T-Mobile-Sprint Down, Verizon and AT&T Experiencing Issues Because of It

Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Also Having Issues 

Cristal M Clark 

If you are wondering why your call isn’t going through or why your friends are not texting you back, stop because all the major carriers are having issues today because the T-Mobile network is down. T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T customers are experiencing issues placing calls across the US, according to user reports on Downdetector and on social media, of course. And that isn’t the only issue we are seeing today, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are also seeing outages. 

AT&T and Verizon are pointing the finger at T-Mobile but the reality is, all the major carriers are having issues today.  Sprint, now a subsidiary of T-Mobile and US Cellular are both caught up in the network outage. 

As of 6:02PM ET, T-Mobile appears to be resolving the issue, tweeting that “data services are now available” and that “some calls are completing,” but it doesn’t yet have a timeline for a full fix.

But for some more fun, since around 5AM local time, users started to report issues with Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. It appears the issues have not yet been fixed. 

According to reports on DownDetector, users are reporting that both the Facebook website and Facebook Messenger were down. Instagram users also reported that direct messages were not working on the platform. WhatsApp did not seem to be having any issues. 

Facebook reports the issues have been resolved but some users are still reportedly having issues. 

Hopefully Twitter, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, AppleTV + and YouTube don’t go down. No one likes to deal with tech issues on a Monday, especially on a Monday so here’s to hoping things get resolved by morning. 

Cristal M Clark

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Online Influencers Look Out The FTC is Coming for You

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Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

Cristal M Clark 

Personally, I don’t watch online influencers just not my thing, I also don’t read articles entitled “I tried…so you don’t have to.” Online influencers get paid to endorse products, services and the like.

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The Federal Trade Commission has required influencers to disclose sponsored posts, but that doesn’t have much of an effect when it comes to whether or not those influencers have actually vetted those products. 

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Recently the FTC charged Lord and Taylor with deceiving the public for a campaign where they paid 50 social media influencers to post about a dress on Instagram, but didn’t require them to disclose that the posts were sponsored. Hence the campaign was in fact, a paid for advertisement. 

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The reality is that companies behind such campaigns are laundering advertising by paying an influencer to pretend that their endorsement or review is the real deal rather than a paid for ad campaign. 

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This fraudulent advertising scheme has drawn the ire of the FTC stating companies have pressured influencers to hide the fact that their endorsements are paid advertising. 

Back in 2016, video network Machinima got into hot water with the FTC for deceptive advertising for failing to disclose that it paid YouTubers to make endorsements of the Xbox One, and telling them to position their opinions as independent reviews.

And these lawsuits have done nothing to discourage these paid endorsements or rather authentic paid for advertising campaigns because the FTC has failed to punish these companies financially. Instead they are going to take a stern look at the platforms the influencers are using where you can post pretty much anything, where friends are fake and the facts are made up. 

My guess is that the FTC is going to pressure these platforms to deal with the issue rather than hit the offenders in the pocketbook as they should. 

Cristal M Clark

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Drug Dealers Getting into the Online Shopping Game

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Instagram and Snapchat – A Drug Dealers New Turf

Cristal M Clark 

Let’s admit it, we all love the convenience of online shopping, not having to go to the store for everything from car parts, to booze and groceries, so is it really that hard to imagine that drug addicts would also appreciate the idea of being able to purchase their goods online as well?

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They are in luck because Instagram and Snapchat just to name a couple of social media platforms that do cater to drug dealers and customers with just a simple DM. Dealers have finally stopped hanging out in seedy alleyways to sell their drugs and are now treating the sales of drugs as an actual business. 

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Yes an actual business with sales goals, advertising and investing in selling. 

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According to Voltface, 1 in 4 individuals is selling drugs on social media, using creative advertising gimmicks such as but not limited to, high quality professional images of said product, giveaways, cold contacting. The majority of listings seen were for cannabis however, cocaine, MDMA, Xanax and nitrous oxide were also high up on the list. That is sadly naming just a few of the drugs you can buy through social media, not surprisingly users can score a lot more than just that. 

Nice, very comforting for parents. 

NHS reports that Class A drug use among 11 to 15-year-olds is in fact on the rise, not to mention that there have been a number of high-profile cases of children fatally overdosing. The truth of the matter is kids are not using drugs at younger ages, they are just using more deadly drugs these days and the number of adults looking for a way to cope has also more than tripled over the last decade, so the ability to obtain drugs online outside of the heavily policed dark web where it’s easier to hide from law enforcement is highly appealing to both users and dealers alike.  

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Users who sell drugs via social media are reporting that it’s easy to set up an account and locate potential customers to approach and sell their goods to. 

