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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Togo, West Africa Bans Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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New Bodycam Footage Reveals Details Of George Floyd’s Arrest Prior To His Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New police bodycam footage shows what happened prior to George Floyd's death.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have solutions that can lead us to different societal outcomes, not based on new belief systems, but truly allowing people to experience peace, emotional calm and connection?

George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin was one of the events of 2020 that has brought up a great deal of collective shadows that need to be addressed. News of Floyd’s death sparked massive civil unrest and protests that are still going on today, more than two months since it happened.

New police bodycam video shows a terrified George Floyd begging for officers not to shoot him. The footage is from body cameras worn by officer Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng, two of the four cops fired and charged in Floyd’s death. The video was leaked to the Daily Mail and shows officer Lane, approaching Floyd’s SUV, ordering him to show his hands. Floyd does not comply, so the officer pulls out his gun.

“Please don’t shoot me. Please[…] Please, please don’t shoot me. I just lost my mom, man.”

“Put your hands up there,” says the office. “Put your (muted) hands up there. Put your hands on the wheel.”

“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Floyd says as he’s dragged out of his SUV and handcuffed. Floyd is then taken to a police vehicle across the street, where officers attempt to get him inside. Floyd pleads that he’s claustrophobic and scuffles to avoid being put in the vehicle.

“I’ll roll down the window,” one of the officers says.

“Please, I’m not trying to win,[…] “I’m not a bad guy, man. I’m not a bad guy.”

Floyd is wrestled to the ground after avoiding going into the backseat. As the video ends Floyd begins telling officers “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” The world is aware of how this incident ends.

The current murder case against former cops Thomas Lane, Alex Kueng, Derek Chauvin, and Tou Thao is ongoing. This piece of footage is being used as evidence in the case.

The video below shows the entire incident. Viewer be warned some of this footage may be unsettling.

Why It Matters: The Floyd death has had me wondering what can honestly be done differently when it comes to policing. Watching this video I did not feel a sense of connection and community amongst officers. I felt a separation between them and the potential ‘criminal’ they were engaging with.

In the US, stats show this type of behavior can affect black people more than others, but I never felt this incident was race-related. To me it felt like how many police interactions feel: stressful and disconnected. So why is that? Why in general is humanity so disconnected from one another?

A deeper look into the state of being of police officers points us to the fact that police are consistently under a high level of stress and are not living in a balanced state of being while on the job. Not a surprise to some, but perhaps to others.

I’ve often wondered if the larger issue here is that we have a police force that is experiencing “among the most stressful occupations in the world and officers typically suffer a variety of physiological, psychological, and behavioral effects and symptoms,” according to a 2012 study examining the role of stress and other psychological challenges in a police officers life. “Officers operating under severe or chronic stress are likely to be at greater risk of error, accidents, and overreactions that can compromise their performance, jeopardize public safety, and pose significant liability costs to the organization” the study abstract continues.

After following 59 police officers through 16 weeks that had been trained on Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training, it was noted that:

“The greatest and, in our view, most important effect of the self-management training was seen in the participants’ increased ability to manage their moods and emotions, which is a fundamental key to sustaining resilience. … For the police officer, the abilities to think rationally under stress, concentrate, plan ahead, remember and organize crucial information, make effective decisions, and control inappropriate emotion-triggered reactions are critically important and in some cases, can determine the difference between life and death for the officer and other parties.”

Since 2012, 300 to 400 police officers per week in the Netherlands have received heart coherence training through the HeartMath.  It was estimated that by 2016, 30,000 Dutch officers would have gone through the training, we are awaiting an update on this figure. HeartMath Benelux is an official partner of the Dutch Police Academy as clearly they see value in this form of training for officers.

The Conscious Takeaway: Why is the emotional and psychological state of an officer not one of the most important factors discussed in the media? It so often comes down to race as our social engineering has trained us to view things in that manner.

We have a potentially extremely powerful solution through Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training yet instead of having these discussions we point to divisive narratives like race? But does this really account for the vast majority of poor interactions with police? Perhaps it’s time for a new approach?

Maybe we can begin to address the state of being of ourselves and start taking responsibility for how we feel, what we go through, and how to master our emotions? There are plenty of tools out there, it simply requires a cultural shift in wanting to move towards peace vs staying right where we are. It moves us from a story of separation to one of connection – something that we experience directly, not are taught through beliefs and ideas.

