Into the electric blue- my Gibbs/DiNizzo/McGarret fic is now posted on here (you might have to look for it though) it should be under its own page and on my AO3 (tkbenjamin). 😁😇
Seven million Chinese citizens are blocked from buying a house or sending kids to private schools
Chinese authorities claim they have banned more than 7 million people deemed “untrustworthy” from boarding flights, and nearly 3 million others from riding on high-speed trains, according to a report by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.
Various pilot projects have been launched throughout China ahead of 2020* Chinese authorities use new advanced technologies to crackdown on crime
Beijing could engineer society if it combines technology with its credit system
The announcements offer a glimpse into Beijing’s ambitious attempt to create a Social Credit System (SCS) by 2020 — that is, a proposed national system designed to value and engineer better individual behaviour by establishing the scores of 1.4 billion citizens and “awarding the trustworthy” and “punishing the disobedient”.
Liu Hu, a 43-year-old journalist who lives in China’s Chongqing municipality, told the ABC he was “dumbstruck” to find himself caught up in the system and banned by airlines when he tried to book a flight last year.
Mr Liu is on a “dishonest personnel” list — a pilot scheme of the SCS — because he lost a defamation lawsuit in 2015 and was asked by the court to pay a fine that is still outstanding according to the court record.
“No one ever notified me,” Mr Liu, who claims he paid the fine, said.
Like the other 7 million citizens deemed to be “dishonest” and mired in the blacklist, Mr Liu has also been banned from staying in a star-rated hotel, buying a house, taking a holiday, and even sending his nine-year-old daughter to a private school.
And just last Monday, Chinese authorities announced they would also seek to freeze the assets of those deemed “dishonest people”.
Bonus points for donating blood and volunteer work
As the national system is still being fully realised, dozens of pilot social credit systems have already been tested by local governments at provincial and city levels.
For example, Suzhou, a city in eastern China, uses a point system where every resident is rated on a scale between 0 and 200 points — every resident starts from the baseline of 100 points.
One can earn bonus points for benevolent acts and lose points for disobeying laws, regulations, and social norms.
According to a 2016 report by local police, the top-rated Suzhou citizen had 134 points for donating more than one litre of blood and doing more than 500 hours of volunteer work.
The city said the next step was to use the credit system to punish people for transgressions such as dodging transport fares, cheating in video games, and restaurant no-shows.
In Shenzhen, authorities recently launched the use of facial recognition and online shaming to crackdown on small crimes such as jaywalking.
In Xiamen, where the development of a local social credit system started as early as 2004, authorities reportedly automatically apply messages to the mobile phone lines of blacklisted citizens.
Citizens profiled by their consumption behaviour
Private companies in China have also run pilot programs using complex analytical systems to profile their customers, further advancing various technologies — such as facial recognition and online shaming — that could be used with official 2020 rollouts.
For example, Sesame Credit is a private credit system developed by the Alibaba-affiliated company Ant Financial.
The system uses algorithms and data from Alipay, Alibaba’s massively popular payment platform, to rate people by their consumption behaviour and preference among other factors.
“Someone who plays video games for 10 hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person,” Li Yingyun, Sesame Credit’s technology director, told Chinese media.
However, according to its website, Sesame Credit maintains that despite using the data to openly profile customers it currently does not share the information with Chinese authorities.
‘Wifi sniffers’, night vision and big data
Meanwhile, recent reports have revealed that in some areas China employs what is known as the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) — a high-tech mass surveillance system that pools information on citizens’ bank records, computer details, and legal past.
It reportedly runs in parallel to the social credit system and gathers its information from multiple sources or “sensors”.
One source is CCTV cameras, some of which have facial recognition and infrared capabilities giving them “night vision” and are positioned in locations police consider sensitive.
Another source is “wifi sniffers”, which pool the unique identifying addresses of computers, smartphones and other networked devices.
The IJOP also reportedly gathers information including licence plate numbers and citizen identification card numbers from security check points.
“They basically just do monitoring and surveillance of people and particularly categories of people who the authorities consider as focused personnel,” Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the ABC.
“The IJOP sends a list of people deemed suspicious to the police and they are then detained — the social credit system can result in a small punishment and warrants that discipline people in a number of different ways.”
Could China combine these projects to engineer society?
If the Chinese Government manages to amalgamate the regional pilot projects and the immense amounts of data by 2020, it will be able to exert absolute social and political control and “pre-emptively shape how people behave,” Samantha Hoffman, an independent consultant on Chinese state security, said.
But the question remains if the Chinese authorities could really “pull it off”, Ms Wang said.
“The Ministry of Public Security runs a number of databases, and then regional authorities also run their databases,” Ms Wang said.
“It is difficult to know how these databases are related together and how they’re structured and how they are updated.
