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Texas SEO company | Dallas SEO | Austin SEO | Houston SEO …

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Nov 022015

Thanks for visiting Texass conversion driven internet marketing company. 87 % of consumers go to the major Search Engines before purchasing a product so, Search Engine Optimization ought to be a priority of every companies major assets, their websites. How did you find us again? Im sure youd like to have your customers find you the same way you found us, correct? Thats why we offer a consultation that is very valuable to your business and the best thing is its FREE! Dont hesitate to set up a complete market overview for your industry. Its a complete website diagnosis that shows you how your communicating with the internet, a competitor analysis and ROI Forecaster for your market. Email above or just simply give us a call at 855-877-0040. The Algorithm Changed Three times this year already and every time it helps our clients improve in rank after each algorithm update. Check the SEO Results Here. Our mission is to help our customers understand exactly what real SEO is. Link building is only a small part of an overall campaign and we are the only SEO company in the great state of Texas, that will offer you market exclusivity. Have a business and need the upper hand over your competition? Would you like to dominate the online market place for your industry? We challenge you to understand exactly what your competition is doing! Do you understand how your website design sends signals to the Internet? How about your competitions and Start with your FREE market overview just call the # or send us and email. Our team is comprised of industry professionals that have several years of experience. Youll be thoroughly impressed with the assessment and if anything at least youll have something you can always refer to for your business.

Google Adwords and Google Analytics certified. The Texas SEO company consists of several years of experience. Every one on staff has a certification. Whether its for Adwords, Analytics or programming just taking our word for it isnt enough. I encourage you to ask for our referrals and conduct the due diligence for yourself. Call today and ask for an active client reference or testimonial, our clients are always happy to share their success stories with our prospects. Unlike most marketing companies in Miami, we take pride in maintaining a sterling reputation with our clients. With billions of web pages online, many within your own industry, how do make sure your customers find you? How do you assure that Google makes your the best result for their end users? Texas Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves your sites natural ranking, guaranteeing those that need your services can easily find your business. The Texas SEO Company brings a lethal combination of technical expertise, marketing experience, all with a data driven analysis and an individual commitment to the client to each campaign. Dont forget to get your FREE Market Overview today.

White Hat SEO is a term Im sure you have heard before and is phrase youll have to keep in mind. With all the changes happening in Google over the past couple of years our the tag line BUILD TO LAST has an never been more true. If you want to become an authority in Google you need to put in the work. Of course, there is all the normal coding involved but, if your not appeasing the additional 150 backup checks called Googles algorithm you could very well be giving them information that is not popular to them. For instance, your company has spent mega energy in getting the business off the ground. That same energy is what it takes to become #1 in the search engines and it never ends.

In a Nutshell, your busy attending to your clients and running your business. Do you have the 80, 100 or even 120+ hrs this month to make yourself an authority in the search engines? The obvious answer is NO. Dont hesitate and contact us today for your FREE Market overview. 888-877-0040. Again, It consists of a complete competitor analysis, a website diagnosis(if you have a website and identifies all the available business in your market.

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Dallas SEO Staff – Web Design – Garland, TX – Reviews …

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Nov 022015


Dallas SEO Staff works solely with small and medium business in the Dallas Texas area. We specialize in getting companies who service a local to regional market promoted in search engine rankings through white hat organic Search Engine Optimization. We stay up to date with recent algorithm updates and industry best practices and we have developed proprietary methods of ranking websites on page one. Our optimization process includes on page SEO such as optimized content, images, menu structure, etc; off page SEO such as link building and marketing through third party site (such as Groupon or Yelp); Development optimization which includes streamlining code for faster page speed and to allow Google to see your site easier.

Established in 1998.

Back in the days of link farms and keyword spammers we started an ethical honest approach to search engine optimization. And it’s paid off. While some “black hat” techniques helped other sites early on, they are all sunk while our sites continue to gain traction and better rankings. We started with clean deign and development code and as search engines became smarter we had to evolve to understand and optimize our sites for the growing technology. Now in the days of Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon (Google updates) our client’s sites are reaping the benefit of decades of honest “white hat” SEO practices.

Growing up I loved building things with Legos, drawing painting and taking things apart to see how they worked. As I grew up, I started down the science and technology path in high school, but I loved my art classes which fueled my hobby of painting and sculpting. In college I entered the engineering program at Ohio University. During my 5+ years there I took several art classes including computer design. That was around the time the Internet became widely used as forums and chat rooms, then became visual and corporations started building websites. This was a perfect mix of technology and art for me! When I graduated I got a job as a web designer and quickly moved into development. It didn’t take long before sites like AOL, Yahoo and Google came on the scene and changed everything. I learned all I could about how these websites could keep track of every other website and associate them with a term or phrase I searched from my home computer. I’m out of space, so you’ll have to call…

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Dallas SEO Staff – Web Design – Garland, TX – Reviews …

Dallas SEO, Paid Search, & Social Media Expets | Online …

 SEO  Comments Off on Dallas SEO, Paid Search, & Social Media Expets | Online …
Nov 022015

See if your site is mobile friendly by checking out our blog article here and watch Jeff Rudluff speak on Eye on Technology about the upcoming change.

As consumers spend more time online, brands are learning a simple truth if you lack an effective digital strategy, nobody will find you. As a top-rated Dallas SEO, PPC, & social media agency, Online Performance Marketing prides itself on transparent, effective strategies that work and clients understand that’s just one of the ways we Make Digital Easy!

We’re not just another SEO agency or paid search management firm that like to set it and forget it. We’re business consultants to our clients. From our highly sought website development program to how your employees are handling phone calls to managing your online reputation, we do it all. We’re not just concerned with bringing in the traffic we want to see it convert, whether it comes from organic social media marketing, paid search ads, or any of our digital services.

Our team of digital rockstars believes the best way for any brand to grow online is through a combined approach. By investing in Paid Media, like PPC ads and other forms of search engine marketing, we’re able to get your brand in front of new customers. We rev up your Owned Media channels through things like hyper-focused social media management and reviewing your site’s search engine optimization, ensuring it’s found easily and runs smoothly. And with that exposure comes the Earned Media coverage, where bloggers and others in your community evangelize your brand, helping the snowball of growth continue.

The online world can seem overwhelming to a new business or one just getting its feet wet with online marketing. That’s why we put so much emphasis on Making Digital Easy. With clear strategies, top notch reporting, and a team committed to client satisfaction above all, OPM is the catalyst that creates integrated ideas and delivers results for those willing to invest and grow their business. As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Dallas, we’ll get you found across the DFW Metroplex, the state, or even the country wherever you want to be, we’ll take you there!

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What is Cryonics? – How Cryonics Works

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Oct 292015

Cryonics is the practice of preserving human bodies in extremely cold temperatures with the hope of reviving them sometime in the future. The idea is that, if someone has “died” from a disease that is incurable today, he or she can be “frozen” and then revived in the future when a cure has been discovered. A person preserved this way is said to be in cryonic suspension.

To understand the technology behind cryonics, think about the news stories you’ve heard of people who have fallen into an icy lake and have been submerged for up to an hour in the frigid water before being rescued. The ones who survived did so because the icy water put their body into a sort of suspended animation, slowing down their metabolism and brain function to the point where they needed almost no oxygen.

Cryonics is a bit different from being resuscitated after falling into an icy lake, though. First of all, it’s illegal to perform cryonic suspension on someone who is still alive. People who undergo this procedure must first be pronounced legally dead — that is, their heart must have stopped beating. But if they’re dead, how can they ever be revived? According to scientists who perform cryonics, “legally dead” is not the same as “totally dead.” Total death, they say, is the point at which all brain function ceases. Legal death occurs when the heart has stopped beating, but some cellular brain function remains. Cryonics preserves the little cell function that remains so that, theoretically, the person can be resuscitated in the future.

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What is Cryonics? – How Cryonics Works

What is the Illuminati conspiracy? –

 Illuminati  Comments Off on What is the Illuminati conspiracy? –
Oct 272015

Question: “What is the Illuminati conspiracy?”


If one were to attempt to summarize the Illuminati conspiracy, it would go something like this: The Illuminati began as a secret society under the direction of Jesuit priests. Later, a council of five men, one for each of the points on the pentagram, formed what was called The Ancient and Illuminated Seers of Bavaria. They were high order Luciferian Freemasons, thoroughly immersed in mysticism and Eastern mental disciplines, seeking to develop the super powers of the mind. Their alleged plan and purpose is world domination for their lord (who precisely this lord is varies widely). The Illuminati are alleged to be the primary motivational forces encouraging global governance, a one-world religious ethic, and centralized control of the worlds economic systems. Organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the International Criminal Court are seen as tentacles of the Illuminati. According to the Illuminati conspiracy, the Illuminati are the driving force behind efforts to brainwash the gullible masses through thought control and manipulation of beliefs, through the press, the educational curriculum, and the political leadership of the nations.

The Illuminati supposedly have a private board of elite, interlocking delegates who control the worlds major banks. They create inflations, recessions, and depressions and manipulate the world markets, supporting certain leaders and coups and undermining others to achieve their overall goals. The supposed goal behind the Illuminati conspiracy is to create and then manage crises that will eventually convince the masses that globalism, with its centralized economic control and one-world religious ethic, is the necessary solution to the worlds woes. This structure, usually known as the New World Order, will, of course, be ruled by the Illuminati.

Does the Illuminati conspiracy have any basis from a Christian/biblical perspective? Perhaps. There are many end-times prophecies in the Bible that are interpreted by most to point to an end times one-world government, a one-world monetary system, and a one-world religion. Many Bible prophecy interpreters see this New World Order as being controlled by the Antichrist, the end-times false messiah. If the Illuminati conspiracy and the New World Order has any validity and is indeed occurring, for the Christian, there is one fact that must be remembered: God has sovereignly allowed all these developments, and they are not outside of His overall plan. God is in control, not the Illuminati. No plan or scheme the Illuminati develop could in any way prevent, or even hinder, God’s sovereign plan for the world.

If there is indeed some truth to the Illuminati conspiracy, the Illuminati are nothing but pawns in the hands of Satan, tools to be manipulated in his conflict with God. The fate of the Illuminati will be the same as the fate of their lord, Satan/Lucifer, who will be cast into the lake of fire, to be tormented day and night, forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). In John 16:33 Jesus declared, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” For Christians, all we need to understand about the Illuminati conspiracy is summarized in the words of 1 John 4:4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”


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Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Wikipedia …

 Fifth Amendment  Comments Off on Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Wikipedia …
Oct 262015

The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from being forced to incriminate themselves. Incriminating oneself is defined as exposing oneself (or another person) to “an accusation or charge of crime,” or as involving oneself (or another person) “in a criminal prosecution or the danger thereof.”[34] The privilege against compelled self-incrimination is defined as “the constitutional right of a person to refuse to answer questions or otherwise give testimony against himself or herself…. “[35] To “plead the Fifth” is to refuse to answer any question because “the implications of the question, in the setting in which it is asked” lead a claimant to possess a “reasonable cause to apprehend danger from a direct answer”, believing that “a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result.”[36]

Historically, the legal protection against compelled self-incrimination was directly related to the question of torture for extracting information and confessions.[37][38]

The legal shift away from widespread use of torture and forced confession dates to turmoil of the late 16th and early 17th century in England.[39] Anyone refusing to take the oath ex officio mero (confessions or swearing of innocence, usually before hearing any charges) was considered guilty.[39] Suspected Puritans were pressed to take the oath and then reveal names of other Puritans. Coercion and torture were commonly used to compel “cooperation.” Puritans, who were at the time fleeing to the New World, began a practice of refusing to cooperate with interrogations. In the most famous case John Lilburne refused to take the oath in 1637. His case and his call for “freeborn rights” were rallying points for reforms against forced oaths, forced self-incrimination, and other kinds of coercion. Oliver Cromwell’s revolution overturned the practice and incorporated protections, in response to a popular group of English citizens known as the Levellers. The Levellers presented The Humble Petition of Many Thousands to Parliament in 1647 with 13 demands, third of which was the right against self-incrimination in criminal cases. These protections were brought to America by Puritans, and were later incorporated into the United States Constitution through the Bill of Rights.

Protection against compelled self-incrimination is implicit in the Miranda rights statement, which protects the “right to remain silent.” This amendment is also similar to Section 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In other Commonwealth of Nations countries like Australia and New Zealand, the right to silence of the accused both during questioning and at trial is regarded as an important right inherited from common law, and is protected in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and in Australia through various federal and state acts and codes governing the criminal justice system.

In South African law the right to silence originating from English common law has been entrenched in Section 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

The Supreme Court has held that “a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.”[40]

The Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination applies when an individual is called to testify in a legal proceeding.[41] The Supreme Court ruled that the privilege applies whether the witness is in a federal court or, under the incorporation doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, in a state court,[42] and whether the proceeding itself is criminal or civil.[43]

The right to remain silent was asserted at grand jury or congressional hearings in the 1950s, when witnesses testifying before the House Committee on Un-American Activities or the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee claimed the right in response to questions concerning their alleged membership in the Communist Party. Under the Red Scare hysteria at the time of McCarthyism, witnesses who refused to answer the questions were accused as “fifth amendment communists”. They lost jobs or positions in unions and other political organizations, and suffered other repercussions after “taking the Fifth.”

Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisc.) asked, “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist party,” while he was chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Admitting to a previous communist party membership was not sufficient. Witnesses were also required to “name names,” to implicate others they knew to be communists or who had been communists in the past. Academy Award winning director Elia Kazan testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities that he had belonged to the Communist Party briefly in his youth. He also “named names,” which incurred enmity of many in Hollywood. Other entertainers such as Zero Mostel found themselves on a Hollywood blacklist after taking the Fifth, and were unable to find work for a while in the show business. Pleading the Fifth in response to such questions was held inapplicable, since being a Communist itself was not a crime.

The amendment has also been used by defendants and witnesses in criminal cases involving the American Mafia.[citation needed]

The privilege against self-incrimination does not protect an individual from being suspended from membership in a non-governmental, self-regulatory organization (SRO), such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where the individual refuses to answer questions posed by the SRO. An SRO itself is not a court of law, and cannot send a person to jail. SROs, such as the NYSE and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), are generally not considered to be state actors. See United States v. Solomon,[44]D. L. Cromwell Invs., Inc. v. NASD Regulation, Inc.,[45] and Marchiano v. NASD.[46] SROs also lack subpoena powers. They rely heavily on requiring testimony from individuals by wielding the threat of loss of membership or a bar from the industry (permanent, if decided by the NASD) when the individual asserts his or her Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination. If a person chooses to provide statements in testimony to the SRO, the SRO may provide information about those statements to law enforcement agencies, who may then use the statements in a prosecution of the individual.

The Fifth Amendment limits the use of evidence obtained illegally by law enforcement officers. Originally, at common law, even a confession obtained by torture was admissible. However, by the eighteenth century, common law in England provided that coerced confessions were inadmissible. The common law rule was incorporated into American law by the courts. The Supreme Court has repeatedly overruled convictions based on such confessions, in cases such as Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278 (1936).

Law enforcement responded by switching to more subtle techniques, but the courts held that such techniques, even if they do not involve physical torture, may render a confession involuntary and inadmissible. In Chambers v. Florida (1940) the Court held a confession obtained after five days of prolonged questioning, during which time the defendant was held incommunicado, to be coerced. In Ashcraft v. Tennessee (1944), the suspect had been interrogated continuously for thirty-six hours under electric lights. In Haynes v. Washington,[47] the Court held that an “unfair and inherently coercive context” including a prolonged interrogation rendered a confession inadmissible.

Miranda v. Arizona (1966) was a landmark case involving confessions. Ernesto Miranda had signed a statement confessing to the crime, but the Supreme Court held that the confession was inadmissible because the defendant had not been advised of his rights.

The Court held “the prosecution may not use statements… stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. Custodial interrogation is initiated by law enforcement after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of movement before being questioned as to the specifics of the crime.

As for the procedural safeguards to be employed, unless other fully effective means are devised to inform accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it, the following measures are required. Before any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed.” The warning to which Chief Justice Earl Warren referred is now called the Miranda warning, and it is customarily delivered by the police to an individual before questioning.

Miranda has been clarified by several further Supreme Court rulings. For the warning to be necessary, the questioning must be conducted under “custodial” circumstances. A person detained in jail or under arrest is, of course, deemed to be in police custody. Alternatively, a person who is under the reasonable belief that he may not freely leave from the restraint of law enforcement is also deemed to be in “custody.” That determination of “reasonableness” is based on a totality of the objective circumstances. A mere presence at a police station may not be sufficient, but neither is such a presence required. Traffic stops are not deemed custodial. The Court has ruled that age can be an objective factor. In Yarborough v. Alvarado (2004), the Court held that “a state-court decision that failed to mention a 17-year-old’s age as part of the Miranda custody analysis was not objectively unreasonable”.[48] In her concurring opinion Justice O’Connor wrote that a suspect’s age may indeed “be relevant to the ‘custody’ inquiry”;[49] the Court did not find it relevant in the specific case of Alvarado. The Court affirmed that age could be a relevant and objective factor in J.D.B. v. North Carolina where they ruled that “so long as the child’s age was known to the officer at the time of police questioning, or would have been objectively apparent to a reasonable officer, its inclusion in the custody analysis is consistent with the objective nature of that test”.[48]

The questioning does not have to be explicit to trigger Miranda rights. For example, two police officers engaging in a conversation designed to elicit an incriminating statement from a suspect would constitute questioning. A person may choose to waive his Miranda rights, but the prosecution has the burden of showing that such a waiver was actually made.

A confession not preceded by a Miranda warning where one was necessary cannot be admitted as evidence against the confessing party in a judicial proceeding. The Supreme Court, however, has held that if a defendant voluntarily testifies at the trial that he did not commit the crime, his confession may be introduced to challenge his credibility, to “impeach” the witness, even if it had been obtained without the warning.

In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the Supreme Court ruled 54 on June 21, 2004, that the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments do not give people the right to refuse to give their name when questioned by police where a state’s stop and identify statutes obligate disclosure of such information.

In June 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Berghuis v. Thompkins that a criminal suspect must now unambiguously invoke the right to remain silent. Unless and until the suspect actually states that he or she is relying on that right, his or her subsequent voluntary statement can be used in court and police can continue to interact with (or question) him or her. The mere act of remaining silent is, on its own, insufficient to imply the suspect has invoked those rights. Furthermore, a voluntary reply, even after lengthy silence, can be construed as implying a waiver.

Under the Act of Production Doctrine, the act of an individual in producing documents or materials (e.g., in response to a subpoena) may have a “testimonial aspect” for purposes of the individual’s right to assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to the extent that the individual’s act of production provides information not already in the hands of law enforcement personnel about the (1) existence; (2) custody; or (3) authenticity, of the documents or materials produced. See United States v. Hubbell.

In Griffin v. California (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that a prosecutor may not ask the jury to draw an inference of guilt from a defendant’s refusal to testify in his own defense. The Court overturned as unconstitutional under the federal constitution a provision of the California state constitution that explicitly granted such power to prosecutors.[50]

While defendants are entitled to assert the privilege against compelled self-incrimination in a civil court case, there are consequences to the assertion of the privilege in such an action.

The Supreme Court has held that “the Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them.” Baxter v. Palmigiano,[51] “[A]s Mr. Justice Brandeis declared, speaking for a unanimous court in the Tod case, ‘Silence is often evidence of the most persuasive character.'”[52] “‘Failure to contest an assertion… is considered evidence of acquiescence… if it would have been natural under the circumstances to object to the assertion in question.'”[53]

In Baxter, the state was entitled to an adverse inference against Palmigiano because of the evidence against him and his assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege.

Some civil cases are considered “criminal cases” for the purposes of the Fifth Amendment. In Boyd v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “A proceeding to forfeit a person’s goods for an offence against the laws, though civil in form, and whether in rem or in personam, is a “criminal case” within the meaning of that part of the Fifth Amendment which declares that no person “shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself.”[54]

In some cases, individuals may be legally required to file reports that call for information that may be used against them in criminal cases. In United States v. Sullivan,[55] the United States Supreme Court ruled that a taxpayer could not invoke the Fifth Amendment’s protections as the basis for refusing to file a required federal income tax return. The Court stated: “If the form of return provided called for answers that the defendant was privileged from making[,] he could have raised the objection in the return, but could not on that account refuse to make any return at all. We are not called on to decide what, if anything, he might have withheld.”[56]

In Garner v. United States,[57] the defendant was convicted of crimes involving a conspiracy to “fix” sporting contests and to transmit illegal bets. During the trial the prosecutor introduced, as evidence, the taxpayer’s federal income tax returns for various years. In one return the taxpayer had showed his occupation to be “professional gambler.” In various returns the taxpayer had reported income from “gambling” or “wagering.” The prosecution used this to help contradict the taxpayer’s argument that his involvement was innocent. The taxpayer tried unsuccessfully to keep the prosecutor from introducing the tax returns as evidence, arguing that since the taxpayer was legally required to report the illegal income on the returns, he was being compelled to be a witness against himself. The Supreme Court agreed that he was legally required to report the illegal income on the returns, but ruled that the privilege against self-incrimination still did not apply. The Court stated that “if a witness under compulsion to testify makes disclosures instead of claiming the privilege, the Government has not ‘compelled’ him to incriminate himself.”[58]

Sullivan and Garner are viewed as standing, in tandem, for the proposition that on a required federal income tax return a taxpayer would probably have to report the amount of the illegal income, but might validly claim the privilege by labeling the item “Fifth Amendment” (instead of “illegal gambling income,” “illegal drug sales,” etc.)[59] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has stated: “Although the source of income might be privileged, the amount must be reported.”[60] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has stated: “…. the amount of a taxpayer’s income is not privileged even though the source of income may be, and Fifth Amendment rights can be exercised in compliance with the tax laws “by simply listing his alleged ill-gotten gains in the space provided for ‘miscellaneous’ income on his tax form.”[61] In another case, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stated: “While the source of some of [the defendant] Johnson’s income may have been privileged, assuming that the jury believed his uncorroborated testimony that he had illegal dealings in gold in 1970 and 1971, the amount of his income was not privileged and he was required to pay taxes on it.”[62] In 1979, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated: “A careful reading of Sullivan and Garner, therefore, is that the self-incrimination privilege can be employed to protect the taxpayer from revealing the information as to an illegal source of income, but does not protect him from disclosing the amount of his income.”[63]

If the government gives an individual immunity, then that individual may be compelled to testify. Immunity may be “transactional immunity” or “use immunity”; in the former, the witness is immune from prosecution for offenses related to the testimony; in the latter, the witness may be prosecuted, but his testimony may not be used against him. In Kastigar v. United States,[64] the Supreme Court held that the government need only grant use immunity to compel testimony. The use immunity, however, must extend not only to the testimony made by the witness, but also to all evidence derived therefrom. This scenario most commonly arises in cases related to organized crime.

A statutorily required record-keeping system may go too far such that it implicates a record-keeper’s right against self-incrimination. A three part test laid out by Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board,[65] is used to determine this: 1. the law targets a highly selective group inherently suspect of criminal activities; 2. the activities sought to be regulated are already permeated with criminal statutes as opposed to essentially being non-criminal and largely regulatory; and 3. the disclosure compelled creates a likelihood of prosecution and is used against the record-keeper. In this case, the Supreme Court struck down an order by the Subversive Activities Control Board requiring members of the Communist Party to register with the government and upheld an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination, on the grounds that statute under which the order had been issued was “directed at a highly selective group inherently suspect of criminal activities.”

In Leary v. United States,[66] the court struck down the Marijuana Tax Act because its record keeping statute required self-incrimination.

In Haynes v. United States,[67] the Supreme Court ruled that, because convicted felons are prohibited from owning firearms, requiring felons to register any firearms they owned constituted a form of self-incrimination and was therefore unconstitutional.

Courts have given conflicting decisions on whether forced disclosure of computer passwords is a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

In In re Boucher (2009), the US District Court of Vermont ruled that the Fifth Amendment might protect a defendant from having to reveal an encryption password, or even the existence of one, if the production of that password could be deemed a self-incriminating “act” under the Fifth Amendment. In Boucher, production of the unencrypted drive was deemed not to be a self-incriminating act, as the government already had sufficient evidence to tie the encrypted data to the defendant.[68]

In January 2012 a federal judge in Denver ruled that a bank-fraud suspect was required to give an unencrypted copy of a laptop hard drive to prosecutors.[69][70] However, in February 2012 the Eleventh Circuit ruled otherwise – finding that requiring a defendant to produce an encrypted drive’s password would violate the Constitution, becoming the first federal circuit court to rule on the issue.[71][72] In April 2013, a District Court magistrate judge in Wisconsin refused to compel a suspect to provide the encryption password to his hard drive after FBI agents had unsuccessfully spent months trying to decrypt the data.[73][74]

Corporations may also be compelled to maintain and turn over records; the Supreme Court has held that the Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination extend only to “natural persons.”[75] The Court has also held that a corporation’s custodian of records can be forced to produce corporate documents even if the act of production would incriminate him personally.[76] The only limitation on this rule is that the jury cannot be told that the custodian personally produced those documents in any subsequent prosecution of him or her, but the jury is still allowed to draw adverse inferences from the content of the documents combined with the position of the custodian in the corporation.

As a condition of employment, workers may be required to answer their employer’s narrowly defined questions regarding conduct on the job. If an employee invokes the Garrity rule (sometimes called the Garrity Warning or Garrity Rights) before answering the questions, then the answers cannot be used in criminal prosecution of the employee.[77] This principle was developed in Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967). The rule is most commonly applied to public employees such as police officers.

In Boyd v. United States,[78] the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “It is equivalent to a compulsory production of papers to make the nonproduction of them a confession of the allegations which it is pretended they will prove”.

On June 1, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Berghuis v. Thompkins that the right was non-self-executing and a criminal suspect must specifically invoke the right against self-incrimination in order for constitutional protections to apply.[79] The case centered around the interrogation of murder suspect Van Chester Thompkins, who remained virtually silent for hours, before giving a few brief responses to police questions. Most significantly, Thompkins answered “yes” when asked, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?” The statement was introduced at trial and Thompkins was convicted. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court held that criminal suspects who do not clearly state their intention to remain silent are presumed to have waived their Fifth Amendment rights. Ironically, suspects must speak in order for their silence to be legally protected. The new rule will defer to police in cases where the suspect fails to unambiguously assert the right to remain silent.

