As tragic as the Australian wildfires are, it is even more of a tragedy when such devastating losses are played for political gain. Since the fires began, left-wing environmentalists and their ilk, have been shouting that global warming is to blame. However, top scientists beg to differ!
According to scientist and bushfire expert, David Packham, Australia’s current bushfires have nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with “fuel-loads.” Five years ago, Packham, a former bushfire researcher at CSIRO, warned that unless there is a drastic increase in annual fuel reduction burnings “a massive bushfire disaster will occur”. Packham’s research accurately predicted that, “The forest and alpine environment will decay and be damaged possibly beyond repair and home and people [will be] incinerated.”
Fuel levels –which means the volume of trees and greenery available to “fuel” wildfires — are at their highest since European settlement, and that’s something Packham attributed to “misguided green ideology”, vested interests, political failure and “forrest mismanagement.”
In a November interview with Andrew Bolt on Australia’s Sky News, Packham said there are four groups that profit from our current situation, which may give “clues” as to why necessary fuel reduction burns have been neglected. First, “The Greens” [environmental activists], who are using [the fires] to further their Global Warming narrative; second, the fire agencies, who can ask for increased funding; third, the politicians who can exploit the victims for a photo-op; and fourth, the media who love to report on the tragedy.
More recently, Packham told reporter, Jane Marwick, that he was “shocked” to hear that former state fire chiefs were attributing the current bushfires to “climate change” instead of record fuel-loads.
“I was terribly surprised when they put out this line that the fires are due to climate change when everybody who knows anything about the principles and a little bit of the science of bushfire behavior knows that is not the case. It is… the fuel,” he told Marwick.
“I was shocked, because these are very experienced people. They’re right at the top of the tree and to hear what came from them… has left me absolutely startled that people who– if that is what they really believe, you can’t imagine why they are in the position they are in. And I can’t believe that they’re saying things they didn’t believe just to push a sort of semi-religious myth about climate change.”
According to Packham, the science is undeniable. The ferocity of the fire is determined by the amount of fuel and the amount of fuel determines the rate at which the fire moves. Since fuel levels have climbed to their most dangerous level in thousands of years, a blaze of this magnitude was unavoidable and should have been expected, anticipated, and planned for.
According to a disturbing report by the Military Times, the 82nd Airborne Division is briefing family members of deployed paratroopers to double-check their social media settings and report any strange or threatening messages they may receive. They warning was sent out after some “menacing” messages and comments were reported to the command.
The division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was deployed to Kuwait earlier this month as part of an emergency response to the region over heightened tensions with Iran.
“Families have reported instances where they have received unsolicited contact with some menacing messaging,” said Lt. Col. Mike Burns, a division spokesman.
“We have done several things to inform our paratroopers and families of these risks and ways that they can protect themselves,” Burns added. “I also personally spoke to the brigade [Family Readiness Group] leaders today.”
The 82nd has told family members to “be vigilant” and practice smart behavior online. Family members should check their social media settings and reference the U.S. Army’s social media handbook, Burns said. In addition to distributing social media pamphlets, the division has held information forums for families. Burns could not comment on the reports that WiFi access was suspended for brigade paratroopers in Kuwait.
Separately, two U.S. sources with direct knowledge of the situation told the Military Times that the WiFi access was suspended over fears of a potential hacking and leak of sensitive contact information. One defense source said the MWR network was compromised, that contacts were pulled from service member’s devices and family members have been getting threats and disturbing messages from the hackers.
The defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, said family members stateside have been getting “threats and disturbing messages.”
One of the messages obtained by the Military Times appears to be a typical “psyops” styled warning. It references Iran, but there is no indication it is actually a state-sponsored message.
“If you like your life and you want to see your family again, pack up your stuff right now and leave the Middle East. Go back to your country. You and your terrorist clown president brought nothing but terrorism,” the message reads. “You fools underestimate the power of Iran. The recent attack on your [expletive] bases was just a little taste of our power. By killing our general, you dug your own grave. Before having more dead bodies, just leave the region for good and never look back.”
The message was sent over Instagram by an account that used deceased Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani’s portrait as a profile picture. Soleimani was killed by a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3 in Baghdad, Iraq.
Other messages included fake scenarios about kidnappings intended to scare family members. A separate official noted that some messages appear to look more like phishing attempts.
