From Health Ranger: Spying Toys


Consumer watchdogs say popular toys are secretly spying on your children

Image: Consumer watchdogs say popular toys are secretly spying on your children

(NaturalNews) The Information and Technology Age is exciting for all the helpful changes it has delivered to consumers to make our lives much easier. But with it has come something terrible: The loss of privacy and the ability for Big Brother to keep an eye on all of us 24/7/365—and often in sinister ways.

Consumer watchdog groups say that increasingly sophisticated children’s toys come with the dual ability to spy on families, in essence. As CNN reports, there are a number of children’s dolls that have such capability.

The groups say that two items manufactured by Genesis Toys record conversations, further claiming that the recordings then are uploaded to Nuance Communications, a voice technology company that has as some of its clients the U.S. military, intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

The consumer watchdogs—the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC); the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood; the Center for Digital Democracy; and the Consumers Union—have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in reference to two toys, the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que robot. The groups say that the “toys subject young children to ongoing surveillance” while violating privacy and consumer protection statutes.

The complaint adds: “Both Genesis Toys and Nuance Communications unfairly and deceptively collect, use, and disclose audio files of children’s voices without providing adequate notice or obtaining verified parental consent.”

The potential for such devices to be misused is huge

CNN reported further that the two toys are connected to the Internet and allow children to talk to and interact with them. When a child asks one of the toys a question, his or her words are recorded and then converted into text so that answers can be obtained from Google, Wikipedia and Weather Underground. Then those voice recordings are summarily uploaded to Nuance, which is a voice recognition technology.

EPIC and the other consumer groups also state that Nuance then uses the recordings it surreptitiously obtains in order to improve products that it then sells to the Pentagon, the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies. One specific product—Nuance Identifier—works like voice recognition, helping security and intelligence officials search a database of millions of recordings so they can identify criminals by their voices.

The company’s VP of corporate marketing and communications, Richard Mack, told CNN that his firm does not use or sell the voice data collected for any marketing or advertising purposes—as if that is what matters most to unsuspecting parents.

He added that he had not yet received any inquiry from the FTC but that the company would cooperate and respond should that happen.

Toys certainly are not the only products being connected to the “Internet of things” that have privacy advocates worried.

24/7 privacy abuse

As Natural News has reported, consumer groups have also expressed concern over devices like Amazon’s “Echo,” which again is always online and is always listening for the sound of the owner’s voice. Like the dolls, Echo also uses voice recognition to invade privacy, and EPIC, among others, has also been opposed to the devices because they can be so readily misused.

“We are on the trajectory of a future filled with voice-assisted apps and voice-assisted devices,” Forrester Research analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo told the AP. “This is going to require finding the fine balance between creating a really great user experience and something that’s creepy.”

Such devices—toys, ‘household products’ like Echo, and even our “Internet of Things” appliances—can all be secretly tasked by spy agencies, law enforcement or just hackers in order to eavesdrop on our conversations. Besides a blatant violation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment privacy protections, our inner most thoughts, secrets, passwords and other closely-held information will be at constant risk of being exposed and/or stolen.

And in the case of the two dolls, that would include abusing the privacy of our children.

Sources:

CNN.com

NaturalNews.com

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BREAKING: GA, KY, WV Confirm They Suspect Obama’s DHS Hacked Their Election Networks


BREAKING: GA, KY, WV Confirm They Suspect Obama’s DHS Hacked Their Election Networks [VIDEO]

http://100percentfedup.com/breaking-ga-ky-wv-confirm-they-suspect-obamas-dhs-hacked-their-election-networks-video/
BUT…BUT…BUT…THE RUSSIANS?
This is pretty scary stuff. A federal government agency run by an Obama crony attempting to penetrate the firewall of a State agency tasked with overseeing the elections? What conceivable reason could Obama’s DHS have for hacking the Georgia Sec of State’s office after the election?

Georgia’s secretary of state has claimed the Department of Homeland Security tried to breach his office’s firewall and has issued a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking for an explanation.

Brian Kemp issued a letter to Johnson on Thursday after the state’s third-party cybersecurity provider detected an IP address from the agency’s Southwest D.C. office trying to penetrate the state’s firewall. According to the letter, the attempt was unsuccessful.

And now, Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamond has learned two more states’ election agencies have confirmed suspected cyberattacks linked to the same U.S. Department of Homeland Security IP address as last month’s massive attack in Georgia.

http://up.anv.bz/latest/anvload.html?key=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

The two states reporting the suspected cyberattacks were West Virginia and Kentucky.

“We need somebody to dig down into this story and figure out exactly what happened,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

2-more-states-dhs-election-hacks

In the past week, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has confirmed 10 separate cyberattacks on its network over the past 10 months that were traced back to DHS addresses.

“We’re being told something that they think they have it figured out, yet nobody’s really showed us how this happened,” Kemp said. “We need to know.”

He says the new information from the two other states presents even more reason to be concerned.

“So now this just raises more questions that haven’t been answered about this and continues to raise the alarms and concern that I have,” Kemp said.

Through an open-records request, Diamant acquired the results of a survey Kemp asked the National Association of Secretaries of State to send to its members.

West Virginia wrote back, “This IP address did access our election night results on November 7, 2016.” Kentucky responded the same IP address “did touch the KY (online voter registration) system on one occasion, 11/1/16.”

In a letter this week, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson told Kemp the department sourced the mid-November activity in Georgia to a federal contractor conducting what he called “normal” internet searches on the Secretary of State’s website. But Kemp says there’s a problem with that answer.

“We haven’t been able to recreate this the way they explained it to us,” Kemp said.

Kemp also told Diamant that DHS has yet to explain at least nine other suspected network scans linked to DHS IP addresses over the last year on or around important primary and presidential election dates. Kemp’s call for answers is amplified now by the National Association of Secretaries of State, or NASS. – WSBTV

From WND: FEDERAL SLUSH FUND: AGENCIES COLLECT $83 BILLION IN FINES


(Daily Caller) Federal agencies increased their spending by collecting more than $83 billion worth from fines, penalties and settlements with individuals and corporations between 2010 and 2015, then spent the funds without prior congressional approval, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Republicans on the panel analyzed how 34 federal agencies collected and spent the money in a report titled “Restoring the Power of the Purse: Shining Light on Federal Agencies Billion Dollar Fines Collections.” The report was made public Wednesday.

Twenty-two of the 34 analyzed agencies kept fees they collected, while the remaining 12 sent such funds to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/12/federal-slush-fund-agencies-collect-83-billion-in-fines/#uTxfW8fDYBkI3UcG.99