Bluink Ltd: Developing Digital Identity & Vaccine Certification

Bluink is a company that’s working on systems of digital identification and verification of identify. The rationale is that this will ultimately be more secure than having physical documents. This could have potential uses both in the private and public sector. Of course, things get a bit more disturbing when you realize their latest project: a nationwide vaccine passport system. The Federal Lobbying Registry states that they’re in talks with Ottawa over the 2 subjects.

(a) Development of alignment between provincial vaccine certifications and federal standards
(b) Development of digital identification and verification standards.

According to their website, Bluink is able to run their system with driver’s licenses and service cards in all Provinces and Territories. They are also able to do Canadian, Chinese, French and U.S. passports.

Now, Bluink is also working on “aligning provincial certifications and federal standards”. In short, this means compiling a national vaccine passport system. In fairness, being in talks doesn’t mean the papers are signed, but this would be just the company to do it.

Think about it: a company that is already able to do digital ID for all Provincial and Territorial ID (and passports) is also quite likely to build a national vaccine certification system. The obvious question is that what stops this company — or any user — from simply combining the systems? How hard would it be to attach your vaccine status to a driver’s license, health card, or passport? Even if this isn’t the company to do it, Ottawa could always bring in someone else to take that last step.

If you have the full name and birthdate of every health card and vaccine record, how much work would it be to merge them into a single record?

This is also another case of “funding your own demise”, as we will get into. Taxpayers are on the hook for this creeping erosion of privacy.

No, surprise. Bluink is listed with the C.R.A. as having received the CEWS, or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. And if they are getting that, then the rental subsidies are likely thrown in too. Really, at this point, what company “hasn’t” been getting them?. Real capitalism seems non-existent, as everything is nationalized. And it keeps going.

According to the Lobbying Registry, it received nearly $2 million in the year 2020 from: (a) Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); (b) Canada Post Corporation (CPC): and (c) Shared Services Canada (SSC). More is expected to get more money in 2021 and beyond. Some information about the lobbyists is given later on.

The choice of granting institutions is interesting. The CBSA won’t stop people illegally entering the country, but at least we’ll be able to given them a digital ID. That’s great.

TIME PERIOD INSTUTITION GRANTING AMOUNT
May 2, 2012 National Research Council $50,000
Apr. 15, 2013 National Research Council $40,000
Apr. 15, 2013 National Research Council $500,000
Oct. 30, 2013 National Research Council $30,000
Jun. 25, 2015 National Research Council $87,500
Sep. 29, 2015 National Research Council $47,500
Mar. 4, 2016 National Research Council $25,500
Sep. 6, 2016 National Research Council $205,750
Sep. 6, 2016 National Research Council $148,750
Jul. 1, 2018 National Research Council $50,000
Oct. 21, 2018 National Research Council $50,000
Jan. 1, 2019 National Research Council $48,200
Jun. 1, 2019 National Research Council $150,000
Apr. 1, 2020 National Research Council $152,460

According to the NSERC listings, Bluink was involved in a 2013 project for a Algorithmic approach to dynamic scheduling, which netted a $22,500 grant. Another one was in 2016, worth $25,000 for child Login Research using FIDO public key authentication.

So, this has actually been in the works for about a decade. The average person probably had no idea that this was going on. Now, who was pushing for vaccine certification at the Federal level?

One lobbyist for Bluink was Lindsay Stevens. Several years back, she was a “Government Affairs Intern” with Johnson & Johnson (who makes vaccines in Canada). The next year she became a legislative assist at Queen’s Park. Interesting career trajectory. Another is Adam Yahn, who has ties to both the Ontario Conservatives, and to the Federal Party. Katlyn Harrison worked briefly as a Parliamentary Assistant before going into lobbying. All are employed by the firm Summa Strategies.

Summa is Chaired by Tim Powers, long time Conservative Party of Canada operative and talking head on the Canadian news.

It has been derided as an insane conspiracy theory that this “pandemic” is being used to bring about societal change, including digital ID. On the other hand, that appear to be exactly where this is heading. And Bluink will be in a position to deliver a combined system soon, if it can’t already.

Attaching vaccine status to something like a driver’s license will make it an actual movement license (credit to RoadToSerfdom), and not just a moniker. Haven’t taken your shots — and boosters — just yet? You won’t be allowed to leave your zone. Considering that Transport Canada is also involved, this isn’t hyperbole.

When Provinces decide that there will no longer be physical service cards, or when Ottawa phases out passports, what will be used to fill the void? S.I.N. card (the white plastic ones) stopped getting produced years ago. This is just an expansion of that idea.

Worth a reminder: The Vaccine Credential Initiative includes the Ontario Ministry of Health. It’s quite possible that this is where it will be launched first.

Bluink themselves explain how their technology works. Tying a medical record to it wouldn’t be a stretch.

