tech, FTC, Amazon, Ring doorbell, spying settlements
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Amazon’s Ring Used to Spy on Customers, FTC Says in Privacy Settlement (Maria)

The author writes, “A former employee of’s Ring doorbell camera unit spied for months on female customers in 2017 with cameras placed in bedrooms and bathrooms, the Federal Trade Commission said in a court filing on Wednesday when it announced a $5.8 million settlement with the company over privacy violations. Amazon also agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations it violated children’s privacy rights when it failed to delete Alexa recordings at the request of parents and kept them longer than necessary. … The FTC settlements are the agency’s latest effort to hold Big Tech accountable for policies critics say place profits from data collection ahead of privacy.”

Federal Authorities Charge Solomon Peña With Election Interference (Al)

From the Albuquerque Journal: “Federal authorities have charged failed Republican candidate Solomon Peña with election interference after he and others allegedly conspired to shoot up local politicians’ homes several months ago. Peña, 40, Demetrio Trujillo, 41, and Jose Trujillo, 22, were charged last week with conspiracy, interference with federally protected activities, fentanyl possession and three counts of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The federal indictment against the trio was unsealed Wednesday.”

How a ‘Blue Wall’ Inside New York State Prisons Protects Abusive Guards (Michaela)

From The Marshall Project: “Records and interviews reveal a culture of cover-ups among corrections officers who falsify reports and send beating victims to solitary confinement.”

WA’s Last Coal-Fired Power Plant Is Closing. Now Renewable Energy Companies Have Eyes on the Town (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The dense, white cloud of steam coming out of a dark green building here has been a constant part of the landscape for more than half a century. Now, the Lewis County town of about 19,000 is getting ready to bid farewell to the cloud source: Washington’s last coal-fired power plant, overlooked by Mount Rainier and sprawling hills sprinkled with wind turbines.”

Italy’s Disasters Suggest the Climate Crisis Is at the Gates of Europe (Laura)

The author writes, “[Last] week, parts of northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region received half their average annual rainfall in just 36 hours. Rivers burst their banks and thousands of acres of farmland lie submerged. By Thursday evening, an estimated 20,000 people had been left homeless and 13 were confirmed dead. It is just the latest weather disaster to hit the country. Six months ago, 12 people died on the southern island of Ischia in a landslide triggered by torrential rain. Eleven more were killed last September by flash floods in the central region of Marche.”

Russians Snitch on Russians Who Oppose War With Soviet-Style Denunciations (Russ)

From The Washington Post: “Parishioners have denounced Russian priests who advocated peace instead of victory in the war on Ukraine. Teachers lost their jobs after children tattled that they opposed the war. Neighbors who bore some trivial grudge for years have snitched on longtime foes. Workers rat on one another to their bosses or directly to the police or the FSB, the Federal Security Service. This is the hostile, paranoid atmosphere of Russians at war with Ukraine and with one another.” 

Alleged Former Russian Spy Whale Spotted Off Sweden’s Coast (Dana)

The author writes, “An alleged former Russian spy whale has been spotted off the coast of Sweden, says an organization dedicated to tracking the beluga whale. Named locally as Hvaldimir, the whale was first spotted off Norway’s coast in 2019 wearing a Russian harness. Having spent years traveling slowly southwards from Norway’s far north, the whale has sped up his movements out of Norwegian waters in recent months. OneWhale said the reason behind his sudden hastiness was unclear.”


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