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    Default Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    [Edit Note: I moved a number of posts from the Alex Jones' thread to this one because it's becoming obvious the following is happening:
    Quote "And you see, behind us, other groups were finding commonality, too. For example, in the area of medical propaganda, where I operated a lot of the time. And these groups saw they could join together for specific operations, on an international scale. They could push enormous lies globally, and everyone of their class would profit and gain wider control. So I would find myself working with a psy warfare guy from, say, France, or Germany in a joint venture. We would rub elbows. We'd be feeding from the same basic money trough.”
    See (here)

    Which we are witnessing with the shifting alliances between "elite families," political blocs or nations in their quest for the stabilzation of their monopoly, cartel, consortium, etc....]



    PayPal CEO Admits Partnership with Far-Left SPLC to Blacklist Conservatives

    By Charlie Nash
    25 Feb 2019 3:45


    Michael Loccisano /Getty

    PayPal CEO Dan Schulman admitted during an interview with the Wall Street Journal that PayPal works with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) when it considers blacklisting conservatives.

    After being asked by the Wall Street Journal what “values” PayPal identifies with,” Schulman replied,
    “Probably the most important value to us is diversity and inclusion.”
    “I think North Carolina was probably the moment that was the most visible, where we basically said this violates our core value and we need to make a very public stand on it,”
    claimed Schulman, referencing the time when PayPal pulled out of an investment in North Carolina because the state passed a bill making it mandatory for people to use the bathroom of their biological sex.
    “Businesses need to be a force for good in those values and issues that they believe in. It shouldn’t come from backlash or people taking heat on it, because then it’s in response, as opposed to the definition of who you are and then how you react to the context that you find yourself in,”
    the PayPal CEO expressed, adding that the Charlottesville rally in 2017 was a “defining moment” for PayPal to start blacklisting conservatives.

    Schulman claimed it “was a defining moment for us as a company,” that was “difficult,” because, “the line between free speech and hate, nobody teaches it to you in college. Nobody’s defined it in the law.”

    During the interview, Schulman also admitted that the far-left SPLC helps to inform “PayPal’s decisions.”
    “There are those both on the right and left that help us. Southern Poverty Law Center has brought things. We don’t always agree. We have our debates with them. We are very respectful with everyone coming in. We will do the examination carefully,” Schulman explained.

    “We’ll talk when we don’t agree with a finding: We understand why you think that way, but it still goes into the realm of free speech for us.”
    The SPLC, which also reportedly works with Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, was forced to pay a $3.3 million settlements to anti-extremist activist Maajid Nawaz last year, after the organization included him on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists,” despite Nawaz being Muslim himself.

    The lawsuit victory prompted at least 60 other organizations to also consider lawsuits against the SPLC, and in June, a Washington Post columnist declared the SPLC “has lost all credibility.”

    PayPal has blacklisted WikiLeaks, Infowars, conservative commentator and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, political activist Tommy Robinson, investigative journalist Laura Loomer, blogger Roosh V, free speech social network Gab, YouTube alternative BitChute, and a black metal music label.

    Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative were also temporarily blacklisted by PayPal, before being reinstated.

    Last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a liberal nonprofit for the defense of free expression and privacy online, expressed concern over payment processors becoming “de facto internet censors.”
    “EFF is deeply concerned that payment processors are making choices about which websites can and can’t accept payments or process donations,” declared an EFF spokesman at the time.

    “This can have a huge impact on what types of speech are allowed to flourish online.”
    “We’ve seen examples — such as when WikiLeaks faced a banking blockade — of payment processors and other financial institutions shutting down the accounts of websites engaged in legal but unpopular speech,” the spokesman continued.

    “I’m deeply concerned that we’re letting banks and payment processors turn into de facto Internet censors.”
    =======================================

    Control, control, control...
    Last edited by Hervé; 20th March 2019 at 19:26.
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    Amazon 'burns' book on Quran co-authored by Tommy Robinson

    The Independent
    Thu, 07 Mar 2019 16:44 UTC


    Tommy Robinson is a co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL) © Gareth Fuller/Press Association

    Amazon has banned the selling of Tommy Robinson's book about the Quran on its website.

    Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is the co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL), and has also recently had his profiles removed from a number of social media websites.

    His book, which he co-wrote with Peter McLoughlin, Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims kill for Islam, has now been pulled from the online retailer after being classed as "inappropriate content."

    Robinson has repeatedly accused media outlets and major companies of censorship and his co-author, Mr McLoughlin, compared Amazon's decision to those taken in Nazi Germany.

    "This is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them," he said, according to the Mail Online.

    "Can you think of another scholarly book on Islam that has been banned by Amazon? Mein Kampf is for sale on Amazon. As are books like the terrorist manual called The Anarchist Cookbook."

    An Amazon spokesperson said: "As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable.

    "That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain inappropriate content."

    The latest move comes after Robinson was banned from social media sites Facebook and Instagram.

    Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has called for Youtube to also remove his account - which the company has so far refused to do.

    Culture secretary Jeremy Wright has urged the video-sharing website to "reconsider their judgment" and said that although he believes in freedom of speech, there was a "limit".

