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Surge in Online Child Sex Abuse Videos, Coronavirus Used to Target 'Troublemakers,' Human-Centered Technology
Revealing News Articles
March 10, 2020

Dear friends,

Online Child Sex Abuse Videos.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the rapid surge in online videos and images of child sexual abuse reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, China's use of the coronavirus to roll out an app that greatly expands surveillance and control of its population, how the US did away with a rule requiring that drugs developed with public money be sold at a reasonable price, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on what the Amish can teach us about the humane use of technology, a musician who played her violin during brain surgery, a veterinarian who treats animals belonging to the homeless for free, and more. You can also skip to this section now.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower

Special note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. Learn in this informative article how the former head of the CDC, after being appointed president of Merck's vaccine division, made a windfall of over $10 million on Merck stock. Enjoy a fascinating Forbes article on how Craigslist founder Craig Newmark became a billionaire without even trying to make a profit. Watch a great 7-minute video titled "Courage is Contagious."

Quote of the week: "It is how we respond to a traumatic event that determines whether trauma will be a cruel and punishing Medusa turning us into stone, or whether it will be a spiritual teacher taking us along vast and uncharted pathways."   ~~  Peter Levine in Waking the Tiger

Video of the week: Made in 2010, a fascinating video of Bill Ryan of Project Avalon – one of those most in the know of the major cover-ups in our world – describes a plan for a virus just like the Coronavirus. In this presentation, he describes plans by the power elite for a deadly virus to be planted in China which would eventually spread around the world. Using information from many deep insiders, he lays out long-term plans of the power elite of our world (which appear to be failing) to gain control over all of us. Yet he eventually comes back to the incredible power available in each one of us to stop this and to shape our world. This is deep, thought-provoking material.

Paranoia.

For more on the role of fear in manipulating the pubic and what we can do about it, see the excellent essay "Building a Brighter Future."


Tech Companies Detect a Surge in Online Videos of Child Sexual Abuse
February 7, 2020, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/us/online-child-sexual-abuse.html

The number of reported photos, videos and other materials related to online child sexual abuse grew by more than 50 percent last year. Nearly 70 million images and videos were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a federally designated clearinghouse for the imagery that works with law enforcement agencies. Over 41 million videos were reported; the number five years ago was under 350,000. The center identified ... the companies that had detected the imagery, the first time detailed company information had been released. The companies flagged many of the same images and videos multiple times as they were shared among users. Facebook reported nearly 60 million photos and videos, more than 85 percent of the total. About half of the content was not necessarily illegal, according to the company, and was reported to help law enforcement with investigations. Instagram, owned by Facebook, was responsible for an additional 1.7 million photos and videos. Snapchat, Twitter and other social media companies also submitted reports of imagery. So did ... Google and Microsoft. Apple, Dropbox and the chat platform Discord also detected the illegal content. In all, 164 companies submitted reports. Some companies that made a small number of reports ended up finding a large volume of imagery. Dropbox, for instance, made roughly 5,000 reports last year but found over 250,000 photos and videos.

Note: Listen to a disturbing, yet vitally important New York Times podcast showing this huge problem that few are willing to look at. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags
March 1, 2020, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/01/business/china-coronavirus-surveillance.html

As China encourages people to return to work despite the coronavirus outbreak, it has begun a bold mass experiment in using data to regulate citizens’ lives — by requiring them to use software on their smartphones that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed into subways, malls and other public spaces. The system does more than decide in real time whether someone poses a contagion risk. It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides. The Alipay Health Code, as China’s official news media has called the system, was first introduced in the eastern city of Hangzhou ... with the help of Ant Financial, a sister company of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. People in China sign up through Ant’s popular wallet app, Alipay, and are assigned a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates their health status. The system is already in use in 200 cities and is being rolled out nationwide, Ant says. As soon as a user grants the software access to personal data, a piece of the program labeled “reportInfoAndLocationToPolice” sends the person’s location, city name and an identifying code number to a server. The software does not make clear to users its connection to the police. In the United States, it would be akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using apps from Amazon and Facebook to track the coronavirus, then quietly sharing user information with the local sheriff’s office.

Note: Learn in this revealing article how China is blacklisting certain citizens using this system and "banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates." Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’
January 10, 2016, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-new-way-police-are...

A new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens. But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error. “This is something that’s been building since September 11,” said Jennifer Lynch ... at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “First funding went to the military to develop this technology, and now it has come back to domestic law enforcement. It’s the perfect storm of cheaper and easier-to-use technologies and money from state and federal governments to purchase it.” Perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. The fact that only Intrado — not the police or the public — knows how Beware tallies its scores is disconcerting.

