Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats

Matthew Guariglia
Electronic Frontier Foundation

(August 21, 2019)

Doors across the United States are now fitted with Amazon’s Ring, a combination doorbell-security camera that records and transmits video straight to users’ phones, to Amazon’s cloud—and often to the local police department. By sending photos and alerts every time the camera detects motion or someone rings the doorbell, the app can create an illusion of a household under siege. It turns what seems like a perfectly safe neighborhood into a source of anxiety and fear. This raises the question: do you really need Ring, or have Amazon and the police misled you into thinking that you do?

Recent reports show that Ring has partnered with police departments across the country to hawk this new surveillance system—going so far as to draft press statements and social media posts for police to promote Ring cameras. This creates a vicious cycle in which police promote the adoption of Ring, Ring terrifies people into thinking their homes are in danger, and then Amazon sells more cameras.

Map of Ring partnerships with police compiled by Shreyas GandlurSee full screen

How Ring Surveils and Frightens Residents

Even though government statistics show that crime in the United States has been steadily decreasing for decades, people’s perception of crime and danger in their communities often conflict with the data. Vendors prey on these fears by creating products that inflame our greatest anxieties about crime.

Ring works by sending notifications to a person’s phone every time the doorbell rings or motion near the door is detected. With every update, Ring turns the delivery person or census-taker innocently standing on at the door into a potential criminal.

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FAU Police Sued For Illegally Accessing Professor’s DMV Records

Officers Repeatedly Filched Targeted Faculty Member’s Personal Information

Florida Civil Rights Coalition
(August 23, 2019)

West Palm Beach—The Florida Civil Rights Coalition, P.L.L.C. has initiated civil actions on behalf of former Florida Atlantic University (“FAU”) Professor James Tracy against four FAU law enforcement officers for illegally accessing Tracy’s driver’s license information in 2015 and 2016.

The lawsuits allege that FAU’s current and former law enforcement personnel, Rickey Leon Bethel Jr. [Case No. 9:19-cv-81189], Tracy Clark Haynie [Case No. 9:19-cv-81190], Amy Grande [Case No. 9:19-cv- 81191] and Gia Shaw [Case No. 9:19-cv-81193] violated the Drivers License Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”), a federal law with criminal and civil penalties against individuals who obtain, disclose or use drivers’ license information without an authorized purpose or consent.

Public records show Bethel, Haynie, Grande and Shaw accessed Tracy’s confidential personal information using the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Driver and Vehicle Information Database, also known as “DAVID.” The inquiries began the morning of December 17, 2015, less than two days after FAU officials announced termination proceedings against the tenured communications professor. The records reveal Bethel, Haynie, Grande and Shaw combined for twenty six (26) unlawful DAVID inquiries to obtain Tracy’s confidential personal information.

Record of searches on Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles “DAVID” database conducted by FAU Police for then-FAU Professor James Tracy.

The four lawsuits demand jury trials and request liquidated damages under the DPPA, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, court costs and injunctions against Bethel, Haynie, Grande and Shaw and anyone acting in concert with them.

Dr. Tracy was hired by FAU as a tenure-track faculty member in 2002 and awarded tenure in 2008. Following Tracy’s unlawful termination in 2016, the Florida Civil Rights Coalition filed a civil rights lawsuit [Case No. 9:16-cv-80655] on Tracy’s behalf against FAU and various officials who conspired to terminate Tracy in retaliation for his constitutionally protected speech. After a federal jury returned a verdict favoring FAU in 2017, Tracy appealed. The case [Case No. 18-10173] is presently scheduled for oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia on September 19, 2019.

Inquires may be directed to info (at) floridacivilrights.org.

Download PDF

Initial pleadings/exhibits are viewable here.

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Koch & Soros Unite to Censor Internet

Max Slavo
SHTFPlan.com

Establishment left-wing and establishment conservative billionaires are teaming up to censor the Internet.  It looks like elitists on both sides of the political aisle are trying to make sure you only get the information they want you to have.

