EPIC Seeks Privacy Impact Assessment for Postal Service Covert Surveillance Program

FOIA privacy impact assessment surveillance

EPIC Seeks Privacy Impact Assessment for Postal Service Covert Surveillance Program

EPIC, through a Freedom of Information Act request and letter to the USPS Privacy Office, is seeking the required Privacy Impact Assessment for the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) operated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. First revealed by Yahoo News in April, the iCOP uses Clearview AI’s facial recognition system and a suite of social media monitoring tools to surveil individuals online, including protesters. EPIC also urged the USPS Privacy Office to fully comply with the E-Government Act of 2002 by proactively publishing privacy impact assessments online. EPIC leads a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance and through the Public Voice Coalition has gathered support from over 100 organizations and experts from more than 30 countries.

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5 Ways to Take Care of Your Body During Periods The Homestead Survival

How To Take Care Of Your Body During Periods?

That one week of every month can be challenging for every woman in different ways. Everyone has their coping mechanism to deal with periods and the adversity that comes with them. There are many ways to deal with it, but here are five easy ways you can take care of your body during periods.

1 Magnesium

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Magnesium helps you to reduce period cramps. It relaxes your muscles and also helps with migraines. This is a reason why women crave chocolates while menstruating. Chocolates are magnesium-rich and sugar, of course.

 Cocoa contains 40mg of magnesium in just one tablespoon. So it helps to have a batch of brownies while you are on your periods.

2 Light exercise

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It doesn’t seem very easy to even get out of bed during periods, but going out on a light walk can help you relax. Going out can energize you. It also reduces stress and can help in controlling mood swings.

You can get pain relief and relaxation after a short walk. A light, brisk walk or other similar aerobic exercises releases an endorphin hormone. This hormone deals with stress and pain and takes care of your body during menstruation.

3 Warm-up

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Some women can have estrogen dominance. It means that during menstruation, your circulation can get affected. This results in cold hands and feet. They can often get purplish. Taking warm baths or snuggling under a blanket can help to bring your blood circulation back to normal. Having tea can also do wonders.

4. Take a break

These days you can often feel exhausted. You lose all motivation to do anything. This is normal, and you should not beat yourself about that. Taking a break during this time is entirely normal. Taking a break means doing anything that relaxes you. You can read a book, watch Netflix, and take a nap.

4. Consumption of healthy fats

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

During menstruation, your body craves healthy fats. The cause of period cramps is prostaglandins. Although prostaglandins are normal, some of them can increase the body’s level of sensitivity to pain. But if you want to reduce that sensitivity, you can process highly saturated fat food. This includes nuts, eggs, salmon, avocados, and butter.

Have a look at the kitchen remedies that work for your menstrual cramp.

Why Should You Take Care of Your Body During Periods?

These are some ways that can help you take care of your body during periods. Self-care and self-love are essential, especially when your body is going through menstruation. During menstruation, the body suffers severe changes that result in mood swings, cravings, seeking attention, and cramps. Hence, it is mandatory to pay full attention to our body to comfort and relax it. 


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The Allure of the PNW

Lake Roosevelt is a 130 mile stretch of the Columbia River that sits nestled between the Okanogan Forest and the Selkirk Mountains in Washington state. Surrounded by pine forested mountains and dozens of trails for hiking, biking and exploring, it’s no wonder it’s a favorite for houseboating and recreation enthusiasts.

Seven Bays Marina is only about an hour’s drive from Spokane, WA. The draw to Lake Roosevelt is that it’s a fairly undiscovered lake. It’s not overly crowded, it’s easy to find solitude in one of the hundreds of coves or sandy beaches.

The best way to experience the lake is by boat. Park your houseboat on a secluded beach and make it your home during your stay. Slide off the top deck and splash into the refreshing aquamarine water, or take a couple of kayaks to explore your surroundings.


With diverse terrain, the northern part of the lake will offer densely forrested shoreline, and the south will have more cliffs. A popular attraction about halfway between Seven Bays and Keller Ferry Marinas is “Jumping Rock,” a rock with different levels to jump from.

There are several waterfalls to explore. Running Bare Falls has a private cove for houseboats, and Hot Creek waterfall (about 15 minutes from Seven Bays) has a protected bay and room for several houseboats. 

