Ali Reza Hayati

A guy with a computer.

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Google Is Working on a Secret Project to Collect Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans 12 Nov 2019

Google is reportedly partnering with Ascension, the second-largest health care system in the U.S., to collect health data on millions of Americans, according to people familiar with the matter. The partnership with Ascension to collect health data is part of a secret project by the tech giant called “Project Nightingale,” The Wall Street Journal reported citing those familiar with the project.

“As the health-care environment continues to rapidly evolve, we must transform to better meet the needs and expectations of those we serve”, Ascension Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovations Eduardo Conrado said in a statement.


Story of Janayugom 12 Nov 2019

The Janayugom newspaper becomes the first newspaper in the world to use 100% free software for news publishing. Janayugom, the South Indian daily newspaper, has migrated all its infrastructure to free software, using Scribus for layout, Kubuntu as the operating system, and KDE Plasma for the desktop.

read more #software

Facebook Is Accessing iPhone Camera Without Authorization 12 Nov 2019

Joshua Maddux, a twitter user, tweeted about the Facebook app using iPhone’s camera without authorization continuously while the app is open. He mentioned in his tweet that when the app is open it actively uses the camera.

“I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet.” he said pointing at the video he uploaded in his tweet.

He also mention that he has been able to confirm this across 5 different iPhones all running iOS version 13.2.2. He also told his followers that iPhones running iOS 12 don’t show the camera (not to say that it’s not being used).


Shared Quote: Lying to Yourself 11 Nov 2019

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky [permalink]

Gambia Files Rohingya Genocide Case Against Myanmar at UN Court 11 Nov 2019

Myanmar is to face accusations of genocide at the UN’s highest court over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims. A 46-page application has been submitted to the international court of justice by the Gambia, alleging Myanmar has carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of communities in Rakhine state.

If the ICJ takes up the case, it will be the first time the court in The Hague has investigated genocide claims on its own without relying on the findings of other tribunals, such as the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which it consulted for claims against Serbia and Croatia.

read more #politics, #society

Hong Kong Police Uses User Data to Arrest Protesters 11 Nov 2019

There’s reports that Hong Kong and Chinese police are using users’ data and CCTV cameras to arrest protesters. This is an another example of violating users’ privacy/data rights. And also another good reason to protect ourselves from giant companies that mine user data and collect information from us.

It’s dangerous. Imagine what western governments can do with all data collected by Facebook, Google, etc. and how much trouble they can make for protesters. Imagine what happens to protesters if government becomes too powerful and take action against the people.

No government can be trusted. No matter if it’s western or eastern. Protect yourself against them.

#privacy, #politics

The Real Danger of Robots 11 Nov 2019

The true danger of physically powerful robots is not that they might rebel against all humans, but that they might obey some humans just as they are designed to do. Oscar Schwartz wrote a note on The Guardian about the real danger of robots.


Politicians Are All the Same 11 Nov 2019

Politicians are all the same. It doesn’t matter if someone from Democratic party becomes president or someone from GOP. It’s always someone from one of these two. Media corporations and all powerful propaganda machines will make sure only voices that they want will be heard.

It’s not the president or a political party that controls the country. It’s not the people. It’s media, corporations, news agencies, etc. that are too powerful to change what we see no matter it’s right or wrong. This is politics. I’m not saying we should not vote, or we should boycott interactions with politicians. I mean we should be more interactive.

We should protest. We should demand what we want. No matter how powerful they are, they get their power from us people. It’s what we should do. It’s what we need to do. No politician will help us. They’re all corrupt. It’s us people who can help us.


Catholic Priest Arrested After Abusing 11-Year-Old Girl 10 Nov 2019

A Catholic priest in Italy has been arrested after an 11-year-old girl used her phone to record herself being sexually abused. Michele Mottola is accused of sexually abusing the girl in Trentola Ducenta, near Naples. In the disturbing recording, the priest can be asking the young girl to kiss and hug him amid the sound of her protesting.

read more #society

What Privacy Is About 10 Nov 2019

Edward Snowden says privacy isn’t about something to hide. Privacy is about something to protect. That’s who you are. That’s what you believe in, that’s who you want to become. Privacy is the right to the self. Privacy is what gives you the ability to share with the world who you are, on your own terms, for them to understand what you’re trying to be.