(1) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=370321&regId=917076
(2) https://bluink.ca/about
(3) https://bluink.ca/eid-me/id-documents
(4) https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/hacc/cews/srch/pub/bscSrch
(5) https://search.open.canada.ca/en/gc/
(6) https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/ase-oro/Results-Resultats_eng.asp
(7) https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsay-e-stevens/
(8) Lindsay Stevens LinkedIn Profile
(9) https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-yahn-79a98446/
(10) Adam Yahn LinkedIn Profile
(11) https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-harrison-a1a61822/
(12) Kate Harrison LinkedIn Profile
(13) https://summastrategies.ca/about/team/
(14) https://twitter.com/roadtoserfdom3/status/1378893370421043204
(15) https://canucklaw.ca/vaccine-credential-initiative-passports-digital-health-passes-ontario-ford/
(16) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8IMLBW2N4k

CANImmunize: Working With Big Pharma On National Vaccination Certification, Medical Research

In Nova Scotia, as well as other areas, you can use CANImmunize to book your vaccine appointment. Do you think you need to? Well, perhaps reading through this information of their partners will be enlightening.

This company openly admits that your health data may be sold or used for research purposes. Now, identifying details will likely be removed, but it’s still pretty underhanded. Not only is it receiving Government (or taxpayer) funding, but your data is likely worth money. In other words, the public financing its own invasion of privacy. More on that later.

CANImmunize is also part of the Vaccine Safety Network, which was established by the World Health Organization. It’s a mixture of various Government agencies and pro-vaccine NGOs pushing the big pharma agenda. You will find an awful lot of overlapping names here.

CANImmunize describes itself as “Ottawa-based technology company specializing in immunization software. It developed the CANImmunize app, a pan-Canadian digital immunization tracking system that helps Canadians keep track of their vaccinations with a mobile app and web portal”. In short, it’s laying the ground work for a vaccine passport, despite how harmless this sounds. Interestingly, this was set up in 2012, long before this so-called “pandemic”.

Incidently, PHAC, the Public Health Agency of Canada, isn’t a Canadian entity. It was created by an Order In Council in 2004 to serve various World Health Organization functions.

For a walk down memory lane, the Vaccine Credential Initiative has been hard at work trying to get a global vaccine passport. The Government of Ontario is a partner organization. There’s reason to fear that this is going to be the new ID required to move around.

It’s also recognized by the European Centre for Prevention and Disease Control, their equivalent of the CDC. That’s just lovely. Now who else is responsible for advancing, funding, and promoting CANImmuize?

1. Pfizer A Major Sponsor/Endorser Of CANImmunize

Pfizer is a prominent sponsor and endorses of CANImmunize. This is a significant conflict of interest, considering that it’s likely the biggest financial benefactor of the mass vaccination agenda. That said, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

2. Sanofi Pasteur Also Interested In This Venture

It’s worth mentioning that Sanofi also provides indirect funding to CANImmunize, by financing and supporting their other partners. Perhaps this is a way to make it more difficult to see just how much money is coming in.

3. I-Boost-Immunity Endorser Of CANImmunize

IBoostImmunity has ties to UNICEF and the BC Public Health Association. It’s sponsored by: London Drugs, Sanofi Pasteur, and Merck. London Drugs is a large chain in the West, and has immunization clinics in virtually every location.

4. Kids Boost Immunity Funded By Big Pharma

Kids Boost Immunity is partnered with UNESCO and the U.N. It also is sponsored by companies by GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi Pasteur. Are we seeing the common thread here?

5. Immunize Canada Funded By Pharmaceutical Companies

Immunize Canada is financed by the usual suspects. And taking a quick through its “member organization”, many of them also receive money from those same groups.

6. Vaccines411 Anonymous Referral Service For Vaccination

Who We Are
Vaccines411.ca is an online vaccination clinic locator which also includes reliable immunization resources for Canadians to easily find the vaccination resources they need. The website was officially launched in May 2011. This free online service was created in order to facilitate the process of vaccination for the many Canadians who do not know where to turn to for this kind of information.

Vaccines411® is managed by a dedicated team of professionals, which includes writers, researchers, translators, and developers. The content and resources provided on Vaccines411 is selected and reviewed by our team based on clarity, objectivity, and the credibility of its sources (i.e. government sourcing, medical reviews etc). However, please note that we are not healthcare professionals and that the information provided on Vaccines411.ca is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her healthcare professionals.

This is supposed to an online referral service, for people looking to get their shots. Although the names seem to be kept hidden, it’s not difficult to imagine where the money comes from.

7. Society Of Obstetricians And Gynaecologists: Pregnant Women

This was covered in an earlier article. The Society Of Obstetricians And Gynaecologists is supposed to be concerned with promoting the health and well being of women and children. Instead, its Pfizer money has likely contributed to the absurd recommendations with pregnant women.

8. Canada Immunization Research Network

CIRN, the Canadian Immunization Research Network, is another group that has been previously covered on this site. Like the others, it supports CANImmunize too. This organization takes money from the public, and is supposed to be neutrally investigating and researching how safe and effective vaccines are. However, given the cash they also get from drug companies makes that suspicious.

9. Federation of Medical Women Of Canada, Funded By Pharma

The Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) is funded by by drug companies. That’s pretty twisted, considering that pushing harmful medications on women will lead to far fewer of them alive.

