to bring China into the modern world, and China wanted to join it.

Understand that China’s total GDP in 1980 was under $90 billion in current dollars. Today, it is over $12 trillion. The world has never seen such enormous economic growth in such a short time.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union collapsed and the internet was born. The US, as sole superpower, saw opportunities everywhere. American businesses shifted production to lower-cost countries. Thus came the incredible extension of globalization.

We in the Western world thought (somewhat arrogantly, in hindsight) everyone else wanted to be like us. It made sense. Our ideas, freedom, and technology had won both World War II and the Cold War that followed it. Obviously, our ways were best.

But that wasn’t obvious to people elsewhere, most notably China. Leaders in Beijing may have admired our accomplishments, but not enough to abandon Communism.

They merely adapted and rebranded it. We perceived a bigger change than there actually was. Today’s Chinese communists are nowhere near Mao’s kind of communism. Xi calls it “Socialism with a Chinese character.” It appears to be a dynamic capitalistic market, but is also a totalitarian, top-down structure with rigid rules and social restrictions.

So here we are, our economy now hardwired with an autocratic regime that has no interest in becoming like us.

China’s Hundred-Year Marathon

In The Hundred-Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury marshals a lot of evidence showing the Chinese government has a detailed strategy to overtake the US as the world’s dominant power.

They want to do this by 2049, the centennial of China’s Communist revolution.

The strategy has been well documented in Chinese literature, published and sanctioned by organizations of the People’s Liberation Army, for well over 50 years.

And just as we have hawks and moderates on China within the US, there are hawks and moderates within China about how to engage the West. Unfortunately, the hawks are ascendant, embodied most clearly in Xi Jinping.

Xi’s vision of the Chinese Communist Party controlling the state and eventually influencing and even controlling the rest of the world is clear. These are not merely words for the consumption of the masses. They are instructions to party members.

Grand dreams of world domination are part and parcel of communist ideologies, going all the way back to Karl Marx. For the Chinese, this blends with the country’s own long history.

It isn’t always clear to Western minds whether they actually believe the rhetoric or simply use it to keep the peasantry in line. Pillsbury says Xi Jinping really sees this as China’s destiny, and himself as the leader who will deliver it.

To that end, according to Pillsbury, the Chinese manipulated Western politicians and business leaders into thinking China was evolving toward democracy and capitalism. In fact, the intent was to acquire our capital, technology, and other resources for use in China’s own modernization.

It worked, too.

Over the last 20–30 years, we have equipped the Chinese with almost everything they need to match us, technologically and otherwise. Hundreds of billions of Western dollars have been spent developing China and its state-owned businesses.

Sometimes this happened voluntarily, as companies gave away trade secrets in the (often futile) hope it would let them access China’s huge market. Other times it was outright theft. In either case, this was no accident but part of a long-term plan.

Pillsbury (who, by the way, advises the White House including the president himself) thinks the clash is intensifying because President Trump’s China skepticism is disrupting the Chinese plan. They see his talk of restoring America’s greatness as an affront to their own dreams.

In any case, we have reached a crossroads. What do we do about China now?

Targeted Response

In crafting a response, the first step is to define the problem correctly and specifically. We hear a lot about China cheating on trade deals and taking jobs from Americans. That’s not entirely wrong, but it’s also not the main challenge.

I believe in free trade. I think David Ricardo was right about comparative advantage: Every nation is better off if all specialize in whatever they do best.

However, free trade doesn’t mean nations need to arm their potential adversaries. Nowadays, military superiority is less about factories and shipyards than high-tech weapons and cyberwarfare. Much of our “peaceful” technology is easily weaponized.

This means our response has to be narrowly targeted at specific companies and products. Broad-based tariffs are the opposite of what we should be doing. Ditto for capital controls.

They are blunt instruments that may feel good to swing, but they hurt the wrong people and may not accomplish what we want.

