Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions; testified before Congress; has appeared on shows such as The Colbert Report and The Dr. Oz Show; and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. In 2017, he was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award.
Dr. Greger’s most recent scientific publications in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Family and Community Health, and the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health explore the public health implications of industrialized animal agriculture.
Dr. Greger is also licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition and is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He was featured on the Healthy Living Channel promoting his latest nutrition DVDs and honored to teach part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s esteemed nutrition course at Cornell University. Dr. Greger’s nutrition work can be found at NutritionFacts.org, which is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.
He is the author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching and Carbophobia: The Scary Truth Behind America’s Low Carb Craze. His latest books — How Not to Die, the How Not to Die Cookbook, and How Not to Diet — became instant New York Times Best Sellers.
Del Bigtree is one of the preeminent voices of the Vaccine Risk Awareness Movement. His career as an Emmy winning producer of the CBS talk show The Doctors changed abruptly when he produced the documentary VAXXED, which is credited with igniting a revolution against Pharmaceutical Tyranny around the world.
Now Del’s internet talk show, The HighWire, is the fastest growing program in the Natural Health arena with over 40 million views, and his non-profit, ICANdecide.org, is leading worldwide investigations into drug and vaccine fraud that have already resulted in two winning lawsuits against US Government agencies Health and Human Services and National Institute of Health.
Del is probably best known for his powerful speeches that weave shocking truth, searing wit and dynamic passion into an experience that is often described as electrifying.
WARREN BUFFETT: Hello, everyone.
EVERYONE: Mr. B.!
DAVID ALLEN JONES: What’s your secret mission about?
BUFFETT: It’s not my mission, but an idea that came from our good friend, Mr. Bill Gates.
BILL GATES: Hi, kids.
RADLEY HEMMING: The real, actual, in person Bill . . . Bill . . .
ELENA RAMIREZ: He’s trying to say that we’re big fans, Mr. Gates.
SOURCE: Secret Millionaires Club | The Gift – Bill Gates Ep 1 | Kid Genius Cartoons
It’s a strange fact that Bill Gates’ hagiographers—PR hacks employed, more often than not, by large corporations that receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—consistently depict this drab software developer as a cartoon superhero, using his “superpower” of being very rich to help “save the planet.”
JOHN BERMAN: Behind closed doors on this New York campus, a secret gathering of some of the world’s most powerful people: Gates, Buffett, Bloomberg, Winfrey. It was like . . . well, it was like the “Super Friends.”
[Super Friends cartoon introduction plays]
ANNOUNCER: In the great hall of the Justice League, there are assembled the world’s four greatest heroes.
SOURCE: Elite Billionaires Meet in Secret (video no longer online)
But these cartoon-fueled puff pieces reveal more than they know about Gates and the other mega-rich philanthropists they are attempting to idolize: they reveal that the idea of the selfless, billionaire do-gooder is a work of fiction so unbelievable it is only fit for Saturday morning cartoon fare.
As we have seen in our first two explorations of Bill Gates’ role as global health kingpin, the seemingly selfless generosity of the Gates family through their eponymous foundation has in fact greatly increased their own wealth, with Bill Gates’ personal net worth having doubled in the past decade alone.
But the takeover of public health that we have documented in How Bill Gates Monopolized Global Health and the remarkably brazen push to vaccinate everyone on the planet that we have documented in Bill Gates’ Plan to Vaccinate the World was not, at base, about money. The unimaginable wealth that Gates has accrued is now being used to purchase something much more useful: control. Control not just of the global health bodies that can coordinate a worldwide vaccination program or the governments that will mandate such an unprecedented campaign, but control over the global population itself.
This is an exploration of Bill Gates and the Population Control Grid.
You’re tuned in to The Corbett Report.
From a journalistic standpoint, Good Morning America’s inane report on the secretive billionaire meeting that took place in New York in 2009 was a failure. It listed some of the meetings’ attendees and their combined net worth:
BERMAN: Gates, Buffett, Bloomberg, Winfrey [. . .] Together with others in the meeting, including George Soros, Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, they’re worth more than $125 billion.
It turned to the senior editor of Forbes for a sound bite about what it would be like to witness such an assembly of wealth:
MATTHEW MILLER: To have been in the room and see this meeting of the minds really would have been a fascinating thing.
And it dutifully reported the participants’ own stated reason for holding the meeting. . . .
BERMAN: That much money. That much power around one table. It begs the question, what were they doing? What were they scheming? Total world domination? This group, together for six hours, was talking about charity, education, emergency relief, global health.
. . . Before wrapping up with another juvenile appeal to comic book superhero lore.
[Video onscreen of various billionaires superimposed as Superheroes, such as Batman, Superman. Etc.]
BERMAN: The new supermen and wonder woman. The superrich friends. Not fighting bad guys, but fighting for good, nonetheless. For Good Morning America, John Berman, ABC News.
Yes, from a journalistic standpoint, Berman’s report was an utter failure. There was no attempt to question the participants about the meeting, no space for any criticism of these billionaires or questions about their motives, no adversarial journalism of any kind.
But as a PR piece, it was brilliant. It leaves the viewer with a vague sense that some kind of gathering took place somewhere in New York in which rich people—who, let’s not forget, are superheroes—talked about charity.
One would have to turn to print sources to discover that the meeting was held at the personal residence of Sir Paul Nurse, then-president of Rockefeller University; that the invitation to the gathering was co-written by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and David Rockefeller; or that the aim of the meeting was “to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population.”
