Report: Wuhan Bio Lab Carried Out Gain Of Function Research On Monkeypox Virus

Report: Wuhan Bio Lab Carried Out Gain Of Function Research On Monkeypox Virus


Report: Wuhan Bio Lab Carried Out Gain Of Function Research On Monkeypox Virus

To Be More Lethal

Steve Watson

The Wuhan bio lab that was the centre of controversy surrounding gain of function research on coronaviruses appears to have been carrying out the same kind of research on monkeypox, to make it more lethal to humans, according to a report citing the peer reviewed journal Virologica Sinica which published the lab’s findings in February.

The National Pulse reports:

The Wuhan Institute of Virology assembled a monkeypox virus genome, allowing the virus to be identified through PCR tests, using a method researchers flagged for potentially creating a “contagious pathogen.”

The report continues:

The study was first published in February 2022, just months before the latest international outbreak of monkeypox cases which appear to have now reached the United States.

Researchers appeared to identify a portion of the monkeypox virus genome, enabling PCR tests to identify the virus, in the paper: “Efficient Assembly of a Large Fragment of Monkeypox Virus Genome as a qPCR Template Using Dual-Selection Based Transformation-Associated Recombination“.

The paper acknowledged that this Transformation-Associated Recombination (TAR) “applied in virological research could also raise potential security concerns, especially when the assembled product contains a full set of genetic material that can be recovered into a contagious pathogen.”

Click Here to read the Full Paper

The revelations follow on from suggestions from a source within the European Centers For Disease Control that the current strain of monkeypox rapidly spreading across the globe appears to be “a third lab strain with unknown characteristics, and that there is chatter about this being somehow related to Moscow’s charges against U.S. biological activities in Ukraine.”

This information, along with several other reports indicating that drills and ‘war game’ scenarios by the WHO and the Gates Foundation involving monkeypox will once again serve to stoke fears that the outbreak could have originated from a bio lab.

Just as news of the first monkeypox case found in the U.S. broke, the Biden administration ordered 13 million doses of a vaccine that protects against both monkeypox and smallpox.

The World Health Organisation is warning that summer festivals and mass gatherings could accelerate the spread of monkeypox in the first indication that health technocrats may once again attempt to impose restrictions in the name of stopping the spread of a virus.

“As we enter the summer season in the European region, with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate, as the cases currently being detected are among those engaging in sexual activity, and the symptoms are unfamiliar to many,” said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe.

This weekend, Belgium became the first country to begin imposing quarantine measures for the virus, as Joe Biden also stated that the developments were ‘concerning’.

Sky News reported that “Exactly what is driving the UK’s largest outbreak is a mystery,” especially as health experts previously asserted that monkeypox wasn’t very transmissible amongst humans, with some speculating it has mutated.

The virus is also spreading at the same time the WHO is preparing to vote on an international pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005).

According to critics, the treaty would, “give the unelected WHO greater control of national emergency healthcare decisions and new powers to push vaccine passports, global surveillance, and “global coordinated actions” that address “misinformation” whenever it declares a “health emergency.”

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(TLB) published this article from Summit News as compiled and written by Steve Watson


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Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over “Privileged” Documents

Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over “Privileged” Documents


Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over “Privileged” Documents

And – how Joffe’s “privilege” can be overcome

By Techno Fog via The Reactionary

We’ve documented the ongoing battle to obtain Fusion GPS e-mails and documents in the Michael Sussmann case. At issue in the Sussmann case are 38 e-mails and attachments between and among Fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe, and Perkins Coie.

These 38 e-mails and attachments are among approximately 1,500 documents that Fusion GPS withheld from production to the grand jury based on “privilege.”

What Fusion GPS has to produce.

Today, the court in the Sussmann case made an important ruling and rejected, in large measure, Fusion’s assertion of attorney-client or work-product privilege:

Fusion GPS will have to produce these documents to Special Counsel Durham by May 16, 2022. What do these e-mails and documents contain? The court’s order provides guidance, stating they relate to:

Internal Fusion GPS e-mails discussing the Alfa Bank data and e-mails circulating draft versions of the Alfa Bank white papers that were “ultimately provided to the press and the FBI.”

Here are some examples of what these e-mails might include. These are privilege logs in Fusion GPS’s other litigation relating to the Alfa Bank hoax.

The other emails.

This leaves 16 e-mails and documents remaining. For now, Durham will not get them. These are divided into two categories:

  1. Eight of the e-mails involve internal communications among Fusion GPS employees. The court was “unable to tell from the emails or the surrounding circumstances whether they were prepared for a purpose other than assisting Perkins Coie in providing legal advice to the Clinton Campaign in anticipation of litigaiton.” Coming from the court, that’s a long way of saying that the sworn declarations of Fusion/Clinton lawyers (Levy and Elias) were sufficient to meet the “privilege” burden. This doesn’t mean that Durham can’t overcome this hurdle – just that it hasn’t been overcome yet.
  2. The other eight e-mails and attachments include those among Fusion GPS’s Laura Seago, Sussmann, and Rodney Joffe. The court observed that the e-mails are consistent with Joffe’s assertion of privilege.