The extent of the possible compromise is unknown. One defense official said it’s unknown at this time when and where the potential hacking may have taken place.
Turkey has often been accused of having porous borders, with nearly all non-local ISIS members traveling through the NATO approved caliphate before entering the skirmish in Syria or Iraq. Due to this dubious track record, many are alarmed to hear that Turkey’s new maritime and military treaty with Libya places them responsible for a point of entrance over 1 million illegal immigrants attempt to use to enter Europe through southern Italy each year.
Feeling cut off from America over the conflict in Syria, excluded from Israel and Greece’s pipeline deal, and fighting off with the UAE, Russian, and Egypt in Libya, Turkey’s power-play gives the state much needed negotiation power.
We often discuss migration as a reaction to Western policies, such as in Syria, but a confidential internal security report from EU police and border agencies, leaked at the time, stated 900,000 illegal immigrants were entering the EU every year. Given population growth as well as regional instability, the number of entrance attempts has only increased in the last decade.
Look for dramatic actions in the upcoming weeks to take place in the East Med, as the EU will be unable to allow Erdogan to repeat Muammar Gaddafi’s famous threat to “turn Europe black” if Libya was not given $5 billion a year.
Former Vice President, and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, suddenly finds himself — on the defensive after the killing of Iranian General Soleimani.
In the early hours after President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iran’s top military official, the Democratic presidential field responded pretty much in unison, condemning the president’s actions, and saying that the move was a miscalculation that had the potential to destabilize the region further and put the lives of Americans and their allies at risk of deadly reprisal.
But, as the potential blowback against the United States became clearer in the days following the death of General Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Quds Force and architect of Iran’s war against ISIS across the region, candidates began to divide themselves into two distinct camps: those who argue that only a steady, experienced hand can steady America’s increasingly erratic foreign policy, and those who point to the past two decades of U.S. foreign policy to show the need for drastic change.
That division is now largely aimed at Biden, whose admittedly long career, includes having gotten the US mired in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a former two-term vice president and a major figure in U.S. foreign policy during his decades in the Senate, Biden is particularly vulnerable to attacks on historic U.S. foreign policy as examples of “what not to do.”
“Age does not necessarily correlate with wisdom on foreign policy,” one foreign policy adviser to a “top-tier candidate” told The Daily Beast. “Over the course of years, and in some cases decades, there is a track record that is extensive—and in some cases it is consistent—in pointing to flaws of judgment, and perhaps even a worldview that is not necessarily well-suited to what is required of a commander in chief.”
As we teeter on once again getting involved in the Middle East, not surprisingly, the candidate throwing the most shade at Biden on foreign policy, is Bernie Sanders.
For years Sanders has touted his 2002 vote against authorizing the use of military force in Iraq. Even in the days before the strike that killed Soleimani, when foreign policy was still very much on the back burner for most presidential hopefuls, Sanders had described Biden’s support for the war as “a lot of baggage.”
“I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran,” Sanders tweeted on Friday morning, alongside a video in which he describes that war and the vote that authorized it as “the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of the United States.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom entered politics long after public opinion and political consensus turned against the invasion of Iraq, have been more implicit in their criticism, instead warning that Soleimani’s death risks an escalation of military tensions with Iran that could result in another “endless war”—like “the one Biden voted for.”
The Biden campaign, however, told The Daily Beast that they see the emergence of foreign policy matters as a central issue in campaign politics as a boon, rather than a burden.
“These events put into greater relief that we need a commander-in-chief who can, from the moment they’re sworn in—and without needing on the job training—start repairing the severe damage that Donald Trump has done on the world stage,” a campaign spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
On Friday, Biden’s response to a reporter’s inquiry about his role in the 2011 operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden prompted further questions about whether his foreign policy experience is a help or a hindrance. In an exchange with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, Biden said that he would be willing to use an airstrike to kill a terrorist leader, using the bin Laden operation as an example. When Doocy followed up by noting that Biden has previously said that he discouraged President Obama from authorizing the operation, Biden brusquely responded, “No, I didn’t. I didn’t.”
However, there are reports that Biden – some of out of his own mouth – that he had not backed the operation in a group meeting at the time.
Democrats and the left-wing media have been sadly successful at creating a now widely held belief surrounding the 2003 Iraq War. They have relied on the public’s short memory span to re-cast history.
The current narrative goes something like this.