The Supreme Court extended the standard from Berghuis v. Thompkins in Salinas v. Texas in 2013, holding that a suspect’s silence in response to a specific question posed during an interview with police when the suspect was not in custody and the suspect had been voluntarily answering other questions during that interview could be used against him in court where he did not explicitly invoke his Fifth Amendment right to silence in response to the specific question.[80] Of the five justices who concluded that the suspect’s silence could be used against him in these circumstances, Justices Alito, Roberts and Kennedy concluded that the defendant’s Fifth Amendment claim failed because he did not expressly invoke the privilege. The other two Justices, Thomas and Scalia, concluded that the defendant’s claim would fail even if he had invoked the privilege, on the theory that the prosecutor’s comment at the trialregarding the defendant’s silence in response to a question during the police interviewdid not compel the defendant to give self-incriminating testimony.[81] The Court stated that there was no “ritualistic formula” necessary to assert this privilege, but that a person could not do so “by simply standing mute.” If an individual fails to invoke his right, and is later charged with a crime, the prosecution may use his silence at trial as evidence of his guilt.[82]

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International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology: Libertarianism

 Misc  Comments Off on International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology: Libertarianism
Oct 262015

This essay first appeared in the International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, edited by Jens Beckert and Milan Zafirovski (London and New York: Routledge, 2006, pp. 403-407). It was posted as a Notablog entry on 5 January 2006. Comments welcome (post here).

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By Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Libertarianism is the political ideology ofvoluntarism, a commitment to voluntary action in a social context, where no individual or group of individuals can initiate the use of force against others. It is not a monolithic ideological paradigm; rather, it signifies a variety of approaches that celebrate therule of law and the free exchange of goods, services, and ideas a laissez-faire attitude towards what philosopher Robert Nozick (1974) once called capitalist acts between consenting adults.

Modern libertarians draw inspiration from writings attributed to the Chinese sage Lao Tzu, as well as the works of Aristotle, among the ancients; [seventeenth-,] eighteenth- and nineteenth-century classicalliberalism (e.g. John Locke, the Scottish Enlightenment, the American founders, Carl Menger, andHerbert Spencer); individualist anarchism (e.g. Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner); Old Right opponents of Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal (e.g. Albert Jay Nock, John T. Flynn, Isabel Paterson andH. L. Mencken); modern Austrian economics (e.g. Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek and Murray Rothbard), as well as the economics of the Chicago school(Milton Friedman) and Virginia school (James Buchanan); and the Objectivist philosopherAyn Rand.

Classical liberalism is the most immediatepredecessor of contemporary libertarianism. Locke and the American founders had an impact on those libertarians, such as Rothbard and Rand, who stress individual rights, while the Scottish Enlightenment and Spencer had a major impact on thinkerssuch as Hayek, who stress the evolutionary wisdom of customs and traditions in contradistinctionto the constructivist rationalism of state planners.

Among evolutionists, Spencer in particularmade important contributions to what would become known as general systems theory; some consider him to be the founder of modern sociology. Indeed, he authored Principles of Sociology and TheStudy of Sociology, which was the textbook used for the first sociology course offered in the United States, at Yale University. A contemporary of Charles Darwin, he focused on social evolution the development of societies and organizational structuresfrom simple to compound forms. In such works as The Man Versus the State, he presented a conception of society as a spontaneous, integrated growth and not amanufacture, an organically evolving context for the development of heterogeneity and differentiation among the individuals who compose it. Just as Spencer emphasized organic social evolution, so too did he focus on the organic evolution of the state with its mutually reinforcing reliance onbureaucracy and militarism, and how it might be overcome.

The Austrian-born Carl Menger, a founder along with W. S. Jevons and Lon Walras of the marginalist revolution in economics, held a similar view of social life as a dynamic, spontaneous, evolving process. Influenced by Aristotle in his methodological individualism, Menger wasfervently opposed to the historical relativism of the German historicists of the Methodenstreit. Menger focused on the purposeful actions of individuals in generating unintended sociologicalconsequences a host of institutions, such as language, religion, law, the state, markets, competition and money.

In the twentieth century, the Nobel laureate Austrian economist F. A. Hayek carried on Mengers evolutionist discussion and praised it for providing outstanding guidelines for general sociology. For Hayek (1991), Menger was among the Darwinians before Darwin those evolutionists,such as the conservative Edmund Burke and the liberals of the Scottish Enlightenment, who stressed the evolution of institutions as the product of unintended consequences, rather than deliberate design. Hayek drew a direct parallel between hisown concept of spontaneous order and Adam Smiths notion of the invisible hand. Hayek argued that, over time, there is a competition among various emergent traditions, each of which embodies rivalrules of action and perception. Through a process of natural selection, those rules and institutions that are more durable than others will tend to flourish, resulting in a relative increase in population and wealth. Though he didnt argue for a theory of inevitable progress, as Spencer had, heclearly assumed that liberalism was the social system most conducive to such flourishing.

Like Karl Marx, Hayek criticized utopiansfor their desire to construct social institutions as if from an Archimedean standpoint, external to history and culture. But Hayek turned this analysis on Marx; he developed a full-fledged critique of socialism and central planning as utopian requiring an unattainable synoptic knowledge of all the articulated and tacit dimensions of social life. Hayek argued that market prices were indispensable to rational entrepreneurial calculation. He also focused on the sociological and psychological ramifications of the movement away from markets. He maintains in The Road to Serfdom (1944), for example, that there is a structural connection between social psychology and politics: to the extent that the stateimposes collectivist arrangements on individuals, it is destructive of individualchoice, morals and responsibility, and this destruction of individualism reinforces the spread of statism. And the more the state comes to dominate social life, says Hayek, the more state power will be the only power worth having which is why theworst get on top.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was similarly opposed to statism and collectivism, and presented, in [1922], an influential book entitled Socialism, which was an economic and sociological analysis of all forms of state intervention from fascism to communism. Mises used the tools of praxeology, the science of humanaction, to demonstrate the calculational problems that all non-market systems face, due to their elimination of private property, entrepreneurialism and the price system. More important, perhaps, is Misess development of a non-Marxist, libertarian theoryof class. Like Charles Dunoyer, Charles Comte, James Mill and other classical liberals, Mises argued that traders on the market share a mutuality of benefit that is destroyed by political intervention. For Mises, the long-term interests of marketparticipants are not in fundamental conflict. It is only with government action that such conflict becomes possible, Mises claims,because it is only government that can create a caste system based on the bestowal of special privileges.

Mises located the central caste conflictin the financial sector of the economy. In such books as The Theory of Money and Credit, he contends that government control over money and banking led to the cycle of boom and bust. A systematicincrease in the money supply creates differentialeffects over time, redistributing wealth to those social groups, especially banks and debtor industries, which are the first beneficiaries of the inflation.

Mises student, Murray Rothbard, developed this theory of caste conflict into a full-fledged libertarian class analysis. Rothbard views central banking as a cartelizing device that has created a powerful structure of class privilege in modern political economy. These privileges growexponentially as government restricts market competition and free entry, thereby creating monopoly through various coercive means (e.g. compulsory cartelization, price controls, output quotas, licensing, tariffs, immigration restrictions, labourlaws, conscription, patents, franchises, etc.).

Rothbards view of the relationship between big business and government in the rise of American statism draws additionally from the work of New Left historical revisionists, such as Gabriel Kolko andJames Weinstein. These historians held that big business was at the forefront of the movement towards government regulation of the market. That movement, according to Rothbard, had both a domestic and foreigncomponent, since it often entailed both domestic regulation and foreign imperialism to secure global markets. The creation of a welfare-warfare state leads necessarily to economic inefficiencies and deep distortions in the structure of production. Like Marx, Rothbard views these internal contradictions as potentially fatal to the economic system; unlike Marx, Rothbard blames these contradictions not on the free market, but on the growth of statism.

Drawing inspiration from Franz Oppenheimers and Albert Jay Nocks distinction between state power and social power, or state and market, and from John C. Calhouns class theory, as presented in Disquisition on Government, Rothbard sawsociety fragmenting, ultimately, into two opposing classes: taxpayers and tax-consumers. In his book Power and Market, Rothbard identifies bureaucrats, politicians and the net beneficiaries of government privilege as among the tax-consumers. Unlike his Austrian predecessors Hayek andMises, however, Rothbard argues that it is only with the elimination of the state that a fully just and productive society can emerge. His anarcho-capitalist ideal society would end the states monopoly on the coercive use of force, as well as taxation and conscription, and allow for the emergence of contractual agencies for the protectionof fully delineated private property rights (thereby resolving the problems of externalities and public goods) and the adjudication of disputes. His scenario had a major impact on Nozick, whose Anarchy,State, and Utopia was written in response to the Rothbardian anarchist challenge.

Ayn Rand, the Russian-born novelist and philosopher, author of best-selling novels TheFountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, was one of those who eschewed the libertarian label, partially because of its association with anarchism. An epistemological realist, ethical egoist and advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, Rand maintained that libertarians had focused too much attention on politics to the exclusion of the philosophical and cultural factors upon which it depended. But even though she saw politics as hierarchically dependent on these factors, she often stressed the reciprocal relationships among disparate elements, from politicsand pedagogy to sex, economics and psychology. She sought to transcend the dualities of mind and body, reason and emotion, theory and practice, fact and value, morality and prudence, and theconventional philosophic dichotomies of materialism and idealism, rationalism and empiricism, subjectivism and classical objectivism (which she called intrinsicism). Yet, despite her protestations, Rand can be placed in the libertarian tradition, given her adherence to its voluntarist political credo.

From the perspective of social theory, Rand proposed a multi-level sociological analysis of human relations under statism. Echoing the Austrian critique of state intervention in her analysis of politics and economics, Rand extended her critique toencompass epistemology, psychology, ethics and culture. She argued that statism both nourished and depended upon an irrational altruist and collectivist ethos that demanded the sacrifice of the individual to the group. It required and perpetuated a psychology of dependence and a groupmentality that was destructive of individual authenticity, integrity, honesty and responsibility. Rand also focused on the cultural preconditions and effects of statism since coercive social relations required fundamental alterations in the nature of language, education, pedagogy, aesthetics and ideology. Just as relations of power operatethrough ethical, psychological, cultural, political and economic dimensions, so too, for Rand, the struggle for freedom and individualism depends upon a certain constellation of moral, psychological, cultural and structural factors that support it. Randadvocated capitalism, the unknown ideal, as the only system capable of generating just social conditions, conducive to the individuals survival and flourishing.

See also: inflation; laissez faire; monopolyand oligopoly.

References and further reading

Calhoun, John C. ([1853]1953) A Disquisition onGovernment and Selections from the Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

Hayek, F. A. (1944) The Road to Serfdom, Chicago:University of Chicago Press.

(1991) The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek,Volume 3: The Trend of Economic Thinking: Essays on Political Economists and Economic History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Mises, Ludwig von ([1912]1981) The Theory ofMoney and Credit, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Classics.

(1936) Socialism: An Economic and SociologicalAnalysis, London: Jonathan Cape.

Nozick, Robert (1974) Anarchy, State, and Utopia,New York: Basic Books.

Rand, Ayn (1967) Capitalism: The UnknownIdeal, New York: New American Library.

Rothbard, Murray ([1970]1977) Power and Market:Government and the Economy, Kansas City, MO: Sheed Andrews and McMeel.

(1978) For a New Liberty: The LibertarianManifesto, revised edition, New York: Collier Books.

Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (1995) Ayn Rand: TheRussian Radical, University Park, PA: PennsylvaniaState University Press.

(1995) Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, Albany,NY: State University of New York Press.

(2000) Total Freedom: Toward a DialecticalLibertarianism, University Park, PA: PennsylvaniaState University Press.

Spencer, Herbert (1873) The Study of Sociology,New York: D. Appleton.

(188298) The Principles of Sociology, threevolumes, London: Williams and Norgate.

([1940]1981) The Man Versus the State, withSix Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Classics.


______ Note: [bracketed words] above are corrections to online version


Excerpt from:
International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology: Libertarianism

Gravitational singularity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 The Singularity  Comments Off on Gravitational singularity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oct 232015

A gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity is a location where the force of gravity has become effectively infinite, and the quantities that are used to measure the gravitational field of a singularity become infinite in a way that does not depend on the coordinate system from the standpoint of any observer of the singularity. These quantities are the scalar invariant curvatures of spacetime, which includes a measure of the density of matter. The laws of normal spacetime could not exist within a singularity and it is currently postulated that matter cannot cross the event horizon of a singularity due to the effects of time dialation.[1][2][3] Singularities are theorized to exist at the center of Black Holes, within Cosmic Strings, and as leftover remants from the early formation of the Universe following the Big Bang. Although gravitational singularities were proposed by Einstein in his General Relativity Theory, their existence has not been confirmed. [4][5][6][7]

For the purposes of proving the PenroseHawking singularity theorems, a spacetime with a singularity is defined to be one that contains geodesics that cannot be extended in a smooth manner.[8] The end of such a geodesic is considered to be the singularity. This is a different definition, useful for proving theorems.[9][10]

The two most important types of spacetime singularities are curvature singularities and conical singularities.[11] Singularities can also be divided according to whether or not they are covered by an event horizon (naked singularities are not covered).[12] According to modern general relativity, the initial state of the universe, at the beginning of the Big Bang, was a singularity.[13] Both general relativity and quantum mechanics break down in describing the Big Bang,[14] but in general, quantum mechanics does not permit particles to inhabit a space smaller than their wavelengths (See: Wave-particle_duality).[15]

Another type of singularity predicted by general relativity is inside a black hole: any star collapsing beyond a certain point (the Schwarzschild radius) would form a black hole, inside which a singularity (covered by an event horizon) would be formed, as all the matter would flow into a certain point (or a circular line, if the black hole is rotating).[16] This is again according to general relativity without quantum mechanics, which forbids wavelike particles entering a space smaller than their wavelength. These hypothetical singularities are also known as curvature singularities.

