How You’re Really Being Watched: Facebook, The Filter Bubble & Big Data

1485594518351written by: Adam Peach

The most recent article I wrote covers an internet hoax in which a man claimed individual people were “spying” on you in the name of “Facebook Security” and “Facebook Police”.  It was obviously not true and just paranoid ranting, but caused some severe harassment and cyber-bullying for a few people.

As mentioned near the end of that article, there are entities “watching you” on facebook and other platforms such as Google – just not in the way the false conspiracy claimed.

Facebook and Google use IP info and metadata to track what kind of links you’re clicking on, who you’re interacting with, what you’re searching for, and so on.  This data is gathered and stored and then used to create a “bubble” around you of things it “thinks” you’re interested in based on the data it has collected from you.  This is why there is no standard Google anymore – no 2 people on different devices will get the same search results when looking for the exact same search terms.  This is explained in great detail by Eli Pariser in his book “The Filter Bubble”.

Facebook in particular has grown to be the #1 source for news for most people today.  With 1.79 Billion active monthly users (as of January 2017), one can imagine the kind of power in social engineering it can have if information is being filtered from us.  Newspapers show all kinds of important stories on their front covers and within, not tailored to any specific person – but showing important events in the world for anyone interested to read it and form an opinion.  This makes us aware of issues outside of our daily “bubble” we live in.  By enforcing the “bubble”, Facebook and Google can filter what we see and prevent us from hearing about important issues that keep us aware of the world outside.

After the fiasco leading up to the US election in regards to the ongoing claims of a Russian Hacking, the battle wages on in terms of internet privacy, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of The Press.  I’m referring to “fake news”and why we shouldn’t allow anyone to take any kind of “authoritative” position on what defines that term in our behalf.

One fact here is that the so-called “hacking” was actually a leak – not a hacking.  It was a leaking of information from someone who had access to it (service provider, DNC insider, etc).  Julian Assange of Wikileaks said multiple times including in a recent interview that the source of the leaked information was “not a state” or anyone working for any government parties of Russia or anyone else.  That leaked information was uploaded by Wikileaks and it spread like wildfire!  Again, keep in mind that this was leaked information and leaked emails. These were real emails.  They were not fake.  And the people spoke.

By making this a “hacking” situation and blaming “fake news” as a factor in shifting the election, the entities pushing against our rights such as Freedom Of Speech and Freedom of The Press gain momentum in the battle.  Do you know what is really amazing about living in a democracy?  That people who don’t like what their government is doing can vote against it.  And they did.  Obviously, this wasn’t the only factor in the election.  For the purpose of this article, however, it is relevant.

Filtering news and information on Facebook, frankly, would be an act of social engineering.  Yes, it has been happening for years now but the debate has changed in the name of “fake news”.  People should have the option of seeing information and forming an opinion of their own – not have an “authoritative” entity or “focus group”.  3rd party entities or focus groups can be politically influenced the same as anything else and in the name of our rights we should speak out against this kind of filtering of information.

People can say very hateful, hurtful, damaging and threatening things and they should be reported and held accountable for what they say in whatever way necessary.  However, this is Freedom Of Speech.  Hate speech is damaging.  People who freely use it on social media should be held accountable for it.  But that doesn’t mean our rights have to be undermined.  Rights that give power to people in important times such as elections in a democracy such as the one we live.

Some people drive drunk.  It’s illegal and now socially unacceptable, but people will still do it.  Should we ban all people from having cars?  Absolutely not, that’s rediculous.  We hold the drunk drivers responsible and deal with them in accordance to the law.

The same should apply for the internet.  There has to be rules and guidelines but we also have to keep our rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of The Press.  Don’t like what someone posts?  Facebook allows you to make any specific post invisible to your news feed.  You can report a post and it will be taken down if it breaks the rules or is offensive, or hatespeech.  There are ways to deal with people who commit wrong-doing but we should not throw our rights away for that purpose.