The Iraq War was a huge diplomatic and military failure. It was entered into by the United States unilaterally because President Bush wanted to take out Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The War was solely predicated on the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by the Hussein regime. Bush lied to the public regarding such weapons to justify his personal decision to affect regime change in Iraq. His administration concocted phony intelligence. The War was Bush’s personal decision – and turned out to be an expensive failure – in life and assets. The most prominent Democrats point to the Iraq War as Bush’s failure.
The problem with the above narrative is that NONE of it is true. Let us look at the FACTS.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
The existence of WMD’s was not the only predicate for the War. It was not even the most important consideration. The reasons to affect regime change in Iraq was that Hussein was a dangerous rogue leader whose personal expansionist ambitions were destabilizing the entire Middle East. He had already undertaken aggressive military actions against neighbors, resulting in the 1990-1991 Gulf War that pushed back the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
By 2000, the International intelligence community established that Hussein was developing nuclear weaponry. That was not a theory but an established fact. It led to several resolutions by the United Nations condemning Iraq.
It was also well established that the concern over WMDs at the time was not limited to the nuclear program, but to chemical weaponry. Again, that was not a matter of theory. Hussein had repeatedly used such weapons on his own people and others.
On the eve of the War, satellite intelligence showed the movement of massive equipment into Syria. It was theorized at the time that equipment being exported were WMDs. Post War investigation showed what appeared to be the remnants of facilities engaged in the research and production of WMDs.
But again, the existence of WMD’s was not the only issue.
There is no doubt that SOME of the intelligence was inaccurate. Hussein did not possess WMDs – at least at that time. But he was developing nuclear weaponry. The error in intelligence was not created in the White House. It came from both the American and British intelligence operations. Bush was as susceptible – no more or no less – to the erroneous information as were all those members of Congress. In fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee had its own sources of misinformation – contrary to the narrative that it was the White House deceiving the Congress.
In the final analysis, the flawed intelligence was NOT the deciding factor in the need to oust Hussein. The case was much bigger than one issue.
Role of the United Nations
Hussein was condemned by more than a dozen resolutions of the United Nations – warning him to cease his belligerent activities, end his development of nuclear weaponry and comply with international inspection agreements. Failure to do so would result in international military action against his regime.
In fact, the United Nations authorized an invasion of Iraq for the purpose of removing Hussein. Sixty-five nations participated in the action. It was not a solo performance by the United States.
The Role of Congress
In addition to seeking the support of the world community through the United Nations, President Bush also took the case to Congress to authorize American participation in the UN-authorized operation. Congress gave overwhelming support to the War. He did NOT act alone. It was approved by the votes of many who have since re-cast history – including then Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.
Winning the War
Considering the objectives laid out by the UN and the United States, the War, itself, was a great victory. Under the leadership of the United States, the UN forces advanced surprisingly quickly to the gates of Baghdad. In a display of military might labeled “shock and awe,” Hussein was quickly toppled and went into hiding. He was later found, tried and executed by the new Iraq government. The people of Iraq were in the streets celebrating – mobs were tearing down images and statues of Hussein — and America was heralded as a friend of the people. The War was essentially over in approximately one month. All this with very limited loses to the UN forces.
The War of Peace
Some revisionists refer to the 2003 action as the “first phase” of the War. That is not entirely accurate. The WAR was over. It was now a matter of building post-war Iraq. Nouri al-Maliki was selected to lead that effort . THAT was the big mistake. Rather than fulfill his promise of a government of all the people, Maliki’s partisan policies triggered a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. This is when American interests and American presence got even more problematic. The United States was drawn into the internal secular battle.
Battleground Iraq War
What was essentially an internal civil war was transformed to Iraq being a field of battle for international forces when President Obama pulled out American troops and created a vacuum filled by ISIS, Iran, Syria and Russia – leaving behind billions of dollars of military equipment that was seized by our enemies.. Essentially, this was yet another third war in Iraq – the one in which we are engaged to this day.
For better or for worse, the United States must play the ball where it lies in the Middle East. But nothing can be gained – and much can be lost – if we allow the mendacious and hypocritical political accusations based on false narratives to muddy the situation.
So, there ‘tis.
Following the killing of the head of the largest terrorist conglomerate in the world, Democrats were torn on the recognition that the death of Qasem Soleimani was a big win for the United States and the civilized world. It was in keeping with the celebrations attendant to the death of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It was a good thing, by any measure.
