Robocallers Beware – US Government is Coming for You

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United States Nationwide Crackdown on Robocalls

Cristal M Clark  

I wear a lot of hats at my job and one of them happens to be obtaining numbers for each robocall we get, now of course I have to rely on my team to assist with this, currently I have something of like 20 lists of phone numbers all robocalls and telemarketing bullshit.

One of my favorites is someone insisting their call is not a sales call, I don’t waste a lot of time, I simply ask if they charge for their services, when they answer yes, I laugh and hang up, it’s a bloody sales call you bloody wanker.

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On any given day my organization can receive up to 50+ robocalls, before noon and every time the US government makes an announcement to crack down on them, it only seems to intensify the number of calls we get in a day.

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This week the US Government sent out a warning to robocallers, “We’re coming for you!” more or less.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. government has been cleared to conduct a nationwide crackdown on illegal robocalls that target companies and individuals who, according to the FTC have collectively placed over 1 billion unwanted calls for financial schemes and other services. The numbers are actually quite a bit hither than a mere 1 billion, the problem is that people got sick of reporting the calls to the FTC because it hasn’t seemed to do much in the way of preventing them from continuing.

I log the numbers and block them, the biggest reason I log them however is that by the time the FTC really does start to crack down on them, I’ll just forward the lists over to them.

According the FTC the crackdown involves nearly 100 cases, 5 of them are criminal enforcement actions. They were brought by the FTC, Justice Department, 15 states and local authorities. Derek Jason Bartoli, is one of the targets, a Florida man who allegedly developed, sold and used a form of software that allows millions of calls to be placed in quick succession, was responsible for 57 million calls to US phone numbers over six months in 2017, according to a federal complaint. I know many of you would just love to give good ole Derek the one finger salute, as would I but let’s just let the feds handle him for now.

Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection said; “By putting people like Derek Bartoli out of business, we are able to deprive the robocallers of the important tools of their trade.” Which is actually a rather bit, inaccurate if you will. Derek’s software has been sold, copied and improved upon by others, part of the reason robocalls have gotten so out of hand.

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Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are preparing legislation that would expand the government’s power to limit illegal robocalls. On Tuesday, a House subcommittee is expected to consider the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to flesh out its rules making clear that robocalls may only be made to consumers with their consent. In the Senate, the TRACED Act would expand the FCC’s power to punish illegal robocallers by increasing the maximum fines the agency can levy for each robocall and by extending the statute of limitations from 1 to just 3 years. And, the FTC still wants us to report the unwanted calls which they say will empower them to stop the calls.

I am not a huge fan of doing the job for the FTC however, my mobile carrier already knows which calls are spam and which are not, perhaps the FTC should expand upon it’s ability to ask individuals for help and start asking mobile carriers, Google is also from what I hear and excellent resource to find known robocall numbers, YouMail actually keeps a free online known Robo/Spam caller index and includes the actual number of reported complaints along with each number and let me tell you, some of those numbers are staggering.

The biggest problem I have with the FTC asking everyone to report the numbers to them is that we have been doing just that for years and to date all we keep seeing is lip service, pretty little laws that are on paper, but other than that, not much is being done to actually stop the unwanted calls. Consumers want to see swift action, and harsh action.

 

Either do something or shut it, consumers are getting really tired of lip service from our Government who promises action, yet does very little in the way of that.

Cristal M Clark

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Hackers Hack Mobile Carriers – Could Shut Down Networks

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Hackers Quietly infiltrated Over a Dozen Mobile Carriers

Cristal M Clark

Well here’s a delightful way to everyone’s Tuesday but on the downlow if you hackers hacked my mobile carrier could you do me a solid and shut it down for a stint? I mean I have a friend who is going through some drama and she sent me over 13 text within a span of 30 minutes yesterday and that was just for that 30 minutes, don’t get me started on the rest of the day, I need some downtime here.

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Hackers have quietly infiltrated more than a dozen mobile carriers around the world, gaining complete control of networks behind the companies’ backs, that is according to the companies. If they wanted to get ahead of the game however, they could have and would have.

According to Cybereason, a security company based in Boston, the attackers have been hacking the carriers over the last 7 (as opposed to just 1 or 2), years to steal sensitive data, but they have so much control that they could very well just shut down communications at any time they’d like.

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Essentially, hackers targeted phone providers in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, they then infected multiple mobile carriers since 2012, gaining control and siphoning off hundreds of gigabytes of data on people.