Given that these extraordinarily rich and powerful men—including Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, and Ted Turner—have all expressed their belief that the growing human population is the greatest threat faced by humanity, it should not be surprising that they would convene a conference to discuss how best to channel their vast wealth into the project of reducing the number of people on the planet. Particularly unsurprising is that attendees of the meeting later dubbed Bill Gates—a man for whom population control is particularly close to his heart—as the “most impressive” speaker at the event.
GATES: Here we can see a chart that looks at the total world population over the last several hundred years, and at first glance this is a bit scary. We go from less than a billion in 1800, and then 3, 4, 5, 6—and 7.4 billion, where we are today, is happening even faster. So, Melinda and I wondered whether providing new medicines and keeping children alive, would that create more of a population problem?
SOURCE: Does saving more lives lead to overpopulation?
SCOTT PELLEY: . . . and what the developing world does not need is more children.
MELINDA GATES: And I think that was the biggest “ah-ha” to Bill and me when we got into this work. Because we asked ourselves, of course, the same hard-nosed question you’d ask, which is: “If you get into this work and you start to save these children, will women just keep overpopulating the world?” And thank goodness, the converse is absolutely true.
SOURCE: Extra: Gates On Population Rates
GATES: This is a very important question to get right, because it was absolutely key for me. When our foundation first started up, it was focused on reproductive health. That was the main thing we did, because I thought, you know, population growth in poor countries is the biggest problem they face. You’ve got to help mothers, who want to limit family size, have the tools and education to do that. And I thought, that’s the only thing that really counts.
SOURCE: Bill Gates on Overpopulation and Global Poverty
In recent years, critics have pointed to Bill Gates’ own words linking vaccination programs with his goal of reducing population growth.
GATES: The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.
SOURCE: Innovating to zero! | Bill Gates
SANJAY GUPTA: Ten billion dollars over the next 10 years to make it the year of the vaccines. What does that mean, exactly?
GATES: Well, over this decade, we believe unbelievable progress can be made both inventing new vaccines and making sure they get out to all the children who need them. We could cut the number of children who die every year from about nine million to half of that, if we have success on it. And the benefits there in terms of reducing sickness, reducing the population growth, it really allows society a chance to take care of itself once you’ve made that intervention.
SOURCE: Sanjay Gupta MD February 5, 2011
But as any number of “fact-checking websites”—not to mention Bill Gates himself—are quick to point out, this doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means.
GATES: What we found out is that as health improves, families choose to have less children.
SOURCE: Does saving more lives lead to overpopulation?
MELINDA GATES: The truth is that when people’s lives improve—when children survive, for instance, or when girls go to school—people start making decisions based on the expectation that their children will live and thrive. The result is smaller families and slower population growth.
SOURCE: Does Saving Lives Mean Overpopulation?
GATES: I came across articles that showed that the key thing you can do to reduce population growth is actually improve health. And that sounds paradoxical. You think, “OK, better health means more kids, not less kids.” Well, in fact, what parents are doing is they’re trying to have two kids survive to adulthood to take care of them. And so the more disease burden that there is, the more kids they have to have to have that high probability. So there’s a perfect correlation that, as you improve health, within a half generation the population growth rate goes down.
SOURCE: Bill Gates on Overpopulation and Global Poverty
Yes, the Gates’ stated plan is to reduce population growth by improving health. But the idea of using vaccines as sterilization agents—even without the public’s knowledge or consent—is not conspiracy lore, but documentable fact.
It its 1968 annual report, the Rockefeller Foundation addressed the “Problems of Population,” lamenting that “[v]ery little work is in progress on immunological methods, such as vaccines, to reduce fertility, and much more research is required if a solution is to be found here.” The Foundation vowed to correct this problem by funding “established and beginning investigators to turn their attention to aspects of research in reproductive biology that have implications for human fertility and its control.”
This was no empty promise. By the time of its 1988 Annual Report, the Rockefeller Foundation was able to report progress on its funding into contraceptive research, including NORPLANT, a contraceptive implanted under the skin of a woman’s upper arm and effective for five years. In its 1988 report, the Rockefeller Foundation was pleased to announce that NORPLANT—which was developed by the Rockefeller-founded Population Council—was “now approved for marketing in 12 countries.”
The Rockefellers’ Population Council and other research organizations joined with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1972 to create a Task Force on Vaccines for Fertility Regulation. By 1995, they were able to report progress in “developing a prototype of an anti-hCG-vaccine,” which works by combining an immunogen formed from a synthetic peptide of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)—a hormone secreted by the surface of the early embryo to remain implanted in the womb—with a toxoid carrier molecule. The vaccine stimulates an immune reaction, causing women to develop antibodies against the hormone, thus preventing them from carrying babies to term.
But beginning in the 1990s, a series of scandals over WHO-led vaccination programs in the third world led to allegations that tetanus vaccines in places like the Philippines and Kenya were being laced with hCG in order to implement population control by stealth. The controversy generated by these stories led global institutions to step back from the campaign to champion population control by vaccine.
But, as usual, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was there to renew interest, working with the UK government to host a “London Summit on Family Planning” in 2012 at which the foundation announced their support for funding the research, development and deployment of injectable contraceptives to the developing world.
