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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: July 18, 2021
Posted: July 18, 2021 at 5:46 pm
Fox News host Tucker Carlsons charge that the National Security Agencyillegally spied on himand leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American, declaredMSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectivelyclaimingthat Im not a crazy person overstating a case!
When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?
The Carlson controversycannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a repository capable of taking in 20 billion record events daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes, the New York Timesreported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germanys Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era.
The FBI, for its part, is permitted to rummage through the seized data under strict restrictions. In 2018, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) courtslammed the FBIfor abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans rights. After the FBI promised to repent, the FISA court to permitted FBI agents to continue rummaging in NSA troves. In April, the FISA court revealed that the FBI surveillance crime wave continues.
The FBI conductedwarrantless searchesof the data trove for domestic terrorism, public corruption and bribery, health care fraud, and other targets including people who notified the FBI of crimes and even repairmen entering FBI offices. If yousought to report a crimeto the FBI, an FBI agent may have illegally surveilled your email. Even if you merely volunteered for the FBI Citizens Academy program, the FBI may have illegally tracked all your online activity.
In 2019, the FBI unjustifiably searched the database for information on 16,000 people even though only seven of them had connections to an investigation, theNew York Times reported. FISA court Chief Judge James Boasberg lamented apparent widespread violations of the legal restrictions for FBI searchesbut shrugged them offand permitted the scouring of Americans personal data to continue.
On June 30, Americans learned that one of NSAs most intrusive surveillance engines is still being widely abused. In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed thatthat the XKeyscoreprogram was being used to commandeer the email and Internet data of any American who was caught searching the web for suspicious stuff. XKeyscore enables NSA analysts to wiretap anyone simply by entering the targets email address into the database. Six months after Snowdens disclosures began, federal judge Richard Leon issued a ruling denouncing the NSA surveillance regime asalmost Orwellian: I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.
Travis LeBlanc, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, released his declassified dissent to that civil liberties watchdog board recent report on XKeyscore. Hundreds of illegal or prohibited searches were apparently committed using XKeyscore in 2019. LeBlanc complained that the oversight board failed to ask how many U.S. personshave been impactedby XKeyscore, how much data the program collects and analyzes, how widely information analyzed through XKeyscore is shared.
However, the oversight board did not even request specific information about violations of U.S. law by NSA.
Americans have probably not seen even the tip of the iceberg of NSA abuses. NSA apparently never even bothered doing a formal analysis of the legality or constitutionality of XKeyscore until 2016, after the oversight board specifically requested such information. LeBlanctold the Washington Post:What concerns me most is that we have a very powerful surveillance program that eight years or so after exposure, still has no judicial oversight, and what I consider to be inadequate legal analysis and serious compliance infractions.
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, the most dogged congressional watchdog of federal spying,declaredthat Americans still know far too little about the governments surveillance activities and how it threatens their privacy. Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is muzzled from disclosing the NSAs confidential dirt.
NSA is like an accused murderer who continually proclaims his innocence up until the moment a video surfaces of him pulling the trigger. After Carlson stated that his emails were being intercepted,the NSA issued a statementdeclaring that Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency With limited exceptions (e.g. an emergency), NSA may not target a US citizen without a court order that explicitly authorizes the targeting.
However, 90% of the people whose emails and other data were dragged into NSA surveillance dragnets werenot NSAs actual targets, according to a 2014 Washington Post analysis based on data that Snowden provided. Shortly before Snowdens disclosures began, National Intelligence DirectorJames Clapper lied to Congresswhen he denied that the NSA collects any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans. He was never charged for that crime, thereby encouraging falsehoods by every subsequent top federal intelligence official.
On July 7, Axios reported that Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries aboutsetting up an interviewwith Vladimir Putin shortly before he accused the NSA of spying on him. U.S. government officials became aware of Carlsons effort to interview Putin. Axios noted the possibility that one of the people Carlson was talking to as an intermediary to help him get the Putin interview was under [NSA] surveillance as a foreign agent. But NSA would still be prohibited from disclosing emails from an American citizen after unmasking his identity. As journalist Glenn Greenwald noted, It is one of thegravest crimesin the U.S. code for the NSA to leak the contents of communications that it intercepts between a foreign official and an American citizen.
In an interview scheduled for release on Monday (previewed by the Daily Mail), Carlson explained that he went public with his NSA charge defensively I dont have subpoena power. I cant arrest anybody. Icant make themanswer questions. An investigative producer for Carlsons show did file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NSA, seeking any call records, texts, or emailsthe NSA has obtainedfrom journalist Tucker Carlsons cell phone or email, among other information.
Unfortunately, FOIA has long since become a sham. The Obama White Housedrove nails into the FOIA coffinby inventing the doctrine of White House equities, permitting political appointees to delay embarrassing disclosures for years (instead of the 20 business days the law requires). Obamas Justice Departmentformally proposedto permit federal agencies to falsely claim that FOIA-requested documents did not exist. Such travesties did not deter the media from repeating Obamas boast of having themost transparent administration in history.
