Posts

Cosmopolitan Magazine Promotes Sexting and Self Pornification

Donna Rice HughesDonna Rice Hughes, President & CEO of Enough Is Enough® Making the Internet safer for children and families writes:

Recently, Cosmopolitan Magazine wrote a “how to” on sending the “perfect” sext. No, this isn’t a joke. You read correctly. You and I know there’s no such thing as a perfect sext. And deep down they know it, too.

They know full well that preteen and teen girls are within their demographic buying audience. They also bank on the fact that Cosmo is typically in full view of minor children, along with Time Magazine and People, and is not segregated like Playboy types of mags unavailable for browsing or sale to youth. While Cosmo continues to push the envelope on soft porn with how to articles on having titillating illicit sex etc., they really crossed the line by promoting and normalizing the dangerous activity of sexting.

What Cosmo neglects to mention is that:

  • Sexting and self pornification among youth are at crisis levels
  • 62% of teens and young adults have received a sext (Barna 2016)
  • 40% of teens and young adults have sent a sext (Barna 2016)
  • 15% of teen sexters sent texts to someone who they just met (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008)
  • 44% of teens say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient. (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008)
  • Nude and sexually explicit photos of anyone under the age of 17/18 years old is considered under the law to be child pornography and can lead to federal prosecution by those who produce and distribute these images. Many unsuspecting teens have found themselves on the sex offenders’ registry.
  • There are no take backs online and nothing is truly private. Reputations and lives have been ruined when sexting goes bad … when a sexted photo or video goes public and or viral. Revenge porn, sextortion, and cyberbullying are harmful consequences that lead to devastation.

Youth who are coming of age and sexually curious in a pornified culture rewards the pornographic impulse (Barna). The Cosmo article encourages self pornification and paints a picture in the minds of young men and women that it is exciting and acceptable to degrade themselves, that their worth and value are tied up in their sexuality, and that it is okay for them to lower expectations they hold for themselves and each other. That it is somehow okay for them to allow others to strip away their dignity by sending sexts.

Doesn’t Cosmo know that they are destroying the dignity of the human person? Do they even care? Well, I do, and I know you do, too.

That’s why we’re launching a #NoPerfectSext letter to the editor campaign. This campaign has one goal: to get Cosmo Magazine to stop normalizing the self-pornification practices that harm youth like sexting.

We need you to do three things:

  1. Tweet to Cosmopolitan. You can borrow this tweet: @Cosmopolitansexting isn’t normal, & it degrades our children. It’s harmful. #NoPerfectSext.
  2. Tweet to Joanna Coles, Cosmo’s Editor-in-Chief. You can borrow this tweet: @JoannaColes, sexting isn’t normal, & it degrades our children. It’s harmful. #NoPerfectSext.
  3. Send Cosmo an e-mail at inbox@Cosmopolitan.com asking them why they think sexting is normal.
  4. Learn and share the following information about what you can do to prevent your children and grandchildren from sexting

Making the Internet Safer for Children and Families logoABOUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

The Enough Is Enough® (EIE) mission is to Make the Internet Safer for Children and Families. We are dedicated to continue raising public awareness about the dangers of Internet pornography and sexual predators, and advance solutions that promote equality, fairness and respect for human dignity with shared responsibility between the public, technology, and the law. We stand for freedom of speech as defined by the Constitution of the United States; for a culture where all people are respected and valued; for a childhood with a protected period of innocence; for healthy sexuality; and for a society free from sexual exploitation.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Exclusive: North Carolina Lt. Gov. Calls Obama Administration’s Jim Crow Claim ‘Shameful’

Texas School District Adopts Transgender Guidelines Without Parental Approval

No, It’s Not Your 1st Amendment Right to ‘Talk Dirty’ to a Child by Dani Bianculli

Criminal laws must be updated to adapt to the new Internet community.

