You Won’t Believe What Facebook Has Banned Now…

If this sort of extreme censorship continues, pretty soon anybody that has anything even remotely important or interesting to say will be completely banned by Facebook. As you will see below, Facebook has just banned Zero Hedge, and they have also just announced that they will be systematically censoring any content that has “misinformation” about vaccines. Of course this is just the latest chapter in a relentless campaign by the social media giants to censor alternative sources of information. Since Donald Trump’s victory in November 2016, the social media crackdown has just gotten worse and worse, and it has gotten to the point where we can now safely say that free speech is dead on the major social media platforms.

It didn’t have to be this way. When Facebook, Twitter and the other major social media platforms were new, people were generally allowed to say whatever they wanted as long as they weren’t breaking any laws. As a result, people flocked to those platforms, and companies worth billions of dollars were created.

But now that those platforms are used by almost everyone, those in control have decided that only certain political viewpoints are acceptable, and the crackdown on dissenting voices has been unprecedented.

Yet with all that we have witnessed so far, I was still completely shocked when I learned that Facebook has banned all Zero Hedge content. This is what Zero Hedge is saying about the ban…

To be sure, as a for-profit enterprise with its own unique set of corporate “ethics”, Facebook has every right to impose whatever filters it desires on the media shared on its platform. It is entirely possible that one or more posts was flagged by Facebook’s “triggered” readers who merely alerted a censorship algo which blocked all content.

Alternatively, it is just as possible that Facebook simply decided to no longer allow its users to share our content in retaliation for our extensive coverage of what some have dubbed the platform’s “many problems”, including chronic privacy violations, mass abandonment by younger users, its gross and ongoing misrepresentation of fake users, ironically – in retrospect – its systematic censorship and back door government cooperation (those are just links from the past few weeks).

I have no idea why Facebook would place a blanket ban on all Zero Hedge material. I just went to share one of their articles on Facebook, and I was unable to do so.

Yes, Zero Hedge can be a little bit edgy at times, but from my perspective there is absolutely no justification that Facebook could possibly come up with for banning all content from the site.

We need to show our support for Zero Hedge, because if we don’t stand up now, eventually they will come for all the rest of us too.

This week, we also learned that Facebook will now be censoring all material that is critical of the vaccine industry

Social media giant Facebook says it will remove groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations on its site.

It’s the latest step Facebook and others are taking to stem the tide of misinformation on social media sites.

Facebook said Thursday it will take its cue from global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes.

So Facebook is actually going to use the CDC as a “neutral” source?

Really?

Well, as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has aptly pointed out, the truth is that the CDC owns 20 vaccine patents and sells more than 4 billion dollars worth of vaccines annually…

“The CDC is a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry. The agency owns more than 20 vaccine patents and purchases and sells $4.1 billion in vaccines annually. Congressman Dave Weldon has pointed out that the primary metric for success across the CDC is how many vaccines the agency sells and how successfully the agency expands its vaccine program—regardless of any negative effects on human health.”

So of course the CDC is going to say that their own products are safe, because they have billions of reasons to do so.

I can’t tell you how angry this sort of rank hypocrisy makes me.

And the impetus for Facebook’s move appears to be criticism from Democrats in Congress.

More specifically, Adam Schiff appears to be the driving force behind this latest censorship push. The following comes from Natural News

The drastic move comes after California Democrat Adam Schiff recently called on Facebook, Amazon, and various other Big Tech giants to allow only government-approved propaganda about vaccines to be shared, sold, or otherwise propagated on their platforms – an online “book burning,” if you will.

How would the left feel if the tables were suddenly turned on them?

For example, how do you think that they would react if anyone that criticized President Trump was permanently banned from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube?

There would be a tremendous public outcry, and rightly so.

Well, as Joseph Farah has pointed out, according to federal law it is illegal for the big tech giants to censor users based on their political views…

Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter enjoy privileged positions under federal law that includes standing as “carriers” and therefore immunity from defamation lawsuits – a status similar to telecoms and utilities. But it is supposed to come with a price tag under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, section 230. Do you know what is required of these non-publishers who are invulnerable to slander and libel laws? POLITICAL NEUTRALITY!

It is time to enforce the laws that we already have, and it is time for those that have been grossly violating those laws to be held accountable.

And the evidence that conservatives have been specifically targeted for censorship is now absolutely overwhelming. For instance, just consider the following numbers from Gateway Pundit

Floyd Brown is a conservative author, speaker and media commentator. In 2008 Floyd launched Western Journal which quickly became one of the top conservative websites in America. By 2016 Floyd’s organization of Western Journal and other conservative websites under his umbrella had more than a billion page views. Since 2016 Floyd’s organization lost 75% of its Facebook traffic.

Likewise, we spoke with Jared Vallorani from Klicked Media. Jared traveled to Washington DC with The Gateway Pundit and website owners at 100%FedUp in June to discuss Facebook targeting against conservative publishers with Republican lawmakers. Jared told The Gateway Pundit his organization Klicked Media, which hosts over 60 conservative websites, lost 400 million page views from Facebook in the last six months if you compare the traffic to a year ago. Jared said, “We lost 70% to 80% of our traffic if you compare January to May 2017 vs Jan to May 2018.”

If you combine the total number of page-views lost by just these two conservative online publishers you are looking at a loss of over 1.5 billion page-views from Facebook in one year.

Enough is enough, and it is time to take a stand.

In addition to confronting those that are doing the censorship, it is going to be important to support those that are being censored. So if you enjoy what they do, I would encourage you to support Zero Hedge, WND, Infowars, Natural News, SHTF Plan, Steve Quayle, The Gateway Pundit and all the other wonderful alternative media outlets that work tirelessly to keep you informed.

We are literally in a battle for what the future of our society is going to look like, and the information war is the front line of that battle.

The Internet is the “public square” of today, and that is where the struggle for hearts and minds is happening. The elite know that they cannot win an honest fight in “the marketplace of ideas”, and so they are doing their best to silence their opposition.

The stakes are incredibly high, time is running out, and we simply cannot allow them to win.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Big Reason Why We Need A Conservative Version Of Facebook And Other Social Media Platforms

Do you remember what television news was like before the Fox News Channel came along? Everybody pretty much said the same thing, and dissenting opinions on many of the most critical issues were generally not given any air time. Of course Fox News is definitely still very much tied into the establishment, but at least they started providing a “Republican” point of view which was a stark contrast to the liberal propaganda that we were constantly being force fed by the other networks. And then the social media era arrived, and suddenly everyone had a voice. For years, we could say pretty much whatever we wanted on the major platforms, and we were generally left alone. But then the election of 2016 happened, and since that time the social media giants have been cracking down on conservatives with a vengeance. Yes, once in a while a liberal voice gets “deplatformed” or “shadowbanned” as well, but the truth is that conservatives have overwhelmingly been the targets of this relentless censorship campaign. That is why we need to create a conservative version of Facebook and other social media platforms. But instead of censoring liberal viewpoints, we will allow everyone to exercise the right of free speech, and we will let the “marketplace of ideas” determine which viewpoints ultimately triumph.

But liberals are deathly afraid of a free and open “marketplace of ideas”, because their ideas consistently lose.

In a desperate attempt to regain control, they are now taking Internet censorship to an entirely new level. Instead of just banning individuals, now they want to ban entire viewpoints.

For example, Pinterest has just announced that they are searching for a way to completely remove anti-vaccination content

Pinterest said Wednesday that it would no longer return any search results, including pins and boards, for terms related to vaccinations, whether in favor or against them. It took that step in late 2018 after noticing that the majority of shared images on Pinterest cautioned people against vaccinations, despite medical guidelines demonstrating that most vaccines are safe for most people.

Pinterest told CNBC on Wednesday that it’s been hard to remove this anti-vaccination content entirely, so it put the ban in place until it can figure out a more permanent strategy.

And it is being reported that an effort is being made to get Facebook to do the exact same thing, and I imagine that will be coming in the not too distant future.

But why can’t we debate the safety of vaccines?

When I was growing up, I never imagined that the shots that I was getting could be dangerous. But when I got older I started hearing lots of horror stories, and after doing an enormous amount of research I discovered that there are some very serious safety issues that need to be addressed.

If only “stupid people” have concerns about vaccines, then why are parents that don’t vaccinate their children generally “better educated” and have a “higher income” then the rest of the population? The following comes from ABC News

Daniel Salmon, who is the director of the Institute of Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, said that existing research suggests that there are some common attributes that many parents who choose not to vaccinate their children share.

“They tend to be better educated. They tend to be white, and they tend to be higher income. They tend to have larger families and they tend to use complementary and alternative medicine like chiropractors and naturopaths,” Salmon said.

The safety of the shots that are being given to our children is of the utmost importance, and we should be free to discuss these things.

But these days, anything that does not fit the official liberal narrative is labeled as a “conspiracy theory” or “fake news”, and those labels are being used as an excuse for extreme censorship. In fact, YouTube has just announced a brand new effort to marginalize “conspiracy videos”

YouTube said on Friday that it would promote fewer videos containing misinformation and conspiracy theories, a potentially significant step to reducing the service’s potential to drive viewers toward extremist content. In a test limited to the United States, the service said it would stop recommending what it calls “borderline content” — videos that come close to violating its community guidelines but stop just short.

While YouTube said the change would affect less than 1 percent of videos that are available on YouTube, the sheer volume of content available on the service suggests the effect could be significant.

And of course the censorship of individual conservatives just continues to escalate. Conservative activist Laura Loomer does amazing work, and she never did anything wrong, but she has been “deplatformed” by Twitter, Paypal and Chase Bank because CAIR has engaged in a relentless campaign to shut her up.

Sadly, what we have seen so far is likely just the beginning. If new EU copyright rules are adopted later this year, it could literally be an apocalypse for free speech on the Internet. The following comes from the Daily Mail

EU countries have backed an overhaul of the bloc’s copyright rules which would force Google and Facebook to filter out copyright-protected content on their platforms – including YouTube and Instagram – and pay publishers for news snippets.

The proposal, endorsed by EU members states on Wednesday, is unpopular with many Europeans who view it as an attempt to censor the web.

Thousands gathered in Cologne at the weekend to protest against the move, which they say will be a de facto ‘meme ban’ – as the internet jokes are often based on copyrighted images and video.

