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Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

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Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

New York City drivers buckle up because Big Brother (aka the MTA) is keeping a watchful eye on you by installing cameras along New York City streets to track you. But why? Well, it all boils down to money, of course. The MTA is rolling out a controversial $15 per day congestion fee for all drivers venturing south of 60th Street. They’ve even given this area of Manhattan a snazzy name: the toll congestion zone.

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License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

How license plate readers are keeping tabs on NYC drivers

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. License plate readers have been strategically placed above FDR Drive at East 25th Street and on Route 9A (The West Side Highway) to keep tabs on drivers entering the congestion zone. This means that any driver who enters this zone will have to pay the fee, regardless of where they live or where they are going.

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Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

But here’s the twist: state law prevents the MTA from charging drivers who stick to the highway. While both the FDR Drive and Route 9A are currently excluded from the toll under state law, some motorists express concern that this infrastructure could eventually be used to charge tolls on these highways as well. After all, with the equipment already in place, what’s stopping state legislators from changing that law and starting charging for highway usage, too?

Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Discounts, deductions and the transit equation

But what about discounts, you ask? If you’re using the Hudson River or East River tunnels, you’ll snag a sweet $5 discount off that $15 toll. Meanwhile, the FDR Expressway and West Side Highway remain toll-free, as we mentioned. And if you live in the congestion zone and make less than $60,000 annually, you can deduct the cost from your taxes. Plus, low-income drivers trekking from areas more than half a mile away from a subway, commuter railroad, or express bus stop get their own slice of the discount pie.

Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: HOW STORES ARE SPYING ON YOU USING CREEPY FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT 

The journey of congestion pricing

Let’s rewind a bit. Back in 2019, former Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic-run Assembly and Senate gave the green light to the congestion pricing program. Current Governor Kathy Hochul is all in, predicting that this program will rake in a cool one billion dollars annually. And where will that cash flow? Straight into major upgrades for the MTA’s subway, commuter railroads, and bus systems. Talk about a transit makeover.

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Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: A SECRET PHONE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM IS SPYONG MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

Councilman calls out MTA’s spy game

Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) couldn’t resist a quip about the license plate readers saying, “It’s amazing to see the MTA turn into the MI6 spy agency when it comes to screwing drivers, but it can’t even make a turnstile to prevent subway fare beating.” Touché, Councilman Borelli.

Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Borelli raises a valid concern. Could the MTA eventually expand the congestion zone to include toll-free highways? Remember how the legislature expanded speed cameras during the city’s pilot program? Well, they might just do the same with the congestion toll. As they say, “Where there’s a legislative will, there’s a tollway.”

Big Brother is watching in Big Apple with sneaky new plan to spy on drivers, charge them

License plate readers in NYC (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: HOW TO FIND OUT WHO IS SPYING ON YOU

Kurt’s key takeaways

As New York City’s streets become watched by license plate readers and surveillance cameras, drivers find themselves at the crossroads of convenience and scrutiny. The $15 congestion toll promises to fund transit improvements, but it also raises questions about fairness and future expansions. So, fellow commuters, keep your eyes on the road and your wallets because Big Brother is definitely watching and charging you.

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What do you think? Will this model of congestion tolls spread to other cities, including yours? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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NBA Twitter’s latest ‘Woj Bomb’ was just an NFT scam

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NBA Twitter’s latest ‘Woj Bomb’ was just an NFT scam

People who still use NBA Top Shot were the primary targets of a scam tweet posted to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski’s account on X Saturday evening at about 6:30PM ET. The tweet referred to NBA Top Shot as a “popular” NFT platform, despite the fact that current activity levels are a tiny fraction of what we saw during its peak, and falsely claimed a “free NFT pack is available to all customers.”

The tweet linked visitors to a scam version of the NBA Top Shot website (the link went to a .org address instead of the official site’s .com URL) that could attempt to drain assets from people who give it access to their crypto wallets. About a half hour later, the official Top Shot account posted, saying, “There is NO Free Airdrop happening on NBA Top Shot at this time, Please be careful and always double check links.”