The wildlife in this area is spectacular; wild horses can be spotted on the reservation side north of Seven Bays, black bears roam the shoreline in September in search of chokecherries, and if you look close enough to the treetops you might spy an eagle.


Be sure to bring your fishing…

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Why Fungibility Is Important in Understanding Money and Crypto

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.

As the decentralized revolution gains momentum and cryptocurrency adoption reaches new heights, concerns pertaining to the quality of money are too often ignored. According to a Crypto.com report, the number of bitcoin owners surpassed 71 million in January 2021, but how many of them are aware that bitcoin is not anonymous but rather pseudonymous, or recognize the pitfalls of embracing a currency lacking fungibility? While bitcoin’s provable scarcity signifies a return to the tenets of sound money, its creator’s peer-to-peer vision ultimately falls short without fungibility, because counterparty risk is created. Bitcoin’s fungibility issues come from the history that is attached to the coins. The insertion of trust into transactions by scrutinizing coin history has the potential to splinter the bitcoin network, in the process increasing fees as a result of regulatory compliance costs. More alarmingly, a transparent blockchain inevitably transforms into a surveillance chain on which reputation travels. In order to prevent censorship and protect our natural rights to privacy, a fungible currency is not a luxury, but a requirement.

Money facilitates business on the market by serving as a medium of exchange, store of value, and a unit of account. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis lists six characteristics of money: durability, portability, divisibility, limited supply, uniformity, and acceptability. The latter two of these attributes are directly impacted by a currency’s fungibility.

Fungible assets at their core are interchangeable. On the nonfungible end of the spectrum are fundamentally unique assets such as real estate and artwork. Conversely, precious metals represent physical fungible assets. Gold, for example, can be melted down and swapped without complication. As noted by Menger (1892), the adoption of gold and silver as forms of money throughout history can be partially attributed to the homogeneity of these materials. In order to satisfy Berg’s (2020) fungibility criteria, “each unit of a currency, or any commodity used in a money function, should be indistinguishable from others of the same denomination,” and “an individual unit of said currency should not be reidentifiable through time and change.”

The most widely adopted digital decentralized assets designed to serve as money are bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and bitcoin cash (BCH). All of these cryptocurrencies, however, are nonfungible in nature. Each satoshi, the smallest BTC unit, possesses an accessible history on the network’s transparent ledger. Consequently, 1 BTC ≠ 1 BTC.

Imagine selling an automobile you posted on Craigslist to a stranger who, unbeknownst to you, earned their fortune peddling contraband on the dark web. Subsequently, you attempt to deposit the proceeds of the sale, but to your surprise, your financial institution has flagged the transaction and will not accept your “tainted” bitcoin.

According to Mises (1953), “the subjective use-value of money, which coincides with its subjective exchange value, is nothing but the anticipated use-value of the things that are to be bought with it.” Economic calculations become increasingly difficult when ambiguity pervades the medium of exchange. Fungible monies maintain their purchasing power regardless of past use, thus eliminating uncertainty…

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4 Ways Trees Personalize and Protect Your Backyard

Until it comes time to landscape your own backyard, trees are kind of one of those things that are easy to gloss over. You take them for granted. They are always just “there.”

Trees on Backyard

But trees serve an important role in our ecology. Just as importantly, their presence has been found to be a positive force in the lives of those humans with access to them. (There is a reason prisoners get outdoor time, right?)

If you are looking for ways to differentiate your homestead from those around you, consider upping your fauna game by investing in trees to personalize and protect the integrity of your backyard.

Different Types of Trees

Deciduous trees, or hardwood trees, are trees that lose their leaves in the colder months. These trees can be helpful in framing a house in desperate need of sunlight in winter, because they will have bare branches that allow the sun to filter through.

When their leaves change colors, they also become beautiful, multicolored focal points for your outdoor space. Nut and fruit trees are also categorized as hardwood trees.

Coniferous, or evergreen trees, are those trees that retain their leaves and gorgeous hues year around (for the most part). They will essentially act as a screen against poor weather conditions and as a shelter for wildlife seeking refuge in harsh weather conditions.

Birds are especially attracted to evergreen trees. This becomes especially true in the chillier months, so keep that in mind if you enjoy bird watching!

