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October 1, 2018

Tech-Groomed Totalitarians

As always, Google is data-mining personal information — in schools across America.

Big Tech wants control of your kids.

“An estimated 80 million students and teachers are now signed up for free ‘G Suite for Education’ accounts (formerly known as Google Apps for Education); more than 25 million students and teachers now use Google Chromebooks,” columnist Michelle Malkin reveals. “A Google logon is the key to accessing homework, quizzes, tests, group discussions, presentations, spreadsheets and other ‘seamless communication.’ Without it, students and teachers are locked out of their own virtual classrooms.”

As always, Google is data-mining personal information. Yet when children are the target? Over the past few years, Great Britain has been rocked by a series of “child grooming” scandals. Because many of the predators involved were Muslim men, government investigations — when there were investigations — were filtered through a politically correct lens. Charges of “racism” trumped concerns for sexually exploited children.

Google epitomizes the political correctness that makes it equally impervious to serious scrutiny. “Local administrators, dazzled by ‘digital learning initiatives’ and shiny tech toys, have sold out vulnerable children to Silicon Valley,” Malkin writes. “Educators and parents who expose and oppose this alarmingly intrusive regime are mocked and marginalized. And Beltway politicians, who are holding Senate hearings this week on Big Tech’s consumer privacy breaches, remain clueless or complicit in the wholesale hijacking of school-age kids’ personally identifiable information for endless data mining and future profit.”

British Muslims were grooming sex slaves. Google is grooming totalitarians.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who refused to show up for an initial round of questioning by Congress earlier this month, met last Friday with Republicans — behind closed doors. Republicans want to talk to Pichai about “bias in its search results, violations of user privacy, anti-competitive behavior, and business dealings with repressive regimes like China,” stated Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). In the previous meeting, politicians expressed similar indignation toward Facebook and its data mining, censorship of conservative content, etc. The same Facebook that had 50 million user accounts hacked last month.

Inquiries about one of the most pernicious data heist in the history of the nation? Nowhere to be found.

Why not? Because the politicians are co-conspirators, and have been for quite some time. Common Core was created and copyrighted by two Washington, DC, lobbying organizations “without any input from state legislators, local school boards, teachers or parents,” wrote columnist George Guynn Jr. — five years ago.

The program was sold to individual states coercively: governors were promised large sums of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a., the “stimulus” to sign on, and enticed by waivers relieving them of the requirements demanded by No Child Left Behind legislation. If they resisted, they were threatened with a loss of funding. As a result, Common Core was adopted by 46 states.

As of January 2017, some 22 states were revising their curriculums, due in part to parental resistance.

One suspects that resistance would be far more intense if parents were aware that data mining was part of the equation as far back as 2009. While the feds can’t create a national database of student information, stimulus funding also enabled individual states to develop State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS), cataloguing data generated by Common Core testing. Two years later, the Obama administration’s Education Department concluded that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was to be “reinterpreted” to allow the dissemination of that student data to virtually anyone — without written parental consent. A year after that, 24 states and territories reached a deal to proceed with data mining in exchange for grants.

It get worse. A 2010 technical brief released by the National Center for Education Statistics that served as a guideline for the SLDS, noted that “Sensitive Information” would also be extracted — as in the intimate details of students’ lives. Details such as the political affiliation of their parents; mental problems of the student or family; sex behavior and attitudes; religious practices; and anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior.

Common Core was followed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that further enabled government collection of this data. “The racket includes Facebook’s Digital Promise partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the social/emotional behavior tracking system of TS Gold (Teaching Strategies Gold) targeting preschoolers,” Malkin explains.

Moreover, parents are left out of the loop. “In many districts, school information officers usurp your family authority and are logging on your sons and daughters en masse without your consent or knowledge,” Malkin adds. “You don’t get to see the terms of service, the privacy policy or the G Suite agreement between Google and your school.”

What about logging off the system? Two parents who were also school employees told Malkin that even if they logged out of their G Suite accounts, “their personal passwords, bank account information, parents’ personal data, spouses’ sensitive data and children’s browsing habits were being stored on district-issued Google Drive accounts.” Accounts that allow “the collection and archiving of non-education-related information across the extended family’s devices,” Malkin reveals.

College admissions testing services, such as the ACT and the College Board, are scammers as well. Students are offered optional surveys they fill out under the assumption they’ll gain knowledge about colleges and college scholarships. In reality they’re signing away personal information that both entities sell to universities and scholarship organizations looking to profile prospective students. ACT’s ad spiel gushes that purchasing data about minorities “is a great way to increase diversity at your campus.” And Scholarships.com “asks students for their name, birth date, race, religion, home address and citizenship status and whether they have ‘impairments’ like H.I.V., depression or a ‘relative w/Alzheimer’s,’” The New York Times reveals.

And as Malkin noted, even toddlers are data-mining targets. The aforementioned Teaching Strategies Gold system advertises itself as a “Birth Through Kindergarten Assessment Toolkit,” and TS Gold assessors at a Colorado public pre-school recorded data about a child’s bathroom trips, hand-washing habits, and ability to pull up his pants. “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted,” stated Vladimir Lenin.

Including pre-school and kindergarten, America is giving tech titans like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc., 14 years to sow progressive seeds that embrace the social-justice agenda, in coordination with the collection of data regarding a person’s values, habits, mental health, political affiliation, etc. Data we’re supposed to believe would never be used for nefarious ends by the very same companies — even when Google has already decided to help Communist China maintain its totalitarian regime.

America is besieged by political polarization and increasing levels of fascist behavior, most amply demonstrated by Democrats’ orchestrated destruction of the Supreme Court nomination process. But unless we’re going to address the contemptible combination of indoctrination and potential data-based coercion precipitated by tech companies and their government enablers, the nation is doing little more than rearranging Titanic deck chairs.

All while the totalitarian iceberg remains dead ahead.

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