A breech of this scale has the potential to affect millions of users globally with no warning whatsoever. Amit Serper, Cybereason’s head of security research: “They have all the usernames and passwords, and created a bunch of domain privileges for themselves, with more than one user, they can do whatever they want. Since they have such access, they could shut down the network tomorrow if they wanted to.” 

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While the hackers had access to millions of people’s data, they had only stolen data from less than 100 highly targeted victims. The attackers likely targeted high-profile victims involved in government and the military. That’s of course after having gaining access to mobile carriers’ internal servers, the hackers would have access to call data records on hundreds of millions of customers. That would provide information like geolocation data, call logs and text message records.

Which as any researcher will tell you is the holy grail of data in terms of hacking, mobile carriers these days tend to have it all, for all of us.

The question everyone has, who is behind the hacks? Given the types of higher profile victims that have already been targeted in some of the attacks many suspect those behind these hackers is in fact a government entity.

Either way, don’t be surprised if at some point your entire mobile network comes crashing down for a bit.

Cristal M Clark

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Florida Woman Jailed for Fearing for Her Life

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Bartow, Florida

Cristal M Clark

When you think about it, you realize that Florida as a whole really does do some pretty stupid things, take for instance the police who arrested and charted Courtney Irby, 32 on June 15th because she took her estranged husbands guns to the police out of nothing more than fear for her own safety and life. Her husband by the way has had issues with domestic violence in the past you see he had recently attempted to run her down with his motorized transport. Joseph Irby, was in jail over that as he had been arrested on June 14th.

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So naturally, in truly disgusting form, the Lakeland Police Department decided that Courtney had broken the law and had no reason whatsoever to go to his home while he was in jail, remove his guns from it and take them to the Lakeland Police Department because she feared for her life should Joseph post bond.

After Courtney turned over the weapons, authorities arrested her and charged her with two counts of grand theft and one count of armed burglary, which by the way is completely moronic and totally absurd.

According to a police report obtained by the Miami Herald, Courtney said she was “in fear of her life.” The Herald also notes that the wife had obtained a restraining order against her husband. Joseph of course told the Miami Herald from the jail he currently housed at that he planned to press charges against his wife.

So, this man attempts to run his wife down with his vehicle thus killing her and she shouldn’t be in fear of her life knowing that he is a gun owner? What’s more is that more than half of those who are arrested nation wide never turn in the weapons they own once bonded at as in almost every case, a condition of bond is that the defendant turn over his/her firearms.

According to a report from the Brady Center released last October, over 525 women on average annually were murdered by a partner using a firearm between 2006 and 2016.

Courtney was released on bond, ordered to have no contact with her husband, and also ordered not to have any firearms. However, now that the news has broke about her case a Florida lawmaker and others are asking a State Attorney not to prosecute her.  Courtney had previously obtained a temporary injunction against Joseph, yes even before he tried to mow her down with a vehicle and had informed police that her husband would not turn in the guns himself. State Rep. Anna Eskamani tweeted that her arrest was “ridiculous.” Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting, called it “horrific.”

And it is both horrific and ridiculous. While two wrongs do not make a right, the man attempted to murder her already, he has a blatant disregard for the law as his behavior clearly shows so why would he turn in his weapons if he had bonded out.

Hopefully the prosecution will see the error in the ways of the police on this one and refrain from moving forward with charging Courtney.

Cristal M Clark

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Donald Trump Announces Sweeping Deportations to Start Next Week

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Illegal Immigration

Cristal M Clark

Trump says millions of people living in the country illegally will be deported, beginning next week. In a pair of tweets Monday night, the eve of formally announcing his re-election bid.

So, it would appear that he is going to wage this new election on illegal immigration, again.

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According to Trump’s latest tweet storm: Trump said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

Allow for me to ask, is this just from those entering in through our southern border or will it also include those heading in from the north and who can forget the robustly pregnant Russian women who are flocking to Miami in an effort to give birth to anchor babies?

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What’s more is that White House can neither confirm nor deny Trump’s latest tweets not to mention that it is rather unusual for any law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place and ICE, well they really avoid announcing operations in advance, particularly large-scale ones, sort of defeats the purpose.

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At any rate, Trump also seemed to have gotten his numbers mixed up because Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed DHS which just so happens to oversees ICE to conduct a sprawling operation targeting undocumented immigrants in major cities. That operation would have entailed the arrest of as many as 10,000 immigrants, not exactly “millions.”