Today, your computer, phone, television, gaming systems – even your car is on the internet.  Literally tons of data is being collected from basically everything we do in life.  Think about when you go to a popular location, such as a restaurant.  Google users will know that in a lot of cases you will get a notification on your device recognizing where you are and ask you something like “Take a picture to show friends you were here?”  Once you take a picture there and upload it, that data is stored called geotagging.  As mentioned above, your car is on the internet now as well.  Think about all of the wifi networks your car will be coming into contact with, geotag data being recorded same as a mobile phone.

This is where Big Data comes in.  Big data is a huge growing industry in which extreme amounts of data is harvested from users and used for analytics and marketing purposes.  It can also be used for healthcare purposes, fincances, and anything where analytic data is useful, really.  While there are amazing uses for Big Data, there is still the concept that everywhere you go and everything you do in life is being stored and analyzed.  An Unsettling concept, indeed.  Controlling the ads and content you see day to day based on where you go, where you shop, who you communicate with, what you do and what you search for.

Below, are some important videos relevant to this conversation.  They are not extremely long and shed light on these subjects.  I think we should all care about this.  This is an issue that affects all other issues.  Think about how Freedom of Speech on the internet has worked for activism in the past 10 years.  The power it has to spread information far and wide to others that would never know otherwise.  The internet is an amazing place as long as we are not confined into a small box when we log on.

Source:

https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

Conspiracies To Cyber-bullying: The Fear And Misunderstanding Of How The Internet works

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach


This week I stumbled upon a video shared by a friend about a feature on Facebook which “allows you to see a list of people spying on your account”.

At first glance, I didn’t think much of it at all.  Knowing what we have been told about how the NSA, Facebook, Google and other data-mining entities are harvesting our information from credible sources and publications such as the Edward Snowdon revelations, I shrugged this off completely.  This video was a man sitting at his computer in his home, instructing people to go to a search tool feature located in your “account settings” under the submenu “Blocking”.  Once there, you will find a list of people you have previously blocked (or it will be empty if you have been lucky enough to have all positive interactions on facebook).  The man in the video claims if you type “facebook security” and click “block” into the search bar, it will then show you a “list of people spying on you”.  If anyone appears on your “list”, they will have “facebook security” included somewhere in their Facebook name or nickname.

With little investigation, you can see that some of these people with “facebook security” in their names have made public posts that they have been victim of hacking recently, and to not accept any bogus messages from them.  The first two people I clicked on from my “spy list” had made this exact claim on their timelines about being recently hacked as you can see from my screenshots below.   I had a very bad feeling that these people were about to get the trolling of a lifetime based on a completely confused theory, which in actually is just a myth.  Created by people who simply do not understand something – so they fear it.

kat-scholz-hacked

victim-screenshot
Screenshot of posts from hacking victims being cyber-bullied from false claims.

Some of you may be familiar with one of those people in the screenshots.  Her Name Is Katherine Scholz.  Born In Oklahoma City – she loves, to read, listen to rock music, cook and create recipes, and is an avid lover of cats and posting pictures of them.

This week she suffered a disgusting cyber-bullying attack for reasons she was completely unaware of, at first.

Imagine, all of a sudden messages start coming from people asking if you are spying on them.  Some people actually threatening your life.  Out of the blue.  You are just at your job, making a living, minding your own business.  Then your life is threatened completely at random.  All of this after being victim to a recent hacking.  Obviously, you can imagine the kind of fear this caused for her, or anyone going through this situation.

When your account gets hacked, you have no idea who did it or why or what information the hacker wanted.  So imagine having this going through you mind, then all of a sudden you become victim to threats and extremely profane insults from strangers, completely at random.  This, I can only imagine, must have been extremely traumatizing for Katherine and the other victims of this bogus myth.  I reached out to Katherine, through a mutual friend we have on facebook in hopes of informing her of why she is possibly being harassed.  Unfortunately, my guess was correct – Katherine was recieving a barrage of threatening and demeaning messages from people, and she had absolutely no idea why.

