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Over the course of the last week, a massive coordinated campaign to get Joe Rogan removed from Spotify began as a result of him hosting vaccine skeptical experts such as Dr. Robert Malone.  The campaign, which was supported by politicians as well as many prominent artists such as Neil Young, who removed his music from Spotify in a failed attempt to pressure them in to removing Rogan, took off on social media extremely quickly.  Yesterday, Spotify buckled to pressure from the activists and took 113 episodes of his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, off of their platform.  Reports claim that Rogan was pressured to remove the episodes after a viral video surfaced of him saying the N word on the podcast.  The highly edited video was created by a far left Super PAC.

Today, anti-censorship video platform Rumble made Joe Rogan an offer to exclusively host his content.  The platform offered him $100 Million, the same amount that Spotify offered Rogan to host his podcast.  They also promised to host his content free of censorship.

Rumble’s viewership over the last year has exploded as people seek a pro free speech alternative to YouTube and Spotify, who continue to impose harsher censorship measures in response to pressure from left wing activists, the media and politicians.  The platform claims that its active monthly users multiplied by 30 over the last year, from 1.6 million monthly active users in 2020 to 36 million in 2021.  Rumble is currently valued at roughly $2.1 Billion.

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Free Speech

Censored in America

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The mob wants Joe Rogan banned. Spotify removed 116 of his episodes.

But they refuse to totally ban Rogan, even as the White House demands that they do “more.”

When it comes to speech, where’s the line?

I say, let even the most controversial be heard

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Coronavirus

ARTICLE: Aspirin can lower risk of Co-V Nine Teen

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Over-the-counter aspirin could protect the lungs of Co v idd patients and minimize the need for mechanical ventilation, according to new research from George Washington University.

The team investigated more than 400 patients from hospitals across the United States who take aspirin unrelated to their CO V IDD disease, and found that the treatment reduced the risk of several parameters by almost half: reaching mechanical ventilation by 44%, ICU admissions by 43%, and overall in-hospital mortality by 47%.

“As we learned about the connection between blood clots and CO V IDD, we knew that aspirin – used to prevent stroke and heart attack – could be important for patients,” said Dr. Jonathan Chow of the study team. “Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity and death.”

Low-dose aspirin is a common treatment for anyone suffering from blood clotting issues or in danger of stroke, including most people who had a heart attack or a myocardial infarction. Although affecting the respiratory system, the coronavirus has been associated with small blood vessel clotting, causing tiny blockages in the pulmonary blood system, leading to ARDS – acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Israeli researchers reached similar results in a preliminary trial at the Barzilai Medical Center in March. In addition to its effect on blood clots, they found that aspirin carried immunological benefits and that the group taking it was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus in the first place.

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Accountability

Government Secretly Orders Google To ID Anyone Who Searched A Sexual Assault Victim

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In 2019, federal investigators in Wisconsin were hunting men they believed had participated in the trafficking and sexual abuse of a minor. She had gone missing that year but had emerged claiming to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted, according to a search warrant reviewed by Forbes. In an attempt to chase down the perpetrators, investigators turned to Google, asking the tech giant to provide information on anyone who had searched for the victim’s name, two spellings of her mother’s name and her address over 16 days across the year. After being asked to provide all relevant Google accounts and IP addresses of those who made the searches, Google responded with data in mid-2020, though the court documents do not reveal how many users had their data sent to the government.

It’s a rare example of a so-called keyword warrant and, with the number of search terms included, the broadest on record. (See the update below for other, potentially even broader warrants.) Before this latest case, only two keyword warrants had been made public. One revealed in 2020 asked for anyone who had searched for the address of an arson victim who was a witness in the government’s racketeering case against singer R Kelly. Another, detailed in 2017, revealed that a Minnesota judge signed off on a warrant asking Google to provide information on anyone who searched a fraud victim’s name from within the city of Edina, where the crime took place.

While Google deals with thousands of such orders every year, the keyword warrant is one of the more contentious. In many cases, the government will already have a specific Google account that they want information on and have proof it’s linked to a crime. But search term orders are effectively fishing expeditions, hoping to ensnare possible suspects whose identities the government does not know. It’s not dissimilar to so-called geofence warrants, where investigators ask Google to provide information on anyone within the location of a crime scene at a given time.

“As with all law enforcement requests, we have a rigorous process that is designed to protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement,” a Google spokesperson said.

The latest case shows Google is continuing to comply with such controversial requests, despite concerns over their legality and the potential to implicate innocent people who happened to search for the relevant terms. From the government’s perspective in Wisconsin, the scope of the warrant should have been limited enough to avoid the latter: the number of people searching for the specific names, address and phone number in the given time frame was likely to be low. But privacy experts are concerned about the precedent set by such warrants and the potential for any such order to be a breach of Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches. There are also concerns about First Amendment freedom of speech issues, given the potential to cause anxiety amongst Google users that their identities could be handed to the government because of what they searched

The Wisconsin case was supposed to have remained secret, too. The warrant only came to light because it was accidentally unsealed by the Justice Department in September. Forbes reviewed the document before it was sealed again and is neither publishing it nor providing full details of the case to protect the identities of the victim and her family. The investigation is ongoing, two years after the crimes occurred, and the DOJ didn’t comment on whether or not any charges had been filed.

Forbes was able to identify one other, previously unreported keyword warrant in the Northern District of California in December 2020, though its existence was only noted in a court docket. It also has the potential to be broad. The order, currently under seal, is titled “Application by the United States for a Search Warrant for Google Accounts Associated with Six Search Terms and Four Search Dates.”

There’s more that the government can get with such requests than simple Google account identities and IP addresses. In Wisconsin, the government was hopeful Google could also provide “CookieIDs” belonging to any users who made the searches. These CookieIDs “are identifiers that are used to group together all searches conducted from a given machine, for a certain time period. Such information allows investigators to ascertain, even when the user is not logged into a Google account, whether the same individual may have conducted multiple pertinent searches,” the government wrote.

There was another disturbing aspect to the search warrant: the government had published the kidnapping victim’s name, her Facebook profile (now no longer accessible), her phone number and address, a potential breach of a minor’s privacy. The government has now sealed the document, though was only alerted to the leak after Forbes emailed the Justice Department for comment. That mistake—of revealing the identity of minor victims of sexual abuse in court documents. As in the latest case, the FBI and DHS have been seen choosing pseudonyms and acronyms for victims, but then publishing their full Facebook profile link, which contains the name of the minor.

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