As anti-war protests grow more frequent and intense throughout Russia, thousands of Russian citizens have been and continue to be arrested and detained or imprisoned. But not all these people are being arrested on-scene at protests.
In many cases, they are being arrested days later, as Russian authorities obtain the identity of every person present at protests via tracking data provided by Russian mobile operators.
One can only imagine how many Russians will be arrested now that the Kremlin has cracked down even more on freedom of expression by making “the dissemination of falsehoods about the use of Russia’s armed forces” a criminal offense.
Under this edict, crimes could include phone calls, texts or emails that contain anything the Kremlin deems “false” about the regime and/or the military. The penalty? Up to 15 years in jail.
This Orwellian reality might easily be chalked up to the sinister excess of a desperate authoritarian regime on the other side of the planet–were it not for the fact that mobile operators in Europe, Asia and even in Canada and the United States all collect the location, identity, text messages and phone calls of every user on their networks and then turn over this data to governments, often without any warrant necessary.
Another recent example comes from Canada, of all places. After the protests of “Freedom Convoy” truckers were forcibly put down, many additional interrogations and arrests were made and are still being made by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as mobile operators readily give up the phone records of citizens who happened to be located where protests took place.
Here in the United States, the “Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol” is demanding from mobile operators, without having any warrants, detailed mobile phone data on both elected officials and private citizens who might have been in the area of the Capitol on that day or might have communicated with others about the activities that unfolded.
Many of those now being tried for alleged crimes related to January 6 were identified via mobile data handed over to the FBI by the likes of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile—again, often without a warrant.
The Bill of Rights guarantees U.S. citizens freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom to demand redress from their government. Unfortunately, mobile providers ceaselessly monitoring and storing our location, identity, internet activity, text messages and calls (down to with whom we speak, when, how often and for how long) is quickly having a “chilling effect” on the exercise of these freedoms—especially as people come to understand that they so readily share this data with governments.
In response, many suggest that we should demand that Congress pass laws to protect Americans’ freedoms and stop such egregious surveillance by mobile operators. Unfortunately, there is not much likelihood that Congress will ever take such action.
Big Tech companies and mobile operators that collect and share this information with the government are two of the biggest spending sectors on lobbying in Washington DC. Too many members of Congress have too much to lose by proposing any sort of truly meaningful legislation.
If We the People want to protect our freedoms against industry and government overreach, then we will have to arm ourselves with the tools and knowledge to do it on our own.
Realizing this, I founded Volta Wireless, to help provide those tools and knowledge. Many others in the tech industry with similar concerns about privacy and personal freedom have also launched efforts to address these issues through the free market.
As a result, people have the tools to free themselves from the constant surveillance of tech companies, mobile operators and government, and more options are finding their way to the market every day. Now it is up to all of us to get the word out, and to start using these tools to take back our freedoms.
David Sinclair is a veteran telecommunications and technology executive and the Founder and CEO of Volta Wireless.
CEO issues ominous warning, says big tech is an existential threat to American freedom
America was founded on freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of beliefs, and most importantly, the freedom of self-determination.
Self-determination, in terms of American independence, meant freedom from control and manipulation by an elite in England that did not have the best interests of the American people in mind.
When the internet was first developed, people believed it would deliver them greater freedom than ever by providing equal access to information, along with the means to share information—to communicate.
At first, it did. During the 1990s and early 2000s, regimes that had built their power by controlling access to information and using propaganda to control and manipulate their people collapsed one after the other.
Tragically, these tools of freedom were soon turned inside out by mobile operators and technology companies eager to profit by monitoring people as they used the internet and wireless technologies.
By 2010, the internet was no longer about empowering individuals to communicate freely and share information. It had become all about collecting information on everyone using the internet—what they were looking at, who they were talking to, and what they were saying.
Over the next decade, a collection of technology companies, mobile operators, and government agencies—a group we now think of as “Big Tech”—perfected a new business model: Surveillance Capitalism— providing “free” or cheap services to consumers in order to collect unlimited data on them, analyze that data, and then use that data to control and manipulate them in ways that would be difficult for them to even notice.
At first, this manipulation was relatively benign—showing a user an advertisement related to a product he had searched for. Over time, though, with the development of AI-driven analytics and psychology-based algorithms, Big Tech began classifying people into groups by their physical characteristics (age, gender, race, etc.) and by their beliefs.
And based on these classifications, Big Tech began sharing certain information with some of these people and withholding that information from others. By manipulating access to information, Big Tech managed to fragment society and pit those fragments against each other.
Conservatives vs. liberals. Gun-rights advocates vs. gun-control advocates. Young vs. old. Defund the Police vs. Law and Order. Why would they do this?