Like any other community the Internet is a place for business, relationships, dating and unfortunately criminal activity, including the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has filed an amicus brief for a court case in Georgia stating that it should not be legal to “talk dirty” to a child.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on February 22ndregarding this First Amendment challenge to a Georgia statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with a child. NCOSE believes that Georgia’s statute is necessary to protect children from harm because the First Amendment does not protect sexually exploitive speech to children. The person challenging the statute, states in his brief to the Court that he has a First Amendment right to “talk dirty to a child.” We at NCOSE, think absolutely not. This is not harmless chatting but rather child exploitation. And the most frightening aspect of this case is that a very similar statute in Texas[1] has already been struck down on First Amendment grounds led by the same defense attorney challenging the statute in this case.

The sad and scary reality is that child sexual abuse and exploitation has moved online. And due to the nature of the Internet the problem is only growing. A child predator has instant, anonymous access to children all over the country, and even the world. Meanwhile, young adolescents looking to make friends while both curious and naïve about sex are virtually all online, all the time.[2] And this is not on the family computer under the watchful eyes of mom and dad but on tablets and smartphones, which are carried around with the child everywhere they go.[3] This means those who would mean to harm these children can find them on social media platforms and chat rooms any time, anywhere, and children of these young ages tend to share too much information and actively seek out online friendships. Especially, those children who are most vulnerable to sexual abuse.

States have been trying to protect children from predators since the dawn of the Internet ageabuse moved online child but there is still much left unaddressed and technology has changed faster than laws have been updated. Most States have laws against online solicitation of minors. And most States have laws against exposing oneself to a minor in person or selling minors obscene or indecent materials. But what if an adult uses a webcam to expose himself/herself to minor online? Or what if he/she describes in graphic detail sexual encounters, or sexual acts he/she would like to perform on the child he/she is speaking to via online messaging? And even more disturbing, what if the adult instructs the child to touch themselves sexually, directing and commanding their movements? These are real examples of the activities which have been prosecuted under this Georgia statute. And without this statute such activity would considered legal. This activity does not fall under other statutes aimed at prohibiting child abuse and exploitation. But because these actions, which amount to cybersex, and sometimes even remote child molestation, are occurring via Internet chat there is a real possibility that it could be given a pass under the guise of First Amendment freedom.

This serious confusion over the First Amendment’s role in the Internet space could cause serious consequences for children who are being victimized and traumatized by predators online. And it would be completely inconsistent with First Amendment jurisprudence. The First Amendment does not protect child exploitation and has always restricted a minor’s access to material that is harmful to them. And the content of these communications meet the standard for material that is harmful to minors. But because harmful to minors laws do not encompass live online communications this statute is needed to cover this ground.

The Supreme Court of the United States has already held that material, such as magazines, books, pictures, or videos containing sexually explicit nudity or sex acts appealing to the prurient interest of a child may be restricted to children, even material that would not be obscene as to adults, without offending the First Amendment. In fact, the Supreme Court has placed the protection of children from sexual exploitation as the highest priority of the States and material that is harmful to them receives no First Amendment protection in its distribution to children. The Georgia state legislature used the same language that has been upheld in harmful to minors laws and merely applied these restrictions to live streaming video or instant message conversations online. Further, we argue that these online communications are even more harmful than obscene magazines or videos, and therefore the State has an even greater interest in protecting children, because it is not simply mass produced and available to children, but created for a specific targeted child by an adult. The exposure is intentional and crafted around that particular child’s vulnerabilities and inexperience with sexual matters.

Furthermore, freedom of speech does not protect criminal speech. For example, conspiracy, which amounts to criminal conversations, obscenity, and advertisements and solicitations for child pornography are all “speech” and yet completely excluded from First Amendment protection. Similarly, there is no reason why conversations or webcam video which would be rightfully restricted if printed in a book or contained on a DVD cannot be restricted merely because they occur in real-time through the medium of Internet communications. Such harmful material does not become transformed into political speech imbued with value simply because it takes place online.

And this statute is careful to prohibit only conversations between an adult and a child online which intentionally exploit and abuse a child. The statute requires belief by the adult that he/she is speaking to a child and the intention to sexually arouse either himself/herself or the child. Any doubt or concerns about overbreadth are dispelled in looking at the statute’s real world application. It reveals that what is in fact prohibited is the grooming of children for sexual abuse and/or exposing them to sexually explicit language and images. Such actions are harmful to children and inherently exploitive.