MELINDA GATES: You heard me talk earlier about Sadi, who I met in Niger. She was traveling fifteen kilometers to get an injection. But let’s ask ourselves, what if she didn’t have to travel to that clinic? If we put it in her perspective, how can we keep her in her village to get the contraceptives she wants? Well, Pfizer is testing a new form of Depo, the injection that she gets fifteen kilometers to get. They’re now putting it in a new form, a new device that can be given—it’s very, very small, it’s called Uniject. I think it’s going to be pictured here.
It’s a high-quality product. It’s effective. It’s safe. It’s tiny, as you can see. And it can be put in a healthcare worker’s kit to give to the woman at the village level. So Sadi won’t have to go fifteen kilometers any longer to get that injection.
SOURCE: Melinda Gates Keynote: London Summit on Family Planning | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
But the Gates were not content to stop there. In 2014 it was announced that Microchips Biotech, Inc., a company in Lexington, Massachusetts, had developed a new form of birth control: “a wireless implant that can be turned on and off with a remote control and that is designed to last up to 16 years.” According to MIT Technology Review, the idea originated when Bill Gates visited Robert Langer’s MIT lab in 2012 and asked him if it would be possible to create an implantable birth control device that could be turned on or off remotely. Langer referred Gates to the controlled release microchip technology he had invented and licensed to MicroCHIPS Biotechnology, and the Gates Foundation granted $20 million to the firm to develop the implants.
Reducing population growth has, by Gates’ own admission, been a core mission of the Gates Foundation since its inception. But in order to really understand what Gates means by “population control,” we have to look beyond the concept of controlling population size. At its most fundamental level, the “population control” that Gates speaks of is not birth control, but control of the population itself.
In order to understand the broader population control agenda and how it ties in to the Gates Foundation’s plans, we have to look at a puzzling development that took place in 2017. In that year, Gavi—the Gates founded and funded alliance that partners the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and the World Bank with vaccine manufacturers to help ensure “healthy markets” for vaccines—took a strange pivot away from its core mission of vaccinating every child on the planet to providing every child with a digital biometric identity.
The idea was first floated by Gavi CEO Seth Berkley in a Nature article that year, “Immunization needs a technology boost,” where he states that the goal of 100% immunization will not be reached without “secure digital identification systems that can store a child’s medical history.” He then gives a specific example:
“We are working with a company in India called Khushi Baby, which creates off-grid digital health records. A necklace worn by infants contains a unique identification number on a short-range communication chip. Community health workers can scan the chip using a mobile phone, enabling them to update a child’s digital record even in remote areas with little phone coverage.”
This sudden interest in digital identity was no mere passing fancy for the vaccine alliance. Gavi doubled down by becoming a founding member of the ID2020 Alliance, a public-private partnership dedicated to spearheading a global digital biometric identity standard. Other founding members of the alliance include Gates’ first company, Microsoft, and The Rockefeller Foundation.
In 2018, Gavi issued a call for innovation in digital technologies “for finding, identifying and registering the most vulnerable children.” The call specifically requested technologies for capturing, storing and enrolling the biometric details of infants on “rugged biometric devices.”
Berkley continued to follow up on this idea in public engagements as one of the new core missions of Gavi.
SETH BERKLEY: What’s interesting is that people tend to think of, you know, birth certificates as kind of a major document. But, you know, the most common—as I mentioned before—is not a birth certificate, is not a death certificate, is not a marriage certificate. The most common connection—vital registration for the population—is actually a child health card, because we reach more than 90 percent of children with at least one dose of vaccine as part of a routine, so they’re in the system. The challenge is that contact is not connected into the system. So, if you could connect it, then you have the ability to give them their basic identity papers. You have the ability, then, later on, if they want to own land or they want to have their rights, you’re able to help them with that. But, you know, we’re not currently taking advantage of that. And so the children get seen, they get enrolled in the health centers, but that information is not used for anything else.
SOURCE: Mid-term review 2018 – Michael Froman and Seth Berkley
Although vaccines and identity may seem unrelated, Bill Gates has spent the last few years funding research that can bring the two ideas together.
Late last year, Gates once again turned to Robert Langer and his MIT colleagues to investigate new ways to permanently store and record the vaccination information of each individual. The result of their research was a new vaccine delivery method. They found that by using “dissolvable microneedles that deliver patterns of near-infrared light-emitting microparticles to the skin,” they could create “particle patterns” in the skin of vaccine recipients which are “invisible to the eye but can be imaged using modified smartphones.”
Rice University describes the quantum dot tags left behind by the microneedles as “something like a bar-code tattoo.”
So who was behind this development? As lead researcher Kevin McHugh explains:
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation came to us and said, ‘Hey, we have a real problem—knowing who’s vaccinated [. . .] So our idea was to put the record on the person. This way, later on, people can scan over the area to see what vaccines have been administered and give only the ones still needed.”
The microparticles that form the fluorescent quantum-dot tags are delivered along with the vaccine, but they cannot be delivered by a traditional syringe. Instead, they must be delivered by a patch of microneedles made from a mixture of dissolvable sugar and a polymer, called PVA, as well as the quantum-dot dye and the vaccine.
It should be no surprise, then, that Big Pharma vaccine manufacturers—in their scramble to produce the coronavirus vaccine that, Gates assures us, is necessary to “go back to normal”—have turned to a novel vaccine delivery method: a dissolvable microneedle array patch.
NICK HARPER: The University of Pittsburgh is where the polio vaccine was first discovered. At the medical center, researchers are now developing a vaccine that is delivered using a dissolvable patch called a microneedle array.