    He told the Commons that the right-wing activist had been "banging on the door of a journalist" late at night this week, and after being led away by police "returned at 4am and continued his intimidation".

    "We believe that those who seek to intimidate others, those that seek to potentially break the law, because the description he's given the House this morning is potentially a description of criminal behaviour, that is unacceptable," Mr Wright added.

    Related:
    From the Daily Mail:
    According to Mr McLoughlin the £14 book was removed from the Amazon database, last month, meaning even second hand versions cannot be sold.

    The book is marketed as an examination of the Koran and the motivations of extremism. However, critics called it 'infantile'.

    Despite scathing reviews the author said it was 'the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran'.

    Mr McLoughlin added:
    'I can't get my head round it. Every few weeks for the past 18 months they had emailed me asking to put it into special sales programmes, as it was selling so well.

    'For 18 months they sought to profit even more from the sales. This is a book where verified Amazon customers left over 1000 five star reviews of the book over the last 18 months.'
    Tommy Robinson has become so divisive a Kent councillor was suspended from the Conservative party this week, for re-tweeting a message about him which said he had been unfairly treated by social media companies.

    Cllr Andrew Bowles, a Swale Borough Councillor for 16 years, shared the message which said Robinson was the victim of 'disgraceful injustice'.
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    Kaspersky Lab slams Apple with antitrust complaint, accuses megacorporation of muscling out competition

    RT
    Tue, 19 Mar 2019 18:28 UTC


    Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple, alleging that the tech giant removed Kaspersky's 'safe kids' app from the Apple Store to make way for its own rival product.

    The Russian firm claims in its suit that Apple removed its 'Safe Kids' app from the online marketplace, ostensibly for a configuration violation but in reality to eliminate competition to its own 'Screen Time' feature. Both apps allow parents to monitor and control their children's device usage and to restrict inappropriate content.
    "From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner...to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it," a spokesperson told WinBuzzer.
    Unlike Android, Apple's iOS does not allow users to install apps from any source other than the Apple Store. Kaspersky claims this grants the company unfair power to push its own apps on users.

    Music streaming app Spotify filed a similar complaint against Apple with the European Commission earlier this month. Apple applies a 30 percent tax on purchases made through its payment system, including subscription to Spotify's premium service. Paying this tax would force Spotify to up its prices, while refusing to pay would see Spotify locked out of Apple services like Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.

    In either case, the company's own Apple Music service comes out on top.

    Kaspersky's complaint comes less than two weeks after 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) vowed to use antitrust legislation to break up tech mergers that undermine competition, and to punish firms that simultaneously operate a marketplace and sell their own products on that marketplace.
    "We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor," Warren said in a statement.
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    European Commission Fines Google € 1.49 Bln in Antitrust Law Case

    By Joaquin Flores
    On Mar 20, 2019


    BRUSSELS – The European Commission (EC) has fined the US corporation Google to the tune of € 1.49 billion for violating EU antitrust rules. This was reported on March 20 in the EC press release .
    “Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictions on contracts with third-party websites that did not allow Google’s competitors to place their ads on these websites,” the report says.
    This is not the first penalty that the European Commission imposes on the company. Experts expect more of these kinds of fines to come, which in effect serve as a form of additional taxation. Google execs use a combination of lawfare (legal warfare) and pressure politics on EU countries in order to avoid various forms of taxation.

    In July 2018, Google was obliged to pay € 4.34 billion. The essence of the claim was that the corporation established licensing conditions for its Android operating system, thus giving priority to its own online search services and infringing the rights of competitors.

    A year earlier, the EC fined Google € 2.4 billion on charges of abuse of a dominant position in the Internet search engine market.

    Likewise, Moscow City Court ruled against Google in a suit by publisher “Eksmo.” The corporation was ordered to block access to the pages on which literary works were posted in violation of the company’s copyright. Also, Google was ordered to cover the costs of the publishing house. This is the second time that a decision has been made in Russia against the corporation for copyright infringement
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    From Jim Stone:
    HUAWEI JUST SAID WHAT I SAID:

    The U.S. wants to ban Huawei products because Huawei does not cooperate with the NSA, and does not install back doors in their products. Here it is, JUST LIKE I SAID. BINGO Remember: When I post something that is in doubt, I label it rumor. However, there was no doubt the NSA wants Huawei banned because Huawei in many cases is not hackable, and tries to not be hackable. I have said this MANY TIMES, and HERE IT IS STRAIGHT FROM HUAWEI:

    Huawei's Rotating Chairman Guo Ping:
    The US attacks on Huawei betray its fear of being left behind Proliferation of our technology hampers American efforts to spy on whomever it wants

    As a top Huawei executive, I'm often asked why the US has launched a full-scale assault on us. The Americans have charged us with stealing technology and violating trade sanctions and largely blocked us from doing business there. Mike Pence, US vice-president, recently told Nato of "the threat posed by Huawei, " and Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, warned allies that using our telecommunications equipment would make it harder for the US to "partner alongside them." On Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress, the industry's largest trade show, a US delegation including Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission chair, repeated the call to keep Huawei out of global 5G networks.

