The antivirus product of the year is really
a surveillance tool…
All I can say is… wouldn’t you know it.
Avast was named AV-Comparatives’ 2018 Product of the Year. It offers premium security for mobile devices, laptops, and home computers. And it can be downloaded for free. What’s not to like?
Consumers certainly love the idea of free antivirus protection. Avast now has more than 435 million active users a month. That’s a huge customer base.
But it turns out there is a catch…
Avast has a subsidiary called Jumpshot. And Jumpshot has been harvesting the data of every Avast user from the moment they installed the software.
Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site. Jumpshot recorded it all, packaged it up, and sold it.
And guess who the buyers have been? Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Home Depot, and others.
These are large, blue-chip companies. And reportedly some of them have been paying millions of dollars to get their hands on the data Jumpshot has taken. Some of this data is very sensitive and personal.
This is perhaps even more invasive than what Google and Facebook are doing. It’s scary.
And we were never supposed to know about it. Jumpshot required its customers to sign very strict confidentiality agreements. Thankfully, Motherboard and PC Magazine launched a joint investigation and discovered what was really going on.
So the big takeaway here is simple. Nothing is ever free. If a product or service is marketed as free, that means we are the product.
Somewhere, buried within an agreement, consumers unwittingly “consent” to allow these free products and services to spy on them and do whatever they want with the information obtained.
While some companies may call that consent, I call it deception and a violation of our privacy. And I highly recommend readers stay away from Avast… and stay skeptical of any other product that is supposedly “free.”
High-Ranking Military Commander Busted
in FBI Child Sex Trafficking Sting
COBB COUNTY, GA – Earlier this week, the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force held a sting to catch alleged sex traffickers and made multiple arrests in the process. During the sting, a high-ranking Air Force Colonel was ensnared by federal agents.
The undercover sex bust unfolded Tuesday night at a Cobb County hotel at which Lt. Col. Willie Newson, 47, was arrested. According to authorities, Newson thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl at the hotel. He was actually meeting undercover agents pretending to be a child.
Georgia Department of Defense spokeswoman Desiree Bamba told AJC.com that Newson is on the command staff of Maj. Gen. Jesse T. Simmons Jr., who is the commander of the Georgia Air National Guard. Newson also was formerly the commander of the 165th Communication Flight of the 165th Airlift Wing, according to the official.
“Lt. Col. Newson’s alleged actions do not reflect the values we uphold in the Georgia National Guard,” she said.
As WSB-TV reports, the “undercover officer that Newson spoke with gave him the opportunity to stop communicating several times.” However, Newson continued to pursue who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
The Air Force Colonel was using a popular dating app to pursue the child.
On Tuesday, Newson was arrested on multiple charges stemming from the child exploitation charges. After he was taken into custody, he immediately bailed himself out for $20,000.
He is currently on leave pending the outcome of the case.
“It’s upsetting to the safety of our kids, the safety of this community as a whole,” Mark Samuels, who manages the hotel where the bust took place.
As TFTP previously reported, another high-level government agent was arrested under similar circumstances. 41-year-old Donald Baldi, a Navy contractor with top-level security clearance was arrested and charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of child pornography. Baldi was also released on bail.
Just down the road, in Fulton County, GA, a massive sting operation carried out by the FBI in metro Atlanta captured dozens of child traffickers and rescued 160 children who had been forced into sex slavery by their captors. The operation concluded in June of this year.
Illustrating the massive scope of the sting, called Operation Safe Summer, it was a collaborative effort between the FBI and 38 other law enforcement agencies from six metro counties.
“They are crimes of special concern to the FBI and to law enforcement generally,” Special Agent in Charge Matt Alocke told Channel 2. “Because the victims are so vulnerable as children and because the offenders could be from just about any walk of life, from a gang member all the way up to someone who is highly successful and wealthy.”
In total, the sting ensnared 150 traffickers. Approximately 160 children, including some as young as 3-years-old were rescued. According to Alocke, the sting was specifically timed to catch these predators before summer started as the trade tends to prey on children when they are out of school.
“It’s important for those of us who are responsible for the children, the parents, the guardians, the older siblings, to not let children fall away (from) those strongly centered circles of importance,” Alcoke said.
On multiple occasions, the Free Thought Project has reportedinterviews of former child sex trafficking victims who’ve all noted that they had nowhere to go as police and high-level politicians all took place in the abuse.
In case after case, the Free Thought Project reports on horrifying instances of child sex rings that were allowed to go on for decades because politicians — including heads of states — policemen, clergy, and others were all in on the sick game.
Missing area girl named in Amber Alert safe;
suspect, 16, in custody
BELLMEAD, TX – An 11-year-old Bellmead girl who was the focus of an Amber Alert early Monday morning is safe and the 16-year-old girl with whom she was found is in custody and facing a kidnapping charge.
Katelynn Maldonado was reported missing at around 1:30 a.m. Monday from her family’s home.
Bellmead police issued the alert, identifying the suspect as a 16-year-old Crawford girl who had stolen her grandmother’s 2012 Kia Sorento and had picked up Maldonado “sometime in the middle of the night.”
The two girls know each other through social media and have met once in person at a social event, Bellmead police Lt. Kory Martin said Monday.
The Kia in which the two girls were riding was spotted at around 7:30 a.m. and officers found the two in the 4400 block of Michigan Street, near the 11-year-old girl’s home, Martin said.
Maldonado was reunited with her parents and the 16-year-old was taken to the Bill Logue Juvenile Justice Center, facing kidnapping and unauthorized use of a vehicle charges, Martin said.
The girl’s father, Kasey Maldonado, says another of his daughters woke him up early Monday to tell him Katelynn was gone.
“We were just scared to death,” he said.
Katelynn was at home resting late Monday, he said.
She wasn’t hurt, but is “just very, very upset,” he said.
AG’s Office, Jefferson County DA Bob Wortham Obtain Conviction, 60-Year Prison Sentence in Sex Trafficking Case Involving Women and Underage Victims
AUSTIN, TX – As a result of a joint effort by his office and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that a jury found Johnny Ray Matlock guilty on charges of continuous trafficking of persons, a first-degree felony. Matlock waived his right to appeal and accepted a 60-year prison sentence, which is the equivalent of a life sentence in Texas.
Attorney General Paxton’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime section, led by Deputy Criminal Chief Kirsta Melton, was invited by District Attorney Wortham to partner with his office on Jefferson County’s first human trafficking case. Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Pipkin worked with Melton on the trial.
“This collaboration between my office and the district attorney’s office in Jefferson County is an outstanding example of how we’re fighting to ensure that justice is served upon those who commit the despicable crime of sex trafficking,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I want to thank the prosecutors and law enforcement agents for their efforts on this investigation to put away a despicable human trafficker.”
Last March, a grand jury indicted Matlock, of Silsbee, on charges he used social media and apps to recruit two underage girls and two women, causing them to be victims of sex trafficking. In court today, Matlock also agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of possession of a firearm. A 10-year sentence for that will run concurrently with his sentence on human trafficking.
In July, a joint effort by the attorney general’s human trafficking unit, the Travis County District Attorney’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety culminated in a 40-year prison sentence for the trafficker of a 14-year-old girl.
Attorney General Paxton has made combating human trafficking a top priority. Two years ago, he launched his office’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime section, which prosecutes human traffickers across the state. In April, the section’s prosecution of Backpage.com resulted in the company pleading guilty to human trafficking in Texas and its CEO, Carl Ferrer, pleading guilty to money laundering. The attorney general’s office also assisted the U.S. Department of Justice with permanently shutting down the website, which was considered the largest online sex trafficking marketplace in the world.