Organizations established by left-winger George Soros and neo-conservative Charles Koch have been working together on a key priority of globalist neoliberals and neoconservatives: censorship of the Internet, according to Breitbart NewsCensorship is necessary for tyranny so it makes sense that those who need the government to enslave humanity would be working together to achieve the means to an end.

Last year, the Charles Koch Institute pledged its support for the “After Charlottesville Project,” an initiative organized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) aimed at combating “online extremism.”

Sponsors of the initiative include Comcast, NBC Universal, the Kresge Foundation, and the George Soros Charitable Foundation.

Other groups involved in the project include a host of Soros-funded organizations, including “Hope not Hate,” the British equivalent of the far-left SPLC, and the pro-immigration National Immigration Forum.

The former group, Hope not Hate, has a reputation for far-left extremism. Liberal anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz accused them of “book burning” after it announced a campaign to get allegedly “racist” books banned by major retailers. It was also forced to retract a smear against a Jewish pro-Israel activist last year.-Breitbart News

The Charles Koch Institute, once seen as a conservative nemesis of the left, has now aligned itself with this group of left-wing, pro-censorship, anti-Trump agitators. When it comes to censoring the Internet, both the progressive and “conservative” establishment appear to be converging on a common position.

The Charles Koch Institute now also appears committed to advancing Internet censorship and aligning with totalitarianism and slavery over freedom and libertarian principles. Koch is now for  “content moderation,” as they call it. Sarah Ruger, the Institute’s director of “free expression initiatives” has praised Airbnb for canceling the reservations of far-right activists, and has called for “online hate” to be treated like a “virus.”
As always, there’s an elephant in the room — what counts as “online hate?” Is it questioning the official narrative? Is it condemning authoritarians who harm others? Is it siding with morality even though it contradicts the existence of government?  What exactly is “online hate” and who gets to decide if you’re hateful?

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15-Year-Old Charged With Felony for Internet post On mass shooting

5th Florida Precrime ‘Threat Arrest’ This Month

“He’s a child … He didn’t cause, or act, or do anything though.”

Daniel Figueroa IV
TampaBayTimes

A Seabreeze High School student Friday became the fifth Floridian charged with threatening to commit a mass shooting after deadly shootings in El Paso and Dayton earlier this month.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, 15-year-old Adam Guzzetti was charged with a felony after authorities learned he threatened to shoot and kill people at his school, Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach.

Using the username FalconWarrior920 on the gaming platform Discord, deputies said Guzzetti on Thursday used a fake name and stated “I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers (sic) m15 to school and kill 7 people at minimum.”

Another user alerted the FBI to the threat, which was then passed on to the sheriff’s office. Members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force were able to track the FalconWarrior920 IP address to an address in Holly Hills, where Guzzetti lives with his mother, Amethy Organ, according to an arrest report.

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Scientists Address Link Between Geoengineering and Wildfires

Worldwide Dispersal of Aerosolized Particulates Increases Global Warming, Endangers Human & Planetary Health

Two scientists have published their findings on the relationship between geoengineering and the intensity of California wildfires in the peer-reviewed research outlet, Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science.

“The near-daily, near-global jet-spraying of particulate matter, evidenced as mainly [coal fly ash], into the troposphere has major consequences on climate,” authors J. Marvin Herndon of Transdyne Corporation and Mark Whiteside of Florida Department of Health write in the report. “One consequence of aerosolised CFA is to exacerbate global warming, which evidence indicates is mainly caused by pollution, especially particulate pollution, not by greenhouse gases.”

U. S. Air force jet spraying particulate trails in the air above palm springs, California (USA). Photos courtesy of Dan Dapper

The article also features copious photographic evidence of what the authors assert is geoengineering, including “[e]xamples of deliberate jet-sprayed particulate pollution … on days devoid of natural clouds.”