But somehow, the current state of the Democrats’ irrational anti-Trump obsession could not allow any solidarity with the President – much less any praise for anything he did. Consequently, they used the “but” strategy. Soleimani was a pathological killer, but … Soleimani deserved to die, but …
Suddenly – for Democrats – process became more important than the actual facts of the event. They intimated, without a whit of evidence, that Trump acted individually and impulsively. Killing an avowed enemy of the United States and western world was suddenly secondary to the when and how congressional leaders were informed.
Even though Trump, the Department of Defense (DOD), the State Department and the intelligence community stated that the attack on Soleimani was triggered by information that showed he was actively plotting multiple international attacks on American personnel and assets, Democrats kept questioning the motivation. It was a defensive action, according to the DOD. It was the last straw by a man who had been given repeated – far too many — passes by previous administrations allowing Soleimani to continue his murderous activities.
Despite this explanation from all involved agencies, Democrats and the left-wing media repeatedly posed the question “Why now?” as a means of casting suspicion and distrust on the decision to take out Soleimani. One CNN contributor cast doubt on the rationale for the action by saying that Soleimani and Iran had not attacked the United States in years – until recently. He justified Irani-sponsored deadly attacks in recent years on Trump for provoking Tehran.
Colorado Democrat Senator Tom Udall went even further. He claims to have been briefed by individuals in the intelligence community who were not aware of the specific threats alluded to in the various statements. He said he was “suspicious” that there were no real imminent threats. In other words, Trump, the DOD, the State Department and the intel community were all lying.
It is impossible to miss the irony of Udall distrusting the same intelligence folks that they accuse Trump of distrusting. But such hypocrisy is not new to politics.
It should bother every American that Democrats – best personified by Udall – are falling in line with the propaganda emanating from Iran – that it was an unprovoked attack on a prominent military leader. From the Democrats’ and media descriptions of Soleimani as an “icon,” “charismatic,” “respected,” “genius” and “much beloved” by the people of Iran and the various terrorist cells he created and managed. They distinguished him from Bin Laden and al-Baghdadi for reasons that make no sense unless you want to disparage the military action.
Democrats and the media refuse to accept the claims of imminent threats to America at face value. They claim a right to know all the details as a condition of belief. It is nothing more than political grandstanding. They know full well that it would not be possible for our government to lay out such highly confidential and classified information. Yet, they play into the Iranian gamebook.
If the Irani propaganda agencies are not using Udall’s statements to reinforce their own claims of victimization, it is only because the have not picked up on them. Udall could not have provided better grist for Tehran’s bogus media responses if he tried.
So, there ‘tis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent an official request Wednesday asking Israeli parliament to grant him immunity on the corruption and fraud charges he still faces, as the country moves to another general election to be held in March.
Submitted barely three hours before the legal deadline, the immunity request could delay for months the criminal cases against Mr. Netanyahu, who faces a general election in two months, the country’s third in less than a year.
The prime minister was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust following three corruption probes. This makes him the first Israeli prime minister to face criminal charges. He’s hoping his request will be granted, which would delay his trial until after the March elections.
“Many of you think because that’s what they’ve told you, that immunity for elected officials is granted in perpetuity…that it allows you not to stand trial ever, that’s simply untrue,” said Netanyahu. “According to the law, immunity is always temporary. It is canceled with the end of the term of the Knesset that granted it. ”
The pressure from the corruption charges and challenges to Netanyahu’s leadership from his party as well as citizens discouraged support from President Trump. The president has since rescinded support for the prime minister and some of his policies and is taking the opposite stance.
Specifically, President Trump did not support Netanyahu’s primary election in September and refused to support Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank after giving initial support before the probes. His pro-Israel rhetoric changed as well, appealing to a broader relationship with Israel as a whole instead of boasting his relationship to the country’s leader.
“America and Israel are woven together by history, heritage and the hearts of our people,” stated President Trump. “We share a love of freedom, democracy, religious liberty, the rule of law and national sovereignty.”
Netanyahu believes that if granted immunity, he will continue to lead Israel beyond the election. Domestic support didn’t seem to fade much, as he overwhelmingly won his December primary. He boasted that he will get the U.S. to back Israel claimed territory as it did when recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capitol.
Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, is running for a fourth consecutive term in an election set for March 2. The country has no limits on the number of terms a prime minister or lawmaker can serve.