NSAs power and prerogatives have been buttressed by the vast increase in federal secrecy in recent decades. Since the 1990s, the number of documents classified annually by the feds increased more than tenfold. Federal agencies are nowcreating trillions of pagesof new secrets each year, and each page is backed by a federal fist waiting to crush anyone who makes an unauthorized disclosure. Congress and the media have been complicit in tolerating the Iron Curtain that shrouds far too many federal abuses.
But Carlson has nothing to fear because the NSA is constrained by checks and balances elsewhere in the government, right? Fat chance. Any pretense that Deep State surveillance agencies were on a legal leash should have been destroyed by RussiaGate.
In December 2019, the Justice Department Inspector General reported that theFBImade fundamental errors and persistently deceived the FISA court to authorize surveilling a 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign official, Carter Page. Former FBI assistant general counsel Kevin Clinesmith admitted to falsifying key evidence to secure the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
As a Wall Street Journaleditorial noted, Clinesmith changed an email confirming Page had been a CIA source to one that said the exact opposite, explicitly adding the words not a source before he forwarded it. A federal prosecutor declared that the resulting harm is immeasurable from Clinesmiths action. But at the sentencing hearing, Judge Boasberggushed with sympathy: Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government servicewhat has given his life much of its meaning. Scorning the federal prosecutors recommendation for jail time, Boasberg gave Clinesmith a wrist slap400 hours of community service and 12 months of probation.
The FISA court has gone from pretending that federal surveillance violations dont occur topretending that such crimes dont matter. Practically the only remaining task is for the FISA court to cease pretending Americans have any constitutional right to privacy.
Tucker Carlson may or may not be in NSA cross-hairs at the moment, but there are plenty of other Americans who should be sweating. Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda PittmantoldCongress that the Jan. 6 riots were a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists. Does federal law enforcement believe that any Trump supporter within a mile radius of the U.S. Capitol that day was a terrorist?
President Joe Bidens nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives David Chipman favorsbanning more than tenmillion AR-15 rifles owned by American citizens. The Biden administration is claiming a right to know whether every American hasbeen vaccinated for Covidand will be sending its agents door-to-door to harangue people who are unjabbed. Considering the Biden administrations histrionic rhetoric on domestic terrorism, guns, and COVID-19, it would take only a few tweaks in NSA searches to pull up vast troves of new offenders who could be targeted.
Glenn Greenwald recently observed that the Democratic Party and journalism, in general, hasaligned with the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, and has aligned and merged with the security state. But there was a time when Democrats were eloquent defenders against federal intrusions.
Democrat House Majority Leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana explained in 1971 that Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of action for men in public life can be compromised quite as effectively bythe fear of surveillanceas by the fact of surveillance.
Democratic Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolinaobservedthat same year, When people fear surveillance, whether it exists or not, when they grow afraid to speak their minds and hearts freely to their Government or to anyone else, then we shall cease to be a free society. A few decades earlier, Justice Robert Jackson, who had been Attorney General for FDR and the chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crime trials,declared, Search and seizure rights belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.
Americans cannot acquiesce to illegal government surveillance without forfeiting their right to the tattered remnants of their privacy. The feds need to come clean on any surveillance and leaks that may have targeted Tucker Carlson or otherwise violated his rights. The Carlson case is a wake-up call to Congress and concerned citizens to stop any new war on dissent.
James Bovardis the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. Bovard is on theUSA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is atwww.jimbovard.com
Posted: at 5:46 pm
After an eight-month void in official leadership, the U.S. Senate this week confirmed former Obama-era senior National Security Agency official Jen Easterly to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) amid increasingly frequent digital attacks.
Easterly, who formerly served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and as Senior Director for Counterterrorism, among other roles, takes the reins from Brandon Wales, who has served as acting director of the agency since November. Her approval was unanimous, following delays caused by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who sought to slow the appointment of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to force President Joe Biden to visit the U.S.-Mexican border.
It is unfortunate that political games delayed her confirmation, but we are pleased the Senate has finally acted to confirm Jen Easterly as CISA Director, House Chairs Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY), of the Committee on Homeland Security and the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Innovations, respectively, said of Easterlys appointment. At a time when cyber threats are increasing and evolving, Jen Easterly brings the experience and leadership needed to strengthen our nations cybersecurity. We look forward to working with her to ensure CISA is best positioned to fulfill its mission of protecting Federal networks and critical infrastructure.
CISA is in charge of improving cybersecurity in the government, coordinating cybersecurity efforts with states, and countering private and nation-state hackers. Recent days, however, have stressed the current limits of such capabilities. Formed in 2018 out of DHSs cyber operations, CISA has struggled to protect the nations physical and digital infrastructure against a mounting slew of attacks, even as new legislation heaps new duties on its roughly 2,500 personnel.