With respect to the Joffe e-mails, we note that he is still a subject – perhaps a target – of the Special Counsel’s investigation. Here’s a portion of the transcript from an evidentiary hearing in the Sussmann case that discusses their ongoing investigation into Joffe:

Because the investigation into Joffe is ongoing, it makes sense that the Special Counsel is hesitant to disclose to the court information that could overcome this purported “privilege.” Keep in mind the crime-fraud exception, where communications are not considered privileged where they “are made in furtherance of a crime, fraud, or other misconduct” (citation omitted). In other words, the Special Counsel may still be able to get Joffe’s e-mails – assuming Joffe is charged under 18 USC 1031. He can also get them through the grand jury process, as we saw with Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort.1

I’ll also add that the fact that privilege applies to some of these documents strengthens the Special Counsel’s argument that Sussmann was representing a client when he met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker in September 2016.

As to the e-mails and documents Durham will obtain, he cannot use them during trial. The court considered Durham’s efforts to be too close to the May 16, 2022 trial date to allow these e-mails and documents into trial. I’m not sure that matters. Sussmann is facing a false statement charge, and the court observed these e-mails are not “particularly revelatory.”

Finally, while “Court takes no position on the other approximately 1500 documents that Fusion GPS withheld as privileged,” we can assume based on this ruling that the majority of those documents would not be privileged. Durham will likely get most of them.

For those interested: After I wrote this post, New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau filed this request for a protective order. Lichtblau will be called as a witness by Sussmann’s attorneys to discuss “communications between Mr. Sussmann and Mr. Lichtblau” – meetings at which Rodney Joffe was present (that confidentiality privilege was waived).

The Special Counsel has refused to limit Lichtblau’s testimony to that narrow topic:

Durham is taking this position because Lichtblau was in contact with Peter Fritsch (and Glenn Simpson) of Fusion GPS leading up to the 2016 election. Fritsch was feeding Lichtblau Fusion “opposition research” (what we might accurately call bullshit), and Lichtblau was at least somewhat receptive, though not salivating like Franklin Foer. These are relevant to the broader “media relations” strategy that Sussmann and Fusion GPS pursued on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Here are the e-mails:

**********

(TLB) published this article by Techno Fog via The Reactionary with our appreciation for the coverage

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Devin Nunes Derides Twitter As A Potemkin Village Of Bots

Devin Nunes Derides Twitter As A Potemkin Village Of Bots

Former California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, now an executive behind Truth Social, said any time he spends worried about Twitter “is a waste of time for the company,” describing the blue bird platform as a “ghost town.”

“Places like Twitter don’t have very many people,” Nunes said on The Federalist Radio Hour podcast Thursday. “There’s just not very many real people if you have bot farms, left-wing bot farms, spam accounts, corporate accounts, and then you have a lot of dead accounts.”

Nunes, who left Congress in January to spearhead former President Donald Trump’s free speech-branded alternative, said Twitter likely always concealed its true number of customers in the U.S. while making comparatively little money for a major tech giant.

“My guess is that whatever your follower amount is, it’s must lower than that. Those people just aren’t on the platform,” Nunes said. On top of shadow banning, Twitter’s influence beyond its activist users is on the decline.

The ex-lawmaker welcomed billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, explaining Truth Social is meant to be a different platform while the competition places pressure on incumbent tech oligarchs to open up the internet.

“If more billionaires want to come around and buy up these other companies, we’re all for it,” Nunes said. “But I just don’t see, you know, any minute that — despite what the fake news says and the narratives that they’re trying to write — any minute that I spend worried about Twitter, that’s a ghost town with no people, is a waste of time for the company.”

Users on Truth Social, Nunes added, “even in our nascent stage,” already routinely garnered more engagement than on rival platforms dominated by Silicon Valley.

Musk struck a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, paying a 38 percent premium above the company’s share price in April. The founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla revealed Friday morning the deal was “temporarily on hold” but remains “still committed to acquisition” despite the setback.

Musk linked to an article from Reuters in the Friday post highlighting that only less than 5 percent of users on the platform were fake or spam accounts. That number, however, doesn’t include inactive accounts.

On Truth Social, Trump called the purchase a “ridiculous price” for a platform “largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts.”

“By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have?” Trump wrote on his own service. “If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone. Just my opinion, but Truth Social is MUCH better than Twitter and is absolutely exploding, incredible engagement!”


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

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Elon Musk Can Use The First Amendment To Make Twitter Open To Free Speech Again

Elon Musk Can Use The First Amendment To Make Twitter Open To Free Speech Again

Edit buttons, open-source algorithms, long-form tweets, and stopping scam bots are just some of the modifications Elon Musk suggested he would implement in the run-up to his successful bid to buy Twitter. All of those sound like interesting ideas.

But none of them will directly improve the prospects for free and open dialogue on the platform, which appear to be Musk’s overarching reason for buying the company. As he has rightly said, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Musk also recently tweeted, “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.” He is on the right track. Twitter should do what “matches the law” by modeling its policies after First Amendment standards.

Musk’s commitment is a breath of fresh air for those who value free speech. He seems to comprehend that free speech is essential to preserving a free society, and that social media has replaced the physical town square as the primary place for debate and expression.