Introduction

The California, USA wildfires (Fig. 1) are symptomatic of far more serious anthropogenic phenomena adversely affecting flora and fauna, including humans, worldwide. The California

(USA) wildfires are thus a microcosm of wildfires worldwide. Climate change, specifically increased temperatures and increased water vapour pressure deficits, is considered a key factor driving California, regional and global wildfire increases. We agree with the assertion that “human-caused climate change is now a key driver of forest fire activity in the Western United States,” but the explanation proffered is grossly insufficient. Although wildfires are to some extent natural occurrences, the undisclosed, unnatural manipulations of our planet’s atmosphere and hydrosphere that we describe in this review heat the atmosphere, exacerbate combustibility, and wreak anthropogenic environmental havoc of unprecedented magnitude.

On December 12, 2017, the U. S. Forest Service reported that an additional 27 million trees, mostly conifers, died throughout California since November 2016, bringing the total number of trees that have died to a historic record of 129 million on 8.9 million acres. Forest die-offs, with concomitant wildfires, are not confined to California, but are occurring globally. The usual explanations given for the die-offs are combinations of global warming, drought, and bark beetles. These explanations, however, are just consequences of a more fundamental human-caused attack on Earth’s natural processes that has not been reported by academic scientists, but is the subject of this review.

The unprecedented numbers of tree deaths, while providing ready fuel for wildfires, is just one adverse consequence of the unnatural environmental manipulations that exacerbate the potential for major destructive wildfires whose occurrences are increasing in California and, indeed, globally. Here we review the consequences of those unnatural and unreported climate manipulations with particular emphasis on their adverse implications to wildfires and to human health.

The complete article may be accessed here.
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Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

10 percent of all U.S. deaths tied to mistakes

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
(May 3, 2016)

Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in The BMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) third leading cause of death — respiratory disease, which kills close to 150,000 people per year.

The Johns Hopkins team says the CDC’s way of collecting national health statistics fails to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate. The researchers are advocating for updated criteria for classifying deaths on death certificates.

“Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven’t been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics,” says Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an authority on health reform. “The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used.”

In 1949, Makary says, the U.S. adopted an international form that used International Classification of Diseases (ICD) billing codes to tally causes of death.

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Americans Can Handle an Open Discussion on Vaccines

RFK, Jr. Responds to Criticism from His Family

CHD NOTE: In early May 2019, Politico Magazine published an article written by three of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s relatives, criticizing his advocacy for safe vaccines. After numerous requests, Politico magazine has refused to publish his response. 

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Children’s Health Defense
(August 15, 2019)

Three of my Kennedy relatives recently published an article criticizing my advocacy for safe vaccines. Our contentious family dispute highlights the fierce national donnybrook over vaccinations that has divided communities and raised doubts about the Democratic Party’s commitment to some of its defining values: abhorrence of censorship, wariness toward excessive corporate power, support for free speech, religious freedom, and personal sovereignty over our bodies, and the rights of citizens (codified in the Nuremberg Code and other treaties to which we are signatories) to decline unwanted government-mandated medical interventions. The debate has also raised questions about the independence of our press and its role as a champion of free speech, and First Amendment rights as a bulwark against overreaching by government and corporations.

I love my family and sympathize with their anxieties when I call out government officials for corruption. The Kennedys have a long, close, and continuing relationship with public health agencies so it is understandably difficult for us to believe that powerful regulators would lie about vaccines. “All issues are simple,” the saw goes, “until you study them.”

My skepticism

I’ve arrived at my skepticism after 15 years spent researching and litigating this issue. I have watched financial conflicts and institutional self-interest transform key sectors of our public health bureaucracies into appendages of the very pharmaceutical companies that Congress charged them to regulate.

Multiple investigations by Congress and the HHS Inspector General have consistently found that an overwhelming majority of the FDA officials directly charged with licensing vaccines, and the CDC officials who effectively mandate them for children, have personal financial entanglements with vaccine manufacturers. These public servants are often shareholders in, grant recipients from, and paid consultants to vaccine manufacturers, and, occasionally, patent holders of the very vaccines they vote to approve. Those conflicts motivate them to recommend ever more vaccines with minimal support from evidence-based science.

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