So what can we do?

When Fox News was first created, many were skeptical that it would survive, but it ultimately became the most popular news channel in America as millions of conservatives flocked to it. Similarly, we need to create new social media networks that will be “free speech zones” where everyone will be free to share what they think without fear of censorship.

I would create such a network myself, but I don’t have the technical skills. My talents are in writing, promotion and marketing. But if enough talented people banded together, I am sure that we could establish something that would be a serious competitor to Facebook and the other social media giants.

We need to do something, because if we don’t, the big social media corporations will continue to marginalize us until we are all complete digital outcasts.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Elite Are Creating An Authoritarian ‘Beast System’, And Those That Dissent Could Lose EVERYTHING

They are transforming the Internet into the greatest tool of surveillance that humanity has ever seen, and if we stay on the road that we are currently on it is only a matter of time until our society becomes a hellish dystopian nightmare. I wish that this was an exaggeration, but it isn’t. Over the past couple of decades, the Internet has completely changed the way that we all communicate with one another. At one time, all forms of mass communication were tightly controlled by the elite, but the Internet suddenly allowed us to communicate with one another on a massive scale without having to go through their gatekeepers. This radically altered the landscape, and at first the elite were unsure of how to respond to this growing threat. There was no way that they could roll back time to an era before the Internet was invented, and so they have decided to use it for their own insidious purposes instead.

Today, the Internet has become the centerpiece of their “Big Brother surveillance grid”, and they are gathering information on all of us on a scale that has never been seen before in all of human history. But of course it was never going to stop there. Over the past couple of years we have started to watch the elite use all of this information to punish those that are doing or saying things that they do not like.

Perhaps the most extreme example of this phenomenon is what is going on in China. The following comes from BuzzFeed

Chinese journalist Liu Hu always knew he’d have trouble with the authorities; he had been exposing corruption and wrongdoing for years. He was used to being hassled with regular fines and forced apologies imposed by his authoritarian government. He nevertheless persisted in truth-telling.

One day in 2017, Hu logged onto a travel site, but couldn’t book a flight because the site said he was “not qualified.” Soon he discovered he was blocked from buying property, using the high-speed train network, or getting a loan. And there was nothing he could do about it. His rights to essential goods and services were now circumscribed through an algorithm designed to discriminate against the 7.5 million people on China’s “Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement” list.

In China they call it a “social credit score”, but in reality it is nightmarish authoritarianism at its worst.

They are monitoring all that their citizens do and think – their political opinions, their shopping patterns, their travel history, their Internet behavior, etc. – and if they upset “the Beast system” then they could ultimately lose access to everything.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

Just imagine a world in which you will no longer be able to buy, sell, open a bank account, get a loan, use public transportation or get a job.

Chinese authorities are even putting up surveillance cameras in the schools so that they can constantly monitor students

Here, the surveillance cameras took the data on individual facial expressions and used that information to create a running “score” on each student and class. If a score reached a predetermined point, the system triggered an alert. Teachers were expected to take action: to talk to a student perceived to be disengaged, for example, or overly moody.

You would think that the Chinese would rebel against such a system, but most are already too fearful to say anything about it.

And some are actually embracing the new system

In Beijing and throughout China, closed-circuit cameras and other surveillance devices are so ubiquitous that they’ve become part of the landscape. If facial recognition helps with public safety, some say, that’s a good thing.

“Perhaps people would behave themselves more,” said Xia Chuzi, a 19-year-old student interviewed in Beijing.

But we would never allow such a thing to happen here in the United States, right?

Wrong.

While not yet as advanced as what the Chinese have done, our own version of “the Beast system” is expanding with each passing day.

If you use the Internet, the technocratic elite know virtually everything about you. And as we have seen so frequently in recent months, they also have the power to “deplatform” those that they do not like

Independent Media readers are well aware of the multitude of ways big tech and social media platforms have been censoring conservatives, from demonetizing video channels, to blocking, banning and shadow banning conservatives, to limiting the reach of promotions and by “tweaking” algorithms so that search results push Independent Media sites so far down that they can rarely be found.

And restricting buying and selling is starting to happen too. In fact, we have seen numerous online payment platforms ban individuals and organizations that hold “extreme views” recently.

Over time, the information that the elite have about all of us will continue to grow, as will their desire to punish those that think or act “offensively”. But in the process of creating a “utopia”, they will actually be creating an authoritarian nightmare. The following comes from Ethan Huff

Social media is arguably the greatest accomplishment thus far of the “deep state” in establishing a new world order. For one, it allows the various ministries of propaganda around the world to project their official narratives without impediment using authoritarian censorship tactics. It also creates a virtual echo chamber of leftism that, once all the conservatives are finally removed from all the tech platforms, will create the online liberal “utopia” that the social engineers are striving to achieve.

We live at a time when political correctness has become institutionalized.

One wrong opinion, and you can lose a social media account that you spent years building up. And one wrong statement can cost you a career that you spent years training for.

Ultimately, we are heading down the exact same path that China has gone. Their “social credit score” system is being hailed as the next great thing all over the world, and those that hate freedom of speech can’t wait to fully implement such a system in the western world.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Google now accounts for more than one-third of the time we spend on the internet – while Facebook use is rapidly declining, report claims

(Daily Mail) Between the ubiquitous search engine and offshoots such as YouTube and Waze, a new report says Google accounted for over 34% of time spent online in June, according to Axios.

But, Facebook hasn’t had the same luck as its competitor.

While it seems Google is only growing, the analysis found that time spent on Facebook has plummeted, even with Instagram and WhatsApp use considered.

Connected To The Matrix: Americans Spend Most Of Their Waking Hours Staring At A Television Or Computer Screen

Before televisions and computers were invented, Americans didn’t spend any time staring at television and computer screens.  They worked hard, raised their families, personally interacted with their communities (remember that?), and generally tried to make the world a better place.  But now for many of us, the “virtual world” actually seems more real than the “real world” does.  In fact, as you will see below, average Americans now spend most of their waking hours staring at a screen.  We have willingly connected ourselves to “the matrix”, and the amount of time spent connected is rising with each passing year.  A report that was just put out by Nielsen found that we spend an average of 11 hours per day interacting with media

Americans now spend most of their waking hours watching TV, listening to music, using apps on their smartphones, or otherwise consuming media, a new study finds.

US adults are spending more than 11 hours a day on average—or about two-thirds of their waking time—consuming media in some form, Nielsen showed in its first-quarter 2018 report on US media consumption today (July 31). It measured, based on its representative panels of TV, radio, and digital households and consumers, activities like watching TV and DVDs, listening to the radio, visiting apps on a smartphone or tablet, and using the internet and game consoles.

No wonder we don’t have time to do anything else.

The time Americans spent interacting with various forms of media was up 19 minutes over the previous quarter, and here is how it broke down…

Watching live television: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Watching time-shifted television: 36 minutes

App/Web on a smartphone: 2 hours, 22 minutes

App/Web on a tablet: 47 minutes

Internet on a computer: 39 minutes

Listening to the radio: 1 hour, 46 minutes

Internet connected device: 26 minutes

Game console: 14 minutes

DVD/Blu-Ray device: 6 minutes

It really surprised me how little time Americans spend watching DVDs.  I suppose that since everything is going digital that DVDs will someday be relics of a bygone age, but we aren’t there quite yet.

Another surprising thing from the report was the difference in behavior between the generations.  According to Nielsen, older Americans actually spend the most time consuming media…

Though older generations generally spend the most time with media (adults 35-49 spend over 11 hours a day on it, while adults 50-64 do so at a nearly 13-hour clip), younger generations are at the forefront of TV-connected device and digital usage.

But young adults spend more time than anyone else consuming media on smartphones

Young adults 18-34 spend 43% of their time consuming media on digital platforms. Almost a third of their time spent with media (29%) comes from apps/web on a smartphone—the most of any measured generation.

If it seems like young people are constantly on their phones, that is because they are.  Smartphone use is at an all-time high, and it keeps going up every year.

Sadly, it isn’t just in our free time that most of us are willingly connecting ourselves to “the matrix”.  A different study discovered that the average office worker in America spends 1,700 hours in front of a screen each year…

We’re often told to limit the amount of screen time in our daily lives, but for many of us, we don’t have much of a choice. A new study finds the average office worker spends nearly 1,700 hours in front of a computer screen over the course of a year.

According to a survey of 2,000 office workers by contact lenses manufacturer Acuvue, office workers spend about 6.5 hours a day sitting in front of their computer.

So when you add the amount of time we spend staring at screens at work to the amount of time that we spend staring at screens at home, for many of us it pretty much takes up almost all of our waking hours.

Is this good for our society?

And we should talk about who controls all of this media that we are consuming.  Today, approximately 90 percent of the programming that comes through your television is controlled by just 6 giant media corporations.  Of course those 6 giant media corporations are ultimately owned by the elite of the world.

So if you spend several hours watching television each day, you are allowing “the matrix” to fundamentally shape what you think, what you believe and how you view the world.

At least on the Internet there has been more diversity of viewpoints, but now there is a massive effort to censor alternative voices.  The elite are attempting to become gatekeepers in the digital world just like they are with every other form of media.

In 2018, major alternative voices are being “shadowbanned”, censored or having their accounts terminated altogether by the tech giants.  Some large conservative websites have seen their traffic from social media fall by over 90 percent, and many of them have seen a dramatic drop in revenue.  For example, WND has seen revenue decline by about 60 percent over the last two years…

WND and the rest of the independent media are feeling the heat from the Internet Cartel, which controls traffic, revenue, search power, hosting and distribution of news and information through social media, not to mention retail sales of all books.

It’s a scary time of rapidly shrinking traffic and revenues. WND, for instance, has seen drops in revenue from more than $10 million in 2016 to $6 million last year to perhaps as little as $4 million in 2018.

All other forms of media are already completely dominated by the elite, and so we must not allow them to take full control of the Internet.

If you want to change society, it won’t do you any good to go out to the street corners or to the marketplaces because nobody will listen to you.

If you want to change society, you have to go online, because that is where the people are.

Right now we are in an information war, and the future of our country is hanging in the balance.  So let us fight this information war as hard as we can, because losing is not an option.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Twitter Has Suspended 70 Million Accounts Over The Past 60 Days In An Unprecedented Crackdown

(The Verge) Twitter suspended 70 million accounts in in the past two months as part of a crackdown on malicious activity on its platform, according to a report in The Washington Post. The rate of suspensions for May and June is reportedly twice the company’s October 2017 suspension rate.