Today, CISA finds itself at the forefront of several major cyber incidents impacting both federal networks and the private sector, U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said. Now more than ever, our nations lead civilian cybersecurity agency needs strong leadership. Jen Easterly has a proven record of success in government and industry alike, and I applaud her confirmation by the Senate. Our nation is at a crossroads when it comes to our cybersecurity posture, and I look forward to working with Ms. Easterly to ensure CISA has the resources, workforce, and authorities it needs to effectively carry out its mission.
This year has seen an increase of high-profile cyberattacks, including the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in May by an alleged Russian cybercrime gang, which crippled the energy infrastructure and supplies for nearly half of the East Coasts liquid fuels. Kaseya, an IT solutions developer, was also hit in July in a ransomware attack that exploited authentication controls to hit hundreds of small to medium-sized companies throughout the United States.
Additionally, the national security infrastructure is still reeling from the SolarWinds hack at the end of last year, which has been declared one of the most devastating in history. Global software supply chains were proven to be highly vulnerable, and the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Commerce were all among those compromised. Officials later alleged the hackers involved in that attack were linked to Russia.
Amid an uncertain time for both the public and private sectors security, many seem to be lauding an old and steady hand added for the fight. While thanking the outgoing director for his efforts in an acting capacity, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, in particular, applauded the addition of Easterly as the second-ever Senate-confirmed director to head CISA.
Jen is a brilliant cybersecurity expert and a proven leader with a career spanning military service, civil service, and the private sector, Mayorkas said. I am proud to welcome her to the DHS team and look forward to working together to protect our country from urgent cybersecurity and physical threats.
EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Demand Information From NSA About Allegations The Agency Illegally Spied On Tucker Carlson – Daily Caller
Posted: at 5:46 pm
A group of House Republicans sent a Tuesday letter to the National Security Agency (NSA) demanding information about allegations the agency illegally spied on Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson.
The Daily Caller first obtained the letter, which was spearheaded by Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey. In the letter, the lawmakers call on the NSA to provide them with information about allegations that the agency was spying on Carlson in regards to communication with U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries pertaining to a potential interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Axios reported. The Axios report referenced two sources familiar with Carlsons communications.
In late June, Carlson said that the NSA was spying on him, and reading confidential texts and emails in order to try and take his show off the air. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Says He Has Confirmed The NSA Is Spying On Him)
Its illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens, its a crime, Carlson said. Its not a third-world country. Things like that should not happen in America.
The NSA denied the allegations from Carlson.
The letter was signed by 15 other House Republicans who all called for the following information:
READ THE LETTER HERE:
(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) by Henry Rodgers
After the disturbing treatment of Donald Trump by the Deep State, it should come as no surprise that intelligence agencies are continuing their illegal surveillance of Americans who dare to challenge power-hungry elites in Washington, D.C., Gohmert said in a statement to the Daily Caller. Reports about the NSA spying on Tucker Carlson are reminiscent of something one would expect to see in a tyrannical dictatorship, not the United States of America where citizens supposedly still have Constitutional rights. The Agencys attempt to explain itself thus far has only raised more questions that Mr. Carlson and every citizen of this country deserve to have answered. (RELATED: It Increasingly Looks Like Tucker Carlsons Private Emails Were Leaked To The Media By The Government)
Spying, unmasking, and leaking the private communications of American citizens weaponizes our intelligence agencies, and this abuse of power must stop. Protecting national security is not only about deterring enemy threats, but it also involves safeguarding our liberties, Posey told the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Says NSA Is Leaking The Contents Of His Emails To Journalists)
The Daily Caller contacted the NSA about the letter to which they did not immediately respond.
Posted: at 5:46 pm
According to a popular saying, justice delayed is justice denied. But what if a person is convicted for a crime that he never did and was just a mere suspect. This is the outright injustice and absolutist nature of the state. A commoner gets up in the morning, goes to work, gives his everything there, comes back home exhausted and sleeps peacefully at night. He can do so without any stress because he knows that the state machinery is patrolling the streets at night. He can do so because he knows that if any mishap is to happen, he can go to the police, who will help him.
In case of any conflict, he can knock on the doors of the judiciary who will protect his interests. If the fundamental rights are harmed, they can directly approach the Supreme Court of India. But what if a persons trust in the state machinery and its policies fly right through the window. He is left with nothing but fear, panic and insecurity. Given the present circumstances, peoples trust in state machinery is waning away. Pandemic has rendered many people jobless; those who have jobs are demoted, businesses are shutting down, and people move towards poverty.