States must be able to extend the protections for children that already exist in the physical world to the realm of the Internet. And the State of Georgia has properly done so with this statute. This is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has written and filed an amicus brief to inform the Georgia Supreme Court on the exploitive nature of the content restricted in this statute, how such exposure to sexually explicit material is harmful to children, how the sexualization of children is harmful to them, and that such explicit conversations are a well recognized tool by researchers and law enforcement in the grooming of a child for further sexual abuse by child predators and should therefore receive no First Amendment protection.

Read the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Brief Here

END NOTES:

[1] See Ex Parte Lo, 424 S.W.3d 10, 24–25 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013).

[2] “Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online.” http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teens-fact-sheet/

[3] Id. “Three-quarters (74%) of teens have accessed the internet through a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.  One-quarter of teens (25%) access the internet mostly on a cell phone.”

Dani Bianculli

Dani BianculliEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE LAW CENTER

Dani Bianculli joined the NCOSE team as Director of the Law Center in August of 2015. Dani has a passion for human rights issues especially those affecting women and children. This passion is what led to her decision to attend law school. Dani received the Wilberforce Award, a full academic scholarship for those with human rights interests, to attend Regent University School of Law. While at Regent, Dani was in the Honors Program, a member of the Moot Court Board, the Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy, and the Student Bar Association. During her studies Dani interned with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Prior to law school Dani worked as a government relations intern for multiple DC policy organizations and graduated from the University of Central Florida with dual degrees in Psychology and Marketing.

FCC to America: We passed it, Now you can read it! #NetNeutrality

The FCC 313-page Internet Regulations Order is accompanied by 70-plus pages of statements by the five commissioners, and  the two that dissented in the vote to adopt the new regulations.

Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai had this to say:

“Americans love the free and open Internet, We relish our freedom to speak, to post, to rally, to learn, to listen, to watch, and to connect online.”

“The Internet has become a powerful force for freedom, both at home and abroad. So it is sad to witness the FCC’s unprecedented attempt to replace that freedom with government control.”

AT&T Vice President said:

“Unfortunately, the order released today begins a period of uncertainty that will damage broadband investment in the United States. Ultimately, though, we are confident the issue will be resolved by bipartisan action by Congress or a future FCC, or by the courts.”

Here is the direct link to the FCC.gov  for internet regulations (a.k.a. Net Neutrality) FCC.GOV

RELATED ARTICLES:

Why no FCC decision should be “historic”

It’s Here: The Roadmap for a Government-Controlled Internet

Internet at the Speed of Government

Warmed over regulations from 80 years ago won’t fix the Web by LAWRENCE W. REED.

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission launched a historic power grab over the Internet, euphemistically known as “net neutrality,” based on a Great Depression-era law to regulate public utilities. While entrepreneurs are pursuing cutting-edge business models and developing previously unimaginable technologies, Washington bureaucrats are reaching back eight decades to find a rationale to control a booming industry that didn’t even exist 25 years ago.

Conventional wisdom holds that government regulation is created by benevolent policymakers in order to protect the public from dangerous, exploitative private industry. But the idealistic progressives who push for an expansive regulatory state rarely follow up to see what the regulation accomplished in practice. That job is usually left to those whose warnings about incentives and unintended consequences were ignored in the first place.

People who support high-minded regulation in theory should survey how such bureaucratic “solutions” have tended to work (or not) in practice. That history gives us little reason to expect that the latest, greatest experiment in heavy-handed control will turn out any differently.

Consider one of the first attempts to control American communications. Mail delivery was humming along just fine until Congress banned privately-delivered first class mail in the 19th century. It did so not because private firms were lousy, but precisely because they were so good they were depriving the federal post office of business and hence congressmen of patronage jobs.

Or look closer at one of the textbook cases for regulation: the government’s noble attempt to save us from the predatory railroad robber barons. In reality, it was federal and state subsidies to railroads, not market forces, that produced the abuses that led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, which then played a central role in bankrupting American railroads and strangling interstate commerce for decades.