10. Meningitis Foundation Canada, Funded By Pfizer

Now, this group, Meningitis Foundation Canada, probably has many donors. However, Pfizer has presumably contributed enough that it merits displaying it prominently across that main page. But don’t worry, that won’t impact whether or not certain therapeutics are recommended, or how often.

Enough about the donors and sponsors. The available information about the technology itself and the company is pretty chilling.

Kumanan Wilson, the CANImmunize Chief Executive Officer, say in his biography:

An internal medicine physician, scientist and expert in digital health, Dr. Wilson is an internationally, widely published expert in public health and immunization and the founder of the CANImmunize project. Currently funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization Dr. Wilson’s vision is to use technology to solve public health problems

In other words, his project is at least partially funded by WHO and the Gates Foundation. It’s not like they have an agenda or anything.

If all of this isn’t creepy enough, CANImmunize provides plenty of promotional material promotion their App, and vaccines in general. Some of this seems clearly targeted to children.

As for its privacy policies:

CANImmunize will use your information to send you communications about vaccinations and other healthy behaviours, including information from integration partners such as local health authorities, updates about outbreaks near you if you choose to use location services, and periodic updates about CANImmunize Inc and its platforms. You will be offered the ability to opt out or unsubscribe from these communications. If you have consented to sharing your information with one or more integration partners, CANImmunize will share it with them.

CANImmunize may transfer your personal information, excluding health information (except in cases where you send us unsolicited health information – which we delete – outside of the platform such as through support channels), to domestic or international third parties including, for example, IT services, for processing that furthers the purposes for which you consented to provide the personal information. These transferees will be required to maintain privacy and data security standards similar to our own. This sort of transfer is considered a use not a disclosure under Federal privacy legislation. For more information, see here: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/airports-and-borders/gl_dab_090127/.

By creating an account and storing your immunization information in the app, you are also consenting to allow CANImmunize to use it in de-identified and/or aggregate form for research purposes in the health sector. De-identified information is information about you, but it has been stripped of identifiers such as your name or date of birth and cannot be associated with you as an identifiable individual. Aggregate information is data combined from several measurements; when data is aggregated, groups of observations are replaced with summary statistics such that the data cannot be linked back to an identifiable individual. This will happen only where the research has been approved by, and is protected by, the policies of a Research Ethics Board.

CANImmunize will also use aggregate information to inform its understanding of trends in vaccination, opportunities to improve immunization rates or to generate other insights and may share this aggregate information with third parties.

Before CANImmunize uses or discloses your personal information for any other purpose, we will always ask for your consent.

Whether you want it or not, your medical information is available to be sold to 3rd parties for the purposes of research. Sure, your name and contact details may be purged, but you are part of future data compilation. It seems that this may be one of the biggest data harvests in history in Canada.

Again, by taking part and using the app, you are presumed to have consented. Now, if this limited assurance isn’t enough for you, try out the terms of service:

Use of CANImmunize is governed by these Terms of Use. We may amend or modify these Terms of Use at any time, without notice. The current version of these Terms of Use will be available each time you access the website. By using CANImmunize, you agree to be bound by these Terms of Use and are responsible for reviewing these Terms of Use as well as the CANImmunize Privacy Policy. You also agree that you will comply with all applicable laws and regulations when using CANImmunize and are prohibited from attempting to violate the security of the website. You should not use CANImmunize if you do not agree to these Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy, understand what they mean, or do not consent for your data to be used.

In other words, CANImmunize can change their terms at any time, without notice. On the other hand, the people using this app are expected to read and understand what’s going on. Feels great, doesn’t it?

(1) https://novascotia.flow.canimmunize.ca/en/8675309
(2) https://www.vaccinesafetynet.org/vsn/vaccine-safety-net
(3) https://canucklaw.ca/cv-62g-public-health-agency-of-canada-created-as-branch-of-who-bill-c-12-phac-act/
(4) Vaccine Safety Net _ Vaccine Safety Net
(5) https://canucklaw.ca/vaccine-credential-initiative-passports-digital-health-passes-ontario-ford/
(6) https://www.vaccinesafetynet.org/vsn/network
(7) https://www.canimmunize.ca/en/partners
(8) Partners _ CANImmunize
(9) https://iboostimmunity.com/about/sponsors
(10) Sponsors _ I Boost Immunity
(11) https://kidsboostimmunity.com/about/how-were-funded
(12) Our Partners _ Kids Boost Immunity
(13) https://immunize.ca/member-organizations
(14) Member Organizations _ immunizecanada
(15) https://canucklaw.ca/society-of-obstetricians-and-gynaecologists-funded-by-pfizer-recommends-vaccines-boosters/
(16) https://canucklaw.ca/canadian-immunization-research-network-is-funded-by-big-pharma/
(17) https://fmwc.ca/about-us/sponsors-partners/
(18) Sponsors & Partners _
(19) https://meningitis.ca/en/Our-Supporters
(20) Our Supporters
(21) https://www.canimmunize.ca/en/promotion
(22) Promotion _ CANImmunize
(23) https://www.canimmunize.ca/en/about
(24) https://www.canimmunize.ca/en/privacy-policy?_ga=2.176174502.223015251.1524835199-502851710.1490895288#collect
(25) Privacy Policy _ CANImmunize

Institute For Strategic Dialogue: Open Source Intelligence Gathering, And Global Counter-Intelligence In Action

This piece on the Institute for Strategic Dialogue is a continuation of the last one. Now, let’s look a little more into who’s doing this, and what they actually want.

