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#AxisOfEasy 268: NYT Conspiracy Theory Comes True In Less Than 24 Hours

by on October 18, 2022

Weekly Axis Of Easy #268


Last Week’s Quote was  “The one permanent emotion of  the inferior man is fear- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above all else is safety.” was by H.L Mencken and Bruce is our winner… congrats!

This Week’s Quote:  “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you,”  …  by ??? 

THE RULES:  No searching up the answer, must be posted at the bottom of this post, in the comments section.

The Prize: First person to post the correct answer gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.


This is your easyDNS #AxisOfEasy Briefing for the week of October 17th, 2022, wherein our our Technology Correspondent Joann L Barnes and easyCEO Mark E. Jeftovic send out a short briefing on the state of the ‘net and how it affects your business, security and privacy.

In this issue:

  • NYT conspiracy theory comes true in less than 24 hours
  • PayPal continues to threaten its user with a $2,500 fine for promoting “discriminatory intolerance”
  • Religious freedom group’s account closed by JPMorgan Chase, donor list demanded
  • White House and the opposite of their privacy protections
  • Britain’s spy chief warns that China is using tech to grow its influence

Elsewhere online

  • Hundreds of state government websites were brought down by Russian hackers in a DDoS attack
  • Why should we be concerned about cybersecurity threats to health services
  • Malicious emails bombarded election workers in battleground states, researchers report
  • No evidence of compromise found in Lloyd’s of London cyber incident investigation
  • Privacy and safety concerns arise after Marcos signs SIM Registration Act

 

NYT conspiracy theory comes true in less than 24 hours

Earlier this week, the New York Times described a story circulating on the right about a software company’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party as a “right-wing conspiracy theory.” The Times’ original lede stated that election denialists unveiled a major conspiracy theory during an invitation-only gathering southeast of Phoenix.

According to the article, “right-wing” election deniers fabricated a conspiracy theory claiming election software company Konnech was passing information on around two million Americans to the Chinese Communists.

“In the two years since former President Donald J. Trump lost his re-election bid, conspiracy theorists have subjected election officials and private companies that play a major role in elections to a barrage of outlandish voter fraud claims,” reads the article. “But the attacks on Konnech demonstrate how far-right election deniers are also giving more attention to new and more secondary companies and groups. Their claims often find a receptive online audience, which then uses the assertions to raise doubts about the integrity of American elections.”

The Times’ article feverishly defended Konnech’s work on the elections. However, it all backfired the following day, when Konnech’s CEO Eugene Yu was arrested for the very same charges the “conspirators” were accusing him of, proving them to be right. Soon after, the NY Times published its own report on the arrest.

Several people took to Twitter to call the newspaper out for not publishing a retraction, with some even stating their lack of trust in the company.

Read: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/nyt-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-comes-true-less-24-hours

 

PayPal continues to threaten its user with a $2,500 fine for promoting “discriminatory intolerance”

While PayPal has backed off its threat to fine users $2,500 for “misinformation,” it is still reserving the right to fine users the same amount for other alleged transgressions. Per PayPal’s current Acceptable Use Policy, violating said policy constitutes a violation of the PayPal User Agreement. In such a case, you may be required to pay liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which will be deducted from your PayPal account.

According to PayPal’s “prohibited activities,” a $2,500 fine can be imposed if a transaction involves “discrimination, hatred, or items considered obscene.”

The financial service reserves the right to fine users based on broad and subjective terms and will take action if it believes the user has engaged in a prohibited activity. However, PayPal is using terms that are often used by companies and governments to restrict online speech. Moreover, the company has shut down many accounts when the alleged violations of its Acceptable Use Policy have not resulted in a fine.

Read: https://reclaimthenet.org/paypal-fine-2500-intolerance-discriminatory/

 

Religious freedom group’s account closed by JPMorgan Chase, donor list demanded

A non-profit focused on religious freedom reported that JPMorgan Chase closed its account and demanded a list of donors so the account could be reinstated. The National Committee for Religious Freedom’s account was closed without explanation, according to the founder of the NCRF, former Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

“We went into a Chase branch in the District of Columbia to open an account, no problem,” says Brownback. “Then, several weeks later, I went to put another deposit in the account, and they said, “Your account has been canceled; we’ll be sending your money back to you.”

