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Corporate Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of corporate corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Google found to track the location of users who have opted out
2018-08-13, NBC/AP
Posted: 2018-08-20 03:12:20
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/google-tracks-your-movements-it-or-not...

Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so. Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP's request. Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks. So the company will let you "pause" a setting called Location History. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored." That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude - accurate to the square foot - and save it to your Google account. Since 2014, Google has let advertisers track the effectiveness of online ads at driving foot traffic, a feature that Google has said relies on user location histories. The company is pushing further into such location-aware tracking to drive ad revenue, which rose 20 percent last year to $95.4 billion.

Note: This article instructs you how to effectively delete Google's tracking of your movements. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million to cancer patient in Roundup lawsuit
2018-08-10, USA Today
Posted: 2018-08-20 03:11:02
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/08/10/jury-orders-monsanto-pay-289-m...

A jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay $289 million Friday to a school groundskeeper who got terminal cancer after using Roundup, one of the world's most popular weed killers. The Superior Court jury [found] that Dewayne Johnson's non-Hodgkin lymphoma was at least partly due to using glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup. Johnson regularly used glyphosate to spray fields while working as a groundskeeper. Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct," Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos announced in court. Hundreds of lawsuits claiming Roundup causes cancer have been given the green light to proceed to trial. Cancer victims and families presenting cases say Monsanto knew about the ingredient's risk for years, but failed to warn buyers. Johnson's doctors testified he is unlikely to live past 2020. The 46-year-old Bay-area resident worked for a California county school system and applied the weed killer up to 30 times per year as part of his pest-control responsibilities. During that time, he mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of the chemical. “Today the jury confirmed what we have known since our investigation began — that Monsanto knew Roundup contained cancer-causing ingredients and failed to take this product off the shelf and protect consumers. The company chose corporate profit and greed above humanity,” said Micah Dortch of the Potts Law Firm.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Election Hacking: Voting-Machine Supplier Admits It Used Hackable Software Despite Past Denials
2018-07-17, Newsweek
Posted: 2018-08-20 03:09:27
https://www.newsweek.com/election-hacking-voting-machines-software-1028948

One of the country’s largest voting machine makers has admitted in a letter to a U.S. senator that some of its past election-management systems had remote-access software preinstalled, despite past denials that any of its systems were equipped with such software. Election Systems and Software (ES&S) told Democratic Senator Ron Wyden ... that the company provided election equipment with remote connection software to an unspecified number of states from 2000 to 2006. “ES&S provided pcAnywhere remote connection software on the [Election-Management System] workstation to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” wrote Tom Burt, ES&S president. The election-management system is used to count official election results and sometimes to program voting machines. PcAnywhere was the name of the remote-access software made by Symantec. In 2012, Symantec told all of its customers to disable or to uninstall the software after admitting it had been hacked in 2006, at the same time that ES&S was selling election-management systems with pcAnywhere preinstalled. ES&S would not say how many systems were sold with the software from 2000 to 2006 but stressed the company stopped using it in 2007, after it was prohibited by the Election Assistance Commission. A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University discovered in 2011 that the technology was pre-installed on an election-management system that was sold to a Pennsylvania county.

Note: For more on this threat to democracy, see this excellent essay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


John Oliver Confronts Fake Grassroots Movements
2018-08-13, Time
Posted: 2018-08-20 03:07:20
http://time.com/5365190/john-oliver-astroturfing-last-week-tonight/

Astroturfing is when corporations or organization[s] try to make it seem as though whatever they are selling is part of a grassroots movement. For example when a seeming small group calling themselves Americans Against Food Taxes run a national ad campaign against a potential beverage tax. It’s not paid for by a small grassroots movement of concerned citizens, but a large beverage conglomerate lobbying against a soda tax. According to [John] Oliver, in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, astroturfing is becoming increasing common. Like a national wetlands organization funded by real estate developers and oil companies and a seeming restaurant worker group campaigning against minimum wage increase. “It’s pure straight up opposite world,” said Oliver. Some astroturfing experts work with many special interest groups, creating nonprofit shell companies of sorts to ensure that their ties to the fake grassroots campaigns can be kept secret. One of “the most infuriating tools” of astroturfing is the use of paid protestors. These paid protestors show up at places like town hall meetings masquerading as concerned citizens and reciting lines fed to them by special interest groups. The existence of these paid protestors is now a common theme on conspiracy message boards. “That is hugely dangerous,” said Oliver.