The company has been widely criticized for years over seemingly lax efforts to police bad actors, including abusive users. As the scope of Russian disinformation campaigns were revealed, Twitter, along with Facebook, has faced increasing pressure from the public to stop trolls and spam.

European Parliament Rejects Meme-Killing Bill For Now, But It Could Come Back Later…

(Politico) The European Parliament voted Thursday to reject a sweeping reform of copyright rules for the internet age, reopening debate on a controversial bill that sets Big Tech against publishers and media companies.

The rejected bill, which aimed to beef up enforcement of copyright rules online, will now be sent back to Parliament for further discussion, and all 751 European lawmakers will be able to submit fresh amendments to the text.

After nearly two years of debate, the rare move to reject a bill already approved by a Parliament committee — usually enough to send the bill on — shows just how much is at stake.

Blogger Stabbed To Death Moments After Giving A Presentation On “How To Manage Disputes Online”

What happens online doesn’t always stay online.

In Japan, a prominent blogger named Kenichiro Okamoto was stabbed in the back by an Internet troll that was stalking him moments after he concluded a presentation about how to “manage disputes online”

A blogger and cybercrime specialist was stabbed to death in Japan moments after giving a seminar where he talked about how to manage online disputes.

Kenichiro Okamoto, known to web users as Hagex, had been arguing with a 42-year-old internet troll who turned himself in after the murder.

Okamoto was followed to the toilets after giving his speech and was stabbed several times in the back at the conference in Fukuoka, according to local media.

We live in a crazy world, and it is getting crazier every day…

Will New EU Rules Mean The End Of The Internet As We Know It Today?

(By Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan.com) A European Union committee has just approved rules that could “destroy the internet as we know it.” The two new and controversial rules change the dynamics of the internet and introduce wide-ranging new changes to the way the web works.

For starters, the rules, known as Article 11 and Article 13 could be used to “ban memes.” Article 13 has been criticized by campaigners who claim that it could force internet companies to ban all memes. It requires that all websites check posts against a database of copyrighted work, and remove those that are flagged. The reason many believe this could lead to a meme ban is that memes often use images taken from films or TV shows and could be removed by websites under article 13.  It’s just a convenient and propagandized way of making censorship sound better, though.

According to The Independent, an open letter published last week was signed by more than 70 experts, including web creator Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and internet pioneer Vint Cerf.”By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet, from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users,” that letter read.

But it gets even worse. As if that isn’t tyrannical and authoritarian enough, the EU made sure to add a tax with the creation of Article 11 – this is just more evidence that authoritarians will do anything it takes to steal more money, so here’s a tax on free speech. Article 11 introduces a “link tax”, requiring that internet companies get permission from publishers to use a snippet of their work. On websites like Google and Twitter, for instance, a small part of the article is usually shown before someone clicks into it entirely but under the new rule, those technology companies would have to get permission and perhaps even pay to use that excerpt. A letter signed by 169 academics argued that the new rule “would likely impede the free flow of information that is of vital importance to democracy.”

Though the new rules have been approved by the EU’s JURI commission, they will not go into effect until they are passed by the European Parliament.  But anyone with even a shred of dignity and a desire for liberty and free speech should reject these rules.  They amount to nothing more than hardened censorship and taxation of free speech. This is disturbing and equivalent to the book burning of Nazi Germany.

(By Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan.com)

Net Neutrality Rules Officially Ended Today

It is a new era for the Internet.

On Monday, new FCC rules for the Internet that were voted on last December finally went into effect

The net neutrality rules are no longer the law of the land.

The repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections officially took effect on Monday, nearly six months after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to roll back the rules.

In a press release Monday, the FCC said the repeal does away with “unnecessary, heavy-handed regulations” and replaces them with “common-sense regulations that will promote investment and broadband deployment.”

So how is this going to affect the future development of the Internet?

At this point, nobody is quite sure how things are going to work out…

Governments And Social Media Companies Are Collaborating To Censor Anyone That Would Dare To Question Mainstream Media Narratives

The era of free and unfettered speech on the Internet is rapidly ending. All over the world, national governments are working very closely with social media companies to take control of “Internet news”. Up until recently, the Internet really was a wonderful marketplace of ideas, and ordinary people like you and I were empowered to share information with one another like never before in human history. But now the elite have seen the power that this can have, and they are cracking down hard. The term “fake news” has come to mean any source that would dare to question the official narratives that are being fed to us from the mainstream media, and in reality the push to censor “fake news” is really just an all-out effort to eliminate independent thought. Before the Internet, it was much easier for the elite to control the flow of information, and now they are taking unprecedented measures to control the flow of information in the digital age.

Just check out what is happening in France. A proposed law would give authorities the power “to immediately halt the publication of information deemed to be false”

Under the law, French authorities would be able to immediately halt the publication of information deemed to be false ahead of elections.

Social networks would have to introduce measures allowing users to flag up false reports, pass their data on such articles to authorities, and make public their efforts against fake news.
And the law would authorise the state to take foreign broadcasters off the air if they were attempting to destabilise France — a measure seemingly aimed at Russian state-backed outlet RT in particular.

New measures under consideration by the European Union as a whole are even more draconian.

According to a Breitbart report, all social media companies would be forced to use “content recognition technologies” to “monitor and control all uploads”…

The European Union (EU) is less than a month away from voting to introduce aggressive new online copyright laws and “widespread censorship” measures, which critics say could strangle new media websites and stifle satire and online meme culture.

Unelected European Commission bureaucrats have drafted legislation which detractors say could force online platforms to monitor and control all uploads to some platforms with “content recognition technologies”. They are also said to have proposed what has been termed a ‘link tax’, which could compel blogs and other websites to pay just to reference content.

To give you an idea of what that would look like in practice, all we have to do is to consider what is already happening over in China.

Internet censorship in China has already achieved legendary status, and the largest social media network in China has already blocked at least 500 million postings in the battle against “fake news”…

WeChat, China’s biggest social media network with around one billion users, has so far blocked about 500 million postings in its fight against fake news, according to a report by a government body.

Apart from blocking the posts directly, Tencent’s WeChat is working with hundreds of third-party organisations in an effort to block postings and quash “rumours” as part of its overall effort to “safeguard cybersecurity”, according to a report released on Friday by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, an institute run by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

WeChat has built a mini-programme into its social messaging application dedicated to refuting “rumours”, including postings on topics such as the disappearance of Malaysia Airline Flight 370 in 2014 and various other topics, such as “cures” for cancer. By the end of 2017, the programme has quashed “rumours” for over 19.7 million users and around 37 million alerts were sent out.

Just think about that for a moment.

The Chinese are not just filtering out a few legitimately fake news stories.

The truth is that they are systematically censoring anything that does not fit the official narratives that they want the public to believe.

This is the greatest threat to freedom of speech that any of us have ever seen, and it has started in the United States too.

Late last year, YouTube made an announcement that it had decided to hire “10,000 new moderators” to “flag content”

“Of course, all of this comes after YouTube announced in December that it would hire some 10,000 new moderators to flag content,” Swann reported. “And those moderators have been flagging at a stunning rate.”

He noted further that in several cases the moderators were pulling entire channels “without any advance warning” whatsoever, and that most of those channels were deemed “either pro-gun or conservative.”

Since that time, conservative videos and conservative accounts have been “disappearing” in massive numbers.

Twitter is cracking down hard too. Multitudes of conservatives have been shadowbanned, and that happened to me too.

So I have started up a new Twitter account, and if you would like to follow it, you can find it right here.

On Facebook the censorship of conservatives has reached epic proportions, and now this week we learned that Facebook has decided to kill off the “trending topics” section and replace it with filtered news from “trustworthy and quality sources”.

In essence, what they want to do is to take more control over what we see and what we think.

So what should we do?

Do we keep banging our heads against the wall and continue to use these platforms that are systematically censoring us, or do we try to create new ones? Kurt Schlichter seems to believe that the latter would be the better choice…

Liberals want to win the victory they can’t achieve at the ballot box by using their cultural power to systematically marginalize and exclude Normal Americans from every aspect of society – and we can’t let them. From the business world to Hollywood, we are seeing them react to their utter repudiation in recent elections by trying to intimidate us into silent conformity as the price of us being allowed to participate in the non-governmental institutions of society. We must therefore have a two-part response to this act of cultural warfare – not only must we get right back in their smug little faces, but we must also build our own cultural institutions, ones that they can’t control.

The militant Normals built this country; they can build their own institutions too.

But ultimately if governments are the ones mandating the censorship, there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Just yesterday I wrote about how the Department of Homeland Security is now compiling a comprehensive list of journalists, editors, correspondents, bloggers and “social media influencers”, and I believe that is a very ominous sign.

The truth is that the battle to restore the U.S. Constitution is literally a battle to protect our most basic human rights.

If we do not have the freedom to think what we want and say what we want, it will only be a matter of time before all of our rights are gone.

And if the United States falls, there won’t be any guardians of liberty and freedom remaining on the entire planet.

We must wake the masses up while there is still time, because we really are extremely close to losing everything.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Are The Social Media Giants Trying To Steal The 2018 Elections By Censoring Conservative Websites?

Nobody is disputing the fact that YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants are censoring conservative material. In fact, this is probably the largest purge of conservative voices in the history of the Internet. Obviously this is going to cause large numbers of people to stop using their platforms, so why would they do this? Well, to some conservatives the answer is obvious. These social media giants watched Donald Trump use their platforms extremely effectively in 2016, and many believe that they are absolutely determined to never let that happen again. In fact, Mike Adams of Natural News is completely convinced that there is a concerted effort by these social media giants to steal the 2018 elections…

The realization is suddenly obvious: The Google / YouTube selective “censorship rampage” that has targeted conservative websites and content creators is a brazen, illegal scheme to interfere with U.S. elections and steal the 2018 mid-terms.

