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Controlling Data to Subvert Democracy

Controlling Data to Subvert Democracy
This article is the subject of separate legal complaints on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited, and Sophie Schmidt. “The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” Alex Younger, head of MI6, December, 2016 “It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech. Was it one branch of the intelligence services sending a shot across the bows of another? In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she was called up by the boss of a firm where she’d previously interned. “That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump,” a former Cambridge Analytica employee who I’ll call Paul tells me. Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Who’s her father? “Eric Schmidt.” A weird but telling detail.

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Ocean Acidification May Cause Cascading Loss Of Biodiversity December 7th, 2016 by James Ayre The ocean acidification that’s now occurring, as a result of increasing anthropogenic levels of carbon dioxide emissions, will led to cascading losses of biodiversity in many marine habitats and ecosystems, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and its partners. The new work is some of the first to investigate the likely effects of ocean acidification on whole ecosystems, rather than just on individual species (corals, kelps, seagrasses, phytoplankton, etc). “Not too surprisingly, species diversity in calcium carbonate-based habitats like coral reefs and mussel beds were projected to decline with increased ocean acidification,” stated UBC zoologist and biodiversity researcher Jennifer Sunday.

Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology Documents Reveal a Powerful, Secretive [...] North Carolina millionaire and political operative Art Pope, who received $1.5 million from the Bradley Foundation for two conservative groups he founded. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images) This post originally appeared at AlterNet.

Yes, indoor air pollution kills more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB Emphasizing the need to bring clean fuel to the world’s poor, James Rockall, CEO of the World LPG Association, recently said that "more (people) die of indoor air pollution than malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined." Rockall’s statement showed up in a tweet from Stanford Energy, a research group at Stanford University, after he spoke there May 9. Rockall confirmed that he did make this claim, and we decided to check it out. Public health researchers have known for some time that in many poorer nations, fumes from dirty cooking stoves pose a health threat. Rockall’s group represents the interests of the liquified petroleum gas industry, but that self-interest aside, there’s no question that gas burns more cleanly than wood or coal. Rockall told us he got his numbers from the World Health Organization.

JD Taylor – Page 3 – Writer and Reseacher I’ve recently begun asking friends and family variants of these questions, as part of a new project. Everything in conversation, face to face, to avoid the problems of ego-projection or self-restraint that can sometimes debilitate written correspondence. The answers have so far varied from the inspirational to the disappointed. I begun asking myself these questions a little while ago.

Paul Ryan's Pants on Fire claim on Air Force pilots forced to scrounge for airplane parts in museums Lauding Republican legislation that would increase defense spending, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan attacked former President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress, charging they had put the military in a "readiness crisis." And he made a claim -- about the Air Force and museums, of all things -- that we want to check. "Under President Obama, Democrats insisted that an increase in defense spending be tied to an equal increase in non-defense spending," the Wisconsin Republican said at a news conference on May 2, 2017. "You want to help the troops? You want to help the military? The Drivers of Deforestation Debates over forest loss in Borneo generally focus on the extent to which industrial plantations are to blame: those on the conservation side charge oil palm and pulp and paper for the destruction of tropical rainforest, those on the plantation side tend to argue that planting is done on already deforested land. Until now, both sides have lacked clear evidence to justify their claims. “The story is complex, drivers of deforestation are many. Until now we lacked information to distinguish so-called good and bad plantations,” said Douglas Sheil of the Norwegian University of Life Science.

This Graphic Puts Global Warming in Full Perspective To say the world is having a streak like no other is an understatement. Global warming has made cold scarce on a planetary scale. This March clocked in as the second warmest March on record when compared to the 20th century average, according to newly released data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NASA data published last week came to the same conclusion, comparing temperatures to a 1951-1980 baseline. The NOAA data shows the planet was 1.9°F (1.05°C) above the 20th century average for March, the first time any month has breached the 1°C threshold in the absence of El Niño. How Facebook flouts Holocaust denial laws except where it fears being sued Facebook’s policies on Holocaust denial will come under fresh scrutiny following the leak of documents that show moderators are being told not to remove this content in most of the countries where it is illegal. The files explain that moderators should take down Holocaust denial material in only four of the 14 countries where it is outlawed, if reported. One document says the company “does not welcome local law that stands as an obstacle to an open and connected world” and will only consider blocking or hiding Holocaust denial messages and photographs if “we face the risk of getting blocked in a country or a legal risk”.

My hopes, dreams, fears for my future black son Son, I want to tell you how difficult it is to tell someone they are both beautiful and endangered. So worthy of life, yet so despised for living. I do not intend to scare you. Kris Kobach is leading Trump’s vote fraud commission. That’s terrifying. Mike Segar/Reuters As Donald Trump is fond of reminding his various interlocutors, he won the Electoral College, thus giving him the presidency. He lost the popular vote, however, by nearly 3 million votes, tainting his win with the stain of illegitimacy and suggesting that, even in victory, he isn’t the “winner” he imagines. But Trump had an explanation: voter fraud. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump tweeted in November. And just after his inauguration, in January, he vowed to open an inquiry.

Hacking for Share-Market Profit When a team of hackers discovered that St. Jude Medical Inc.’s pacemakers and defibrillators had security vulnerabilities that could put lives at risk, they didn’t warn St. Jude. Instead, the hackers, who work for cybersecurity startup MedSec, e-mailed Carson Block, who runs the Muddy Waters Capital LLC investment firm, in May. They had a money-making proposal. MedSec suggested an unprecedented partnership: The hackers would provide data proving the medical devices were life-threatening, with Block taking a short position against St. Inside Trump’s anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey Every time FBI Director James B. Comey appeared in public, an ever-watchful President Trump grew increasingly agitated that the topic was the one that he was most desperate to avoid: Russia. Trump had long questioned Comey’s loyalty and judgment, and was infuriated by what he viewed as the director’s lack of action in recent weeks on leaks from within the federal government.