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wepon ([personal profile] wepon) wrote2017-01-04 02:22 pm
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Link Roundup December 2016

Russian Cyberforgers Steal Millions a Day With Fake Sites
“As a buyer, how do you check that those other companies are authorized sellers of the ad inventory?” said Neal Richter, who until recently was the chief technology officer for Rubicon Project, a major exchange for automated ad sales.

‘Let’s party like it’s 1933’: Inside the alt-right world of Richard Spencer
How, he was asked, in a nation with more than 100 million blacks, Asians and Latinos, could a whites-only territory be created without overwhelming violence? Over chocolate croissants and an Americano coffee at a Corner Bakery Cafe, he avoided the question, discussing Nietzsche, communism’s origins, history’s unpredictability. Then, at last, he offered an answer. “Look, maybe it will be horribly bloody and terrible,” he said. “That’s a possibility with everything.”

Army Corps Denies Easement For Dakota Access Pipeline
In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said the tribe welcomed the decision, but he also sounded a note of caution saying he hoped the incoming Donald Trump administration would "respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point."

We Built a Bot That Trolls Twitter’s Worst Anti-Semitic Trolls
But there is one particular type of anti-Semitic troll that I find particularly pernicious: the racists who use their accounts to impersonate Jews and defame them. The con goes like this: The troll finds a picture of a very Jewish-looking person online—typically a Hasidic Jew in full regalia—and makes it his avatar. He puts a bunch of very Jewish descriptors in his bio (“Orthodox,” “Zionist,” “enemy of the alt-right”). He then proceeds to insert himself into conversations with prominent Twitter users—conversations that will often be read by tens of thousands of followers—and say horrifically racist things. Thus, it appears to unsuspecting readers that Jews are outlandishly bigoted. The same has been done with other minorities, from Latinos to African-Americans to Muslims.

As the Standing Rock protests progressed and strengthened, the police repression intensified, and over the past several weeks there has been a series of brutalities and arrests. This repression built up to a law enforcement offensive on October 27th, where police used tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets in order to clear protesters from a specific area, arresting 141 people in the process. On that same day, October 27th, the Malheur occupiers were found “not guilty” by a jury of their peers, cleared of all federal charges against them.

Behind Donald Trump’s calls for his supporters to monitor the polls in November
The other alternative would be an organized campaign effort that pulls from a grab bag of dirty tricks so frequently used by the Republican Party or its agents that the party is subject to an existing 1981 court order prohibiting this sort of thing until at least 2017.

The Scapegoating Machine
The role Thiel sees for scapegoating in the contemporary world order is apparent in his infamous vendetta against Gawker, which seems to have become his own rival and obstacle for a time. This enmity should not blind us to a certain similarity, since above all else, Gawker styled itself as an organ of scapegoating. Indeed, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, journalist Hamilton Nolan semi-ironically declared: “Nobody wants to hear about intricate economic factors that combined in unforeseen ways to predicate an economic collapse. We want scapegoats!” (He went on to list ten of them.) Gawker’s willingness to single out individuals as targets of public ire, and to galvanize online mobs against them, was a source of its appeal and at the same time what made it so embattled.

Reddit and the God Emperor of the Internet
Recent posts on The_Donald have promoted a letter-writing campaign for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. There’s support for protesters countering the anti-Trump legions in Midtown Manhattan. There’s a proposed boycott of Harry Potter books and movies, with a reminder that J. K. Rowling tweeted that Voldemort was “nowhere near as bad” as Mr. Trump, and a proposal to defund NPR.

The surveillance economy has 67 days to disarm before Trump is sworn in
Companies like Google and Facebook have 67 days to minimize their data collection and retention before Trump is sworn in. That's 67 days during which they can take a hard, close look at how much of their data they actually need to do their jobs, and how much they're storing because hard drives are cheap and someone might have a cool idea down the line somewhere.

Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns
Who's doing all the shooting and where are they getting all those guns and how many do they have and can't we get control over this clusterfuck? Wouldn't a national gun registry give us a tool to stop some of the killing? No, says the gun lobby. It would give the government a tool to confiscate our guns. The idea of a gun registry is the great fever dream that lies at the heart of gun-control conspiracy theories: Government evildoers are going to attack us any day now. We have to be ready. (And you don't give the enemy an inventory of all your weapons!)

The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat 'score'
But perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. However, the program flags issues and provides a report to the user.

#Election2016: Propaganda-lytics & Weaponized Shadow Tracking
The data I’ve collected in this post suggests that it’s not as much about the fake news, viral hoaxes, and strategic misinformation the micro-propaganda machine creates and distributes around election times: This material helps, of course, but any group of actors will generate this type of content for you if you know how make them 😡angry enough. My exploration of the shadow network of trackers and behavioral data collection infrastructure behind the propaganda network provides evidence that it has more to do with the behavioral data the content the propaganda machine generates.

My President Was Black
Obama’s formula for closing this chasm between black and white America, like that of many progressive politicians today, proceeded from policy designed for all of America. Blacks disproportionately benefit from this effort, since they are disproportionately in need. The Affordable Care Act, which cut the uninsured rate in the black community by at least a third, was Obama’s most prominent example. Its full benefit has yet to be felt by African Americans, because several states in the South have declined to expand Medicaid.

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.
They were not the only ones on whom the Russians used the steal-and-leak strategy. The Open Society Foundation, run by George Soros, was a major target, and when its documents were released, some turned out to have been altered to make it appear as if the foundation was financing Russian opposition members.

So. Algorithms Are Designing Chairs Now
In the case of the Elbo, Harsuvanakit and Presten collaborated with Dreamcatcher, Autodesk’s generative design CAD system. They fed the software a digital, 3-D model of a chair inspired by Hans Wegner’s iconic Round Chair and the Lambda Chair, from the design studio Berkeley Mills. Then, they stipulated how much weight the chair must support and insisted that the arms clear a human body. With that, Dreamcatcher started iterating.

An Alt-Right Makeover Shrouds the Swastikas
So in November, as the country’s divisive presidential campaign became ever more jagged, the National Socialist Movement, a leading neo-Nazi group, did away with its swastika. In its stead, the group chose a symbol from a pre-Roman alphabet that was also adopted by the Nazis.

Alt-Right Gathering Exults in Trump Election With Nazi-Era Salute
In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment. But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

Trump on the future of proposed Muslim ban, registry: ‘You know my plans’
Muslim leaders said they felt that a registry would take America backward and the FBI seemed to agree. “They didn’t foresee us going back to the past. They were reassuring. This is the way they see it,” Fletcher said. It was good to hear, but area Muslims are still concerned, he said. “Obviously the community feels there are orders and commands from higher up and if those are sent down to a local level, will they act? And how much of what they think now could change in the future?”

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