Many people in this present time feel that we are not alone in this vast universe or solar system for that matter when it comes to intelligent life. I’m talking about an extraterrestrial alien presence currently existing on earth unbeknownst to most people. Is it possible that we share the earth with intelligent beings that are not human or from this planet? According to Phil Schneider, we currently co-exist with extraterrestrial alien life forms here on earth.
Phil Schneider has 17 years of experience working on government Black Projects or Skunk Works. These projects or budgets suck away 25% of the United States’ gross national product. Trillions of dollars per year are smuggled into these projects. Rumsfeld admitted in a congressional hearing that they had misplaced over $7 trillion. I wonder where that money went. Phil Schneider was a geologist and structural engineer. He was part of the Area 51 construction crew. There are currently 131 secret underground bases in the U.S. Phil also worked on the construction of other secret underground bases like Dulce, New Mexico and Los Alamos where 66 government agents and workers lost their lives in August 1979 during conflicts with E.T.’s. As early as 1979 there were 1477 secret underground bases internationally where they utilize such technology as the magneto leviton trains which reach speeds of up to Mach 2.
Phil Schneider says while working on drilling a base in Dulce, New Mexico, the excavation crew and himself was attacked by E.T.’s. In this attack, Phil lost two fingers and had his rib cage blasted open by a laser shot from the alien. Phil Schneider stated that these aliens were about 7 feet tall, had an angered appearance, and smelled really bad. He was lucky to make it out with his life but he did need a prosthetic rib cage put in place of the one he lost in the attack. After Phil Schneider went public, there have been nine attempts on his life. In one of the attempts, Phil was shot three times. Two of the bullets got lodged in the artificial rib cage so it may have possibly saved his life. Phil Schneider concluded that these particular E.T.’s were malevolent and had plans to take over and colonize the earth.
Phil states that there are eleven distinct races of aliens or E.T.’s. This information remains hidden because the “government” doesn’t want the general public to know the alien agenda which includes colonizing the earth, creating human-extraterrestrial hybrids and using humanity as it’s genie pig. History is not what one might believe it is. A big piece of ours is missing. Phil Schneider says that E.T.’s arrived on this planet as far back as 500,000-1,000,000 years ago. In 1909 aliens were first encountered by a U.S. Calvary unit while chasing down some alleged outlaws. The Calvary came across the E.T.’s in a cave. They called the UFO’s the “silver wing” for lack of better terminology describing what they just had encountered.
In 1954, the United States government signed a treaty with the E.T’s giving them the right to abduct humans and livestock in exchange for technology. In these underground bases, biological tests are being done along with the reverse engineering of traded technology. The treaties stated that the E.T.’s were to report who and what was abducted and also for what purpose. The aliens over time continued to alter the treaty to suit their agenda. They proved to be deceitful. Some say that many of the extraterrestrials are interdimensional demons as well.
Dr. Steven Greer is an E.T. researcher. Officer X joined forces with Dr. Greer because of his contacts and influence with the “higher-ups” in the government and military. He would be able to use that to aid Dr. Greer with his quest. He uses Officer X because he wished to remain anonymous. In 1997, Dr. Greer was heading to Phoenix to create a video to present as evidence of E.T.’s to Congress in D.C. Simultaneously the biggest UFO event in American history took place. On March 13th, 1997, what has been coined the Phoenix Lights happened. 6-7 huge luminous bright lights lit up the sky in front of the eys of over ten thousand people.
Disinformation is often used to cause investigative minds to lose the scent and get their eyes off the prize. Although some alien enthusiasts don’t feel that the E.T.’s don’t have a malevolent agenda, but some do. How much of our lives have been bargained away?
Eight-year-old Alyssa Lemay was alone in her room – or so she thought – when a disembodied voice began to speak to her. Alarmed, the little girl asked, “Who is that?”
The tenor tones of a man’s voice replied right away:
“I’m your best friend – I’m Santa Claus!”
The voice continued:
“You can do whatever you want right now. You can mess up your room. You can break your TV.”
At that point, the girl yelled, “MOMMY!” for help.
The girl’s mother Ashley LeMay shared the security camera system footage with ABC’s Good Morning America show and said:
“I can’t even put into words how violated I feel. It really is like my worst nightmare.”
Ashley LeMay returned her new Ring camera just four days after purchasing it. The conscientious parent had set up the system to monitor her three daughters while she worked overnight nursing shifts. Another mother had recommended adding the security feature and it seemed like a great Black Friday bargain.