So how should Musk practically implement his promise to improve free speech on Twitter? He should revise the platform’s policies based on the lessons of First Amendment case law — the world’s richest repository of practical wisdom on protecting free speech.

As a private company, Twitter is not legally obligated to follow the Constitution as a government actor would be. Nevertheless, the First Amendment’s legal protections are valuable guidelines for how private actors can help create a culture of free speech.

Here are two actions he can take that will directly improve the prospects for free and open debate and dialogue on the platform: One, eliminate private “speech codes” — policies that contain vague and imprecise terms that threaten free speech. Two, adopt a robust anti-censorship policy.

Step One: Eliminate Private Speech Codes

What are speech codes? They are rules that control the content of what people can or can’t say. In addition, these regulations commonly contain unclear and imprecise terms that give enforcement officials unbridled discretion to censor speech they don’t like.

In the First Amendment context, courts routinely strike down government speech codes because of the plain threat they pose to free speech. Unfortunately, these types of policies now proliferate on private social media platforms, including Twitter, and significantly contribute to the censorship problem in the digital public square.

Musk can spot speech codes by looking for vague or imprecise language — two tell-tale signs of looming censorship. One basic guideline on how to spot these problematic terms is to look for vague terms.

A term is vague if it (1) forces an individual of ordinary intelligence to guess at what it means, or (2) invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement due to a grant of unfettered discretion or lack of objective standards. Terms that lack clarity and grant broad discretionary powers to those in control threaten free speech because officials can use them to suppress whichever viewpoint they disfavor.

Another thing to look for is imprecise terms: A term is imprecise if it fails to narrowly target the specific harmful activity it is designed to prohibit. Imprecise terms imperil free speech because they reach beyond the harmful activity they purport to target and instead censor and chill speech.

Unclear Terms Allow Censorship

“Hate speech,” “hateful conduct,” “misinformation,” and “disinformation” are some of the most common terms in speech codes. They are also notoriously unclear and imprecise. Twitter has numerous policies containing these terms. Each of these terms is a threat to free speech because they can be wielded to silence any viewpoints those in authority choose.

Take, for example, how these policies affect the free exchange of ideas on the ongoing national debate over gender ideology and its effects on female athletics, privacy, religious freedom, and free speech. This issue is, borrowing from Musk’s words, a “matter vital to the future of humanity.” Yet time and again, Twitter’s policies have hampered the freedom of people to freely discuss this critical issue.

Specifically, Twitter has wielded its “hateful conduct” policy to censor or deplatform users on one side of this debate. Among other things, that policy says, “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” It also bars “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

Prohibiting “hateful conduct” or “targeted harassment” is a noble objective. But, as applied to speech, Twitter’s speech code allows for disproportionate application and censorship. And that’s exactly what has happened.

Just Look at Twitter’s Recent History

For example, in late January 2021, Twitter locked out The Daily Citizen, a Christian news outlet, from its account for stating that one of President Joe Biden’s nominees is a man who identifies as a woman. The full tweet said: “On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”

The tweet linked to an article on The Daily Citizen’s website. This tweet addressed a matter of dramatic importance — whether identifying as a woman is what makes a person a woman — and expressed the position that many reasonable people hold: that identity is not the only thing that makes someone a man or a woman.

The tweet neither expressed any hatred nor encouraged any violence toward Levine. Nevertheless, Twitter informed The Daily Citizen that the tweet violated its “hateful conduct” policy because it “promoted violence, threatened, or harassed” Levine. Twitter denied The Daily Citizen’s appeal and imposed a four-month ban.

Similarly, The Federalist’s Senior Editor John Daniel Davidson was locked out of his Twitter account for saying Levine was a man. Twitter refuses to unlock Davidson’s account unless he deletes the offending tweet, a common practice Twitter applies disproportionately to conservative commentators.

Bans on Transgender Discussion

Similarly, during the 2021 summer Olympics, Twitter banned several commentators for questioning Olympic rules that permit males to compete in women’s categories. For example, when New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard exited the competition after failing all three attempts, Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted that “Laura [sic] Hubbard failing at the event doesn’t make his inclusion fair. He’s still a man, and men shouldn’t compete against women in weightlifting.”

In response to Stuckey’s 12-hour ban, Erick Erickson tweeted, “This is absurd. Laurel Hubbard is a man even if Twitter doesn’t like it.” He also received a 12-hour ban. Both times, Twitter invoked its “hateful conduct” policy.

More recently, Twitter has censored The Babylon Bee and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler for expressing their views on gender identity ideology and its impact on women. These examples of viewpoint discrimination against high-profile users only scratch the surface of the distortion Twitter’s “hateful conduct” speech code does to Twitter’s “town square” in cyberspace.

‘Misinformation’ Policies Restrict Speech

The same free speech threats spring from policies barring so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation,” which have both been wielded to silence ongoing conversations about public health, gender identity ideology, voting integrity, and more. For example, one current Twitter policy defines “informational harm” as follows: “Harm that adversely impacts the ability for an individual to access information fundamental to exercising their rights, or that significantly disrupts the stability and/or safety of a social group or society including medical mis-information i.e. COVID-19.”