LOUIS FALO: Think about them as almost like a band-aid. And so the microneedle array is simply applied to the skin topically, pressed into place very shortly, and then taken off and thrown away and then the antigen is already delivered.
SOURCE: Pharmaceutical companies scramble to produce coronavirus vaccine
As is becoming evident, this new vaccine-delivered bar- code-like tattoo is about much more than simply ensuring that children get all their Gavi-recommended immunizations.
On a recent “Ask Me Anything” thread on reddit, when asked “What changes are we going to have to make to how businesses operate to maintain our economy while providing social distancing?” Bill Gates answered: “Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.”
In his answer, Gates fails to mention that he has himself been instrumental in kickstarting and funding the research into the very type of digital certificates for vaccination that he is speaking about, or that these “digital certificates”—likely, at first, to be a digital marker linked to a biometric ID—could very well one day take the form of vaccine-implanted quantum-dot tattoos.
But, as in so many other aspects of the unfolding crisis, Gates’ unscientific pronouncement that we will need digital certificates to prove our immunity in the “new normal” of the post-coronavirus world . . .
GATES: Eventually, what we’ll have to have is certificates of who is a recovered person, who is a vaccinated person.
SOURCE: How we must respond to the coronavirus pandemic | Bill Gates
. . .is now being implemented by a number of governments. It is now being reported that Onfido, a tech startup specializing in AI-based biometric ID verification, is in talks with the British government to provide the type of “digital certification” Gates mentioned, dubbed an “immunity passport.” The proposed system would require would-be workers to use the Onfido-provided app to scan their face or other biometric data, link that information to a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test (or, eventually proof of coronavirus vaccination), and then have their picture taken and immunity verified every time they wish to access a restricted space or work environment.
Last month, Onfido announced that it had raised $50 million in a round of investments led by Bill Gates’ old company, Microsoft.
But this is not Gates’ first experience with the field of biometric identity.
A decade ago, the government of India began what has been called “The Largest Social Experiment on Earth“: enrolling over one billion people in the largest biometric identification database ever constructed. The project—involving iris scanning and fingerprinting the entirety of the Indian population, recording their biometric details in a centralized database, and issuing them a 12-digit identity number that could be used to prove residence and access government services, all within the span of a few years—presented an incredible societal, legal and technological challenge.
It’s no surprise, then, that the person who was brought in as the chief architect of the Aadhaar project when it was launched—Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Indian multi-national Infosys—is also a long-time friend of Bill Gates and a partner with Bill and Melinda Gates on a “philanthropic” venture called Co-Impact, which supports “initiatives to address major social challenges at scale.”
Nilekani’s involvement in Aadhaar has even made him one of Gates’s “heroes,” featured in slick video promotions produced by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
GATES: My friend, Nandan Nilekani, is one of India’s best-known entrepreneurs. He led the creation of the world’s largest biometric ID system. Now he’s working to promote his platform to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.
NANDAR NILEKANI: There are more than a billion people around the world who don’t have any kind of ID. You can’t do anything in life without an ID because people are mobile, they are migrant. And wherever they go, whether they want a job, or whether they want to board a train, or whether they want to get a bank account or get a mobile connection, if the person has no way of proving who they are, then they just won’t get access to those services. So the challenge we had was, how do we give a billion people, many of whom don’t have birth certificates, how do we give them an ID?
Aadhaar is the world’s largest digital ID system, and entirely based using biometrics to ensure uniqueness. Our enrollment was very simple: name, address, date of birth, sex, email ID and phone number if you wish, and the biometrics. The ten fingerprints of both the hands, the iris of both the eyes, and a photograph. And in a few days, he will get his Aadhaar number in the mail. And that’s how a billion people got their IDs.
SOURCE: Bill Gates’s Heroes in the Field: Nandan Nilekani
And Gates has personally praised the Aadhar scheme as “a huge asset for India.”
GATES: Well, Aadhaar is a huge asset for India. It was designed very well. The fact that you can make digital payments so easily, you can open a bank account . . . India’s a leader in that. Our Foundation, you know, worked with the Reserve Bank. You know, Nandar Nilekani and a group of people that he pulled together did a great job.
SOURCE: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates speaks on Aadhar card digitisation | Exclusive
But Gates is not merely an arms-length admirer of the Aadhaar experiment. He is not only personally connected to its chief architect. He is also connected to one of the key companies that spearheaded the technology that underlies the project’s biometric database.
The company that provides the iris recognition technology at the core of the Aadhaar system, Idemia, also provides facial recognition systems for the Chinese government and is currently developing digital drivers licenses for use in the United States. Idemia even created the Khushi Baby identification necklaces with embedded microchips that Gavi CEO Seth Berkley touted in his Nature article. Unsurprisingly, the company receives support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through its involvement in the GSMA Inclusive Tech Lab.
And now, Gates is funding a scheme to retool Aadhaar for a global rollout.
In 2014, the World Bank created a multi-sector working group to launch the “Identification for Development Initative,” or ID4D, which aims to “support progress toward identification systems using 21st century solutions.” The World Bank cites goal 16.9 of the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals—vowing to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration” in the next 10 years—as the basis for its initiative.
But ID4D was little more than a pipe dream until 2016, when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided “catalytic contributions” to launch the ID4D Multi-Donor Trust Fund, which enticed the UK, French and Australian governments, along with the Omidyar Network, into a partnership aiming to “shape global approaches and a shared vision on identification.”
