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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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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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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.

A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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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!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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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.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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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.

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