It’s difficult to imagine policy language that grants more discretion to restrict speech than the terms of this policy. There are no standards at all. The policy will inevitably be enforced based solely on Twitter employees’ subjective judgments about which views “impact the ability of a person to access information,” or “significantly disrupts the stability of society.” Those who control access to a speech forum, and what you are allowed to say, have no business wielding this kind of unchecked power over the exchange of ideas.

Twitter’s current policies fail to appreciate a critical First Amendment maxim: The answer to speech you don’t like is more speech, not censorship. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote in a 1927 decision, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Thankfully, Musk appears fully cognizant of Twitter’s policies’ propensity to squelch free speech. He seems motivated to make good on Twitter’s promise “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, and to express their opinions and beliefs without barriers.” To do so, he must eliminate Twitter’s speech codes, starting with the policies outlined above. Any essential limits on content should be shaped with surgical precision to give users clear notice of the boundaries and prevent employees’ biases from infecting their enforcement decisions.

Step Two: Adopt an Anti-censorship Policy

Musk should take one additional step to restore free speech on Twitter. He should adopt a policy that bars censorship and expressly states that it will not enforce any of its policies in a manner that restricts the free exchange of ideas. By doing so, he will provide his content moderation team a workable roadmap to implement his guiding free speech principles across the enterprise.

Here is model language Musk should consider for a new free speech policy:

Twitter does not discriminate against users, censor users or a user’s expression, or interfere with users’ ability to receive the expression of another based on the viewpoint of the user or another person, regardless of whether the viewpoint is expressed on the platform or through another medium.

No Twitter policies will be enforced in a manner that restricts expression on matters of public concern because of the expression’s viewpoint, even when some may find the expression offensive, hurtful, misguided, upsetting, or otherwise objectionable.

By following the steps outlined above, Musk can make important strides toward realizing his goal of aligning Twitter’s policies with First Amendment free speech protections.


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EU, UK join US in Launching Online ‘Disinformation’ Policies, ‘One-World Governance’ of Social Media

EU, UK join US in Launching Online ‘Disinformation’ Policies, ‘One-World Governance’ of Social Media


EU, UK join US in launching online ‘disinformation’ policies, ‘one-world governance’ of social media

MICHAEL NEVRADAKIS, Ph.D. for THE DEFENDER

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) and the U.K.’s proposed Online Safety Bill are among the latest government policies designed to hold social media companies responsible for hate speech and “disinformation” posted by users.

Experts interviewed by The Defender expressed concerns about the potential slippery slope of regulations — in the U.S. and overseas — which, under the guise of “combating disinformation,” stifle the spread of information deemed inconvenient for governments and other powerful actors.

As reported by The Defender, in the U.S., these proposals include a government “disinformation board” and a bill pending before Congress, the Digital Services Oversight and Safety Act.

The EU’s new regulations, experts said, may have far-reaching impacts beyond Europe.

Michael Rectenwald, author of “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” said he can foresee a future in which such regulations might affect all speech — not just speech on social media platforms.

Rectenwald told The Defender :

“[T]he EU’s DSA represents a major step toward one-world governance of social media and Internet search, and one step closer to global government.

“Since the distinction between ‘on-line’ and ‘off-line’ activity will lose all meaning as the Internet includes the Internet of Things and Bodies, the DSA may become the law of the land.”

Is EU’s Digital Services Act on collision course with Musk’s Twitter plans?

In timing that coincided with Elon Musk’s intent to purchase Twitter, the EU announced April 23 the passage of the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DSA seeks to tackle the spread of “misinformation and illegal content” and will apply “to all online intermediaries providing services in the EU,” in proportion to “the nature of the services concerned” and the number of users of each platform.

According to the DSA, “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) and “very large online search engines” (VLOSEs) — those with more than 45 million monthly active users in the EU — will be subject to the most stringent of the DSA’s requirements.

Big Tech companies will be obliged to perform annual risk assessments to ascertain the extent to which their platforms “contribute to the spread of divisive material that can affect issues like health,” and independent audits to determine the steps the companies are taking to prevent their platforms from being “abused.”

These steps come as part of a broader crackdown on the “spread of disinformation” called for by the Act, requiring platforms to “flag hate speech, eliminate any kind of terrorist propaganda” and implement “frameworks to quickly take down illicit content.”

Regarding alleged “disinformation,” these platforms will be mandated to create a “crisis response mechanism” to combat the spread of such content, with the Act specifically citing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the “manipulation” of online content that has ensued.

The DSA also will ban certain types of advertising on digital platforms, including targeted ads tailored to children or to people of specific ethnicities or sexual orientations.

Tech companies also will be required to increase transparency in the form of providing regulators and researchers “access to data on how their systems recommend content to users.”

This latter point appears similar to Musk’s plans to make Twitter’s algorithms “open source to increase trust.”

Companies violating the provisions of the DSA would risk fines of up to 6% of their total global annual revenue, while repeat offenses may result in the platforms being banned from the EU — despite the “open internet” principle professed by the principle of “net neutrality” enshrined in EU law.

According to Techcrunch, the DSA will not fully come into effect until early 2024. However, rules for VLOPs have a shorter implementation period and may be enforced by early 2023.