Unsurprisingly, this World Bank ID4D initiative includes Nandar Nilekani—Gates’ partner and the chief architect of Aadhaar—on its advisory council and Gates has said that he is funding the World Bank “to take this Aadhaar approach to other countries.”
This headlong rush to capture the biometric details and assign digital identification to every person on earth is sold to the public under the guise of “financial inclusion.” The poorest people on the planet have trouble accessing financial services and receiving government aid because they don’t have official government identification papers. In this formulation, being issued a government ID—having one’s biometric details registered, tracked and databased by the government—is a “human right” that must be “secured.”
It should be no surprise by this point that this “human right” also has direct benefits for big business and for the entities that are looking to exert greater control over the human population.
Gates provided insight into the real purpose of this identification control grid in a speech at the Financial Inclusion Forum hosted by the US Treasury in 2015.
GATES: Every country really needs to look through these KYC—know your customer—rules to make sure that customers are able to prove who they are. But of course in many countries you don’t have any type of ID system. And the lack of an ID system is a problem, not just for the payment system, but also for voting and health and education and taxation. And so it’s a wonderful thing to go in and create a broad identification system.
Again, India is a very interesting example of this, where the Aadhaar system, which is a 12-digit identifier that’s correlated to biometric measures, is becoming pervasive throughout the country and will be the foundation for how we bring this low-cost switch to every mobile phone user in India. The same type of thing is happening now in in Pakistan and there’s early beginnings of creating these ID programs in Africa as well.
We expect to be able to use the IDs so that when you show up for any government service—say, you walk into a primary health clinic—we’ll be able to take that bio ID very quickly and bring up your electronic health record. Even if you’ve moved from one part of the country to the other, you will be well tracked and well served without nearly as much paperwork or waiting. And so the ID system is foundational.
SOURCE: Bill Gates at the Financial Inclusion Forum, December 1, 2015
The ID control grid is an essential part of the digitization of the economy. And although this is being sold as an opportunity for “financial inclusion” of the world’s poorest in the banking system provided by the likes of Gates and his banking and business associates, it is in fact a system for financial exclusion. Exclusion of any person or transaction that does not have the approval of the government or the payment providers.
GATES: Once financial flows go underground—where you have lots of legitimate transactions mixed in with the ones you want to track—and once they’re going over a digital system that the US has no connection to, it’s far more difficult to find the transactions that you want to be aware of or that you want to block.
SOURCE: Bill Gates at the Financial Inclusion Forum, December 1, 2015
And, once again, this is no mere theoretical talk from Gates. He has been intimately involved in this process of switching the world over to a digital payment grid tied to biometric identity.
In 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped found the “Better Than Cash Alliance,” which brings together governments, international organizations and the private sector “to accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments globally.”
And, when the Indian government made a bold move to demonetize large amounts of its circulating currency in order to draw off-the-books funds back under the purview of the Indian tax office, there was Gates to praise the move as an important step toward the creation of a brave new digital economy, tied, of course, to the Aadhaar ID grid.
GATES: The bold move to demonetize high value denominations and replace them with new notes with higher security features is an important step to move away from a shadow economy to an even more transparent economy. And digital transactions really I think will rise dramatically here. In fact, I think in the next several years India will become the most digitized economy. Not just by size but by percentage as well. All of the pieces are now coming together.
One piece of this that we enjoyed consulting with the government on, making sure it comes together in the right way, is the pending roll out of payment banks. This for the first time really will mean that you have full currency capability on those digital phones. Once you have that digital infrastructure, the whole way you think about government benefits can be done differently. [. . .] Over time, all of these transactions will create a footprint and so when you go in for credit the ability to access the history that you’ve paid your utility bills on time, that you’ve saved up money for your children’s education, all of those things in your digital trail, accessed in an appropriate way will allow the credit market to properly score the risk and therefore loosen up more money for investments, not only in the agricultural sector but for all the entrepreneurs in the country.
SOURCE: PM at Niti Ayog’s Lecture Series: Microsoft Founder Bill Gates adressing India’s top policy makers
The different parts of this population control grid fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The vaccination drive ties into the biometric identity drive which ties into the cashless society drive.
In Gates’ vision, everyone will receive the government-mandated vaccinations, and everyone will have their biometric details recorded in nationally administered, globally integrated digital IDs. These digital identities will be tied to all of our actions and transactions, and, if and when they are deemed illegal, they will simply be shut off by the government—or even the payment providers themselves.
The Indian experiment in pioneering this biometric digital economy—an experiment with which Gates has been so intimately involved—also provides a perfect example of just how such a system will be abused.
In January 2018, a report in The Tribune revealed that all of the details, including the name, address, postal code, photo, phone number and email, of all billion-plus Aadhaar-registered Indians, was available for purchase on WhatsApp for 500 rupees, or about USD$7. The Unique Identification Authority of India that administers the Aadhaar scheme was then forced to admit that approximately 210 websites, including websites of the central government and state government departments, were displaying the list of government beneficiaries, along with their name, address, other details and Aadhaar numbers.
Even more worryingly, newly obtained documents show that the Indian government is integrating Aadhaar-collected data to create a “360-degree database” that will “automatically track when a citizen moves between cities, changes jobs, or buys new property” and integrate that data into a real-time geo-spatial database built by the country’s space agency, ISRO.
Only the most willfully obtuse could claim to be unable to see the nightmarish implications for this type of all-seeing, all-pervasive society, where every transaction and every movement of every citizen is monitored, analyzed, and databased in real-time by the government. And Bill Gates is one of those willfully obtuse people.