We should not be using the blunt tool of tariffs to fight a trade deficit that is actually necessary. The Chinese are not paying our tariffs; US consumers are.

Importing t-shirts and sneakers from China doesn’t threaten our national security. Let that kind of trade continue unmolested and work instead on protecting our advantages in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, autonomous drones, and so on.

The Trump administration appears to (finally) be getting this. They are clearly seeking ways to pull back the various tariffs and ramping up other efforts.

01/9/21

Beware: Patriot Act 2.0 Coming

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

But there already is a domestic terrorism law… meanwhile it was not applied to BLM or ANTIFA as those protests still go on… .just a few arrests have been made while people and small businesses were not only terrorized but hundreds or maybe thousands lost their businesses. It is okay, however, as VP -Elect Kamala Harris is good with that and supported it all.

Just one day ago –> it is terrorism but they call it unlawful assembly.

Portland rioters smash courthouse window, damage businesses before police declare unlawful assembly

Portland police arrived on the scene and told the crowd it had declared an unlawful assembly.Portland rioters smash courthouse window, damage businesses before police  declare unlawful assembly | Fox News

So why the new proposed legislation? Hardly balanced application of the law and that is good with the new administration and progressive members of Congress.

The Patriot Act 2.0 coming your way.

Note:

March 11, 2020
Press Release

Legislation introduced by Schneider would empower federal law enforcement to better monitor and stop domestic extremist violence

Today, legislation introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) to address the threat of domestic terrorism passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 24-2. The Committee’s markup and bipartisan vote reports H.R. 5602, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020, out of the House Judiciary Committee.

“The rising tide of domestic terror across our country, particularly from violent far-right extremists and white supremacist organizations, demands a response from Congress,” said Schneider. “It is not enough to just condemn hate, we need to equip law enforcement with the tools needed to identify threats and prevent violent acts of domestic terrorism. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act improves coordination between our federal agencies and makes sure they are focused on the most serious domestic threats. I thank Chairman Nadler and Chairwoman Bass for their leadership on this issue and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this legislation in markup. I look forward to building support for a vote by the full House as soon as possible.”

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020 would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2019, domestic extremists killed at least 42 people in the United States in 17 separate incidents. This number makes 2019 the sixth deadliest year on record for domestic extremist-related killings. Last year, a Trump Administration Department of Justice official wrote in a New York Times op-ed that “white supremacy and far-right extremism are among the greatest domestic-security threats facing the United States. Regrettably, over the past 25 years, law enforcement, at both the Federal and State levels, has been slow to respond.”

H.R. 5602 would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, H.R. 5602 requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats..

H.R. 5602 also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, H.R. 5602 directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020  has been endorsed by the following organizations: Anti-Defamation League, Arab American Institute, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, Human Rights Campaign, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Sikh Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and Unidos. .

The legislation has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House. A Senate companion bill is led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

01/9/21

Reichstag Fire and the Rise to Total Power

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

On March 23, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, the partner piece of legislation to the February 28 Decree for the Protection of People and State. The Enabling Act assigned all legislative power to Hitler and his ministers, thus securing their ability to control the political apparatus. When President Hindenburg died in August 1934, Hitler wrote a new law that combined the offices of president and chancellor. It was sanctioned by a national plebiscite.Reichstag fire

Ex-Nazi testimony sparks fresh mystery over 1933 Reichstag fire | News | DW  | 27.07.2019

When the German parliamentary building went up in flames, Hitler harnessed the incident to seize power

Smithsonian: It was the canary in the political coal mine—a flashpoint event when Adolf Hitler played upon public and political fears to consolidate power, setting the stage for the rise of Nazi Germany. Since then, it’s become a powerful political metaphor. Whenever citizens and politicians feel threatened by executive overreach, the “Reichstag Fire” is referenced as a cautionary tale

Germany’s first experiment with liberal democracy was born of the 1919 Weimar Constitution, established after the conclusion of World War I. It called for a president elected by direct ballot, who would appoint a chancellor to introduce legislation to members of the Reichstag (who were also elected by popular vote). The president retained the power to dismiss his cabinet and the chancellor, dissolve an ineffective Reichstag, and, in cases of national emergency, invoke something known as Article 48, which gave the president dictatorial powers and the right to intervene directly in the governance of Germany’s 19 territorial states.