A spokesperson for the European Commission — the EU’s executive branch — said the new regulations will ensure Big Tech’s “power over public debate is subject to democratically validated rules, in particular on transparency and accountability.” (ER: We have to laugh – ‘democratically validated’? Nothing in the EU is this.)

Margrethe Vestager, the vice president of the European Commission, added, “With today’s agreement, we ensure that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services can pose to society and citizens,” and, “With the DSA we help create a safe and accountable online environment.”

Directly addressing Musk, the European Commission’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, tweeted, “Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules — regardless of their shareholding. Mr. Musk knows this well,” adding, “[Musk] is familiar with European rules on automotive [referring to Musk’s ownership of Tesla Motors], and will quickly adapt to the Digital Services Act.”

Separately, Breton stated,

“We welcome everyone. We are open but on our conditions. At least we know what to tell him: ‘Elon, there are rules. You are welcome but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here.’”

Breton’s warning to Musk bears a striking resemblance to the statements of then-German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who in 2015 warned the newly elected left-wing Greek government not to entertain thoughts about renegotiating the austerity measures imposed on the country by the EU and International Monetary Fund, stating, “Elections change nothing. There are rules.”

Voice of America, a media outlet reflective of official U.S. government policy, reported “the job of reining in a Musk-led Twitter could fall to Europe,” referring to the DSA.

According to Gizmodo, the EU’s new legislation “could have global reverberations,” adding, “Lawmakers are also hoping it could serve as a model for other countries like India and Japan.”

However, Gizmodo warns the success of the DSA in accomplishing its objectives is far from guaranteed, referring to the example of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): “Some predicted [the GDPR] would fundamentally shift online privacy protection worldwide, and instead [it] basically just gave us those insufferable cookie permission pop-ups.”

While the DSA would apply to all 27 EU member states, some of these countries have already enacted similar domestic legislation. For instance, Germany has regulations in place that require digital platforms to remove hate speech within 24 hours or face fines of up to €50 million ($56 million).

Techcrunch, in reporting on the passage of the DSA, referred to legislation in countries not frequently noted for their democratic traditions or respect for free speech, such as China, TurkeyIndia and Nigeria.

As Techcrunch stated, platforms in these countries found to be “non-compliant” with domestic mandates may face fines, police raids, shutdowns and prison sentences for their executives.

Similar regulations pending in U.K.

Legislation similar to the DSA, the Online Safety Bill, is pending in the U.K. It would require Big Tech platforms to moderate “illegal” and “harmful” content in order to be allowed to operate in the U.K.

The bill would require digital platforms to protect users from such “harmful” content, with the threat of fines of up to 10% of global turnover for companies found in violation, as well as potential prison time for senior managers of these companies in cases of non-compliance.

A spokesperson for the U.K. government said:

“Twitter and all social media platforms must protect their users from harm on their sites.

“We are introducing new online safety laws to safeguard children, prevent abusive behaviour and protect free speech.

“All tech firms with users in the U.K. will need to comply with the new laws or face hefty fines and having their sites blocked.”

Max Blain, a spokesperson for U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, said, “Regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be responsible” for “protecting” users.

As The Defender recently reported, Damian Collins, a member of the British parliament with the British Labour Party who led a parliamentary committee that developed the Online Safety Bill, is a board member of the Center for Combating Digital Hate, which partners with prominent “fact-checking” firm NewsGuard.

As previously reported by The Defender, NewsGuard, in turn, closely collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO), which also recently expressed concerns about Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

As U.S., EU sign commitment to ‘democratic values’ on the internet as they prepare policies to regulate online speech

Overshadowed by the news of Musk’s Twitter purchase and developments such as the DSA and the Biden administration’s “disinformation board,” several dozen countries quietly signed the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” April 28.

Fifty-six countries and entities, including the U.S. and the EU, signed this declaration, described as “a political commitment to push rules for the internet that are underpinned by democratic values” and a response to Russia “wielding internet disruptions as a part of its escalating attacks on Ukraine.”

U.S. News reports that the declaration — which is not legally binding — is the first of its kind globally, and “protects human rights, promotes free flow of information, protects the privacy of users, and sets rules for a growing global digital economy among steps to counter what two Biden administration officials called a ‘dangerous new model’ of internet policy from countries such as Russia and China.”

According to the U.S. State Department, the declaration’s principles include:

  • Protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people.
  • Promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information.
  • Advance inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy.
  • Promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through protection of privacy.
  • Protect and strengthen the multi-stakeholder approach to governance that keeps the Internet running for the benefit of all.

In turn, the declaration was described by the EU as being “in line with the rights and principles strongly anchored in the EU.”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, known for her strong support of digital “vaccine passports” throughout the EU, stated:

“Today, for the first time, like-minded countries from all over the world are setting out a shared vision for the future of the Internet, to make sure that the values we hold true offline are also protected online, to make the Internet a safe place and trusted space for everyone, and to ensure that the Internet serves our individual freedom.

“Because the future of the Internet is also the future of democracy, of humankind.”

Thierry Breton remarked:

“This Declaration will ensure that the Internet and the use of digital technologies reinforce, not weaken, democracy and respect for human rights.”