This may seem a bit ironic (or stupid), doing open source intelligence gathering on an intelligence gathering outlet. Nonetheless, the public does need to be aware of what is going on.

According to its latest tax return, the ISD took in about 5.6 million British Pounds, almost exclusively from “charitable” sources. That also describes the bulk of their spending. Perhaps the Government funding is simply classified as charities, or is being funneled through them

If you think these people aren’t monitoring what you post, and using it as evidence in their reports, consider some of their profiles. All of this information came directly from them.

In its Twitter biography, the ISD describes itself as “fiercely independent”. This is downright disingenuous, considering the partners it works with, and the sources of its funding. This is no more independent than the heavily subsidized media outlets that are everywhere in Canada. See the bottom links for more details.

Kata Balint is an Analyst on ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, primarily working on the analysis of the climate change debate in Hungary, using digital analysis tools and open source intelligence methods. Kata’s main areas of research are political radicalisation and extremism, with a focus on far-right groups and movements; disinformation and conspiracy theories; and political attitudes and behaviour. Kata previously worked as an Analyst in the Radicalisation and Extremism Programme of Political Capital, an independent research institute based in Hungary, where she co-authored a number of research papers and was involved in radicalisation prevention activities. She gained her first professional experiences working in the Office of the Hungarian Parliament and in the European Parliament. Kata completed her postgraduate studies in Political Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast in the UK, and she holds an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences with majors in International Studies and Communication from Roskilde University, Denmark.

Chloe Colliver is Head of Digital Policy and Strategy at ISD, where she leads a global team of analysts studying disinformation and extremism online, including programmes of work focusing on the German, European Parliamentary, UK, Swedish and US Elections. She has worked on the development of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and has provided expert testimony to the UK Home Affairs Select Committee, the Swedish, New Zealand, Canadian, French and German governments on digital policy and tech regulation. She has been featured at CNN, the BBC, Sky News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Bloomberg. She is the co-author of ISD reports Spin Cycle: Information Laundering on Facebook, Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation, The 101 of Disinformation Detection, Click Here For Outrage: Disinformation in the European Parliamentary Elections 2019, The First 100 Days: Coronavirus and Crisis Management on Social Media Platforms, and Hoodwinked: Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour on Facebook. Chloe is a Yale Mellon Fellow and sits on the Advisory Board for Accountable Tech.

Milo Comerford is Head of Policy & Research, Counter Extremism, leading ISD’s work developing innovative research approaches and policy responses to extremism. Milo regularly briefs senior decision makers around the world on the challenge posed by extremist ideologies, and advises governments and international agencies on building effective strategies for countering extremism. He was previously Senior Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where he led major research projects on Salafi-jihadi propaganda, international educational responses to extremism, and the transnational far right. His writing and research features frequently in international media and he has made recent broadcast appearances on BBC News, Sky News and Al Jazeera.

Jiore Craig is the Head of Political Integrity and Digital Communication at ISD. She has extensive international experience, previously spending eight years helping elected officials, political leaders, media organisations, academic institutions and civic society organisations across five continents to measure the impact of digital communication and influence campaigns on public opinion and communicate effectively in the wake of the threat of disinformation around elections. She was previously a Vice President at a global political consulting firm, where she built a digital practice serving Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the US. Jiore’s work informed the design of major coalition efforts to counter disinformation in the 2020 US and 2019 European Parliament elections. Her work is cited in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, and she has been a featured guest on the election podcast, Pod Save America.

Jacob Davey is Head of Research & Policy of Far-right and Hate Movements. His research focuses on the role of digital communications in inter-communal conflict, internet culture, online hate speech and the international far-right. He has led a number of projects piloting novel models for identifying extremist conversation online as well as interventions to counter this phenomenon. He has advised national and local policymakers on right-wing extremism, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, and has lead trainings with frontline practitioners on the mobilisation strategies of extremist groups. He has provided commentary on extremism-related issues in a number of platforms including The Guardian, The Independent, and The BBC, and also sits as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. He is the co-author of ISD reports Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, The Fringe Insurgency – Connectivity, Convergence and Mainstreaming of the Extreme Right, Counter-Conversations: A model for direct engagement with individuals showing signs of radicalisation online, “Mainstreaming Mussolini” – How the Extreme Right Attempted to ‘Make Italy Great Again’ in the 2018 Italian Election, ‘The Great Replacement’: The Violent Consequences of Mainstreamed Extremism, and An imprecise science: Assessing interventions for the prevention, disengagement and de-radicalisation of left and right-wing extremists.