In theoretical modeling with supersymmetry theory, a singularity in the moduli space (a geometric space using coordinates to model objects, observers, or locations) happens usually when there are additional massless degrees of freedom (dimensions) at a certain point. Similarly, in String Theory and in M Theory, it is thought that singularities in spacetime often mean that there are additional degrees of freedom (physical dimensions beyond the four dimensions described by General Relativity) that exist only within the vicinity of the singularity. The same fields related to the whole spacetime are postulated to also exist according to this theory; for example, the electromagnetic field. In known examples of string theory, the latter degrees of freedom are related to closed strings, while the degrees of freedom are “stuck” to the singularity and related either to open strings or to the twisted sector of an orbifold (A theoretical construct of abstract mathematics). This is however, only a theory.[17][18]

A theory supported by Stephen Hawkings called the Black hole information paradox postulates that matter cannot cross the event horizon of a singularity or black hole and remains as stored information just beyond the event horizon and is slowly released as Hawking radiation or held at the event horizon permanently due to the effects of time dialation. “The information is not stored in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but in its boundary – the event horizon,” he told a conference at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. (meaning that as matter enters the event horizon of a black hole the deeper it travels inside the black hole, the slower time flows for that matter relative to an observer outside the black hole watching the matter travel through the event horizon. Time essentially slows until it virtually stops as the matter reaches the event horizon of the singularity and can never make it to the center and is held there forever).[19]

Solutions to the equations of general relativity or another theory of gravity (such as supergravity) often result in encountering points where the metric blows up to infinity. However, many of these points are completely regular, and the infinities are merely a result of using an inappropriate coordinate system at this point (meaning that Einsteins partial differential equations that describe spacetime curvature and gravity produce infinite values if you provide bad data). In order to test whether there is a singularity at a certain point, one must check whether at this point diffeomorphism invariant quantities (coordinates in a coordinate system describing an observer in such a way that the relationships of the physical law being tested do not vary based on the coordinates of the observer being at different locations) which are scalars become infinite (a scalar is a pure number representing a value, like length). Such quantities are the same in every coordinate system, so these infinities will not “go away” by a change of coordinates. (when proper coordinate systems are used to describe an observers location, no matter what system is employed, a singularity will always produce these infinites using Einstein’s partial differential equations to describe space time curvature).

An example is the Schwarzschild solution that describes a non-rotating, uncharged black hole. In coordinate systems convenient for working in regions far away from the black hole, a part of the metric becomes infinite at the event horizon. However, spacetime at the event horizon is regular. The regularity becomes evident when changing to another coordinate system (such as the Kruskal coordinates), where the metric is perfectly smooth. On the other hand, in the center of the black hole, where the metric becomes infinite as well, the solutions suggest a singularity exists. The existence of the singularity can be verified by noting that the Kretschmann scalar, being the square of the Riemann tensor i.e. , which is diffeomorphism invariant, is infinite. While in a non-rotating black hole the singularity occurs at a single point in the model coordinates, called a “point singularity”. In a rotating black hole, also known as a Kerr black hole, the singularity occurs on a ring (a circular line), known as a “ring singularity”. Such a singularity may also theoretically become a wormhole.[20]

A conical singularity occurs when there is a point where the limit of every diffeomorphism invariant quantity is finite, in which case spacetime is not smooth at the point of the limit itself. Thus, spacetime looks like a cone around this point, where the singularity is located at the tip of the cone. The metric can be finite everywhere if a suitable coordinate system is used. An example of such a conical singularity is a cosmic string. Cosmic strings are theoretical, and their existence has not yet been confirmed. [21]

Until the early 1990s, it was widely believed that general relativity hides every singularity behind an event horizon, making naked singularities impossible. This is referred to as the cosmic censorship hypothesis. However, in 1991, physicists Stuart Shapiro and Saul Teukolsky performed computer simulations of a rotating plane of dust that indicated that general relativity might allow for “naked” singularities. What these objects would actually look like in such a model is unknown. Nor is it known whether singularities would still arise if the simplifying assumptions used to make the simulation were removed.[22][23][24]

Some theories, such as the theory of loop quantum gravity suggest that singularities may not exist. The idea is that due to quantum gravity effects, there is a minimum distance beyond which the force of gravity no longer continues to increase as the distance between the masses becomes shorter.[25][26]

The Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble theory of gravity naturally averts the gravitational singularity at the Big Bang. This theory extends general relativity to matter with intrinsic angular momentum (spin) by removing a constraint of the symmetry of the affine connection and regarding its antisymmetric part, the torsion tensor, as a variable in varying the action. The minimal coupling between torsion and Dirac spinors generates a spinspin interaction in fermionic matter, which becomes dominant at extremely high densities and prevents the scale factor of the Universe from reaching zero. The Big Bang is replaced by a cusp-like Big Bounce at which the matter has an enormous but finite density and before which the Universe was contracting (what is theorized is that matter exerts a counterforce based upon the spin (angular momentum) which is present in all fermionic matter that will resist the effects of gravity beyond a certain point of compression and a singularity can never fully form). [27]

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Gravitational singularity – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PRISM (surveillance program) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 NSA  Comments Off on PRISM (surveillance program) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oct 202015

PRISM is a clandestine[1]surveillance program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from at least nine major US internet companies.[2][3][4] Since 2001 the United States government has increased its scope for such surveillance, and so this program was launched in 2007.

PRISM is a government code name for a data-collection effort known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN.[5][6] The PRISM program collects stored internet communications based on demands made to internet companies such as Google Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms.[7] The NSA can use these PRISM requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier,[8][9] and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things.[10]

PRISM began in 2007 in the wake of the passage of the Protect America Act under the Bush Administration.[11][12] The program is operated under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court, or FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[13] Its existence was leaked six years later by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who warned that the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew and included what he characterized as “dangerous” and “criminal” activities.[14] The disclosures were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013. Subsequent documents have demonstrated a financial arrangement between NSA’s Special Source Operations division (SSO) and PRISM partners in the millions of dollars.[15]

Documents indicate that PRISM is “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports”, and it accounts for 91% of the NSA’s internet traffic acquired under FISA section 702 authority.”[16][17] The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls.[18][19]

U.S. government officials have disputed some aspects of the Guardian and Washington Post stories and have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government’s executive, judicial and legislative branches.[20][21] On June 19, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that the NSA’s data gathering practices constitute “a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people.”[22]

PRISM was publicly revealed when classified documents about the program were leaked to journalists of The Washington Post and The Guardian by Edward Snowden at the time an NSA contractor during a visit to Hong Kong.[2][3] The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles.[2][3]

The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including Microsoft in 2007, Yahoo! in 2008, Google in 2009, Facebook in 2009, Paltalk in 2009, YouTube in 2010, AOL in 2011, Skype in 2011 and Apple in 2012.[23] The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft”.[2]

The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the U.S., because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States.[16] The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.[3][16]

Snowden’s subsequent disclosures included statements that governments such as the United Kingdom’s GCHQ also undertook mass interception and tracking of internet and communications data[24] described by Germany as “nightmarish” if true[25] allegations that the NSA engaged in “dangerous” and “criminal” activity by “hacking” civilian infrastructure networks in other countries such as “universities, hospitals, and private businesses”,[14] and alleged that compliance offered only very limited restrictive effect on mass data collection practices (including of Americans) since restrictions “are policy-based, not technically based, and can change at any time”, adding that “Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications”,[14] with numerous self-granted exceptions, and that NSA policies encourage staff to assume the benefit of the doubt in cases of uncertainty.[26][27][28]

Below are a number of slides released by Edward Snowden showing the operation and processes behind the PRISM program.

Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the U.S.

Details of information collected via PRISM

Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began

Slide showing PRISM’s tasking process

Slide showing the PRISM collection dataflow

Slide showing PRISM case numbers

Slide showing the REPRISMFISA Web app

Slide showing some PRISM targets.

Slide fragment mentioning “upstream collection”, FAA702, EO 12333, and references explicitly in the text.

FAA702 Operations, and map

FAA702 Operations, and map. The subheader reads “Collection only possible under FAA702 Authority”. FAIRVIEW is in the center box.

FAA702 Operations, and map. The subheader reads “Collection only possible under FAA702 Authority”. STORMBREW is in the center box.

Tasking, Points to Remember. Transcript of body: Whenever your targets meet FAA criteria, you should consider asking to FAA. Emergency tasking processes exist for [imminent /immediate ] threat to life situations and targets can be placed on [illegible] within hours (surveillance and stored comms). Get to know your Product line FAA adjudicators and FAA leads.

The French newspaper Le Monde disclosed new PRISM slides (See Page 4, 7 and 8) coming from the “PRISM/US-984XN Overview” presentation on October 21, 2013.[29] The British newspaper The Guardian disclosed new PRISM slides (see pages 3 and 6) in November 2013 which on the one hand compares PRISM with the Upstream program, and on the other hand deals with collaboration between the NSA’s Threat Operations Center and the FBI.[30]

Wikimedia Commons keeps copies of the leaked PowerPoint slides, and other associated documents.

PRISM is a program from the Special Source Operations (SSO) division of the NSA, which in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances, cooperates with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s.[2] A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program,[31][32] was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and challenged as illegal, because it did not include warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[32][33][34][35][36] PRISM was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[16]

PRISM was enabled under President Bush by the Protect America Act of 2007 and by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunizes private companies from legal action when they cooperate with U.S. government agencies in intelligence collection. In 2012 the act was renewed by Congress under President Obama for an additional five years, through December 2017.[3][37][38] According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.[37]

The most detailed description of the PRISM program can be found in a report about NSA’s collection efforts under Section 702 FAA, that was released by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) on July 2, 2014.[39]

According to this report, PRISM is only used to collect internet communications, not telephone conversations. These internet communications are not collected in bulk, but in a targeted way: only communications that are to or from specific selectors, like e-mail addresses, can be gathered. Under PRISM, there’s no collection based upon keywords or names.[39]

The actual collection process is done by the Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) of the FBI, which on behalf of the NSA sends the selectors to the US internet service providers, which were previously served with a Section 702 Directive. Under this directive, the provider is legally obliged to hand over (to DITU) all communications to or from the selectors provided by the government.[39] DITU then sends these communications to NSA, where they are stored in various databases, depending on their type.

Data, both content and metadata, that already have been collected under the PRISM program, may be searched for both US and Non-US person identifiers. These kind of queries became known as “back-door searches” and are conducted by NSA, FBI and CIA.[40] Each of these agencies have slightly different protocols and safeguards to protect searches with a US person identifier.[39]

Internal NSA presentation slides included in the various media disclosures show that the NSA could unilaterally access data and perform “extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information” with examples including email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP chats (such as Skype), file transfers, and social networking details.[3] Snowden summarized that “in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc. analyst has access to query raw SIGINT [signals intelligence] databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want.”[14]

According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be U.S. citizens, but in the process, communication data of some U.S. citizens are also collected unintentionally.[2] Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign U.S. data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”[2]

According to The Guardian, NSA had access to chats and emails on, Skype, because Microsoft had “developed a surveillance capability to deal” with the interception of chats, and “for Prism collection against Microsoft email services will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption.”[41][42]

Also according to The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald even low-level NSA analysts are allowed to search and listen to the communications of Americans and other people without court approval and supervision. Greenwald said low level Analysts can, via systems like PRISM, “listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents.[31] And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”[43]

He added that the NSA databank, with its years of collected communications, allows analysts to search that database and listen “to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.”[43] Greenwald was referring in the context of the foregoing quotes to the NSA program X-Keyscore.[44]

Unified Targeting Tool

Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7, 2013 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.[18] The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”[46] He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.”[46] Clapper concluded his statement by stating, “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”[46] On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.[47] Clapper later admitted the statement he made on March 12, 2013 was a lie,[48] or in his words “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.”[49]

On June 7, 2013 U.S. President Barack Obama, referring to the PRISM program[citation needed] and the NSA’s telephone calls logging program, said, “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.”[50] He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”[50] In separate statements, senior Obama administration officials (not mentioned by name in source) said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.[51]

On June 8, 2013, Director of National Intelligence Clapper made an additional public statement about PRISM and released a fact sheet providing further information about the program, which he described as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. 1881a).”[52][53] The fact sheet stated that “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and the Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.”[52] The fact sheet also stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”[52] Democratic Senators Udall and Wyden, who serve on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, subsequently criticized the fact sheet as being inaccurate.[clarification needed] NSA Director General Keith Alexander acknowledged the errors, stating that the fact sheet “could have more precisely described” the requirements governing the collection of e-mail and other internet content from U.S. companies. The fact sheet was withdrawn from the NSA’s website around June 26.[54]

