Connect with us

General

Cyber Safety and Security In An Era Of Constant Social Media Surveillance

Avatar

Published

on

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Our generation is the first to have grown up with social media technology. Many individuals are accustomed to sharing everything about their days – from photos of food and family members to political opinions – on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. All this data adds up over time, and the accumulated information allows both government and corporate entities to construct a highly detailed picture of what makes you, you.

advertisement - learn more

Unless you’re completely removed from the grid (and for those reading this article, the chances of that are slim), your life is an open book in this brave new world of total information. While a large portion of this data is public record, people also voluntarily post vast amounts of data about themselves to the Internet under the presumption that it will remain within their circle of ‘friends’ or followers.

--> Become A CE Member: The only thing that keeps our journalism going is YOU. CE members get access to exclusive benefits and support our shared mission.. Click here to learn more!

However, according to Taha Yasseri, an Iranian computer scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute, social media is the perfect tool to monitor today’s societies. “The transparency and easy use of social media has made it a very good tool for social activists. But this makes it a very good opportunity for authoritarian states to monitor, and eventually even to predict behavior.” Corporations target Internet users to market goods and services more productively, while governments tune in to look for evidence of suspicious illegal activity. Some people may feel comfortable being monitored in this way, but for many, these actions go beyond courteous boundaries and begin to overstep the broader social contract.

The Long Arm of the Law

Local police departments track known criminals’ activities. One of the first to do so was the Cincinnati, Ohio, Police Department. They were able to stop a massive gang-related brawl following comments on social media about the location of the event and identifying key players. Many police departments are using real-time, location-based social listening software, like Snaptrends, so that they can more effectively monitor what is happening in communities across the U.S.  

Of course, the federal government also has interests in social media activity. The FBI has sought to buy the Geofeedia social media monitoring platform which lets them hone in on goings on in certain geographical locations. This platform also allows the FBI to insert comments into those feeds when they think it is useful. This document, from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, further shows how the government contextualizes the use of social media tools in regards to mapping relationships, locating subjects, and proving or disproving alibis.

As some may already know, the Department of Homeland Security regularly monitors all conversations on social media for a list of keywords that they feel that terrorists may use. Recent activities have gone far beyond capturing terrorists, however, to watching the Black Lives Matter movement, a breast cancer fundraising walk, and the National Moment of Silence.

advertisement - learn more

How Corporations Capture Data

As the number of digital devices connected to the “Internet of Things” continues to increase at an ever-expanding rate, the cloud is providing a mind-boggling array of opportunities for businesses to gain new competitive advantages. As information is harvested from our digital lives, it is utilized to reveal important correlations that then translate into a more efficient use of advertising dollars.

Inside ‘Big Data’ is a collection of tools and techniques that make it possible to examine data at any scale. The rise of ‘smart home’ security systems and sophisticated sensor technologies have created a microcosmic example of this phenomenon, in which your home preferences are directly used to enhance your comfort via the data collected on your daily comings and goings. The embedded intelligent database in these systems is capable of empowering real-time analytics to delegate real-world results.

Even with data coming from billions of connected devices, an enterprise-grade database at the corporate level can infer meaningful results. A popular program that many corporations use to monitor what people are saying about their products is Brandwatch, which helps corporations keep tabs on over 800 different Internet sites for mentions of their business. While some consumers are receptive to the thought of businesses offering personalized discounts, more than 75 percent are uncomfortable with the thought of them analyzing their social media posts to make recommendations based on “likes” or visual uploads like photos or video.  

Chart Your Data Destiny

There are several steps that you can take to control who has access to what you post on the Internet. Start by creating a strong password and changing it often. If you have a school or work email address, avoid using those to sign up on social media, as they may appear on other pages and make it easier for someone to hack your account. Take control over your accounts to the best of your ability by monitoring what others are allowed to see. Install and keep antivirus and security software up to date on all your devices to protect them from malicious attacks which may make your information more vulnerable. 