Are you really being manipulated, used, then monetized by Big Tech? You betcha. You may have joked with someone that you “probably shouldn’t have said that on the phone,” after commenting in a particularly spirited way about a politician or an edgy idea or a deeply held conviction, but it’s no joke.
Your calls are indeed being monitored, like everything else you do with your mobile phone. And because of this, we have all begun to self-censor.
This self-censorship is one of the most dangerous aspects of Big Tech’s eavesdropping and tracking. If we are frightened to say what we think, we will soon stop thinking it. If we are worried about reaching out too many times to the “wrong people,” we will eventually stop freely associating with others.
If we automatically second-guess whether to write something in an email or a text, we will write inoffensive, careful, watered-down words that no longer convey the depth of our beliefs and passions.
This isn’t some dystopian, outlandish tale. Even the novel 1984 and the movie The Matrix don’t seem so much like fiction anymore. Life is imitating art in terrifying ways. Those who don’t feel it, don’t see it, and don’t fear it are in denial about what’s actually happening.
What I am sharing with you now won’t sit well with many in the ruling classes. Just like the despots of old, they want to control and manipulate you into becoming no more than an unthinking, disempowered, revenue-generating automaton, focused on shopping for the latest form of material satisfaction, while tearing each other down based on whatever the elites have determined should be the latest propaganda—racism, the environment, social justice, etc.
So what to do? Act. I founded Volta Wireless to bring freedom back to the internet, to empower everyone to communicate and share information freely without having to worry about Big Tech tracking their every move.
Others, who feel as I do, are fighting back via their areas of specialty. Because, maybe, if we don’t allow Big Tech to track us, then they won’t be able to control and manipulate us. And then maybe we will be able to begin to find some common ground and start making the world a better place—together.
David Sinclair is a former telecommunications and tech industry executive and is now the Founder and CEO of Volta Wireless.
Hunter’s “sugar brother” engaged in disinformation campaign to discredit the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” issue
If things go as expected, given the country’s two-tiered justice system, Hunter Biden may never be given a perp walk, let alone be charged with anything. After the fiasco where Michael Sussmann, despite overwhelming evidence, was acquitted of lying to the FBI while people who trespassed at the Capitol on January 6 languish in jail 17 months later, it’s clear our criminal justice system is broken.
Yet as Biden awaits the results of a federal investigation in Delaware into his taxes and foreign business dealings to become public, there is a move afoot to attempt to “flip the script” on his laptop scandal, according to Miranda Devine of the New York Post.
Devine, author of the New York Times bestseller “Laptop From Hell” writes that the same Los Angeles entertainment lawyer who “loaned” Hunter Biden over $2 million to pay his tax debts is in the midst of a campaign to “discredit the laptop and divert attention from its damning revelations” which reveal the Biden crime family’s shady international influence-peddling operations.
Kevin Morris has gathered a group of 30 lawyers and investigators to help Biden and “blunt the impact” of the Delaware investigation, CBS News reported.
However leaks emanating from inside the Morris scheme as well as a “hand-scrawled mind map” he shared with friends and colleagues indicate there is a “chaotic disinformation” campaign which is attempting to rewrite the story of how Biden’s laptop came to be found.
Morris is attempting not to debunk the actual contents of the laptop, which has been verified by multiple media organizations since the story was first broken by the Post in October 2020, only weeks before the presidential election.
Rather he is trying to build a story which debunks the facts of how the laptop became public, first of all denying that Hunter Biden had abandoned the laptop in a Delaware repair shop on April 12, 2019, while further pushing a narrative that the laptop had somehow been stolen, “hacked,” or “cloned.”
That may be what they are attempting to do, however the chain of custody “has been well established by The Post,” Devine writes.
According to Devine, John Paul Mac Isaac became the legal owner of Hunter Biden’s MacBook 90 days after he brought it to the repair shop and failed to reclaim it, nor pay the $85 repair bill.
Upon finding Ukrainian material on the laptop he believed relevant to Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, Mac Isaac turned the computer over to the FBI on Dec. 9, 2019.
Meanwhile about 9 months later, in August 2020, Mac Isaac, who had kept the contents of Biden’s laptop on a hard drive to protect himself, sent a copy of the contents to Bob Costello, the lawyer of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, via FedEx.
It was Giuliani who alerted the Post. The copy of the hard drive was the basis of the October 2020 reports published by the paper, which revealed Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s overseas business ventures, despite his repeated denials.
Morris however is claiming that Hunter Biden never dropped off his laptop with Mac Isaac, despite a receipt he has produced where Hunter Biden signed for the laptop, with his signature being verified by a handwriting expert. Morris claims the laptop was one which Hunter Biden had abandoned at his psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow’s office in Newburyport, Mass on Feb. 1, 2019. Ablow was treating Hunter Biden for his crack addiction, Devine writes.