The bogus myth comes from two seperate internet sources.  I reached out to the creator of the original video, posted by Youtube user “Daboo 7” to try to get a technical explanation for his findings.  An actual technical explanation of how the search tool works was not given in the video demonstration.  The man in the video just simply calls it “a way to find out who is spying on you” with no factual evidence or explanation.

After reaching out to “daboo 7” via multiple emails, he has not responded.

I reached out to the creator of the second video, Mike Kintner.  Who maintains a Facebook Page in which claims it’s “a source of information”, “based on the FACTUAL findings I have & others aquired through RELIABLE sources”.   His video, posted on facebook, repeats the same claims made in the original video posted by “Daboo 7”.  I asked Mike if he had any technical information to back up his claims.

“No.” he said.

He told me he posted his video after watching the original, posted by “daboo 7”.

So, a random person on the internet without any technical knowledge or evidence whatsoever, just used fear and paranoia to convince hundreds of people to commit cyber-bullying and utter death threats to completely innocent, ordinary people – just like yourselves – based on a completely false claim.  And they fell for it!  Some of them even started posting victims’ information as what looks like some kind of “warning” for their other facebook friends, further spreading this ridiculous myth:

kat-scholz-screenshot

Imagine if you were Katherine, or any of the other victims of this harassment.  Imagine if it was your spouse, or your child.  All because it feeds into some kind of paranoid addiction people seem to have for mysteries.

The people who made these videos boast about being “factual” and having “reliable sources” when in fact, that is totally incorrect in this particular case.  It’s also damaging to independent news sources who maintain integrity when it comes to factual information, during a time when many independent publications are fighting for legitimacy in the “fake news” era.  You are not “waking people up” if you are spreading false and damaging information catering to some paranoid obsession.

Mike Kintner also told me he plans to upload another video on Facebook tonight.

mike-kintner-page

Screenshot of The New Michael Kintners Wake Up America Facebook Page

Another person who fell victim to this – not nearly as bad as others, fortunately – is Anthony Beecher.  I reached out to Anthony after Mike Kintner shared a screenshot of one of Anthony’s posts with the caption: “This guy seems to have all the answers…. but still unblockable”.  The post was debunking Mike’s myth by using actual research he did himself about this issue when he too, like myself, had a bad feeling this would harm people and had a general understanding of facebook and it’s algorithms.  That post got him a few unpleasant comments, as you can see in the screenshot below:

anthony-beecher-post

anthony-comments

anthony-beecher-comments_ink_li

Screenshot of Anthony Beecher's post and comments.

This is what Anthony had to say:

“One unexplained observation is the search algorithm, we don’t know on what basis the results are matched.  It seems like a different result set every time you search, and not all of them have the text “Facebook Security”.  It may be they just do a broad scan for those words, and who knows what all they are looking at, or why it’s not completely consistent.  Another early debunking realized that you can search for other terms and get matches, so I said, jokingly, “when I search for Free Money, does it mean that those people owe me money?” (Of course not, so why would matches on Facebook Security mean they work for Facebook Security).  And logically, they own the database, if they want to spy on you, they can do that easily without you knowing it.  They sure aren’t going to use a bunch of user accounts that say “Facebook Security” to do that!”

One thing is certain, there are people tracking your facebook accounts – And Google accounts, and other platforms.  There are data-mining companies selling your information to advertisers and filtering what we see on the internet.  One major source of this information is former NSA senior administrator Edward Snowdon, who leaked information about government surveillance programs such as PRISM.  Let’s not confuse his leaked information with catfishing, or typical internet stalking.

As Anthony said, Facebook has complete control of its database and everything in it.  They have access to everything you post.  They do not need to hire people to make a public profile calling themselves the “facebook police” and “spy” on your every post.  That’s not to mention, why do you actually think people are watching you?  Are you a nuclear scientist?  An international Spy?  Someone connected to a national crime syndicate?  Have you actually stopped for a moment and thought about how ridiculous it is that someone would be investing THOUSANDS of dollars into spying on YOU?   For absolutely no reason.