    Washington has cast aspersions on Huawei for years. A 2012 report by the House Intelligence Committee labelled us a threat. But, until recently, these attacks were relatively muted. Now that the US has brought out the heavy artillery and portrayed Huawei as a threat to Western civilization, we must ask why.

    I believe the answer is in the top secret US National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013. Formed in 1952, the NSA monitors electronic communications, such as email and phone calls, for intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes.

    The Snowden leaks shone a light on how the NSA's leaders were seeking to "collect it all" - every electronic communication sent, or phone call made, by everyone in the world, every day. Those documents also showed that the NSA maintains "corporate partnerships" with particular US technology and telecom companies that allow the agency to "gain access to high-capacity international fibre-optic cables, switches, and/or routers throughout the world".
    Huawei operates in more than 170 countries and earns half of its revenue abroad, but its headquarters are in China. This significantly reduces the odds of a "corporate partnership". If the NSA wants to modify routers or switches in order to eavesdrop, a Chinese company will be unlikely to co-operate. This is one reason why the NSA hacked into Huawei's servers. "Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products, " a 2010 NSA document states. "We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products."

    Clearly, the more Huawei gear is installed in the world's telecommunications networks, the harder it becomes for the NSA to "collect it all". Huawei, in other words, hampers US efforts to spy on whomever it wants. This is the first reason for the campaign against us.

    [Jim's] comment: YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. MULTIPLE TIMES.

    Now read it straight off of Huawei's web site. Time to ditch the Goophone, I AM IN.

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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    Germany Refuses to Tolerate US 'Blackmail' Over China's Huawei

    Sputnik Europe
    17:59 20.03.2019


    © AP Photo / Kin Cheung

    The US has been trying to force its allies to give up cooperation with the Chinese tech giant, which is building next generation networks, citing security issues. While some have followed Washington’s suit and barred Huawei from their projects, Germany has held its ground despite US threats to cut sharing intelligence.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas insisted that Germany “can never be blackmailed” when he was asked whether the country’s government could tolerate the reported threats by the US Ambassador Richard Grenell to reduce cooperation between their intelligence services if Berlin allows Huawei to take part in developing its 5G networks. Maas told the newspaper Markische Oderzeitung that the German government had held intense consultations over the Chinese involvement in building up the next-generation network.

    “Security aspects are extremely important for such infrastructure, which will shape many spheres of our lives, and we must not make lazy compromises. We do not need advice from anyone. We will make the decisions autonomously”, he told the outlet.

    However, he admitted that Germany and the US still have a lot of common interests, saying that Berlin firmly believes that working together better can help solve major issues that have an impact on the future, such as climate change, digitalisation, or migration.

    “Our answer to ‘Russia first’, ‘China first’ or ‘America first’ can only be ‘Europe United’”, Maas concluded.

    His statements echoed a recent speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who opposed excluding Huawei or any other company from the development of the country’s 5G mobile network just because it comes from a certain country. However, she also pointed out that the German government has decided to formulate requirements for the technology, which is harder to police. The country’s Federal Network Agency has published tougher security guidelines for telecom suppliers that require 5G providers to be “trustworthy” – including Huawei Technologies.

    The US has recently launched a crusade against the telecoms company, pressing American allies to cut cooperation with the company building next-generation wireless networks overseas. Washington claims that Huawei has been stealing commercial information and spying on behalf of the Chinese government, which the company has consistently denied.

    However, some countries have followed suit, as in addition to the US, New Zealand and Australia have also already banned Huawei from developing their 5G networks, citing security threats. At the same time, the UK, India, and the United Arab Emirates have been reluctant to comply, recent reports suggest.


    Related:
    German-US Spat Over Huawei Just One Issue in Growing List of Problems — Analyst


    ========================================


    Now, re-read post #5 above...
    Last edited by Hervé; 21st March 2019 at 16:43.
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    BNP founder Nick Griffin: 'We were offered big money by Zionists in 2007 under two conditions: That we attack Islam, and never criticize the banking system'

    Liveleak.com
    Fri, 22 Mar 2019 22:24 UTC



    Here's how the Zionists bought the Right's silence on Israel.

    Zionist Neocons offered Nick Griffin's BNP much-needed funding in 2007, but in return he was asked to ignore Zionist Finance & attack Islam..

    Where they couldn't buy off established parties, they created their own, hence giving rise to pro-Israel groups like the EDL, Britain First and Pegida.

    When Tommy Robinson created the EDL, it was started with its own Jewish section run by Jewish extremist Roberta Moore, who now runs the Jewish Defence League.

    This is why there were always Israeli flags flying at EDL rallies.


    This is why all 'new right' parties are ardent supporters of Israel.

    This is why it's highly doubtful that anything will change for the better with them in power.
    SOTT Comment: Since his refusal, Griffin has been castigated in UK media as a 'Nazi' (long before that tactic became commonplace).

    Assuming the gist of his claim in the above video is accurate, what does this say for the other 'new right' parties across the Western world who have enjoyed meteoric rises in recent years?