Anti-trust regulations were also sold as a way to protect the little guy from the big guy. But now we know that, in practice, they’ve functioned to curtail competition, slow innovation, and stop the little guy from ever becoming a big guy.

The 1906 Meat Inspection Act, lauded as the first of many crucial “public safety” regulations, was inspired by Upton Sinclair’s fictional work The Jungle and was supported by the major meat packers who wanted to put the taxpayers on the hook for the cost of inspection. The upshot was that government inspectors actually spread deadly disease through unscientific and unsanitary methods of detecting meat quality.

Speaking of cattle, disease, and government, the sacred cow known as the Food and Drug Administration seems to actually cost more lives than it saves by keeping life-saving drugs off the market for more than a decade on average.

In 1913, Congress created the Federal Reserve System and told the country it would protect the integrity of the currency, iron out the business cycle, and promote full employment. A hundred years later, we have gotten a dollar worth perhaps a nickel of its 1913 value, a Great Depression, a Great Recession, and more volatility than in the century before the Fed.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was a blizzard of regulations designed to help prop up big industry and labor unions; we now know its principal effect was prolonging the Great Depression by about seven years.

The Civil Aeronautics Board, for instance, cartelized the airline industry for decades, restricting plane travel to wealthy citizens who could afford the high fares it mandated, until its dissolution in 1985. Interstate trucking also suffered from high prices under similarly byzantine rules and restrictions until it was deregulated in the 1970s and 1980s.

Remember the FCC’s Orwellian “fairness doctrine”? In the name of “fairness,” the FCC stifled diversity of opinion in broadcasting. The doctrine’s abolition led to an immediate blossoming of new voices and new media, but now the same government agency that censors radio and television is putting itself in charge of making sure the Internet is “fair” and “open” and “neutral,” so that corporations don’t slow down our content. Like so many benign-sounding schemes before it, Internet at the speed of government is liable to be more (and, in the end, quite a bit less) than regulation activists bargained for.

In the Wall Street JournalL. Gordon Crovitz asks, “What if at the beginning of the Web, Washington had opted for Obamanet instead of the open Internet?” The thought is appalling: “Yellow Pages publishers could have invoked ‘harm’ and ‘unjust and unreasonable’ competition from online telephone directories. This could have strangled Alta Vista and Excite, the early leaders in search, and relegated Google to a Stanford student project. Newspapers could have lobbied against Craigslist for depriving them of classified advertising. Encyclopedia Britannica could have lobbied against Wikipedia.”

One would think that with such a sorry track record, Washington would be looking for market-based ways to solve problems, instead of constantly taking on the responsibility of fixing every real or imagined problem. But such is not the nature of the beast.

So here we are in 2015 with this massive, wondrous, global network called the Internet. It’s empowering billions of people, rich and poor, with a universe of knowledge and opportunities. While virtually everyone is going online for virtually everything, from education and entertainment to shopping and employment, here come the troglodyte regulators with their 80-year-old hammers, once again, planning to “fix” it for us. No thanks.

ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Senator Rubio: FCC over-Regulation threatens the Internet with ‘speed limits’ and ‘speed traps’

Rubio: “Unlike the roads we drive on, the Internet is not a place where we need to start posting new speed limits and setting up new speed traps, but that’s essentially what this federal action threatens to do to the Internet.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase government regulation of the Internet by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications utility under Title II of the Communications Act:

“Over the past two decades, access to high speed Internet and the freedom to use it have transformed our economy and created infinite new ways for people to achieve the American Dream. Millions of people have thrived in the Internet era in no small part because overreaching government regulations and devious international schemes to seize control of it away from the U.S. have been rejected – until now.

“A federal government board in Washington today took action that threatens to overregulate the Internet to the point of making it more expensive for consumers, less innovative and less competitive. The Internet has thrived on innovation, speed and healthy competition to become faster and faster. Unlike the roads we drive on, the Internet is not a place where we need to start posting new speed limits and setting up new speed traps, but that’s essentially what this federal action threatens to do to the Internet.

