Advisory: Be careful of what you read on social media. The algorithms used by these platforms have no regard for Biblical truth. They target your emotions to keep you engaged on their site so their advertisers can drop more ads. These platforms exist to enrich their stockholders. Consider God’s promise to Believers in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has apologized for a controversial letter in which it asked the Justice Department to investigate parents under domestic terrorism laws, blaming the association’s “concerning lack of internal process and accountability” and promising policy changes “to ensure this does not happen again.”
An independent review of the events surrounding the Sept. 29, 2021 letter to the Justice Department resulted in an apology and a promise to do better moving ahead in a statement released on May 20.
The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) controversial Sept. 29 letter (pdf) compared some parents’ actions protesting policies like critical race theory or COVID-19 restrictions to “domestic terrorism” and claimed that “America’s public schools and its education leaders are under immediate threat.”
“As these acts of hatred, violence, and threats against public school authorities have multiplied, these terrible acts may be classified as a type of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” according to the letter.
Following the NSBA’s letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to look into a “disturbing surge in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and employees.”
Garland requested that the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies monitor activity in school districts around the country in his memo.
Following the NSBA’s letter and Garland’s memo on Sept. 29, there was a backlash, with 14 Republican attorneys general filing a lawsuit alleging that the memo was based on false accusations against parents and “attacked dissent by parents during local school board meetings” in an attempt to intimidate them.
The NSBA later apologized for the letter and appointed current NSBA Executive Director and CEO John Heim to succeed then-interim leader Chip Slaven in November 2021.
Heim stressed the NSBA’s non-partisanship and dedication to parental participation in the letter to the Justice Department, which he claimed was written without the complete agreement of the association’s Board. He went on to say that the National School Boards Association opposes federal law enforcement participation at school board meetings.
In a statement, Heim stated that the letter “clearly opposes our underlying principles to parent participation, local governance, and nonpartisanship.” “The letter’s emotions do not reflect the NSBA’s ideas or attitude.” “At local school board meetings, the National School Boards Association does not seek or push for federal law enforcement intervention.”
“Sending the letter without full Board permission exposed a worrisome lack of internal procedure and responsibility, and undermined our organization’s goal,” Heim continued.
The NSBA will look to important insights from the study and aim to do better in the future, Heim added, calling the events documented in the assessment “unfortunate.”
NSBA Board President Frank Henderson issued a statement regretting that the association’s leaders “did not review the letter more closely at the time,” insisting that the letter does not represent the views of the Board or the NSBA, and promising to implement a number of processes “to ensure this does not happen again.”
Amending the NSBA’s constitution to codify non-partisanship, passing a resolution rejecting federal intervention and extension of executive authority, and promising new processes and norms are among the steps highlighted in the NSBA statement.
Members of the Biden administration and NSBA personnel worked together on the letter under Slaven’s guidance, according to the investigation.
Current NSBA President Frank Henderson said the board officers regret not reviewing the letter more closely at the time and admitted it never should have been sent. The letter had only been shared with the board officers prior to it being sent to the Biden administration.
“The sentiments shared do not represent the board’s views or the views of the NSBA,” Henderson said. “We are focused now on implementing processes to ensure this does not happen again.”
Although the letter was condemned by the NSBA after it was published, it did not violate any policy or procedure, the report said, despite most of the board not being aware the letter even existed.
“Sending the letter without full board approval highlighted a concerning lack of internal process and accountability and harmed the mission of our organization,” current CEO and Executive Director John Heim said. “While the events as recounted in the review are unfortunate, there are a number of important takeaways that will help our organization as we move forward.”
The investigation revealed multiple emails sent between Slaven and Mary Wall, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden. In one email, written Sept. 21, 2021, Wall asked to see a copy of the letter so she could talk about the letter with other White House offices and the DOJ. However, the Biden administration and the Education Department did not specifically request the letter, according to the report.
The letter, sent Sept. 29, had requested that the DOJ and “federal law enforcement monitor and, potentially, intervene in local school board meetings across the country” and asked for possible enforcement of the Gun-Free School Zone Act, the Patriot Act as it relates to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, among others.
Less than a week later, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a “series of measures aimed at addressing the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”
As a result of Garland’s memo and the letter from the NSBA, parents condemned the letter, and state school board associations withdrew from the national association. Republicans in Congress also called for Garland’s resignation or removal.
Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, said the investigation revealed that White House officials betrayed the trust of the public, especially when it came to invoking the Patriot Act against parents.
“As a result of the NSBA’s internal investigation, the American people now know that Biden Administration officials did indeed work with NSBA on the since-retracted letter requesting federal intervention in school board issues,” Neily said. “It is inexcusable that a senior White House advisor would have the audacity to collaborate on a public request to use the Patriot Act against families; this is, quite literally, a betrayal of trust by the highest levels of government.”
The research demonstrated a violation of trust by the Biden administration, said Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, an advocacy group.
