Saturday, February 9, 2019

THE BEZOS PICS AFFAIR: Bezos is Getting a Taste of What the Surveillance Systems He Provides to the Government Through Amazon Can Do

Oh, the irony.

On Thursday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos published emails in which the National Enquirer’s parent company. American Media Inc, threatened to publish nude below the waist photos of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones.

According to Bezos, AMI was attempting to blackmail him into stopping his private investigation of the firm's relationship with President Trump and also with Saudi Arabia.

There is speculation that the NSA, FBI or other government agencies were used to obtain the Bezos pics.

Notes Glenn Greenwald:
Indeed, one of the stories we were able to report using the Snowden documents, one that received less attention that it should have, is an active NSA program to collect the online sex activities, including browsing records of porn site and sex chats, of people regarded by the U.S. Government as radical or radicalizing in order to use their online sex habits to destroy their reputations. This is what and who the NSA, CIA and FBI are and long have been.
 But here is where it turns into "Bezos got what he deserved." Greenwald again:
Bezos, given how much he works and profits to destroy the privacy of everyone about the least sympathetic victim imaginable of privacy of the world’s greatest privacy invaders just had his privacy invaded.
Here's the real dirt on Bezos:
 Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons...

Amazon’s extensive relationship with the NSA, FBI, Pentagon and other surveillance agencies in the west is multi-faceted, highly lucrative and rapidly growing. Last March, the Intercept reported on a new app that Amazon developers and British police forces have jointly developed to use on the public in police work, just “the latest example of third parties aiding, automating, and in some cases, replacing, the functions of law enforcement agencies — and raises privacy questions about Amazon’s role as an intermediary.”

Beyond allowing police departments to “store citizens’ crime reports on Amazon’s servers, rather than those operated by the police,” the Amazon products “will allow users to report crimes directly to their smart speakers,” an innovation David Murakami Wood, a scholar of surveillance, warned “serves as a startling reminder of the growing reach that technology companies have into our daily lives, intimate habits, and vulnerable moments — with and without our permission.”...

Then there’s the patent Amazon obtained last October, as reported by the Intercept, “that would allow its virtual assistant Alexa to decipher a user’s physical characteristics and emotional state based on their voice.” In particular, it would enable anyone using the product to determine a person’s accent and likely place of origin: “The algorithm would also consider a customer’s physical location — based on their IP address, primary shipping address, and browser settings — to help determine their accent.”

All of this is taking place as Amazon vies for, and is the favorite to win, one of the largest Pentagon contracts yet: a $10 billion agreement to provide exclusive cloud services to the world’s largest military...

Back in 2014, Amazon secured a massive contract with the CIA when the spy agency agreed to pay it $600 million for computing cloud software. As the Atlantic noted at the time, Amazon’s software “will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community.”


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1 comment:

  1. South Park making Bezos into one of the native inhabitants of Talos IV seems more fitting every day. (See Star Trek TOS "The Cage" and "The Menagerie")