The cherry on top was that the gross revenue collection of the central government was near than pre-pandemic levels. This is absurd and unrealistic because if the income of people of a nation reduces, the tax collection must reduce. This mighty figure owes itself to increased excise duty on petrol and diesel. The government shifted the burden of filling its treasury from corporate tax profit to the shoulders of a commoner who is already grappling with death, despair and low income. The recent survey by RBI in Consumer Confidence Index CCI shows that the consumers have bleak economic expectations for the coming year.
Despite all these hardships, a person can still sleep peacefully at night knowing that the state will protect him if a conflict arises, but draconian acts like the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act UAPA and National Security Act NSA do not foster such feelings. The Indian judiciary is notorious for corruption, delays and opaque working. There are several circumstances where a wrongfully convicted person under the UAPA and NSA spent years in jail and was finally acquitted. Pakistan is notorious for harbouring terrorist organisations and funding terrorism activities in India.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that one could choose his friends but not neighbours. Given Indias present situation and its conflict with neighbouring countries like Pakistan and China, stringent laws that reduce terrorism are necessary. But caution must be used while slapping terrorism charges because these charges, whether proven or not, can destroy a persons life. A person who is convicted under terrorism charges, later acquitted, is not accepted in society. He cant avail visa, get employment in his home country and live a life of dignity and respect.
NSA is a colonial-era act that traces its history to the Rowlatt Act of 1919. National Security Act was passed in 1980 by a parliamentary act. This act aims to provide preventive detention powers to the government in some instances and matters connected. This act is applicable throughout the country. A person can be detained by the central government or state government if the government has reasonable reasons to believe that the individual is a threat to the security of India, its relations of India with foreign countries, public order, supply of essential services.
The act also allows the detention of foreigners for regulation and expulsion from the country. NSA is invoked if a police officer on duty is assaulted. According to the act, a person can be detained for 12 months maximum, but the detention can be extended if the government finds evidence.Article 22 of the Constitution, which protects against arrest and detention in some instances, states two types of detention preventive and punitive.
Punitive detention is granted as a punishment for a crime committed by an individual. A person is put under punitive detention after an offence or attempt of offence takes place.Preventive detention, on the other hand, is granted if the state has reasonable doubts and suspicion that a person will commit a crime. Preventive detention is offered to prevent a person from committing or attempting to commit a crime. Under NSA, the arrestee has no basic rights, including information about the reason for the arrest; the arrestee is not entitled to legal aid in matters connected to the proceedings.
If a person is detained under NSA, the detention is not recorded in the National Crime Records Bureau NCRB. NCRB collects data related to crime in the country. There is no FIR registered against NSA because of which there are no statistics.Experts argue that the government uses NSA as extrajudicial power. The NSA has come under scrutiny for misuse by the authorities. NSA is many times equated with anarchism. The proceedings and the final report of the advisory board are kept under wraps.
NSA was used unjustly against people like Chandrashekhar of Bhim Army, Dr Kafeel of Uttar Pradesh for protesting against CAA; it was imposed against three men in a village of Uttar Pradesh for conflict over a cricket match, it was imposed against three men accused of cow slaughter, it was imposed against journalist KishoreChandra for criticising BJP etc. The act has drawn criticisms from people inside and outside the country, stating it as a violation of human rights. Amnesty International and the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre have expressed concerns for the same.
The unlawful activities prevention act was passed in 1967 by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It was passed to upgrade TADA and POTA acts which are both anti-terrorism acts. The act allows the government to declare an individual, group of individuals as a terrorist if he promotes, prepares and aids terrorist activities. The investigation under UAPA allows NIA officials to freeze and seize the financial assets of the accused. The act allows officers to prosecute foreign nationals as well as citizens of India. The act was upgraded to bring India at par with international practices against terrorism, speed up the investigation process against terrorist organisations.
The amendment in the act allows an individual to be deemed a terrorist, which wasnt the case before. The act has come under scrutiny because of its low conviction rate. The Ministry of home affairs in Rajya Sabha produced data that shows that the actress conviction rate of 2.2%. The act harms the fundamental rights of individuals for free speech as it gives absolute powers to the government for prosecution. There have been instances where people who were wrongfully convicted under UAPA spent years in jail and were later acquitted.
Bashir Ahmad Baba of Kashmir spent 11 years in Vadodara jail who was held under UAPA charges, Mohammed Habib spent four years in prison under UAPA charges, Illyas Mohammed Akbar and Mohammed Irfan Gaus spent nine years in jail under UAPA charges, Father Stan Swamy spent almost a year in jail under UAPA charges and later died, Asif Iqbal Tanha Debangana Kalita Natasha Narwal spent time under detention. All these people, after spending more than legal time in jail, were later acquitted. The courts and government fail to understand is failure of government machinery if a person is detained for a decade for a crime he did not commit.