The systematic silencing of conservative views is necessary, of course, for Democrats to win enough seats to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives after the mid-term elections. Once control is established, Democrats will immediately move to impeach President Trump. Although the Senate would not likely prosecute that impeachment, the mere achievement of the U.S. House declaring “impeachment” would be enough to convince most brainwashed news consumers that Trump is somehow a guilty criminal (nobody will remember that Bill Clinton was also impeached by the House). From there, the 2020 presidential election is also stolen, and Democrats land their selected tyrant in the White House just in time for Ginsberg’s retirement from SCOTUS.

If voices on the left were being censored to the same degree as conservative voices, it would be really hard to make such an argument.

But the truth is that the numbers show that conservative voices are being hit extremely hard by the censorship while liberal publishers have been mostly “unaffected”

Facebook’s January 12 announcement that it would begin to de-prioritize news publishers and their posts in users’ News Feeds has had a surprisingly profound and partisan impact. According to The Outline’s analysis of Facebook engagement data obtained from research tool BuzzSumo, conservative and right-wing publishers (such as Breitbart, Fox News, and Gateway Pundit) were hit the hardest in the weeks following the announcement, with Facebook engagement totals for February dropping as much as 55 percent for some, while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected.

And this even applies to politicians as well. For example, President Trump’s engagement on Facebook has fallen 45 percent since the algorithm change…

The algorithm change caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%.

In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement.

Top conservative Facebook pages with daily traffic in the millions have seen 75% to 95% drop in traffic.
Young Cons, Western Journalism, SarahPalin.com, Independent Journal Review, Right Wing News, and several others have seen dramatic loss in traffic.

Needless to say, my website (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/) has been affected as well.

So what can we do?

We can fight back. One of the primary ways that we can do that is by electing pro-Trump candidates all over the nation in 2018. Right now I am engaged in an extremely close race with three guys that did not want Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination in 2016, and I need your help to win on May 15th.

It is fundamentally wrong for the social media giants to pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. I will fight online censorship as hard as I can in Washington, and if you believe in what we are trying to do I hope that you will stand with us.

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Michael Snyder For Congress
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Whenever radical leftists have taken power anywhere in the world, they have always tried to shut down free speech.

They want to follow the same formula in the United States, but we are not going to allow them to do that.

There are millions upon millions of red-blooded Americans that still greatly love this nation, and this silent majority is rising up to take our country back.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District. If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805. To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

This Is The Worst Purge Of Conservative Voices In The History Of The Internet

In recent weeks, we have witnessed an unprecedented social media crackdown on conservative voices. YouTube’s war with Alex Jones has gotten the most attention, but literally hundreds of conservative content creators have had their accounts penalized, suspended or deleted by YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants. There appears to be a coordinated effort to target conservative viewpoints, because similar voices on the left are not receiving equal treatment. If I win my race for Congress on May 15th, I am going to make fighting this sort of censorship one of my top priorities once I get to Washington.

How would you feel if you spent years creating videos and building up a subscriber base only to have all of that work wiped out in a single moment by a leftist YouTube moderator?

Sadly, that is precisely what is happening to dozens upon dozens of conservatives right now…

Writing for Polygon.com, Julia Alexander noted that, “Whenever YouTube institutes a tougher moderation stance, a common debate emerges over censorship—especially from notable conservative voices.”

Specifically, she explained, “Questions over YouTube’s moderators and the power they hold were raised this week after notable conservative pundits, gun advocates, conspiracy channels and other right-wing voices received community strikes or were locked out of their channels. Creators who are affected by lockouts, strikes and suspensions are referring to it as the ‘YouTube Purge,’ claiming that YouTube is purging all right-wing or pro-gun content. The move follows the company’s attempt to clamp down on dangerous content following the Parkland shooting.”

One of the most disturbing examples of censorship was what happened to the Health Ranger channel. Mike Adams is a personal friend, and I am extremely upset about what YouTube has done to him

As we reported over the weekend, YouTube terminated the entire Health Ranger video channel on Saturday, wiping out over 1,700 videos and approximately 350K+ subscribers. This was done, of course, as part of the YouTube left-wing PURGE now being carried out against non-establishment speakers who are being targeted for political reasons.

YouTube’s censorship rampage also wiped out all my videos on the donkeys I rescued, the range-free chickens I raise and even the beautiful ice crystals I captured on video over the winter. In its censorship sweep, YouTube is obliterating thousands of videos without cause, violating the civil rights of informative internet users and functioning as a criminal techno-cartel.

There is absolutely no reason for YouTube to do this. Mike Adams has literally helped millions of people through his work, and I am urging all of my readers to contact YouTube and demand that they restore his channel immediately.

Of course YouTube is not the only one that is cracking down on conservative voices. Here are a few examples of what Facebook has been doing

Young Cons: This very popular conservative news site had millions of daily readers during the recent election, and the site received nearly all its traffic from Facebook (Lesson: Never put all your marketing eggs in one basket). Facebook has been increasingly censoring Young Cons stories since 2016; now the site struggles mightily and regularly switches domains in order to maintain traffic.

SaraPalin.com: At one point the former GOP VP nominee and Alaska governor’s website was serving up stories to her four million Facebook followers, but she, too, had to begin switching domains in order to maintain traffic.

Right Wing News: This site grew to massive proportions over the past few years, in large part thanks to its meteoric popularity on Facebook. During one week in 2015, the site’s Facebook page reached 133 million people. The site was driving about the same amount of web traffic as some of the biggest newspapers in the U.S. But since 2016 Facebook began blocking traffic to the site; its owner, John Hawkins, announced he would shut it down in January (it’s still online but the content is not regularly updated).

Independent Journal Review: This, too, was a large conservative news and information source, but because it was overly reliant on Facebook traffic, the site had to terminate a number of its employees last week, leaving the fate of the Millennial-focused site in doubt.

And Twitter has been censoring conservatives as well.

In particular, Twitter seems to really dislike pro-life activists

Pro-life group Live Action cried foul in 2017 after Twitter demanded it delete pro-life images, such as fetal ultrasounds, from its Twitter feed and website before allowing the group to run advertisements. Live Action refused the request.

Another pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, was barred in October from running a video advertisement, because it used the phrase “killing babies” to refer to abortion. “No advertiser is permitted to use the phrase ‘killing babies,’” Twitter told the group.

That same month, Twitter blocked an advertisement by Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign for Senate in Tennessee. Twitter objected to one line Blackburn said: “I’m 100% pro-life. I fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts –thank God.”

If you don’t stand up when you see others being censored, then please don’t complain when the social media giants censor you as well. I think that Dr. Michael Brown made this point exceedingly well in his most recent article

First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out—because I found them offensive.

Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out—because I found them obnoxious.

Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out—because I found them opinionated.

Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out—because I have my own life to live.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This is why we need good liberty-minded people to run for office all over the nation.

If we do not fight back, this sort of oppression is only going to get worse. Right at this moment I am engaged in an extremely tight race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and if you want me to go to Washington and defend our free speech rights, please consider making a contribution because we desperately need it right now…

Donate By Credit Card Online: https://secure.anedot.com/michaelsnyderforcongress/donate

Donate By Paypal: https://donorbox.org/michael-snyder-for-congress

Donate By Check: Make your check out to “Michael Snyder For Congress” and send it to the following address…

Michael Snyder For Congress
PO Box 1136
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

In the entire history of the Internet, we have never seen this sort of a coordinated purge before.

The left believes that they are going to win, but we are definitely not going to allow that to happen.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District. If you would like to help him win on May 15th, you can donate online, by Paypal or by sending a check made out to “Michael Snyder for Congress” to P.O. Box 1136 – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805. To learn more, please visit MichaelSnyderForCongress.com.

Will The Globalists Use The New Net Neutrality Rules To Shut Off Access To Alternative News Websites?

Many are applauding the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality, but I believe that this is a huge mistake. Hopefully the worst case scenarios will not play out, but if they do we could be looking at the end of the Internet as we know it today. We have all become quite accustomed to going anywhere on the Internet that we would like, but thanks to this decision the big Internet service providers could start to turn the Internet into another version of cable television. Websites that are not part of your “Internet package” would either load much slower or would not be accessible at all. Essentially, the big Internet service providers could eventually become “gatekeepers” that would decide what you would and would not be able to see on the Internet. So if they didn’t like the views of a particular website (such as this one), they could simply block access to it and their subscribers would no longer be able to get to it.

A free and open Internet is one of the key tools that we are using to wake people up all over the world, and the globalists have been desperate to find a way to clamp down on us. That is why the FCC’s decision today is so chilling

In a partisan vote repealing net-neutrality protections, the FCC has lifted restrictions that prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking certain websites or from charging companies and customers more for internet “fast lanes.”

Those so-called fast lanes could mean the difference between a smooth, TV-like experience watching online videos or a frustrating frozen screen — a vital distinction as services like entertainment, news, and education shift to online platforms.

As long as the Internet has existed, Internet service providers have generally treated all websites equally. But now these new rules will give large ISPs unprecedented control over Internet activity. The following comes from Rolling Stone

The existing regulations, put into place by Pai’s predecessor Tom Wheeler in 2015, codified longstanding Internet practice by explicitly requiring ISPs to treat all Internet traffic equally. In contrast to a cable provider, which can decide exactly what networks or services customers get for their monthly fee, ISPs are forbidden from discriminating among their customers. When you pay your fee to get online, you get everything. But under the new regime, a handful of the most powerful telecommunication companies in the U.S. – Comcast, Verizon, AT&T – will have unlimited freedom to slice and dice the Internet ecology as they please.

Today, nearly 50 million homes in the United States only have access to one high speed Internet provider.

Now those high speed providers will be able to pick winners and losers, and you will not have any control over the decisions that they make. You could choose to go with another provider, but they will probably be engaged in the exact same type of activity as well.

So much of this debate is centered on Internet speed, but to me the greatest danger is the fact that Internet service providers will now be able to block any website that they want

Under the new rules, called the Restoring Internet Freedom order, ISPs also must disclose any cases in which they prioritize some content, whether its their own or that of a paying partner, over other content. The new order also eliminates an Internet conduct standard meant to prevent ISPs from unreasonable interference with consumer’s access to destinations on the Net.

The big Internet service providers are owned by the globalists.

Could the globalists try to destroy the alternative media by simply blocking their users from ever going to alternative news websites?

I hope that it doesn’t happen, but these new rules open that door.