Note: The New York Times recently reported on the Koch Brothers' use of tactics like this to kill public transit projects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Tech Companies Banned Infowars. Now, Its App Is Trending.
2018-08-08, New York Times
Posted: 2018-08-13 06:12:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/technology/infowars-app-trending.html

Just days after Google, Facebook and Apple purged videos and podcasts from the right-wing conspiracy site Infowars from their sites, the Infowars app has become one of the hottest in the country. On Wednesday, Infowars was the No. 1 overall “trending” app on the Google Play store. Among news apps, Infowars was No. 3 on Apple and No. 5 on Google, above all mainstream news organizations. The Infowars app, which includes news articles and the shows of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, had likely been downloaded a few hundred to a few thousand times a day on average after its introduction last month, said Randy Nelson ... at Sensor Tower, which tracks app data. Now, it is likely getting 30,000 to 40,000 downloads a day, Mr. Nelson estimated. “This is such a niche app with niche content, that for it to make that sort of jump means it has become very interesting to a much broader audience,” said Jonathan Kay, a co-founder of Apptopia, an app analytics firm. “Essentially, it’s gone from being niche to being mainstream.” Mr. Jones has achieved infamy and financial success for spreading lies. Many of his most outlandish claims are made during his show, which runs live for four hours each weekday and is streamed and rebroadcast across the internet. YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and Apple’s podcasts service were all important distribution points for the show.

Note: How many other conspiracy websites will be shut down for "spreading lies"? What happened to freedom of speech? Will the major media be shut down for "spreading lies" of it own? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable major sources.


Man dying of cancer testifies in weed-killer suit against Monsanto
2018-07-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-08-06 00:22:34
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Benicia-man-dying-of-cancer-testi...

A former school groundskeeper, diagnosed with terminal cancer, told a San Francisco jury Monday that he called a Monsanto Co. hotline twice - once before his diagnosis, once after - and asked whether the herbicide he was spraying on the job, the most widely used weed killer in the world, could cause harm to humans. Both times ... the person at the other end of the line listened to his account of being accidentally doused with the herbicide glyphosate, and said someone would call him back. No one ever did. “I would never have sprayed the product around school grounds or around people if I thought it would cause them harm,” Johnson told a Superior Court jury. Johnson ... was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2014 and with ... a more aggressive form of the cancer in March 2015. Even after the latter diagnosis, Johnson said he continued to spray Monsanto’s product, a high-concentration brand of glyphosate called Ranger Pro, until he became convinced that it was dangerous and refused to use it in his final months on the job. His damage suit, now into its third week, is the first of about 4,000 nationwide to go to trial against Monsanto, now a subsidiary of Bayer. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. [Johnson] said ... a supervisor told him the product was safe as long as he wore long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.

Note: As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Behind the $55 Million Verdict: Johnson & Johnson Knew About Talcum Powder Cancer Risks Since the 1970s
2017-12-06, Huffington Post
Posted: 2018-08-06 00:20:20
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-bodine/behind-the-55-million-ver_b_98333...

Johnson & Johnson and its cosmetics lobby have known about the link between its talcum powder and cancer for 40 years, distorted research about the talcum-cancer connection, and lied to the public about the dangers. The big lie was exposed [when] jurors blasted Johnson & Johnson with an 8-figure verdict in a trial charging that the company knew that its talc-based Baby Powder and Show to Shower Powder causes ovarian cancer. Talc was found in the ovarian tissue after a hysterectomy of the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after using J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years, and the jury awarded her $55 million. Another jury in the same courthouse awarded $72 million on February 22 to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died last year. For decades, according to the plaintiffs, J&J and its lobby the Talc Interested Party Task Force (TIPTF) distorted scientific papers to prevent talc from being classified as a carcinogen. As a result, J&J is facing now 1,200 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey, charging it with fraud, negligence, conspiracy, and failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks. Talc is a mineral [that] absorbs moisture well and helps reduce friction. The risk of ovarian cancer is one-third higher among women who regularly powdered their genitals with talc, according to a 2016 study in Epidemiology.

Note: J & J was eventually fined over $4 billion in this case. For more, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Who Represents Us When Our Political Parties Represent Only Corporations?
2018-07-23, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2018-08-06 00:18:52
https://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/who-represents-us-when-our-political-...

