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This shocking dystopian video reveals how the Internet is giving rise to a new totalitarianism

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If you’re reading this post, odds are you spend a sizable portion of your day on the Internet. Based on a 2013 book of the same name, the documentary “Black Code” (2016) explores the “dark side” of our virtual existence, or as its author Ronald J. Deibert dubs it, “big data meets Big Brother.”

“I started this film because reading Ron Deibert’s book was hugely revelatory,” “Black Code” director Nicholas de Pencier told the Globe and Mail. “And then Snowden dropped, and all of a sudden everyone was talking about this.”

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Obama-era internet privacy protections are slowly being rolled back, with Trump signing into a law a resolution that will allow ISPs to collect and sell customers’ data to third parties without their consent. According to TechCrunch, “[It’s] a blow to anyone who’d prefer not to put their browsing history on blast, and a major victory for advertisers hungry for all of the de-anonymized personal data that they can vacuum up and dole out.”

“My worry is: With these very structures, these unprecedented possibilities of surveillance and control of all of our communications and activities—does this new architecture and infrastructure itself bend somehow towards our lesser angels, our totalitarian instincts?” asked de Pencier. “If you’re in power in a complicated world, can we really trust the corporate executives or the elected officials to resist the temptation to access that information?”

“Black Code” examines underreported cases from around the world to help illustrate this growing trend.

“What we see are acts of war committed against citizens,” Deibert says in the film. “Getting inside the computers of Tibetans and then arresting them and possibly executing them is a kind of act of war.”

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According to Human Rights Watch, “authorities have turned the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) into a new kind of surveillance state, [giving it] unprecedented access to individual homes, lives, and to some extent, their thoughts.”

TAR residents are subject to interrogation over their political and religious views by any of the 21,000 officials collecting information and monitoring their behavior.

“I have heard the Chinese government can blacklist and then monitor a certain phone number,” notes Tibetan monk Kanyag Tsering, overlooking piles of burner phones. “If your phone is blacklisted, they may find you and interrogate you.”

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“Black Code” screens in the 2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival on June 15 in New York City.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

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Trump has now humiliated his own ambassador to Denmark twice in just one day

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President Donald Trump's statements about the Danish government over the past 24 hours have made things awkward for Carla Sands, the former soap opera actress and chiropractor whom the president appointed to be America's ambassador to Denmark.

On Tuesday, Sands sent out a tweet that hyped up the president's scheduled visit to Denmark -- only to have the president announce on Twitter that he was canceling the event just hours later because the country's prime minister would not entertain his pitch to sell Greenland to the United States.

Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend 🇺🇸🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/6VEtR1mbay

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GOP is still accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a megadonor caught in prostitution scandal

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In February, Republican megadoner John W. Childs was charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor.

Childs was charged in the same sting that implicated Robert Kraft, the outspoken owner of the Eagles.

Since the sting, Childs has continued to be a major funder to Republican groups and candidates, reports CNBC.

He's given a total of $330,000 to Republicans, according to FEC filings.

The primary recipients of his largesse have been the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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