Unlawful and wrongful detention has serious consequences on a person life ranging from mental health, physical health, social life, life with dignity, future economic prospects is. The list is endless. The Supreme Court of India, citing international examples like New Zealand and Ireland, started granting compensation for loss of liberty due to malicious imprisonment. The Supreme Court held it in cases like Khatri, Beena Sethi, Rudra Shah, Bhim Singh, Raghuvansh DiwanChand Bhasin, Babloo Chauhan and Bilkhis Yakub Rasool.
But always remember that monetary compensation can never return the life lost under wrongful detention.
Posted: at 5:44 pm
As a follow up to our previous special recorded in October 2019, we took another look at race issues within football last June, following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests across the world.
We hear from Troy Townsend of Kick It Out, Jordan Jarrett Bryan of Its All Blakademik and Elliott Ross of The Correspondent, exploring the football worlds reaction and incidents of racism in the game since the last podcast tackling the subject.
We ask why the punishments from footballs governing bodies for racial abuse arent anywhere near tough enough, and why black representation in positions of football leadership is still so low.
Finally, we ask tough question about black representation in the sports media world including in this podcast.
Books and articles about race recommended by the panel:
Support The Guardian
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See the rest here:
Fort Wainwright soldier indicted in death of Black Lives Matter protester – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Posted: at 5:44 pm
A 34-year-old infantryman from Dallas, Texas, and stationed at Fort Wainwright for the last 10 months is facing a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of a Black Lives Matter demonstrator in downtown Austin last summer.
Sgt. Daniel Perry, who joined the U.S. Army in 2012 and served in Afghanistan that same year, says it was self-defense after 29-year-old Garrett Foster pointed a weapon at him while other protesters beat on his car, damaging it. Perry was moonlighting as a driver for a ridesharing company and was unaware of the demonstration until he drove up on it, according to a written account on a GoFundMe page aimed at raising money for his legal defense. Both Perry and Foster are white.
Sgt. Perry had acted in self-defense when a masked Boogaloo Boi raised an AK-47 at him during an allegedly peaceful protest, reads a news release provided by Perrys attorney, Clint Broden.
Witnesses say he barreled into the crowd of demonstrators. Perry threatened one of the pedestrians and drove toward that person, according to media reports. Prior to the incident, he had reportedly made hostile statements about protesters in social media posts.
The incident unfolded around the time last year when people in multiple cities were taking to the streets to decry police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
The case is getting a lot of media attention in the Lone Star State, and Broden is accusing the Travis County District Attorney of misconduct saying in a July 7 news release that the district attorney's office coerced Austin police to remove a significant amount of evidence which supported Sgt. Perrys self-defense claim from their grand jury presentation.
According to a city of Austin news release dated July 27, 2020, police officers heard two separate volleys of gunfire during a protest march two days earlier around 10 p.m., and several people called 911, including Perry.
The caller stated they had shot someone who had approached their drivers window and pointed a rifle at them. The caller was instructed to pull over and officers would be dispatched. Officers located and brought the caller to the homicide office to be interviewed. The handgun and vehicle were secured as evidence, reads the news release.
Witnesses offered multiple versions of events, according to Austin police.
Witnesses reported that a disturbance began when a vehicle started honking its horn as it turned southbound onto Congress from 4th St. The vehicle stopped as there were a large number of people in the roadway. Foster, who was holding an AK-47 type assault rifle, approached the drivers side window as others in the crowd began striking the vehicle. Gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at Foster, reads the news release.
Another person watching the soldier drive away from the crowd pulled out a handgun and fired shots at the vehicle. That person was also interviewed and that weapon seized.
Perry was released pending further investigation. A grand jury indicted him 11 months later. The soldier surrendered to Texas authorities on July 1, according to online court records.
He turned himself in and made bond ($300,000) and was out within about 10 or 15 minutes, said Travis County Sheriffs Office spokeswoman Kristen Dark.
Foster died of multiple gunshot wounds after efforts to resuscitate him failed. He was attending the march with his wheelchair-bound girlfriend, according to media reports. One report said that Foster was a veteran. He was carrying the AK-47, which is allowed under Texas open-carry laws, using a sling.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Perry was doxed and online sleuths revealed that he had made comments about using firearms to protect himself from violent protesters.
According to a U.S. Army spokesman, the incident happened while Perry was stationed at Fort Hood. Since October, he has been attached to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright. He is a former Eagle Scout who earned five Army Achievement Medals, according to the GoFundMe page. More than 200 people have donated $18,635 to the Sgt. Daniel Perry Defense Fund as of Monday.
Broden pointed out that the standard of proof required for an indictment is significantly less than the standard of proof required for a conviction. He said the case is important as it pertains to the Texas Stand Your Ground Law.
Perry reportedly passed a lie detector test.
When this case is presented to a jury at trial and the jury gets to hear all the evidence instead of a one-sided presentation, we have every confidence that Sgt. Perry will be acquitted, reads a news release provided by Perrys attorney.
