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Underworld

Zuckerberg Denies That Facebook Uses Your Phone’s Microphone To Spy On You… Hmm

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress again today to finish off a second day of questioning on Capitol Hill. His appearance was voluntary and came as a result of the recent Cambridge Analytica data breach that saw the loss of 80 million plus Facebook users’ data.

Zuckerberg was questioned on a number of issues challenging Facebook including data usage, selling user data, privacy, the societal value of Facebook, Facebook’s political stance and how they censor outlets based on their political stance.

One of the longest running theories about Facebook was that it would collect information from your verbal conversations via your phone’s microphone while you have your phone on or around you. You likely experienced the following before: You are having a conversation with friends about a very specific brand, specific product and so forth. Then suddenly you hop on Facebook, having not searched for that product or brand at all, now there is an ad for that very product in your newsfeed.

Logically one would think the only way for this to happen would be that they are analyzing trigger words in your conversations. That, or they are somehow tapped into your consciousness and gathering data that way.

Congressman Larry Bucsh asked Zuckerberg on Wednesday whether or not Facebook does in fact mine data via your personal conversations using your phones microphone.

“My understanding is that a lot of these cases that you’re talking about are a coincidence,” Zuckerberg told Congress. This answer did not seem to go over so well based on the look on Bucsh’s face. Not just that, how could this truly explain the frequency and incredible accuracy of this phenomenon.

Zuckerberg was asked the question on both days of questioning as it has been one of the major questions surrounding Facebook spying. Still Zuckerberg stated that it was a “conspiracy theory,” and denied the practice with a flat “no.” He went on to say that he doesn’t know of any company using this tactic. Except for maybe the NSA? We know this tech exists, the question is does Facebook use it and are they willing to admit it?

Was he telling the truth? Does one even need to tell the truth during these types of hearings? While some of us think yes, in fact they don’t. And in many cases people have lied for us only to find out the truth a short time after.

Let’s not forget that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress the NSA does not “wittingly” spy on Americans. And yet only a few months later whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the entire world that the NSA was doing just that.

When it comes to news and information censorship, Facebook routinely does this to protect their own political position. We have seen this first hand when we share content that challenges Facebook’s own ideologies. Regardless of the fact our journalistic process uses facts, sources and proof that are well founded, Facebook views this as threatening information. Censorship has been intense from our perspective.

Reflecting On Why This Is Important

In December of 2017 I released an article stating Facebook would go through a deep awakening in 2018 due to the fact that their platform seems to be in need of a shift. Users are clearly unhappy and the social media giant has been using manipulative psychological tactics to prey on its users in order to keep them using the platform.

During a time where humanity’s consciousness is shifting so dramatically, this type of behaviour from companies won’t go unnoticed and people will begin to figure out what’s going on. Not only that, in a natural course of action companies will in essence ‘be outed’ for the things that aren’t in alignment with humanity truly thriving.

I feel this spotlight on Facebook is actually inspiring to see. While on one hand we can say it’s politics and congress trying to decide if they need to step in and help regulate, and on another hand dirty dealings, lies and deceit are coming to the surface in what is like a great unveiling where humanity can now reflect upon itself and what it does.

Is Facebook still of value to our daily lives when they do only what’s in the best interest of their business and not the user experience? Should we be spending so much time on a platform using tactics to manipulate us?

The barrage of ‘bad press’ for Facebook has been tough as they are losing users in the millions every month. In the end we learn another valuable lesson from this, when we, or companies, do things that don’t benefit the whole, our day or ‘reckoning,’ if you will, comes. What I mean by this is, as humanity we have to learn to do things that truly favor all involved or that do not harm nor take advantage of others simply for our individual benefit. This is a lesson being seen on the macrocosm but applies to the micro as well.

In your day, do you find yourself taking advantage of others? Running your business or your plans to benefit yourself more so than others? Why do you find yourself doing this? I believe we can all turn what we see in the ‘real world’ into an internal reflection for ourselves as well.

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Underworld

Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease

A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.

CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.

It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.

At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.

In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder. 

The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.

Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.

Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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