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Pentagon Hires Private Firm to Keep Tabs on Service Members’ Social Media Posts

Concerns about the consolidation of such information abound.

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What was once a world full of whimsical and fantastical possibility has quickly devolved into a tool for control and surveillance, and there may be no turning back.

Social media could very well have been the invention of the millennium, allowing people of different cultures to communicate instantaneously throughout the known universe.  This is the information revolution, and like the industrial revolution before it, has changed the human race forever.

But the consolidation of power within this media sphere has become worrisome, and the societal pressure to use social media in a neutered, muted sort of way has taken a great deal of the potential out of the medium.  This is especially true for folks who have wonderful, but perhaps unbridled ideas, who are now concerned that their online posts could be taken out of context or used against them.

Trending: McAfee Dead in Prison After Repeatedly Declaring He Would Not Kill Himself

There are also concerns about the privacy of such posts, and whether or not shielding your online persona from a potential employer reads as a “problem”, or as a judiciously pragmatic decision.

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For military members, these sorts of queries are now coming to a head.

An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will “continuously” monitor military personnel for “concerning behaviors,” according to a Pentagon briefing in late March. Although in the past the military has balked at surveilling service members for extremist political views due to First Amendment protections, the pilot program will rely on a private surveillance firm in order to circumvent First Amendment restrictions on government monitoring, according to a senior Pentagon official. Though the firm has not yet been selected, the current front runner is Babel Street, a company that sells powerful surveillance tools including social media monitoring software.

There are some serious, albeit obvious, concerns.

Babel Street has drawn criticism for its practice of buying bulk cellular location data and selling it to federal national security agencies like the Secret Service, who rely on the private company to bypass warrant requirements normally imposed on government bodies seeking to collect data. In November, Vice reported that the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command used one of Babel Street’s products, Locate X, to track the location of individuals for special forces operations. One method Babel controversially used was to purchase location data associated with the users of a popular Muslim prayer app.

Garrison and Babel Street did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It is unclear to what extent Congress is aware of the program, if it all. When asked about the program, a spokesperson for Rep. Don Bacon, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said they were not aware of it.

Of course, the idea that any private entity would be in possession of a consolidated list of military members is also concerning, as this sort of information could be used to target our service members either for retribution or radicalization, which wholly defeats the purpose of the program in the first place.

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McAfee Dead in Prison After Repeatedly Declaring He Would Not Kill Himself

Social media users were quick to remind the world of McAfee’s own words.

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John McAfee is a computing legend, having pioneered the way in which systems and networks protect themselves from viruses, malware, spyware, and all the other assorted evils of this internet age. But now he lies dead, having allegedly committed suicide in a Spanish prison cell. Antivirus software tycoon John McAfee died by an apparent suicide in a Spanish jail cell Wednesday evening — hours after reports surfaced that he would be extradited to face federal charges in the US, according to local media. The eccentric tech entrepreneur was arrested in October and was awaiting extradition when he was found dead, police sources told the newspaper El Pais. The newspaper reported McAfee was pulled from his cell in Barcelona and police are investigating the circumstances around his death. Authorities aren’t shying away from calling it a suicide already. “Everything points to suicide,” the newspaper reported, citing justice department officials in the country. A second Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, also reported McAfee had died by an apparent suicide in the jail. But here is where it gets strange:  McAfee has been utterly insistent and consistent about the fact that he would never, ever take his own life, explicitly telling his followers on social media that, should he ever be found dead of suicide, he was killed. https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1316801215083225096?s=20 https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1200864283766251521?s=20 https://twitter.com/truthcrumbs/status/1407788935628079113?s=20 The investigation is ongoing at this time.

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Lab Finds Zero Fish DNA After Testing Subway’s Tuna Sandwich

You can “eat fresh” at Subway, but can you eat fish?

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For years we’ve told ourselves that there has to be a better way to do fast food.  Or, at the very least, a healthier way. And so new chains are constantly popping up, while the old staples adapt.  There are salads for sale as places like McDonald’s these days, which is something that kids who grew up in the 80’s might have had a hard time believing would ever occur. In the realm of healthy fast food, there is but one king:  The unbreakable Subway.  Not only did the brand survive having a pedophile as their spokesperson, but they currently operate more physical restaurants in the world than even the aforementioned burger purveyor. But an alarming new study has some wondering if, while they were “eating fresh” with a tuna sub, they were even eating fish. The New York Times published a report Sunday, which revealed that lab tests didn’t find “amplifiable tuna DNA” in Subway’s infamous tuna sandwich. NYT submitted “60 inches worth of Subway tuna sandwiches” from three separate Los Angeles locations for lab analysis in wake of the lawsuit filed earlier this year alleging the sandwich chain was serving customers “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna.” The suit claims that independent lab tests showed the company meant to “imitate” tuna’s appearance by blending together these unknown ingredients. The study, commissioned by NYT, failed to not only identify tuna DNA, but the lab couldn’t even determine the origins of the fish in the provided sandwiches. “No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA. Therefore, we cannot identify the species,” the results read. But it’s not all bad news: “There’s two conclusions. One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an…

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