The Cost of Trees

Trees are an investment. You definitely want to plan ahead, when it is costing you a couple hundred bucks a pop at the least. If you are thinking about making the plunge into more hardcore greenery that comes with a commitment like trees do, you will want to know what you are getting into.

Plan ahead: transporting and installing trees correctly can get expensive. It can be hard to know where and how to cut corners, so you might want to enlist help.

If you are looking for alternative means of financing your homestead’s backyard renovation, you can look into a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is simply a loan secured by your home. You can use a reverse mortgage calculator to find out what benefit a reverse mortgage may be for you.

Stymie Snowfall

Snow fall can be a real drag in winter. And when it comes to clearing out the nooks and crannies of your homestead’s forest dreamland, snow will prove your perpetual bane each winter.

But the right coniferous tree can change all of that. Controlling the way snow falls to the ground itself can be a huge boon in your efforts to keep it from overwhelming your happy homestead.

Promote Wildlife

Trees provide shelter and resources for local wildlife. From squirrels to chipmunks to foxes and snakes and birds, the possibilities are endless in regards to the critters that could make a space in your backyard.

If you want to make a safe space to watch nature, select trees…

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4 Best Winter Houseboating Destinations

If you’re looking for a winter getaway that doesn’t include packing heaps of snow gear, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are four of the best winter houseboating destinations for those looking to enjoy sunshine and good times.

1. Lake Powell

With over 2 million annual visitors, Lake Powell tops our list of best winter houseboating destinations. The simple reason is because once the weather cools down, certain activities become more enjoyable. Take hiking for instance. Would you rather hike in 100-degree weather or in cooler temps? We suggest the latter. While visiting the area, make sure to plan a visit to Antelope Canyon and Rainbow Bridge, two of the most popular attractions in southern Utah.

2. Lake Mead

Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the world, spans over 247 square miles and contains over 26 million acres of water. That’s a lot of room for a houseboat excursion. Enjoy tranquil waters and large open spaces to satisfy your need for an escape from everyday life.

Can you think of anything that pairs well with a peaceful day on the lake? You guessed it: fishing. Lake Mead is a prime location for anglers, specifically those who are looking to catch their fair share of striped bass. It doesn’t matter what season you visit Lake Mead because the fish are always biting. 

3. Lake Oroville 

North of Sacramento, Lake Oroville consists of 167 miles of forested shoreline, which is a nice change of scenery for the desert dwellers. Wintertime temps aren’t too bad either, with an average high of 59 degrees and sunny skies, you won’t freeze your tail off at this houseboating destination. Like others, Lake Oroville is another leading spot for bass fishing. Several fishing tournaments are held here every year.

4. Lake Mohave 

One of the smaller lakes on this list,…

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D.C. Attorney General Files Antitrust Suit Against Amazon

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D.C. Attorney General Files Antitrust Suit Against Amazon

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit today against Amazon alleging that the online retail giant has violated the District of Columbia Antitrust Act. The complaint accuses Amazon of stifling competition by imposing contractual clauses that prevent third-party sellers from offering lower prices outside of the Amazon platform. The lawsuit explains that the agreements ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers and less innovation. “Amazon wins because it controls pricing across the online retail sales market, putting itself at an advantage over everyone else,” Racine told reporters. “These restrictions allow Amazon to build and maintain monopoly power.” In February, EPIC filed a complaint with the D.C. Attorney General alleging that Amazon unlawfully employs dark patterns to manipulate consumers when they attempt to cancel their Amazon Prime subscriptions. These dark patterns enable Amazon to continue collecting subscription fees and retain the personal data of misdirected subscribers. EPIC also signed onto a recent coalition letter calling for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon’s use of dark patterns in the Prime cancellation process. EPIC has long argued that anticompetitive practices and market consolidation in the technology sector pose a threat to privacy rights.

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Defending your house – indoor challenges

Engaging myself in the firearms and training sectors, I often hang around with people who wear a gun on a regular basis. Such guys spend a lot of their work time in a “yellow” condition but they also let their guard down when they come home. No matter how hard it’s to accept, your house may be one of the most dangerous locations to meet a malicious attacker. There are 2 reasons why I claim that.

A knock at the door when guests aren’t expected should be met with suspicion. A telephone and gun in hand may be your best defense if attacked at the door.

A knock at the door when guests aren’t expected should be met with suspicion. A telephone and gun in hand may be your best defense if attacked at the door.