In a closed-doors Senate hearing around June 11, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that Snowden’s leaks had caused “significant harm to our nation and to our safety.”[55] In the same Senate NSA Director Alexander defended the program.[further explanation needed] Alexander’s defense was immediately criticized by Senators Udall and Wyden, who said they saw no evidence that the NSA programs had produced “uniquely valuable intelligence.” In a joint statement, they wrote, “Gen Alexander’s testimony yesterday suggested that the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program helped thwart ‘dozens’ of terrorist attacks, but all of the plots that he mentioned appear to have been identified using other collection methods.”[55][56]

On June 18, NSA Director Alexander said in an open hearing before the House Intelligence Committee of Congress that communications surveillance had helped prevent more than 50 potential terrorist attacks worldwide (at least 10 of them involving terrorism suspects or targets in the United States) between 2001 and 2013, and that the PRISM web traffic surveillance program contributed in over 90 percent of those cases.[57][58][59] According to court records, one example Alexander gave regarding a thwarted attack by al Qaeda on the New York Stock Exchange was not in fact foiled by surveillance.[60] Several senators wrote Director of National Intelligence Clapper asking him to provide other examples.[61]

U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told various news outlets that by June 24 they were already seeing what they said was evidence that suspected terrorists had begun changing their communication practices in order to evade detection by the surveillance tools disclosed by Snowden.[62][63]

In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification,[64] and others said that they had not been aware of the program.[65] After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act

Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Following these statements some lawmakers from both parties warned national security officials during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee that they must change their use of sweeping National Security Agency surveillance programs or face losing the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that have allowed for the agency’s mass collection of telephone metadata.[75] “Section 215 expires at the end of 2015, and unless you realize you’ve got a problem, that is not going to be renewed,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., author of the USA Patriot Act, threatened during the hearing.[75] “It’s got to be changed, and you’ve got to change how you operate section 215. Otherwise, in two and a half years, you’re not going to have it anymore.”[75]

Leaks of classified documents pointed to the role of a special court in enabling the government’s secret surveillance programs, but members of the court maintained they were not collaborating with the executive branch.[76]The New York Times, however, reported in July 2013 that in “more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks.”[77] After Members of the U.S. Congress pressed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to release declassified versions of its secret ruling, the court dismissed those requests arguing that the decisions can’t be declassified because they contain classified information.[78]Reggie Walton, the current FISA presiding judge, said in a statement: “The perception that the court is a rubber stamp is absolutely false. There is a rigorous review process of applications submitted by the executive branch, spearheaded initially by five judicial branch lawyers who are national security experts, and then by the judges, to ensure that the court’s authorizations comport with what the applicable statutes authorize.”[79] The accusation of being a “rubber stamp” was further rejected by Walton who wrote in a letter to Senator Patrick J. Leahy: “The annual statistics provided to Congress by the Attorney General […]frequently cited to in press reports as a suggestion that the Court’s approval rate of application is over 99%reflect only the number of final applications submitted to and acted on by the Court. These statistics do not reflect the fact that many applications are altered to prior or final submission or even withheld from final submission entirely, often after an indication that a judge would not approve them.”[80]

The U.S. military has acknowledged blocking access to parts of The Guardian website for thousands of defense personnel across the country,[81] and blocking the entire Guardian website for personnel stationed throughout Afghanistan, the Middle East, and South Asia.[82] A spokesman said the military was filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve “network hygiene” and prevent any classified material from appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.[81] Access to the Washington Post, which also published information on classified NSA surveillance programs disclosed by Edward Snowden, had not been blocked at the time the blocking of access to The Guardian was reported.[82]

The former head of the Austrian Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism, Gert-Ren Polli, stated he knew the PRISM program under a different name and stated that surveillance activities had occurred in Austria as well. Polli had publicly stated in 2009 that he had received requests from US intelligence agencies to do things that would be in violation of Austrian law, which Polli refused to allow.[83][84]

The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.[85] Australia’s former foreign minister Bob Carr said that Australians shouldn’t be concerned about PRISM but that cybersecurity is high on the government’s list of concerns.[86] An Australian diplomat stated that the acts of Edward Snowden were treachery and offered a staunch defence of her nation’s intelligence co-operation with America. [87]

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, responded by cancelling a planned October 2013 state visit to the United States, demanding an official apology, which by October 20, 2013, hadn’t come.[88] Also, Rousseff classified the spying as unacceptable between more harsh words in a speech before the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2013.[89] As a result, Boeing lost out on a US$4.5 billion contract for fighter jets to Sweden’s Saab Group.[90]

Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSEC), said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate.” Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind” in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”[91][92]

On 20 October 2013 a committee at the European Parliament backed a measure that, if it is enacted, would require American companies to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data. The legislation has been under consideration for two years. The vote is part of efforts in Europe to shield citizens from online surveillance in the wake of revelations about a far-reaching spying program by the U.S. National Security Agency.[93] Germany and France have also had ongoing mutual talks about how they can keep European email traffic from going across American servers.[94]

On October 21, 2013 the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, summoned the U.S. Ambassador, Charles Rivkin, to the Quai d’Orsay in Paris to protest large-scale spying on French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Paris prosecutors had opened preliminary inquiries into the NSA program in July, but Fabius said, ” obviously we need to go further” and “we must quickly assure that these practices aren’t repeated.”[95]

Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.[96]German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “the internet is new to all of us” to explain the nature of the program; Matthew Schofield of McClatchy Washington Bureau said, “She was roundly mocked for that statement.”[97] Gert-Ren Polli, a former Austrian counter-terrorism official, said in 2013 that it is “absurd and unnatural” for the German authorities to pretend not to have known anything.[83][84] The German Army was using PRISM to support its operations in Afghanistan as early as 2011.[98]

In October 2013, it was reported that the NSA monitored Merkel’s cell phone.[99] The United States denied the report, but following the allegations, Merkel called President Obama and told him that spying on friends was “never acceptable, no matter in what situation.”[100]

Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed[101] the Business Insider article[102] about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM programVerint Systems and Narus.

The Mexican Government after finding out about the PRISM program has started to build its own spying program to spy on its own citizens. According to Jenaro Villamil a writer from Proceso(magazine), CISEN the intelligence agency from Mexico has started to work with IBM and Hewlett Packard to develop its own data gathering software. Facebook, Twitter, Emails and other social network sites are going to be priority.”[103]

In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”[104]

Edward Snowden, in a live streamed Google Hangout to Kim Dotcom and Julian Assange alleged that he had received intelligence from New Zealand, and the NSA has listening posts in New Zealand[105]

At a meeting of European Union leaders held the week of 21 October 2013, Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, said that “spying activities aren’t proper among partner countries and allies”. On 28 October 2013 the Spanish government summoned the American ambassador, James Costos, to address allegations that the U.S. had collected data on 60 million telephone calls in Spain. Separately, igo Mndez de Vigo, a Spanish secretary of state, referred to the need to maintain “a necessary balance” between security and privacy concerns, but said that the recent allegations of spying, “if proven to be true, are improper and unacceptable between partners and friendly countries”.[106]

In the United Kingdom, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which also has its own surveillance program Tempora, had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. But after 2014, the Tempora lost its access to the PRISM programme.[citation needed] The Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament reviewed the reports GCHQ produced on the basis of intelligence sought from the US. They found in each case a warrant for interception was in place in accordance with the legal safeguards contained in UK law.[107]

In August 2013, The Guardian newspaper’s offices were visited by agents from GCHQ, who ordered and supervised the destruction of the hard drives containing information acquired from Snowden.[108]

The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.[2][3]

Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports.[3][109] Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:[110][111]

In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.[18]The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.”[2] “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.[111]

“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.[114]

On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant.[115] Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”[116]

The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.”[117] The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely.[117] In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort.[117] The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel.[117] These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states, “Collection directly from the servers”[118] and the companies’ denials.[117]

While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by the FISA Court is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission.[117] Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said.[117] Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information.[117] Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or ssh.[119]

In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.

On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to its web site, the company reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) was between 9,000 and 10,000.” The company further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000” user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.[120]

That same day, Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base.”[121]

Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its website’s transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.[122]

Cisco Systems has seen a huge drop in export sales because of spying fears from the National Security Agency using backdoors in its products.[123]

On September 12, 2014, Yahoo! reported the U.S. Government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if Yahoo didn’t hand over user data as part of the NSA’s PRISM program.[124] It is not known if other companies were threatened or fined for not providing data in response to a legitimate FISA requests.

The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,”[125] and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”[126] It wrote with respect to the FISA-Court in context of PRISM that it is “a perversion of the American justice system” when “judicial secrecy is coupled with a one-sided presentation of the issues.”[127] According to the New York Times, “the result is a court whose reach is expanding far beyond its original mandate and without any substantive check.”[127]

James Robertson, a former federal district judge based in Washington who served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for three years between 2002 and 2005 and who ruled against the Bush administration in the landmark Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case, said FISA court is independent but flawed because only the government’s side is represented effectively in its deliberations. “Anyone who has been a judge will tell you a judge needs to hear both sides of a case,” said James Robertson.[128] Without this judges do not benefit from adversarial debate. He suggested creating an advocate with security clearance who would argue against government filings.[129] Robertson questioned whether the secret FISA court should provide overall legal approval for the surveillance programs, saying the court “has turned into something like an administrative agency.” Under the changes brought by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, which expanded the US government’s authority by forcing the court to approve entire surveillance systems and not just surveillance warrants as it previously handled, “the court is now approving programmatic surveillance. I don’t think that is a judicial function.”[128] Robertson also said he was “frankly stunned” by the New York Times report[77] that FISA court rulings had created a new body of law broadening the ability of the NSA to use its surveillance programs to target not only terrorists but suspects in cases involving espionage, cyberattacks and weapons of mass destruction.[128]

Former CIA analyst Valerie Plame Wilson and former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, writing in an op-ed article published in The Guardian, said that “Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don’t have enough information as a society to make that decision.”[130] Computer security expert John Bambenek from the University of Illinois suggested that use of data mining in national security cases might be prone to inaccuracy and manipulation.[131]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.[132]

The Obama administration’s argument that NSA surveillance programs such as PRISM and Boundless Informant had been necessary to prevent acts of terrorism was challenged by several parties. Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said of the case of Najibullah Zazi, who had planned to bomb the New York City Subway, that interviews with involved parties and U.S. and British court documents indicated that the investigation into the case had actually been initiated in response to “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services, rather than to leads produced by NSA surveillance.[133] Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who is alleged to have conducted the 2013 Boston marathon bombings with his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had visited the Al Qaeda-affiliated Inspire magazine website, and even though Russian intelligence officials had raised concerns with U.S. intelligence officials about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston attacks. Daly observed that, “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.”[134]

Ron Paul, a former Republican member of Congress and prominent libertarian, thanked Snowden and Greenwald and denounced the mass surveillance as unhelpful and damaging, urging instead more transparency in U.S. government actions.[135] He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.[136]

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman defended limited government surveillance programs intended to protect the American people from terrorist acts:

Yes, I worry about potential government abuse of privacy from a program designed to prevent another 9/11abuse that, so far, does not appear to have happened. But I worry even more about another 9/11. … If there were another 9/11, I fear that 99 percent of Americans would tell their members of Congress: “Do whatever you need to do to, privacy be damned, just make sure this does not happen again.” That is what I fear most. That is why I’ll reluctantly, very reluctantly, trade off the government using data mining to look for suspicious patterns in phone numbers called and e-mail addressesand then have to go to a judge to get a warrant to actually look at the content under guidelines set by Congressto prevent a day where, out of fear, we give government a license to look at anyone, any e-mail, any phone call, anywhere, anytime.[137]

Political commentator David Brooks similarly cautioned that government data surveillance programs are a necessary evil: “if you don’t have mass data sweeps, well, then these agencies are going to want to go back to the old-fashioned eavesdropping, which is a lot more intrusive.”[138]

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer worried less about the legality of PRISM and other NSA surveillance tools than about the potential for their abuse without more stringent oversight. “The problem here is not constitutionality. … We need a toughening of both congressional oversight and judicial review, perhaps even some independent outside scrutiny. Plus periodic legislative revisionsay, reauthorization every couple of yearsin light of the efficacy of the safeguards and the nature of the external threat. The object is not to abolish these vital programs. It’s to fix them.”[139]

In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers;[140] the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.”[140][141] Simon had stated that many classes of people in American society had already faced constant government surveillance.

Political theorist, and frequent critic of U.S. government policies, Noam Chomsky argued, “Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy which is their own population.”[142]

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted June 11 through 13 found that 66% of Americans generally supported the program.[143][144][Notes 1] However, a Quinnipiac University poll conducted June 28 through July 8 found that 45% of registered voters think the surveillance programs have gone too far, with 40% saying they do not go far enough, compared to 25% saying they had gone too far and 63% saying not far enough in 2010.[145] Other polls have shown similar shifts in public opinion as revelations about the programs were leaked.[146][147]

In terms of economic impact, a study released in August by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation[148] found that the disclosure of PRISM could cost the U.S. economy between $21.5 and $35 billion in lost cloud computing business over three years.[149][150][151][152]

Sentiment around the world was that of general displeasure upon learning the extent of world communication data mining. Some national leaders spoke against the NSA and some spoke against their own national surveillance. One national minister had scathing comments on the National Security Agency’s data-mining program, citing Benjamin Franklin: “The more a society monitors, controls, and observes its citizens, the less free it is.”[153] Some question if the costs of hunting terrorists now overshadows the loss of citizen privacy.[154][155]

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List of islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Islands  Comments Off on List of islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oct 202015

This list of islands of California is organized into sections, generally arranged from north to south. The islands within each section are listed in alphabetical order.