    Griffin has since been kicked out by his own party, and has tried restarting with another, the British Unity Party. At a time when it's fashionable to pillory Muslims as terrorists, Griffin is - like his fellow 'Nazi' leading the Labour Party - showing his support for Hezbollah...

    Which one is 'nationalist', and which one is 'socialist'?

    Also, compare and contrast:


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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    WitchHunt - 2019: Jon Pullman
    Inspired in part by Herve's post above, I have just finished watching this very watchable documentary by Jon Pullman: https://witchhuntfilm.org/ and I'm sharing it here for its relevance to 'competitors elimination'. At least, just for now, I think it does sit comfortably here as there are subtle nuances.

    Think of the Zionist state of Israel as a corporation in this context.

    Its theme is the villainisation of pro-Palestine members of the UK Labour Party and the singling out of Jackie Walker, by the mainstream press, which is reprehensible by any reasonable standard.

    A (typically) very good supporting article here from Asa Winstanley at the Electronic Intifada:

    "Watch the film Labour MPs didn’t want you to see"

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs...t-want-you-see

    It tells a story about Israel’s alliance with the global far-right that Israel’s supporters would rather you not hear. Acclaimed British directors Mike Leigh and Peter Kosminsky have praised WitchHunt.

    Leigh said it “exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy.”

    Kosminsky said it “packs a powerful punch” and is “telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.”


    When Bill returns from Laughlin I'll ask if we can include it in the library.
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    ...

    Quote ... the "vicious left-wing attack dog" used by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon to identify "hate groups" - is unraveling.
    SPLC Implodes: President And Legal Director Resign Amid Sexual Misconduct Scandal

    by Tyler Durden
    Sat, 03/23/2019 - 10:10

    The Southern Poverty Law Center - the "vicious left-wing attack dog" used by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon to identify "hate groups" - is unraveling.

    A week after co-founder Morris Dees was ousted over sexual misconduct claims - with two dozen employees signing a letter of concern over "allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism," the head of the SPLC, Richard Cohen, as well as the organization's legal director, Rhonda Brownstein, resigned on Friday.


    Morris Dees, Richard Cohen, Rhonda Brownstein

    Cohen had been with the organization 33 years and was one of its most prominent figures.
    At 5:03 p.m. Friday, Cohen sent a message to staff, with the subject line “Stepping Down,” announcing that he, too, would be leaving the organization that he and Dees had turned into a research and fundraising juggernaut.

    “Whatever problems exist at the SPLC happened on my watch, so I take responsibility for them,” Cohen wrote, while asking the staff to avoid jumping to conclusions before the board completes an internal review of the Montgomery, Ala., organization’s work culture. -LA Times
    Earlier this week, the SPLC board of directors appointed Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, Tina Tchen - who, in an unrelated matter, unsuccessfully tried to pull strings and have the Jussie Smollett case transferred from the Chicago PD to the FBI. Tchen is heading up the inquiry into the sexual misconduct claims.



    Tina Tchen

    Also out on Friday was Rhonda Brownstein - who had worked with the organization for nearly three decades, according to the Montgomery Advertiser's Melissa Brown.

    Inside the SPLC "Scam"

    As the Washington Examiner's Beckett Adams writes, the Southern Poverty Law Center is a "scam," which has taken " no care whatsoever for the reputational and personal harm it causes by lumping Christians and anti-extremist activists with actual neo-Nazis."
    As it turns out, the SPLC is a cynical money-making scheme, according to a former staffer’s blistering tell-all, published this week in the New Yorker. The center’s chief goal is to bilk naive and wealthy donors who believe it's an earnest effort to combat bigotry.

    The only thing worse than a snarling partisan activist is a slimy conman who merely pretends to be one. -Washington Examiner
    "“Outside of work," recalls Bob Moser of his days working for the organization, "we spent a lot of time drinking and dishing in Montgomery bars and restaurants about … the hyperbolic fund-raising appeals, and the fact that, though the center claimed to be effective in fighting extremism, ‘hate’ always continued to be on the rise, more dangerous than ever, with each year’s report on hate groups. ‘The S.P.L.C.—making hate pay,’ we’d say."

    "[I]t was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam," added Moser.
    The way Moser tells it, the center’s chief founder, Morris Dees, who was dismissed unceremoniously last week for unspecified reasons, discovered early on that he could rake in boatloads of cash by convincing “gullible Northern liberals that his group is doing the hard work of fighting “hate.”

    But the center’s supposed mission of combating bigotry doesn’t actually matter to its top brass, Moser says. It’s just a business choice and one that has been extremely lucrative throughout the years. Moser’s article reminds readers of the time Dees actually said of the SPLC in an interview with then-Progressive magazine reporter John Egerton, “We just run our business like a business. Whether you’re selling cakes or causes, it’s all the same.” -Washington Examiner
    Moser claims that the SPLC's business model centers entirely around keeping its precious donors in constant fear using gimmicks such as "hate maps" and "hate lists."

