What Do Your Facebook Likes Say About You?

This morning, you might have checked your Facebook account. According to StatisticBrain.com, over 1.7 billion people in the world have a Facebook account they log into at least monthly, so you’re certainly not alone.

While you’re logged into Facebook, you might come across a page you decide to like so that those updates show up in your news feed. Now let’s say one of your friends posted a meme you find amusing — so you like that as well. As you travel around the Facebook world, you leave a trail of likes. But did you know that trail is followed by big data companies, government agencies, and researchers? One researcher designed a way to know things about you, information that not even your spouse may know about you.

Read the rest at Liberty Nation.

 

The Feds are Spying on Journalists Too

My latest column at LibertyNation looks at the new leaked information over at The Intercept.

The Intercept published their story in June of 2016 with heavily redacted information; even between the black bars of governmental secrecy, a picture emerged. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, using National Security Letters, spies on journalists in the United States – without a warrant, without probable cause, and without any constitutional backing. This week Intercept republished the story; this time, they offered the full, unredacted, still-classified documents, showing the entirety of the FBI’s program.

You’ll want to read the whole thing.

I know several folks who will shrug at this news. “So what,” they’ll say. “The government spies on everyone.” Others will say that after what Wikileaks exposed regarding our media, they should get spied on.

Both would be horribly wrong. Knowing it occurs as a rule doesn’t mean you look the other way, or somehow excuse it by virtue of its prevalence. Fight it. Help stop it. 

 

Carnage in Chicago: Can Trump Actually Send in the Feds?

My piece at LN discusses the fact that no one is paying attention to: The issues in Chicago aren’t the kind that sending federal troops in will fix. What’s more, there’s that thorny little document called the Constitution. Sadly, it seems that Trump’s authoritarian side may have a bigger set of balls than it should.

The idea that the U.S. government can come in and stamp out the problems in Chicago seems a bit naïve. National Guard troops in Chicago would not change the culture there, and would not make fatherless black males with gangs for role models stop shooting each other in the streets. Bringing in more FBI agents would not fix the fact that according to the Guttmacher Institute, last year in Cook County alone there were 22,892 abortions – more than half of all abortions performed in the state.  In fact, it is arguable that government, bureaucracy, and politicians are the root of the problem. Federal troops won’t fix the problem in Chicago.  It will take a massive shift in culture and the mindset of its citizens and leaders.

President Trump should think long and hard before calling upon the federal government to go into Chicago and start throwing its weight around. Not only will it cause more violence, but it will also advance the idea that the Feds have every right to come into any state, push local and county authorities aside, and simply take over.