We need to be concerned with who is watching us and who has access to our information on Facebook and the rest of the internet.  Let’s not direct our energy at the wrong targets of this important debate.

Here are some videos I think are important for anyone wishing to learn about the real issues of internet privacy and who is actually watching:

CANADA: Bill 28 – Fear Mongering From The Far-Right In Ontario

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach


Canadians, particularly in Ontario may or may not have heard the recent political debate in regards to Bill 28 over the past few months.  The bill was passed on November 29th, 2016 and as of January 1st, 2017 it is in force.  The bill aims to include all types of families into the legal framework of what a family actually is.  This is especially important for same-sex parents, or surrogate parents who currently have to go through a financially-draining legal process of adoption after the child is born.  In more extreme cases, if a surrogate mother dies during birth, the co-parent of the child would have to also go through a financially-draining legal process to adopt the child.  Not only is this traumatizing for the parent, it is extremely traumatizing for the children.

  This bill will now allow up to 4 parents to register as legal parents of the child.  It is important to note that this bill clearly states that parents can still register as “mother” and “father”, OR as “birth parent” and “co-parent” upon registration after birth of the child.

  It allows parents in the LGBT community to be legal parents upon birth, and not have to legally adopt the child afterwards in court.  It aims to include LGBT parents in the legal framework of what a family is.  It is a step in the right direction for human rights in Canada and recognizes that not all families are the same.

  The far-right conservatives, however, are using propaganda and fear mongering to convince the public that this bill aims to destroy the fundamentals of what a family is by destroying the legal terms “mother” and “father”.  They claim the bill will destroy families and makes the child a “commodity” for the government.  The conservatives are aligning themselves with the views of far-right Christian groups like ARPA Canada, who do not recognize LGBT issues and believe that Mother (female) and Father (male) should be the only legal model of what defines parents.  In a nutshell, these are the same people who did not support same-sex marriage, due to religious ideologies.  They believe accepting these “radical views” will destroy families and degrade our society.

  If there is one person we can all remember in recent history when it comes to human rights, it’s Dr. Martin Luther King.  His views about Human rights were also considered “radical” by far-right Christian conservatives at a time before the Human Rights Act was passed in the United States.  These people’s falsified fears echo loud and clear where they stand on human rights issues such as gender equality.

  This bill does not undermine the rights of anyone.  In fact, it is the polar opposite.  Bill 28 actually gives more rights to members of a community still struggling for equality, while still giving male/female parents the right to be “mother” and “father”.  To not allow this bill to pass would be undermining the rights of Canadians.  And those who oppose it are echoing a message that they support the outdated belief that marriage and parenthood should only consist of a man and a woman.

  An Op-Ed published in The Hamilton Spectator, and written by an obvious far-right conservative,  actually went as low as to compare this bill to the legal equivalent of the Aboriginal Residential Schools in which aboriginal children were taken to be schooled far from home, abused, and “enfranchised” to forget their native language and culture and assimilate them into the “dominant Canadian culture”.  The Aboriginal Residential School system was funded, in part, by the Christian Church.

  By referencing the history of residential schools in this conversation, they are proving they have an immense lack of understanding and lack of respect for cultural differences within their own borders.  10 years from now, when this bill is still recognized as an essential move towards human equality in Canada, it is going to be extremely difficult for these people to explain why they were so opposed to a law that finally gives rights to all types of parents in the name of protecting their children.

  In regards to the legal adoption process mentioned above; not only will this bill eliminate that traumatizing process, it also saves a lot of taxpayer dollars currently being dumped into the courts to facilitate that process.  This bill removes that expensive process in the name of protecting the children.