    "[T]he center continues to take in far more than it spends. And it still tends to emphasize splashy cases that are sure to draw national attention,” he writes adding the group’s “central strategy” involves “taking on cases guaranteed to make headlines and inflame the far right while demonstrating to potential donors that the center has not only all the right enemies but also the grit and know-how to take them down."
    Moser adds there is an inescapable sense of “guilt” that comes with thinking about “the legions of donors who believed that their money was being used, faithfully and well, to do the Lord’s work in the heart of Dixie. We were part of the con, and we knew it.”

    Who knew you could make the big bucks simply by lumping Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ben Carson with actual, honest-to-God neo-Nazis? -Washington Examiner
    Right wing commentator and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes is currently suing the SPLC for labeling his right-wing fraternal organization, the Proud Boys, a hate group.



    The SPLC has gone from a noble institution genuinely dedicated to eradicating hate to a hate group in and of itself that pretends this country is frothing with bigots desperate to foment World War III," McInnes said in a press release.

    McInnes has raised nearly $200,000 out of a goal of $250,000 to continue his lawsuit. From his website Defendgavin.com:
    I'm suing the SPLC. And it's not just because they destroyed my career and shattered my reputation. It's because they could do the same to you. Though this group is often cited as a credible source by the media, nobody who actually knows stuff takes them seriously.

    No, being called an extremist by the SPLC does NOT mean you're an extremist. No, being called a Hate Group by the SPLC does NOT make you a Hate Group. And no, being called a racist or an anti-Semite or an Islamophobe or a transphobe or a homophobe by the SPLC does NOT make you any of those things. -Gavin McInnes
    We wonder if there will even be an SPLC left to sue by the time it reaches a courtroom.
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    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    More Legal Troubles for Zuckerberg, and Why I’m Leaving Facebook
    by Dr. Joseph Mercola
    3/27/19

    "Story at-a-glance -
    The FTC recently launched a second criminal investigation into the company’s controversial data sharing practices. Facebook allegedly allowed tech companies broad access to Facebook users’ information, allowing companies to override privacy settings set by the user to access their data
    Facebook may now face FTC fines in the billions rather than hundreds of millions
    The German antitrust regulator, Bundeskartellamt, has become the first to prohibit the cross-application data sharing that underpins Facebook's data mining business model
    In what appears to be a case of blatant censorship, Facebook removed campaign ads by senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, calling for the breakup of monopolies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook
    Zuckerberg’s latest plan for Facebook is a shift away from being a platform for public sharing, toward “encrypted, ephemeral communications,” but invasive data mining will likely continue
    Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg are facing legal problems on multiple fronts these days. There's the class-action complaint alleging lax security measures increased users' risk of identity theft, following the 2018 hack of 50 million user accounts.1,2

    Then there's the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe into Facebook's compliance with a 2011 consent agreement to safeguard users' personal information, which has been ongoing for the past year.

    According to Fortune Magazine,3 if the company is found to have violated the agreement, fines amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars may be levied. According to a March 4, 2019, report by Wired,4 the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is also conducting an investigation looking for links between Cambridge Analytica, Russia, President Trump and WikiLeaks.

    In addition to that, the FTC recently launched a second criminal investigation into the company's controversial data sharing practices. Top executives are also leaving the company — a sign that the rats are fleeing from Facebook's sinking ship.

    Among them are Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Fox, who has been with the company for 13 years, and Chris Daniels, vice president of WhatsApp, a position he's held only since May.5,6

    FTC Probe No. 1
    The first, still ongoing, FTC investigation revolves around the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where it was discovered Facebook allowed a British political consulting firm access to some 87 million Facebook users' data, which was allegedly used in an effort to sway public opinion in the U.S. presidential election. As reported by Fortune last year:7

    "In the 2011 case, the agency [FTC] alleged in an eight-count draft complaint that Facebook had broken its promise that users could keep their information on Facebook private.

    Facebook had assured users that third-party applications only had access to data required for them to function, while, in fact, the applications had access to almost all of a user's personal information.

    Under the settlement, Facebook agreed to get consent from users before sharing their data with third parties. It also required Facebook to establish a 'comprehensive privacy program,' block access to a user's account within 30 days of it being deleted and barred it from making any deceptive claims about its privacy practices."

    Facebook insists it did not violate the consent agreement, and that Cambridge Analytica obtained user data through an app developer who violated Facebook's policies.8 According to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica told them the data would be used for academic purposes only.

    However, according to a recent The New York Times report,9 "the fine print accompanying a quiz app that collected the information said it could also be used commercially." Facebook also does not appear to have had a verification protocol in place to make sure app developers were complying with Facebook's data sharing rules.

    New Criminal Probe Underway
    All of that is now coming to a head as yet another criminal investigation into Facebook's data sharing deals gets underway.10 According to The New York Times,11 a federal grand jury is looking at partnerships that gave tech companies and device makers broad access to Facebook users' information," and Facebook may now be facing FTC fines in the billions rather than hundreds of millions.12

    Facebook stands accused of providing "deep access to users' personal information" to a wide variety of business partners, allowing these companies to override privacy settings set by the user to access their data. This, despite Facebook claiming it discontinued this practice in 2015. According to The New York Times:13

    "The sharing deals empowered Microsoft's Bing search engine to map out the friends of virtually all Facebook users without their explicit consent, and allowed Amazon to obtain users' names and contact information through their friends.