Jasmine El-Gamal is a Senior Manager for Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA) at ISD, where she is responsible for overseeing prevention of violent extremism (PVE) research and programming. From 2015-2020, Jasmine was a Senior Fellow with the Middle East program at the Atlantic Council, where she focused primarily on U.S. policies in the Middle East. From 2013-2015, Jasmine served as a Special Assistant to three consecutive Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, where she advised on national security issues. From 2008-2013, Jasmine served as a Middle East advisor at the Pentagon, where she served three Secretaries of Defense. During her tenure, she prepared and staffed the Secretary of Defense on foreign trips and during Congressional briefings. She covered issues related to Iraq, Syria, the Arab Spring and ISIS, among others, and served as the Acting Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy. From 2014-2016, Jasmine served as a translator and cultural advisor to the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she provided briefings on Islam and Arab culture to incoming military officers in advance of their participation on the Review Boards. She conducted over 100 detainee interviews during her time at GTMO regarding their background and journey to Afghanistan and ensured the integrity of their testimony during their review boards, many of which resulted in the illumination of their unjust detention. In 2003, Jasmine served as a translator with a U.S. Civil Affairs team responsible for reconstruction in Southern Iraq, helping to facilitate communication and cooperation between U.S. forces and the local population in rebuilding the area. Her commentary has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Time Magazine, CNN, Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, L’Orient du Jour, Sawt al Azhar, Al Masry Al Youm and other international outlets.

Aoife Gallagher is an Analyst on ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit, focusing on the intersection between far-right extremism, disinformation and conspiracy theories and using a mixture of data analysis, open source intelligence and investigative techniques to understand the online ecosystem where these ideas flourish and spread. Previously, Aoife was a journalist with the online news agency, Storyful. She is co-author of the ISD reports The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory and Profit and Protest: How Facebook is struggling to enforce limits on ads spreading hate, lies and scams about the Black Lives Matter protests. Aoife has completed an MA in Journalism.

Cooper Gatewood is a Senior Digital Research Manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt election processes. He also manages on the Online Civil Courage Initiative in France, coordinating activities to support civil society’s response to hate and extremism online. In addition, Cooper conducts ongoing evaluation of a number of ISD’s programmes, including Be Internet Citizens and Young Digital Leaders. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks for a number of ISD’s education projects. Previously, Cooper worked at Portland, where he advised clients from the non-profit and government sectors on their media engagement and social media strategies. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook, La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms, Promouvoir le civisme en ligne face aux malveillances à l’ère du numérique, Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse, and Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po and is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as speaking proficient Japanese.

Jakob Guhl is a Manager at ISD, where he works within the Digital Research Unit and with ISD Germany. His research focuses on the far-right, Islamist extremism, hate speech, disinformation and conspiracy theories. He is a frequent commentator on German radio and broadcast, including Deutschlandfunk, Tagesthemen, NDR and Radio Eins. Jakob has been invited to present his research about online hate to the German Ministry of the Justice and provided evidence to the German Minister of the Interior and the German Family Minister on how to strengthen prevention against right-wing extremism and antisemitism. His research has been featured in Die Zeit, The Guardian, DW, The Telegraph, CNN, Euronews, Coda Story, Vice, Politico, New Republic and Die Welt, among others. Additionally, he has published articles in the “Journal for Deradicalisation”, “Demokratie gegen Menschenfeindlichkeit”, Taz, Der Standard, GNET and co-authored an essay for an edited volume of the Munich Residence Theatre about the origins of contemporary political anger. He is the co-author of ISD reports Crisis and Loss of Control: German-Language Digital Extremism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media, A Safe Space to Hate: White Supremacist Mobilisation on Telegram and The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right. Jakob holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London.

Sasha Havlicek is Co-Founder and CEO of ISD, having spearheaded ISD’s pioneering research and data analysis, digital education, policy advisory, training, tech and communications programmes. With a background in conflict resolution and an expertise in extremism, digital information operations and electoral interference, she has advised a range of governments at the highest levels and has spearheaded partnerships with the UN, EU Commission and Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. She has also worked with the private and civil society sectors to promote innovation, including developing major programmes run in partnership with Google, FB and Microsoft. Sasha serves as an expert advisor to the UK Counter-Extremism Commission and the Mayor of London’s counter-extremism programme, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Sasha previously served as Senior Director at the EastWest Institute where she led conflict resolution programming. Sasha has testified before US Congress, the UK Parliament and is a regular commentator in the media (CNN, BBC, Channel 4 News and other networks).

Jennie King is a Senior Policy Manager at ISD. She supports programme design, policy outreach and strategy across the organisation. Jennie previously served as MENA Regional Director Arts, Assistant Country Director Egypt and Co-Director Hungary for the British Council, the UK’s international body for cultural relations. She also served as an Attaché for the Guatemalan Diplomatic Mission. She is the co-author of the ISD report Hoodwinked: Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour on Facebook. Jennie read Arabic and Spanish at Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a Foundation Scholarship and the Marie Shamma’a Frost Prize for Oriental Studies.

Daniel Maki is a Senior Manager in charge of open-source intelligence (OSINT) research for ISD’s Digital Research Unit, as well as serving as ISD’s Digital Risk Officer. Daniel leads a team of practitioners in the collection and analysis of intelligence related to investigations, ethnographic research, crisis response, and security monitoring. He also regularly serves as a subject-matter expert in intelligence collection and analysis within ISD and on behalf of ISD’s key partners. As ISD’s Digital Risk Officer, Daniel is responsible for tackling emerging digital risks and identifying operational security threats encountered in the course of research projects and investigations. Daniel has worked in the intelligence community for ten years as an investigator and intelligence analyst, conducting investigations into a wide variety of matters, including financial crime, insider threats, counterintelligence, espionage, organized crime and corruption, workplace misconduct, cybercrime, terrorism, and geopolitical conflict.