“At the moment, I would say that they [are] updated to some extent but they’re not very well integrated, and the integration is going to be difficult.”
Hu Naihong, a finance professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, who is helping to build the national social credit system, seems to agree.
“The top-level design, the institutional framework, and the key documents are all in place, but there are still many problems to be solved,” the professor said in a 2017 meeting in Zhejiang.
There have been many cases where the current algorithms wrongly trapped innocent people in the blacklist.
In 2015, Zhong Pei, a then 16-year-old student living in Jiangsu, was blacklisted for being dishonest, after her father killed two people and died in a car accident.
It took Ms Zhong four months to dispute the court’s decision and get her name off the list in 2017 to board a train and enrol in her university.
Li Jinglin, a lawyer at Xinqiao law firm in Beijing, said the current pilot schemes of the social credit system had mainly been targeting two groups of people: those who fail to follow court orders or pay debts, and those who pose threats to the Communist Party’s rule or general “social stability” — dissidents and petitioners, as well as their families.
An abuse of state power, and breach of laws
Aforementioned blacklisted journalist Mr Liu, whose case has attracted international media attention, appears to fall into both categories. He previously exposed corrupt Chinese officials and was held by police for “spreading rumours”.
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While it is expected that governments make reasonable attempts to enforce court orders, experts say it is against local Chinese laws and is an abuse of fundamental human rights to restrict citizens’ movements and deny them equal access to education.
“Especially that the railway and aviation are state-owned industries, and are obligated to grant every citizen equal access to transportation.”
Many observers fear human rights could be increasingly violated via the social credit system, and — combined with a growing surveillance system and technologies such as facial recognition being rolled out across the country — the Chinese Government could have the ability to turn the system on its citizens.
“China is characterised by a system of ‘rule by law’, rather than true rule of law,” Elsa B Kania, an expert in Chinese defence innovation and emerging technologies at the Centre for a New American Security, said.
“That law [and extra-legal measures] can be used as a weapon to legitimise the targeting of those whom the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] perceives as a threat.
“In such an environment, such a system could be abused to those same ends.”
The question that remains to be answered in coming years, experts say, is where the line between “bettering society” and “controlling society” will be drawn.
A Second Chance at a White Picket Fence, reaching number 12 a few days ago and stayed there for 2 days. None of my other books did that.
Squeeing happily. ☺️☺️
Mating Hunt – BookStrand | Bestselling Erotic Romance eBooks
by Lexi Bane
The O’Faoláin Pack – Book 1
Cobblestone Press LLC
Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 21,000
Alternative (M/M, Gay) Menage a Trois/Quatre Paranormal
PDF ePub Mobi
Buy eBook: $4.99
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Once they had decided to take the plunge, Marcus and Liam O’Faoláin knew what they had to do. The Mating Balls were the place where they could find the woman who would complete them. Too bad they didn’t know there were going to have to hunt for her.
The Mating Ball was the final thing that she had to do while she was in the US. Katerina didn’t expect that she would actually find her mate there. Instead, she found two.
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The Mating Ball was frustrating. Actually, Liam thought the whole search for your destined Mate thing dressed up as a ball was the biggest time waster since Tetris. Just not as much fun. He winced at the sharp note the musicians hit and tried not to growl. Even the music annoyed him.
Stepping around the couple swaying together on the edge of the dance floor, he smiled at the sight. As much as he wasn’t enjoying himself here, it looked as if someone was getting something out of the event. Taking a closer look at the couple, he saw the Were was one of his Clan and his smile grew. Marcus was going to be happy that atread more…
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A Second Chance at a White Picket Fence (MM) – BookStrand …
PRE-ORDER! AVAILABLE: Tuesday, February 6th. [Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Contemporary Romance, M/M, HEA]. Gunnery Sergeant Richard Myweigh was returning stateside with a plan. Go back to the base he had once considered home, train their Recon Unit, Retire, and Romance his ex- wife.
For those of you who know my writing from Rough Trade, the first draft of this story made its appearance during one of our challenges oh so long ago.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
It was a pleasure writing Ric Myweigh’s story while he whispered it in my head.
Well it’s ready and available for pre-order. I can’t really believe it. Really really happy about the book and love the cover. 😊
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The Watchman of Alcatraz (MM)
Word Count: 25,423
AVAILABLE: Wednesday, June 7th
[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Futuristic Time Travel Romance, M/M, HEA]
Nathan Marshal knows he’s dying. He is an Activated Watchman, but without his Balance, his body is giving up. He hears strange voices one night and, after he can no longer hide his pain from his fellows, he has the strangest dream and steps through a doorway.
On the other side of that door is his perfect man, all bright eyes, floppy hair, and fantastic build. His name is Kian Young, and the men are instantly smitten. They fall into bed within hours of meeting and the sex is perfect, hot, hard, and fulfilling in every way possible for them both.