Note: Learn more in this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The coronavirus is giving China cover to expand its surveillance. What happens when the virus is gone?
March 1, 2020, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2020/03/01/coronavirus-china-surveillance-tracking/

The outbreak of Covid-19 has been anathema for most of China’s economy but the novel coronavirus was a shot in the arm for the state’s surveillance apparatus, which has expanded rapidly in pursuit of the epidemic’s spread. Facial recognition cameras, phone tracking technology and voluntary registrations have all been deployed to monitor the flow of people and the possible transmission of disease. “The Chinese surveillance systems currently ... has two purposes: the first is to monitor public health and the second is to maintain political control,” says Francis Lee, a professor ... at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Once the outbreak is controlled, however, it’s unclear whether the government will retract its new powers. While facial recognition provides a way to monitor crowds from a distance, governments have deployed close-range means of tracking individuals too. The municipal government of Hangzhou worked with ecommerce giant Alibaba to launch a feature through the company’s mobile wallet app, AliPay, that assesses the user’s risk of infection. The app generates a QR code. Guards at checkpoints in residential buildings and elsewhere can then scan that code to gain details about the user. John Bacon-Shone ... at Hong Kong University thinks that the ongoing threat of outbreaks will provide a constant justification for the new systems. “I am rather pessimistic that there will be full rollback of data collection once it has been implemented,” Bacon-Shone says.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


'Fake, Fake': senior Chinese leader heckled by residents on visit to coronavirus city
March 6, 2020, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/fake-fake-senior-chinese-leader...

Vice-premier Sun Chunlan, one of the most senior government officials to visit the centre of the coronavirus outbreak [was] heckled by residents who yelled “fake, fake, everything is fake” as she inspected the work of a neighbourhood committee charged with taking care of quarantined residents. Videos posted online showed Sun and a delegation walking along the grounds while residents appeared to shout from their apartment windows, “fake, fake,” “it’s all fake,” as well as “we protest”. Since 12 February, all residential compounds in Wuhan have been put under lockdown, barring most residents from leaving their homes. In an unusual turn of events, on Friday various Chinese state media outlets reported the videos showing public discontent. Such videos are frequently censored. Yet, the People’s Daily posted a video subtitled in English showing one person shouting “fake, fake,” which has since been removed. A government-affiliated account on WeChat ... said in an essay posted on Thursday that all the facts of the incident were “basically true”. According to state broadcaster CCTV, Sun held a meeting immediately after the incident to deal with the complaints. Staff have been dispatched to visit the residents one by one. Observers say state media may be trying to co-opt discussion of the videos, which circulated widely online, and provide their own narrative of events. Elsewhere in China, schools in provinces reporting no new cases for a number of days, started to set their opening dates in a sign of the country returning to normal. Wuhan reported 126 new coronavirus cases on Thursday but the wider province of Hubei excluding the capital recorded none for the first time during the outbreak.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How the Senate Paved the Way for Coronavirus Profiteering, and How Congress Could Undo It
March 2, 2020, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-vaccine-price-gouging-senate/

Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress. After extraordinary blowback, the administration insisted that in the end, any treatment would indeed be affordable. The federal government, though, under the Clinton administration, traded away one of the key tools it could use to make good on the promise of affordability. Gilead Sciences, a drugmaker known for price gouging, has been working with Chinese health authorities to see if the experimental drug remdesivir can treat coronavirus symptoms. But remdesivir, which was previously tested to treat Ebola virus, was developed through research conducted at the University of Alabama ... with funding from the federal government. That’s how much of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development is funded. The public puts in the money, and private companies keep whatever profits they can. It wasn’t always that way. Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed. In April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.

Note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


WHO’s malaria vaccine study represents a “serious breach of international ethical standards”
February 26, 2020, BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m734

A large scale malaria vaccine study led by the World Health Organization has been criticised by a leading bioethicist for committing a “serious breach” of international ethical standards. The cluster randomised study in Africa is already under way in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya, where 720,000 children will receive the RTS,S vaccine, known as Mosquirix, over the next two years. Mosquirix, the world’s first licensed malaria vaccine, was positively reviewed by the European Medicines Agency, but its use is being limited to pilot implementation, in part to evaluate outstanding safety concerns that emerged from previous clinical trials. [Among these concerns] were a rate of meningitis in those receiving Mosquirix 10 times that of those who did not, increased cerebral malaria cases, and a doubling in the risk of death (from any cause) in girls. Charles Weijer, a bioethicist at Western University in Canada, told The BMJ that the failure to obtain informed consent from parents whose children are taking part in the study violates the Ottawa Statement, a consensus statement on the ethics of cluster randomised trials, of which Weijer is the lead author, and the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences’ International Ethical Guidelines. “The failure to require informed consent is a serious breach of international ethical standards,” he said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


A dark web tycoon pleads guilty. But how was he caught?
February 8, 2020, MIT Technology Review
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615163/a-dark-web-tycoon-pleads-guilty-but-how...

