One month ago, a wide swath of the US population – most of which is a card-carrying member of the Amazon Prime collective – freaked out when news spread that Alexa-enabled gadgets would utter an unprovoked “bone-chillingly creepy” cackle or “sinister laugh.”
Shortly after, Amazon confirmed that Alexa was indeed laughing out of the blue, and promptly fixed whatever glitch was plaguing the matrix at the time.
Yet while bizarre and sinister, the incidents were largely innocuous.
That however was not the case with the latest bug uncovered in Amazon’s Echo which allowed hackers to listen in to the speaker, a privilege which until recently, most speculated was only granted to Amazon… and the NSA of course
According to The Telegraph, researchers had found way to make the the Echo Speakers continue listening long after they should have been switched off. Amazon countered that this would not allow the recordings to be passed to hackers, but would have stayed with Amazon itself.
The way the Amazon Echo speakers work is they listen for the word “Alexa” before completing a command, like “Alexa, read tell me today’s news”. Any interaction with Alexa is recorded to improve the service, but once the command is finished, Alexa stops recording. At least on paper, because security researchers from Checkmarx developed an Alexa Skill that would keep Alexa listening long after it should have switched itself off and automatically transcribe what it hears for an attacker.
When an Alexa skill completes its task it is supposed to stop listening. However, sometimes Alexa doesn’t hear a command correctly, which will lead the Echo to ask for the user to repeat it. This “re-prompt” feature could be exploited, the researchers found, and be programmed to carry on listening, while muting Alexa’s responses.
“For the Echo… listening is key,” Checkmarx said. “However, with this device’s rise in popularity, one of today’s biggest fears in connection to such devices is privacy. Especially when it comes to a user’s fear of being unknowingly recorded.”
Social Media is the Biggest Threat to America… It’s Time to Break Them Up
After the another mass ban by Facebook and Instagram of Alex Jones, Milo, Laura Loomer, and Paul Joseph Watson, it is evermore clear and a massive warning to all conservatives that they are not welcome on social media platforms. Something that should also be considered illegal considering their ‘public square’ standing and non-publisher status, which saves them from sued for libel but [should] curtail their ability to promote, dissuade, or ban content based on their choice.
Facebook went as far to even say they’ll ban anyone or organization that shares content from Alex Jones, Infowars, or any of the banned people mentioned, maybe even more.
Facebook is also conducting election-meddling. Gang Emperor Yang, a meme page for Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, was removed less than a month ago.
President Trump has yet to act on this, ironically without social media Donald Trump would never be President. Considering the Media, Entertainment, and Political monopolies are aligned against him it seems maddening that President Trump hasn’t done one thing besides offer the suggestion to “be good” online.
Despite the fact that it’s hard to find to find any popular conservative right besides Ben Shapiro on the internet. When 2020 roles around it’s going to for Donald Trump’s old coalition to remain strong when his followers, his greatest allies in media, and people who helped get elected directly are being de-platformed, silenced, and banned off of social media.
Facebook Fired Pro-Trump & Anti Hillary Founder of Oculus
Every so often, Silicon Valley’s virtue-signaling, shadowbanning, anti-conservative media titans appear in Congress or devise a quick PR campaign to show to the world just how truly impartial they are with zero liberal bias. And every single time it backfires as their true ideological face quickly emerges from behind a fake, hypocritical mask.
Take the case of former Facebook executive, Oculus co-founder and virtual-reality wunderkind Palmer Luckey, who was a rising star of Silicon Valley when, at the height of the 2016 presidential contest, he donated a modest $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group. His donation sparked a backlash from his colleagues, which then led to him being put on leave, and six months later he was fired.
What is odd about Luckey’s termination, is that when testifying before Congress about data privacy earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg denied, or rather lied that the departure had anything to do with politics. In fact, neither Facebook nor Mr. Luckey ever said why he left the social-media giant.
Until now: according to a report from the WSJ, Luckey told people the reason for his termination from that bastion of apolitical impartiality Facebook, was his support for Donald Trump and the furor that his political beliefs sparked within his employer, and Silicon Valley, some of those people say.
Google & China Have A Program Linking Phone Numbers To Searches
A prototype of Google’s censored search engine for China links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers, “thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries,” reports The Intercept.
The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, revolves around the Android platform and is designed to remove content deemed by government officials to be sensitive or offensive – such as information about protests, free speech, political dissidents, democracy and human rights violations.
Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number. This means individual people’s searches could be easily tracked – and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.
the search platform also appeared to have been tailored to replace weather and air pollution data with information provided directly by an unnamed source in Beijing. The Chinese government has a record of manipulating details about pollution in the country’s cities. One Google source said the company had built a system, integrated as part of Dragonfly, that was “essentially hardcoded to force their [Chinese-provided] data.” -The Intercept
“This is very problematic from a privacy point of view, because it would allow far more detailed tracking and profiling of people’s behavior,” says Human Rights Watch senior internet research Cynthia Wong. “Linking searches to a phone number would make it much harder for people to avoid the kind of overreaching government surveillance that is pervasive in China.”
Human rights groups have slammed Dragonfly, insisting that it could result in Google “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.”