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Exposed: Google’s “Smart Home” Surveillance Plans, Or, How Not To Be Colonized

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Two weeks ago, the New York Times’ truth-humor strip on “The Home of the Future” came on the heels of Google’s purchase of ‘smart thermostat’ manufacturer Nest for $3.2 Billion.  With power utility commissions such as California already stating their intention to “expand third-party access” to in-home data, the perfect storm is brewing for Google’s mission of making youtheir product – even in your own home.

For context, this is the same Google whose executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, told MSNBC:

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“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

While pushing to nullify privacy laws, the Big G obviously doesn’t care about pesky old-fashioned incumbrances like ethics either, as evidenced by this gem:

“I would argue that [us] implanting things in your brain is beyond the creepy line – at least for the moment, until the technology gets better.”

The timing of Google’s purchase announcement is interesting, coming only a couple weeks after US federal judge William Pauley ruled that the unwarranted NSA phone surveillance against US citizens is legal.  However, federal judge Richard Leon, the European Union, and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board have all strongly condemned the spy programs.  (The credibility of the Justice Department is in serious question, following revelations that last April it had secretly inked a deal with the Obama Administration to help corporations evade federal wiretap laws.)

The Battleground Hits Home

smartmeter

Around the world, more than 1 million homeowners have now refused the corporate push to deploy a ‘smart’ meter on their home.

So where does a ‘smart thermostat’ fit in the current corporatist drive for total in-home surveillance?

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For the last couple of years, utilities around the globe have all been touting their new metering systems with buzzwords such as ‘smart’, ‘advanced’, ‘upgraded’, or ‘modernized’.  All rhetoric aside, these devices are intended to integrate with all appliances in your home to form an inescapable wireless data-mining dragnet, dubbed as the“home area network”, with your HVAC and likely other in-home systems overseen by spy-giant Google, if they get their way.

As we’ve seen, even former CIA director David Patraeus waspublicly frothing over having the ability to spy through ‘smart’ appliances, intended to wirelessly report back to the meter continuously, while receiving energy-use dictates from the meter.

According to a US Congressional Research Report:

“With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and routines while in their homes, including their eating, sleeping, and showering habits, what appliances they use and when, and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a host of other details.”

Smart grid planners and working groups have even laid these aims out in their internal roadmaps, citing goals such as “new tools for mining data and intel” and “data mining and analytics to become core competency”.

So what can be done to protect rights?  While people cannot vote to prevent corporations from making products such as data-mining thermostats appliances, they do have a voice as utilities try their best to deploy the home-colonizing meters.  Public resistance to ‘smart’ meter deployments has predictably been considerable, as people are learning about not only surveillance capabilities, but also skyrocketing electricity costs, time-of-use billing, risk of fires, home hackability, electrical quality degradation and functional impairments from pulsed microwave radiation — amazingly, all being linked to the new utility metering system.

In Germany, the world leader in solar energy production and arguably technological progress in general, the government has expressed solid opposition to the EU’s ‘smart’ meter deployment hopes, on the back of major cost and privacy issues.  (Curiously, the EU appears to be against dragnet surveillance, while continuing to push its $700 Billion ‘smart’ grid scheme.)

The sheer number of entry-points for concern over this ill-advised corporatist effort is making for an activist’s dream, fueling a movement which is bi-partisan to the core.

The Greenwashed Spy State

obama

According to pilot program studies and even some utilities’ own assessments of widespread ‘smart’ grid deployments, customer bills are increased, but no energy savings are realized – despite costing billions.

Despite pilot programs indicating no energy savingsand mounting opposition now from several hundred activist groups, federal governments such as the US are continuing with their push to incentivize utilities to push forward ‘smart’ grid deployment.

Apparently, having a piece of the $11 Billion taxpayer-funded ‘smart’ grid pie, pushed through by the Obama Administration immediately following the 2008 election, is sufficient motivation for utility executives to steamroll forward despite the growing resistance.

As an example, PECO, a major utility in Pennsylvania, is slated to receive $200 Million in stimulus funding if they can deploy 600,000 ‘smart’ meters by April 2014.

Significantly, anyone can choose to protect their in-home rights by saying no to the deployment of a ‘smart’ meter on their home.  There are no legal requirements in any country or region for an energy customer to accept a ‘smart’ meter.

However, utilities are using tactics of intimidation, propaganda, and tacit acceptance – which means that unless you said a clear “no”, they assume a “yes.” In some cases even with a homeowner’s refusal, utilities are forcibly deploying anyway, apparently assuming the liability for doing so, risking litigation.

So Google has played their hand with the $3.2 Billion purchase of Nest, desiring to capture the worldwide ‘smart’ home data-mining market, and praying to the all-spying-eye that people will stay tethered to their ‘smart’ wireless toys as their rights roll swiftly towards a cliff.  But will awareness eventually reach a game-changing crescendo?  It seems as though the potential exists.

If we want to experience a future other than being ruled by technocrats, now is the time to speak up – even if facing the situation isn’t convenient.  People simply need to know the facts.