The next day, Nathan feels fantastic. His daily medical checks say he’s in perfect health and completely Bonded to his Balance. Only problem is, Nathan hasn’t met anyone new recently.
Except for the perfect man from his dream, that is.
A Siren Erotic Romance
2100 was the year the world referred to as the year Mother Nature flipped her pretty green wig and activated her Watchmen. These men and women, most ranging from late teens to their forties, were all Enhanced to some degree. All had enhanced strength and speed plus two strengthened senses. Each one of her Watchmen was granted a Balance, a Reason, a way to function in a world and stay alive and sane. The problem most had, however, was finding their Balance since a Balance was, to all intents and purposes, an ordinary human being. Who said Mother Nature didn’t have a sense of humor.
* * * *
In 2525, Watchman Nathan Marshall stood looking at the photo of Alcatraz, fighting off a blinding headache. It was just his luck that it was his turn to play tour guide to the school group that was just disembarking from the ferry shuttle. He turned and threw a final look at the framed photo behind him, straightened his uniform, and went to stand at the front door.
He swallowed down another stab of pain as he watched the kids milling around below him on the pier. He knew he could beg off this by telling the med bay he had a headache, but the ensuing questioning and probing and testing would be too much to deal with. They’d most likely take him off rotation and restrict him to the Medical Bay while they experimented on him as they tried to stabilize his Meds regime.
At twenty-seven, Nathan was running out of time. His Enhancement had happened at seventeen, so he’d been a Watchman for ten years. And they’d been searching for his Balance for that long. Most Watchmen found their Balance in a couple of years, but apparently Lady Luck had run away from Nathan. Ten years on and still looking.
The longest a Watchman had lived without a Balance was around twelve years and he’d tripped over his Balance by literally falling over him as he passed out on the street. Story was that Watchman James fainted and fell into his Balance’s arms in the middle of a packed city street. Watchman James’s physiology had been failing, headaches, shaking, emotional instability, all the hallmarks of a failing Watchmen. Watchman James was one of the first to Enhance and not much had been known about them at the time, so finding a Balance was only a matter of luck. Lady Luck had kept Watchman James waiting for twelve years, and it looked like she was doing the same to him, Nathan thought sarcastically.
Nathan assumed a parade rest stance as he saw the kids and teacher start up the flights of steps to the building. A stern scowl on his face covered any pain he might be feeling and had the bonus of keeping the high-strung members of the tour group in line, hopefully. They pushed through the glass doors en masse and came up short, as he blocked their way. One eyebrow quirked and eyes steely.
A teacher stepped forward, nervously tittering and a hand fluttering on her breastbone. “Ahh, Watchman, we are the group from Rosebank High School. We have a tour and educational session booked today. I’m one of the teachers, Ms. Marse, and that’s Mr. Kimm,” she finished, still nervous as she pointed toward the other teacher.
Nathan nodded to them quickly. “Ms. Marse, Mr. Kimm, students of Rosebank, welcome to The Watchmen Tower at Alcatraz. I’m Watchman Nathan Marshal, and I’ll be your guide today. If you’ll follow me, we can start with a little history.” He flashed a smile he knew made both men and women weak at the knees. He saw it work as usual, as both teachers and most of the students smiled right back and relaxed their postures. Here we go, he thought as he led them all to the bank of framed photographs on the wall.
“Well, folks, this is a photographic history of Alcatraz Island. Back in the twentieth century, this place was a prison. It was supposed to be inescapable, and was until some bright sparks proved them wrong,” he said as he pointed to the photo of a bleak gray prison structure, along with photos of some of its previous occupants. “Later it was closed down and became a tourist attraction. Yes, people paid money to come and tour it as a prison. There must have been some strange folks in the twentieth.”
“Eventually it was shut down again and some movies were filmed here. You can find a list of them on our vid screen under Films.” He pointed to more photos on the wall as he went on. “Alcatraz remained closed for many more years until the first Enhanced emerged. And then others emerged. Our government had a little meltdown and Alcatraz was re-opened and any Enhanced found was shipped off here. The conditions at that time were bleak. It was still a prison building after all.” He continued again, pointing to a photo of Alcatraz with men in its cells again.
“Things changed very quickly around here when humanitarian organizations got involved and the government at the time was accused of human rights violations. The residents here were given the choice of returning to their previous lives or staying here. Most stayed, and in a few years, the bones of the Alcatraz you see today were laid. Many Enhanced came from well-to-do families and-or had connections, so the whole Island was remodeled and rebuilt with us in mind. We took the name of Watchmen and built ourselves into what we are today. We are the protectors of the people and the Guardians of the Earth.” He had ended his speech under the Watchmen Banner, a sword over a shield in front of an oak tree on a black background. Each Watchman wore that emblem on an arm patch on the right arm of their jet-black uniform.
