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We need a ‘second internet’: Tech expert seeks to build a censorship-free web

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Technology expert Martin Avila spoke to Sara Carter during Monday’s episode of her podcast about his project to create a “second internet” amid social media platforms suspending or penalizing the accounts of many conservative voices.

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Avila is the CEO of Right Forge. It is a full-service technology infrastructure company specializing in high-availability cloud hosting, web development, managing and protecting online assets for companies, campaigns and organizations who care about an open and free internet.

Carter opened by asking Avila if he ever would have thought that the United States would reach this current point in time regarding free speech and social media.

“I didn’t,” Avila replied.

“A few years ago, you know, [I] started to get scared,” he continued. “You know, the power of big tech, when the internet of things really started taking hold—and well, my buddy told me that he has a computer in his barbecue. Those are the types of things that […] makes you go, ‘Wait. The world is the internet now.’ And these companies don’t live by the rules that the country is founded upon. […] They’re governed by profit. They’re governed by their board of directors, whoever they’re from.”

“Then you see things like the deplatforming and the censoring happening,” Avila added. “And yeah, it’s sad that we’ve reached this state, but never thought I would get here, frankly.”

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Carter, bringing up his opinion piece in Newsweek last month titled “A Second Internet is Needed for American Survival,” then asked Avila about his outlook on the future and how he can go about building a completely new infrastructure for the internet.

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“I think that people need to first and foremost remember what the internet is,” he began. “The internet is essentially two cups and a string. It’s the actual foundational network that all of these companies live on top of. So when we used to make phone calls, you know, AT&T, […] they had a lot of the fiber, […] the optics.”

“But, you know, there’s progress on Google, Facebook, all these things—Amazon, even—they have convinced us that they are the internet. And they’re driven by profit to connect us with […] Amazon Alexa […] in our kitchens, the doorbell, you know, Ring, even your thermostat, to continue to project their influence into our day-to-day lives. But at the end of the day, the internet is servers and interconnectivity between those servers,” Avila continued.

“And also what we’re doing is actually deploying the foundation of the internet and reaffirming the Bill of Rights on that platform,” he added. “And from there, we will then grow and produce applications […] that will also reaffirm the American foundation principles.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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COVID-19

Adviser to Fauci bragged about helping him evade FOIA, ‘he is too smart’ to get caught

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The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic published evidence ahead of a hearing that explains the senior scientific adviser to then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci actually bragged about helping Fauci evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The adviser, David Morens, admitted in his own communications to intentionally evading FOIA by using a Fauci’s private Gmail address or just handing him documents in person, according to the newly disclosed emails.

The 35-page report on Morens includes previously unreleased emails including:

An April 21, 2021 email shows Morens contacted EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, whom Morens has described as his “best friend” and a U.S. taxpayer conduit for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as Boston University and New England Biolabs researchers.

The subject line references “CoV research in China, GoF, etc.,” referring to EcoHealth-facilitated coronavirus research at WIV that could make a virus more transmissible or dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recently admitted it funded gain-of-function research under that definition but not a stricter regulatory definition.

“PS, i forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs,” Morens wrote. “I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

A May 13, 2021 email to the same recipients referred to “our ‘secret’ back channel” by which Morens connected Fauci to a journalist named “Arthur,” apparently to discuss the feds’ preferred narrative that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally rather than via lab leak. The email cited an article on the message board Virological.

Gerald Keusch, associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Institute at BU, emailed Daszak Oct. 25, 2021 to relay a phone conversation with “David,” who is “concerned about the privacy of text” and email sent and received on his “government phone” because they “could be FOIA’able.”

“Tony has told him not to be in touch with you and EHA for the time being,” Keusch wrote. Morens relayed that Daszak should get his story straight on EcoHealth’s claim that NIH locked it out of the system when it tried to file its year-five progress report that disclosed an arguable gain-of-function experiment.

Earlier in the day, Morens told Daszak “i will be meeting with Tony about this later on.” The subject line of the thread was “Draft response to Michael Lauer,” deputy director for extramural research at NIH.

Morens also told Daszak that Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins are “trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations,” apparently meaning against allegations that U.S. tax dollars passed through EcoHealth funded research that may have led to SARS-CoV-2’s emergence.

The subcommittee said it found emails that revealed “likely illegal” practices, including an April 2020 email in which Morens shared a “new NIAID implementation plan” with Daszak and an August 2020 email in which Daszak mentioned a “kick-back” to Morens after NIH awarded $7.5 million to EcoHealth.

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