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Mitt Romney Uses Silversun Pickups Song ‘Panic Switch’, the Band Files Cease and Desist

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Mitt Romney Cease and Desist Letter

When it comes to promoting your band, getting publicity is not always easy to do. Some say that free publicity is a good thing as your band’s name is thrown out for the public hear and you saved money in the process. However, if it results in something negative, then it defeats the purpose and will most likely cost the band in a non-monetary way. Then, there is the publicity of someone in the media’s spotlight that uses your song for everyone to hear and best of all; it did not cost you a cent. Sounds great; that is, if you don’t mind it looking like you support a political figure.

For the group known as Silversun Pickups, that is exactly what happened when Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign used one of their songs without their permission and wants them to stop using it immediately.

Apparently, the alternative rock band known as Sliversun Pickups discovered their song, “Panic Switch,” was being used by the presidential campaign for Mitt Romney without their permission. The band has asked them to stop using the song immediately, which the campaign is happy to oblige.

On Wednesday, a cease and desist letter was sent to the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign from the Los Angeles-based band’s attorney. According to a news release, it states that both the band and its representatives were not contacted to be given permission to use the alternative rock hit of 2009. Also, the group “has no intention of endorsing the Romney campaign.” Brian Aubert, Silversun Pickups lead singer, released a statement voicing his displeasure over the matter.

He said, “We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ’Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”

Interestingly enough, a spokeswoman for Romney is in total agreement with Aubert about the song sending a desired message to his supporters. Andrea Saul stated in an email that there was no intention to play the song and it was already playing for an event before Romney arrived. The band was informed about it through a tweet from Romney’s North Carolina stopover. The email said, “As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.” Saul also commented that Romney’s campaign has licensing agreements with ASCAP and BMI.

Though Saul feels that the use of the song is legally covered, Silversun Pickups publicist, Ken Weinstein, stated that the group and its team do not agree about it being covered. According to attorney Tamara Milagros-Butler, she said within an hour of sending the letter, she received a call from the campaign’s general counsel. “As the former governor (of) the state of Massachusetts, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and candidate for U.S. President, we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with the laws of this great country of ours,” it reads in part. “We’re writing because we, like you, think these laws are important.” Milagros-Butler stated that the band is satisfied with the outcome and that it is important for politicians to respect the rights of musicians.

She also expressed how important it is for hard-working people, like Silversun Pickups, who have worked for so many years building the value of their copyright that they are knowledgeable in the law to protect their rights.

The song, “Panic Switch,” seems to be an accusation of “red views” that “keep ripping the divide.” In 2009, it helped the group earn a Grammy nomination for best new artist and has unfortunately been added to a long list of songs allegedly purloined by politicians. From Ronald Regan’s use of “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen to President Barack Obama’s use of “Soul Man” in his 2008 campaign, musical groups need to be vigilant of their rights.

Rock Band Demands Romney Stops Using Song

Mitt Romney Uses Silversun Pickups Song, Panic Switch, the Band Files Cease and Desist.

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[Breaking] Donald Trump Said His Admin Will Investigate Google For Treason

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Photo: Gage Skidmore | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Following the call of Presidential adviser, Peter Thiel, for the National Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Google’s “treasonous” behavior, President Donald Trump responded with affirmation saying “the Trump Administration will investigate.”

In a tweet today, Trump called Peter Thiel a “great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone,” and said that his administration is ready to investigate the involvement of Google with the Chinese military if Peter Thiel believes so.

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the FBI and the CIA to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Google has a “treasonous” relationship with the Chinese military

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” Peter Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this; I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

Trump also calls out double standards in favor of Democrat Congresswomen

Meanwhile, in an unrelated tweet, President Trump questioned the double standards in favor of Democratic congresswomen. He said that these women talk about the most “vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate” but they are given a free pass by the media and the people.

“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F…word, among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills. Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!” the President wrote.

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Trump Adviser Peter Thiel Wants FBI And CIA To Investigate Google’s ‘Treasonous’ Behavior

He asked: “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

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Photo: JD Lasica | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Peter Thiel raised the said statements (or rather questions) during his talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” according to a schedule posted to the conference website.

If Thiel is indeed referring to Google’s 2018 decision, he is not the first person to question the company regarding its refusal to work with the US military. Earlier this year, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed similar sentiments as that of Thiel but did not specify the term “treason.”

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Dunford said, “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

When asked for certain clarification, neither Google nor the team of Peter Thiel has responded to Z6Mag’s request for comments yet.

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Homeland Security Hearing On Data Breach: CBP Seem To Not Know What They’re Doing

They’re not even sure when they knew about the incident.

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Photo: CBP Website

The hearing conducted by the Department of Homeland Security this week that centers on the recent data breach that compromised images of American and foreign travelers from airports’ facial recognition system, proved that there are officials in the position who is incompetent regarding data security and technology in general.

A senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official proved unable to answer the most rudimentary questions about a recent data breach and instead of sending a capable expert from their office, the CBP sent John Wagner, the deputy executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Field Operations, who, according to critics, cannot and did not offer any intelligible answer even to the most rudimentary questions about the issue at hand.

According to other reports, Wagner does not know details of the breach, including those that involved their agency. For example, when asked whether the surveillance company at the center of the breach, Perceptics, first reported the incident to CBP, or whether it was the other way around, the senior official was not sure what to say.

Instead, he said: “I believe we asked them about it […] I need to verify this.”

He even admits that he has problems recalling even the most obvious details about the case. “My recollection seems to be that we asked them if any of our data was included in it, and they came back and said yes,” he said.

Interestingly, Perceptics and CBP seem not to have the same memory of what happened. In an interview with the Washington Post, Perceptics said that they discovered the data breach on May 13th and immediately reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation within the next 24 hours after their discovery. However, in a statement that the regulatory agency released last month, CBP said that they were only made aware of the data breach on May 31st.

Furthermore, it is also questioned why the CBP insisted in the statement that it released that none of the images included in the said data breach were found online and could not be traced to anybody when journalist and independent investigators have reported seeing the leaked photos online.

Emma Best, a journalist whose organization, Distributed Denial of Secrets, has cataloged the exposed data and made it available for public review, described the breach as one of the largest known involving a government contractor. It includes, for instance, hundreds of thousands of emails and documents, passwords, schematics, and equipment lists. “It’s virtually all of the company’s data,” she said.

“It spells out how their surveillance systems and services work, giving more than enough detail to reconstruct it. The cache covers border security and surveillance systems, along with systems for government and private facilities including CBP, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Pentagon,” she said.

To make matters worse, Wagner could also not tell Homeland Security whether their agency is monitoring and auditing their government contractors. When asked, he said: “I’m not aware of that. I don’t know.”

Furthermore, even if the notification procedure is an essential process in handling data breach cases, Wagner wasn’t also sure whether or not they should report to Congress what.

“We do report it to Congress if it meets a certain threshold,” he said. But when asked what the threshold was, he replied: “I don’t know offhand.”

“I believe it’s a hundred thousand,” he said. A hundred thousand of what—Files? Gigabytes? Victims?—it’s unclear. “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” he said.

Worse, instead of taking responsibility for the incident, Wagner is pressing the blame to their contractor saying that they were not informed about the data breach “for a significant amount of time” after Perceptics allegedly discovered the compromise.

When asked how long the breach went unreported, he told lawmakers, “I have that answer.” But then he added, “Let me look for that, and I’ll come back to you.” But he never did.

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