Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.
by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner, ProPublica


May 23, 2016

ON A SPRING AFTERNOON IN 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to pick up her god-sister from school when she spotted an unlocked kid’s blue Huffy bicycle and a silver Razor scooter. Borden and a friend grabbed the bike and scooter and tried to ride them down the street in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs.

Just as the 18-year-old girls were realizing they were too big for the tiny conveyances — which belonged to a 6-year-old boy — a woman came running after them saying, “That’s my kid’s stuff.” Borden and her friend immediately dropped the bike and scooter and walked away.

But it was too late — a neighbor who witnessed the heist had already called the police. Borden and her friend were arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft for the items, which were valued at a total of $80.

Compare their crime with a similar one: The previous summer, 41-year-old Vernon Prater was picked up for shoplifting $86.35 worth of tools from a nearby Home Depot store.

Prater was the more seasoned criminal. He had already been convicted of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, for which he served five years in prison, in addition to another armed robbery charge. Borden had a record, too, but it was for misdemeanors committed when she was a juvenile.

Yet something odd happened when Borden and Prater were booked into jail: A computer program spat out a score predicting the likelihood of each committing a future crime. Borden — who is black — was rated a high risk. Prater — who is white — was rated a low risk...

Church Committee Hearing on FBI Informants


FBI informants Gary Thomas Rowe and Mary Jo Cook testified before the Church Committee on December 2, 1975, about their infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan and anti-Vietnam War groups. Mr. Rowe, wearing a hood to conceal his identity, described how he infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and with the knowledge of the FBI participated in violence against civil rights activists. Ms. Cook described how she informed against anti-Vietnam War activists. The informants were followed by Deputy Associate FBI Director James Adams who defended the practice. The hearing was preceded by interviews with former committee staffers Frederick Schwarz and Elliot Maxwell, and followed by an interview with Associate U.S. Senate Historian Katherine Scott. Video provided by NBC Universal Archives...

http://www.c-span.org/video/?409602-1/church-committee-hearing-fbi-informants

HOPE X (2014): The Hacker Wars - A Conversation with NSA Whistleblower T...

Airborne Invasion of Normandy | D-Day Minus One | 1944 | World War 2 Doc...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia's government for damages, setting up a potential showdown with the White House, which has threatened a veto.

The Saudis, who deny responsibility for the 2001 attacks, strongly object to the bill. They had said they might sell up to $750 billion in U.S. securities and other American assets in retaliation if it became law.

The "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," or JASTA, passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote. It must next be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing on the measure in the near future, a committee aide said.

If it became law, JASTA would remove the sovereign immunity, preventing lawsuits against governments, for countries found to be involved in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. It would allow survivors of the attacks, and relatives of those killed in the attacks, to seek damages from other countries.

In this case, it would allow lawsuits to proceed in federal court in New York as lawyers try to prove that the Saudis were involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir has said his country's objection to the bill is based on principles of international relations. "What (Congress is) doing is stripping the principle of sovereign immunities which would turn the world for international law into the law of the jungle," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

James Kreindler, a prominent trial lawyer who represents 9/11 families and won large payouts for the victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan American Airways Flight 103 over Scotland, said he expected the bill to pass the House and become law.

"It would be crazy for (President Barack) Obama to veto bipartisan legislation (which would) open (U.S.) courts to victims of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history," Kreindler said...

Pentagon source: Edward Snowden had little choice on NSA files

Is Turkey's Free Press Under Attack?

Atmospheric aerosols can significantly cool down climate


It is possible to significantly slow down and even temporarily stop the progression of global warming by increasing the atmospheric aerosol concentration, shows a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. However, climate engineering does not remove the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The study used global climate models to analyse the ability of atmospheric aerosols to cool down the climate, as well as the consequences of their use. The study focused on methods of climate engineering, which intentionally and artificially increase the atmospheric aerosol concentration in order to cool down the climate.

Furthermore, the cooling effects of current atmospheric aerosol emissions were analysed. The study found that aerosol particles injected into the stratosphere proved extremely efficient in cooling down the climate. The method mimics massive volcanic eruptions which release aerosol particles into the stratosphere that reflect solar radiation back into space, thus cooling down the climate even up to years. Atmospheric aerosols injected into the troposphere, on the other hand, can effectively impact the climate through cloud formation. Atmospheric aerosols increase the number of cloud droplets in clouds and make them whiter, which means that they can more effectively reflect solar radiation back into space.

The study also showed that current traffic and industry induced aerosol emissions cool down the climate. However, their cooling effect on the global temperature is significantly smaller than the warming effect of current greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, it would be possible to harness, for example, global airline traffic and ship traffic for the purposes of atmospheric temperature regulation by increasing the sulphuric concentrations of fuels. This would make it possible to significantly increase stratospheric aerosol concentrations and cloud reflectivity in open sea. However, sulphuric concentrations of fuels would have to be increased beyond the levels defined in international agreements. In addition, the cooling effect would mainly be targeted at the northern hemisphere, which is responsible for a far greater share of global traffic than the southern hemisphere...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160519120731.htm

Wiki: National Resources Division

The National Resources Division (NR) is the domestic division of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Its main function is to conduct voluntary debriefings of U.S. citizens who travel overseas for work or to visit relatives, and to recruit foreign students, diplomats and businesspeople to become CIA assets when they return to their countries.[1][2]

History[edit]
The division was formed in 1991 by the merger of the CIA's Foreign Resources Division and the National Collection Division.[3]

The Foreign Resources Division was created in 1963 as the Domestic Operations Division and given the responsibility for clandestine operational activities of the Clandestine Services conducted within the United States against foreign targets. Its eventual function was to locate foreign nationals of special interest who resided in the United States and recruit them to serve as CIA assets when they returned home (or to some other foreign location).

The National Collection Division collected intelligence from U.S. residents who had traveled abroad, including scientists, technologists, economists, and energy experts returning from foreign locations.[4].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Resources_Division