“The American people now know that Biden Administration officials did indeed work with NSBA on the since-retracted letter requesting federal intervention in school board issues as a result of the NSBA’s internal investigation,” Neily said in an emailed statement, calling it “a betrayal of trust by the highest levels of government.”
In a statement released on May 20, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) termed the investigation’s conclusions “outrageous.”
Let’s take a moment to think about what we’re reading here. The White House is literally conducting psychological operations on society by throwing gas in the flames of the culture war. What you’re witnessing is our government wanting the chaos to ensue. Perhaps to keep society busy while they prepare to implement Klaus’ roadmap to ‘utopia’. We as Christians should all be praying, about the trial and tribulation to come, praying for those who seek to persecute us, and praying that Jesus will come soon to bring this all to an end. Society is polarized like never before, ten years ago people could stand one another. But the constant friction over the years has boiled into something resulting in unprecedented events such as this.
It looks like a communist administration because it is one; Why is society paralyzed? Find your courage in the word, Matthew 5:44 says: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Satan is building his own army just like God. In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus tells his apostles they have been given power over unclean spirits, and sends them out to spread the word. We hold power over unclean spirits and our prayer can move mountains. Stay inquisitive in the word of God, and the world around you.
According to a May 12 article in Fortune, researchers from KU Leuven, Radboud University, and the University of Lausanne conducted a study and discovered that tens of thousands of websites captured—without permission—every word typed into an online form, even if users left the site without submitting their information.
“Given its scope, intrusiveness, and unexpected consequences,” the study’s authors said, “the privacy problem we analyze warrants additional attention from browser makers, privacy tool developers, and data protection organizations.”
While typing out their email address on a website, establishing an account, purchasing a ticket, or subscribing to a newsletter, many people were mistakenly made to believe that their personal data was safe.
According to Fortune, the combined university research looked at over 100,000 websites.
The study teams constructed fictitious software profiles that imitated a real user who visited hundreds of websites and then entered login or registration information without pressing the submit button.
They discovered that 1,844 websites in the European Union collected individual email addresses without permission, while 2,950 websites in the United States did the same.
According to the report, USAToday, Time, Fox News, and Trello were the top U.S. websites by user traffic where tracker software collected personal data including emails, while Newsweek, Shopify, and Marriott topped the EU list.
“It far exceeded our expectations,” says Güneş Acar, a Radboud University professor and researcher, who added that his team had expected to uncover only a few hundred sites collecting user data.
“Based on our findings, users should anticipate that trackers will gather personal information they type into online forms, even if the form is never submitted,” the study’s authors said.
The findings revealed that while some websites collected data in-house before submitting it, the majority of the data was obtained purely by third-party advertising and marketing firms such as Taboola, Bizible, and Glassbox digital, which were integrated into websites to monetize content.
The third-party data collecting process was remarkably similar to “keylogging,” a technique used by malware programs to record a user’s keystrokes, usually to steal passwords and other private information, but seldom to collect email addresses.
Furthermore, the researchers discovered “accidental password harvesting on 52 websites by third-party session replay scripts,” which were collecting password data before submission.
The study group has since advised the individual sites’ operators that the password collection concerns have been fixed.
They discovered that Meta and TikTok had utilized in-house invisible marketing trackers to acquire personal information from web forms without authorization in a follow-up inquiry.
Websites that employed Meta’s or TikTok’s Pixel software, which allows a webpage’s domains to track visitor behavior, would trigger a “automatic advanced matching” feature that would allow the two social media behemoths to capture data from an advertiser’s site.
Personal information would be captured by Meta or TikTok for every email or piece of data partially typed into a website employing Pixel software, even after a click to another page.
“We checked into their code and they were gathering all clicks to any button, any link on the page,” Acar claimed.
According to the professor, 8,438 US sites may have been leaking data to Meta through Pixel, while 7,379 EU sites were affected.
Tracking where you click on any given screen on a business’s website is something relatively new, but not bad practice. This is how businesses can experiment with the presentation of their products and ease of access to better produce sales for their site. However, the collection of personal data before its being submitted in the first place is inarguably a malicious grab. What is unfortunate about this is that exploring the internet will become progressively harder as time goes on. More and more malicious actors are seeking to squeeze every last penny out of every bit of user traffic. As time goes on, these processes become automated. In which case, it’s likely completely anonymized.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping every sphere of human life — from government to commerce; from education to healthcare. It is even impacting human values, opportunities, relationships and identities by modifying virtual as well as physical worlds of human beings. It is in my firm belief that Christians won’t get access to much of the technologies to come. By choice of course, because that is the nature of the puzzle God has laid out for us. We’ve been given free will to live for the world and repent there after. But to be born again, solidifies your role in this world. We’ve identified ourselves based on the values the bible emphasizes, and used them for the foundation of our very identities. To walk away from that is the unthinkable. Stay inquisitive in the word of God, and the world around you.
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