Cambridge Analytica CEO Steps Down

4/11/18 — by Brian Heater, Tech Crunch; Original article here.

While Mark Zuckerberg gets the grilling of a lifetime on Capitol Hill, the firm at the center of all of this is losing its top executive. As day two of the Facebook testimony was unfolding, Cambridge Analytica sent out a brief statement from its Board of Directors, noting that acting CEO Alexander Tayler was stepping down from the gig.

The two sentence press release thanked Tayler, “for his service in what has been a challenging time for the company.”

Well, yeah. Tayler will be sticking with Cambridge Analytica, however, returning to his former role as Chief Data Officer.

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Facebook, Social Media Privacy and Abuse of Data

Zuckerberg is taken out to the woodshed in Washington, DC by the House and Senate . . . the House Representatives were much better prepared than the Senators were the day before. View/read Rep. Frank Pallone’s opening statement.

4/11/18 House Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing

Facebook: Transparency and Abuse of Consumer Data

Mark Zuckerberg testified before Energy and Commerce on 4/11/18 at 10 am ET regarding Facebook’s abuse and lack of protection of users’ personal information. Click here for the details on the hearing, including livestream, witness testimony, and background memo.

  1. 2018-0411-Zuckerberg House Testimony
  2. 2018-0411-Background-Memo

4/10/18 Joint Senate Committee Hearing

2018-0410-Zuckerberg Senate Testimony

  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
  • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Time: 02:15 PM
Location: Hart Senate Office Building 216
Live Webcast: https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/facebook-social-media-privacy-and-the-use-and-abuse-of-data

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing entitled: “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data” scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 2:15 p.m., will now be in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

Why I Broke the Facebook Data Scam Story

April 7, 2018 The Guardian article by Christopher Wylie. Original article here.

In January, I told the British authorities that the app that was used to harvest data for Cambridge Analytica was likely to have pulled the profiles of British Facebook users. Last week Facebook confirmed it: it told the world that as many as 87 million profiles were collected. This included more than one million British records.

A couple of days later, early on Saturday, Facebook suspended AggregateIQ. This is important because AIQ was the Canadian data firm on which Vote Leave spent 40% of its budget during the EU referendum. But as I told parliament, I helped set up AIQ to support Cambridge Analytica. I also handed over documents showing AIQ’s ties to Cambridge Analytica.

At every step of this story, Facebook – from which I’m still banned – has lagged behind the truth. It was only when I came forward with documents – signed contracts and invoices – that proved Cambridge Analytica had funded the harvesting of Facebook profiles that it was finally forced to own up.

But then, there are certain facts that are hard to hear. And in the case of AIQ, Facebook might be slow, but it’s still managed to be ahead of many in Britain. Ten days ago I spent four hours testifying to the Fake News inquiry at parliament – and several more hours in private sessions.

Facebook has suspended AIQ while it investigates AIQ’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica and whether it had access to Facebook data. In Britain, on the other hand, Dominic Cummings, the former head of Vote Leave, called me a “fantasist charlatan”. Andrew Neil inferred that my testimony was “hearsay”. And while the national broadcaster in my home country, Canada, has covered the subject assiduously, on the day I appeared on BBC’s Today programme, it devoted more airtime to alleged ball tampering in Australian cricket than tampering with British democracy. I’m disappointed, but I also understand it.

It is extremely uncomfortable to consider that our democracy may have been corrupted. That potential crimes may have taken place – some of them on Facebook’s servers – that seem to be beyond the reach of law. It’s why I testified last week to parliament. It’s why I have given three binders of evidence about Vote Leave to the UK Electoral Commission and information commissioner’s office.

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Finally! Big Media Takes On Big Wireless

  • 4/4/18 Democracy Now, Part 1 Interview of Mark Hertsgaard, investigative editor for The Nation — How the Wireless Industry Convinced the Public Cellphones Are Safe & Cherry-Picked Research on Risks (transcript below)

  • 4/4/18 Democracy Now, Part 2 Interview of Mark Hertsgaard, investigative editor for The Nation — How Big Wireless War-Gamed the Science on Risks, While Making Customers Addicted to Their Phones (transcript below)

  • 4/5/18 NPR interview on WBUR’s On Point in Boston: The Connection Between Cellphones And Cancer with Mark Hertsgaard, investigative editor for The Nation and co-author of the magazine’s April 28 cover story, How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation and Jerry Phillips, biochemist and director of the Excel Science Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. (embedded audio file, below)

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San Francisco Is Quietly Building an Open Access Fiber Network

By Karl Bode Apr 06 2018; Original article here.

With Google Fiber pausing deployments to consider a pivot to wireless, San Francisco is one of several cities left standing at the altar. The city had been part of an effort by Google Fiber to deploy service to a few key locations where fiber was already deployed. But with Google Fiber apparently now fascinated with next generation wireless technologies like millimeter wave, the city is considering one of the biggest municipal broadband deployments ever conceived.

Like Seattle, San Francisco is tired of broadband being defined as being forced to choose between two companies whose service pricing and quality clearly reflect a disdain for paying customers.

As such, the company is promising to connect every single home and business in the city to fiber optic broadband. A consultant’s report (pdf) recently released by the city indicates that the cost of doing so would be somewhere around $1.9 billion. But the cost of that investment would result in numerous, direct benefits to the city, the report concluded.

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Verizon to Roll Out So-Called Small Cells to Densify Napa Cellphone Towers

Comments from Scientists for Wired Technology (‘S4WT’)

by Howard Yune | hyune@napanews.com |
Apr 2, 2018; Updated Apr 4, 2018 ; Original article here.