First of all, the majority of us feel comfortable and protected when at home, overlooking what is happening around us and living in a “white condition.” We are used to considering a wide variety of everyday sights and sounds as our neighbors’ usual come-and-go. Consequently, we sometimes ignore the hints that should alert our minds. Secondly, our defensive guns are not often at close range when trouble arrives and are most likely secured from unauthorized hands which retards our proper action. This poor awareness with a delay in getting and unsecuring a weapon may end up as a tragedy. Though it’s genuine to feel relieved in your own house, it’s not always the idealized location it appears to be.

One of the most rapidly rising segments of brutal crimes were home invasions. It’s worth assuming that someone ready to break into a home with residents inside is also ready to make use of deadly force against them.

A home invasion that catches you without protective measures can be a one-sided encounter since invaders are likely to be armed. In the case of do-or-die situations, you have no choice but to grab the weapon and get it into service. Many of the gun owners I’ve shared this with confessing that they seldom wear a gun at home. Besides, their firearms are generally locked, blocking the entry of curious hands. Although it is wise to protect weapons from children and other undesirable individuals, the downside is that the opportunity to obtain a weapon during a disaster is delayed or fully phased out.

In order to provide the quickest possible retrieval, weapons stored for self-protection should be locked in prompt action safes if they need to be secured. The trouble with a conventional firearm lock is the activation process. In high tension scenarios, attempting to type in a combination of using a key is almost always pointless. If you need to find a key before opening a gunlock, odds are you run out of time.

Looking to see who knocks at the door from the window of another room instead of the door improves the defense possibilities.

Looking to see who…

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Good times Below the Surface; Your Intro to Scuba Diving on Bull Shoals Lake

When you think of Bull Shoals lake I am sure you think about its unsurpassed beauty, crystal clear waters, serene and quiet coves and houseboating! Perhaps you think about fishing or water sports, laying out or catching up on a good book. But have you ever considered going outside of the box and taking it to the next level? Have you ever thought about exploring not only “the Caribean of the Midwest’s” surface and outskirts but its underwater beauty as well? If so… scuba diving may be the missing link in making your houseboat vacation everything and more.

No certification? No equipment? No problem! Bull Shoals lake boat dock will offer diving Instruction, Certification (P.A.D.I), sales, rentals and repairs. Night dives are also offered if you are feeling frisky.

Water temps are never freezing ranging from the 50’s in the winter to the 80’s in the summer and visibility is a minimum of 15-30 feet, making this a prime destination for scuba or snorkeling. The top 15 dive spots below will awaken your adventurous side and give you a glimpse into what possibilities await you.

1. Wreck of the S.S Minnow- 20 feet deep. Off the south side of Gilligan’s Island, swim south from the 2 willow trees to a depth of 20 feet. Turn east to the line and follow it to the wreck.

2. Destroyer Escort- 30 feet deep. East of Gilligan’s Island, near the clump of the willow trees, swim east to a depth of 20 feet. Turn north to the line to the wreck (careful of the live torpedo).

3. Iowa Farm- 35 feet deep. North side of Gilligan’s Island. About the center of island find the line…

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Schumer Bill Would Rapidly Escalate AI Funding but Fails to Propose AI Safeguards


Schumer Bill Would Rapidly Escalate AI Funding but Fails to Propose AI Safeguards

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act introduced recently by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would earmark $53 billion for technological and AI development yet fails to propose critical safeguards for federal AI deployment. One part of the bill, the Endless Frontier Act, would significantly increase National Science Foundation funding to expand research and improve the diversity of the STEM workforce. The bill would also allocate funds for analyzing and combatting human rights violations in China and promoting “American Leadership” in AI development. Another part of the bill, the Advancing American AI Act, would incrementally improve the transparency and accountability of government AI use. Under the bill, Office of Management and Budget would be tasked with ensuring that federal contracts for AI systems address “privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties,” and each agency would be required to assemble and publish (when “practicable”) an inventory of its AI systems. However, the bill—much of which tracks recommendations by the NSCAI—fails to establish binding limitations on federal AI use and offers little protection for members of the public injured by government-operated AI systems. EPIC previously urged the Commission to recommend substantive limits on AI to protect individuals against harmful, biased, invasive, and unreliable AI systems.

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