As stated by former Apple executive Jeffrey Armstrong in our film Take Back Your Power, the question of whether homes will remain free of invasive ‘smart’ metering and appliance technology is “a test case for a technological democracy, if I have ever seen one.” 

Note to readers: This article has been reposted with the permission of its original author. You can see and share the original post by clicking HERE. We also had another closely related article written and released on our site shortly after the film’s release, you can view that by clicking HERE.

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Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Scientists Discover A New & Efficient Way To Turn Sunlight Into Fuel

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new process is able to effectively turn sunlight into fuel by combining natural processes and human made technologies.

  • Reflect On:

    With all of the emerging alternative energy sources that are becoming available to us, do we really need to be burning fossil fuels any longer?

The sun is a big burning ball of fire and thus, energy. Really, everything is energy. We already know that it is the light and warmth of the sun that gives life to every living thing on this planet. We have already seen an example of how the sun’s energy can be utilized to create power with the rapidly increasing use of solar panels, but researchers from St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, have now discovered a new way to utilize energy from the sun and turn it into fuel. Yes fuel — the type of fuel that could directly compete with fossil fuels.

The researchers used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. Using natural sunlight to separate hydrogen and oxygen including the use of a combination of biological components and human made technologies.

This research could revolutionize the way we are currently utilizing the sun for renewable energy production. Their method was able to absorb even more solar light than the natural process of photosynthesis. A paper, published in the journal Nature Energy described how the researchers were able to develop this process of unassisted, solar driven water splitting.

One of the authors of the study and PhD student at St. John’s college, Katarzyna Sokól said, “Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed — around 1-2 percent of what it could potentially convert and store. “

One of the keys to this process is an ancient enzyme known as hydrogenase.

“Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen,” Sokól added.

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“During evolution this process has been deactivated because it was necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.”

The process of mimicking photosynthesis in order to collect and store energy is something that scientists have been experimenting with for years. However, according to Sokól, the earlier technologies are not capable of scaling up to industrial models for a myriad of different reasons — either they are too expensive, or inefficient of use materials could also pose a risk to the environment.

The team took the approach to create an electrochemical cell, similar to a traditional battery, but based on the light-collecting biochemistry of a process called photosystem II. This was able to provide the necessary voltage that is required for the hydrogenase enzyme to do do it’s job and reduce the amount of hydrogen in water so that it can separate from oxygen and become the gas it was born to be.

Although this process may sound simple, connecting artificial systems with natural and organic processes has proved to be quite challenging.

“This work overcomes many difficult challenges associated with the integration of biological and organic components into inorganic materials for the assembly of semi-artificial devices and opens up a toolbox for developing future systems for solar energy conversion,” says, Erwin Resner, author and laboratory head.

There is much more research that needs to be done, but this is a huge and important step towards being able to fully utilize this method for an alternate fuel source.

“This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” says Sokól.

“It’s exciting that we can selectively choose the processes we want, and achieve the reaction we want which is inaccessible in nature. This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” she added.

Final Note

While this is certainly a plus in the direction of moving toward new energy systems, these technologies have advanced counterparts in the realm of zero-point energy that can make an even greater impact on humanity, without the need for sunlight.

The challenge? It has often been said that if ‘free energy’ like technologies come out prior to humanity shifting their consciousness enough to truly handle these technologies, we will in essence use them in the exact same way we do now: patent them, limit them and then charge people extensively for energy. This does not help to free the population, but only keeps it enslaved, and abundance limited.

Much Love

 

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Wi-Fi Security – Measures to Prevent Technology Enabled Crimes

Every Wi-Fi user must know how to adopt security measures that will prevent them from becoming victims of wireless technology crimes.

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Considered as one of the greatest advancement since the Internet, Wi-Fi wireless networking technology has given mobility to computers. People use wireless technology in the office, at home, and in public places. Unless Wi-Fi users adopt some sort of security, various problems can result when computers transmit unsecured information to one another.

Bandwidth theft, exposed e-mail messages, password or user name theft, and hijacked online identity rank among the top problems brought about by unsecured Wi-Fi transmissions. Every Wi-Fi user must know how to secure their computer.

Use WPA Instead of WEP Encryption

Encryption protocols are used to make network traffic more secure by encoding data packets that are transmitted thereon. Unfortunately, some wireless routers don’t have encryption enable or use the weaker WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) security protocol.

It is well known that WEP security keys are easy to break and therefore network administrators should use the WPA or WPA2 protocols. Even if a router doesn’t support the more secure WPA or WPA2 protocols, WEP should be used; it is better than nothing.

Install a Firewall on Every Computer and Server

A firewall is the most basic and fundamental network security measure there is to secure wireless networks. While Wi-Fi routers can be used to extend the range of networks, they also make the network more vulnerable. A firewall will need to be installed on every computer to ward off security threats. This should be done even if the wireless router has a firewall installed on it.

Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

B­asically, VPNs form a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together. VPNs use authenticated links to make sure that only authorized users can connect to a network. It also uses encryption to make sure that others can’t intercept and can’t use data that travels over the Internet. Numerous websites offer both free and paid VPN versions. VPNbase is one of them.