According to the AP Any such massive deportation would affect not only undocumented immigrants with pending removal orders, but millions of mixed-status families with members who are U.S. citizens, particularly children.

Cry me a river, we need to change the law so that no one can enter into the US, give birth and create a larger population issue because now the child is a US citizen simply because it was born here by a parent who is not a US citizen. That is the most absurd law ever written.

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Either way, I say that Trump should finally put his money where his rather extraordinarily large mouth is and do it for once instead of making empty threats, I am not sure about the rest of you but having less traffic upon the road would be welcome in part of town.

In short, grow a pair Donald Trump and get on with it, either do what you say you are going to do or shut it already, quite a few are actually quite tired of you failing to actually take the action you keep promising.

Cristal M Clark

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People Living in Portland Sewers?

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Portland, Oregon

Cristal M Clark

I am sure you’ve all heard the slogan “Keep Portland Weird,” if you have ever been to Portland you understand the slogan in its entirety this past week however things in Portland took an even more weird turn when a store manager was checking out some surveillance video and noticed someone popping out of a manhole from the sewer, maybe with the intent on doing a little midnight shopping?

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The manager of the Chown Hardware store first looked at the video because he noticed a shoe was just sort of oddly out of place, yes you see it was in the street as opposed to being one someone’s foot. According to Kris Lake the store manager; “The manhole cover opens up and it’s like a clown car. Three people pop out, start undressing, swapping shirts around, trying to get whatever muck off of them.”

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The Video shows an empty street at 10:44 p.m. then with no warning at all a manhole cover is pushed open from below and moved to the side. One person climbs out and is then followed by two additional individuals, each with flashlights. Two of them then close the manhole and then the trio is seen hanging around the area for another minute, during which one of them changes pants. All three of them then walk away and in true Disney Cinderella fashion, one of the three left a shoe behind.

Here’s where things get a little stranger, the manager of the store starts checking more video from prior nights and finds on 6/2, 5 individuals came out of the very same manhole to hang out and do a little midnight shopping.

Diane Dulken with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services saw pictures from one of the videos and said what the people did was dangerous. According to Diane; “they would have been exposed to untreated sewage as well as low levels of oxygen. In addition to the safety hazards, and it’s against city code for them to be down there.” Which I doubt if they are actually living the city sewer they care about.

Diane said when crews from environmental services go into the sewers, they first send a sensor down to determine the oxygen levels and see if it’s safe for people. Then, they go down in a harness, so they can be pulled up if they get into trouble. Workers are also supplied fresh air through a scuba-type hose or with air exchanges.

Diane ended it by saying that the bureau now plans to send crews into that area to see if there’s any damage or vandalism.

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Damage or vandalism? I see, I suppose that checking for any type of vandalism or damage in the sewer is much m or important than checking for oh, I don’t know any signs of actual people living in the bloody sewer?

Cristal M Clark

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Denver Police to Encrypt Scanner Traffic

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Denver, Colorado

Cristal M Clark

For years people have been able to listen to scanner traffic using police scanners and now mobile app’s, likewise for many years, the individuals who listened in did not mis-use the privilege, these days that is much different story however.

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Now, the Denver Police Department could encrypt its radio traffic at any time which in turn has caused quite a bit of controversy. In today’s world one really does need to play devils advocate on this one. Some in the community feel that should the Denver Police Department go through with encrypting scanner traffic; they will become less transparent and therefor less accountable.

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Then you have others like myself, who feel that this should have been done a couple of years ago. Around a year or so ago, some of us were listening to the Denver Police attempt to find an armed robbery suspect on the scanner, what we learned from that was, we were not the only 5 listening to the scanner chatter, that armed suspect was possibly also listening in and skipped off happily away because he or she would have been able to know precisely where the police were looking for them.

The police later found a ditched phone that had a police scanner app on it.

In today’s world, individuals do abuse the ability to listen in on police radio traffic in an effort to commit crimes and/or elude the police. I am not really a fan of that personally.

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By not encrypting the radio traffic, our officers and public are put at greater risk of being in harm’s way as well, I am even less of a fan of that.

Because some are abusing the privilege, I don’t really believe we have a right to listen in on the police scanners anymore. Does anyone recall being a kid in class, when little Johnny broke the rules, the entire class lost a privilege over it? This is the exact same concept someone breaks the rules the whole lot loses the privilege.

In short, the Denver Police Department has the Crime Shops support on this one, the world has changed and even they need to become more vigilant and aware of what is happening, and clearly, they are.