That of course is problematic to law enforcement because the social media platforms continually do things so as to shut the prying eyes of the system out, in fact the majority of social media platforms do everything that they can to protect the identities of their users and the account’s of their users. With the exception of Facebook, law enforcement can pretend to be some type of company that wants to “purchase” user information unbeknownst to the users and Facebook will just sell it to them. 

Now that dealers are treating the sales of drugs as a business and moving it to social media it’s only a matter of time before the cartels catch on to the game leaving the war on drugs standing on losing playing ground. 

Cristal M Clark

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Your Images Stolen to Create Facial Recognition Database Unbeknownst to You

Close Up Of Beautiful Woman Face With Face Recognition Technolog

Law Enforcement Using Startup’s Facial Recognition Database 

Cristal M Clark 

That selfie you took for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like is not as private as you might you think. A startup company, Clearview AI is a collaboration between Hoan Ton-That, an Australian native who moved to the US in 2007, and Richard Schwartz, a former aide to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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It’s a  facial-recognition startup that is being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US to solve crimes, but little is known about the software, not even law enforcement agencies know much about it. 

When law enforcement uploads a photo to the application, which by the way has been used by more than 600 law-enforcement agencies, Clearview AI scans for matches across its catalog of billions of photos it scraped from social media websites, typically in violation of those sites’ terms of service. It then shows the results to whomever made the search, typically law enforcement however since so little is known about the software and who all is using it you can pretty much guess that law enforcement is not the only ones using the software.

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Clearview did not share which law-enforcement agencies have used its tool, they did indicate that hundreds of law-enforcement agencies have in fact utilized the software. 

The app’s founders reportedly began marketing the service to law-enforcement agencies for as little as $2,000 and interestingly, the founders reportedly relied on former and current Republican officials to approach law-enforcement agencies about using the low-priced service, or in some cases, a free trial of the software.

Alarmingly in a careful look at the software it was discovered that an underlying code in the application also revealed the software had been designed to work with augmented reality technology, meaning someone wearing special goggles or glasses could potentially use Clearview AI to instantly determine details, including a person’s identity and address.

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And these details, well that’s pissed Facebook off according to a spokesperson: “Scraping Facebook information or adding it to a directory are prohibited by our policies, so we are reviewing the claims about this company and will take appropriate action if we find they are violating our rules.”

Clearview however goes beyond just letting law enforcement use it’s software, it tracks whomever law enforcement is searching for and it sees everything law enforcement is searching for. 

Facial recognition technology has been centered around privacy issues and claims of racial bias in the technology. A study released in December by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found facial recognition technology had a racial-bias, typically having a a more difficult time identifying non-white people and women.

That being said, it’s just yet another intrusion or is it? I’ve long said that whatever you share on social media regardless of whether or not you make it private will in fact, eventually be fair game to some money hungry organization. 

Cristal M Clark

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Federal Agents –  “He Could Be The Next Mass Shooter”

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New Braunfels, Texas – Benjamin Bogard

Cristal M Clark

Benjamin Bogard, aged 20 and a member of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division made a video advocating going across the country looking for minorities, Mexicans, women “anything that is shit,” was taken into custody on child-pornography charges after federal agents were a little concerned that Benjamin might be our next mass shooter. He sounds just delightful does he not?

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And the Feds, well they were not all that wrong here, given the right opportunity or the wrong moment in time, Benjamin would have murdered eventually and that is a fact.

In one of his videos which he ends with a Nazi salute;

“Pull out your shotgun, get to the side of the road, pump that shit open, point it at them and pull that trigger.”

Now just where did law enforcement discover Benjamin’s hate filled video’s, that promote violence?

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Why, Instagram of course! I mean that is where one goes to post videos of themselves encouraging violence against women, minorities, Mexicans, “anything that is shit.” But the Fed’s did not agree and well they asked a Judge to not grant Benjamin bail to which the Judge agreed to oblige, considering that Benjamin is seemingly unbalanced and quite frankly dangerous.

According to the criminal complaint against Jeremy, the FBI received a tip about him in early November, someone called a police hotline to report his social-media posts “involving domestic terroristic threats that included threats of mass violence.”

The FBI interviewed Benjamin at his home where he agreed to turn over his cell phone which upon review, revealed underage porn in both photographic and video form.

If you are not familiar with Atomwaffen, allow for me to acquaint you.

Atomwaffen members are no strangers to sexual offenses in particular offenses against children. The leader of the U.K.’s group, who runs by the name, Sonnenkrieg, had been questioned by police over alleged sex offenses with a teenage girl, according to BBC reports.

In Texas, John Cameron Denton who once led the group, went by the username “Rape” in internal chats.

And, some required reading for Atomwaffen members, describes graphic abuse and rape of children.

