The Real Fight Against Fake News 

On the 80th anniversary of Orson Welles' famous radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds, here are Project Censored's Top 10 underreported stories of the year.

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Eliason reported how private contractors pioneered open-source intelligence by circulating or selling the information they gathered before the agency employing them had reviewed and classified it, therefore, "no one broke any laws." As a result, according to Eliason's second article, "People with no security clearances and radical political agendas have state-sized cyber tools at their disposal, [which they can use] for their own political agendas, private business, and personal vendettas."

Mainstream media reporting on Vault 7 sometimes noted but failed to focus on the dangerous role of private contractors, Project Censored pointed out — with the notable exception of a Washington Post op-ed in which Shorrock reviewed his previous reporting and concluded that overreliance on private intelligence contractors was "a liability built into our system that intelligence officials have long known about and done nothing to correct."

Sources

George Eliason, "The Private Contractors Using Vault 7 Tools for U.S. Gov: Testimony Shows U.S. Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild Part 1," OpEdNews, March 31, 2017.

George Eliason, "How Intel for Hire Is Making U.S. Intelligence a Threat to the World Part 2," OpEdNews, Feb. 14, 2018.

3. World's Richest 1 Percent Continue to Become Wealthier

In November 2017, Credit Suisse released its 8th Annual Global Wealth Report, which The Guardian reported on under the headline, "Richest 1% own half the world's wealth, study finds."

The wealth share of the world's richest people increased "from 42.5 percent at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1 percent in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn)," The Guardian reported, adding that "The biggest losers ... are young people who should not expect to become as rich as their parents."

Despite being more educated than their parents, "millennials are doing less well than their parents at the same age, especially in relation to income, home ownership, and other dimensions of well-being assessed in this report," said Rohner Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner. "We expect only a minority of high achievers and those in high demand sectors such as technology or finance to effectively overcome the 'millennial disadvantage.'"

The report added: "No other part of the wealth pyramid has been transformed as much since 2000 as the millionaire and ultra-high net worth individual (known as UHNWI) segments. The number of millionaires has increased by 170 percent, while the number of UHNWIs (individuals with net worth of USD 50 million or more) has risen five-fold, making them by far the fastest-growing group of wealth holders."

There were of 2.3 million new dollar millionaires this year, taking the total to 36 million. "At the other end of the spectrum, the world's 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000," The Guardian reported. "Collectively these people, who account for 70 percent of the world's working age population, account for just 2.7 percent of global wealth."

Project Censored noted: "Tremendous concentration of wealth and the extreme poverty that results from it are problems that affect everyone in the world, but wealth inequalities do not receive nearly as much attention as they should in the establishment press. The few corporate news reports that have addressed this issue — including an August 2017 Bloomberg article and a July 2016 report for CBS's MoneyWatch — focused exclusively on wealth inequality within the United States."

As Project Censored has previously reported, "corporate news consistently covers the world's billionaires while ignoring millions of humans who live in poverty."

Source

Rupert Neate, "Richest 1% Own Half the World's Wealth, Study Finds," The Guardian, Nov. 14, 2017.

4. How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cellphones and Wi-Fi Are Safe

Are cellphones and other wireless devices really as safe we've been led to believe? Don't bet on it, according to decades of buried research reviewed in a March 2018 investigation for The Nation by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie.

"The wireless industry not only made the same moral choices that the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries did, it also borrowed from the same public relations playbook those industries pioneered," Hertsgaard and Dowie reported. "Like their tobacco and fossil-fuel brethren, wireless executives have chosen not to publicize what their own scientists have said about the risks of their products. ... On the contrary, the industry — in America, Europe, and Asia — has spent untold millions of dollars in the past 25 years proclaiming that science is on its side, that the critics are quack, and that consumers have nothing to fear."

Their report coincided with several new developments bringing the issue to the fore, including a Kaiser Permanente study (published December 2017 in Scientific Reports) finding much higher risks of miscarriage, a study in the October 2017 American Journal of Epidemiology, finding increased risk for glioma (a type of brain tumor), and a disclosure by the National Frequency Agency of France that nine out of 10 cellphones exceed government radiation safety limits when tested in the way they are actually used: next to the human body.

As The Nation reported, George Carlo, a scientist hired by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association in 1993 to research cellphone safety and allay public fears, heading up the industry-financed Wireless Technology Research project, was unceremoniously fired and publicly attacked by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association in 1999, after uncovering disturbing evidence of danger.

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