Ciaran O’Connor is an Analyst at ISD, working in the Research and Policy unit. Ciaran specialises in using open-source research to track and monitor disinformation and extremism online, with a particular focus on far-right activity and communication across open and closed networks and platforms. Ciaran is currently working on multiple ISD projects in analysing the intersection of misinformation and extremism with COVID-19 on social media. Ciaran previously worked as a journalist on the investigations team at Storyful, a social media news agency that specialises in the verification and analysis of amateur footage and misinformation online. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook and Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud.

Christian Schwieter is a Project Manager at ISD Germany, leading the German-language research project on far-right activity on alternative and emerging online platforms. At ISD, Christian also co-led the pilot phase of the Digital Policy Lab, a new intergovernmental working group focused on charting the online policy path forward to prevent and counter disinformation, hate speech and extremism. Previously, Christian worked as a researcher for the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he co-authored reports on state-backed information operations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, Christian was the Specialist Adviser on Disinformation Matters for the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee at the House of Commons. Christian holds an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford and a BA from Leiden University College The Hague.

Henry Tuck is Head of Policy & Programmes at ISD for work across Europe and the Five Eyes countries. He is responsible for the overall management of the Institute’s research programme, including oversight of all publications, research methods, and ethics across a variety of topics, from disinformation to the far-right and extremism online. Henry also leads ISD’s policy-focused work to counter online harms in collaboration with a range of key stakeholders, advising leading governments, international organisations and major private sector tech companies. He is the co-author of ISD reports An imprecise science: Assessing interventions for the prevention, disengagement and de-radicalisation of left and right-wing extremists, The Counter-Narrative Monitoring & Evaluation Handbook, Shooting in the right direction: Anti-ISIS Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq, and The Counter-narrative Handbook. Henry holds a Masters in International Conflict Studies from Kings College London, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University.

Several profiles actually refer to “open source intelligence gathering”. Do you realize what this means? Online posts and comments are being tracked, documented, archived, and used for later research. It’s no surprise that so many have ties to Governments around the world, and that they appear as “experts” in the mainstream media quite often. This is (one of) the groups being paid to push certain narratives.

The ISD promotes the work of Marianna Spring, who does “anti-misinformation” efforts on behalf of the Gates-funded British Broadcasting Corporation.

The ISD has teamed up with social media influencers to “manage the narrative” around the latest climate change conference in the U.K. Obviously, the lay people are too dumb to think for themselves, and must be told what to believe.

ISD has also written about how Facebook can be more effective at enforcing the bans of people already removed from the network. Considering that Facebook is a major donor and partner, this isn’t nefarious, or any sort of conflict of interest. They’re also going after Tik Tok.

Apparently, the rapid demographic changes in Western countries since the 1960s just happened. There wasn’t any concerted “replacement agenda“, according to the report from ISD. It’s just some racist conspiracy theory that gets thrown around.

By the way, if you need money and lack much of a soul, the ISD is currency hiring for a few different positions. Apply today!

On a more serious note: these people are doing “open source intelligence gathering”, which means that content being posted is being used for other purposes. There is an agenda here, so truth and source material may not matter, nor would context. In a similar vein, edgy and trolling posts may be taken at face value and used to push certain narratives, like here. It’s not your friends or family you need to worry about, but think tank operatives.

IMPORTANT LINKS
(1) https://www.isdglobal.org/
(2) https://www.isdglobal.org/disinformation/public-health-disinformation/
(3) https://www.isdglobal.org/disinformation/climate-disinformation/
(4) https://www.isdglobal.org/disinformation/conspiracy-networks/
(5) https://www.isdglobal.org/digital_dispatches/tags-flags-and-banners-evaluating-the-application-of-information-resources-on-vaccine-content-on-tiktok/
(6) https://twitter.com/ISDglobal
(7) https://twitter.com/ISDglobal/status/1460545038723788805
(8) https://twitter.com/shannonpareil/status/1459199605329915905
(9) https://isdglobal.recruitee.com/
(10) INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE – 1141069
(11) https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-publications/the-great-replacement-the-violent-consequences-of-mainstreamed-extremism/
(12) The Great Replacement The Violent Consequences of Mainstreamed Extremism by ISD
(13) https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-chloe-colliver-on-trolling-of-un-migration-pact-for-danish-broadcasting-corporation/