“The Internet doesn’t need more rules and mandates that take power away from consumers and hand it to a federal government board that every lobbyist, lawyer and crony capitalist with a vested interest in the Internet will now seek to manipulate to their advantage. The Internet has worked so well so far precisely because it’s been as level a playing field as we have in any industry today, but now this decision threatens to give government regulators the power to pick winners and losers.

“I’m also concerned that this needless government intrusion into the Internet distracts from what we should be doing to reach the next frontier in the Internet’s history: to bring it within reach of the almost 100 million Americans who remain offline. Closing the digital divide is a goal we can achieve in the coming years, but only if we pursue policies like the Wi-Fi Innovation Act and the Wireless Innovation Act that I’ve introduced to increase the availability of spectrum in order to connect more people and increase capacity for growing amounts of data being exchanged via broadband.

“Instead of allowing a Washington bureaucratic board to have the final say, an action of this magnitude should be debated openly in Congress, where I’m confident it would be defeated. Consequential decisions like this about the Internet’s future should be made by Congress, not a federal board of unelected commissioners who are not accountable to a single American citizen. Congress should act immediately to begin updating outdated telecommunications laws.”

As Obama Gets His Way America is Losing Hers

Once, or actually much more than once Obama gets his way at America’s expense.  Recently, President Obama did not take long to veto the needed Keystone pipeline bill as he promised.  At the very least, the necessary pipeline would have created many hundreds of construction and permanent jobs. The needed supply of oil would have also contributed to our nation’s petroleum inventory. Also America’s position as an oil exporting nation would have been enhanced. Unfortunately, because of an ignorant based choice of American voters, our republic is now enduring perhaps the most anti American president in our nation’s history.  His biggest rival for most anti American president might be Woodrow Wilson. He supported the injurious Federal Reserve System we put up with today, along with the League of Nations and the promotion of harsh democrat party style racism. Wilson also supported a powerful centralized federal government.

I tried, but failed miserably to find at least one major decision or action that President Obama has taken that strongly benefits America. I even reached out to several Democrat Party supporters of Obama and requested that they please instruct me on any major policies of the president that has positively affected or strengthened America. (Crickets!!!!) HA! Even they were unable to even make anything up, let alone tell me something that Mr. Obama has actually done to benefit our nation.

It is amazing how certain people claim that those on the political left, especially politicians and professors are smarter than the rest of us. Thus when they secure even a modicum of authority, they use it to run roughshod over any law, anybody, or any tradition in order to inflict their progressive will upon the rest of us. The FCC decision to do to the internet what has been heaped upon the U.S. medical industry is evidence of that fact.

The Constitution clearly calls on the government to protect our republic from enemies both foreign and domestic. Yet the president has diligently worked to prevent border patrol agents from inhibiting law breaking illegal immigrants from strolling into our sovereign nation.  Why? Because they want to.  I thank God that the great state of Texas is leading a legal battle to restore the common sense practice of protecting our borders.  Speaking of protecting our Republic!  Dedicated muslim terrorist organizations, such as ISIS and Hezbollah along with enemy nations like Iran have vowed to destroy us and even kill president Obama. But what has he done?  For starters, Mr. Obama has appointed numerous America, Christian Black, and Jewish hating dedicated Muslims to important positions in our military and other federal government departments.

At the same time, thanks to the President’s anti U.S. military stance as well as drastic cutbacks in some weapons systems, navy vessels and maintenance.  America is now incapable of engaging two major wars or battles simultaneously. Both Russia and China are building up their massive armies and missile systems. Meanwhile, the United States continues to less than halfheartedly deal with dedicated Muslims who are on a mission to kill, steal from, and destroy America.

Because the progressives supposedly know more than the rest of us, they united with President Obama and saddled the rest of us with Obamacare. So now at the expense of personal choice and citizen government, certain medical procedures and overall rising costs, Mr. Obama got his way. For the sake of our Republic, I pray that President Obama and Congress will heed the advice of Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.  “As president, my plan to defeat radical Islamic terrorists would be to “destroy them first” instead of waiting to see what they will do to us and reacting to it.”

Thomas Jefferson understood that, as did General George Patton, and others who chose to govern America or deal with our enemies on behalf of our nations interests, as opposed to getting their way at America’s expense.

