Ring doorbell app packed with third-party trackers

[My EFF colleague Bill Budington has a fantastic report on all the ways that Ring surveils its own customers. Caveat emptor, indeed. -Cory]

Ring isn't just a product that allows users to surveil their neighbors. The company also uses it to surveil its customers. Read the rest

Amazon threatened to fire two tech workers who spoke about climate and Amazon's business, then 357 more workers joined them

Last October, two Amazon employees -- Maren Costa (UX designer) and Jamie Kowalski (software engineer) spoke on the record to the Washington Post about their employer's complicity in the climate crisis, including the provision of cloud computing services to energy company in search of new sources of fossil fuels. Read the rest

You can read the forensics report that suggests Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud hacked Jeff Bezos's phone

Motherboard has obtained and published a copy of the forensics report that suggests that Jeff Bezos's phone was hacked by Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, possibly in a scheme to obtain kompromat that could be used as leverage to prevent the Washington Post of reporting on the death of Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered and mutilated by agents of the prince. Read the rest

'Absurd,' Saudi Arabia calls claims MBS hacked Bezos phone

“I think absurd is exactly the right word,” said Saudi Prince Faisal Read the rest

Amazon reinstates FedEx ground delivery for Prime after suspending it last month

Amazon has reinstated FedEx as a ground delivery carrier for Prime members' shipments. The online retailer said today the shipper consistently met its delivery requirements, after suspending it last month. Read the rest

New Jersey mom and dad open Amazon diaper order and discover poopy diapers

On Amazon, the box was described as “Used: like new.” Read the rest

Multiple Amazon employees have been fired for spying on Ring owners' cameras

Ring's response to a group of US senators who questioned the company about its privacy practices reveals that the Amazon subsidiary has had to fire multiple employees who were caught spying on customers' surveillance doorbell cameras and other Ring surveillance footage. Read the rest

Amazon used "security" to sell Ring doorbells, then blamed customers when hackers broke into them

[Amazon's surveillance doorbell company Ring sells "security" -- the sense that surveilling your porch or your driveway or your home can make you safe. But when the company experienced a grotesque and completely predictable breach that saw hackers breaking into Ring cameras and spying on and tormenting their owners, Amazon blamed their customers for recycling passwords. In this outstanding Deeplinks post, my EFF colleagues, Cooper Quintin and Bill Budington explain just how odious this victim-blaming really is. -Cory]

Just a week after hackers broke into a Ring camera in a childs’ bedroom taunting the child and sparking serious concerns about the company’s security practices, Buzzfeed News is reporting that over 3,600 Ring owners’ email addresses, passwords, camera locations, and camera names were dumped online. This Includes cameras recording private spaces inside homes. Read the rest

CHOAM parody logo tees, mugs and housewares

Last-minute stocking stuffer! After many requests I have finally made the Choam-azon logo available on tees, mugs and housewares, with absolutely no-one's permission.

Celebrate the crushing monopoly on interstellar trade enjoyed by Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles with this handsome design evoking its distant origins on Old Earth. Shipped directly by Guild Heighliner to your sietch!

For those not in the know, it's a parody of the Amazon logo referring to CHOAM, the overwhelming retail cartel from the Dune universe. But of course, abominations that you are, you already knew that.

CHOAM logo parody merch [redbubble]

Read the rest

Family puts Ring camera in children's room, discovers that hacker is watching their kids 24/7, taunting them through the speaker

A family in DeSoto County, Mississippi, bought a Ring security camera so they could keep an eye on their three young girls in their bedroom. Four days later, they learned that a hacker had broken into the camera and subjected their children to continuous bedroom surveillance, taunting the children through the camera's built-in speaker. Read the rest

2019 was the year of voice assistant privacy dumpster fires

2019 was the "I Told You So" year for privacy advocates and voice assistants: the year in which every company that wanted you to trust them to put an always-on mic in the most intimate places in your home was revealed to have allowed thousands of low-waged contractors to listen in on millions of clips, many of them accidentally recorded: first it was Amazon (and again!), then Google, then Apple, then Microsoft. Read the rest