Sgt. Perry again simply asks that anybody who might want to engage in a hindsight review of this incident picture themselves trapped in a car as a masked stranger raises an AK-47 in their direction and reflect upon what they might have done if faced with the split-second decision he faced that evening, the news release reads.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMborough.
View original post here:
Posted: at 5:44 pm
NASA's Curiosity rover might be sitting near a wealth of information that might hint at signs of life on Mars. New Scientist and Space.com note that Caltech researchers have identified six locations for methane "burps" (that is, emissions blips) on the planet, including one just a few dozen miles west southwest from Curiosity. Ideally, the rover could investigate the emissions and determine their true nature.
Curiosity has detected the methane spurts six times since landing on Mars in 2012, but scientists haven't had success locating their sources until now. Europe's Trace Gas Orbiter has also failed to spot methane at atmospheric levels. The Caltech team narrowed down the on-the-ground sources by modelling methane particles as packets and tracing their routes based on historical wind velocity.
The research hasn't yet been peer-reviewed, so we'd take it with a grain of caution. It's also entirely possible that the gas has non-organic origins. Even if that's the case, though, the burps could be tied to geological activity linked to liquid water. Early Mars reportedly held massive amounts of water even if there's no active water at these sources, a close-up study could help illustrate Mars' history.
See the original post:
Quantum computing: this is how quantum programming works using the example of random walk – Market Research Telecast
Posted: at 5:43 pm
Quantum computing: this is how quantum programming works using the example of random walk
The quantum mistake
Dont look after every coin toss
Read article in iX 13/2021
Developers are familiar with software development on classic computers. Intuitive programming languages, which are based on familiar thought and language patterns, enable even newbies to get started quickly and achieve initial success with small applications.
When programming a quantum computer, the situation is more complicated and significantly more abstract due to the underlying laws of quantum mechanics. The differences between programming on a classical and a quantum computer should be illustrated by an example.
Steffen is going on vacation. Immediately he was drawn to the beach promenade. At five oclock in the morning he stumbled out of a bar, heavily drunk, and couldnt remember which way his hotel was facing. But he has to get there as soon as possible if he wants to reserve a lounger in the first row by the hotel pool at 6:00 a.m. Steffen thinks about it: The hotel must be somewhere on this street. In a math lecture several years ago, the professor had said something about random walks and that the walker can reach any point on a line after any number of steps.
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The concept of uncertainty in the context of AI can be difficult to grasp at first. At a high level, uncertainty means working with imperfect or incomplete information, but there are countless different potential sources of uncertainty. Some, like missing information, unreliable information, conflicting information, noisy information, and confusing information, are especially challenging to address without a grasp of the causes. Even the best-trained AI systems cant be right 100% of the time. And in the enterprise, stakeholders must find ways to estimate and measure uncertainty to the extent possible.
It turns out uncertainty isnt necessarily a bad thing if it can be communicated clearly. Consider this example from machine learning engineer Dirk Elsinghorst: An AI is trained to classify animals in a safari to help safari-goers remain safe. The model trains with available data, giving animals a risky or safe classification. But because it never encounters a tiger, it classifies tigers as safe, drawing a comparison between the stripes on tigers and on zebras. If the model were able to communicate uncertainty, humans could intervene to alter the outcome.
There are two common types of uncertainty in AI: aleatoric and epistemic. Aleatoric accounts for chance, like differences in an environment and the skill levels of people capturing training data. Epistemic is part of the model itself models that are too simple in design can have a high variation in outcome.
Observations, or sample data, from a domain or environment often contain variability. Typically referred to as noise, variability can be due to natural causes or an error, and it impacts not only the measurements AI learns from but the predictions it makes.
In the case of a dataset used to train AI to predict species of flowers, for instance, noise could be larger or smaller flowers than normal or typos when writing down the measurements of various petals and stems.
Another source of uncertainty arises from incomplete coverage of a domain. In statistics, samples are randomly collected, and bias is to some extent unavoidable. Data scientists need to arrive at a level of variance and bias that ensures the data is representative of the task a model will be used for.
Extending the flower-classifying example, a developer might choose to measure the size of randomly selected flowers in a single garden. The scope is limited to one garden, which might not be representative of gardens in other cities, states, countries, or continents.
As Machine Learning Masterys Jason Brownlee writes: There will always be some unobserved cases. There will be part of the problem domain for which we do not have coverage. No matter how well we encourage our models to generalize, we can only hope that we can cover the cases in the training dataset and the salient cases that are not.
Yet another dimension of uncertainty is errors. A model will always have some error, introduced during the data prep, training, or prediction stages. Error could refer to imperfect predictions or omission, where details are left out or abstracted. This might be desirable by selecting simpler models as opposed to models that may be highly specialized to the training data, the model will generalize to new cases and have better performance.
Given all the sources of uncertainty, how can it be managed particularly in an enterprise environment? Probability and statistics can help reveal variability in noisy observations. They can also shed light on the scope of observations, as well as quantifying the variance in performance of predictive models when applied to new data.