The post was eventually pulled from Wojnarowski’s account after being live for nearly an hour. Because of his reputation for breaking news tweets, many NBA fans have alerts turned on for his posts and could have had account information stolen if they clicked the fraudulent link.

A number of high-profile Twitter / X accounts continue to get compromised. Wojnarowski’s recent NBA news posts have also been syndicated on Threads, however that account was not used for the scam.

However, the latest NBA Top Shot stats from tracking site Cryptoslam.io only show about 8,100 unique sellers and 5,550 unique buyers for the month of January, down from the peak of more than 399,000 buyers in March 2021, so it’s doubtful there are very many people left using it to get scammed by this kind of post.

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Fox News AI Newsletter: Google's woke AI image fail

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Fox News AI Newsletter: Google's woke AI image fail

Welcome to Fox News’ Artificial Intelligence newsletter with the latest AI technology advancements.

IN TODAY’S NEWSLETTER:

– Google apologizes after new Gemini AI refuses to show pictures, achievements of White people
– AI poised to bolster workplace efficiency and security, Cisco exec says
– Robo-calls no more as federal ruling makes clear statement on annoying practice

Gemini’s senior director of product management at Google has issued an apology after the AI refused to provide images of White people.  (Betul Abali/Anadolu via Getty Images)

RACIAL BIAS: The latest version of Google’s Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) will frequently produce images of Black, Native American and Asian people when prompted – but refuses to do the same White people.

AI BOOST: The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools is poised to yield greater workplace efficiency and has the potential to boost security even as bad actors look to exploit those tools.

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REVOKE CONSENT: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put a final point on its reforms related to automatic or “robocalls” after deciding to ban the use of artificial intelligence (AI) generated voices for marketing calls.

Cisco AI cybersecurity

Cisco’s Jeetu Patel told FOX Business that cybersecurity and software development are areas where AI can help businesses facing a talent shortage. (Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

AI BOOM: Nvidia shares soared after the artificial intelligence powerhouse announced a massive jump in quarterly revenue from a year ago, reassuring investors that its AI edge is alive and well.

GETTING ‘TECH’NICAL: All the hype around generative artificial intelligence since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has companies scrambling to hire talent who knows how to implement and harness the rapidly developing technology.

Nvidia processor AI

Nvidia logo displayed on a phone screen and microchip and are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on July 19, 2023. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Subscribe now to get the Fox News Artificial Intelligence Newsletter in your inbox.

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Stay up to date on the latest AI technology advancements and learn about the challenges and opportunities AI presents now and for the future with Fox News here.

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin sued over a plane crash that killed two pilots last year

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin sued over a plane crash that killed two pilots last year

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is facing a wrongful death lawsuit from the widow of one of two pilots who died in a plane crash off the coast of California in May 2023. It blames a poorly installed modification for the crash and claims his representatives intentionally slowed recovery efforts to destroy evidence, as previously reported by Bloomberg and Fortune.

An updated complaint filed on February 13th in the Santa Clara County Superior Court of California says Lance Maclean and co-pilot Dean Rushfedlt were contracted to bring Brin’s seaplane from California to Fiji for island-hopping with friends. Ferrying the $8 million, twin-engine Viking Air Twin Otter Series 400 that far required an auxiliary fuel system, which the complaint alleges a mechanic did “from memory” without consulting a checklist or logging it with the FAA.

While flying on the first leg of the flight to Hawaii, the fuel system failed, and the plane crashed into the ocean while trying to return to California. The Coast Guard arrived within 15 minutes but was unable to retrieve either of the pilots from the upside-down and partially submerged aircraft.

Aside from Brin, the lawsuit names Google and Brin’s family investment firm Bayshore Management, as co-owners of the plane, along with those responsible for setting up the flight and the plane’s maintenance.

Following their deaths, the suit says Brin had said he would help with recovery. But then, Brin’s representatives allegedly told Maclean’s widow, Maria Magdalena Olarte, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was preventing them from recovering the bodies — a claim the NOAA denied, according to the complaint.

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Olarte is seeking damages for five complaints, including wrongful death and survival negligence, and is demanding a jury trial.

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