If you don’t think that this is serious, I would like for you to consider what a Rolling Stone article is saying on the matter…

It gets worse. Because under the new rules (or really, lack of any rules whatsoever), ISPs won’t just be free to charge more for better tiers of access, they will also be free to block access to whatever part of the Internet they feel serves their financial interests. AT&T could cut a deal making Microsoft Bing its default search engine, and block Google entirely. Comcast might decide that it makes no sense to allow Netflix to compete with its own streaming services, and strangle off access to the site. Verizon could decide that Fox News’ reporting is more in line with its corporate interests than CNN or The New York Times.

We should all fight as hard as we can to keep the Internet free and open.

If we don’t, someday we may only be able to access a few thousand websites that have been “pre-approved” by the big Internet service providers.

If I was a company such as Netflix that depends entirely on the large ISPs to deliver their content, I would be scared to death by this decision.

But if we lose Netflix, our society would still be okay.

However, if we lose our ability to communicate with one another over a free and open Internet, the loss to our society would be incalculable.

As a member of Congress, I will fight to make sure that Internet service providers cannot deny access to parts of the Internet that they don’t like. This is one of the greatest threats to free speech that I have ever seen, and this decision literally has the potential to destroy the Internet that we know and love today.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

How A North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Attack Could Kill Millions And Turn America Into A Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

This is why North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is so important. North Korea had test fired a total of 22 missiles so far this year, but this latest one showed that nobody on the globe is out of their reach. In fact, General Mattis is now admitting that “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world”, and that includes the entire continental United States. In addition to hitting individual cities with nukes, there is also the possibility that someday North Korea could try to take down the entire country with an EMP attack. If the North Koreans detonated a single nuclear warhead several hundred miles above the center of the country, it would destroy the power grid and fry electronics from coast to coast.

I would like you to think about what that would mean for a few moments. Suddenly there would be no power at home, at work or at school. Since nearly all of our vehicles rely on computerized systems, you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere and nobody would be able to get to you. And you wouldn’t be able to contact anyone because all phones would be dead. Basically, pretty much everything electronic would be dead. I am talking about computers, televisions, GPS devices, ATMs, heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, credit card readers, gas pumps, cash registers, hospital equipment, traffic lights, etc.

For the first couple of days life would continue somewhat normally, but then people would soon start to realize that the power isn’t coming back on and panic would begin to erupt.

The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea just launched traveled almost 1,000 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 kilometers. We have been told for decades that this would never be allowed to happen, but now it has happened

This is concerning for one big reason: according to General Mattis, the North Korean ICBM “went higher, frankly, than any previous” and “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world.” This was confirmed by North Korea missile analyst, Shea Cotton, who cited Allthingsnuclear author David Wright, and who told the BBC that the initial estimates of the ICBM test mean that North Korea can now reach New York and Washington DC.

If we had been working hard to develop our anti-missile technology all these years, this wouldn’t be a problem.

But at this point we are way behind the Russians in this regard, and there is a very real possibility that a missile launched by the North Koreans could make it through the very limited anti-missile defenses that we do have.

Once upon a time, discussions about a North Korean EMP threat were mostly hypothetical, but now that has completely changed. North Korea has clearly demonstrated that they are able to deliver such an attack, and last September Kim Jong Un publicly admitted that North Korea intended to develop this capability

But most reporters missed a key threat that appeared at the bottom of Kim’s public statement, when he bragged that North Korea had harnessed “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.”

So now we know. Launching an electromagnetic pulse attacks against its enemies is one of North Korea’s strategic goals. And for North Korea, the United States is the top enemy.

And like I said earlier, all it would take would be a single well placed nuclear detonation to fry electronics from coast to coast. The following comes from the Daily Mail

Theoretically, a sufficiently powerful bomb detonated at an altitude of 249 miles would wipe out all electronics in the US, save the southernmost top of Florida and the easternmost states – as well as affecting Canada and Mexico.

Without power, nothing would get distributed. That means that very rapidly there would be no food, no water and no medicine available in your community. An article posted by Fox News this week used the term “post-apocalyptic” to describe what we would be facing…

It all starts to sound very post-apocalyptic when you realize this means no lights or other electric-powered devices in homes and businesses, no water filtration, no regional food hubs, no transportation grid – none of the things we take for granted in modern civilization.

Like I stated earlier, things would be relatively fine for a few days, but then once everyone realizes that the power isn’t coming back on there would be chaos on a scale unlike anything we have ever seen before. The following comes from an article by Mac Slavo

The first 24 – 48 hours after such an occurrence will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional.

Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.

Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can’t be restocked and water pump stations fail.

So what kind of a “mass die off” would we be talking about?

Well, some of the top experts in the field believe that “up to 90 percent of all Americans” could end up dead if the power outage lasted long enough…

William Graham, chairman of the former EMP commission and its former chief of staff, Peter Vincent Pry, warned the hearing that such an attack could “shut down the US electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans.

Others believe that the figure would be lower, but pretty much everyone agrees that the death toll would be in the millions.

This is one of our greatest strategic vulnerabilities, and our power grid could be hardened against an EMP attack for just a few billion dollars. This is something that I am pushing very hard for, but right now it is just not a priority for our leaders in Washington.

In fact, they have actually pulled funding from the commission that was looking into the EMP threat…

On Sept. 30, the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat of Electromagnetic Pulse to the United States of America shut its doors after a failure to secure funding from Congress.

Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with the words to describe how incredibly foolish Congress is being.

An EMP attack is a greater threat than ever before, and yet Congress didn’t even want to come up with a little bit of funding for the commission that was working on a plan to protect us.

This is yet another example that shows that we need new leadership on Capitol Hill, because right now the people that we have “representing” us in Washington seem to be completely and utterly clueless about almost everything.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Secret Code Is Recording Every Keystroke You Make On More Than 400 Of The Most Popular Websites On The Internet

If someone secretly installed software on your computer that recorded every single keystroke that you made, would you be alarmed? Of course you would be, and that is essentially what is taking place on more than 400 of the most popular websites on the entire Internet. For a long time we have known that nothing that we do on the Internet is private, but this new revelation is deeply, deeply disturbing. In my novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End”, I attempted to portray the “Big Brother” surveillance grid which is constantly evolving all around us, but even I didn’t know that things were quite this bad. According to an article that was just published by Ars Technica, when you visit the websites that have installed this secret surveillance code, it is like someday is literally “looking over your shoulder”…

If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you’re not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.

Go back and read that again.

Do you understand what that means?

Even if you ultimately decide not to post something, these websites already know what you were typing, where you clicked and how you were moving your mouse.

Essentially, it is like someone is literally sitting behind you and watching every single thing that you do on that website. The following comes from the Daily Mail

In a blog post revealing the findings, Steven Englehardt, a PhD candidate at Princeton, said: ‘Unlike typical analytics services that provide aggregate statistics, these scripts are intended for the recording and playback of individual browsing sessions, as if someone is looking over your shoulder.

This is fundamentally wrong, and if I am elected to Congress I am going to fight like mad for our privacy rights on the Internet. Nobody should be allowed to literally monitor our keystrokes, but according to a brand new study that has just been released, 482 of the largest websites in the entire world are doing this

A study published last week reported that 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites employ such scripts, usually with no clear disclosure. It’s not always easy to detect sites that employ such scripts. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, particularly among sites outside the top 50,000 that were studied.

“Collection of page content by third-party replay scripts may cause sensitive information, such as medical conditions, credit card details, and other personal information displayed on a page, to leak to the third-party as part of the recording,” Steven Englehardt, a PhD candidate at Princeton University, wrote. “This may expose users to identity theft, online scams, and other unwanted behavior. The same is true for the collection of user inputs during checkout and registration processes.”

I am calling on every website that is using this sort of code to cease and desist immediately. This is a gross violation of our privacy, and Congress needs to pass legislation protecting the American people immediately.

And of course it isn’t just the Internet where are privacy rights are being greatly violated. The CIA has developed software that can remotely turn on the cameras and microphones on our phones whenever they want, and they can also use our phones as GPS locators to track us wherever we go

CIA-created malware can penetrate and then control the operating systems for both Android and iPhone phones, allege the documents. This software would allow the agency to see the user’s location, copy and transmit audio and text from the phone and covertly turn on the phone’s camera and microphone and then send the resulting images or sound files to the agency.

So just like the Internet, nothing that you do on your phone is ever truly private.

And would you be shocked to learn that our televisions can be used to spy on us as well?

Incredibly, they can even be used to monitor us when they appear to be turned off

A program dubbed “Weeping Angel” after an episode of the popular British TV science fiction series “Dr. Who,” can set a Samsung smart TV into a fake “off” mode to fool the consumer into thinking the TV isn’t recording room sounds when it still is. The conversations are then sent out via the user’s server. The program was developed in conjunction with MI5, the British FBI equivalent of a domestic counterintelligence and security agency, according to the WikiLeaks documents.

We are rapidly getting to the point where nothing will ever be truly private in our society ever again.

Virtually everything that we do is constantly being watched, tracked, monitored and recorded, and with each passing day our level of privacy is being eroded just a little bit more.

If you don’t want your children to grow up in a world where “Big Brother” is omnipresent, now is the time to stand up and fight. We can put limits on technology and start reclaiming our privacy, but that is only going to happen if we all work together.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Internet Crackdown Begins: U.S. Senator Al Franken Wants Google, Facebook And Twitter To Censor Political Speech

Are the days of the free and open Internet numbered? The Internet is certainly used for all sorts of horrible things, but it has also allowed ordinary people to communicate on a mass scale that would have been unimaginable decades ago. In the old days, if you wanted to reach large audiences of people with your information you always had to go through corporate gatekeepers. But today, anyone with an Internet connection can literally broadcast whatever they want to say to the whole world. Personally, my wife and I have always been amazed at how many people we are able to touch all over the planet from our little home in the mountains. Over the past seven years our websites have been viewed more than 100 million times, and we receive emails about our work from people all over the globe.

Unfortunately, major changes may soon be coming to the Internet. The election of Donald Trump really angered the elite, and they are blaming the power of the Internet for his victory. They insist that something must be done “for the good of democracy”.

For example, in an opinion piece for the Guardian, U.S. Senator Al Franken proposed that it is time for the U.S. government to step in because Google, Facebook and Twitter have failed to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech

As lawmakers grapple with the revelations regarding Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 election, many are shocked to learn the outsized role that the major tech companies play in so many aspects of our lives. Not only do they guide what we see, read, and buy on a regular basis, but their dominance – specifically in the market of information – now requires that we consider their role in the integrity of our democracy.

Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech.

Those are very ominous words.

So precisely what would constitute “propaganda”, “misinformation” or “hate speech”?

When you start regulating speech, you cross a very dangerous line. There is a reason why our founders guaranteed us freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights, because if we don’t have the freedom to say what we want then what do we really have left?

During the presidential election, there was a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton’s health. The mainstream media insisted that she was just fine, and they accused those of us in the alternative media that were questioning her health of engaging in “propaganda” and “misinformation”. Well, it turns out that we now know that Clinton’s health was so bad that Donna Brazile was actually considering replacing her as the nominee, and so it was actually the mainstream media that was putting out “propaganda” and “misinformation”.

Any effort to institute some sort of “truth police” would take us significantly down the road to totalitarianism, but apparently that is what Franken wants. In fact, he is openly suggesting that it is time for government regulators to step in

Instead of simply trusting the big tech companies to police how their services are being used and abused, Franken suggested that regulators need to step in. Lawmakers should take a closer look at the influence technology plays in the everyday lives of Americans by conducting “vigorous oversight in the form of investigations and hearings to fully understand current practices and the potential for harm,” the Minnesota senator said.

“I’m hopeful that recent events will encourage regulators, as well as a broader contingent of my colleagues — on both sides of the aisle — to give this issue the attention it deserves,” he said.

So once government regulators begin regulating speech on the Internet, where will it end?

Will everything that we do on the Internet have to be evaluated for “truthiness” before it is allowed to be posted?

And who decides what the “truth” actually is?

I am a big believer in the marketplace of ideas. I have always been convinced that if everyone is allowed to openly share what they believe that the truth will win in the end.

Of course the elite are scared of the free exchange of ideas, because that gives the people way too much control over their own destiny. Prior to the Internet age, they were always in control of the flow of information in our society, but now things have changed dramatically.

They desperately want to get control of the Internet, because they want things to go back to the way that they used to be. But we can’t allow that to happen, and so we must greatly resist any attempts to regulate speech on the Internet.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Michael Snyder: 25 Things I Think That I Think About The Future Of America

Is there hope for the future of America?  Following the election of Donald Trump, such a question often evokes some extremely strong emotions from people.  And even more surprising, it can turn people that are supposedly on the same side viciously against one another.  Because of what I do, I spend an enormous amount of time on the Internet, and it greatly saddens me when I see people that should be working together attacking each other instead.  No matter what your perspective may be, and no matter how right you think you are, the truth is that this nation is not going to have any hope for the future unless we start to learn how to love one another.

One of my all-time favorite sportswriters is Peter King, and in his Monday Morning Quarterback column he always has a section entitled “Ten Things I Think I Think”.  I have always admired his writing style, and so I am taking some inspiration from him today as I share some thoughts about the future of our country.  The following are 25 things I think that I think about the future of America…

#1 So many people that are supposed to be standing up for what is right are turning their guns on each other.  A house that is divided will surely fall, and if we don’t figure out who are friends are we are going to get routed by an enemy that is coming against us in a thousand different directions.

#2 Love is supposed to be the distinguishing feature in all that we do.  We are to love people as much as we can, for as long as we can and in as many ways that we can.

#3 Donald Trump is not America’s Lord and Savior.  Donald Trump’s role is to be our lead blocker.  In other words, it is up to him to keep the pressure off of the rest of us so that we can do the job that we are intended to do.

#4 So many people are so bitterly divided about what Donald Trump’s presidency will bring.  Some believe that wonderful times are ahead, while others believe that things are about to get really bad.  But no matter what you believe, we should all be praying for Trump, supporting Trump and hoping for the best for his presidency.

#5 If you are on the winning end, try to show grace to those that didn’t, because someday you may find yourself in that exact same position.

#6 Political change does not equal spiritual change.

#7 If someone spends more time pointing fingers at others than they do proclaiming the truth, that is a major red flag.

#8 One of the keys to life is forgiveness.  So let us choose to forgive one another and to do what we can to work together to rebuild our once great nation.

#9 Many people seem to think that the war is over because Donald Trump won the election.  But the truth is that the battles are just beginning.

#10 Calling people names rarely leads to anything good.

#11 Donald Trump cannot change a single heart.  Only Jesus Christ can do that.

#12 If you feel hate for someone, you are on the wrong track.

#13 When you think that you know all the answers, it can be incredibly humbling when you finally realize that you really don’t.

#14 How much you love is far more important than how much you know.

#15 If the body of Christ in America cannot be united now, when will it ever be?

#16 Spiritual greatness does not come from winning arguments.

#17 The preaching of the gospel is far more important than any political agenda.

#18 All of the great revivalists throughout American history have preached against sin.  If you are not preaching against sin, you are not preaching revival.

#19 A great move of God is coming.  I have been relentlessly proclaiming this for years, often when it has been very unpopular to do so.

#20 Many are hoping for a great move of God instead of shaking.  But the truth is that we should be thankful for the shaking that is coming because it will shake many into the Kingdom.

#21 The period of time just before the return of Jesus Christ will be the most chaotic in all of human history.  Whether the events that Jesus describes in Matthew 24 and elsewhere are close at hand or not is certainly open for debate, but without a doubt those events are coming.

#22 God is raising up a Remnant in these last days.  We know that this Remnant will exist because Revelation 12:17 and Revelation 14:12 tell us that it will.  This Remnant will keep God’s commandments, it will bring in the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen, and it will move in the power of the Holy Spirit like we haven’t seen since the Book of Acts.

#23 Many people are quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14 these days, and Vice-President Mike Pence even had his hand on that portion of Scripture when he was inaugurated. But the promises in that verse are dependent on God’s people turning from their wicked ways…

14 if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Considering the fact that about two-thirds of all Christian men view pornography on a regular basis, we have a long way to go if we are to turn from our wicked ways.

#24 2 Chronicles 7:14 is part of a larger passage in which God has some very ominous warnings for those that will not keep His ways.  In verses 19 and 20, God warns of great disaster if His people abandon His statutes and commandments…

19 But if the people turn aside and abandon My statutes and commandments that I have given to you, and you walk after and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot them from My land that I have given to them; and the house that I have consecrated for My name, I will throw it from before Me and set it as a proverb and taunt among the peoples.

#25 There is always hope if we will turn from our wicked ways and will do the things that God has instructed us to do.  There is hope for each of us individually, and there is hope for us as a nation.  But without Jesus, we have no hope at all.

It’s new and it’s bad: Yahoo announces a security breach involving one billion accounts

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Yahoo late Wednesday disclosed a breach that took place in August 2013 that may have resulted in the theft of data associated with more than one billion user accounts.

This new, 1-billion-account breach is separate from a 500-million-account breach the company disclosed in September. At the time, the 500-million-account breach was believed to be the largest on record. Yahoo shares fell 2% after hours.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Massive Cyberattack Hits America – Will Russia Take Down The Entire Internet If We Go To War?

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We just learned a very important lesson about how exceedingly vulnerable our Internet truly is.  On Friday, three massive waves of cyberattacks took down some of the biggest websites on the entire Internet.  Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Etsy, Business Insider, Github, Spotify, the New York Times and the Boston Globe were among the prominent websites affected.  Security experts tells us that with each passing month these kinds of attacks are becoming larger and more sophisticated.  And most Americans don’t realize this, but nations such as Russia, China and North Korea have been feverishly developing extremely advanced cyberwarfare capabilities.  So could a day come when one of our enemies takes down our Internet completely for an extended period of time?

According to CNBC, the primary target of the attacks on Friday was a hosting company known as Dyn, and these attacks came from “tens of millions” of IP addresses simultaneously…

Internet traffic company Dyn on Friday warned of another cyberattack after websites and services across the East Coast were shut down earlier in the day.

Dyn told CNBC Friday afternoon the attacks are “well planned and executed, coming from tens of millions IP addresses at same time.”

“We have begun monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed (Domain Name System) infrastructure. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue,” Dyn said on its website at 11:52 a.m. ET.

Specifically, the types of attacks that we witnessed on Friday are known as “denial of service” attacks.  If you are not familiar with denial of service attacks, the following is a pretty good explanation from Business Insider

It appears to have been caused by a large digital denial of service (DDoS) attack leveled at the servers of the domain name system (DNS) host Dyn. A DDoS attack typically overwhelms a server with data requests in order to prevent normal users from having their own queries answered. The DNS is a large database that, among other things, converts a simple domain name into a more complex IP address from which data can be retrieved. Taking down a DNS server means that a user’s browser can’t use it to resolve which IP address to fetch the files of a web page from.

These attacks were so big that the Department of Homeland Security is looking into them.  It is being reported that North Korea has been ruled out as a suspect so far, but nothing has been said about Russia or China.

As I mentioned above, countries such as Russia, China and North Korea have been working very hard to develop extremely advanced cyberwarfare capabilities in recent years.  In particular, Russia has been heavily investing in this area since at least 2007

Russia’s intelligence services decided years ago to make cyber warfare a national defense priority, said Dr. David Stupples, director of the Centre for Cyber Security Sciences at City University London. They have become increasingly proficient in cyber operations as a result.

From around 2007, Russia decided that information warfare was key to winning any world conflict, and that it was this area of capability and technology they decided would benefit from vastly increased military investment,” Stupples said. “What made this decision easier was that Russia was also home to the largest numbers of some of the world’s best hackers.”

For almost a decade, the Russians have been preparing to fight a cyberwar with the United States.

And at this point many analysts believe that they are far better equipped to fight a cyberwar then we are.

So it would seem to be incredibly foolish to provoke an enemy into a fight that we could not possibly win.  Unfortunately, that is precisely what Barack Obama is doing.  According to a stunning report from NBC News, the Obama administration is actually threatening Russia with “an unprecedented cyber covert action”…

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.

I can’t even begin to describe how foolish this is.

Yes, without a doubt we could do some damage to the Russians.  But the Russians believe that when they get hit by an enemy that they should hit back even harder.

Considering how important the Internet has become to the U.S. economy, do we really want to invite the Russians to attack it?