Perhaps attuning to heart coherence can be a solution alongside other proposed ideas?

After all, are the police not people we want to feel like can truly help the community?

“It makes you not want to call the police department […] If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?” – James Smith, neighbor who called police.

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Alan Dershowitz Implicated In Unsealed Ghislaine Maxwell Documents

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Alan Dershowitz has been implicated in the latest events pertaining to the Ghislaine Maxwell case. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the accuser, is claiming to have sexually engaged with him as a minor, unsealed documents reveal.

  • Reflect On:

    How many people may be implicated here that don't come to light? Is there something deeper going on here that remains to be uncovered and continues not be covered by mainstream media?

What Happened: Well known attorney and political commentator Alan Dershowitz has been implicated in the latest news pertaining to the Ghislaine Maxwell case. She is currently being held in New York awaiting her trial next year. Dershowitz was mentioned, along with Bill Clinton and others in a set of unsealed documents that were part of now-settled civil litigation against Maxwell. She appealed the decision of the judge to unseal them, but to no avail.

Maxwell was Epstein’s right hand person, and the documents, along with testimony from many others over the past few years, show that Maxwell sexually abused children and also directed victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre to be sexually abused by others, using her and many others as sex slaves.

The NY Post explains:

The emeritus Harvard Law professor was accused of having sex with then-minor “Jane Doe #3” — identified in court documents as Virginia Roberts Giuffre — and witnessing Jeffrey Epstein and others sexually abusing girls and young women.

The allegations, lodged in a 2014 court filing, reemerged in more than 600 pages unsealed Thursday night in Giuffre’s 2015 defamation case against.

In 1997, Dershowitz wrote the following: “Reasonable People Can Disagree Over Whether It Should Be As Low As 14.” You can find that article and read more about that here.

He is currently denying the allegations made by Giuffre, calling her a liar. He also stands by that article he wrote in 1997.

Why This Is Important: Elite level trafficking and pedophilia are coming to light, and it’s a major step for humanity given that many implicated and accused people are those in positions of great power, and in some cases made out to be idolized by the general public, usually showered with fame and fortune.

Research indicates there are many children suffering and that do suffer as a result of this activity, and there are so many examples going beyond the Jeffrey Epstein showing that this is quite rampant among our political and financial elite, and among those who pull the strings that we never really see.

This type of activity also shines light onto the world of politics. For example, with regards to Epstein and Maxwell, there is evidence suggesting that both are actually high ranking intelligence officers, with the job of entrapping powerful politicians and people. You can read more about that here. Is this what goes on in the system we continue to hold up and empower by voting year after year? Why are we playing with a system that’s clearly created out of disconnection and separation, and that does not allow humanity to thrive?

Is it time for something new? Is the current state of our world a reflection of the ‘leadership’ we choose and agree to put into power?

If you want to see some more examples and dive through more evidence, you can refer to this article I published towards the end of last year.

You can also watch our interview with a survivor of these types of pedophile rings.

You can access the full interview and start your free trial HERE on CETV, a platform we created to help combat internet censorship and allow us to continue to do our work and get the word out about various issues and topics.

The interview is with Anneke Lucas, who is is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims, founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, and creator of the Unconditional Model. Her work is based on personal experience of a 30-year healing journey after surviving being sold by her family as a child sex slave to a pedophile network.

The interview is deep, and goes into the consciousness aspect of her experience and why that aspect is so important.

The Takeaway: There are many events taking place that are causing people to really question what’s happening on our planet and why. Why do we think and live the way we are living, and why is there so much misinformation, deception, and examples of fraud and deceit that come from multiple governments? Is it really a surprise that many of these people may be involved in activities that represent such a disregard for human life? Isn’t that what geopolitics has resulted in? War is a great example.

More people are starting to realize that we’re not really living in a democracy, but in the illusion of democracy where our physical rights are slowly taken away by governments who are capitalizing on crisis after crisis, ones in which they themselves help create and prolong.  Elite level child trafficking simply shines a light on how our current level of unconsciousness is creating a world built on disconnection.  Now is a time where these truths are being made transparent.

At the end of the day, we can change things anytime we want. We are indeed that powerful as one human collective.

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