RESOURCES FOR MEDIA ACTING AS COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE
(A) https://canucklaw.ca/media-subsidies-to-counter-online-misinformation-groups-led-by-political-operatives/
(B) https://canucklaw.ca/taxpayer-grants-to-fight-misinformation-in-media-including-more-pandemic-bucks/
(C) https://canucklaw.ca/counter-intelligence-firms-to-influence-elections-canada-and-abroad-registered-as-charities/
(D) https://canucklaw.ca/more-pandemic-bucks-for-disinformation-prevention-locally-and-abroad-civix/
(E) https://canucklaw.ca/disinfowatch-ties-to-atlas-network-connected-to-lpc-political-operatives/
(F) https://canucklaw.ca/phac-supporting-science-up-first-online-counter-misinformation-group/
(G) https://canucklaw.ca/rockefeller-spends-13-5-million-to-combat-misinformation-in-u-s-elsewhere/
(H) https://canucklaw.ca/poynter-self-claimed-factchecking-group-funded-by-media-giants/
(I) https://canucklaw.ca/journalism-trust-initiative-trusted-news-initiative-project-origin-the-trust-project/
(J) https://canucklaw.ca/coalition-for-content-provenance-and-authenticity-c2pa-project-origin-content-authenticity-initiative/
(K) https://canucklaw.ca/public-media-alliance-brussels-declaration-protecting-journalists-media-freedom/
(L) Institute For Strategic Dialogue: Partners, Funding

EVEN MORE MEDIA SUBSIDIES
(A) https://canucklaw.ca/media-1-unifor-denies-crawling-into-bed-with-government/
(B) https://canucklaw.ca/media-in-canada-obedient-to-govt-covid-narrative-largely-because-of-subsidies/
(C) https://canucklaw.ca/postmedia-subsidies-connections-may-explain-lack-of-interest-in-real-journalism/
(D) https://canucklaw.ca/postmedia-gets-next-round-of-pandemic-bucks-from-taxpayers-in-2021/
(E) https://canucklaw.ca/nordstar-capital-torstar-corp-metroland-media-group-more-subsidies-pandemic-bucks/
(F) https://canucklaw.ca/aberdeen-publishing-sells-out-takes-those-pandemic-bucks-to-push-narrative/
(G) https://canucklaw.ca/many-other-periodicals-receiving-the-pandemic-bucks-in-order-to-push-the-narrative/
(H) https://canucklaw.ca/cv-37i-tri-city-news-pulls-article-where-bonnie-henry-admits-false-positives-could-overwhelm-system/

RCMP Puts Out Challenge To Develop AI-Based Decryption System

The RCMP, the Federal Police group, is leading an initiative of the Canadian Government. It’s promoting a challenge for private groups to develop an AI system that would allow easier decryption of files and devices, in aiding police investigations.

November 4, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
The Government of Canada is looking for innovative ways to help Canadian small businesses succeed.
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Today, Innovative Solutions Canada launched a new challenge led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
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Along with other Canadian law enforcement agencies, the RCMP is facing challenges in accessing encrypted data seized during the course of criminal investigations. Individuals engaging in illegal behaviours have been using sophisticated encryption techniques to bypass legal prosecution. The RCMP is looking for an artificial intelligence decryption system that can process the seized data files and generate specific word lists to try and access the encrypted material.
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QUICK FACTS
Small businesses will have until December 16 to apply to the challenge.
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Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, government departments are inviting small businesses to come up with a new innovative product, service or solution that answers a specific challenge they face. Winning small businesses may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development and, if accepted into phase 2, receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The government can then act as a first customer, helping these businesses commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good middle-class jobs across Canada.
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Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and prepare Canadians to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.
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There are hundreds of programs and services that offer everything from funding to expert advice in order to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. Using a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Of course, this will be funded with taxpayer money.

This is creepy for a number of reasons, not least of all what it might end up being used for. Also, if private companies are developing this, what’s to stop backdoors from being installed in the software? Furthermore, would the police be able to have private entities use this technology to access information that they might not be able to on their own?

A lot of questions still need to be asked. This press release sounds so harmless, but then, that’s the point.

(1) https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2021/11/government-of-canada-invites-small-businesses-to-develop-an-artificial-intelligence-decryption-service.html
(2) https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/101.nsf/eng/home
(3) https://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/bb/brief-bref-en.html#section1
(4) ttps://innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca/s/?language=en_CA&lang=eng
(5) https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/101.nsf/eng/00147.html
(6) https://cippic.ca/uploads/ATI-RCMP-Encryption_and_Law_Enforcement-2016.pdf
(7) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/lucki-briefing-binde-cybercrime-1.4831340

Kape Technologies Buying Up VPN Services, VPN Review Sites

It’s fairly common these days to have VPNs (virtual privacy networks) for both business and personal computer use. But what about the companies who offer these services? How much data do they save, and what happens if they get bought about by another provider? Will the same terms and conditions be honoured for previous customers?

True, this broke a while ago, but is worth a mention for the long term security and privacy issues. Unfortunately, internet privacy is just assumed by far too many people.

The site restoreprivacy.com put a considerable amount of work into this article. They’ve compiled quite the reference list. Rather than rehashing everything, go visit their site for more information.

A few of the points listed are these:

  • 2017: Crossrider purchases CyberGhost VPN for $10 million
  • 2018: Crossrider changes name to “Kape”
  • 2018: Kape purchases Zenmate VPN for $5 million
  • 2019: Kape purchases Private Internet Access for $127 million
  • In May 2021, news broke that Kape had purchased a company called Webselenese. Like Kape, Webselenese also operates out of Israel and runs the websites vpnMentor.com and Wizcase.com.
  • 2021: Kape purchases ExpressVPN for $936 million by far the largest VPN acquisition to date

VPNs do have legitimate purposes and make an enormous difference in protecting people online. However, no company is truly invulnerable.