Talk about an event that could crash our economy almost overnight.  This year alone “the Internet economy” will account for more than a trillion dollars.  Without the Internet, vast numbers of businesses would not be able to function normally, and an extended outage would cause financial markets all over the planet to start crashing.

And many experts believe that it was the Russians that took down the Ukrainian power grid a while back.  So do we really want to invite the Russians to attack our power grid?

Anyone out there that believes that our power grid is “secure” is dead wrong.  We are exceedingly vulnerable, and the Russians know this.

Could you imagine the chaos that would happen if our power grid suddenly went down in the middle of the winter?  An extended outage would potentially be life-threatening for millions of people that live in our coldest areas.

And what about our banks and financial systems?  Do we really want to invite the Russians to shut those down?

It really is in our best interest to try to find a way to develop a better relationship with Russia.  Unfortunately, we are about to elect a crazy woman as our next president that has a fierce vendetta against the Russians, and Russian politicians are very open about the fact that if Hillary Clinton is elected in November that the odds of World War 3 happening will go up dramatically.

You may wake up one day only to discover that a massive cyberattack has completely changed life in America overnight.

When that happens, you won’t be able to say that you weren’t warned in advance.

About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

Are Trolls Turning The Internet Into A Festival Of Hate?

Love Hate - Public Domain

Have you noticed that people say some of the most hateful things imaginable on the Internet? Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article entitled “How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet“, and it made me reflect on my own experience as the publisher of a number of prominent websites. Over the years, I have often gotten to see what is really going on in some of the darkest hearts in our society. There are people that come to my websites that somehow think that making crude sexual remarks about the wives and children of people that they have never met is perfectly acceptable behavior. There are others that say incredibly vile things about people that have a different skin color than they do, and some people have a hatred for Christians and the Christian faith that is absolutely frightening. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be like that, but apparently this kind of behavior is very widespread. In fact, one Pew Research Center survey discovered that 70 percent of all 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet have experienced harassment at some point.

Sadly, the truth is that the relative anonymity of the Internet allows people to reveal what is really in their hearts. For some people, the Internet magnifies the kindness and goodness that is in their hearts, but for others it does the exact opposite. From the safety of their own homes, they endlessly spew speech that is so abusive that it is hard to imagine that the person spewing it is actually human.

These people are commonly known as “trolls”, and the following is how the Time Magazine article that I mentioned above describes these trolls

Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it’s seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.

The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats.

Whatever happened to treating other people the way that you would like to be treated?

When did the Golden Rule go out of style?

As our society becomes more evil, hearts all over the country are growing cold, and one of the results is that the Internet is being transformed into a festival of hatred. The same Time Magazine article detailed some particularly disturbing examples of troll hate

They’ve been steadily upping their game. In 2011, trolls descended on Facebook memorial pages of recently deceased users to mock their deaths. In 2012, after feminist Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos chronicling misogyny in video games, she received bomb threats at speaking engagements, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. In June of this year, Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, quit Twitter, on which he had nearly 35,000 followers, after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages. At the end of July, feminist writer Jessica Valenti said she was leaving social media after receiving a rape threat against her daughter, who is 5 years old.

On a very basic level, the Internet allows people to reveal who they really are. Unfortunately, we are finding out that a lot of us are truly vile human beings. Some time ago, a team of Canadian researchers did some research on Internet trolls, and what they found out was quite alarming

They conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity.

It should be no surprise that our society is crawling with narcissists, psychopaths and sadists. For decades we have been pushing God out of every corner of public life, and as a result we have seen a moral decline that is absolutely unprecedented in our history.

So what can be done?

Is there a way that the trolls can be stopped?

Some big websites have stepped up their efforts to ban people that are advocating hatred and violence. For instance, the New York Times says that Twitter just suspended 235,000 accounts “that promoted terrorism”…

Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort to keep people from using the social network for extremist causes, the company said Thursday.

“The world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe,” Twitter said in a statement. “We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.”

And I definitely applaud Twitter for that.

But where does the censorship stop? All too often, the definition of “extremists” goes far beyond violent terrorists.

Just consider what is happening during this campaign season. Virtually all of the big tech companies have engaged in some form of “pro-Trump censorship”, and this was brilliantly detailed in a recent piece by Liz Crokin. The following is a short excerpt…

I began looking into how strong the bias and censorship runs in these forums after I did an interview on the pro-Trump podcast, MAGAPod. The show’s host, Mark Hammond, was disappointed Apple wouldn’t run his show without an “explicit” warning. Hammond’s podcast didn’t contain content that would be deemed explicit under Apple’s policy, and most other shows in the News & Politics category aren’t labeled as such.

On June 18, Hammond talked to Sandra, a representative from Apple. She explained that, since the description of his show is pro-Trump, his show is explicit in nature—because the subject matter is Donald Trump. So, an Apple employee concluded the Republican presidential candidate is explicit.

iTunes has dozens of podcasts discussing Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler—none of which is marked explicit.

And of course it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a huge Hillary Clinton supporter and recently hosted a $50,000 per plate fundraiser for her campaign.

So where do we draw the line?

On my websites, I try to let everyone have their say as much as possible. I very much believe in the “marketplace of ideas”, and I very much believe that the interaction between light and darkness can produce some extraordinary results.

But that also means that I often allow people to say things that I find highly offensive.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know that the problem is growing. As our society continues to come apart at the seams, the hatred on the Internet will continue to increase.

The Internet is used for all sorts of horrible things, but it can also be used to do great things as well. As the darkness rises, I would encourage all of us to choose to be lights.

In a world filled with hate, love is desperately needed.

So instead of responding to hate with even more hate, let us seek to become people of great faith, great hope and great love.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

How Can We Celebrate Our Independence When Most Americans Are Willingly Enslaved To The Matrix?

The Matrix - Public Domain

Did you know that the average U.S. adult consumes 10 hours and 39 minutes of media a day? Nielsen has just released brand new numbers on the media consumption patterns of Americans, and they are absolutely staggering. According to Nielsen, the amount of media that we consume per day has increased by an hour just since the first quarter of 2015. This is the time of the year when we celebrate our independence, but how in the world can we ever be truly independent when most of us are willingly plugging ourselves into “the Matrix” for more than 10 hours a day? If you feed anything into your mind for hours every day, it is going to change the way that you think, the way that you feel about things, and the way that you view the world. This endless barrage of “news” and “entertainment” has fundamentally altered the belief systems of tens of millions of Americans, and this has very serious implications for our society moving forward.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, brainwashing is “a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas”. But nobody is forcing us to plug into “the Matrix” every day. Instead, this is something that we are willingly doing to ourselves. In fact, Nielsen says that Americans are doing it more than ever before

If you feel like you’re spending more time than ever before watching and streaming content, you’re right.

U.S. adults spent 10 hours, 39 minutes a day consuming media in the first quarter of 2016. That’s up a full hour from the first quarter of 2015, and it’s thanks to a substantial increase in smartphone and tablet usage, according to Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Total Audience Report.

Here is how the 10 hours and 39 minutes breaks down by type of device…

Live TV: 4 hours, 31 minutes
Time-Shifted TV: 33 minutes
Radio: 1 hour, 52 minutes
DVDs: 8 minutes
Video Game Consoles: 14 minutes
Multimedia Devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.): 13 minutes
Internet on PC: 58 minutes
Smartphone: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Tablet: 31 minutes

These days, there is a lot of talk about various “agendas” that are being advanced in our country.

Well, just about whatever “agenda” you want to talk about, the main way it is being advanced is through these devices. Our televisions, our radios, our DVD players and even our computers are constantly telling us what to think, and this has resulted in a population of brainwashed “sheeple” that is more closely resembling a horde of mindless zombies with each passing year.

Who do you think controls the vast majority of the “news” and “entertainment” that we consume? As I wrote about just recently, more than 90 percent of what we get through our televisions is controlled by just six giant media corporations, and in turn they are controlled by the elite of the world.

Do you really want the elite telling you what to think?

And the Internet has become highly controlled as well. Fortunately there are still many independent websites such as this one where you can hear an alternative point of view, but increasingly web traffic is coming to be dominated by just a handful of giant companies.

This is of great concern when it comes to our young people, because they are spending an enormous amount of time on the Internet

The majority of Americans – 73 percent – indicated that they go online on a daily basis, and many go on several times per day.

A Pew Research Center survey collected data from internet users between June and July 2015, and confirmed that Americans are constantly logging in.

Young people are the most connected; the study found that 36 percent of people ages 18 to 29 are online almost constantly, and 50 per cent go on several times per day.

It has been estimated that there are 54,907 Google searches, 7,252 tweets written, 125,406 YouTube videos viewed and 2,501,018 emails sent out every second.

So what is all of this “information” doing to us?

Dr Lee Hadlington of De Montford University Leicester has made some troubling discoveries regarding this excessive Internet use…

He found the more times a person used the internet or a mobile phone the more likely they were to experience ‘cognitive failures’.

These failures included not turning up to appointments, having trouble paying attention while in conversation and forgetting why they went to one part of the house to another.

‘This is a very under-examined area and a very important one. We are using technology on a daily basis but we don’t understand its effect on us,’ said Dr Hadlington.

Of much greater importance is what this endless barrage of information is doing to our belief systems. We are willingly enslaving ourselves to a “matrix” that is deeply anti-Christian, and it was inevitable that this would result in the decaying of the Christian foundations of the western world. The following is an excerpt from an absolutely outstanding article that was just published by Jonathon Van Maren

And yet, the Judeo-Christian foundations of the West that brought such success and such prosperity have either been removed or are in the final stages of demolition. The sanctity of life is gone, but most of us have not noticed simply because we do not toss the corpses of the murdered out the front door into the street, but quietly deposit them in dumpsters behind clinics or vaporize them in modern, up-to-date incinerators. New ideologies have taken over our legal systems, and the short march to labelling Holy Scripture as Hate Speech has already begun. The number of citizens who still attend church or are even aware that Christianity was the life-blood of our civilization is plummeting.

Things may be peaceful for the moment, but the dark clouds in the distance bulge with thunder and the rumblings have already begun: Christian universities are told they are ineligible to start a law school because they believe what Christians have always believed, Christian medical professionals are told they will be forced to refer patients for killing, and Christian professionals are subjected to “formal investigations” at the slightest hint that they have violated the new secular religion. This is just the calm before the storm, but because Christians are so distracted with the high drama of ordinary day-to-day life, they may not hear the rumblings until thunder splits the sky.