This year, two dozen utility poles around Napa may gain something extra on top. Compact cellular transmitters are slated for installation atop poles in various neighborhoods, in the debut of an effort by Verizon Wireless to improve call capacity and Internet speeds for users of mobile phones and tablet computers.


S4WT Comment: coming.


The so-called “small cells” – a fraction the size and range of conventional wireless towers – will be added as attachments to existing power poles, or included in replacement poles up to 52 feet high, taller than normal to improve signal range.

Installation is expected to take place within the next two months and continue during 2018, according to Rommel Angeles, a network implementation manager for Verizon in Northern California. Spokespeople for the carrier said they have received permits from Napa to install 24 of the devices across the city, at locations including Franklin, Coombs, Jefferson and Greenbach streets as well as Old Sonoma and Browns Valley roads and Cabot Way.

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Cambridge Analytica Facebook Targeting Model

March 30, 2018 by Matthew Hindman, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University; Original article here. Matthew Hindman does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The whole point of a dimension reduction model is to mathematically represent the data in simpler form. It’s as if Cambridge Analytica took a very high-resolution photograph, resized it to be smaller, and then deleted the original. The photo still exists – and as long as Cambridge Analytica’s models exist, the data effectively does too.

How The Model Really Worked

In an email to me, Cambridge University scholar Aleksandr Kogan explained how his statistical model processed Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica. The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.

The accuracy, he claims, suggests it works about as well as established voter-targeting methods based on demographics like race, age and gender. Kogan’s account would mean that the digital modeling Cambridge Analytica used was hardly the virtual crystal ball that a few have claimed. Yet the numbers Kogan provides also show what is – and isn’t – actually possible by combining personal data with machine learning for political ends.

Aleksandr Kogan answers questions on CNN.

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2018 NTP Conclusions re: RF Microwave Radiation Studies in Rats

https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/about_ntp/trpanel/2018/march/actions20180328_508.pdf

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) convened the NTP Technical Reports Peer Review Panel (“the Panel”) on March 26-28, 2018, to peer review two Draft NTP Technical Reports on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation. Meeting information, including the draft reports, is available at the NTP website (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/36051). A meeting report will be prepared and posted to the NTP website when completed

Neoplastic Lesions: GSM Modulation

Male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats, exposed to GSM-modulated cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (8 yes, 3 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion,

Clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of malignant schwannoma in the heart

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (7 yes, 4 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion’

Some evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of malignant glioma in the brain.

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (6 yes, 4 no, 1 abstention) the conclusion,

Some evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of pheochromocytoma (benign, malignant, or complex combined) in the adrenal medulla

Nonneoplastic Lesions: GSM Modulation

  • Panel 2 voted to accept unanimously (11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion as written,

Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, brain, and prostate gland of male rats occurred with exposures to GSM cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz.

  • Panel 2 voted to accept unanimously (11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion as written

Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland in female rats occurred with exposures to GSM cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz.

How Big Wireless Duped the World re: the Hazards of RF/MW Radiation

By Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, THE NATION, March 29, 2018 Original article here.

Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation’s environment correspondent and investigative editor, is the author of seven books, including HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth .

Mark Dowie, an investigative historian based outside Willow Point, California, is the author of the new book, The Haida Gwaii Lesson: A Strategic Playbook for Indigenous Sovereignty.

Disinformation — and Massive Radiation Increase — of 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas

Things didn’t end well between George Carlo and Tom Wheeler; the last time the two met face-to-face, Wheeler had security guards escort Carlo off the premises. As president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Wheeler was the wireless industry’s point man in Washington. Carlo was the scientist handpicked by Wheeler to defuse a public-relations crisis that threatened to strangle his infant industry in its crib. This was back in 1993, when there were only six cell-phone subscriptions for every 100 adults in the United States. But industry executives were looking forward to a booming future.

Remarkably, cell phones had been allowed onto the US consumer market a decade earlier without any government safety testing. Now, some customers and industry workers were being diagnosed with cancer. In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A congressional subcommittee announced an investigation; investors began dumping their cell-phone stocks; and Wheeler and the CTIA swung into action.

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Scientists Find Definitive Link to Cancer from RF Microwave Radiation Exposure

Adapted from the article by John Murawski March 28, 2018; Original article here.

Research Triangle Park, NC — Cellphone radio-frequency waves can be decisively linked to cancer in rats, according to a national science panel meeting in Research Triangle Park on Wednesday. The scientists’ finding establishes the clearest connection of cellphone risk to humans in a major U.S. study to date.

The scientists made their announcement at the end of a three-day meeting to review a $25 million rodent experiment conducted by the National Toxicology Program in RTP for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The draft of the study, issued in early February, had established a weak link in some cases and no link in others, but the scientific advisory panel on Wednesday said the data is more compelling and indicates greater risk than initially acknowledged.

Wednesday’s decision is expected to change the debate over cellphone safety as the telecommunications industry, with encouragement from the Federal Communications Commission, prepares to roll out the next-generation high-speed 5G wireless technology. Public health activists predict the science panel’s conclusions of wireless risks will increase pressure on federal agencies to issue safety warnings and tighten safety standards of the ubiquitous electronic device.

Ronald Melnick, the National Toxicology Program scientist who designed the study before he retired nine years ago:

"It should most likely lead to a reduction in exposure limits. This matters a lot because the agencies that will receive this data will make public health decisions based on this information."

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