How do we know that a VPN company is what it claims to be, and not a front for intelligence gathering? Such an operation would put Facebook to shame in terms of its capabilities.

Beyond privacy rights, there are also property rights to think about. If a person or company publishes content, and then ads are inserted (without consent), is that not interference? If content doesn’t reach its destination as it should, it can have financial consequences.

A few ideas to think about:
-Consider different browsers, 1 for sensitive use, another for more general use
-Have multiple encryption methods
-Think twice about sending certain material at all, which should be commonsense
-Talk in person, and avoid technology where possible
-Research who actually owns your VPN service
-Be prepared to walk away if needed

Yes, there is the argument that “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide”. However, there’s nothing wrong with people wanting to keep their personal lives private.

While this is a bit different from the normal subjects, it’s worthwhile to think about the long term impacts of your online data. Also, with the creeping authoritarianism and medical tyranny (for your safety of course), Governments could very well get in on this. One of the consequences of limiting public gatherings is that it drives people online, where it’s much easier to monitor their content.

(1) https://restoreprivacy.com/kape-technologies-owns-expressvpn-cyberghost-pia-zenmate-vpn-review-sites/
(2) Former Malware Distributor Kape Technologies Now Owns ExpressVPN
(3) https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2015/06/09/from-israel-unit-8200-to-ad-men/?sh=2755192f26e2
(4) These Ex-Israeli Surveillance Agents Hijack Your Browser To Profit From Ads
(5) https://restoreprivacy.com/expressvpn-executive-uae-surveillance/
(6) High-Level ExpressVPN Executive Ensnared in Criminal Surveillance Operation
(7) https://www.reuters.com/world/us/american-hacker-mercenaries-face-us-charges-work-uae-2021-09-14/
(8) Ex-U.S. intel operatives admit hacking American networks for UAE _ Reuters
(9) https://business-review.eu/news/israeli-company-crossrider-buys-romanias-cyberghost-for-eur-9-2-mln-132813
(10) Israeli company Crossrider buys Romania’s CyberGhost for EUR 9.2 mln
(11) https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-crossrider-renamed-kape-after-switching-to-cybersecurity-1001227178
(12) Crossrider renamed Kape after switching to cybersecurity – Globes
(13) https://blog.malwarebytes.com/detections/adware-crossrider/

Bill C-11: Parliamentary Hearing On Facial Recognition Technology (May 10, 2021)

This was from a May 10, 2021 Parliamentary Committee Meeting on Bill C-11, and facial recognition. In some sense this hearing is academic, as Parliament was was dissolved over the summer. Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible that it will be brought back once the new session starts.

Also, as this so-called “pandemic” drags on, and resistance builds, will facial recognition become the norm at protests? Will this be a way to identify and target peaceful demonstrators?

Another point: while law enforcement or Canadian intelligence may be barred from using this facial recognition, will they simply outsource it to private companies? A possible argument would be that the police aren’t actually violating privacy laws, but just taking advantage of others that do.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST FACIAL NETWORK
Clearview AI provides law enforcement agencies with greater insight and lead generation through the use of our investigative platform. Our platform includes the largest known database of 10+ billion facial images sourced from public-only web sources, including news media, mugshot websites, public social media, and many other open sources.
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Agencies that use our platform can expect to receive high-quality leads with fewer resources expended. These leads, when supported by other evidence, can help accurately and rapidly identify suspects, persons of interest, and victims to help solve and prevent crimes.

HOW DOES CLEARVIEW AI’S FACIAL SEARCH TECHNOLOGY WORK?
Clearview AI provides law enforcement agencies with investigative opportunities through the use of our research tool. Our platform includes the largest known database of 10+ billion facial images sourced from public-only web sources, including news media, mugshot websites, public social media, and many other open sources.

Clearview is called out by name in the House of Commons meeting. It’s quite interesting. Remember those pictures with your college buddies from 10-15 years ago on Facebook? Guess what, those may have been copied, real names attached, and used as reference points in the near future.

Of course, some private companies have already been using this type of technology for years. It’s not exactly revolutionary at this point. Last October, the story about Cadillac Fairview using this without people’s knowledge or consent in Ontario was broken

Anyhow, this story will need to be followed up on. In the meantime, it’s pretty chilling to see how accepting and tolerant public officials have become about its use.

(1) https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/ETHI/meeting-34/evidence
(2) May 10 Facial Recognition Parliamentary Hearing
(3) https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20210510/-1/35421?Language=English&Stream=Video
(4) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Content/Committee/432/ETHI/Evidence/EV11321905/ETHIEV34-E.PDF
(5) https://www.clearview.ai
(6) https://www.clearview.ai/law-enforcement
(7) https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/10/29/cadillac-fairview-broke-privacy-laws-by-using-facial-recognition-technology-at-malls-investigators-conclude.html