As I warn in my new book, America is really starting to feel the consequences of decades of walking away from the Christian faith.

But how are we going to turn this around?

Many of the exact same people that are expressing dismay over all of this are the exact same people that turn their televisions on as soon as they get home and don’t turn them off until they go to sleep at night.

As long as we all remain willingly plugged into “the Matrix”, we are fighting a losing battle, and that is just the way that it is.

(Originally published on End of the American Dream)

Internet by light promises to leave Wi-Fi eating dust

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Connecting your smartphone to the web with just a lamp — that is the promise of Li-Fi, featuring Internet access 100 times faster than Wi-Fi with revolutionary wireless technology.

French start-up Oledcomm demonstrated the technology at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair, in Barcelona. As soon as a smartphone was placed under an office lamp, it started playing a video.

The big advantage of Li-Fi, short for “light fidelity”, is its lightning speed.

Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of over 200 Gbps — fast enough to “download the equivalent of 23 DVDs in one second”, the founder and head of Oledcomm, Suat Topsu, told AFP.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Survey: 70 percent of boys begin watching porn by the age of 10

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With technology removing barriers to access, there has been a quantum rise in the number of youth in Coimbatore getting hooked on to porn websites, says a survey conducted by an NGO.

According to Rescue, the Bangalore-based NGO that has been campaigning for a ban on porn sites, children as young as 10 years watch porn. Citing the survey it conducted among 400 students from 10 city colleges, the NGO said there was a growing number of youth watching violent pornography.

“Boys who start watching porn from their teenage years, get bored very quickly and start watching child porn or videos with violent content,” said the NGO’s CEO Abishek Clifford, releasing the findings at a press conference on Friday.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Leaked Documents Show FBI, DEA, & Army Can Control Your Computer

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Leaked emails from an Italian-based hacking company reveal that government agencies engage in surveillance more invasive than previously thought, spending millions of dollars on spyware and malware software to accomplish their questionable goals. Tellingly, their use of the product places them squarely in the same category as other repressive regimes around the world.

After hackers ironically hacked Hacking Team, a Milan-based company that sells strictly to governments, hundreds of gigabytes of emails and financial records were leaked. The emails show that the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Army all purchased software that enables them to view suspects’ photos, emails, listen to and record their conversations, and activate the cameras on their computers, among other things.

While this may seem like old news, the most controversial revelation was the government’s purchases of “Remote Control Systems.” The FBI, DEA, and U.S. Army, courtesy of Hacking Team, possess the capability to take control of a suspect’s computer screen. The technology is so invasive that even the DEA, known for its violative surveillance policies, had reservations about purchasing it.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

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Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online. If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse.

In the UK, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) is a specialized unit within the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). If it wasn’t for Edward Snowden, we probably still would never have heard of them. This particular specialized unit is engaged in some very “questionable” online activities. The following is an excerpt from a recent piece by Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online.

We are told that JTRIG only uses these techniques to go after the “bad guys”.

But precisely who are the “bad guys”?

It turns out that their definition of who the “bad guys” are is quite broad. Here is more from Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman

JTRIG’s domestic and law enforcement operations are made clear. The report states that the controversial unit “currently collaborates with other agencies” including the Metropolitan police, Security Service (MI5), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Border Agency, Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and National Public Order and Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The document highlights that key JTRIG objectives include “providing intelligence for judicial outcomes”; monitoring “domestic extremist groups such as the English Defence League by conducting online HUMINT”; “denying, deterring or dissuading” criminals and “hacktivists”; and “deterring, disrupting or degrading online consumerism of stolen data or child porn.”

Particularly disturbing to me is the phrase “domestic extremist groups”. What does someone have to say or do to be considered an “extremist”? For example, the English Defence League is a non-violent street protest movement in the UK that is strongly against the spread of radical Islam and sharia law in the UK. So if they are “extremists”, how many millions upon millions of ordinary citizens in the United States would fit that definition?

When conducting operations against “extremists”, psychology-based influence techniques are among the tools that JTRIG uses to combat them online. The following comes from one of the documents that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman…

Psychology-Based Influence Techniques

In other words, these government trolls try to mess with people’s minds.

And here is another document that was posted by Greenwald and Fishman that talks about how JTRIG uses YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to accomplish their goals…

Government Trolls

It is very disturbing to think that some of the people that we may be interacting with on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are actually paid government agents that are purposely trying to feed us propaganda and misinformation.

And of course this kind of thing does not just happen in the United Kingdom. In Canada, it has been publicly admitted that the government uses paid trolls to warp Internet discourse. The following comes from Natural News

You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.

Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.

You can actually watch a video news report about what is happening up in Canada right here.

Needless to say, the U.S. government is also engaged in this kind of activity as well. For instance, the U.S. government has actually been caught manipulating discourse on Reddit and editing Wikipedia. When it comes to spying, there is nobody that is off limits for our spooks. It just came out recently that we even spied on three French presidents, and they are supposed to be our “friends”.

And just like the UK, the U.S. government has a very broad definition of “extremists”. This has especially been true since Barack Obama has been in the White House. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.

All of this is very disturbing to me. Why can’t they just leave us alone and let us talk to one another? Why do they have to spy on everything that we do and purposely try to manipulate public discourse? Why do they have to be such control freaks?

What do you think? Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The American Dream)

Feds Hold Hearing On Whether They Should ‘Regulate’ Sites Like Drudge, Infowars And The Economic Collapse Blog

Big Brother Is Watching - Public Domain

The control freaks that run our government always seem to want to “regulate” things that they do not like. And so it should be no surprise that there is a renewed push to regulate independent news websites. Sites like the Drudge Report, Infowars.com and The Economic Collapse Blog have been a thorn in the side of the establishment for years. You see, the truth is that approximately 90 percent of all news and entertainment in this country is controlled by just six giant media corporations. That is why the news seems to be so similar no matter where you turn. But in recent years the alternative media has exploded in popularity. People are hungry for the truth, and an increasing number of Americans are waking up to the fact that they are not getting the truth from the corporate-controlled media. But as the alternative media has grown, it was only going to be a matter of time before the establishment started cracking down on it. At the moment it is just the FEC and the FCC, but surely this is just the beginning. Our “Big Brother” government ultimately wants to control every area of our lives – and this especially applies to our ability to communicate freely with one another.

The Federal Election Commission is an example of a federal rule making body that has gotten wildly out of control. Since just about anything that anyone says or does could potentially “influence an election”, it is not difficult for them to come up with excuses to regulate things that they do not like.

And on Wednesday, the FEC held a hearing on whether or not they should regulate political speech on blogs, websites and YouTube videos…

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.

If you do not think that this could ever happen, you should consider what almost happened at the FEC last October

In October, then FEC Vice Chairwoman Ann M. Ravel promised that she would renew a push to regulate online political speech following a deadlocked commission vote that would have subjected political videos and blog posts to the reporting and disclosure requirements placed on political advertisers who broadcast on television. On Wednesday, she will begin to make good on that promise.

“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed in the Internet alone,” Ravel said in an October statement. “As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”

“In the past, the Commission has specifically exempted certain types of Internet communications from campaign finance regulations,” she lamented. “In doing so, the Commission turned a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena.”

As our nation continues to drift toward totalitarianism, it is only a matter of time before political speech on the Internet is regulated. It is already happening in other countries all around the globe, and control freak politicians such as Ravel will just keep pushing until they get what they want.

The way that they are spinning it this time around is that they desperately need to do something “about money in politics”

Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”

And it isn’t just a few control freak Democrats that want these changes.

The Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen were all expected to testify in favor of more government regulation on the Internet at the hearing.

Fortunately, other organizations are doing what they can to warn the general population. For example, the following comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Increased regulation of online speech is not only likely to chill participation in the public debate, but it may also threaten individual speakers’ privacy and right to post anonymously. In so doing, it may undermine two goals of campaign finance reform: protecting freedom of political speech and expanding political participation.

As we stated in our joint comments to the FEC back in 2005 [pdf], “the Internet provides a counter-balance to the undue dominance that ‘big money’ has increasingly wielded over the political process in the past half-century.” We believe that heightened regulation of online political speech will hamper the Internet’s ability to level the playing field.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and the FCC are using net neutrality as an excuse to impose lots of new regulations on Internet activity.

Ajit Pai is an FCC commissioner who is opposed to this plan. He recently sent out a tweet holding what he calls “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet“…

Ajit Pai’s description of “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet” sounds Orwellian. He tweeted a picture of himself holding the 332-page plan just below a picture of a smiling Barack Obama with a comment, “I wish the public could see what’s inside.” The implication depicted Obama as George Orwell’s “Big Brother.”

Pai also released a statement: “President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” he said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

Here is the photo that he posted with his tweet…

President Obama's 332-page plan to regulate the Internet

After what we went through with Obamacare, one can only imagine what is inside that monstrosity of a document.

Regulation of the Internet is here, and it is only going to get worse.

But at least we are not like Saudi Arabia just yet. Recently, a Saudi blogger was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam“.

So we should be thankful for the freedoms that we still have. But without a doubt, governments all over the world are slowly but surely cracking down on Internet freedom.

If we do not stand up for our rights now, one day we may wake up and find that our freedom to communicate with one another over the Internet is totally gone.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

Republican FCC Commissioner: Public Is Being Misled About Net-Neutrality Plan

Internet - Public Domain

The Federal Communications Commission is misleading the public about its 332-page plan to regulate the Internet, a Republican member of the commission said Tuesday.

The net-neutrality plan could in fact open the door to new fees and taxes, as well as government control over the prices that Internet providers charge their customers, Commissioner Ajit Pai told reporters.

The claims echo attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are also scrambling to thwart the new regulations. Committees in the House and Senate have launched investigations into whether President Obama inappropriately influenced the FCC’s decision, and Republican lawmakers are working on their own alternative net-neutrality legislation to override FCC action.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Republican FCC Commissioner Slams ‘Obama’s 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet’

Obama Is Crazy

Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on Friday raised the first of many criticisms to come about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s aggressive net neutrality plan distributed to commissioners Thursday, which Pai described as “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet.”

In a statement released Friday, Pai lamented the fact that the 332-page plan, which he tweeted a picture of himself holding next to a picture of Obama, won’t be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

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