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Reduce the Transmitter Power of Network Access Points

Part of the convenience of using wireless networks is the ability to access services remotely. This strength also becomes a weakness, because others can see, and potentially use the network as well, especially when a powerful transmitter/antenna is being used.

To limit how far outside the premises the wireless signal travels, reduce the power output of wireless antennas. This requires some tweaking to find the right setting, because reducing the signal output of antennas also reduces the network’s service delivery and quality.

Disable Remote Administration

WLAN (wireless local area network) routers often come with the ability for a network administrator to remotely configure the router. By default, this feature is usually turned off and should stay that way if remote administration is not absolutely necessary. While network administrators can usually set passwords, to secure access to the router’s control panel, leaving the feature enabled could leave the network vulnerable as well.

Remove or Disable Weak Passwords and Access Codes

Ensure that all default passwords and access codes that come preset on network equipment are changed or disabled. Access the router’s web interface and update all settings that have a bearing on network security. Be sure the use strong passwords as well.

Physically Secure your Wireless Network Equipment

Hardware devices typically come with a hard reset button. Making network equipment readily available to be physically handled by anyone who wishes to do so puts the network at risk. Secure all critical and sensitive equipment in rooms or equipment racks.

Don’t Broadcast the Network’s SSID

To allow for the easy setup of wireless clients, most wireless access points will broadcast the SSID (Service Set IDentifier), or network name. While broadcasting the SSID makes setting up wireless clients easier, it also makes WLANs visible to wireless devices that are within range, including those that are malicious. Turn off SSID broadcast to make the network invisible and more secure.

Simple Wireless Network Security

Ensuring that a wireless network is secure is an ongoing responsibility. Wireless network threats, such as those posed by hackers and viruses can be thwarted by some common sense approaches such as physically securing network equipment and using strong encryption methods and technologies. However, the most effective security measures are those that seek to cover all the known security vulnerabilities.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Germline Genome Editing: Scientists Consider Altering The Genes In Babies Before They’re Born

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Soon we could be able to edit the DNA of unborn fetuses to prevent them from developing certain diseases.

  • Reflect On:

    Just because we can do something does it mean we should do it? At what point have we gone too far, should we just let nature take care of these things?

What was once something coming directly from sci-fi movies depicting the future, is now soon to be a reality — editing the genes in babies before they are born could help them live decades longer and reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to some controversial new research. This process is known as germline genome editing.

These DNA-editing tools, known as CRSIPR-CAS9, could be used to ‘make us more resistant to diseases of old age’ when used on egg and sperm cells, according to Dr. Roman Teo Olyink from the University of Auckland.

By altering just a few or even a hundred of the genes that typically code the conditions for heart disease, Alzheimer’s or arthritis, those unborn babies who would otherwise be at risk because of a family history of such disorders may be able to live longer and have more years being healthy, according to the research.

The greatest benefit of the gene-altering would be in the realm of developing cancer. An at-risk fetus would be half as likely to develop the disease and could live up to two decades longer if cancer was still to develop, the scientists claim.

Other scientists who are skeptical of this procedure feel that by editing a person’s risk of one disease, it could end up making them more susceptible to another. The gene editing also doesn’t account for the fact that poor health is often brought on by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Cancer Risk Could Be Significantly Reduced

Researchers looked at a collection of genes that affect a person’s risk level of developing certain conditions. By looking at which genes an individual has, their risk of developing certain diseases can be assessed. Then, they were able to determine whether or not someone who has a higher than average risk of developing a specific disease would have been less susceptible had they undergone the gene editing procedure before birth.

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Dr. Olinyk claims that the results would be dramatic and these people who had undergone this procedure would live healthier for longer and have a significantly lower risk of even becoming ill at all. “This research shows that we could potentially use gene editing to make us all resistant to diseases of old age. Cancers on the model show a very significant and lasting improvement,” he said.

How Much Is Really Genetic?

For something like Alzheimer’s disease where the gene is literally passed on to the next family members, this procedure could be hugely beneficial. But for other diseases that are only genetic if something triggers or awakens the genes to cause disease or illness, shouldn’t we be educating people on the role that environmental factors play in the development of disease?

In a way, this procedure could be taking away an opportunity to empower ourselves and get to the root cause of our illnesses, be they emotional or physical. The environments we live in, the food we eat, and our lifestyles all play a role in the development of disease, even if that disease is one that tends to run in our families.

I have heard before that most diseases that are considered genetic are only developed if we live a similar lifestyle as our parents and follow in their footsteps in regards to our diets. It’s only genetic if we eat like our parents. By just assuming that we will get sick or contract a disease because our parents did and their parents did is giving away our power to heal and stop the genetic cycle of disease from our families.

Other Issues Of Concern

If this technology can indeed be used to alter genes by removing ones that may cause disease or illness, then later down the road it can certainly be used to add genes with certain characteristics as well. Parents could choose what eye and hair color their children will have or how tall they will be. How many parents would strive to build the genetically perfect basketball player?

Is the ability to alter these genes taking things too far? Should we just let nature do it’s thing? Or is this technology becoming available to us now because we are advanced enough to handle it? What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, comment on this post below and let us know what you think about gene-altering technology.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
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