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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.”

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.”

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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.”

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

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2020 Election

Trump has ‘confused’ his own voters about mail-in ballots — and GOP fears ‘turnout crisis’: report

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President Donald Trump's frequent attacks on mail-in voting have made his own voters far less likely to take advantage of filing absentee ballots -- and the Washington Post reports that GOP operatives fear it could create a "turnout crisis."

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill tells the Post that he recently met with a group of Republican voters who traditionally send their ballots through the mail, but were now reluctant to do so thanks to the president's regular attacks on the system.

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2020 Election

Trump’s ‘craziness’ is scaring off exhausted voters in the Rust Belt states: columnist

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In a column for the conservative Bulwark, political observer Daniel McGraw said voters in a key region between Pennsylvania and Ohio have had enough of the chaos in the Donald Trump's White House and his failure to bring the jobs he promised them in 2016.

As McGraw points out, the region along the border encompassing Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence and Beaver counties in Pennsylvania was a solid Democratic region until Trump came along. Writing that candidate Trump swept into the area in 2016 with rallies where he promised jobs and better times ahead McGraw stated that Trump's pitch was well-received and local voters turned out for him.

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‘Deborah took the bait & hit us!’ Trump lashes out at Birx for delivering bad news about the virus

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President Donald Trump stepped into the dispute between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Dr. Deborah Birx.

The White House coronavirus task force coordinator warned Sunday that the U.S. was in a "new phase" of the pandemic, as Pelosi escalated her attacks on the senior scientist.

"So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics," Trump tweeted. "In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!"

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