  For anyone interested in hearing what Bill 28 actually stands for, I invite you to see for yourself the reading of this bill by Cheri Dinovo of the NDP party in the links provided below.  I’ve also provided a link to the Clause by Clause debate of this bill.

media references:

The Hamilton Spectator – “Bill 28 Creates New Definitions Of Parentage And Rules For Birth Registration” –
http://m.thespec.com/shopping-story/7047582-legal-matters-bill-28-creates-new-definitions-of-parentage-and-rules-for-birth-registration

The National Post – “Ontario Liberals Opposition On Same Page Over Bill Changing “Mothers” and “Fathers” To Gender Neutral Terms –
https://www.google.ca/amp/news.nationalpost.com/toronto/ontario-liberals-opposition-on-same-page-over-bill-changing-mothers-and-fathers-to-gender-neutral-terms/amp?client=ms-android-bell-ca

Hamilton Spectator – “Residential Schools Experience A Warning For Fallout Of Bill 28”http://m.thespec.com/opinion-story/6954042-residential-schools-experience-a-warning-for-fallout-of-bill-28

The Federalist – “Canadian Law Erasing Moms And Dads From State Documents Reduces Children To Chattel” –
http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/07/canadian-law-erasing-moms-dads-state-documents-reduces-children-chattel/

Toronto sun – “Wynne Government Targets “Mother” And “Father”” –
http://m.torontosun.com/2016/10/16/wynne-government-targets-mother-and-father

Ontario Government Newsroom – “Ontario Passes Law Ensuring Equal Rights For All Parents And Children”https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2016/11/ontario-passes-law-ensuring-equal-rights-for-all-parents-and-children.html

“You Either Agree With Us Or You Are Carrying Water For the Kremlin”- US Congressman

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach

“You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists” – the famous catchphrase from the Bush Administration when rallying for support to invade Iraq.

We’re seeing this draconian ideology once again in the wake of the “fake news” debate that has been waging lately.

In the video below, Congressman Adam Schiff accuses News Anchor Tucker Carlson of “carrying water for the Kremlin” for simply asking the Congressman to tell the audience whether or not the claims that Russia is responsible for the leaked Clinton and Podesta emails is based on facts or not.

In other words, by questioning their authority you are helping the enemy, in their eyes.

This intimidating rhetoric is exactly what causes so much divide in Nations.  “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”… such an immature approach to conflict-resolution, reminiscent of sports-fans rooting for their team or against the opposition.

The same was evident during the election when a video surfaced of Presidential-Elect Donald Trump disrespecting woman everywhere with his inappropriate comments to another man.  This video, and the type of attention it got in the media, spread a sickening idea that caused a LOT of divide.  The idea that if you are not with us (the dnc), then you support woman haters, and racists.  Ignoring any intelligent conversation  whatsoever, based on the same “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists” mentality.  I do not agree with Trump’s comments, nor do I support him politically.  However, intimidating others from asking questions based on your ideas is downright bullying and not in any way democratic.  It’s actually kinda fascist.

“Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win.”
General Thomas Power, US Air Force, 1960

This mentality is alive and well and needs to be abolished within our governments.   This is not an adult way of thinking.  It’s childish, foolish, dumb-founded and based on hate.  This is not how we overcome our adversaries, whoever they may be.

If we are not allowed to ask questions then my friends, we do not live an a democracy.  Stop fooling yourselves.

Anti-Propaganda Is The New Propaganda

1485594518351Written By: Adam Peach

The term “fake news” has been tossed around by many since the US election last month.  There has been a lot of debate on what is considered “fake news” and the impact it may or may not have had on the election itself.  Facebook has even suggested they will combat this “fake news” from spreading on their social media platform, hiring 3rd-party fact-checkers to desypher and filter out anything considered “fake”.

  Let’s face it, there are a lot of very far-fetched conspiracies out there, all over youtube and the rest of the Internet.  There are many paranoids out there jumping on every single opportunity to uncover some great scheme, even a recent youtuber we came across who claims he has proof that Michelle Obama is actually a man.  Yeah, that’s a thing too, apparently.

  Fake news is real.  It’s been real for a long time.  Most people, however, seem to be able to draw the line when it comes to separating a ridiculous conspiracy theory from something actually important or worth their time.  Conspiracies have been around forever and they will always be.  The trick is trying to look at everything with a neutral stance.  Like a radio frequency, when tuned to FM you will not get AM stations.  This idea seems the same for those looking for evil plots.  once your mind is focused on evil plots, one can find something evil in almost everything!  This is called paranoia.  When we seek only negativity, we find it.  Alternately, when we seek only positivity, we also find that.  Our minds work in interesting ways.