And to protect for yourself the parts of you that you’re not sure about, that you’re still experimenting with. If we don’t have privacy, what we’re losing is the ability to make mistakes. We’re losing the ability to be ourselves. Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights. Freedom of speech doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you can’t have a quiet space to decide what it is that you actually wanna say.

Freedom of religion doesn’t mean that if you can’t figure out what you actually believe without being influenced by the criticisms and sort of outside direction and peer pressure of others. And it goes on and on and on. But privacy is baked into our language, our core concepts of government and self in every way without privacy, you won’t have anything for yourself. So when people say that to me, I say back arguing that you don’t have privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.


Israeli Army Shot and Injured 104 Palestinian Civilians 10 Nov 2019

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR)reported that 104 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman and a paramedic, were shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire against peaceful protesters at the 82nd Great March of Return (GMR), this Friday, 08 November 2019.

This week, IOF continued the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters, as 41 civilians sustained live-bullet-injuries – including 2 children in critical condition- in addition to other injuries by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters mainly in protesters’ upper bodies.

Since the outbreak of GMR on 30 March 2018, PCHR documented 214 civilian killings by IOF, including 46 children, 2 women, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics and 2 journalists. Additionally, IOF shot and injured 14,706 civilians, including 3,691 children, 387 women, 253 paramedics and 218 journalists, noting that many sustained multiple injuries on separate occasions.


Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig Break Down Wall 09 Nov 2019

On the 30th anniversary of its demise, the Berlin Wall fell once again, this time at the Olympiastadion, where Hertha Berlin hosted RB Leipzig.

Throughout the week, the city of Berlin celebrated the peaceful revolution that led to the reunification of the two Germanys in 1990. Events took place all over the city ahead of the main celebrations on Saturday, which included the destruction of a wall on the Olympiastadion pitch before Leipzig defeated Hertha 4-2 in a Bundesliga clash.

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hertha constructed a wall across the halfway line of their pitch to symbolise the division of the country three decades ago.

“Zusammen gegen Mauern, zusammen für Berlin” — united against walls, united for Berlin — was the message written on the wall. On the giant screen, famous speeches by former U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were shown.

#politics, #society

The Medicare for All Debate Is Long Overdue 09 Nov 2019

Medicare for All is popular at first look. When the insurance and drug companies and other opponents unleash their arguments, people’s doubts grow.

Affordable health care for all is now at the center of the presidential debate. Two of the top three contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination—Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—support Medicare for All. The third—Joe Biden—and those hoping to take his place as the leading centrist in the race—Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar—have attacked the plan to contrast their candidacies from Sanders and Warren.

Donald Trump, who wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act itself, and has already added some 10 million people to the ranks of the uninsured, scorns it as “socialism,” just as earlier Republicans libeled Social Security and Medicare itself when they were under consideration.

read more #politics

A Tight Grip On Our Nuclear Toys 09 Nov 2019

Robert C. Koehler wrote a note on Common Dreams about nuclear weapons and how politicians and powerful people are using wars and life of innocent people to have more money. You can read the full article on Common Dreams.


Erdogan to UEFA: It's Turkey's Right to Salute Our Soldiers 07 Nov 2019

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President, said Thursday that UEFA were discriminating against Turkey’s football team following a controversy over the players’ use of military salutes on the pitch. UEFA opened disciplinary hearings against Turkey last month after its players saluted during Euro 2020 qualifiers – a gesture seen as supporting the country’s military offensive in Syria.

Erdogan could not be wrong more. It’s a law in soccer football that politics should not be involved and Turkish players were obviously supporting their military actions in Syria which resulted in death of innocent people. Even if politics could be involved, and it gets sometimes, the fact that Turkey’s military is attempting to genocide the Kurds is a good reason to stop Turkish players.