Amazon's Ring surveillance doorbell leaks its customers' home addresses, linked to their doorbell videos

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "A new investigation from Gizmodo just revealed that anyone, anywhere can get geographic coordinates of Ring devices from Amazon’s Neighbors App. Not only can someone find out where users live, they can use footage to track bystanders, locate children, and monitor people going into buildings, like clinics, for private appointments. Amazon sells these devices under the guise of keeping us safe. They’re lying. Their surveillance devices and network puts us all in danger. We need lawmakers to fully investigate the threats associated with Amazon’s dragnet and its impact on our privacy, security, and civil liberties. Fight for the Future has launched a campaign calling for Congress to investigate Amazon's surveillance practices. You can add your name here." (Image: Dan Calacci/MIT) Read the rest

Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments

You can sell anything on Amazon, until you get noticed, and in the age of computer-generated copycats it can pretend not to even know what's for sale there. So it comes to pass that Amazon has now removed the Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments, which have been noticed.

The Christmas merchandise featured images from Auschwitz including the railway line leading to its infamous gates, the barbed wire fences and the buildings where it housed victims - mainly Jews. The memorial and museum later posted an update to say the items had been removed and thanked social media users for their "activity and response" after the post attracted thousands of retweets.

Sadly, Stephen Miller's christmas is not yet ruined. Similar products are still available to those who know what they're looking for.

But later Auschwitz Memorial posted again to say "sadly, it's not over yet".

It said it had found a "disturbing online product" from another seller - a computer mouse-pad bearing the image of a freight train used for deporting people to the concentration camps.

Read the rest

Amazon secretly planned to use facial recognition and Ring doorbells to create neighborhood "watch lists"

Ring is Amazon's surveillance doorbell division, and a big part of their sales strategy involves terrifying people about the possibility of crime, partnering with police to assist in terrorizing Ring owners, and to provide police with warrantless, permanent, shareable access to surveillance doorbell footage (something the company has repeatedly lied about). Hundred of police departments have now partnered with Ring and they act as buzz-marketing teams for the company in exchange for freebies and access. Read the rest

Trump pledged that Amazon would be forced to pay its taxes; thanks to his #taxscam, their profits went up and their taxes stayed $0.00

Amazon's tax bill in 2017 was $0. Trump was very vocal in his disgust at this situation and pledged he would make them pay their fair share. It's been a year, and Amazon's profits are way up ($11.2 billion!) but their tax bill remains precisely $0.00. Thank the #taxscam. Read the rest

How to add the Google Play Store to your 2019 Amazon Fire 10 HD tablet

The very first thing I did with my new Amazon Fire HD 10 was to install the Google Play Store.

I love Amazon's bargain tablets, they are a cheap Android device with heavy integration into Amazon. I ignore the shopping and love the Prime Video. Installing Google Play store gives me access to all the stuff Amazon doesn't provide: Gmail, Chrome and thousands of Android apps.

The process is very simple and only requires you download and permit four .apks to install (all files come from APK Mirror):

You will have to permit the files to be installed as Amazon doesn't love Google as a source.

First: Google Account Manager 7.1.2 (Android 6.0+) Second: Google Services Framework 9 (Android 9.0+) Third: Google Play services 19.6.29 (100300-278422107) (100300) Fourth: Google Play Store 17.5.18-all [0] [PR] 280467566 (nodpi) (Android 4.1+)

This is my fourth such Amazon tablet and I have never had an issue with Amazon trying to block this activity.

The new Amazon Fire HD 10 has some decent CPU and memory upgrades. I am trying it out this week and will review soon. Thus far, its the same as the old one but faster and with a slightly better screen.

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet (10.1" 1080p full HD display, 32 GB) via Amazon Read the rest

Amazon unhappy Microsoft won $10 billion 'war cloud' Pentagon contract

Donald Trump has long made a sport of mocking Amazon founder and Washington Post newspaper owner Jeff Bezos, and Jeff Bezos is well aware of this. Read the rest

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