A New Age – The Cyber Information Age

As you know, our firm The Sylint Group, Inc., is composed of engineers from the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and other government agencies and have been involved with digital data communications and cyber security since the ‘70’s.  In fact the name Sylint is derived from the intelligence community jargon.  “Syl” is Greek for “with” or “together” and “int” is used with various prefixes as intelligence community descriptors such as “commint”, “humint”, etc.  Sylint is therefore bringing together the disciplines of the intelligence world into Cyber Security and Digital Data Forensics. And of course, it’s sounded like “Silent” and therefore a play on the word.

So, Sylint has a certain developed perspective on what people today are recognizing as cyber security. 

Personally, I’ve done everything from programming low orbiter satellites in assembly language as they sped by on their 450 nautical mile orbit, to intercepting digital data communications systems following terrorists across the continents.  That’s before digital data became an integral part of each person’s daily life; cell phone messaging, nanny cameras, “world news” on demand, Facebook, Twitter, digital pictures to be shared in an instant.  I remember when bleeding edge data storage was performed on a RM05, about the size of a washing machine, with a disk pack about 14” in radius, with 12 platters and 250 Mega Bytes (MB) of storage capability.  Today that equals storage for about 10 high resolution photos.  In today’s age my SD storage card, which slips into my pocket, holds 128 Giga Bytes (GB) of data.  Or, consider my digital photography SD (Secure Data) card with 32GB of storage and wireless communications capability from my camera to my tablet.  Data storage and handling has changed dramatically in the last 30 years.  But, so has the amount and types of data communicated.

We are connected to each other electronically through communications systems that we don’t understand and to people we don’t know personally, and maybe don’t know that they are connected to us.  Our lives bleed out through on-line personal accounts and everyone knows our foibles and sins. Our hard earned money is stolen from our bank accounts by somebody in a mid-eastern country, which we didn’t know existed.  And all of this is accomplished using 1’s and 0’s in a nanosecond of time from thousands of miles away.

I notice that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is held a conference titled “Road Ahead to Cybersecurity”.  I don’t think that there is a “road ahead” for cybersecurity.  There isn’t a road at all!  The whole playing field has changed and there are no defined roads in or out.

I firmly believe that we are stuck in a quagmire alongside that “road” to the playing field and it dead ended at the entry to a new age called “the Cyber Information Age”. 

We have entered this new age, the Cyber Age, and no one realizes it.  A “new age” means that life as we know it has changed dramatically and the forces that shape the economy, world order, international boundaries, social structure, centers of military and political power, level of conflict between countries, and societies moral and ethical foundation are being driven by a new impetus and energy; something called Cyber Information.  Cyber information is different than anything that society has dealt with in the past.  Cyber information is instantaneously created, changed, modified, reformatted and retransmitted.  It’s a lie, half-truth, or fact that is immediately thrown into the world, globally, from unknown sources without vetting, modulation or consideration for its consequences.

Cyber information can be news, control software for a power grid, Programmable Logic Controllers for manufacturing, communications between First Responders, infrastructure support for large buildings, corporate intellectual property, charge card information, a city sewer system, the processor for a pacemaker.  Cyber information has created a virtual world and real world that exist side by side, interact with one another, and impact one another.

Cyber information cannot be easily secured, stopped, acknowledged, or controlled. No leadership has arisen that can formulate a means to force the direction of cyber information for the good of society.  Rather, just the opposite, forces both immoral and unethical are using cyber information for nefarious purposes because it’s a crime against society which goes unpunished and yields huge rewards.

To address Cyber Security we must first understand that we are in a new age, an age of Cyber Information and what that means for society, business and the world order.

Just a few thoughts for a Monday morning surrounded by ones and zeroes.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Was Stolen?: Massive Cybersecurity Breach Raises Concerns About What Hackers Stole [+video]

RELATED VIDEO: June 14, 2014 AEI Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy conference – After Snowden: The Road Ahead for Cybersecurity

Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks out on Free Markets and “Heavy-Handed” Regulations

Ashton Kutcher (L) greets 2nd Security Forces Squadron Airmen. The Airmen provided security support on the set of “The Guardian” while it filmed on base.