According to the State Department, “[t]he Declaration remains open to all governments or relevant authorities willing to commit and implement its vision and principles.”

What does all this mean for Musk, Twitter and the future of free speech online?

Social media analysts and experts expressed varying opinions and predictions as to what regulations such as the DSA may mean for the global operations of digital platforms such as Twitter — especially if Musk attempts to make good on his pledges to “restore free speech.”

Vasilis Vasilopoulos, data protection officer with Greek public broadcaster ERT and a Ph.D. candidate in journalism and mass media studies at Greece’s Aristotle University, told The Defender there are some positive elements to the DSA.

However, the boundaries of what is considered free speech should also be expanded, albeit within certain limits, he said.

Vasilopoulos added:

“The DSA is not the only means through which the problem of unethical [social media] algorithms with deceptive motives, or the unethical use of social media platforms, can be solved.

“[I]t is obvious that these platforms have surpassed the limits to democracy that we believed existed, and therefore, it is important that instead of imposing restrictions, we expand these boundaries, in favor of humanity and not capital or power.”

Matthew Spitzer, professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, said the EU’s proposals in particular may clash with Musk’s stated goals for Twitter, telling The Defender :

“[The DSA] may interfere with one of Elon Musk’s stated goals for buying Twitter. He seems to want less content moderation. But this regulation requires a lot of it.

“Second, this regulation dovetails with Musk’s stated desire for increased transparency. He had promised more transparency.”

Spitzer added his view that the DSA will likely increase the cost of operation for all social media companies, especially if they must also conform to domestic laws passed by various EU member states.

He added that U.S. tech companies may represent an easy target for European regulators, telling The Defender :

“[T]here will be conflicts between the USA and Europe … all of the target companies started in the USA. They are easy political targets in Europe.”

Referring specifically to Elon Musk and Twitter, Rectenwald said:

“If Musk is to have his way, the platform would no longer discriminate against content based on ‘wokeness,’ political beliefs, or the adherence to official state narratives and dictates.

“This could include the restoration of banned accounts on request by users and dramatic changes to Twitter’s discriminatory, leftist algorithms.”

According to Rectenwald, the EU’s regulations may “hamstring” Musk’s vision for Twitter and lead to a one-size-fits-all approach to content moderation, resulting in a “slippery slope” wherein “any information and opinion that differs from WHO-established official narratives regarding pandemics or other health-related crises” would be restricted.

Rectenwald said:

“Most likely, in order to meet the EU’s regulatory requirements and to streamline their efforts, VLOPs and VLOSEs will simply apply one set of rules to all online content.”

He also added that further pressures on platforms like Twitter may come not from EU regulators, but from the tech industry itself:

“[P]ressure to conform to ‘woke’ dictates will come from the Big Tech ‘woke’ cartel, including threats to remove the Twitter app from the Apple Store for failure to censor ‘hate speech,’ and the flight of ‘woke’ advertisers.

“Most likely, Musk’s purchase of Twitter will make no difference as free speech is further curtailed.”

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Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is an independent journalist and researcher based in Athens, Greece.

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The New Renaissance: the future is holistic farming

The New Renaissance: the future is holistic farming


Intro by Steve Cook

This fascinating snippet was posted by Jo Silvester. Jo has a talent for finding truly thought-provoking and creative-thinking ideas and here is such a one, which we think is well worth sharing with you.

As the new Renaissance gathers momentum and we emerge from the biochemical barbarism of the globalist Dark Age, the world is going to turn to bright progressive people with creative ideas and the ability to expand thought beyond the strictures imposed by the slavers and decriers of Man.

Can Regenerative Farming Save the World?

Holistic management is one form of regenerative agriculture, which involves embracing the relationships between large herds of wild herbivores and grasslands, developing strategies to manage herds of domestic livestock to mimic wild herds.

“Holistic Management is successful because it is cost-effective, highly scalable and nature-based,” the Savory Institute explains.

Critics have brought up the fact that livestock can release excessive levels of methane into the environment, but this is only an issue with livestock raised in crowded conditions on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which maintain manure lagoons and convert forests and grasslands into corn and soy monocultures used for animal feed.

“It is reasonable to conclude that an intact ecosystem effectively balances ruminant methane production and breakdown,” according to the Savory Institute, which continues:
“Healthy, well-aerated soils — a characteristic quality of grasslands under Holistic Planned Grazing — harbor bacteria called methanotrophs, which break down methane. Soil-based decomposition of methane may be equal to or greater than ruminant methane production, depending on animal density, soil type and soil health. Thus, the benefits of eco-restoration through Holistic Management far outweigh methane emissions resulting from livestock.”

It’s a boon for food security as well, because it allows landowners to increase profits and yields without putting the long-term viability of the land at risk. The use of holistic management for the preparation of agricultural crop fields can increase yields more than four-fold, without the need for additional inputs, according to the Savory Institute.

While it may seem simplistic, the movement of herds of herbivores has a complex and beneficial role in increasing land productivity by up to 400%, which it accomplishes via:

  • Hooves that break up soil and trample plants, supporting seed germination and enhancing water filtration
  • Grazing, which stimulates grass growth
  • Dung and urine, which act as natural fertilizers to the soil

Desertification, which occurs when vast grasslands are plowed up, exposing the soil and causing water runoff and evaporation, is a growing problem too. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 2 million acres of federally protected grasslands and wetlands in North Dakota alone were taken out of the conservation program between 2007 and 2015.