SHEREEN BAHN: A current debate that’s on in India and globally as well [is] around data. Now, you’ve been an advocate of Aadhaar, you’ve supported it, you’ve defended it. And I think that the questions arise not on on whether it’s a good idea or not, but whether it should be made mandatory for every citizen for every service possible. Because it was envisaged as people accessing government subsidy, using the Aadhaar card to avoid duplication and leakages. The question, then, is that India today is still grappling with putting in place a privacy framework, a privacy regulation, a data protection regulation. In that context, then, does it make sense, even though the matter is in court today, to link Aadhaar to every possible service?
GATES: Well, Aadhar is just something that avoids you pretending to be somebody else. That, you know, you can have, you know, fake people on the government payroll. Aadhaar, you know, prevents you being on that payroll as as a ghost worker. It prevents you from collecting things that you shouldn’t collect or accessing a health record you shouldn’t have access to.
So the basic Aadhaar mechanism is an identity mechanism. And so it’s too bad if somebody thinks that because Aadhaar is there that in and of itself creates a privacy problem.
SOURCE: Future Ready with Bill Gates (Exclusive Interview) | Bill Gates & Melinda Gates: The Philanthropists
Gates’ response is, of course, disingenuous. The very purpose of a globally integrated ID grid and cashless payment architecture is to remove privacy from our lives.
It should be no surprise, then, that this man who is not concerned about the privacy implications of a global, real-time electronic ID and digital payments grid, is also a prime investor in EarthNow LLC, a company promising to “deploy a large constellation of advanced imaging satellites that will deliver real-time, continuous video of almost anywhere on Earth.”
No, this Gates-driven agenda is not about money. It is about control. Control over every aspect of our daily lives, from where we go, to who we meet, to what we buy and what we do.
The irony is that this billionaire “philanthropist,” so often depicted as a cartoon superhero for his dazzling generosity, actually resembles nothing so much as a comic book supervillain, right down to the use of his vast wealth to sponsor Harvard University research into dimming the sun by spraying particles into the stratosphere.
But once again, we are driven back to the question. Who is this person? What ideology is driving this quest for control? And what is the end goal of this quest?
Who is Bill Gates?
The presence of former military and intelligence officials in newsrooms was once thought controversial. In 2008, the New York Times wrote an investigative analysis outlining the George W. Bush administration’s use of military analysts to shape terrorism coverage.
Internal Pentagon documents referred to them as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”
The largest contingent of analysts were affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the investigation found.
RT International. (2018). ‘News directly from the CIA’: Ex-director Brennan hired by NBC. [online] Available at: https://www.rt.com/usa/417937-cia-john-brennan-nbc/ [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, January 19, 2018 said he signed into law a bill renewing the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program. “Just signed 702 Bill to reauthorize foreign intelligence collection,” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to legislation passed by the U.S. Congress that extends Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
The law is renewed for six years and with minimal changes the National Security Agency (NSA) program, which gathers information from foreigners overseas and also collects an unknown amount of communications belonging to Americans.
Without Trump’s signature, Section 702 had been set to expire on Friday, though intelligence officials had said the surveillance program could continue to operate until April.
Under the law, the NSA is allowed to eavesdrop on vast amounts of digital communications from foreigners living outside the United States via U.S. companies like Facebook, Verizon, and Google.
But the program also incidentally scoops up Americans’ communications, including when they communicate with a foreign target living overseas, and can search those messages without a warrant.
The White House, U.S. intelligence agencies and congressional Republican leaders have said the program is indispensable to national security, vital to protecting U.S. allies and needs little or no revision.
Privacy advocates say it allows the NSA and other intelligence agencies to grab data belonging to Americans in a way that represents an affront to the U.S. Constitution.
Volz, D. (2018). Trump signs bill renewing NSA's internet surveillance program. [online] Reuters. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-cyber-surveillance/trump-signs-bill-renewing-nsas-internet-surveillance-program-idUSKBN1F82MK?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews [Accessed 23, Jan. 2018].
When WWII ended and the American deep state welded the national security establishment into place with the National Security Act, the world entered into a new era: the era of the military-industrial complex. But when the Cold War ended and the “Clash of Civilizations” became the new existential threat, the deep state found an opening for another paradigm shift. As the all-pervasive threat of terrorism became the carte blanche for total surveillance, the powers-that-shouldn’t-be found the organizing principal of our age would not be military hardware, but data itself. Welcome to the age of the information-industrial complex.
This is The Corbett Report.
Of all the things that President Dwight D. Eisenhower did during his years in office, it is for a single phrase from his farewell address that he is best remembered today: “the military-industrial complex.”
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
It is not difficult to see why these words passed so quickly into the political lexicon. Think of their explanatory power.
Why did the US use inflated estimates of Russian missile capabilities to justify stockpiling a nuclear arsenal that was more than sufficient to destroy the planet several times over?
The military-industrial complex.
Why did America send 50,000 of its own to fight and die in the jungles of Vietnam, killing untold millions of Vietnamese (not to mention Cambodians)?
The military-industrial complex.
Why did the US use the public’s fear and anger over 9/11 and a phony panic over non-existent weapons of mass destruction to justify the illegal invasion and trillion dollar occupation of Iraq?
The military-industrial complex.
Why did Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama expand the fictitious “war on terror” into Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia, refuse to close Guantanamo despite his earlier promises to the contrary, commit US forces to “kinetic military action” in Libya without so much as seeking Congressional approval, and launch a new era of covert drone warfare?