Ashton Kutcher is an entrepreneur and popular actor. He denounced heavy-handed regulation in a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/EoQo0HM9D3k[/youtube]

Scott Blakeman from The Foundry reports:

Kutcher is a managing partner of the investment fund A-Grade Investments. One company his fund has invested in is Uber, the app-based service that connects drivers with passengers. Uber is rapidly expanding to cities across the U.S. and is in over 24 countries worldwide. But Kutcher is experiencing firsthand some of the roadblocks many businesses have endured.

Kutcher noted that “old-school monopolies and incumbents and old-school governments” are interfering with the transportation market, picking the winners and losers, and barring innovation.

For instance, Kutcher mentioned that Uber isn’t allowed to operate in Miami “because of some dumb regulation that says it can’t exist there.”

Miami’s cab industry is heavily regulated, such that “local laws have protected taxi-medallion holders for so long that any attempt to tinker with the rules is met with stiff political resistance.”

Audrey Edmonson, a member on the Board of County Commissioners for Miami-Dade County, proposed legislation deregulating the county’s transportation market so Uber and other companies could compete with traditional transportation services. But Dennis Moss, a fellow board member who is also the chairman of Miami’s Transportation and Aviation Committee, helped craft the existing restrictive regulations and is opposed to letting Uber enter the Miami transportation market:

If you want to pay for a luxury ride, then you should basically have to pay for a luxury ride.… That way we make sure that cab companies can also continue to make a living.

Read more.

Web spying: Before PRISM there was TURBULENCE

Joby Warrick, in his book “The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA” published in May 2012, wrote , “Inside the headquarters of the secretive National Security Agency in suburban Washington is a computer search engine unlike any other in the world. Code-named Turbulence, it is a five-hundred-million-dollar-a-year network that continuously vacuums up terabytes of data from across the Internet and scours them for possible security threats.”

When you Google “Turbulence” you get a reference to this cyber search engine on Wikipedia under NSA:

Turbulence started circa 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive ‘test’ pieces rather than one grand plan like Trailblazer. It also included offensive cyber-warfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. Congress criticized Turbulence in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as Trailblazer. It was to be a realization of information processing at higher speeds in cyberspace.

Trailblazer Project ramped up circa 2000 under President Clinton. SAICBoeingCSCIBM, and Litton worked on it. Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer. This led to investigations by Congress and the NSA and DoD Inspectors General. The project was cancelled circa 2003-4; it was late, over budget, and didn’t do what it was supposed to do. The Baltimore Sun ran articles about this in 2006–07. The government then raided the whistleblower’s houses. One of them, Thomas Drake, was charged with 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) in 2010 in an unusual use of espionage law. He and his defenders claim that he was actually being persecuted for challenging the Trailblazer Project. In 2011, all 10 original charges against Drake were dropped.

NSA’s mission, as set forth in Executive Order 12333, is to collect information that constitutes “foreign intelligence or counterintelligence” while not “acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons”. NSA has declared that it relies on the FBI to collect information on foreign intelligence activities within the borders of the USA, while confining its own activities within the USA to the embassies and missions of foreign nations.

NSA’s domestic surveillance activities are limited by the requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; however, these protections do not apply to non-U.S. persons located outside of U.S. borders, so the NSA’s foreign surveillance efforts are subject to far fewer limitations under U.S. law. The specific requirements for domestic surveillance operations are contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which does not extend protection to non-U.S. citizens located outside of U.S. territory.

Many questions remain on who the NSA is targeting. Given the recent scandals in key federal departments including: the IRS, DOJ, NSA, CIA, EPA and HHS one wonders if US citizens in America are now the targets.

So before PRISM we had TURBULENCE. How prophetic.

RELATED COLUMNS:

NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants…
FACEBOOK got 10,000 requests for data in just six months…
Spy agency says fewer than 300 phone numbers closely scrutinized…
House GOP intel chief defends, says NSA ‘lockbox’ stopped dozens of plots…
Big Sis Denies Existence of ‘Orwellian State’…
Senators skip classified briefing on NSA snooping to catch flights home…