    Apple was able to hide from Facebook users all indicators that its devices were even asking for data ... Facebook has aggressively defended the partnerships, saying they were permitted under a provision in the FTC agreement that covered service providers — companies that acted as extensions of the social network."

    Zuckerberg Reveals Plan to Morph Facebook Into Encrypted Messaging Platform

    Despite a clear history of rampant privacy violations, Zuckerberg has now unveiled his latest plan for Facebook, saying the company will be shifting away from being a platform for public sharing, toward "encrypted, ephemeral communications,"14 meaning messages would not only be encrypted, but they would also be automatically deleted after a certain amount of time (unless the user opted to store it longer).

    As explained in the video commentary by Verge,15 above, there are benefits and drawbacks to the plan — if anything actually comes from it — and governments and law enforcement are likely to resist its implementation. Zuckerberg's plan was detailed in a March 6, 2019, blog post.16

    "In this note, I'll outline our vision and principles around building a privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform," Zuckerberg writes.

    "Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room …

    I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally …

    I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about.

    We plan to build this the way we've developed WhatsApp: Focus on the most fundamental and private use case — messaging — make it as secure as possible and then build more ways for people to interact on top of that, including calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce and ultimately a platform for many other kinds of private services."

    Ironically, it was recently discovered that Facebook was storing millions of user passwords in readable plaintext format (opposed to hashed) on an internal data storage system — a truly basic security mistake. To protect your account, you may want to update your password, just in case. Wired writes:17

    “… [F]ollowing a report by Krebs on Security, Facebook acknowledged a bug in its password management systems that caused hundreds of millions of user passwords for Facebook, Facebook Lite and Instagram to be stored as plaintext in an internal platform.

    This means that thousands of Facebook employees could have searched for and found them. Krebs reports that the passwords stretched back to those created in 2012 …

    [A Facebook vice president said] Facebook has now corrected the password logging bug, and that the company will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users that their passwords may have been exposed. Facebook does not plan to reset those users’ passwords.”

    Zuckerberg's Views on Privacy Shift With the Wind
    While that sounds all good and well, one has to seriously question the validity of what Zuckerberg is saying, as he has repeatedly demonstrated a complete lack of integrity when it comes to fulfilling promises of privacy. He doesn't even seem to understand the bare basics of privacy, and has been caught speaking out of both sides of his mouth on more than one occasion.

    For example, in a 2010 talk given at the Crunchie awards, he stated that "privacy is no longer a social norm,"18 implying that social networking online automatically meant you could no longer have an expectation of privacy, and that the company decided to change the privacy settings of its then 350 million users because "we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it."19

    Comments like that strongly suggest that he never took privacy seriously, and all his recent talk is merely a feeble attempt to rescue his deeply troubled company. Zuckerberg simply decided that zero privacy was the "new social norm" and "just went for it," implementing changes that stripped users of the right to expect privacy in the first place.

    Since then, Facebook has grown from 350 million users to 2.32 billion,20 all of whom are being invasively tracked across multiple platforms owned not just by Facebook but also its various business partners.

    And while some might argue that if you decide to join Facebook's "free" service, you simply have to expect and accept that you're going to be tracked and have your personal data sold in hundreds of different ways, the problem with that argument is that Facebook has become such a gigantic monopoly that if you want to communicate with a group of family or friends, you have little choice but to join Facebook, because that's where everyone is.

    Facebook also isn't just Facebook anymore. It also owns other massive platforms, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Last year, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton told CBS News he "sold [his] users' privacy" when he agreed to sell the company to Facebook back in 2014.21 "I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day," he said.

    According to reports, Facebook is now planning to merge the three platforms,22 which "will make Facebook more difficult to break up and spin off, as has been proposed by governments and regulators," Express reported back on January 26.23 Some suspect the March 13, 2019, outage that simultaneously took down Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for about 14 hours may actually have been related to this as-yet unacknowledged metadata merger.

    Officially, Facebook blamed the outage on a "server configuration change" that ended up affecting the company's apps and services across the board.24

    "Was the outage a result of Facebook trying to combine systems and get ahead of regulators, especially when this month, an open debate opened up over whether Facebook's takeover of Instagram and WhatsApp should be rolled back?" Packt asks.25 Similarly, The Register suggested:26

    "[T]hat 'server configuration change' may have been more conspiracy than cockup, a move to bring together Facebook's individual components. An effort so large and complex, it resulted in 14 hours of downtime. That may help explain why the biz is being so secretive about the cause of the outage. Bringing together everything under one roof is certainly one way to avoid potential regulatory break-up."