So I would agree, Benjamin really should not be allowed to be out and about roaming around.

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During a hearing last week, Agents testified that Benjamin’s internet search history included phrases like “buildings to bomb,” instructions for building guns, images of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who shot and killed nine worshippers at an African-American church in 2015. Neo-Nazis have worship Dylann Roof, often times threaten massacres in his name.

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But, here is the cherry on the top, a FBI agent also testified that they had in fact, linked Benjamin to a Twitter user who said that his favorite part of a gun was “the part that kills 30 babies per trigger pull.”

The only Twitter user to make the comment also describes himself as a “future mass shooter,” in his biography.

Benjamin did admit to running the accounts, but tried to say that it was all just an online persona, that he never meant any of it, of course. Right, isn’t that exactly  what a man who beats a woman or child says when caught?

FBI agent Russell Doran testified that they decided to arrest Bogard on the pornography charge because it appeared he was “mobilizing to violence.”

Benjamin’s next hearing is 3/6/19.

Let’s just hope that he faces a long prison sentence just keep in mind that sometimes, the Neo-Nazi’s tend to run in packs once in the prison system and some come out even more prone to violence.

Cristal M Clark

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Cop caught pimping out hookers while on duty

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NYPD’s Finest

Meet Eduardo Cornejo, the former 11 year veteran of the NYPD who got caught pimping out hookers while on duty.

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Which also happens to include a 16 year old girl, who of course he say’s he “thought” was 17 at the time.

Regardless, Eduardo happened to be a pimp while on duty and in uniform. He would arrange gig’s it seems for his girls and sometimes even drive them to the appointment himself, while on duty.

He faces Federal charges and up to 10 years in prison for human trafficking if he is found guilty.

He did admit to being a pimp, yet while he was being questioned, he attempted to also delete text messages from his phone.

OF course the investigators seized the phone and were able to see the sexually explicit pictures, messages and information that pretty much confirmed his involvement in the illegal prostitution ring.

Eduardo also had a small run in with police previously, it turns out that he was arrested back in 2012 after some altercation/argument over a seat at a Mets game, he was arguing with police.

He was sentenced for that to, 3 days of community service and he was banned from Citi Field Stadium for a year.

He was fired from the NYPD about 3 weeks prior to his arrest by the feds. Shockingly, he was fired for testing positive for a little cannabis habit that I guess he had.

News of his arrest broke back in February of this year.

Recently, I guess the whole being jobless and living off of mom and dad idea was not working out for him.

What’s a player to do?

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While out on bail, Eduardo opted to go back to making money the only way he knows how to…that’s right he was arrested again this month for pimping out hookers.

And prosecutors summed up just what this player was up to…

In a letter written to Judge Brian Cogan from US District Attorney’s Kevin Trowel and Alexander Solmon, “the ex cop was recently tracked by his GPS monitor in the vicinity of 5 different hot sheets motels in Staten Island, Queens and Long Island.”

They continued “There is no legitimate reason for the defendant to have been at area hotels on the 10 listed occasions other than to promote or patronize prostitutes.”

Not to mention that on 7/25/16 he was spotted in a vehicle by NYPD Internal Affairs, with a known prostitute, whom he had the pleasure of working with before.

What really puts the icing on the cake though, was his rather lovely Instagram image investigators were able to see, and include with the letter to the judge.

Prosecutors wrote: “His boldness is also on display in the attached Instagram post from July in which the defendant flouts his supervision and brags that ‘I got a bag for the lawyers, like..What’s your charges?…Hop out of the courtroom like #WhatCharges? Big P[IMP]in on your court steps.”

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Eduardo’s lawyer Michael Padden insists that the Instagram post is in reference to “I Got The Keys” which was rapped by Jay Z.

Which by the way makes no difference, we all know or at least a lot of cops know, that often times criminals will boast about crimes through social media utilizing lyrics from songs or lines from movies, posing with drugs, guns and sometimes prostitutes.

What amazes me here is that Eduardo doesn’t appear to be the brightest little tool in the shed and yet, he wore a uniform, had a gun and was a cop for 11 years. He flew under the radar for quite some time before the feds caught up with him.

He blatantly flew under the radar, it was right out in the open so how did this guy get missed for so long?

Are we ignoring the fact that sometimes after a cop has been in uniform for a while he figures what the hell, they don’t pay me enough so I might as well start leading a double life?

How are departments finding and resolving these issues before they become problematic and a black eye for the department in question?

Well, the answer is simple. Police departments are not finding the problem children before something like an officer was arrested for human trafficking, killed for being in a gang or committed suicide before the truth came out.

Cristal M Clark

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@thecrimeshop