We've been posting about Julian Assange for a week now (with two news posts in the bag, and this marking #3) - as the WikiLeaks founder hasn't been seen since October 17.
Please stop asking us for "proof of life". We do not control Assange's physical environment or internet connection. @MashiRafael does.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 24, 2016
Well, it seems that the internet feels the same, as I've been personally contacted by the person behind the #WhereisAssange campaign who is attempting to raise $1 million, my Reddit account is now back to normal after the mods in /r/wikileaks shadowbanned me. But it's the latest tweet from the official Twitter account of WikiLeaks, which we have previously reported has been astroturfed, and is now in government control.
Who is Rafael Correa? He is the Ecuadorian politician and economist who has served as President of the Republic of Ecuador since 2007, according to Wikipedia. I've tweeted him asking if he would answer some questions for me, so we'll wait for the inevitable silence as he doesn't answer, I guess.
The front page of the internet is being edited by the CEO of the company, stomping all over the free speech of Americans and other Reddit users around the world. Remember that this all ties into the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hasn't been seen for over a month, and there's now a $1 million GoFundMe for proof of life.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has admitted that he edited Reddit user comments that were insulting him, using his power on Reddit to "anonymously change references to his own username, and replace them with moderators of the pro-Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald", reports The Verge.
Huffman who posts on Reddit as "spez" admitted the acts of heroism after being called out by /r/the_donald users, with Huffman saying he was "inspired to edit the comments after a spate of insults emanating from the pro-Trump subreddit. "I messed with the "fuck u/spez" comments, replacing "spez" with r/the_donald mods for about an hour," Huffman said, indicating that the only thing he secretly altered was the target of the insults", reports The Verge.
Huffman said: "It's been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff", and if you didn't know about #pizzagate, it's a conspiracy that ties most of Washington, including Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to Comet Ping Pong - where a purported child pedophile ring has its HQ.
He continued that the decision to edit posts because he thought it was a wild and unproven conspiracy theory, but then the user backlash was too much. Huffman wrote on the /r/the_donald subreddit: "As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn't play such games, and it's all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won't do this again".
Huffman can say he "most assuredly won't do this again", but after editing something this serious on the "front page of the internet" - I'm sorry, I don't believe you, and I never will again, Huffman.
Update: I've been chatting with Bertram on Twitter, and he said that "this is not a fundraiser", adding that "money issues can be so... finnicky... we've decided to hold off for now. We're exploring a fundraising method that would use multisig bitcoin wallets in order to allow for complete transparency and consencus before funds are spent".
Last week I wrote a story about WikiLeaks being astroturfed and that it was under the control of the government, and there was barely a peep from the mainstream media. Well, it's something that we should all be looking at right now, as it affects freedom of speech on the internet in a big way.
I took to my personal Twitter to talk about it, and in the last few days my account has blown up with followers, DMs, and retweets. There is a very large support group who wants to see WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange safe and sound, and just as I was considering opening up a GoFundMe account for this very reason, Logan Bertram did.
Bertram is asking for $1 million for proof of life of Assange, and while we might not hit $1 million - the internet is a wonderful place where things like this go viral very quickly. The post on GoFundMe reads:
The recent clamp down on moderators on Reddit is only getting worse, with most of the mods on /r/wikileaks and /r/whereisassange being replaced or silenced. The /r/pizzagate community has been completely banned, but they've moved onto another part of the internet.
For those who have been keeping tabs on the 2016 presidential election (and let's face it... how does anyone not with the entire media machine cranking along non-stop) - there are a small group that have been closely watching the events surrounding Wikileaks.
In the weeks leading up to the election, Wikileaks dumped out a slew of emails surrounding the former Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, John Podesta - and there are now some suspicious events taking place - all throughout 2016.
Just as Julian Assange's internet connection was severed in the Ecuadorian Embassy, his deadman switch was enabled. At roughly the same time, the massive DDoS attack took place that affected millions of people, websites, Twitter, Facebook, and more. It gets fishier, as Wikileaks had three insurance files that were sent out mysteriously - and now the hash for those files isn't matching with the 90GB of files dumped last month. Reddit users have been banned, posts and threads deleted, and new and even old accounts are posting out of nowhere.