In an op-ed published in The Washington Examiner, Brownback said he was “surprised and shocked” when the bank allegedly suggested reopening the account if given information about the non-profit’s donors and preferred candidates. The NCRF chairman reported that Chase representatives eventually reached out to their executive director and informed him that the company might reconsider doing business with NCRF: “If we provided a list of our donors, a list of candidates we intended to support, and an explanation of our criteria for supporting those candidates.”

Brownback alleged that other groups had suffered similar treatment, and his organization plans to appeal to state attorneys general to get involved. The former lawmaker requested that CEO Jamie Dimon explain the closure and address concerns that the firm may be closing accounts based on faith or politics.

Read: https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/finance/jpmorgan-chase-closes-account-religious-freedom-group-demands-donor-list

 

White House and the opposite of their privacy protections

Last week, the White House’s National Security Strategy included several troubling revelations about the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities and policies. There are four major sections to the executive branch’s strategy document, which has been produced periodically since Ronald Reagan’s administration.

The first section outlines the administration’s “enduring vision” for the next decade, based on the concept of competition for capturing its assessment of the global security environment. In the second section, the administration highlights plans to invest in domestic infrastructure and international diplomatic partnerships to strengthen the United States “national power.”

The third —and the subject of interest for this particular writer— delineates the administration’s global priorities, where the priority of “out-competing” China and “constraining” Russia was listed first. However, this section included particularly concerning elements for civil liberties groups.

According to the document, America faces an increased and significant threat within the United States from a range of “domestic violent extremists,” including those motivated by racial or ethnic prejudice, as well as “antigovernment or anti-authority sentiment.” To prevent these acts of terror, the government plans to track dissidents on smartphone apps and categorizes those exposing their evil deeds as “domestic terrorist threats.”

The document actually suggests that the White House is already implementing these measures as they are already “providing more and better information on domestic violent extremist threats to the state, local, territorial, and tribal partners, and using new mechanisms, such as smartphone-based applications, to do so in real time.”

Read: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Biden-Harris-Administrations-National-Security-Strategy-10.2022.pdf


Britain’s spy chief warns that China is using tech to grow its influence

Chinese officials aim to shape the world’s use of technology to gain a strategic advantage, according to the head of the UK’s GCHQ spy agency. Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, says that China aims to gain influence overseas by exporting technologies used in everything from the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to innovative new business tools. Those products, which may appear attractive due to their low prices, may actually have “hidden costs” that threaten security and privacy.

Technological innovation is essential to China’s growth as it affects how we communicate, trade, work, and live,” said Fleming during the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Annual Security Lecture in central London.

China is setting standards for technology and offering loans to smaller countries, which could be a concern if Beijing decides to exploit information covertly extracted from client economies. He warned that buying into China’s vision for technology may be attractive in the short term, but the hidden costs will become obvious.

Fleming emphasized that smaller and developing countries should be wary of the security threats posed by a mass rollout of Chinese technology and that UK businesses should consider security and privacy issues when making technology decisions.

Read: https://www.zdnet.com/article/china-is-using-tech-to-grow-its-influence-warns-uk-spy-chief/


Elsewhere Online:


Hundreds of state government websites were brought down by Russian hackers in a DDoS attack

Read: https://www.cpomagazine.com/cyber-security/russian-hackers-shut-down-dozens-of-state-government-websites-in-ddos-attacks/

Why should we be concerned about cybersecurity threats to health services
Read: https://www.hackread.com/cybersecurity-threats-health-services-concern/

Malicious emails bombarded election workers in battleground states, researchers report
Read: https://www.cyberscoop.com/election-phishing-emails-arizona-pennsylvania/

No evidence of compromise found in Lloyd’s of London cyber incident investigation
Read: https://www.securityweek.com/lloyds-london-cyber-incident-investigation-finds-no-evidence-compromise

Privacy and safety concerns arise after Marcos signs SIM Registration Act
Read: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/marcos-signs-sim-registration-act-sparking-data-privacy-safety-concerns-065445981.html


Previously on #AxisOfEasy

If you missed the previous issues, they can be read online here:

 

 

 

 

 

One response to “#AxisOfEasy 268: NYT Conspiracy Theory Comes True In Less Than 24 Hours”

  1. Tait Hoyem says:

    I have no guess for the quote, but I just want you to know, Mark that I love this newsletter! It’s the only one I’ve continuously read week-after-week for the last three years since it was recommended by a colleague.

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