Following a stint in jail for his failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, Hitler poured his energy into attaining power through legal channels. He rose to the head of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), and by 1928 the group’s membership exceeded 100,000. The Nazis denounced the Weimar Republic and the “November criminals,” politicians had signed the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty forced Germany to accept responsibility for World War I, pay huge remunerations, transfer territory to their neighbors and limit the size of the military.

Despite its considerable growth, the Nazi party won only 2.6 percent of the vote in the 1928 election. But then the Great Depression hit, sending the U.S. and Europe into an economic tailspin and shooting the number of unemployed up to 6 million people in Germany (around 30 percent of the population). The sudden slump caused massive social upheaval, which the Nazis exploited to gain further political traction. By 1930, the Nazis won 18.3 percent of the Reichstag vote and became the second largest party after the Social Democrats, while the Communist party also grew to ten percent of the vote.

The economic unrest of the early 1930s meant that no single political party had a majority in the Reichstag, so fragile coalitions held the nation together. Faced with political chaos, President Paul von Hindenburg dissolved the Reichstag again and again. Frequent elections followed.

The Nazis aligned with other right-leaning factions and gradually worked their way up to 33 percent of the vote—but were unable to reach a full majority. In January 1933, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Hitler as chancellor on the advice of Franz von Papen, a disgruntled former chancellor who believed the conservative bourgeois parties should ally with the Nazis to keep the Communists out of power. March 5 was set as the date for another series of Reichstag elections in hopes that one party might finally achieve the majority.

Meanwhile, the Nazis seized even more power, infiltrating the police and empowering ordinary party members as law enforcement officers. On February 22, Hitler used his powers as chancellor to enroll 50,000 Nazi SA men (also known as stormtroopers) as auxiliary police. Two days later, Hermann Göring, Minister of the Interior and one of Hitler’s closest compatriots, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters. Following the raid, the Nazis announced (falsely) that they’d found evidence of seditious material. They claimed the Communists were planning to attack public buildings.

On the night of February 27, around 9:00, pedestrians near the Reichstag heard the sound of breaking glass. Soon after, flames erupted from the building. It took fire engines hours to quell the fire, which destroyed the debating chamber and the Reichstag’s gilded cupola, ultimately causing over $1 million in damage. Police arrested an unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe on the scene. The young man was found outside the building with firelighters in his possession and was panting and sweaty.

“This is a God-given signal,” Hitler told von Papen when they arrived on the scene. “If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.”

A few hours later, on February 28, Hindenburg invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.” The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. That night around 4,000 people were arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the SA. Although the Communist party had won 17 percent of the Reichstag elections in November 1932, and the German people elected 81 Communist deputies in the March 5 elections, many were detained indefinitely after the fire. Their empty seats left the Nazis largely free to do as they wished.

Later that year, a sensational criminal trial got under way. The accused included van der Lubbe, Ernst Torgler (leader of the Communist Party in the Reichstag) and three Bulgarian Communists.

As the trial in Germany proceeded, a different kind of trial captured the public discourse. Willi Münzenberg, a German Communist, allied himself with other Communists to undertake an independent investigation of the fire. The combined research resulted in the publication of The Brown Book on the Reichstag Fire and Hitler Terror. It included early accounts of Nazi brutality, as well as an argument that van der Lubbe was a pawn of the Nazis. Hitler’s party members were the real criminals, the book argued, and they orchestrated the fire to consolidate political power. The book became a bestseller, translated into 24 languages and sold around Europe and the U.S.