The ongoing WikiLeaks data dump continues, all without proof of life of Julian Assange after the Ecuadorian embassy had its internet line severed - new information has surfaced on Apple and just how much it cares for its consumers' privacy.
In a purported leaked email from December 2015, Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives sent an email to John Podesta, the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign - Lisa said: "Please know that Apple will continue its work with law enforcement. We share law enforcement's concerns about the threat to citizens and we work closely with authorities to comply with legal requests for data that have helped solve complex crimes".
But it was the next paragraph that was highlighted by WikiLeaks, and for good reason: "Thousands of times every month, we give governments information about Apple customers and devices, in response to warrants and other forms of legal process. We have a team that responds to those requests 24 hours a day. Strong encryption does not eliminate Apple's ability to give law enforcement meta-data or any of a number of other very useful categories of data".
Hillary Clinton's poker face continues, with the FBI finding another 14,900 emails and documents on her private server - nearly 50% more than Clinton's lawyers turned over to the State Department.
We don't know what's in the documents and emails, but the FBI obtained a disc that includes all of the new emails and attachments that Clinton sent, or received. Clinton's attorneys originally turned over around 30,000 messages that were what they considered work-related, but we all know that's not true.
A judge in a lawsuit over public records has thrown the State Department's proposal plans to the road, as they wanted to release the documents starting on October 14, and are pushing for an earlier release. If the judge is successful, this won't happen sooner, but it will be enough to have Clinton squirming.
Volkswagen really screwed the pooch with its diesel emission fraud, with over 500,000 US regulators and diesel vehicle owners seeing a settlement of over $15 billion in cash, according to Reuters.
If the settlement goes through, it'll be the largest ever automotive buyback in American history, and the most expensive scandal in the automotive industry. Last year, Volkswagen was caught in a scandal, where it had lied to regulators, installing secret software that allowed US cars to push out up to 40x more pollution. The settlement is expected to be finalized soon, with $10.03 billion in buyback offers to owners of around 475,000 polluting vehicles, and close to $5 billion to offset excess diesel emissions, and boost zero emission vehicles.
Reuters reports: "A separate settlement with nearly all U.S. state attorneys general over excess diesel emissions will be announced on Tuesday and is expected to be more than $500 million and will push the total to over $15 billion, a separate source briefed on the matter said. Spokeswomen for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Volkswagen declined to comment. Speaking on condition of anonymity, due to court-imposed gag rules, the original source said that owners of 2.0 liter diesel VW 2009-2015 cars will receive an average of $5,000 in compensation along with the estimated value of the vehicles as of September 2015, before the scandal erupted".
I don't even know how to begin this news post, but the Chewbacca Mom has made a very swift $400,000 since her Facebook Live video went viral three weeks ago.
In that time, Chewbacca Mom or Candace Payne, has made $400,000 from gifts received, and is now charging $20 per autograph. Payne will be at the Dallas Fan Expo on Sunday, with her booth directly beside Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson, with Payne charging people $20 per autograph. Payne said that she'll be donating a portion of the profits to a Christian ministry initiative - Oak's Followship "All-In".
How. Why. How. I don't even.
North Korea's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has announced a nation-wide ban on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube and even porn sites.
The Associated Press reports that North Korea is tightening its grip on censorship by blocking access to major social media sites for "a certain period of time". The ban also includes several South Korean websites, as well as gambling and porn sites. The government warns that anyone who attempts to circumvent the ban or distribute "anti-republic data" will be punished.
As North Korean citizens are walled off from the outside web and only have access to a government-controlled intranet, the new restrictions are aimed at making it extremely difficult for visitors and foreign residents to share the country's current events with the outside world. Before now visitors were able to enjoy unrestricted access to the web. Interestingly enough, Instagram has been whitelisted and isn't banned by the new law.
In response to the devastating terror attacks in Paris, the French government may pass a series of bills severely limits the online freedom of its citizens during declared states of emergency.
The French newspaper Le Monde acquired the leaked Ministry of Interior documents that outline key legislature that compromises the online privacy of its citizens. According to the publication, there are two separate bills that have different ranges of severity.
The first bill calls for all free and shared Wi-Fi connections to be forcibly closed during a state of emergency. The idea behind this is to disrupt terrorist communications and make it easier for police and officials to track suspects. While open Wi-Fi networks are generally more insecure, police have a hard time pinpointing the location of users tethered to free hotspots.