We the people of the United States find ourselves in a political crisis. Irrespective of where we fall on the political spectrum, a great many of us don’t trust our own political system. Nor should we: It represents power that is captive to interests quite at odds with our own. Two recent news stories brought this home ... in a way that might help us find common cause. The first story was about a meeting of the World Health Organization. Ecuador introduced a resolution calling on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and to restrict promotion of food products found to have deleterious effects on young children. Most ... rallied behind the initiative. The United States’ representatives stood firmly in opposition. They even threatened Ecuador with trade sanctions and a cutback in military aid. The U.S. representatives left ... no doubt that they were representing the interest of transnational corporations that sell infant formula. Within days of the breastfeeding incident, President Trump was attacking the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe for spending too little on their militaries. At first mention his argument seemed reasonable. But ... our problem is not that our allies are spending too little on war, but that we are spending far too much. The interests served by bloated military ... are corporations that profit from defense contracts. Defense contractors and infant formula corporations are just two examples of the abuse of unaccountable institutional power in which both ... parties have been complicit for decades.

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


CBS chief Leslie Moonves accused of sexual misconduct in Ronan Farrow article
2018-07-27, ABC News
Posted: 2018-08-06 00:15:07
https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/cbs-chief-leslie-moonves-accused-sexual-...

The New Yorker has published a bombshell investigation of the head of CBS Corporation that includes allegations of sexual misconduct. The article by Ronan Farrow alleges that CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, including unwanted kissing and touching that occurred over 20 years ago. Farrow told ABC News that his latest piece is "about six women who did an incredibly brave thing: overcoming tremendous fear of retaliation to speak about their experiences with Moonves. But it’s also a story about dozens and dozens of sources who told us that a culture of harassment and retaliation had permeated various facets of his company," he said. The women recalled events when they were threatened with retaliation when rebuffing advances and detailed accounts of sexual assault. They "say that they are still afraid of Les Moonves," Farrow said. "They are speaking because they believe there is a broader culture around him in which he has protected other men who have engaged in similar misconduct," Farrow said. Moonves denied any allegations of sexual assault but acknowledged, "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely." A person "familiar with the situation" told The Wall Street Journal that CBS has no plans to sideline Moonves.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


Why a national tracking system doesn't show the extent of physician sexual misconduct
2016-07-06, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Posted: 2018-07-29 16:15:12
http://doctors.ajc.com/sex_abuse_national_database/

No red flags were apparent when the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine checked Dr. Jaroslav “Jerry” Stulc’s background in 2007. But within months of joining a hospital staff, the surgeon was accused of sexual misconduct. The hospital ... suspended him with pay. Then, while he was out, the hospital and medical board learned that Stulc previously had been suspended by a Kentucky hospital following allegations of sexual misconduct. Skirting federal rules, the Kentucky hospital hadn’t reported his suspension or subsequent resignation to the nationwide database established for hospitals and medical boards to share information on physician misconduct. Instead, just before Stulc applied for his Maine license, he and the hospital had agreed that he would voluntarily resign. The hospital wouldn’t mention the suspension ... to anyone who inquired. Such private agreements, along with legal loopholes and outright flouting of the law, are among the reasons the nationwide repository - the National Practitioner Data Bank - can leave patients and medical staff vulnerable, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found. Even when hospitals and medical boards file reports, they may classify violations in a way that conceals the scope of physician sexual misconduct. Because of such gaps, the AJC - in reviewing board orders, court records and news reports - found about 70 percent more physicians accused of sexual misconduct than the 466 classified as such in the public version of the data bank from 2010 to 2014.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and health.


Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court
2018-07-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-07-22 18:11:52
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/09/monsanto-trial-roundup-weedk...

Monsanto has long worked to “bully scientists” and suppress evidence of the cancer risks of its popular weedkiller, a lawyer argued on Monday in a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation. “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully ... and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. Wisner ... is representing DeWayne Johnson, known also as Lee, a California man whose cancer has spread through his body. The father of three ... is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer. Thousands have made similar legal claims across the US. The suit centers on glyphosate ... which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974, presenting it as a technological breakthrough that could kill almost every weed without harming humans. Studies have suggested otherwise, and in 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Glyphosate has been found in food, a variety of water sources, and the urine of agricultural workers. A number of countries have policies banning or restricting the sale and use of glyphosate.

Note: For more, see this article from the San Francisco Chronicle. As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Judge: Experts Can Testify That Roundup Linked to Cancer
2018-07-10, US News and World Report
Posted: 2018-07-22 18:09:48
https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2018-07-10/judge-experts-can-te...