All three islands in Humboldt Bay are located in the narrow midsection of the bay. This portion of the bay is located within the City of Eureka, California entirely within Humboldt County.

The Farallon Islands are a group of rugged small islands over 20 miles (32km) offshore from the mainland of the City and County of San Francisco, which they are also formally within. They consist of over twenty small islets divided into north, south and middle sections, as well as a major bank, Fanny Shoal. The surrounding waters were once used as a disposal site for radioactive waste.[8]

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is an inverted delta at the juncture of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. There are about 57 named islands in the Delta.

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Second Amendment | Fox News

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Second Amendment | Fox News
Oct 192015

Luby’s massacre survivor speaks out on gun control debate

Suzanna Hupp slams Hillary Clinton’s gun control plan on ‘The Kelly File’

Gun control advocates are launching a new regulatory push in California to impose first-in-the-nation instant background checks for ammunition sales, a move that comes as gun viole…

Alan Colmes vs: Larry Pratt on why he believes gun registration is the first step towards total confiscation of all guns

Texas professor is worried about students bringing guns to campus under new law; Daniel Hamermesh sounds off on ‘The Kelly File’

Pres. Obama’s visit to Oregon a week after shooting massacre not welcome by some Roseburg residents and the publisher of the Roseburg Beacon. ‘On the Record’ takes a closer look

Judge Napolitano’s Chambers: The Judge reminds the people what the 2nd Amendment means in 2015 and why Hillary Clinton should not convince anyone to not have guns

While the FBI continued to analyze the emails Hillary Clinton thought she deleted and her advisers pressed her to hire a Republican criminal defense attorney in Washington, a madma…

Starnes Exclusive: Franklin Graham condemns Obama’s reaction to the Oregon school shooting, defends Dr. Ben Carson’s controversial comments about the tragedy and discusses his fath…

Viewer tired of talking heads

Donald Trump goes ‘On the Record’ on his biggest disappointment with Pres. Obama, says Putin clearly has a ‘lack of respect for the president. Trump also sounds off on latest 2016 …

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Eugenics Board of North Carolina – Wikipedia, the free …

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Oct 162015

The Eugenics Board of North Carolina (EBNC) was a State Board of the state of North Carolina formed in July 1933 by the North Carolina State Legislature by the passage of House Bill 1013, entitled ‘An Act to Amend Chapter 34 of the Public Laws of 1929 of North Carolina Relating to the Sterilization of Persons Mentally Defective’.[1] This Bill formally repealed a 1929 law,[2] which had been ruled as unconstitutional by the North Carolina Supreme Court earlier in the year.

Over time, the scope of the Board’s work broadened from a focus on pure eugenics to considering sterilization as a tool to combat poverty and welfare costs. Its original purpose was to oversee the practice of sterilization as it pertained to inmates or patients of public-funded institutions that were judged to be ‘mentally defective or feeble-minded’ by authorities. In contrast to other eugenics programs across the United States, the North Carolina Board enabled county departments of public welfare to petition for the sterilization of their clients.[3] The Board remained in operation until 1977. During its existence thousands of individuals were sterilized. In 1977 the N.C. General Assembly repealed the laws authorizing its existence,[4] though it would not be until 2003 that the involuntary sterilization laws that underpinned the Board’s operations were repealed.[5]

Today the Board’s work is repudiated by people across the political, scientific and private spectrum.[citation needed] In 2013, North Carolina passed legislation to compensate those sterilized under the Board’s jurisdiction.[6][7]

The board was made up of five members:[1]

The State of North Carolina first enacted sterilization legislation in 1919.[8] The 1919 law was the first foray for North Carolina into eugenics; this law, entitled “An Act to Benefit the Moral, Mental, or Physical Conditions of Inmates of Penal and Charitable Institutions” was quite brief, encompassing only 4 sections. Provision was made for creation of a Board of Consultation, made up of a member of the medical staff of any of the penal or charitable State institutions, and a representative of the State Board of Health, to oversee sterilization that was to be undertaken when “in the judgement of the board hereby created, said operation would be for the improvement of the mental, moral or physical conditions of any inmate of any of the said institutions”. The Board of Consultation would have reported to both the Governor and the Secretary of the State Board of Health. No sterilizations were performed under the provisions of this law, though its structure was to guide following legislation.[8]

In 1929, two years after the landmark US Supreme Court ruling of Buck v. Bell[9] in which sterilization was ruled permissible under the U.S. Constitution, North Carolina passed an updated law[2] that formally laid down rules for the sterilization of citizens. This law, entitled “An Act to Provide For the Sterilization of the Mentally Defective and Feeble-Minded Inmates of Charitable and Penal Institutions of the State of North Carolina”, was similar to the law which preceded it, although this new Act contained several new provisions.[2]

In contrast to the 1919 law, which had mandated sterilization for the “improvement of the mental, moral or physical condition of any inmate”, the new law added a new and far-reaching condition: “Or for the public good.” This condition, expanding beyond the individual to greater considerations of society, would be built on in the ensuing years.[2]

The 1929 law also expanded the review process to four reviewers, namely: The Commissioner of Charities and Public Welfare of North Carolina, The Secretary of the State Board of Health of North Carolina, and the Chief Medical Officers of any two institutions for the “feeble-minded or insane” for the State of North Carolina.[2]

Lastly, the new law also explicitly stated that sterilization, where performed under the Act’s guidelines, would be lawful and that any persons who requested, authorized or directed proceedings would not be held criminally or civilly liable for actions taken. Under the 1929 law, 49 recorded cases took place in which sterilization was performed.[10]

In 1933, the North Carolina State Supreme Court heard Brewer v. Valk,[11] an appeal from Forsyth County Superior Court, in which the Supreme Court upheld that the 1929 law violated both the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment and Article 1, Section 17 of the 1868 North Carolina State Constitution.[12] The Supreme Court noted that property rights required due process, specifically a mechanism by which notice of action could be given, and hearing rights established so that somebody subject to the sterilization law had the opportunity to appeal their case. Under both the U.S. Constitution and the N.C. State Constitution in place at the time, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1929 law was unconstitutional as no such provisions existed in the law as written.[11]

The North Carolina General Assembly went on in the wake of Brewer v. Valk to enact House Bill 1013,[1] removing the constitutional objections to the law, thereby forming the Eugenics Board and creating the framework which would remain in force for over thirty years. The Board was granted authority over all sterilization proceedings undertaken in the State, which had previously been devolved to various governing bodies or heads of penal and charitable institutions supported in whole or in part by the State.[2]

In the 1970s the Eugenics Board was moved around from department to department, as sterilization operations declined in the state. In 1971, an act of the legislature transferred the EBNC to the then newly created Department of Human Resources (DHR), and the secretary of that department was given managerial and executive authority over the board.[13]

Under a 1973 law, the Eugenics Board was transformed into the Eugenics Commission. Members of the commission were appointed by the governor, and included the director of the Division of Social and Rehabilitative Services of the DHR, the director of Health Services, the chief medical officer of a state institution for the feeble-minded or insane, the chief medical officer of the DHR in the area of mental health services, and the state attorney general.

In 1974 the legislature transferred to the judicial system the responsibility for any proceedings.

1976 brought a new challenge to the law with the case of In re Sterilization of Joseph Lee Moore[14] in which an appeal was heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The petitioner’s case was that the court had not appointed counsel at State expense to advise him of his rights prior to sterilization being performed. While the court noted that there was discretion within the law to approve a fee for the service of an expert, it was not constitutionally required. The court went on to declare that the involuntary sterilization of citizens for the public good was a legitimate use of the police power of the state, further noting that “The people of North Carolina have a right to prevent the procreation of children who will become a burden on the state.” The ruling upholding the constitutionality was notable in both its relatively late date (many other States had ceased performing sterilization operations shortly after WWII) and its language justifying state intervention on the grounds of children being a potential burden to the public.[14]

The Eugenics Commission was formally abolished by the legislature in 1977.[4][15]

In 2003, the N.C. General Assembly formally repealed the last involuntary sterilization law, replacing it with one that authorizes sterilization of individuals unable to give informed consent only in the case of medical necessity. The law explicitly ruled out sterilizations “solely for the purpose of sterilization or for hygiene or convenience.”[5][16]

At the time of the Board’s formation there was a body of thought that viewed the practice of eugenics as both necessary for the public good and for the private citizen. Following Buck v. Bell, the Supreme Court was often cited both domestically and internationally as a foundation for eugenics policies.

In Buck v. Bell Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, in support of eugenics policy, that

We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.[9]

Despite the Supreme Court rulings in support of eugenics as constitutionally permitted, even as late as 1950 some physicians in North Carolina were still concerned about the legality of sterilization. Efforts were made to reassure the medical community that the laws were both constitutionally sound and specifically exempting physicians from liability.[17]

Framing eugenics as supporting the public good was fundamental to how the law was written. It was argued that both for the benefit of the private citizen, and for the costs to society of future possible childbirths, eugenics were a sound and moral way to proceed. This was stated in the Board’s manual of policies and procedures, in which the practice was justified:[18]

No Place For Sentimentality

There can be no place for sentimentality in solving the problems of the mental health of our citizens. We would be less than human were we to feel no compassion for our unfortunates. But it is a peculiar paradox of human nature that while the best stock of our people is being lost on the battle fronts of the world, we make plans for the betterment and the coddling of our defectives.

In the press, opinion articles were published arguing for a greater use of eugenics, in which many of the reasons above were cited as justification. Even the Winston-Salem Journal, which would be a significant force in illuminating North Carolina’s past eugenics abuses in the modern era, was not immune. In 1948 the newspaper published an editorial entitled “The Case for Sterilization – Quantity vs. Quality” that went into great detail extolling the virtues of ‘breeding’ for the general public good.[20]

North Carolina’s Selective Sterilization Law


It Saves…

Proponents of eugenics did not restrict its use to the ‘feeble-minded’. In many cases, more ardent authors included the blind, deaf-mutes, and people suffering from diseases like heart disease or cancer in the general category of those who should be sterilized.[22] The argument was twofold; that parents likely to give birth to ‘defective’ children should not allow it, and that healthy children borne to ‘defective’ parents would be doomed to an ‘undesirable environment’.[23]

Wallace Kuralt, Mecklenburg County’s welfare director from 1945 to 1972, was a leader in transitioning the work of state eugenics from looking only at medical conditions to considering poverty as a justification for state sterilization. Under Kuralt’s tenure, Mecklenburg county became far and away the largest source of sterilizations in the state. He supported this throughout his life in his writings and interviews, where he made plain his conviction that sterilization was a force for good in fighting poverty. In a 1964 interview with the Charlotte Observer, Kuralt said:

“When we stop to reflect upon the thousands of physical, mental and social misfits in our midst, the thousands of families which are too large for the family to support, the one-tenth of our children born to an unmarried mother, the hoard of children rejected by parents, is there any doubt that health, welfare and education agencies need to redouble their efforts to prevent these conditions which are so costly to society?”[19][24]

Among public and private groups that published articles advocating for eugenics, the Human Betterment League was a significant advocate for the procedure within North Carolina. This organization, founded by Procter & Gamble heir Clarence Gamble provided experts, written material and monetary support to the eugenics movement. Many pamphlets and publications were created by the league advocating the groups position which were then distributed throughout the state. One pamphlet entitled ‘You Wouldn’t Expect…’ laid out a series of rhetorical questions to argue the point that those considered ‘defective’ were unable to be good parents.[21]

While it is not known exactly how many people were sterilized during the lifetime of the law, the Task Force established by Governor Beverly Perdue estimated the total at around 7,500. They provided a summary of the estimated number of operations broken down by time period. This does not include sterilizations that may have occurred at a local level by doctors and hospitals.[10][25]

The report went on to provide a breakdown by county. There were no counties in North Carolina that performed no operations, though the spread was marked, going from as few as 4 in Tyrrell county, to 485 in Mecklenburg county.[10]

Some research into the historical data in North Carolina has drawn links between race and sterilization rates. One study performed in 2010 by Gregory Price and William Darity Jr described the practice as “racially biased and genocidal”. In the study, the researchers showed that as the black population of a county increased, the number of sterilizations increased disproportionately; that black citizens were more likely, all things being equal, to being recommended for sterilization than whites.[26]

Poverty and sterilization were also closely bound. Since social workers concerned themselves with those accepting welfare and other public assistance, there was a strong impetus to recommending sterilization to families as a means of controlling their economic situation. This was sometimes done under duress, when benefits were threatened as a condition of undergoing the surgery.[27]

What made the picture more complicated was the fact that in some cases, individuals sought out sterilization. Since those in poverty had fewer choices for birth control, having a state-funded procedure to guarantee no further children was attractive to some mothers. Given the structure of the process however, women found themselves needing to be described as unfit mothers or welfare burdens in order to qualify for the program, rather than simply asserting reproductive control.[3]

Many stories from those directly affected by the Board’s work have come to light over the past several years. During the hearings from the NC Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation many family members and individuals personally testified to the impact that the procedures had had on them.

