New Research Reveals Startling Privacy Risks of Home Security Cameras

What We Know About the Killing of Elijah McClain ; Sparrows Are Singing a New Song ; and More Picks

Home security cameras, privacy, risk discovery
The author writes, “An international study has used data from a major home Internet Protocol (IP) security camera provider to evaluate potential privacy risks for users. ... The findings, published at the IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (July 6-9), showed that the traffic generated by the cameras could be monitored by attackers and used to predict when a house is occupied or not. The researchers even found that future activity in the house could be predicted based on past traffic generated by the camera, which could leave users more at risk of burglary.” Photo credit: Harrihealey02 / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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What We Know About the Killing of Elijah McClain (Chris C.)

The author writes, “According to McClain’s family, the 23-year-old had made a quick trip to the convenience store to pick up an iced tea for his brother. His sister later told a local ABC affiliate, Denver7, that McClain was wearing an open-face ski mask because he ‘had anemia and would sometimes get cold.’ And although he was unarmed, simply walking home and, his sister said, listening to music, police say ‘a struggle ensued.’”

This Town of 170,000 Replaced Some Cops With Medics and Mental Health Workers (Russ)

The author writes, “Around 30 years ago, [the town of Eugene] retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counselors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn’t necessarily require police intervention. Today, the program, called CAHOOTS, has three vans, more than double the number of staffers and the attention of a country in crisis. CAHOOTS is already doing what police reform advocates say is necessary to fundamentally change the US criminal justice system — pass off some responsibilities to unarmed civilians.”

A High-Risk Florida Teen Who Died From COVID-19 Had Attended a Huge Church Party (Russ)

The author writes, “A medical examiner’s report recently made public … has raised questions about [Carsyn Leigh Davis’s] case. The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner found that the immunocompromised teen went to a large church party with roughly 100 other children where she did not wear a mask and social distancing was not enforced. Then, after getting sick, nearly a week passed before she was taken to the hospital, and during that time her parents gave her hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug touted by President Trump that the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about, saying usage could cause potentially deadly heart rhythm problems. Carsyn’s case … [has drawn] fierce backlash from critics, including a number of medical professionals, who condemned the actions taken by the teen’s family in the weeks before her death.”

Not Just Coronavirus: US Repeatedly Fails at Public Health (Reader Steve)

From the Los Angeles Times: “‘Public health is a quintessential public action,’ said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, which studies health systems in the U.S. and abroad. ‘It must be done by people working together on behalf of themselves and others. In a fiercely independent culture, that is very hard to undertake.’ … As healthcare in America became big business, creating what the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 called a ‘medical industrial complex,’ drugmakers, medical systems, dialysis companies and others dependent on high medical spending expanded their influence. And while medical spending in the U.S. rocketed upward, wariness of government helped check any parallel expansion in public health.”

How Companies Fleeced American Workers Out of Wages and Benefits (Dana)

The author writes, “Long before the pandemic, U.S. workers’ productivity and their median pay, which once rose in tandem, went through an acrimonious divorce. Compensation, especially in some of the country’s fastest-growing industries, has stagnated, while the costs of housing, health care, and education decidedly have not. … The pandemic certainly could give employers even more power to set the rules. Or it could give workers a chance to end a heist on a nationwide scale.”

Behind Bars, But Still Posting on TikTok (Chris C.)

The author writes, “Like most TikTok subgenres, there’s plenty of lip syncing and elaborate, coordinated dance routines on Prison TikTok. But the most popular videos often depict daily life: Prisoners give tours of their cells, show how they cook, and film the stray cats who linger outside the barred windows. A clip featuring a group of inmates explaining how they made a bootleg phone charger has been viewed more than 10 million times on the platform. In another video with almost 9 million views, an inmate memes about the difficulties of being bisexual in an environment where macho masculinity is the norm.”

Sparrows Are Singing a New Song (Mili)

From National Geographic: “White-throated sparrows across Canada are abandoning an old song in exchange for a trendy new tune. The reason remains a mystery.”

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