“Kian, honey. I really need to fuck you, but that’s up to you. If you say no, then I’ll abide by it. It’s not in me to hurt you in any way. I’d just like to know where I stand,” he whispered into the flesh under his lips, allowing his hands to run over Kian’s hips and ass as he spoke.
Kian turned in his hold slowly, and Nathan kept pulling the T-shirt up as Kian turned, keeping his lips to Kian’s skin. He went on until Nathan felt the dip of Kian’s belly button under his lips. He opened his lips and allowed his tongue into that tiny dip, licking in out of it until he felt Kian start to shiver in his arms.
“Tell me how far you are willing to go, Kian. I promise to stop when you need me to. Just…just…oh God, Kian…” he breathed out, feeling Kian run his fingers through his hair, the nails scrape gently over his scalp, setting Nathan to tremble under his hands.
“Bed now. Nathan, bed now. And if you stop before you make me lose all control…I’ll make you regret it,” Kian rasped out.
Nathan took that as the order he was waiting for and surged forward up the final steps, scooped Kian into his arms, and made for the bed he could see through an open doorway. He stripped Kian out of his clothes in seconds and ripped his own clothes off while Kian was still bouncing on the bed where Nathan had tossed him. Nathan climbed onto the bed after him and crawled right up over Kian, only stopping when they were lying full length together. Kian opened his legs, and Nathan slipped happily between them, rubbing his length gently over Kian’s hardness.
Nathan pulled up enough to look down at their hard lengths. He looked carefully at them both. Kian’s beautiful cock was about the same size as his, and at nine inches, Nathan was no small fry. Kian was just slightly thinner. Nathan knew he had a thick girth. Thick enough to let a lover feel him the next day even. Kian was only a little thinner, and Gaia, he was beautiful to Nathan’s eyes. He couldn’t wait to feel Kian inside him, but that was for later in this dream.
Nathan scooted all the way down Kian’s body, dropping kisses here and there as he went. Kian stretched his arms over his head and moved his body, meeting each kiss bestowed from Nathan’s lips. Nathan didn’t stop until he’d reached Kian’s ankles. He gently wrapped his hands around each delicate one. Nathan’s eyes roamed over the delectable body under him and he took in a breath. He could smell the very essence that was Kian. The very part of him that made him perfect for Nathan. His ears could hear the rapid thumping of Kian’s heart. It was beating so hard, and Nathan knew it was beating for him. He could feel his own heart beating in time with Kian’s, and it felt perfect and balanced.
He took his left hand off one ankle to cup both hands around the other and lifted Kian’s leg enough to run his lips over it, giving the sensitive skin there a nip and suck as he went around it. He heard Kian gasp and giggle and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Ticklish?” he asked.
“No, no. ” Kian’s answer was so obviously a lie.
Nathan tucked the knowledge away and kept exploring. He ran both hands along Kian’s legs, gently memorizing every muscle and feeling each tendon. Nathan let his hands move over Kian’s pliant body at will, always following their lead with his lips or tongue, mouth and nose. He inspected Kian’s front intimately then nudged him over to play along his back. He traced every muscle of Kian’s back until he had it memorized. He worshipped the back of Kian’s defined legs until he saw them clearly if he closed his eyes. He avoided the beautiful ass calling to him. He knew if he allowed his attention to it he’d lose all control and find himself plunging into it before they were ready.
He rolled Kian over again. The younger man had his eyes shut, and his lips were red and swollen from biting them. He was shaking and gasping for breath. Nathan licked a stripe from Kian’s belly button to his jaw line. Kian opened his eyes as Nathan came eye level with him. His eyes were blown, only pupil remaining. He lifted his arms and clamped them around Nathan’s neck, pulling him down and ravaging his lips.
“Lube and condoms are in the top drawer. I don’t see a lot of guys, but I don’t bareback either. Please hurry.”
Nathan scrambled for the top drawer bedside the bed. He pulled so hard he almost dropped the thing on the floor but just managed to push it in enough at the last second. Another frantic scramble and his hand found a tube and a small box. He pulled both out. Eying them carefully, he saw both were sealed. Obviously brand new. Frantic seconds later he’d rolled on a condom over his aching and hard cock and had one generously lubed finger inside Kian’s very tight asshole.
“Jesus, baby. When was the last time you had a man? Fuck, you are so tight it’s amazing,” Nathan gasped.
“Over a year ago.” Kian gasped as he rolled his hips and pushed against the finger inside him.
Nathan bit back the groan of pleasure he felt at hearing no man had touched Kian in so long. He worked his finger in and out slowly, twisting it as he went. He pulled out, squeezed some more lube on, and pushed two fingers back in. Kian splayed his legs wider and moaned loudly, hands scrambling on the sheets.
“More…more…more,” on repeat from his mouth.
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