The military-industrial complex.
Why has Trump not only continued but further expanded the US military presence in Africa, increased US aid to Israel and Saudi Arabia, actively enabled the war crimes in Yemen that have led to the largest cholera outbreak in human history, and killed more civilians in his first 9 months in office than former drone-king Obama killed in his entire 8 year presidency?
The military-industrial complex.
When you think about it, it’s rather remarkable that such a phrase was ever uttered by a President of the United States, much less a former five-star general. Could you imagine any modern-day President talking about something like the “military-industrial complex” and its attempted “acquisition of unwarranted influence” without immediately dismissing the idea as a conspiracy theory? Over the decades there has been much speculation about Eisenhower’s use of the phrase, and what precisely he was warning against. Some have argued that the phrase was prompted by Eisenhower’s discovery that the Rand Corporation was grossly misrepresenting the Soviet’s military capabilities to John F. Kennedy, who ended up using the Rand invented (and completely fictitious) “missile gap” threat as a cornerstone of his 1960 presidential election campaign.
Whatever the case, it is perhaps time to revisit Eisenhower’s most famous speech. What Eisenhower is ultimately describing is the rise of American fascism; the merger of government and corporate power. What term can better capture the nature of early 21st century American political life? Is there any longer any doubt that the military-industrial complex has reached its ultimate expression in firms like Blackwater (aka “Xe” aka “Academi”) and its military contractor brethren? Is there any other word but ‘fascism’ to describe a state of affairs when a Secretary of Defense can commission a study from a private contractor to examine whether the US military should be using more private contractors, only for that same Secretary of Defense to leave office and become president of the company that conducted the study, only to leave that company to become Vice President of the US and begin waging a war that relies heavily on no-bid contracts awarded to that same company based on the recommendation that it made in its original study? Yet this is precisely the case of Dick Cheney and Halliburton. It would be difficult to think of a more blatant example of the military-industrial complex fascism that Eisenhower was warning of.
But as it turns out, there was another warning about fascism embedded in that farewell address that has received far less attention than the ‘military-industrial complex’ formulation, perhaps because there is no catchphrase hook to describe it:
“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.”
Given that this warning came in 1961, before the age of communications satellites or personal computers or the internet, it was a remarkably prescient observation. If scientific research half a century ago was dominated by federal grants and expensive computer equipment, how much more true is that for us today, half a century later?
So what is the problem with this? As Ike explained:
“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Here again the warning is of fascism. But instead of the military-industrial fascism that dominated so much of the 20th century, he was describing here a new fascistic paradigm that was but barely visible at the time that he gave his address: a scientific-technological one. Once again, the threat is that the industry that grows up around this government-sponsored activity will, just like the military-industrial complex, begin to take over and shape the actions of that same government. In this case, the warning is not one of bombs and bullets but bits and bytes, not tanks and fighter jets but hard drives and routers. Today we know this new fascism by its innocuous sounding title “Big Data,” but in keeping with the spirit of Eisenhower’s remarks, perhaps it would be more fitting to call it the “information-industrial complex.”
The concept of an information-industrial complex holds equally explanatory power for our current day and age as the military-industrial complex hypothesis held in Eisenhower’s time.
Why is a company like Google going to such lengths to capture, track and database all information on the planet?
The information-industrial complex.
Why were all major telecom providers and internet service providers mandated by federal law to hardwire in back door access to American intelligence agencies for the purpose of spying on all electronic communications?
The information-industrial complex.
Why would government after government around the world target encryption as a key threat to their national security, and why would banker after banker call for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be banned even as they plan to set up their own, central bank-administered digital currencies?
The information-industrial complex.
The effects of this synthesis are more and more felt in our everyday lives. Every single day hundreds of millions of people around the world are interfacing with Microsoft software or Apple hardware or Amazon cloud services running on chips and processors supplied by Intel or other Silicon Valley stalwarts. Google has become so ubiquitous that its very name has become a verb meaning “to search for something on the internet.” The 21st century version of the American dream is encapsulated in the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a typical Harvard whizkid whose atypical rise to the status of multi-billionaire was enabled by a social networking tool by the name of “Facebook” that he developed.
But how many people know the flip side of this coin, the one that demonstrates the pervasive government influence in shaping and directing these companies’ rise to success, and the companies’ efforts to aid the government in collecting data on its own citizens? How many know, for instance, that Google has a publicly acknowledged relationship with the NSA? Or that a federal judge has ruled that the public does not have the right to know the details of that relationship? Or that Google Earth was originally the brainchild of Keyhole Inc., a company that was set up by the CIA’s own venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel, using satellite data harvested from government “Keyhole” class reconnaissance satellites? Or that the former CEO of In-Q-Tel, Gilman Louie, sat on the board of the National Venture Capital Association with Jim Breyer, head of Accel Partners, who provided 12 million dollars of seed money for Facebook? Or that in 1999, a back door for NSA access was discovered in Microsoft’s Windows operating system source code? Or that Apple founder Steve Jobs was granted security clearance by the Department of Defense for still-undisclosed reasons while heading Pixar in 1988, as was the former head of AT&T and numerous others in the tech industry?
The connections between the IT world and the government’s military and intelligence apparatus run deep. In fact, the development of the IT industry is intimately intertwined with the US Air Force, the Department of Defense and its various branches (including, famously, DARPA), and, of course, the CIA. A cursory glance at the history of the rise of companies like Mitre Corporation, Oracle, and other household electronics and software firms should suffice to expose the extent of these relations, and the existence of what we might dub an “information-industrial complex.”