Evidence that Roundup weed killer can cause cancer seems "weak," but experts can still make that claim at trial, a U.S. judge ruled Tuesday. The decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco allows hundreds of lawsuits against Roundup's manufacturer, Monsanto, to move forward. The lawsuits by cancer victims and their families say the agrochemical giant long knew about Roundup's cancer risk but failed to warn them. The judge wanted to determine whether the science behind the claim that Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had been properly tested and met other requirements to be considered valid. Before issuing his ruling, Chhabria spent a week in March hearing dueling testimony from epidemiologists. He peppered them with questions about potential strengths and weaknesses of research on the cancer risk of glyphosate. Beate Ritz, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, testified for the plaintiffs that her review of scientific literature led her to conclude that glyphosate and glyphosate-based compounds such as Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ritz said a 2017 National Institute of Health study that found no association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had major flaws. A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer.

Note: As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry, analysis finds
2018-07-12, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2018-07-22 18:04:14
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-migrant-child-detention-201...

Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually — a tenfold increase over the past decade. Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million dollars in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody. Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states. By far the largest recipients of taxpayer money have been Southwest Key and Baptist Child & Family Services. From 2008 to date, Southwest Key has received $1.39 billion in grant funding to operate shelters; Baptist Child & Family Services has received $942 million. International Educational Services also was a big recipient, landing more than $72 million in the last fiscal year before folding amid a series of complaints about the conditions in its shelters. The recipients of the money run the gamut from nonprofits, religious organizations and for-profit entities. They are essentially government contractors for the Health and Human Services Department — the federal agency that administers the program keeping immigrant children in custody. In a recently released report, the State Department decried the general principle of holding children in shelters, saying it makes them inherently vulnerable.

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


California, of All Places, Has Banned Soda Taxes. How a New Industry Strategy Is Succeeding.
2018-06-27, New York Times
Posted: 2018-07-22 18:02:44
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/upshot/california-banning-soda-taxes-a-new...

For years, the soda industry had an ironclad strategy when a city wanted to enact a soda tax: Spend a lot of money, rally local businesses, and shoot it down. That strategy worked again and again, until it didn’t. In 2014, Berkeley, Calif., passed the nation’s first tax on sugary drinks. Since then, eight communities, including three more cities in California, enacted similar bills. Now ... instead of fighting the ordinances city by city, [the beverage industry] is turning to states, trying to pass laws preventing any local governments from taxing their products. In California, the legislature passed a bill Thursday that will pre-empt any new local beverage or food taxes for 12 years. Arizona and Michigan have passed similar laws. In Oregon, the state’s grocers have collected enough signatures to bring a ballot initiative barring any taxes on grocery items. And legislators are considering pre-emption bills in other states, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington. In California, the arrival of the bill to pre-empt soda taxes ... came as a shock. The state has passed more soda taxes than any other, shepherded by progressive lawmakers who see them as ... a tool to fight obesity and diabetes. “The irony is that the soda companies screamed very loudly about government overreach when soda taxes began to get passed,” said Kelly Brownell, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. “But now they are looking for the ultimate government overreach when it works in their favor.”

Note: Learn how healthcare groups in California are fighting this measure in this Los Angeles Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Top Ecuador court upholds $9 billion ruling against Chevron
2018-07-11, Miami Herald/Associated Press
Posted: 2018-07-15 04:48:24
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article214688105.html

Ecuador's highest court has upheld a $9.5 billion judgment against oil giant Chevron for decades of rainforest damage. Plaintiffs celebrated the constitutional court's decision announced Tuesday night, saying it should pave the way for indigenous tribes to receive compensation for oil spills that contaminated groundwater and soil in their Amazon home. But the ruling is largely symbolic as Chevron no longer operates in the South American country. That means Ecuador's government will have to pursue assets owned by the ... company in foreign courts, where it so far has had little luck. Last week, an appeals court in Argentina rejected an attempt by Ecuador to collect on its award, echoing earlier rulings by courts in Canada, Gibraltar and Brazil. In 2014, a U.S. court of appeals ... also denied Ecuador's request, arguing that the original judgment was obtained through bribery, coercion and fraud. In an added twist, the American lawyer who for years represented Ecuador in the matter was barred Tuesday from practicing law in New York state. The New York state appeals court found Steven Donziger guilty of professional misconduct, saying that in his appeal of the 2014 ruling he did not challenge the judge's findings of bribery, witness tampering, and the ghostwriting of a court opinion.

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


The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities
2018-06-25, The Intercept
Posted: 2018-07-09 00:19:50
https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/att-internet-nsa-spy-hubs/

Thousands of people pass by the buildings each day and rarely give them a second glance, because their function is not publicly known. They are an integral part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks – and they are also linked to a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory. The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.