Holistic management and planned grazing can help here as well, as it increases organic matter in the soil, helping it to hold water. An increase in water holding capacity of 40% was demonstrated by one study on land using holistic planned grazing.20 From increasing food security and mitigating drought to improving poverty by turning impoverished regions into productive ones, regenerative agriculture can, indeed, save the world. As Andersson put it:

“If we want our kids to have a safe place to live in, what do we need to do to make that happen? With our ingenuity and our creativity, there are so many places where we can enable and support and help life on this planet.

So we can obviously make this place greener and more diverse than it has ever been before. And to me that’s just step one. Regenerative agriculture is the natural step for mankind to take, now. That is the leap in progress, and there’s basically no other way.”

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CDC Spied On Americans To See If They Were Complying With Mandates

CDC Spied On Americans To See If They Were Complying With Mandates


CDC Spied On Americans To See If They Were Complying With Mandates & Lockdowns

CDC lauded the data for “hourly monitoring of activity in curfew zones or detailed counts of visits to participating pharmacies for vaccine monitoring.”

Steve Watson

A report by Vice News details how the CDC purchased tracking data for millions of Americans’ mobile phones with an intention of monitoring their movements to see if they were complying with lockdowns, curfews and travel restrictions during the COVID pandemic.

The reports states that the CDC paid $420,000 for one year of data from a company called SafeGraph, which links up with app developers to harvest location data from people’s phones. When people download the apps to their devices, they are asked to accept terms that include sharing location data.

The company, which is linked to a former head of Saudi intelligence, has since been banned from the Google Play Store for violating its T&Cs on data collection.

The documents obtained by Vice state that the procurement request for the data by the CDC was labelled as an “URGENT COVID-19” request and should be given priority.

The documents outline several “potential CDC use cases for data,” specifically listing “the effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic,” “Examination of COVID-19 vaccination rates, mobility, … at the county or sub-county level (this could also be applies to flu and mask use),” and “examination of the correlation of mobility patterns data and rise in COVID-19 cases”.

A CDC document obtained by Vice admits that the data “has been critical for ongoing response efforts, such as hourly monitoring of activity in curfew zones or detailed counts of visits to participating pharmacies for vaccine monitoring.”

Another section notes that “CDC has interest in continued access to this mobility data as the country opens back up. This data is used by several teams/groups in the response and have been resulting in deeper insights into the pandemic as it pertains to human behavior.”

It is believed that at least 20 million active cellphone users per day in the US had data harvested by the process.

SafeGraph has also been accused of selling location data of visitors to abortion clinics, which the company this week announced it will halt.

As we previously noted, reports revealed that Government spies in the UK were monitoring the movement of British people minute by minute to check if they were complying with government restrictions.

The London Telegraph (Paywall) reported in late 2020 that spies from Britain’s most secretive intelligence and security organisation, Government Communications Headquarters, had embedded a ‘cell’ within Number 10 Downing Street in order to provide Prime Minister Boris Johnson with real time information pertaining to the public’s movements.

The Daily Mail also reported on the development, noting that GCHQ, normally tasked with spying on terrorists and foreign powers, was turned on the British public to gauge whether people were following the COVID ‘rules’ or not.

The report noted that as well as tracking the movement of people, the spies were collecting information on “internet searches for holidays and jobs.”

The spy agency was also being employed to combat ‘anti-vaccination conspiracy theories’ being spread on social media, in relation to the pandemic.

Speaking anonymously to the London Times, a source noted that “GCHQ has been told to take out antivaxers online and on social media. There are ways they have used to monitor and disrupt terrorist propaganda.”

GCHQ has previously been embroiled in controversy where spying on the public is concerned, as it was revealed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, that the agency was scouring all online and telephone data in the UK via a program code named ‘Tempora’.

In addition, In January 2021, British Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt called for the government to use GPS tracking technology to ensure Brits were complying with COVID quarantine measures.

As we also previously highlighted, a YouGov poll asked Brits if they supported, “The Government in [country name] using the mobile phone data of individuals to ensure they are complying with restrictions on movement outside of the home during a lockdown.”

45% supported the idea compared to 42% who opposed it.

Another idea was to force Brits to take daily selfies that were cross referenced with GPS data and facial recognition software to ensure they didn’t leave home.

The policies were compared to those of the Chinese government, which reportedly forced some citizens to scan a government tracking app before being allowed to re-enter their own homes.

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(TLB) published this article from Summit News as compiled and written by Steve Watson


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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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As A Teacher Who Sees Rampant Tech Addiction Up Close, I’m Sending My Kids To Screen-Free Schools

As A Teacher Who Sees Rampant Tech Addiction Up Close, I’m Sending My Kids To Screen-Free Schools

Many of today’s children are ignorant, sad, and set up for failure. They lack the knowledge and skills to perform basic tasks. They are lonely and suffer from depression and anxiety. Also, as Mark Bauerlein explains in his book “The Dumbest Generation Grows Up,” they are incredibly immature.