Young Alyssa was in the hallway with her two sisters when she heard some strange music coming from her room. Curious, she went inside to investigate. That’s when the unknown intruder’s voice told her it was okay to trash her room and break an expensive piece of equipment.
Ring issued a statement that the company was “taking appropriate steps to protect our devices” and that “we are able to confirm this incident is in no way related to a breach or compromise of Ring’s security.”
The statement, presumably intended to calm consumers’ fears, went on insult the intelligence of some of their clients and blame them for giving the cyber trespassers an easy way in:
“Due to the fact that customers often use the same username and password for their various accounts and subscriptions, bad actors often re-use credentials stolen or leaked from one service on other services. As a precaution, we highly and openly encourage all Ring users to enable two-factor authentication on their Ring account, add Shared Users (instead of sharing login credentials), use strong passwords, and regularly change their passwords.”
Another similar statement made Ring appear to be the good guys, above reproach:
“Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated this incident and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.”
“Recently, we were made aware of an incident where malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., username and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts. Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.
“Upon learning of the incident, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted.”
This isn’t the first time a Ring security camera system has been hacked. Owners in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Texas have filed incident reports after their systems, intended to provide safety, introduced danger instead. Hackers have subjected family members to racial slurs and even demanded a Bitcoin ransom.
A Georgia couple who prefer to remain anonymous said they were alarmed when a hacker’s voice began speaking through the speaker in their bedroom three weeks after they had installed the system to keep an eye on their puppy while they went to work.
On December 9, 2019, after putting Beau the pup in a crate for the night, the Brookhaven woman lay down in her bed to go to sleep. Then, she was startled to hear a man’s cough over the Ring camera. Thinking it was her boyfriend, the woman texted him:
“I see the blue light come on…Why are you watching us?”
“What are you talking about?”
Then, the stranger’s voice started giving orders and clapping his hands:
“I can see you in the bed! C’mon! Wake the [expletive] up!”
The woman said she was terrified and “literally could not move my body.”
At one point, the male voice tried to engage the dog:
“Hello! Hello! Come here, puppy.”
The couple said they shared their story with the media after filing a police report to raise public consciousness about the dangers of the Ring surveillance network:
“I just want people to be aware. We got this Ring camera thinking about one thing – watching our puppy – not somebody looking at us.”
The couple checked the security system’s settings and found out that their Ring camera had been hacked on four separate occasions – but they couldn’t be sure if it was the same person each time.
There was a popular song in the 1980s by a band named “Rockwell,” with a chorus that went:
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy (ooh ooh)
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
Tell me is it just a dream?
Well, I can tell them, and you, that no, it is not a dream – someone is watching you, to the tune of one billion spy cameras in use worldwide.
According to a recent surveillance industry market report, one billion surveillance cameras will be watching around the world in 2021— and more than half of those cameras will be in China. The report comes as experts across the globe are warning about the potential risks of such surveillance technology, including potential access to the data for exploitation by the Chinese government.
There are an estimated 770 million surveillance cameras installed around the world today, and 54% of those cameras are in China, according to a pared-down version of the report, which will soon be made widely available to the media, and to the public.
China is home to some of the world’s largest makers of video surveillance products, such as Hikvision, Huawei and Dahua. China’s push to export surveillance camera technology, including to the US and other Western democracies, has raised concerns over the risk of data being funneled back to Beijing and the growing influence of the Communist Party, experts have suggested.
China has built a vast surveillance state that utilizes cameras powered by facial recognition software, including cameras perched on streets, buildings and lamp posts that can recognize and identify individual faces. Chinese tech companies supply artificial intelligence surveillance technology to 63 countries — of those, 36 have signed onto China’s massive infrastructure project called the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a September report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.
Some of these “smart city” projects are currently underway in countries like Germany, Spain, and France, according to analysis by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).
While the Chinese government claims such is not the case, it is not far-fetched to believe that somehow, China will be able to retain the ability to access the feeds from everywhere it sells or provides cameras to. Which is something that everyone should be concerned about.
Or, as Rockwell put it:
“I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy (ooh ooh)
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
Who’s playing tricks on me”?
How do you feel about so many spy cameras around? Are they good for public safety, o an invasion of privacy? Do you support the efforts to reexamine these cases?