But even with all technological precautions in place, you still need to manage your online risks. Consider who you connect with carefully, as their unsavory online behaviors could implicate you as well. Also, keep in mind that the HR departments of companies are very interested in what you’re posting too. If your friend was just fired, then you might want to avoid their social media sites because your employer may want to see who else might have been involved in an incident or just to learn who they may want to observe carefully at work. Keep in mind that you must not share corporate intellectual property online. Likewise, never assume that what you post online will not be read by your employer. Remember that whatever goes online is now out of your hands and therefore out of your control. Even in today’s digital world, it’s smart to keep some semblance of an analog persona intact. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

General

Fact Checkers & Big Tech Censorship Are Tearing Apart Society

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Journalist Laurie Clarke published an article in the British Medical Journal examining hundreds of millions of pieces of content that Facebook has removed in an attempt to stop ‘covid misinformation.’ As a result of censorship, we are seeing a breakdown of important dialogue. Here is our deeper written analysis of her piece.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

General

The Quantum Eraser Experiment: What Happens In The Present Can Change The Past

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 7 minute read
Image: Shutterstock

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    At the quantum scale, what we do in the present can impact what happens in the past. This is shown through what's known as the quantum delayed choice choice, or quantum eraser experiment.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are factors associated with consciousness directly intertwined with physical material matter at the quantum scale? What does this mean when it comes to our physical material world in relation to our thoughts, perceptions, feelings and emotions?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

One of the founding fathers of quantum theory, Max Planck, who is often credited with originating quantum theory – a feat that won him the Physics Nobel Prize in 1918 – once stated: “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as exiting, postulates consciousness.”

Fast forward to today and there are a number of experiments in multiple fields showing that Planck was right. Consciousness is fundamental and it is directly intertwined with what we call physical material matter. You cannot explain consciousness in terms of the existing fundamentals like space, time, mass, and charge. As a result, the logical thing to do is postulate whether consciousness itself is something fundamental to the existence of reality.

A classic experiment used to examine the role of consciousness and its relationship to matter is the quantum double slit experiment. In this experiment, tiny bits of matter (photons, electrons, or any atomic-sized object) are shot toward a screen that has two slits in it. When there is no measuring device placed at the screen, the tiny bits of matter act as a “wave” and creates an “interference” pattern on the other side where a wall is placed to catch the pattern. Because there was no measuring or observation device used to see what slit the matter went through, we cannot know what path it took. When the pattern on the wall is examined to see what path it took, it represents a wave of possibilities, meaning the matter (particle) went through both slits, and one slit, and interfered with itself, which should be physically impossible. Welcome to the wacky world of quantum physics – anything and everything is possible.

The kicker is, when an observation device is set up to observe what slit the particles go through, the particle then only goes through one, thus collapsing the wave pattern and forming a pattern that is representative of the particle only going through one slit. In other words, the behaviour of the matter changes when we decide to measure  or observe it, the particles act as they are aware they are being watched. 50 percent of the time the particle will go through one slit, and the other 50 percent of the time it will go through the other and form a two slit pattern, just as if they were balls lobbed through one slit or the other.

Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it…We compel (the electron) to assume a definite position…We ourselves produce the results of the measurement. (M. Mermin, Boojums All the Way Through: Communicating Science ina Prosaic Age (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1990, referenced by Dr. Dean Radin, From A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays explaining how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality

If this isn’t already mind-altering enough for you, one physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, pondered what would happen if we don’t interfere with the photons on their way through the slits? What would happen if we didn’t set up a measuring device to observe what slit the matter went through, and instead, what if behind the back wall there were detectors? One detector is focused on each slit, and just before the particle lands on the screen after it has passed through the slit device, the detectors are pulled away. When no one could detect which slit the photon had gone through, there was a wave pattern, but when the detectors were in place, there was no wave pattern. Similar to observing the particles before they went through the slit. No observation produced an interference pattern, and observation formed a one line, one slit pattern.

If they collapse to a state of particles from a wave at the moment of detection, after they have gone past the slit device, this means that even though they went through the slit unobserved and should produce a wave (interference) pattern, the very act of observing, still, instantly transforms them into particles and collapses the wave function.