In his “mind map,” Morris alleges that Roger Stone, an ally of former President Trump, and his lawyer, Tyler Nixon allegedly developed a plot with Ablow and Mac Isaac to create “clones” of the laptop left at Ablow’s office to discredit Joe Biden before the 2020 election.
The ties between Stone and Ablow are slim at best, with the former having written the foreword for Ablow’s 2020 book, “Trump Your Life,” while Ablow is tied to the New York Post by virtue of columns he wrote for the paper in 2009.
The conspiracy theory…or shall we say “misinformation” (where are you Scary Poppins Nina Jankowicz?)—has been aired by CBS News and is being blasted on Twitter by the Brooklyn Dad Defiant account, which is run by a left-wing social media influencer, Majid Padellan. Padellan has allegedly been paid thousands of dollars by a Democratic-aligned PAC to blast pro-Biden opinions.
Padellan started the campaign, Devine says, a couple of weeks back, tweeting about Stone and Ablow while alleging, “Dr. Keith Ablow is one of the shady characters that is being exposed for tampering with Hunter’s laptop, one of many in the busted chain of custody…#AblowClones”
However Devine says this assertion “is easily disproven” and Ablow dismissed it out of hand as “a work of fiction.” Stone meanwhile called the tweet “insane conjecture bordering on defamation,” and by Mac Isaac as a “loose effort to muddy the waters.”
Biden did in fact abandon yet a second laptop at Ablow’s office (what is it with this guy and laptops anyway?) along with a $12,000 Loro Piana blazer that he never picked up, despite a number of reminders from Ablow’s secretary.
Ablow retained the second laptop in a safe located in his basement for a year, until his home was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration on Feb. 13, 2020.
While Ablow was never charged over the raid, DEA agents seized the laptop, which was then returned to Hunter Biden’s attorney George Mesires. A pretext for the raid on Ablow’s home? It sure seems that way.
Hunter Biden had a third laptop that, according to him, was stolen by Russian drug dealers in August 2018, he claimed during a “drug bender” in Las Vegas. Biden actually recorded himself speaking of the incident in a video on the Mac Isaac laptop.
At the time Biden kept misplacing laptops, he was addicted to crack cocaine while “being paid millions by shady characters in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Romania while his father was vice president,” Devine wrote.
Hunter Biden owned at least 46 Apple devices in the eight years between 2011 and 2019, which included 20 iPhones, eight Mac computers, nine iPads and three Apple TVs, according to Konstantinos Dimitrelos, a cyber-forensics expert retained by the Washington Examiner to examine a copy of the Mac Isaac-originated hard drive. According to Dimitrelos, the drive was “indisputably authentic [with] no evidence of any hacking or file manipulation.”
While there are a number of issues with the conspiracy theory derived by Morris of the “Ablow clones,” the most significant ones are authentic videos and other materials unique to the Mac Isaac laptop which were created after Hunter “forgot” his second laptop at Ablow’s office.
For example, Devine notes, 13 videos were created on the Mac Isaac laptop using the “Photo Booth” app between Feb. 6, 2019, and March 10, 2019, most of which included Hunter Biden’s obsession of recording his sexual dalliances.
Devine writes that Photo Booth videos are saved internally on a Mac, and are not uploaded to the cloud whenever such a computer is synched to other devices. Devine explains what this means is that the videos are “unique to the Mac Isaac laptop,” which confirms it could not be a clone to the earlier Ablow laptop.
For example in one of the videos from Feb. 24, 2019, Hunter was involved in a conversation with his sister-in-law-turned-lover, Hallie Biden which became heated. They argued over a column by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote that the “troubled Hunter” could prove problematic to Joe Biden’s presidential aspirations.
Devine writes that the publication date of the column lines up with the time stamp of the video, created 23 days after Hunter Biden abandoned his second laptop at Ablow’s office.
Ablow, who until now hasn’t spoken publicly about Hunter Biden, said: “I never looked at any laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, much less shared my laptop belonging to Mr. Biden with anyone, ever.”
“I wouldn’t know how to access a password-protected laptop if my life depended on it,” Ablow continued.
According to two of Hunter Biden’s friends, Morris is described as a “sugar brother” who has also been paying his $20,000 per month rent in California.
Morris founded a company last June, Media Courthouse Documentaries, which has been examining Hunter Biden’s life. Part of his activities brought him to Serbia with a film crew last November, where they accessed the set of “My Son Hunter,” an upcoming movie about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The Biden family crooked? You decide.
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