  On the other hand, Propaganda is also real and has been for a very long time.  it is used to rally people against something and gather support for a specific agenda.  we are seeing a lot of it currently from nations such as the United States, Britain and the EU.  This time it seems the strategy being used is anti-propaganda.  We’ve been hearing a lot especially since the election, where WikiLeaks has been accused numerous times for leveraging the election with it’s release of the Clinton and Podesta emails on http://www.wikileaks.org.  Other accusations suggest the Russians were wikileaks source for the emails in an attempt to ruin Clinton’s campaign.  Clinton herself suggested Russia was the source of the so-called “fake news”.   To add to the suspense, on Nov 30th,the mainstream media decided not to report on Bill HR 6393 being passed.  One section of the bill summary reads:

  “The bill establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments. It places travel restrictions on personnel and consulars of the Russian Federation in the United States.”

  This is very interesting especially after all the recent anti-russia/anti-propaganda/anti-anything-not-mainstream-media propaganda that has been circulating rampantly.  On Nov 24, an article was released by the Washington Post in which it describes an anti-propaganda group calling themselves PropOrNot providing a list of media publications currently sharing Russian propaganda.  It gave a list of about 200 websites that should be blacklisted as Russian Propaganda.

  Interestingly, another article written for The New Yorker mentioned the group only in a different context.  The author describes being contacted by the group to publish their story originally.  A link to the article is below and describes the messy methods in which PropOrNot classifies a website as “Russian Propaganda” and seems like a big steaming pile of propaganda itself – especially considering some of the well-known websites on their so-called “blacklist”.

  Another article, posted below for alternet.org written by Mark Ames describes some interesting insight into the group claiming the possibility it holds fascist  ideologies related to Nazi-Era Ukraine.  The Nazis were also propaganda experts and used it very frequently.  Propaganda is essential for fascism.

  The original Washington Post article containing the “blacklist” just stinks of smear-campaign propaganda.  Regardless of its’ Editor’s Notes claiming the list does not represent WaPo’s opinion is balonge.  If the source was questionable, why publicize it?

  It seems very fair to say that the War On Information is waging.  More and more rights and privacy being taken from people over false claims from their government.  Anything anti-government is considered “fake news”.  This is the new propaganda.

  Please read the below articles yourselves for your own insight.


The New Yorker

Author:  Adrian Chen

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-propaganda-about-russian-propaganda


Alternative. org

Author:  Mark Ames

http://www.alternet.org/media/anonymous-blacklist-promoted-washington-post-has-shocking-roots-ukrainian-fascism-eugenics-and


Washington Post

Author: Craig Timberg

http://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html

Featured photo from:

http://www.nationalww2museum.org

The People’s Tribunal On The Iraqi War Exposes More On Bush Administration Using False Intelligence To Push USA Into Combat (VIDEOS)

 

 

On Dec 1 and 2, The People’s Tribunal On The Iraqi War was held, organized by CODEPINK.

The tribunal included a series of speakers giving testimony about the lies, manipulation and false intelligence used by the Bush administration to spring the United States into war with Iraq.

Here is the testimony from a few speakers.  The 1st video below is very interesting as the speaker, John Kiriakou, is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  He has been recently released from prison where he served 23 months of a 30 month sentence for exposing the CIA’s illegal torture program.  John is also a bestselling author.

These videos are shared from TheRealNews.com website.  We do not own them or take responsibility for the making of the videos in any way.  They are also not in any particular order.

 

John Kiriakou

 

John Cavanaugh

 

Medea Benjamin

 

Philip Geraldi

 

Vijay Prashad

 

Terry K. Rockefeller

Bernie Sanders Issues Statement

Saturday, November 26, 2016BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 26 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Saturday:

During the campaign, Donald Trump made a 100 percent commitment to prevent United Technologies from shipping 2,100 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. All of us need to hold Mr. Trump accountable to make sure that he keeps this promise.