    Privacy Emphasis Likely a Red Herring
    The integration of Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram is a move that has been criticized by some tech experts, as it may further tighten the proverbial noose around users. As pointed out by Ari Ezra Waldman in a Slate article that is well worth reading in its entirety, although I'm quoting a larger than normal portion of it here for your convenience:27

    "Mark Zuckerberg would like you to think that winter is coming for Facebook's privacy invasive past … The news comes about a month after it was first leaked that Facebook was in the early stages of integrating the messaging services of its disparate platforms … to create an interoperable, encrypted messaging system by the end of 2019 or early 2020 …

    On its face, some of his plans are positive. Ephemeral messaging, already deployed in Instagram, can give people more confidence to share. End-to-end encryption, already used on WhatsApp, helps to ensure that the only people who can decipher a message are the sender and receiver …

    And yet, I'm concerned. Zuckerberg's post … [is] a diversion, a magician's misdirection full of red herrings … Read more cynically, the post seems to use a narrow definition of the concept [of privacy] to distract us from the ways Facebook will likely continue to expand its invasion of our digital private lives for profit.

    In his writing, it seems when Zuckerberg thinks about privacy, he thinks about encryption … In practice, privacy is about limiting data collection, placing restrictions on who can access and manipulate user data, and minimizing or barring data from flowing to third parties. Zuckerberg mentions none of that in his essay.

    When he talks about encrypting the messages users send … he neglects to mention that Facebook will still be able to collect the metadata from these messages, like who individual users message and when.

    When he talks about interoperability, he glosses over whether the merger may require users to give up anonymity they may have on WhatsApp to comply with Facebook's real name requirements. When he talks about a new digital living room, he conveniently leaves out the advertisers that will be invited into these spaces, too.

    And all the new ways platform connections will allow our information — profile data, messaging activity, clicks and hovers, interactions, GPS location, outside browsing history, and app use — to be used to help Facebook target ads in even more invasive ways."

    Facebook's Monopoly Must Be Broken Up
    In an MIT Technology Review article,28 Konstantin Kakaes also calls Zuckerberg's essay "a power grab disguised as an act of contrition," stating that "it's impossible to escape the conclusion that if privacy is to be protected in any meaningful way, Facebook must be broken up." He goes on to point out:

    "The most problematic [principle] is the way [Zuckerberg] discusses 'interoperability.' Zuckerberg allows that people should have a choice between messaging services …

    But allowing communications that are outside Facebook's control, he says, would be dangerous if users were allowed to send messages not subject to surveillance by Facebook's 'safety and security systems.'

    Which is to say we should be allowed to use any messaging service we like, so long as it's controlled by Facebook for our protection. Zuckerberg is arguing for tighter and tighter integration of Facebook's various properties.

    Monopoly power is problematic even for companies that just make a lot of money selling widgets: it allows them to exert undue influence on regulators and to rip off consumers. But it's particularly worrisome for a company like Facebook, whose product is information … At a minimum, splitting WhatsApp and Instagram from Facebook is a necessary first step."

    German Antitrust Regulator Puts the Brakes on Facebook's Unrestricted Data Mining
    February 7, 2019, Forbes29 reported the German antitrust regulator, Bundeskartellamt, has become the first to prohibit "the cross-application data sharing that underpins Facebooks's advertising business model." According to Bundeskartellamt:

    "In the future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.

    Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data, however, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users' voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data."

    With this decision, none of Facebook's services will be permissible in Germany if or when the company integrates its three messaging platforms. Should other countries follow suit, the Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram messaging integration would fall through — as it probably should.

    As mentioned, Facebook is not only a national monopoly, it's a global one, and by integrating Instagram and WhatsApp, it further consolidates two additional monopolies into what you could call a global super-monopoly with unprecedented (and likely unfathomable) data mining capabilities, which hurts both consumers and industries.

    Facebook Caught Censoring Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Posts

    U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has become an outspoken proponent of breaking up monopolies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and has vowed to introduce "sweeping new regulation of Silicon Valley," should she be elected president, the Los Angeles Times reports.30 A detailed outline of her plan can be found in her March 8, 2019, article on Medium.31

    "To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies," Warren writes, adding:

    "We must ensure that today's tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy."

    As you probably know, Facebook has promised to combat "fake news" on its platform, but it appears this censorship doesn't end at blatantly fake news articles — far from it. Information that is unfavorable to Facebook (or its advertisers) keeps getting censored out as well — including Warren's campaign to break up Facebook's monopoly.

    Three of Warren's ads were reportedly removed by Facebook, with a message saying the ads were deleted because they went "against Facebook's advertising policies." Warren took to Twitter to comment on the removal, saying this is an example of why her proposal is so sorely needed.

    Facebook reinstated her ads with a comment saying they were removed because they included Facebook's logo, which violates Facebook's advertising policy. It's a rather lame excuse for what appears to be blatant censorship of information that would hurt the company.

    I've Decided — Mercola.com Will Leave Facebook
    A while back, I issued a poll to see how you felt about my leaving Facebook. The results are now in, with a majority agreeing with my decision to withdraw from the platform.

    While it will not take effect immediately, I am making plans to close my account, so, if you're not yet a subscriber to my newsletter, I urge you, your friends and family to sign up now. My newsletter is published daily, and subscribing will ensure you get three daily articles delivered straight into your email inbox (all listed in one email).


