Technology, privacy, Ring doorbells, law enforcement, info release
Photo credit: Daniel Oberhaus, 2019 (CC BY 2.0)

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Amazon Gave Ring Doorbell Videos to US Police 11 Times Without Permission (Maria)

The author writes, “Amazon has provided Ring doorbell footage to law enforcement 11 times this year without the user’s permission, despite previously stating it would do so only with consent. The disclosure came in a letter from the company that was made public Wednesday by Senator Edward Markey and is bound to raise more privacy and civil liberty concerns about its video-sharing agreements with police departments across the US. Ring has said before it will not share customer information with police without consent, a warrant, or due to ‘an exigent or emergency’ circumstance.”

The Trump Enablers Truly in Contempt of Congress (Sean)

The author writes, “Unlike those involved in the January 6 coup attempt who refuse to testify, my communist grandfather respected democracy and had the courage to turn up, say his piece, and take the consequences.”

It Was a Secret Roadmap for Breaking the Law to Get an Abortion. Now, ‘the List’ and Its Tactics Are Resurfacing (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Created in San Francisco by a former U.S. Army nurse named Patricia Maginnis, the List was merely the visible component of a well-organized and efficient clandestine network that sprawled across multiple countries and incorporated the wisdom of thousands. It guided about 12,000 people to safe abortions before Roe, evolving into one of the biggest feminist projects in the country — comparable in scope to Jane, a similar group in Chicago.”

The Mass Casualty Crime No One Is Talking About (Sean)

From Capital B: “Drive-bys typically involve two or more people, with a passenger firing from inside a moving vehicle or a gunman exiting the vehicle to fire before quickly driving off. They are a nationwide phenomenon that has destroyed funerals and celebrations, family barbecues and children’s birthdays. Grandmothers have been killed while sitting on their porches. Infants have been killed in the backseat of a car. The incidents have ‘plagued’ Black and brown communities for generations.”

The State Took Children From Their Parents — Then Failed to Give Them a ‘Real’ Education (Reader Jim)

From NBC News: “Michigan is catastrophically failing to provide many of the most vulnerable children in its care with a quality education, delaying some teenagers’ graduation by years or leaving them so frustrated that they drop out of school, according to foster youth, their advocates and educators who’ve tried to help them. NBC News spoke with 10 current or former Michigan foster youth who collectively spent time in more than a dozen residential facilities in recent years, either because social workers couldn’t find a family to take them or because the state said they needed treatment for mental health or substance misuse issues.”

Is the World Really Falling Apart, or Does It Just Feel That Way? (Dana)

The author writes, “Has the world entered a time of unusual turbulence, or does it just feel that way? Scanning the headlines, it’s easy to conclude that something has broken. The pandemic. Global grain shortage. Russia’s war on Ukraine. Political and economic meltdown in Sri Lanka. A former prime minister’s assassination in Japan. And, in the United States: inflation, mass shootings, a reckoning over Jan. 6, and collapsing abortion rights. That sense of chaos can be difficult to square with longer-term data showing that, on many metrics, the world is generally becoming better off.”

The Sustainable Cities Made From Mud (Mili)

The author writes, “Mud buildings are remarkably good at keeping us cool in summer and warm in winter, and withstanding extreme weather. In the search for more sustainable buildings, architects are returning to this overlooked, age-old construction material.”

A Bizarre Radio Signal From Deep Space Has Been Detected Beating Like a Heart (Mili)

The author writes, “A new radio signal from deep space is once again challenging our understanding of these mysterious phenomena. Not only is this new fast radio burst, named FRB 20191221A, another extremely rare repeater, but it’s not even that fast: the radio flashes received across intergalactic space are three seconds in duration, about 1,000 times longer than average.”


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