This begs the question, how could these detectors interfere with something that had already happened? It would mean that what happened in the present changed the past. The very act of detecting the particles after they go through the slit determines how they went through the slit, either as a wave or as particles. How is this possible?

Like the quantum double slit experiment, the delayed choice/quantum eraser has been demonstrated and repeated multiple times. For example, physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, and the findings were recently published in the journal Nature Physics.

In 2007 (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus and showed that their actions could retroactively change something that had already happened.

“If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance, but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.” (source)

To make the experiment easier to understand, Wheeler used a cosmic scale explanation. Imagine a star emitting a photon billions of years ago, heading in the direction of planet Earth. In between, there is a galaxy. As a result of what’s known as “gravitational lensing,” the light will have to bend around the galaxy in order to reach Earth, so it has to take one of two paths, going left or going right. Billions of years later, if one decides to set up an apparatus to “catch” the photon, the resulting pattern would be an interference pattern, as explained above in the double slit experiment. This demonstrates that the photon took one way, and it took the other way. A “wave” of possibilities, but the way it took has not been defined.

One could also choose to “peek” at the incoming photon, setting up a telescope on each side of the galaxy to determine which side the photon passed to reach Earth. The very act of measuring or “watching” which way the photon comes in means it can only come in from one side. The pattern will no longer be an interference pattern representing multiple possibilities, but a single clump pattern showing “one” way.

What does this mean? It means how we choose to measure “now” affects what direction the photon took billions of years ago. Our choice in the present moment affected what had already happened in the past.

Below is a great video of Wheeler explaining.

My mind is blown just writing this article, I can’t stop thinking about it and what it could possibly mean, and how factors associated with consciousness are, in more ways than one, intertwined with what we perceive to be our physical reality. I recently published an article regarding consciousness and how it might be fundamental to the creation of our physical material world. You can read that here if interested.

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” ― Nikola Tesla

Why does all of this matter? Because it’s one of multiple experiments showing a strong connection between consciousness and physical matter. What does this mean at the classic physics scale? What does it mean with regards to the way we think, feel, perceive? What does it mean when we are talking about solutions to problems we are facing on our planet? If human consciousness could be so fundamental with regards to the ‘creation of our reality’, why aren’t we talking about it more? What impact would changing the way we look at our world have on the human experience? What would happen if we started to see things in a different light?

We tend to believe in our culture that we are beings where everything in our world is happening to us, as opposed to us being intimately connected to everything in our world. How might that knowing change the nature of our choices?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

General

Dr Byram Bridle Speaks For 100 Colleagues Afraid To Share Science About COVID Vaccine Concerns

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr Byram Bridle and two other physicians spoke at a news conference on Parliament Hill about their experience being censored or harassed as a result of sharing their medical opinions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we as citizens truly want our scientists and physicians to be silenced and censored?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Why are scientists and experts in this field scared to share concerning science regarding COVID vaccines? Just ask Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed, in-depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines. The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns.

Bridle has stated about the Alliance,

In fact the reason that we (Canadian COVID Care Alliance) exist is sad. We exist because we’re like minded in the sense that we all want to be able to speak openly and freely about the scientist and medicine underpinning COVID-19, and we don’t feel safe to do it  anywhere else other than within our own private group, where we feel safe.

Below is our detailed report on the news conference held on Parliament Hill on June 17th, 2021. It was organized by Canadian MP Derek Sloan who has received hundreds of concerned communications from Canadian citizens about the censorship of scientists. Bridle and two other physicians spoke at the conference.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

The more important questions to ask are: who is deciding what’s misleading? Who decides what’s false?

Some of the most renowned scientists and expert in this field have been subjected to this “fact-checking,” and they’ve been outspoken about how much of this fact-checking is flat out censorship. You decide.

To note: HealthFeedback.org, a fact checker, has attempted to refute some of Bridle’s claims. You can read more about them here.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Elevate your inbox and get conscious articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!