But what does this mean? What are the ramifications of such a relationship?
Although the signs have been there for decades, perhaps the most startling example of what lies at the heart of this relationship has been revealed by the whistleblowers at the heart of the National Security Agency, one of the most secretive arms of the American intelligence apparatus. While Edward Snowden has received the most attention with his “revelation” of the PRISM program, much of the information about the NSA’s ability to surveil all electronic communications has been revealed over the past decade by NSA whistleblowers like Russ Tice, William Binney, Thomas Drake and J. Kirk Wiebe, third-party contractors like Snowden and AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein, and independent journalists like James Bamford. Together, the story they tell is of a truly Orwellian society in which all communications are being captured and analyzed by the NSA, and, with the advent of facilities like the new data center in Utah, presumably stored indefinitely for use at any future time in any future investigation for any pretense by anyone with authorization to access that data. According to Snowden, this includes lowly third-party contractors like himself operating at NSA subcontractors like Booz Allen Hamilton in the vast (and expanding) private intelligence industry that has grown up around the information-industrial complex in the exact same way as private military contractors like Blackwater formed around the military-industrial complex.
In some ways, this information-industrial complex is even more insidious than its military-industrial counterpart. For all of the ills caused by the military-industrial complex (and there are many), at the very least it required some sort of excuse to drain the American people’s resources, and its failures (like the Vietnam quagmire or the debacle in Iraq) happened in the clear light of day. In the information-industrial complex, where vast spying programs happen in the shadows and under the cover of “national security” it takes whistleblowers and insiders willing to risk it all even to find out what is being done by these shadowy agencies and their private sector contractors. Even worse, the entire Orwellian spy grid is being run on the flimsiest of pretenses (the “war on terror”) that has no defined end point, and “justifies” turning that spy grid inward, on the American people themselves.
Surely Eisenhower never envisaged the monstrosity that this information-industrial complex has become, but the foresight he saw in identifying its early stages over half a century ago is remarkable. The problem is that we are even further away from heeding the warning that he delivered in that 1961 address than we were at that time:
“It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”
If only this was the rhetoric that was shaping today’s debate on the issue, instead of the well-worn canard that we must “strike a balance” between freedom and security. Sadly, until such time that the National Security Act of 1947 is repealed and the cover of national security is lifted from the dark actors that populate this sector, the information-industrial complex is unlikely to be quashed-or even hampered-anytime soon.
Corbett, J. (2017). Episode 325 – The Information-Industrial Complex : The Corbett Report. [online] Corbettreport.com. Available at: https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-325-the-information-industrial-complex/ [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].
Although Congress designed this authority to target non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, it is clear that Section 702 surveillance programs can and do incidentally collect information about U.S. persons when U.S. persons communicate with the foreign targets of Section 702 surveillance.
The USA Liberty Act claims that it will “better protect Americans’ privacy” by requiring the government (e.g., NSA, FBI, etc.) to have “a legitimate national security purpose” before searching an individual’s database. Then when they do have that purpose established, they will be required to “obtain a court order based on probable cause to look at the content of communications, except when lives or safety are threatened, or a previous probable cause-based court order or warrant has been granted.” However, as long as it is relevant to an authorized investigation, the query may be done and an agent can immediately access metadata, such as phone numbers and time stamp information.
FISA and Section 702
Section 702 authorizes intelligence agencies to collect the content, or substance of communications, and non-content, or metadata, for broad purposes of defense and foreign affairs both directly through their own technology and also by compelling U.S. companies to produce data. One form of collection, known as “upstream,” involves capturing packets of information directly as they cross the internet backbone through service providers like AT&T and Verizon when there is a belief such packets will include communications “to” and “from”—and under old rules “about”—an intended target. “Downstream” collection is commonly referred to as “PRISM” and involves the government requesting data from retail providers like Yahoo or Gmail.
The program’s procedural protections include certification (court-approved justifications for surveillance), targeting (methods to ensure surveillance is individual-specific based on selectors), and minimization guidelines (ex ante requirements to withhold, mask, or purge information). The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) must grant annual approval of the proposed procedures.
The U.S. government has repeatedly stressed the importance of the program. Though the majority of information related to 702 is classified, Office of the Director of National Intellience (ODNI) has declassified some examples of 702 successes (Sharma, 2017).
More than 50 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, have joined together to condemn the USA Liberty Act, a bill that reauthorizes and creates additional loopholes for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the coalition noted that one of the most obvious problems with the USA Liberty Act is that it fails to address concerns with the “backdoor search loophole,” which allows the government to “conduct warrantless searches for the information of individuals who are not targets of Section 702, including U.S. citizens and residents.”
The problem is that warrantless surveillance is — regardless of the reasons given — a violation of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches. As Dr. Ron Paul explained, “There is no ‘terrorist’ exception in the Fourth Amendment. Saying a good end (capturing terrorists) justifies a bad means (mass surveillance) gives the government a blank check to violate our liberties.”
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to modify a current DHS system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection—001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records.” This system of records contains information regarding transactions involving an individual as he or she passes through the U.S. immigration process.
DHS is updating the DHS/USCIS/ICE/CBP-001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records to include the following substantive changes, related to social media:
Federal Register. (2017). Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records. [online] Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/18/2017-19365/privacy-act-of-1974-system-of-records [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
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