Note: The NSA was authorized in 2016 to share communications data it collected without warrants on Americans with 16 intelligence and law enforcement agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook
2018-06-21, New York Times
Posted: 2018-07-01 01:08:46
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/21/opinion/sunday/facebook-patent...

A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die. Taken together, Facebook’s patents show a commitment to collecting personal information, despite widespread public criticism of the company’s privacy policies and a promise from its chief executive to “do better.” “A patent portfolio is a map of how a company thinks about where its technology is going,” said Jason M. Schultz, a law professor at New York University. One patent application discusses predicting whether you’re in a romantic relationship using information such as how many times you visit another user’s page [and] the number of people in your profile picture. Another proposes using your posts and messages to infer personality traits ... then using those characteristics to select which news stories or ads to display. Another patent application discusses tracking your weekly routine and sending notifications to other users of deviations from the routine. In addition, it describes using your phone’s location in the middle of the night to establish where you live. As long as Facebook keeps collecting personal information, we should be wary.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country
2018-06-19, New York Times
Posted: 2018-07-01 01:06:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html

Americans for Prosperity ... is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes. In cities and counties across the country ... the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit. At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties. In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success. Early polling ... suggested that [a] $5.4 billion transit plan would easily pass. But the outcome of the May 1 ballot stunned the city: a landslide victory for the anti-transit camp. The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending ... dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads. Since 2015, Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots. Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-backed groups have also opposed more than two dozen other transit-related measures ... by organizing phone banks, running advertising campaigns, staging public forums, issuing reports and writing opinion pieces in local publications.

Note: The Koch brothers built a secretive empire to manipulate the political process in the US. This empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Voting machine vendor treated election officials to trips to Vegas, elsewhere
2018-06-21, Fresno Bee/McClatchy
Posted: 2018-07-01 01:04:41
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/article213558729.html

The nation’s largest voting equipment vendor has for at least nine years coaxed state and local elections officials to serve on an “advisory board” that gathers twice annually for company-sponsored conferences, including one last year at a ritzy Las Vegas resort hotel. The arrangement could compromise the integrity of the officials' decisions. As many as a dozen election officials attended the March 2, 2017 Las Vegas meeting, with a number of them accepting airfare, lodging, meals and, according to one participant, a ticket to a show on the Strip from their voting systems vendor, Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software (ES&S). The unusual practice, which has not previously been reported, offers a glimpse of one way in which a voting equipment manufacturer has sought to cement relationships with government officials, some of whom play roles in the award of millions of dollars in contracts. Ethics experts and election watchdogs say the company's hospitality and hobnobbing with government officials is potentially corrupting. Many states are continuing a shift to voting systems that produce paper backup ballots, so vote counts can be verified in post-election audits. ES&S is peddling electronic ballot-marking devices that produce paper ballots to be fed into optical scanners – equipment that critics contend should be limited to use by disabled voters. Paper ballots, they say, are far less expensive and can be scanned and quickly tabulated.

Note: Why all the focus on Russia manipulating US elections, when this alone shows how US elections are being manipulated by internal groups? For undeniable evidence that elections have been manipulated for years by political groups in the country, see our Elections Information Center.


The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children
2018-06-21, New York Times
Posted: 2018-06-25 23:35:59
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/migrant-shelters-border-crossing.html

The business of housing, transporting and watching over migrant children detained along the southwest border is not a multimillion-dollar business. It’s a billion-dollar one. Southwest Key Programs has won at least $955 million in federal contracts since 2015 to run shelters and provide other services to immigrant children in federal custody. Its shelter for migrant boys at a former Walmart Supercenter in South Texas has been the focus of nationwide scrutiny, but Southwest Key is but one player in the lucrative, secretive world of the migrant-shelter business. About a dozen contractors operate more than 30 facilities in Texas alone, with numerous others contracted for about 100 shelters in 16 other states. Trump’s order ... calling for migrant families to be detained together likely means millions more in contracts. A small network of private prison companies already is operating family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, and those facilities are likely to expand. Defense contractors and security firms are also building a presence in the system, including General Dynamics ... and MVM Inc.. In Harlingen, [Texas] one recent morning, the federal courthouse that hears immigration cases was packed. Teenagers who had been apprehended crossing the border sat in the courtrooms. In the lobby, a group of men and women ... patiently waited for the hearings to end. They were there for the migrant youth. But they were neither relatives nor lawyers. They were contractors.

Note: What this article doesn't include is the possibility that some of these children are being fed into secret mind control programs and possibly even clandestinely sold into sex trafficking. For more on this, read this essay . For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


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