The reasons for this are not a mystery. One top answer is actually incredibly simple: screens. Instead of learning about their world and participating in it, the majority of young people are glued to their devices, playing video games, scrolling through social media, and streaming videos.

This past year, American teens and pre-teens spent an average of nine hours per day in front of a screen. That means they spend almost twice as much waking life looking at illuminated pixels than they do at physical objects and people.

As I’ve argued before, tablets and smartphones have radically transformed the school experience from what it used to be. Those who taught before screens wouldn’t even recognize today’s classrooms, and those who taught afterward wouldn’t even believe what students of the past were capable of without the help of technology.

Screens Crept In and Now They’re Everywhere

As an older millennial born in the ‘80s, I witnessed the transition. I began teaching a few years before smartphones and tablets became popular and observed the gradually increasing effects they’ve made over the years.

At first, schools had strict policies about phones, confiscating them on sight and charging students a hefty fee and a few days of detention to recover it. Over the years, however, administrators relaxed these rules, instituting school-wide BYOT and encouraging teachers to incorporate more technology into instruction and somehow channel their students’ screen addiction towards educational ends.

These days, nearly all the students have smartphones and use them obsessively. The damage done is unmistakable: they have lost the ability to focus; they can’t remember anything (except to check their smartphone every other second); they lack imagination and depend heavily on sound and visuals, and they are bored by everything.

Not only do the screens affect students academically, but also socially. Many students don’t talk anymore, and they will go through the whole school year without making friends. Those free moments of the day where kids would socialize (the one great virtue of formal education) are now spent on the screen.

It makes sense, then, that in my experience, there’s a strong correlation between students’ academic performance and the time they spend on their phones. My top students use their smartphones like tools (or to challenge me at Wordle), not as crutches. And most of them have hobbies, play sports, and enjoy fulfilling relationships. They are well-adjusted and mature, everything one would want in a young adult.

Without exception, the students who struggle are all addicted to screens. They can’t pay attention or retain any information, and they are often restless even when they have their phones. Many have to repeat classes and regularly retake state standardized tests. Remediating them is difficult because they progress so slowly, forever bewitched by their screens.

The Top Reason for Screens Is Making Adults More Comfortable

Seeing all this and feeling its consequences, why do people continue to push for more technology if it does so much harm? There are reasons for this, just not very good ones.

For educators, technology seems to promise an easy fix for all problems. Once students have a device with access to the internet, they will be instantly engaged, informed, and above all pacified — or so the thinking goes. In some cases, this actually does happen — until the novelty wears off. In most cases, though, school districts squander millions of dollars on apps and additional devices that no one bothers to use.

In the case of parents pushing technology, the reasoning is similar. Parents give their kids an iPad or smartphone in the hopes it will settle them down, keep them happy, and maybe teach them something. And while this gives parents peace and quiet in the short term, it makes the kids addicts in the long term. There’s also the serious problem of what the kids are actually doing on their screens — much of which is not age-appropriate.

Added to this temptation to keep kids quiet is the constant peer pressure. Most parents know getting their kids hooked to screens is bad, but when they see everyone else doing it, these concerns go out the window. Rather, they would be weird and paranoid not to give their kids ample screen time. They might fall behind.

Thus, because of the sheer ubiquity and convenience of screens, it becomes a Herculean effort to eliminate them in any meaningful way. Nevertheless, it’s possible and most certainly worth it.

Screen-Free Kids are Happy Kids

For a few years now, my wife and I have held strong with our three toddlers, keeping our house screen-free. On one hand, this means we have to actively monitor and supervise them from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, which can be exhausting and often overwhelming. On the other hand, our children are much more creative, energetic, and mature than most kids their age. More importantly, they are happier and we have a close relationship with them.

To maintain a screen-free environment, we’ve also opted to send our children to a classical charter school that prohibits smartphones and tablets. Our eldest will enter kindergarten this fall. While she could have attended highly rated public schools in our area, I’ve worked long enough as an educator to see how even the best education is undermined by a lax technology policy.

As for the possibility of making non-classical schools screen-free, this will take a tremendous strength of will from the whole school community, especially after two years of Covid craziness. Computers and the internet are embedded in nearly every aspect of public education now, and the large majority of students are addicted to their devices.

It’s true that on most campuses, at least here in Texas, teachers can take up phones and enforce some kind of policy to moderate usage. But unless there’s a uniform campus-wide policy, any teacher who seriously tries to ban the use of phones during class will quickly see how futile it is— believe me, I’ve tried. Students and their parents will push back and complain loudly, treating smartphones as an inviolable human right.

This is why countries like France have banned smartphones from public schools altogether, or why fancy prep schools in Silicon Valley like the Waldorf Academy do the same. Just as there are rules against skipping class and vaping in the bathrooms, there should be rules against using a phone in class. It can’t blithely be treated as a teacher’s preference, or else nothing will happen.

For those truly invested in reforming education, doing something about the screens needs to take priority. Otherwise, the decline we keep seeing in our schools will continue, and we really will have a whole generation of worthless adults hopelessly addicted to their screens and unable to function. If you thought we millennials were bad, just wait for what’s to come.


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