Special report: Who the hell is NevaLabs and why are they messin' with me?

I was looking through my traffic monitor earlier and i saw that the number ten referrer of traffic to this website is 's3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com'. Here's the WhoIs information for the domain. Interesting. When i loaded the URL i was presented with a 4,490 line XML document and near the top was the line <outline text="Data and Privacy|Data and Privacy" description="Source published by 12bytes.org" url="https://12bytes.org" title="12bytes.org" type="link"/>. Here's the head section of the document:

    <title>NevaLabs Source Director</title>
    <dateCreated>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:20:00 -0000</dateCreated>
    <dateModified>Mon, 08 Jul 2019 22:50:48 -0000</dateModified>

Who the hell is "NevaLabs" i wondered, and so i loaded up the domain neva-labs.com which was provided in the support@neva-labs.com email address and it immediately forwarded me to Vimeo, the video sharing platform. That seemed a little strange, but even stranger is that the forwarding is apparently dynamic because when i loaded it again a little later, it forwarded me to a company named Kinzen. Kinzen's home page states:

Kinzen is a technology company that helps citizens engage with the publishers who inform, inspire and empower them. We're building tools for individuals and publishers to access and present personalised news and information.

In other wards, Kinzen is essentially yet another spyware company that, like Facebook, collects and monetizes humans.

When i searched for "nevalabs" i quickly found two companies with similar names, Nevalabs and NevaLabs, aka Neva Labs. Don't these companies have a problem with the other using their name?

The NevaLabs name directs to reuterscommunity.com and on a page titled 'NevaLabs: Is smart, personalized news the next big thing? | Reuters Community' we read:

News Impact Summit, Manchester: Co-founders Mark Little (CEO) and Áine Kerr of Neva Labs spoke of their big ambition to combine personalization and artificial intelligence in a news app, at the News Impact Summit in Manchester.

Established only five weeks ago, the venture aims to improve trust in news and give users greater control over their consumer experience. Mark Little draws on the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, which found that only a quarter of respondents think social media does a good job in separating fact from fiction.

"Platforms are becoming the primary means of communication. The problem is there is no ranking. A cute cat video comes in the very same feed as a harrowing scene from Syria," said Mark Little.

The design of social media is what Little believes has led to a breakdown in trust because "there is no distinguishing between quality news and what isn't".

I also found this reference to NevaLabs on the techireland.org domain:

NevaLabs is a team of journalists, researchers and developers working together to empower individuals who want to take personal control of their news experience.

We are developing tools to drive greater transparency, relevance and value of news and information, pro-actively enabling users to improve their news experience and achieve their personal goals.

NevaLabs was founded by Mark Little and Áine Kerr, who worked together to build the first social news agency Storyful, and led media partnerships teams at Twitter and Facebook respectively. They have been joined by uniquely experienced team-mates Paul, Eilis, Andrew and Marco, forming the core of a team that is set to expand in size, skillsets and scope in the months to come.

If you'd prefer the non-corporate-double-speak version, NevaLabs seems to be in the business of selling the public a point of view they want the people to buy because the poor people are just too stupid to determine on their own what is fact and what is fiction. While that is obviously very true in many cases, is the best solution really one where for-profit corporations make the decisions for us regarding what information we consider, or is it perhaps more effective to educate people about how to vet news stories and let them make up their own minds? Remember the ol' saying, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'? Well it seems NevaLabs wants to give us a fish and, frankly, it stinks.

I think by now most of us, or at least many of us, realize the utter disaster these corporate media oversight partnerships have created on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter where censorship and de-platforming has reached epidemic proportions in the era of "Fake News".

NevaLabs leads us to Storyful and their about page states:

Founded by Irish journalists as the first social media newswire, Storyful was created out of the need to break the news faster and utilize social content to add context to reporting. Acquired by News Corp in 2013, Storyful has evolved into a premium social media service for media, marketing and communications. We are the leaders in social media contextualization and verification.

News Corp, if for some reason you're in the dark, is "an American multinational mass media company" that was founded by the asshole, Ruppert Murdoch. This massive corporation owns a very long list of some of the most powerful news companies and a corporate board of relatively few ultimately controls all of them and therefore what news gets published and what doesn't.

Next up is Nevalabs. From their about page we read:

Nevalabs® is a high technology company established in 2015 in Istanbul, initially to provide homeland security solutions. Today, we are proud to be one of the pioneers of deep learning based face and object/scene recognition systems, providing high accuracy rate solutions. Corvo® Identify, Access and Verify are the three pillars of the Nevalabs' product family Corvo. In addition to homeland security area, Corvo provides face and object/scene recognition solutions for various industries such as telecommunications, banking, and retail.

Nevalabs is another corporation that lacks an ethical business model and, instead, prefers to profit from violating peoples privacy. This facial recognition technology is particularly dangerous in the wrong hands and it seems to be only the wrong hands that have access to it, such as the U.S. government which is in the business of manufacturing and profiting from global terrorism. Business is booming too.

Getting back to Vimeo, their video privacy page states the following:

Your data isn't for sale.

Turns out, being secure is pretty simple. We never sell your data to third-party marketers, we protect your account with enterprise-grade security, and we let you control the privacy of your videos on and off Vimeo.

I don't know if Nevalabs or NevaLabs is connected to Vimeo, but i find all this a little weird. As for 12bytes.org, when we look at a slightly larger sample of the NevaLabs XML document, we see:

<outline text="Design" description="Source published by 100 Archive" url="http://www.100archive.com/articles" title="100 Archive - Articles - 100 Archive" type="link"/>
<outline text="Columbus" description="Source published by 10TV - WBNS" url="https://www.10tv.com/local-news" title="10TV - WBNS - Local Columbus News - 10TV - WBNS" type="link"/>
<outline text="Data and Privacy|Data and Privacy" description="Source published by 12bytes.org" url="https://12bytes.org" title="12bytes.org" type="link"/>
<outline text="Design and Visual Effects|Design" description="Source published by 1843 Magazine" url="https://www.1843magazine.com/design" title="1843 Magazine - Design | 1843" type="link"/>
<outline text="Food and Drink" description="Source published by 1843 Magazine" url="https://www.1843magazine.com/food-drink" title="1843 Magazine - Food + Drink | 1843" type="link"/>
<outline text="Fashion and Style" description="Source published by 1843 Magazine" url="https://www.1843magazine.com/style" title="1843 Magazine - Style | 1843" type="link"/>
<outline text="Technology" description="Source published by 1843 Magazine" url="https://www.1843magazine.com/technology" title="1843 Magazine - Technology | 1843" type="link"/>
<outline text="Travel|Travel" description="Source published by 1843 Magazine" url="https://www.1843magazine.com/travel" title="1843 Magazine - Travel | 1843" type="link"/>
<outline text="Publisher" description="Source published by 24matins.uk" url="https://www.24matins.uk" title="24matins.uk" type="link"/>

The "text=" portions appear to be categorizations of the websites that follow and listed are categories like "Fashion and Style", "Technology" and "Design". Why is this website, 12bytes.org, categorized as "Data and Privacy"? This isn't the description i use, so how did it originate? Did a human make the classification? A computer? Does the category reflect the articles i've written about privacy, which are fewer in number than other types of content? Why would any of these companies have an interest in this site? Am i being targeted for censorship by social media? ARE THE MEN IN BLACK GOING TO……. Hang on a sec., there's someone at the door.

I don't have any answers at this point, but i may dig deeper into this in the future.

Leave a Reply