Erdogan said this was part of a wider campaign against Turkish sports stars who supported the operation.

“Sportsmen representing our country abroad are being subjected to a lynching campaign since the start of the operation,” Erdogan said at a press conference in Ankara.

What Erdogan said is officially claiming that Turkish government is using sports for its interests and to make a better public overview for Turkey’s actions in Syria.


UN Secretary-General Concerned About Clashes With Iraqi Protesters 07 Nov 2019

As Iraqi protests continue, the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has called reports of Iraqi security forces using bullets against protesters “worrying” and calling for “serious” investigation. Guterres expressed concern over over agents’ brutality against the protesters in Iraq. He said that everyone should

The UN secretary-general issued a statement saying “Reports of continued use of ammunition against protesters are worrying” emphasizing the right of everyone to protest, he called for a “serious investigation” of violence against protesters and again recommended “meaningful negotiation between the government and protesters”.

During more than a month of demonstrations in Iraq, at least two hundred and sixty people were killed and nearly 10,000 were injured. Most of the victims are demonstrators, many of whom were shot dead.

In Kuwait at the same time, several hundred people rallied in front of the parliament building to fight corruption.


Targeted Ads Are Super Destructive 07 Nov 2019

Arwa Mahdawi, a Guardian columnist, explains why targeted ads are one of the world’s most destructive trends in an article on The Guardian.

She says advertising companies have led to a proliferation of fake news and clickbait, fueled surveillance capitalism, and normalized pervasive tracking and data-mining.


DNA Profiles Privacy 07 Nov 2019

Privacy experts say a warrant granted in Florida could set a precedent, opening up all consumer DNA sites to law enforcement agencies across the country. New York Times reported that last week a Florida detective announced at a police convention that he had obtained a warrant to penetrate GEDmatch and search its full database of nearly one million users. Legal experts said that this appeared to be the first time a judge had approved such a warrant, and that the development could have profound implications for genetic privacy.

Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University says “The company made a decision to keep law enforcement out, and that’s been overridden by a court. It’s a signal that no genetic information can be safe”.

DNA policy experts said the development was likely to encourage other agencies to request similar search warrants from 23andMe, which has 10 million users, and, which has 15 million. If that comes to pass, the Florida judge’s decision will affect not only the users of these sites but huge swaths of the population, including those who have never taken a DNA test. That’s because this emerging forensic technique makes it possible to identify a DNA profile even through distant family relationships.


Uber Fighting for Privacy 06 Nov 2019

In an bizarre and ironic reversal, Los Angeles (California) demands Uber provide data about the movements of its cars and scooters, and Uber refuses to hand it over, claiming to protect customers’ privacy.

The irony is that Uber is entirely right about this narrow issue — but the issue only exists because of Uber’s abusive tracking practices. Los Angeles should not be allowed to know who goes where, and neither should Uber.

read more #privacy

U.S. Journalist Got Arrested Because He Helped Protesters 06 Nov 2019

Max Blumenthal, a prominent journalistic critic of US policy toward Venezuela, was arrested by DC police on Friday, October 25, in connection with a protest at the Venezuelan embassy, and held incommunicado. But if you rely on corporate media, or even leading “press freedom” groups, you haven’t heard about this troubling encroachment on freedom of the press.

US journalist, Max Blumenthal, was recently arrested for bringing food in May to the people defending the Venezuelan embassy in Washington from Guaidó’s takeover.

When freelance US journalist Cody Weddle was detained in Venezuela for 12 hours, it made headlines in the New York Times (3/6/19), Washington Post (3/6/19), Miami Herald (3/6/19), USA Today (3/6/19), Guardian (3/6/19), UK Telegraph (3/6/19), NPR (3/10/19), ABC (3/9/19), and Reuters (3/7/19). That’s not exhaustive, but you get the picture.

Read more on Common Dreams.