NCEB Case Summary: Elaine Riddick

This thirteen year old girl expects her first child in March 1968….She has never done any work and gets along so poorly with others that her school experience was poor. Because of Elaine’s inability to control herself, and her promiscuity – there are community reports of her “running around” and out late at night unchaperoned, the physician has advised sterilization….This will at least prevent additional children from being born to this child who cannot care for herself, and can never function in any way as a parent.

Elaine Riddick is a fifty-one-year-old African American woman who was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina. Born into a poor family, one of seven children, the family was split up by the County Welfare department after her parents were deemed to be unfit. Elaine and one sister were sent to live with her grandmother, while the remaining five were sent to an orphanage. It was shortly after this family upheaval, when Elaine was 13, that she was raped by a 20-year-old man with a history of assault and incarceration. Elaine subsequently became pregnant.

When the social worker, Marion Payne, assigned to the Riddick family found out that Elaine was pregnant,[29] she pressured Elaine’s grandmother into signing a consent form for sterilization (Riddick’s grandmother, being illiterate, signed the form with a simple ‘X’ symbol). On March 5, 1968, when Elaine was 14 years old, she was sterilized under the authority of the board. The procedure took place hours after Elaine had given birth to a son.[30] Riddick learned only years later the extent of the procedure, testifying to its effect over her life in a lawsuit brought against the state of North Carolina with the assistance of the ACLU in 1974. She cited failed relationships, physical pain and suffering, and psychological trauma. Unfortunately for Riddick, her lawsuit did not end in success; a jury found against her, and the NC Supreme court refused to hear her case. It would not be until the hearings of the NC Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation that her story was to be widely heard once more.[31][32]

Junius Wilson was born in 1908 in North Carolina and grew up near Wilmington. In 1916 he was sent to the North Carolina School for the Colored Deaf and the Blind, a segregated state school in Raleigh that was the first southern school for black deaf children. Since this was a segregated school, students there were not given the resources of other schools. They were not taught American Sign Language and developed their own system of communication. This worked within the institution, but because it was their own, it did not travel, and so students and deaf from other schools were unable to understand them.[33]

Wilson stayed there for six years, learning rudimentary sign language, until a minor infraction lead to his expulsion. While at home in Castle Hayne, Wilson came to the attention of the legal system when he was accused of the attempted rape of a relative. It is unclear whether the charge had merit – biographers speculated that his misunderstood behavior stemming from communication difficulties may have led to the situation – but what is not in doubt is that in 1925 Wilson was declared legally insane by a court and committed to the state Hospital for the Colored Insane in Goldsboro, North Carolina, which became Cherry Hospital in 1959.[34] In 1932 he was surgically castrated under the provisions of the eugenics laws in place.[35]

Wilson would remain committed to the state facility for decades. In 1990, he was given a new social worker, John Wasson. Wasson came to find out that not only was Wilson not mentally disabled, but that the hospital staff had known for years that he was not. To compound the situation, the legal charges against Wilson dating back to 1925 had been dismissed in 1970; put bluntly, for twenty years he had been committed to the hospital without legal justification. In interviews with hospital staff, Wasson found that it had been considered the most ‘benevolent’ course of action, since Wilson was thoroughly institutionalized at that point, with many of the same difficulties in learning and communication that had been his burden since birth.

Wasson instigated the legal challenge to Wilson’s incarceration. In 1992 Wilson was formally declared a free man. Since he had no close relatives or family members able to care for him in his advanced age, a cottage was found for him on the grounds of Cherry Hospital. Wilson would live there until his death in 2001.[36][37]

Not all who testified before the Committee were sterilized by the Eugenics Board directly. In many cases people who were sterilized were operated on by local clinics and doctors. It was argued that in many of these cases patients were not fully educated as to the nature of the procedure and were urged into it by doctors or social workers who were making judgements based upon their patients’ economic situation. Young women of limited means who had multiple children were specifically targeted for sterilization by many case workers.[38]

Mary English was one such case. In her personal testimony she explained that in 1972, she had been newly divorced with three children. She went to see a doctor at a Fayetteville OB/GYN clinic for some medical complaints. The doctor offered her entry into a program that would negate any need for future birth control. English signed the required paperwork, and was sterilized after the birth of her third child. It was years later, when she went back to the doctor to have the procedure reversed, that she found out it was permanent.[39]

English went on to detail her struggles with depression and retold experiences of friends and neighbors who had gone through similar situations at the hands of their own doctors. As for the clinic at which English was sterilized, she claimed that it was still operating, though declined to name it, or the doctor responsible for her sterilization.[40]

The Winston-Salem Journal’s “Against Their Will” documentary, released in 2002, based in part on Joanna Schoen’s research of the North Carolina Eugenics program, is credited with spurring public interest and demands for action to repeal laws and explore the possibility of compensation for affected people. This five part series gave extensive background to the work of the Eugenics Board, with detailed statistics, victim’s stories, and historical information on the broader Eugenics movement in the United States in the Post-WWII era.[29]

Then-Governor Mike Easley offered an apology to victims of the policy in 2002. At the time, North Carolina was the third State in the nation to officially apologize for eugenics practices, following behind Virginia and Oregon though North Carolina was the first State to go beyond a formal apology to actively considering compensation in some form.[41] Easley set up a committee to study the history of the Eugenics Board with instructions to provide recommendations on how to handle what it termed ‘program survivors’. The committee recommended five specific steps:[42]

The recommendations lay dormant in the North Carolina Legislature until 2008, when a study committee was appointed. The House Committee gave its own recommendations which in large part mirrored Easley’s committee’s findings though it went further, in establishing a suggested dollar figure of $20,000 compensation per surviving victim. The House committee also recommended training, the creation of memorials, and documenting survivor experiences, and the creation of a database to store sterilization records for future research. While the House committee recommended setting funds aside for these purposes, the Legislature did not grant funding in 2008.[43] The house committee was co-chaired by State Representative Larry Womble, who has been a public advocate in the state house for victim’s compensation. Womble announced he would be stepping down and not seek re-election after a horrific car crash in late 2011.[44][45]

In 2008, Beverley Perdue was elected Governor of North Carolina. As part of her platform she pledged to take up the sterilization situation.[46] In 2010 Perdue issued an executive order that formed the North Carolina Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation (NCJSVF).[47]

The Task Force was made up of the following:[6]

The Foundation recommended that compensation be raised to $50,000 per victim, in a 3-2 vote. They also voted for funds for mental health services and historical displays and exhibits documenting the history of sterilization in the state.[10] It is not yet clear how many victims will be satisfied by the amount; many have granted detailed interviews that documented their severe emotional trauma in the wake of the procedures, and have been outspoken in demanding higher sums.[48]

On April 25, 2012, North Carolina’s Gov. Perdue announced that she will put $10.3 million in her budget proposal to allocate towards issues surrounding eugenics. The funds are intended to aid with $50,000 payments to verified North Carolina eugenics victims. The remainder of the monies will be used to support the continued efforts of the NC Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation as they provide outreach and clearinghouse services to help Eugenics victims. Governor Perdue stated,[49]

We cannot change the terrible things that happened to so many of our most vulnerable citizens, but we can take responsibility for our states mistakes and show that we do not tolerate violations of basic human rights. We must provide meaningful assistance to victims, so I am including this funding in my budget.

Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal is in accordance with the recommendations of the January 2012 final report issued from the Eugenics Compensation Task Force. The board suggested that living victims and those who were not deceased when verified by the foundation receive a tax-free, lump sum payment of $50,000. The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation reports that there is still an increase in the number of confirmed/verified eugenics victims. As of April 25, 2012, 132 people in 51 counties had been matched to the North Carolina’s Eugenics program records.[49]

In 2013, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed an appropriations bill to give compensation, up to $50,000 per person, to individuals sterilized under the authority of the Eugenics Board of North Carolina.[7][50]

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Eugenics Board of North Carolina – Wikipedia, the free …

NATO ready to defend Turkey amid ‘troubling escalation’ of …

 NATO  Comments Off on NATO ready to defend Turkey amid ‘troubling escalation’ of …
Oct 092015

BRUSSELS NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said alliance defense ministers on Thursday will consider the implications for NATO’s own security of the “troubling escalation of Russian military activities” in Syria.

He said NATO is ready to deploy forces, if needed, to defend alliance member Turkey.

On Wednesday, Russian warships fired cruise missiles in the first combined air-and-ground assault with Syrian government troops since Moscow began its military campaign in the country last week.

Over the weekend, Turkey reported back-to-back violations of its airspace by Russian warplanes.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his counterparts from the 27 other NATO nations had already been scheduled to meet Thursday in Brussels.

Stoltenberg told reporters the meeting will receive an update from its military commanders on the situation in Syria, as well as Afghanistan.

“In Syria, we have seen a troubling escalation of Russian military activities,” Stoltenberg said. “We will assess the latest developments and their implications for the security of the alliance. This is particularly relevant in view of the recent violations of NATO’s airspace by Russian aircraft.”

NATO on Monday issued a statement demanding that the violations cease. Russia called its penetration of Turkish airspace a minor incident that was unintentional. Stoltenberg had already brushed off the Russian explanation.

“NATO is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat,” the secretary-general said Thursday. He said NATO had already increased “our capacity, our ability, our preparedness to deploy forces, including to the south, including in Turkey, if needed.”

“We are constantly assessing the situation also with the Turkish government,” Stoltenberg said, adding that he would be meeting later Thursday with Turkish Defense Minister Mehmet Vecdi Gonul.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon accused Russia of acting chiefly in Syria not to attack the Islamic State terrorist organization but to shore up the beleaguered government of President Bashar al-Assad, thus making a serious situation “much more dangerous.” NATO officials have expressed fears there could be an encounter, accidental or otherwise, between Russian planes and air forces of the U.S.-led coalition attacking Islamic State in Syria.

“We’ll be meeting today to see what we can do to de-escalate this crisis particularly in terms of air safety,” Fallon said as he arrived at NATO headquarters. “We’ll be calling on Russia specifically to stop propping up the Assad regime, to use their own (air) crews constructively to stop Assad bombing his own civilians.”

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Russia must recognize that if it targets opposition groups in Syria that are fighting Islamic State, “Russia will strengthen IS and this can be neither in the Russian interest, nor in our interest.”

The defense ministers’ meeting, their first since June, is also expected to approve ongoing efforts to retool NATO to meet a daunting array of contemporary security threats. Decisions expected include approval for two new NATO headquarters units in Hungary and Slovakia to enhance their defenses and speed the deployment of reinforcements sent by other alliance nations, and changes in the beefed-up NATO Response Force to, in Stoltenberg’s words, make it “bigger, faster and more capable.”

“We are facing many challenges from many different directions,” Stoltenberg said. “Conflict, instability and insecurity.”

“We will assess what we have to do to adapt NATO to current and future challenges,” he said_including cyberattacks and the mix of conventional and unconventional tactics commonly known as hybrid warfare.

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NATO ready to defend Turkey amid ‘troubling escalation’ of …

Bergen County NJ for Liberty (Hackensack, NJ) – Meetup

 Liberty  Comments Off on Bergen County NJ for Liberty (Hackensack, NJ) – Meetup
Oct 072015

Please note: we are no longer associated with Campaign for Liberty.

We are a grassroots group of local individuals who share a common bond, freedom and liberty!We strive to root ourselves in the principles of truth, freedom, and prosperity. The diversity among our members ranges from age, ethnic background, beliefs/religions, as well as political views (or lack thereof). The expression of sovereignty and self-ownership that radiates from our members is what makes our group unique.

Our group comprises many creative and productive members of society, including philosophers, engineers, activists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, educators, doctors, explorers, and other concerned members of the community. We aim to improve ourselves as individuals, and in turn, the world in which we live.

Since its inception, our group has been rooted in truth and freedom. We strongly support the principles of truth, individual liberty, personal success, self defense, non-aggression, and true free trade.

We have recognized a moral imperative to imbue the true meaning of individual sovereignty in the hearts and minds of others, to exercise our natural and inherent rights to freedom of expression, and to address issues commonly ignored. Our interests vary as individuals, but as a group we work to address some of, but not limited to, the following:

– INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY – financial & economic freedom – private barter systems – personal growth / self-improvement – natural living practices / healthy food – alternative energy technologies – consciousness / enlightenment

As a group wemaintain an equal level of respect for one another’s values and opinions, and we encourage participation by not having an online forum or message board on the site.

Therefore, if you want to share with the group, you have to come out to events and participate! We try to keep emails to the group at a minimum, we don’t want to intrude or flood your inbox, so you’ll know when you receive an email from us it will be an important one, regarding new meetups, updates, reminders, etc.

Sign up, keep checking the calendar, feel free to attend every event, or only the ones that capture your interest. The hardcore 24/7’ers are just as welcome as the weekend warriors. Join us, we look forward to meeting you!


New Jersey Federal Representatives:

House: Find your Rep by Zip

NJ Representatives:


New Jersey Sate Assembly and Senate:

New Jersey:

Bergen County Representatives:




County Clerk:


Corporate Members of the Council on Foreign Relations


Recommended Videos:

The American Dream(re: Federal Reserve / Economy – animated 29 mins)

America: Freedom to Fascism(112 mins)

Fabled Enemies(Re: War on Terror, 102 mins)

Fiat Empire(Re: Federal Reserve System, 59 mins)

Overview of America(30 mins)

Philosophy of Liberty(8 mins)

The War Machine by Joe Rogan(9 mins)

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Bergen County NJ for Liberty (Hackensack, NJ) – Meetup

Beaches Costa de la Luz (West and East), beaches of Huelva …

 Beaches  Comments Off on Beaches Costa de la Luz (West and East), beaches of Huelva …
Oct 052015

Use our guide to explore the beaches along the Costa de la Luz from the furthest east next to the Portuguese border, to the furthest west at the Campo de Gibraltar.