    >>>>> Click Here <<<<<https://articles.mercola.com/subscribe.aspx

    At present, we have nearly 1.8 million Facebook followers and I'd like to give everyone some time to transition over to becoming newsletter subscribers before we close down shop on Facebook. The idea that I'm contributing to the invasive data mining of that many people has never sat well with me, and I feel leaving the platform and going back to depending on email is the responsible way forward."

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  21. Link to Post #11
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    ...

    What!? Wait a minute... say that again!


    'I've been a bad boy' Zuckerberg wants government internet regulation, says Facebook has 'too much power over free speech'

    RT
    Sun, 31 Mar 2019 11:40 UTC


    © Reuters / Adnan Abidi; Global Look Press / Panoramic

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked governments and regulators to tighten the screws on digital companies such as his own, and slap them with sanctions if they refuse to abide by rules on privacy, political or harmful content.

    Facebook has been under immense pressure from US lawmakers to crack down on supposedly Russia-linked political ads and bots they accused of sowing discord in the run-up to the 2016 election, as well as combating hate speech and protecting the personal data of its millions of users from being harvested by third parties such as the infamous Cambridge Analytica research firm.

    Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the scandal-ridden company, has embarked on a mission to repair its image, recently unveiling his "privacy-focused" vision. On Saturday, he took the damage control one step further, telling the government he's been a bad boy and needs to be regulated.

    Governments taking up a more active role in policing the internet is a good thing, Zuckerberg wrote in an op-ed published by the Washington Post. Government control would actually somehow create more freedom, he argues, by setting up an internet-sized safe space.

    "I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what's best about it - the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things - while also protecting society from broader harms," Zuckerberg wrote.

    He proposes that regulators focus on four key areas that he believes are in need of government oversight, which are "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability."

    Zuckerberg lamented that his company has been allowed to get away with too much control over freedom of speech, and suggested it should be somebody else's problem - somebody selected by politicians.

    "Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree," he wrote, adding that he believes that it should be done on their behalf by an independent body that would set the rules Facebook and others would have to follow.

    Facebook and Twitter were accused of bias and censorship after they purged hundreds of alternative media pages ahead of the November 2018 midterm election. Recently, Facebook imposed a ban on any praise of "white nationalism" and "white separatism," prompting more free speech concerns.

    In February, it blocked several RT-linked pages operated by a German-based company for not revealing their "ties" to Russia, a move that again drew accusations of "blatant censorship."

    The CEO of the tech giant, which has reportedly been under investigation by federal prosecutors for allegedly striking 150+ illicit data-sharing partnerships, said that there should be "clear rules" set "about who's responsible for protecting information when it moves between services."

    The mechanism "shouldn't require data to be stored locally, which would make it more vulnerable to unwarranted access," Zuckerberg said. "And it should establish a way to hold companies such as Facebook accountable by imposing sanctions when we make mistakes."

    Speaking about the way to minimize the spread of harmful content on the platform, Zuckerberg said that regulators should "set baselines" for companies over what content is prohibited and force them to report about how they enforce these rules.

    "I believe every major Internet service should do this quarterly, because it's just as important as financial reporting."

    Facebook has taken hits for its handling of the New Zealand mosque shooting video, which was streamed live by the attacker. New Zealand authorities say the company was too slow in deleting the video, allowing it to spread all over the internet.

    Zuckerberg's new self-punishment initiative comes as Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren suggests breaking up monopolies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google due to the vast power they have accumulated.

    Related: ================================================== =

    You know the trick, right?!
    Problem ---> Reaction ---> Solution
    ... now that these tech giants have all their tech and backdoors firmly in place, shut all doors on all newcomers... "Because it's the law!"
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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  23. Link to Post #12
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    Default Re: Global Corporations and the Orchestration of “Competitors”' Elimination

    ...

    Looks like some others are also thinking similar thoughts:


    Collective punishment? Zuckerberg's call for internet regulation is aimed at competitors - analyst

    RT
    Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:23 UTC


    "Share whatever you want on my platform! Except anything that might infringe ideological boundaries..."

    Mark Zuckerberg's support for more internet regulation is aimed at keeping Facebook competitive by forcing the government to punish all of Silicon Valley for the tech giant's dismal track record, an analyst told RT.

    In a seemingly counter-intuitive move, the Facebook CEO has asked governments to step up supervision of tech giants such as his own, and impose sanctions if they refuse to honor stricter rules regarding privacy and political or harmful content.

    Investigative journalist Dave Lindorff explained that Zuckerberg isn't motivated by accountability, but rather the desire to keep Facebook intact - and protect the company's bottom line.

    "The wolves are getting closer," Lindorff said of government regulators.

    "I think what Zuckerberg is doing is recognizing that something is going to happen, and rather than face it alone he wants to call for regulation of all his competitors, too."

    He noted that if Facebook alone is forced to face stricter regulation, the social media giant would likely lose its competitive edge.
    "If [Zuckerberg's] the only one who's regulated, he gets broken up, the company gets smaller, has less power, and gets hurt in the competition with larger entities like Google."
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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