Let’s be clear: it is not good enough to save some of these jobs. We cannot rest until United Technologies signs a firm contract to keep all of these good-paying jobs in Indiana without slashing the salaries or benefits workers have earned.

United Technologies is not going broke. Last year, it made a profit of $7.6 billion and received over $6 billion in defense contracts. It has also received more than $50 million in corporate welfare from the Export-Import Bank and very generous tax breaks.

In 2014, United Technologies gave its former CEO Louis Chenevert a golden parachute worth over $172 million. Last year, the company’s five highest paid executives made over $50 million. The firm also spent $12 billion to inflate its stock price instead of using that money to invest in new plants and workers.

I call on Mr. Trump to make it clear to the CEO of United Technologies that if his firm wants to receive another defense contract from the taxpayers of this country, it must not move these plants to Mexico.

We need to send a very loud and very clear message to corporate America: the era of outsourcing is over. Instead of offshoring jobs, the time has come for you to start bringing good-paying jobs back to the United States of America.

If United Technologies or any other company wants to keep outsourcing decent-paying American jobs, those companies must pay an outsourcing tax equal to the amount of money it expects to save by moving factories to Mexico or other low-wage countries. They must pay back all of the tax breaks and other corporate welfare they have received from the federal government. And they must not be allowed to reward their executives with stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes for outsourcing jobs to low wage countries.

I will soon be introducing legislation to make sure that Donald Trump keeps his promise to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs. For the sake of American workers, this is a promise that cannot and must not be broken.”
Summary of the Outsourcing Prevention Act

In February, Carrier and UTEC announced that it would be closing two plants in Indianapolis and Huntington, Indiana shipping 2,100 jobs to Monterrey, Mexico, where workers are paid just $3 an hour. Both of these plants are owned by United Technologies. This legislation will provide a comprehensive solution to address this problem. United Technologies is not an outlier; it is representative of how so many multi-national corporations are taking advantage of our rigged economic system to pad their profits while hurting American workers. President-elect Trump made a promise during the campaign that he would prevent all of these jobs from being shipped overseas. The Outsourcing Prevention Act would make sure that Donald Trump keeps this promise by:

1. Preventing companies that outsource jobs from receiving federal contracts, tax breaks, grants or loans.

Last year, United Technologies received over $6 billion in federal contracts, making it the seventh largest recipient of federal contract funds. Over the past 15 years, this Fortune 500 company has used loopholes in the tax code to shelter more than two-thirds of its $38 billion in profits from federal taxation. It has also received over $50 million in corporate welfare from the Export-Import Bank. Under this legislation, companies would be barred from receiving future contracts, tax breaks, grants or loans from the federal government if they have announced plans to outsource more than 50 jobs overseas.

2. Clawing back federal benefits from companies that outsource jobs have received over the last decade.

This legislation would require all companies that outsource more than 50 jobs in a given year to pay back all federal tax breaks, grants and loans they have received from the federal government over the last decade.

3. Establishing an outsourcing tax on companies that move U.S. jobs offshore.

This legislation would impose a tax on all companies that outsource jobs. The tax would be equal to the amount of savings achieved by outsourcing jobs or 35 percent of its profits, whichever is higher. United Technologies estimated that it would save $65 million a year by moving its jobs in Indiana to Mexico. Under this legislation, the company would be required to pay a tax of no less than $65 million a year.

4. Prohibiting executives from profiting off of the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

This legislation would prohibit companies that offshore jobs from enriching executives through golden parachutes, stock options, bonuses, or other forms of compensation by imposing stiff tax penalties on this compensation. In addition, companies that outsource jobs overseas would be prevented from buying back its own stock. In 2014, United Technologies gave its former CEO a golden parachute worth over $172 million. Last year, the company’s five highest paid executives made over $50 million. The firm also spent $12 billion to inflate its stock price instead of using that money to invest in new plants and workers.”