Silicon Valley shareholders take big hit for firms’ political partisanship

The Silicon Valley giants are getting knee-capped in the stock market as the premise of users privacy violations pile up on the largest social media firms.

Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Twitter have all seen shares beaten up  over the last two weeks as they all announced user information was not protected and distributed to third-party vendors.

Third-party vendors is code for outfits like Cambridge Analytica, which take demographic data to target political and marketing advertising to users. These data mining firms make 100s of millions of dollars selling this data.

The data is still highly coveted by political campaigns despite the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal in the 2016 presidential election. While outrage at the actions was loud actual legislation was not forthcoming since both parties crave the information.

Google’s breach was so troubling that the company closed down it’s Google+ social media platform. The bigger problem was that Google hid the breach for months in order not to have the government bring further action against the company.

It’s reported that the government’s ears and eyes through the NSA have all the data that was compromised and where it was sold and to whom.

While most of the news coming out about draining the swamp is dealing with career political appointees operating outside the law within government agencies, this data has real-world, actionable ramifications. Public companies have shareholders, who suffer losses as these Silicon Valley firms get involved in partisan politics at the levels inferred by these actions.

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Kavanaugh and the Patriot Act, nothing to see here

Now that the smoke has settled on Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, I have some reservations that unfortunately were never raised during his confirmation hearings or afterwards.

No I’m not talking about his prep school or college drinking antics, which the Democrats used as simply a delaying tactic to somehow hope either Kavanaugh or President Trump would pull his nomination rather than push ahead.

Why else would Senator Dianne Feinstein not raise the Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations when meeting privately with Kavanaugh in late August before the hearings began or during the formal hearings in early September since she had the letter from Dr. Ford in July?

What did the Democrats wait until the Senate Judical Committee was about to vote to leak these charges to the press — thereby throwing Dr. Ford under the bus — by making her name public for the first time?

And I’m not concerned about Roe v Wade being overturned. This is settled law for 45 years. Just as we will not return to allowing slavery, we will not take away a women’s right to choose.

The Democrats still use Roe as a rallying cry against conservatives because they have no other hot-button issues to concentrate on.

No the issue that has me most concerned about Kavanaugh is his crafting of the language behind the USAPatriot Act, which was enacted weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Act’s full title is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001″

In the haste of showing the world we would be the strong, Congress approved a bill that weakened our venerable Bill of Rights and especially the Fourth Amendment.

This is the most draconian piece of legislation ever passed by Congress.While many of the most vile abridgments to our civil liberties were originally set to sunset (no longer be part of the law), Congress has continued to reauthorize these violations of our privacy at least twice.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Our privacy under the Fourth Amendment has been curtailed by the Patriot Act to such an extent that federal law enforcement are leery of using its full effect for fear that the entire act will be challenged at the Supreme Court and thrown out as being unconstitutional.

But now we have one of the crafters of the Act on the bench and since we have been perpetually under various states of emergencies since 9/11, the Act retains its teeth of violating our rights.

Yet not one question in the 36 hours of testimony pertaining to the Patriot Act. Not one question of whether Kavanaugh believes it’s constitutionally accepted that federal agents can search phone records or premises without a duly signed search warrant. Nary a query on the acceptability of the NSA to have access to all electronic communications without a warrant.

Since I know all about Kavanaugh’s drinking games and such, why can I not know about his views on the federal government violating the Fourth Amendment?

That tells me that neither party wanted to open that can of worms, which should worry everyone.

Street sees “storm” coming at Amazon

Well, I guess my writing on Amazon and its duplicitous entries into our homes here and here were a good tip on what the market thought of the stock.

A week ago shares were trading at $1,574 today they will open at about $1,360. Continue reading

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica was a sale not a breach or hack

Here’s what Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook haven’t said in regards to the Cambridge Analytica data breach of 50 million users.

No one is saying Facebook was hacked, so why call it a breach? The Bergs — Mark and Sheryl Sandberg — sold that user information to Cambridge Analytica. This is the sneaky business model of all social media. Continue reading