Math against crimes against humanity: Using rigorous statistics to prove genocide when the dead cannot speak for themselves

Patrick Ball and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) (previously) use careful, rigorous statistical models to fill in the large blank spots left behind by acts of genocide, bringing their analysis to war crimes tribunals, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and other reckonings with gross human rights abuses. Read the rest

The Chinese government is putting tracking chips into school uniforms to watch every move kids make

Just when you thought that the Chinese government's extensive surveillance of the country's citizens couldn't get any creepier or more intrusive, Xi Jingping slyly raises an eyebrow and asks the west to hold his Tsingtao:

From The Epoch Times:

In China’s latest quest to build an all-seeing surveillance state, schools have become part of the state’s monitoring apparatus.

Students at more than 10 schools in Guizhou Province, one of China’s poorest provinces, and the neighboring Guangxi region are now required to wear “intelligent uniforms,” which are embedded with electronic chips that track their movements.

The uniforms allow school officials, teachers, and parents to keep track of the exact times that students leave or enter the school, Lin Zongwu, principal of the No. 11 School of Renhuai in Guizhou Province, told the state-run newspaper Global Times on Dec. 20.

If students skip school without permission, an alarm will be triggered.

If students try to game the system by swapping uniforms, an alarm also will sound, as facial-recognition equipment stationed at the school entrance can match a student’s face with the chip embedded in the uniform.

Each of the "intelligent uniforms" contain two tracking chips which, according to the company that makes them, can withstand temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius and at least 500 runs through a washing machine -- so much for accidentally destroying the hardware. In addition to keeping track of the whereabouts of the kids that wear them for every moment of their school day, the uniforms' chip set can also tell when a child is nodding off during the school day and be used to make cashless purchases of school lunches and other educational necessities. Read the rest

Syracuse cops falsely accuse man of rectal dope-stashing and take him to hospital for nonconsensual anal probe; now he must pay $4600 for the procedure

In October 2017, Syracuse cops arrested Torrence Jackson with a small amount of marijuana and accused him of hiding drugs in his rectum (the officers say they saw him shift in his seat and concluded that he'd put drugs up his butt). They took him to St Joseph's Hospital where he was nonconsensually X-rayed; when that revealed no drugs, officers told doctors to force sedation on Jackson and then put a tube and camera up his rectum. Read the rest

Internal sources say googler uprising has killed Google's plans to launch a censored, spying Chinese search engine

The employee uprising over Google's secret "Project Dragonfly -- a plan to release a censored, surveilling search engine for use in China -- has reportedly attained its goals: some of the engineers on the covert team Project Dragonfly team have been re-tasked to other projects, and the remainder have been denied access to the critical data-set that made the project possible. Read the rest

McKinsey, the standard-bearer for autocrats, looters and torturers

In a deeply researched longread, New York Times investigative reporters Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe document in fine detail the role played by the ubiquitous McKinsey and Company in legitimizing, coordinating, and supercharging the world's most notorious human-rights-abusing regimes, from Saudi Arabia to China to Russia. Read the rest

Using statistics to estimate the true scope of the secret killings at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war

In the last three days of the Sri Lankan civil war, as thousands of people surrendered to government authorities, hundreds of people were put on buses driven by Army officers. Many were never seen again. Read the rest

The top AI scientist who quit Google over Chinese censorship plans details the hypocrisy that sent him packing

Jack Poulson is the former Google Research Scientist who quit the company's machine learning division over Project Dragonfly, the company's secret plan to build a censoring Chinese search engine designed to help the country's spies surveil dissident search activity. Read the rest

Google engineer calls for a walkout over China censorship and raises $200K strike fund in hours

Liz Fong-Jones is a Site Reliability Engineer for Google's cloud division; she took to Twitter after reading today's story in The Intercept in which ex-Google security engineer Yonatan Zunger and three current, unnamed Google Security and Privacy staff describe how they were sidelined and deceived in the rush to ship Project Dragonfly, Google's secret, censored, surveilling Chinese search engine. Read the rest

Google's secret project to build a censored Chinese search engine bypassed the company's own security and privacy teams

Google's Project Dragonfly is a formerly secret project to build a surveilling, censored version of its search engine for deployment in China; it was kept secret from the company at large during the 18 months it was in development, until an insider leak led to its existence being revealed in The Intercept. Read the rest

Terror as disappearances follow Chinese student communists' solidarity with striking workers

China's increasing inequality and rocky transition to market capitalism has created a rising tide of wildcat strikes from independent trade unions, who have found powerful allies in national student communist movements whose members were made to study Marxism in an effort to purge the country's intelligentsia of "bourgeois" ideologies of liberalism and democracy. Read the rest

Slaves - including children - make the bricks for Cambodia's housing bubble

Two bedroom apartments in Phnom Penh start at $260,000 -- equivalent to 2,000 years' worth of average annual wages for Cambodia's workers. Read the rest

NYT: Saudi Arabia's Prince Charming was Mister Bone Saw all along

Everybody knows that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal killing and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (everybody, that is, except the Trumps, who coincidentally do a lot of business with the House of Saud) and the lurid brutality of that murder has prompted calls for western businesses to reconsider their increasingly cozy relationship with Mohammed bin Salman. Read the rest

Meet Helen, 5, detained by Trump, forced to sign away her rights in court.

“On Helen’s form, which was filled out with assistance from officials, there is a checked box next to a line that says, “I withdraw my previous request for a Flores bond hearing.” Beneath that line, the five-year-old signed her name in wobbly letters.”

What the Trump administration is doing to these thousands of children is morally repulsive. We have to stop it. Read the rest

We've got a front-row seat for Europe's internet censorship plan

The EU's wide-ranging plan for indiscriminate internet censorship has progressed from a vote in the European Parliament and now reps from the EU will meet with reps from the 28 countries that make up the EU to hammer out the final text that will be put to the Parliament for what might be the final vote before it becomes law. Read the rest

What we know about the 1,600 migrant kids Trump is relocating to Texas concentration camp

The Trump administration is currently detaining over 13,000 migrant children in facilities throughout the United States Approximately 1,600 of these children are being moved to a tent concentration camp in West Texas. The conditions are grim. Read the rest

X-Men star's disappearance blamed on China's new "anti-corruption" snatch squad

Fan Bingbing is a Chinese megastar who has also appeared in western movies like "X-Men: Days of Future Past"; she has not been seen since June and the smart money has it that she was kidnapped by China's National Supervision Commission (NSC), an "anti-corruption" task force established in 2018, with a reputation for practicing "liuzhi" or "enforced disappearances." Read the rest

Evidence of NSO Group surveillance products found in 45 countries, including notorious human-rights abusers

Researchers from the University of Toronto's outstanding Citizen Lab (previously) have published their latest research on the notorious and prolific Israeli cyber-arms-dealer The NSO Group (previously), one of the world's go-to suppliers for tools used by despots to spy on dissidents and opposition figures, often as a prelude to their imprisonment, torture and murder. Read the rest

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