Cybercriminal Eric Eoin Marques pleaded guilty in an American court this week. Marques faces up to 30 years in jail for running Freedom Hosting, which temporarily existed beyond reach of the law and ended up being used to host drug markets, money-laundering operations, hacking groups, and millions of images of child abuse. Investigators were somehow able to break the layers of anonymity that Marques had constructed, leading them to locate a crucial server in France. This discovery eventually led them to Marques himself. Marques was the first in a line of famous cybercriminals to be caught despite believing that using the privacy-shielding anonymity network Tor would make them safe behind their keyboards. The case demonstrates that government agencies can trace suspects through networks that were designed to be impenetrable. Marques has blamed the American NSA’s world-class hackers, but the FBI has also been building up its efforts since 2002. And, some observers say, they often withhold key details of their investigations from defendants and judges alike—secrecy that could have wide-ranging cybersecurity implications across the internet. The FBI had found a way to break Tor’s anonymity protections, but the technical details of how it happened remain a mystery. “Perhaps the greatest overarching question related to the investigation of this case is how the government was able to pierce Tor’s veil of anonymity,” Marques’s defense lawyers wrote in a recent filing.

Note: For more on this important case, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Boy Scouts bankruptcy bid prompts other sex abuse victims to step forward
February 18, 2020, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-bid-prompts-other-sex...

As word came that the Boy Scouts of America had filed for bankruptcy protection, one alleged abuse survivor was moved to come forward. The man told NBC News he was a 14-year-old Boy Scout in Louisiana working on an astronomy merit badge when a scoutmaster invited him to go by the lake to look at the stars. “I was very naïve,” he said. “But when he grabbed my groin, I immediately reacted.” So did the scoutmaster. “He threatened me with a machete,” the 73-year-old said, asking not to be identified. But now that the Boy Scouts are seeking Chapter 11 protection, the alleged abuse survivor said he’s ready to join the more than 3,000 men who are suing the nonprofit for allowing pedophiles inside the organization to prey on the boys. Michael Mertz, a Chicago-based lawyer who has represented Boy Scouts victims, said that by declaring bankruptcy, the organization is trying to limit the damages. Mitchell Garabedian, whose efforts to go after predatory Roman Catholic priests were dramatized in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight” and who also represents Boy Scouts victims, said the move to bankruptcy court could force the organization to open all its so-called “perversion files.” Those files, which were collected by the Boy Scouts and go back to 1944, contain the names of 7,819 Scout leaders who allegedly preyed on boys, as well as the names of 12,254 victims, experts and attorneys involved in the cases have said. So far, only the files from 1965 to 1985 have been made public.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Key Article From Years Past


The story behind a Palm Beach sex offender's remarkable deal (Video)
Nov. 26, 2018, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article222090545.html

Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. [In 2008, Epstein] received what might have been the most lenient plea deal for a serial sex offender in U.S. history. The Miami Herald identified over 60 of his victims, just young middle and high school girls at the time of the abuse. They were betrayed by the very prosecutors who were supposed to hold Epstein accountable. One child would be lured over. [She] would be offered the further inducement of being paid a bounty for anybody else that she was able to bring to [him]. Epstein ... was also suspected of organizing sex activities with underage girls at his homes in New York City, New Mexico and on his private island in the Caribbean. Hundreds of children all over the world ... were alleged sex slaves of Jeffrey Epstein. Flight logs from his plane and his address book read like a Who’s Who of some of the richest and most famous and powerful people in the world—celebrities, actors, philanthropists, academics and world leaders. There was ample physical evidence and witness testimony. [Yet] State Attorney Barry Krischer wanted to charge Epstein only with a misdemeanor. The U.S. Attorney’s Office got involved, [yet Epstein's] attorneys were able to manipulate the sitting U.S. attorney and the assistant U.S. attorney working the cases. The U.S. attorneys here had an indictment, and they were sending it back and forth to Jeffrey’s lawyers for changes. This is a situation where ... the defendant and the government are working together against the victims.

Note: Don't miss the revealing video of all this at the link above. Then read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke this case. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


Inspiring Articles


The Amish use tech differently than you think. We should emulate them.
February 17, 2020, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-learn-how-to-practice-humane-technology...