The fundamental problem is that models assume the data theyll see in the future will look like the data theyve seen in the past. Fortunately, several approaches can reliably sample a model to understand its overall confidence. Historically, these approaches have been slow, but researchers at MIT and elsewhere are devising new ways to estimate uncertainty from only one or a few runs of a model.
Were starting to see a lot more of these [neural network] models trickle out of the research lab and into the real world, into situations that are touching humans with potentially life-threatening consequences, Alexander Amini, who recently presented research on a new method to estimate uncertainty in AI-assisted decision-making, said in a statement. Any user of the method, whether its a doctor or a person in the passenger seat of a vehicle, needs to be aware of any risk or uncertainty associated with that decision. He envisions the system not only quickly flagging uncertainty, but also using it to make more conservative decision making in risky scenarios, like when an autonomous vehicle approaches an intersection. Any field that is going to have deployable machine learning ultimately needs to have reliable uncertainty awareness.
Earlier this year, IBM open-sourced Uncertainty Quantification 360 (UQ360), a toolkit focused on enabling AI to understand and communicate its uncertainty. UQ360 offers a set of algorithms and a taxonomy to quantify uncertainty, as well as capabilities to measure and improve uncertainty quantification (UQ). For every UQ algorithm provided in the UQ360 Python package, a user can make a choice of an appropriate style of communication by following IBMs guidance on communicating UQ estimates, from descriptions to visualizations.
Common explainability techniques shed light on how AI works, but UQ exposes limits and potential failure points, IBM research staff members Prasanna Sattigeri and Q. Vera Liao note in a blog post. Users of a house price prediction model would like to know the margin of error of the model predictions to estimate their gains or losses. Similarly, a product manager may notice that an AI model predicts a new feature A will perform better than a new feature B on average, but to see its worst-case effects on KPIs, the manager would also need to know the margin of error in the predictions.
In a recent study, Harvard University assistant professor Himabindu Lakkaraju found that showing uncertainty metrics to people with a background in machine learning and non-experts had an equalizing effect on their resilience to AI predictions. While fostering trust in AI may never be as simple as providing metrics, awareness of the pitfalls could go some way toward protecting people from machine learnings limitations a critical aim in the business domain.
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Spielberg's AI: Artificial Intelligence just gets better with age.
It's been 20 years, and I'm still not sure what to make of the movie AI: Artificial Intelligence. But I keep rewatching it every year or two, and it always haunts me. I think I know why.
Steven Spielberg's completion of an idea first dreamed up by Stanley Kubrick arrived at the end of June 2001. It was Spielberg's first film after 1998's Saving Private Ryan. I watched it in a movie theater in Los Angeles, when I lived out west. I remember the film's strangeness washing over me in the dark.
Is AI a commentary on Spielberg's own childhood wish fulfillments? An inversion of the films I saw of his when I was a kid? A blend of his wide-eyed emotional spirit, and his cynical, dark films on war? I watch it because it reminds me, over and over, of the future of gadgets when humanity dies.
The film's about a beta test of a robotic child called David, who is briefly adopted and cared for by an employee of the company that made him (It? What is a robot's proper pronoun?), a surrogate child while their own son is in a medically induced coma. Their real child then recovers, and the familyrejects David, no longer needing him, even finding him threatening and dangerous... and they abandon him. From there, the film becomes an odyssey in which the robotic boy learns about the cruel, changed world and tries to find his maker. It's Pinocchio, but it's also a story about a tech company that overreaches to achieve perfection. It's Jurassic Park, but the dinosaurs outlive the humans and we see where they end up in another 2,000 years.
Spielberg blended with Kubrick seems a weird cocktail: I think of Kubrick as a brilliantly cold filmmaker, while Spielberg films I grew up lean to melodramatic emotional swells. But as I've gotten older, my favorite Spielberg is cold Spielberg (Munich, The Post, Minority Report, Bridge of Spies). The icy tone running through AI, even 20 years later, still feels futuristic. I feel like I'm peering through a door into the unknown.
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Plenty of people hate Spielberg's AI and it doesn't rank all that high in many of his all-time lists. On some days, it's one of my favorite science fiction films ever. But there are bumps. Some moments ring awkward and cheesy (the emotional journey of his "parents," and many parts involving real people in the theme park-like Rouge City). The film's emotional journey, bridging fairy tale and gritty cyberpunk, has cracks (some scenes feel like they linger too long, others jump forward too fast). The depiction of tech hasn't always aged well (no one has phones, but also, a key plot point involves a kiosk that acts as an elaborate search engine. Why wouldn't anyone be able to do this with a device?). An astounding percentage of the two hour-plus film seems to take place in an extended ending that moves forward with excruciating slowness. Yet I'm always riveted.