This move will better our officer’s ability to catch criminals rather than better the criminal’s ability to get away.

Cristal M Clark

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Naked Florida Man Attempts to Seduce Railing at McDonald’s

 

Naples, Florida

Cristal M Clark

For most of the lower 50 this would be considered a very unusual and odd story, but as most of you already know, this is not the case for Florida.

62-year-old, John Francis Morgan attempted to strip naked, do a rather unusual dance and make love to the railing at a Naples McDonald’s according to a police report filed by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

It seems that John intended to go to the McDonald’s in Naples, where he had been banned prior to this incident, even informed by a uniformed officer not to go back, over an eerily similar incident.

I don’t know maybe the guy has a thing for the railing at McDonald’s we don’t choose who or in this case what we are attracted to, it just tends to happened.

At any rate, despite the previous warning John decided that his deep and passion filled love for the railing was just simply more important that the warning and took it upon himself to go back to the Naples McDonald’s where according to witnesses, John began removing his clothing and did an odd type of dance, no doubt attempting to woe the non-responsive railing and then the passion overtook John and he attempted to make love to the railing.

He was subsequently arrested, and is due in court on July 3rd.

Perhaps, he’ll be out in time for the 4th of July where he and his lover the railing at McDonald’s can finally make some fireworks of their own.

Cristal M Clark

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16-Year Old Caught Doing 105 MPH

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police Manitoba

Cristal M Clark

A 16-year-old driver in Manitoba was pulled over by the RCMP last week for flying past them doing 105MPH in his Camaro- the teens excuse? Apparently, he had a hot-wings induced bathroom emergency.

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The teen received a $966 CAD (US $728) fine for speeding and a second $203 (US $152) fine for being on the road without a supervising driver. The teen is also facing 12 demerit penalties on his driving record, 10 for going more than 50 kph over the speed limit, two for being unsupervised and, is facing a license review with Manitoba Public Insurance.

The police said that an adult came to pick up the Camaro, no word as to whether or not they let the teen use the bathroom much less if he was picked up by the adult as well.

What we do know is that it is highly likely the teen will lose his license before the summer is over and may want to take a break from eating hot-wings prior to driving ever again.

Cristal M Clark

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Facebook Suspends Another Far-Right Group

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Natural News Founder Mike Adams Lashes Out

Cristal M Clark

Natural News who has nearly 3 millions followers on Facebook has been suspended from posting to the social media platform, of course Natural News had already been suspended from Twitter back in 2017 and Google blacklisted Natural News as well, in a heartfelt and bitter response, Natural News founder, Mike Adams lashed out at the tech giant and called on Donald Trump to send our nations military “to occupy and dismantle the tech giants.”

Well, that’s just completely sensible now isn’t it?

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Mike had this to say in his Sunday rant; “The techno-fascists, including Wikipedia, have decided that no speech that questions any official narrative will be allowed on any platform anyone who questions the safety of toxic vaccines, 5G cell towers, geoengineering, chemotherapy or glyphosate weed killer chemicals is now maliciously attacked, smeared and de-platformed.”

Mike Adams, who calls himself by the way the Health Ranger (no one is quite sure if he actually obtains a real medical license however), called the Facebook suspension an “online ethnic cleansing” that’s being carried out by people who are hoping to “enslave humanity and create Hell on Earth.” Then he subsequently called for military action against the social media companies.

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Natural News, pushes and, tends to shove down one’s throat, wild and insane conspiracy theories even publishing an injectable DIY homeopathic vaccine for Ebola.

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Natural News is a wannabe alternative health information platform and outlet but, the website also promotes far right politics on issues like abortion and climate change, as well as overall support for President Trump.

Not at all surprising.

According to Mike, “These criminals like Zuckerberg, Dorsey and Cook are un-elected, subject to zero transparency and offer no mechanism for due process whereby channels who are banned might defend themselves against unfair, dishonest smears or fake news attacks run by left-wing journo-terrorism hacks. In essence, the entire internet is now run by the most lawless evil war criminals imaginable, and they have zero respect for human rights, human dignity or free speech.”

Well, that is quite a strongly worded opinion now isn’t it?

At any rate, Mike is rumored to own 50 different websites including – vaccines.news, campusinsanity.com, and libtards.news.

It is not clear if the Facebook suspension is going be permanent nor is it clear as of right now if Donald Trump intends to send our nations Military to dismantle Facebook or any other tech giant.

Cristal M Clark

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