Technology promised to connect us but divided us instead. As people worry about smartphone addiction and vow to spend less time on their laptops, social media companies are scrambling to placate a world that has caught on to their products’ ability to turn us against one another, tip elections and even incite violence. The growing anxiety about technology has prompted a “humane technology” movement among former Silicon Valley insiders disquieted by what their industry has wrought. But there’s another group, utterly unconnected to Google or Facebook or Apple, that has been practicing humane technology for generations: the Amish. Each church community of about 30 families ... has latitude in setting its technology boundaries. When a church member asks to use a new technology, the families discuss the idea and vote to accept or reject. The conversation centers on how a device will strengthen or weaken relationships within the community and within families. Imagine if the United States had conducted a similar discussion when social media platforms were developing algorithms designed to amplify differences and then pit us against one another, because anger drives traffic and traffic drives profits. Americans will never abandon technology for a horse-and-buggy life, but millions of us have begun weighing the costs of constant connectivity. When pondering how to strike the right balance, we might do well at least to pause and consider taking a personal version of the Amish approach.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery
February 19, 2020, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/19/807414527/musician-plays-her-violin-during-brain-surgery

As doctors in London performed surgery on Dagmar Turner's brain, the sound of a violin filled the operating room. The music came from the patient on the operating table. In a video from the surgery, the violinist moves her bow up and down as surgeons behind a plastic sheet work to remove her brain tumor. The King's College Hospital surgeons woke her up in the middle of the operation in order to ensure they did not compromise parts of the brain necessary for playing the violin, such as parts that control precise hand movements and coordination. "We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar, so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play," Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King's College Hospital, said in a press release. Prior to Dagmar's operation they spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement. Waking her up during surgery then allowed doctors to monitor whether those parts were sustaining damage. "The violin is my passion; I've been playing since I was 10 years old," Turner said in the hospital press release. "The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns." The surgery was a success, Ashkan said: "We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour ... while retaining full function of her left hand."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Meet the veterinarian walking around the streets of California and treating homeless peoples' animals for free
February 25, 2020, CNN News
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/25/us/veterinarian-homeless-animals-california...

When Kwane Stewart first decided to become a veterinarian, he had no idea his job would become less about the animals he treats and more about the humans who own them. The 49-year-old animal lover spends his free time driving around California and spotting homeless people with animals. His goal [is] to treat them, for no cost at all. Before taking on his role as "The Street Vet," Stewart grew up in New Mexico ... dreaming about trading in deserts for beaches. This dream eventually led him to practice veterinary medicine in California, where he ran an animal hospital before becoming the county veterinarian for Stanislaus County. As the Great Recession drove California's homeless populations higher year after year, so too did it increase the number of animals on the street. So one day in 2011, "on a whim," Stewart set up a table at a soup kitchen with his son and girlfriend. Anytime he spotted someone with an animal, he called them over and offered to give their pet a checkup. "Before I knew it, I had a whole line," Stewart said. "There was something about it that I loved. I decided to just take it to the street and walk to homeless people instead of waiting for them to walk up to me." For animals who need vaccinations, medicine, or food, Stewart pays for the costs out of pocket. However, he often runs into animals with severe issues ... that need treatment at a veterinary hospital. For these cases, Stewart uses his GoFundMe to cover surgeries and invasive procedures.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?
February 22, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/science/plants-consciousness-anesthesia.html

Your houseplant salutes the sun each morning. At night, it returns to center. You probably don’t think much of it. But what about all the signs of plant intelligence that have been observed? Under poor soil conditions, the pea seems to be able to assess risk. The sensitive plant can make memories and learn. And plants can communicate with one another and with caterpillars. Now, a study published recently in Annals of Botany has shown that plants can be frozen in place with a range of anesthetics, including the types that are used when you undergo surgery. Insights gleaned from the study may help doctors better understand the variety of anesthetics used in surgeries. But the research also highlights that plants are ... perhaps less different from animals than is often assumed. “Plants are not just robotic, stimulus-response devices,” said [study co-author] Frantisek Baluska, a plant cell biologist. Plants ... take in information from their environment and produce their own anesthetics like menthol, ethanol and cocaine, similar to how humans release chemicals that dull pain during trauma. Our anesthetics work on plants too, the study confirmed, although what exactly they’re working on is unclear. The electrical activity that moves across neurons is thought by some scientists to contribute to human consciousness. If electrical activity is being disrupted by anesthetic in plants, too, causing them to “lose consciousness,” does that mean, in some way, that they are conscious?

Note: Don't miss a time-lapse video of a pea plant responding to an anesthetic at the link above. And check out a fascinating video of plants making music. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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