Along with Minority Report, released the following summer in 2002, this film represents Spielberg's dark sci-fi phase. AI and Minority Report feel like bookends, companion films. AI lingers with me far more. And I haven't even mentioned David's robot teddy-bear companion, or Jude Law's stunning robot Gigolo Joe, and how the three of them feel like some sort of deep-future retelling of The Wizard of Oz.
It's because it's a story about abandoned tech. David is a gadget prototype. He finds himself wondering about his own existence, and can't justify the answers. No one can. It's a story that dreams of where all our supposedly fantastic tech toys go in the years, and decades, that follow. The old Anki Cozmos and Jibos, the social networks and game platforms I imagine crumbling to dust. Some will remain. Some will be Swiss-cheesed. Some will linger. Some will be reinvented, the parts tinkered with and hacked.
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Movies like Wall-E have dreamed of similar ideas. As has tons of science fiction --Cory Doctorow, Ted Chiang and Annalee Newitz come to mind, but there are many more.
AI's cold-souled presence also feels like a final twist of the knife in my childhood. Those '80s family-friendly films Spielberg crafted linger in the first half of AI. The feeling is manufactured, though. David's placement in his family is an experiment, a forced action. It's cruel and doesn't consider anything other than the present moment. And then, like my favorite fiction (Neal Stephenson's love of accelerating thousands of years in Seveneves or Anathem, or the jumps in Foundation, or Charles Stross' Accelerando), AI jumps impossibly far along. The ending isn't weird or infinite enough for me. But it suggests that feeling of cosmic horror for tech's future that I've thought about when I look at small, strange, emerging products, new AR headsets, little watches or toy robots with firmware updates.
So much of AI still seems prescient. The flooded cities and climate-crisis-driven wreckage. The undercurrent of public distrust of tech, and a human-centric type of robot-targeted racism that feeds evangelical rallies. A Steve Jobs-like creator of new tech who plays God with calm conviction. Also, of course, the very idea of feeling emotional connection with a robot.
I don't know if any film or TV show has ever captured artificial intelligence perfectly for me. (2001 is good, of course. Ex Machina didn't wow me, and I don't tend to love films about robots.) Robotics and software are tough territories. But I'm perpetually amazed by Haley Joel Osment's performance in this movie. It annoyed me at times when I first saw it, just a few years after The Sixth Sense. Was I meant to care, or feel repelled? Now it feels like an amazing balancing act between emotional charm and alienation. Osment's waxy face, eerie smile and continuous need to be loved are perfect.
Because AI imagines itself as a dark fairy tale, I forgive its sometimes illogical plot turns. I burst into tears at times: when David is alone at the bottom of the ocean, praying for a miracle. His wish is granted, but just for a moment. Some scenes, like the one in which David confronts his creators, or almost kills his brother, still shock me with some of their cold vibes. It's this dance of emotions that keeps me coming back.
Or maybe it's because AI is, in one sense, a nightmarish future version of my New Jersey work commute to Manhattan. The film takes place in New Jersey, in some future where New York City is ruined. We watch a robot child wander from the suburbs into the heart of where New York City still half-stands.
As I've gotten older, I've also seen the film differently. When I was living alone in LA and wandering, uncertain of my career and life, I thought it was about the emotional lives of robots. Later, when I became a parent, I saw it as a tale about parenthood and consumerism. Would I buy a robot? What would that do to my family? Why do I buy so much tech? Now I see it as a story of how humanity can't stop playing God. David's return to Cybertronics, and his whole journey, feel like a manipulation. And the ending after that, where David is brought back to life, is set in a world where only "mecha" have survived. But these evolved robots do exactly what we used to do: simulate life, experiment with creation.
Is David really thinking and feeling, or is it a simulation all along? Are we part of a filmic Turing test? I turn that over in my head. And what is a gadget, or a creation, without its creator? A novella by Ted Chiang, called The Lifecycle of Software Objects, imagined intelligent creations that were eventually abandoned, obsolete, and had to be cared for as the world they were made to be compatible with kept changing. AI asks these questions: all the old robots rounded up, the models that know that sooner or later they're going to be replaced. David, the robot boy who seems to be so special, is particularly so because he's oblivious to this process.
AI is a flawed vision of the future, and maybe it was never destined to be perfect science fiction. The future is an unknown. Months after AI came out, I flew back to New York to be with my family after the Sept. 11 attacks. In Spielberg's movie, the Twin Towers still exist in frozen Manhattan, 2,000 years from now. I see that artifact of another timeline now and it reminds me of how much time has passed since 2001. How much the world has changed.
In 2021, though, we're more concerned about the climate crisis than ever. We haven't figured out how to resolve our psychological dependencies on tech. And tech companies are trying now more than ever to mine empathy and emotional connection through products. The basic premise of AI hasn't aged. It's just got a little dust on its box.
(By the way, if you want to read a great book about actual artificial intelligence, start with this one by Janelle Shane.)
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