Beaches along the Costa de la Luz are generally long, sandy and backed by dunes and pine woods. During July and August the beaches nearest the resorts are packed with mainly Spanish visitors from Huelva city and Sevilla.

For the rest of the year, this coast is uncrowded and even in summer, it’s possible to find a relatively peaceful place on the beach. Although the beaches are exposed, they are less windswept than ones along the Cadiz stretch of the Costa de la Luz, but it’s still good for windsurfing.

The Costa del Luz (Cadiz) beaches tend to be long, with fine golden sand and huge dunes. The coastline is dotted with small fishing villages. This area is popular with tourists from Seville, other parts of Spain and international travellers, backpackers and campavaners. Can be very windy at times but great for windsurfing and surfing.

The first beaches of Cdiz have spectacular views across to Doana Natural Park and are home to the famous horse races each August.More>

Beautifully sandy and well-equipped beaches mostly frequented by the local Spanish and residents of Seville.More>

16 kilometers of sandy beaches, both urban and rural, boasting several blue flags awarded by the European Union.More>

With views across to Cdiz City, Puerto de Santa Maria has several extensive beaches to choose from.More>

La Cachucha beach is a haven for nature lovers with salt marshes and large pine forests.More>

Cdiz City is home to three blue flag beaches.More>

Located beyond the marshes, Playa Campo Soto & Playa del Castillo are popular with wind surfers.More>

Playa Sancti Petri attracts watersports lovers from all over while Playa de la Barrosa has sand dunes and pine forests.More>

Long beaches backed by large cliffs and lots of litte secluded coves that are perfect for nudism.More>

A long stretch of beach with perfect conditions for watersports. More>

Some of the most beautiful beaches on the Costa de la Luz, including Caos de Meca.More>

One of the best sandy beaches. Great fishing village atmosphere.More>

Popular Sunday day-tripper beach, quiet in the week. Large sand dunes to the north.More>

The most popular windsurfing and posing location. Huge sand dunes.More>

Not well-known for its beaches, however the beaches here offer fantastic views of Morocco and Gibraltar. More>

Home to a beach located between a power plant and an oil refinery, but don’t let its location put you off!More>

Not very touristy beaches but a great place to watch planes land in Gibraltar.More>

Although not technically in Andalucia, Gibraltar has five small, well-kept beaches.More>

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Beaches Costa de la Luz (West and East), beaches of Huelva …

Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency News and Discussion

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency News and Discussion
Sep 282015

Bank of America Files Patent Application for Cryptocurrency-Mediated Wire Transfers View more NeuCoin Launches a New Digital Currency for Online and Mobile Gaming View more Bitcoin Hardware Wallet KeepKey Launches and Begins Shipping View more Three Bitcoin Finalists Vie for BBVA Open Talent Competition Honors in Barcelona View more Bitcoin Tracker One ETN Offers Liquidity to European Investors View more Digital Currency Derivatives Exchanges Prepare for Regulation after CFTC Bitcoin Ruling View more Bitcoin Derivatives Company LedgerX Appoints Ex-CFTC Commissioner Wetjen to Board View more Australian Regulators Investigating Banks for Closing Accounts of Bitcoin Companies View more The Decentralist Perspective, or Why Bitcoin Might Need Small Blocks View more Everything You Need to Know about the Proposed Changes to the Bitcoin Block Size Cap View more Gavin Andresen on the Block Size: Its Hard to Find a Signal above All the Noise View more Bitcoin XT Big Block Fork Spurs Debate and Controversy View more Bank of England Chief Economist: Blockchain-based Digital Currency Issued by Central Banks Could Replace Cash View more Sig3 Launches an Automated Policy-Based Transaction Cosigner for Multisig Bitcoin Transactions View more BitGo Processes Over $1 Billion in Bitcoin Transactions in Third Quarter View more Storj Network Passes 1 Petabyte Storage Space View more Bitcoin and Gold Exchange Vaultoro Reaches $1 Million in Gold Trading Volume View more Bitcoin According to Regulators: Money, Currency, Property, and Now a Commodity View more Nine Top Global Banks Pool Resources to Fund R3 to Develop Digital Currency Standards View more UBS to Develop Yet Another Permissioned Blockchain for Banks View more Blythe Masters and Wall Street Opt for Permissioned Non-Bitcoin Blockchains View more Nick Szabo on Permissioned Blockchains and the Block Size View more Notable Bitcoin Core Contributors Now Open to Increasing Block-size Limit to 2 or 4MB View more Coinkite Processes $250 Million in Third Quarter; 10% of Total Daily Bitcoin Transactions View more IBM Developing Blockchain Without Bitcoin for Record-Keeping and Smart Contracts View more Closing the Loop: Australian Organic Farm Creates a Local Bitcoin Economy Among Farmers View more Wall Steet Interest in Bitcoin Grows with ARK Fund Investing in Silberts Bitcoin Investment Trust View more Alt-Options Launches Bitcoin Derivative Market View more Coin Center: State Bank Supervisors Proposal Good for Lawyers, Bad for Consumers and Innovators View more BitPagos Acquires Argentinian Bitcoin Exchange Unisend View more First Peer-Reviewed Academic Bitcoin Journal, Ledger, Launches and Issues Call for Papers View more

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Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency News and Discussion

Articles about Second Amendment – latimes

 Second Amendment  Comments Off on Articles about Second Amendment – latimes
Sep 262015



They lock the gate to Canada at 5 p.m. But in this woodsy corner of northeastern Washington, no one really seems to mind the wait until it reopens promptly at 9 the next morning. In an emergency, there’s a border crossing open until midnight about 10 miles to the west. “This part of the country is still kind of backward. I like it that way.



Their counterdemonstration in support of gun rights will be smaller than the Million Mom March. But the gun-owning women who make up the Second Amendment Sisters feel just as passionately about their cause. “The anti-gun factions constantly say that if it saves one life, it’s worth it,” said Debra Collins, who once used a 12-gauge shotgun to defend herself from an attack by her ex-husband at 4 o’clock in the morning. “Well, my firearm saved one life–mine.”



Like many another old-timer, Leon Uris looks at America and doesn’t like what he sees. Gun manufacturers peddling ever more lethal weaponry under the cover of the Second Amendment. Media grown hysterical and trivial. Racial sores left to fester. The nation’s “social agenda” abandoned in favor of corporate greed. A general falling-off of virtue, so that the heroic Marines of World War II he wrote about in his first novel, “Battle Cry,” are grotesquely parodied by right-wing militiamen.


May 31, 1994

Your editorial “Fear of Gun Crime: Deeper Than Any Set of Statistics” (May 22) hits very wide of the bull’s-eye. Though criminal usage of firearms is up, so is successful civilian usage in justified self-defense, to over 2 million per annum. Regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment, you’re only half right. The constitutional framers were rightly afraid of a dictatorial central government; however, the Second Amendment does in fact confirm an individual right to own arms.


May 24, 1994

I was especially intrigued by the last paragraph of “Handgun Crime Soaring in U.S., Report Says,” May 17. I quote, “The survey also found that 38% of the victims who were armed attacked the individuals seeking to harm them. One-fifth of those attempting to protect themselves with a firearm were injured, compared to almost half who used other weapons or had no weapon at all.” I guess it comes as no surprise that the notoriously anti-gun Times would bury this intriguing bit of news at the very end. SAM BRUNSTEIN Glendale By now everyone knows the position of the National Rifle Assn.


May 8, 1994

In Paula Poundstone’s piece (“The Good Old Days? Somebody Stole ‘Em,” Laugh Lines, April 25) she makes the false statement regarding the Old West that “they didn’t have the evil NRA then because nobody was against guns to begin with.” In fact, the National Rifle Assn. was incorporated in 1871 during the relatively brief period between the Civil War and the turn of the century that we think of as the “Wild West” period. It was during this era that attempts were made to disenfranchise and leave defenseless newly freed blacks by not allowing them to possess firearms as all other Americans could.

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Articles about Second Amendment – latimes


 Regenerative Medicine  Comments Off on MetroMD
Sep 232015

MetroMD Institute of Regenerative Medicine provides consumers and Healthcare Providers opportunities to benefit from uniquely effective services and products belonging to a new branch of Twenty-First Century medicine called Regenerative Medicine.

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SEO by the Sea – San Diego, California SEO

 SEO  Comments Off on SEO by the Sea – San Diego, California SEO
Sep 232015

Last year I wrote a post titled Google on Finding Entities: A Tale of Two Michael Jacksons. The post was about a Google patent that described how Google might tell different entities apart that shared the same name. The patent in it was filed in 2012 and granted in 2014. Google was also granted a new patent on disambiguating entities this week, which was originally filed in 2006. It is worth looking at this second one, given how important understanding entities is to Google.

It contains a pretty thoughtful approach to understanding and distinguishing between different entities within documents and queries.

Continue reading How Google might Disambiguate Different Entities with the Same Names in Queries and Pages

The Web is filled with factual information, and Search on the web has been going through changes to try to take advantage of all of the data found there. Mainstream search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, traditionally havent given us simple and short answers to our queries; instead showing us a list of Web pages (often historically referred to as 10 blue links) where that data might be found; and then forcing us to sort through that list to find an answer.

Google introduced providing direct answers to questions at the Google Blog in April 2005, in Just the Facts, Fast.

That may have been in response to Tim Berners-Lee writing about the Semantic Web back in 2001, where he alerted us to the possibilities that freeing data otherwise locked into documents might bring to us. By search engines finding ways to crawl the web collecting information about objects and data associated with them, we begin approaching the possibilities he mentioned. And we get answers that we otherwise couldnt find as easily.

Continue reading When Google Started Answering Factual Queries

This morning, I ran across the news article Google reportedly kills plan to let retailers send notifications in Maps, and I knew exactly what the story was about, without reading past the headline, because I had noticed a patent application that came out on the 20th that described the program in question.

As the story tells us, Larry Page shut the program down after being concerned over how invasive it was. It would offer phone owners notices in Google Maps seconds after they entered a store that had electronic beacons set up in their store. After reading about the cancellation, I thought to share the patent so that you could learn what that was about. The patent is:

Automated Learning of Store Topography Using In-Store Location Signals Invented by: Matthew Nicholas Stuttle, Salvatore Scellato US Patent Application 20150237463 Published August 20, 2015 Filed: February 14, 2014

Continue reading Cancelled Invasive Google Here Program Patent Application

A patent granted to Google this week attempts to identify similarities between different types of entities, when it finds information about them on the Web. It refers to these types of similarities as commonalities, as in things they may have in common. Google may use these similarities in a number of ways, such as supplementing search results containing related information based upon results that might be in the same category or possibly located in the same region.

The things identified as common may be for things that are moderately unique, but not completely rare.

The patent say entities, but it seems to be focusing upon different businesses that might share some similarities. For example, they refer to a food critic writing about restaurants a few times and tell us that the things such a critic might write about different restaurants might be used to find similarities between those places.

Continue reading How Google may Identify How Related Different Entities Are

A Google patent granted earlier this month looks at how content might be ranked by Google based upon social interactions. It discusses ranking that content based upon social interactions within the context of Google+ and the social circles you may have been placed within by someone who added you to Google+.

The patent looks at digital content that might be shown on Google+ Stream pages to members of the social networking service, and determines, based upon close-ties scores for that digital content, what to display to members of the network looking at content on Streams pages.

Continue reading Google+s Version of Edgerank; How Content is shared based upon Social Interactions

On June 23, 2015 Uber Technologies assigned 9 patents to Microsoft, in a transaction that was recorded at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 18, 2015.

These patents and their abstracts are listed below, and they link to full copies; all of them are related to Mapping, which was an area that Microsoft was supposedly going to be outsourcing to other companies, including Uber. I havent seen anything anywhere else that explains this transaction or says anything about the cost behind it.

I tried making sense of it by looking at articles about Uber and Microsoft, but they seemed to show a good relationship between the companies:

Continue reading Uber Assigns Nine Mapping Patents to Microsoft

Google has been showing Knowledge panels in response to queries where Google recognizes an entity within that query, and Google has collected enough information about that entity for it to display a knowledge panel about the entity. Ive written about these knowledge panels before in the posts, How Google Decides What To Know In Knowledge Graph Results, and in Googles Knowledge Cards.

I mentioned images in knowledge panels in those, but not how images might be chosen to represent the entities that those panels are about, especially when the entities are people.

Continue reading How Google Decides Which Images to Show For Entities in Knowledge Panels

Can Google use social media, like Google+ to improve the quality of reviews it shows for products and services? Google does like to show reviews to searchers, possibly because many searchers ask for reviews.

A Google patent application published in June explores and discusses analyzing reviews, and creating quality scores for reviews from social media content and other review generated content.

Imagine leaving a review of a business or a product at Google, and it asking you if it could used any related social media content about that product or service that you may leave at a place such as Google+ (it does mention Google+ specifically) to augment your review. Thats the focus of this patent application.

Continue reading How Google May Use Google+ to Improve Reviews of Goods and Services

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SEO by the Sea – San Diego, California SEO

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism