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Andrew Yang Plans To Use a 3D Hologram For Remote Campaigning

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-04-12 15:00
Andrew Yang, the presidential candidate who supports Universal Basic Income and has attracted a devoted online following, is planning to use a 3D hologram on the campaign trail. "On Wednesday he gave the #YangGang, which is what his supporters call themselves, their first look at it," reports New York Magazine. From the report: The hologram's debut came on TMZ Live, which showed a video of Yang's hologram performing a duet alongside a hologram of his "hero," Tupac. "I was doing a demo of what a hologram would consist of in order to send the hologram of me to campaign in Iowa or other battleground states," he said. Last month, Yang spoke about his hologram plans with Iowa newspaper, The Carroll Daily Times Herald. "We are exploring rolling a truck out that would enable someone to see a hologram of me that is three-dimensional give my stump speech," Yang told the paper. "And, also, if I were in a studio, which we could set up very easily, I could beam in and take questions live." Yang also told the paper that he plans to use hologram technology to remind voters that "it is 2019, and soon it will be 2020, and things are changing."

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How To Stop Amazon From Listening To Your Alexa Recordings

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-04-12 00:03
Yesterday, Bloomberg dropped a bombshell report revealing that Amazon employs thousands of people around the world to listen to voice recordings captured in Echo owners' homes and offices, and uses them to improve its Alexa digital assistant. "The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa's understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands," the report says. "A screenshot reviewed by Bloomberg shows that the recordings sent to the Alexa auditors don't provide a user's full name and address but are associated with an account number, as well as the user's first name and the device's serial number." While many have assumed that this was already happening behind the scenes, it may still come as a surprise to see proof of the practice. Thankfully, there is a way to stop Amazon from listening to your Alexa recordings. Tom's Guide explains: 1. In the Alexa app, access Settings. You'll find this button at the bottom of the menu in the top left corner of the home screen. 2. Click on Alexa Account. This should be at the top of the page. 3. Select Alexa Privacy. You'll be taken to Amazon's external Alexa privacy page. You can review a number of things here, including our voice history, skill permissions, and other data settings. 4. Tap "Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa." 5. Toggle "Help Develop New Features" and "Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions" to Off. Alexa will no longer learn and improve from your responses, but your recordings will be safe and sound.

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A New Bill Would Force Companies To Check Their Algorithms For Bias

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-04-11 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require large companies to audit machine learning-powered systems -- like facial recognition or ad targeting algorithms -- for bias. The Algorithmic Accountability Act is sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), with a House equivalent sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). If passed, it would ask the Federal Trade Commission to create rules for evaluating "highly sensitive" automated systems. Companies would have to assess whether the algorithms powering these tools are biased or discriminatory, as well as whether they pose a privacy or security risk to consumers. The Algorithmic Accountability Act is aimed at major companies with access to large amounts of information. It would apply to companies that make over $50 million per year, hold information on at least 1 million people or devices, or primarily act as data brokers that buy and sell consumer data. These companies would have to evaluate a broad range of algorithms -- including anything that affects consumers' legal rights, attempts to predict and analyze their behavior, involves large amounts of sensitive data, or "systematically monitors a large, publicly accessible physical place." That would theoretically cover a huge swath of the tech economy, and if a report turns up major risks of discrimination, privacy problems, or other issues, the company is supposed to address them within a timely manner.

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Amazon Workers Are Listening To What You Tell Alexa

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-04-11 03:00
Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people around the world to help improve its Alexa digital assistant. "The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners' homes and offices," reports Bloomberg. "The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa's understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands." From the report: The team comprises a mix of contractors and full-time Amazon employees who work in outposts from Boston to Costa Rica, India and Romania, according to the people, who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program. They work nine hours a day, with each reviewer parsing as many as 1,000 audio clips per shift, according to two workers based at Amazon's Bucharest office, which takes up the top three floors of the Globalworth building in the Romanian capital's up-and-coming Pipera district. The modern facility stands out amid the crumbling infrastructure and bears no exterior sign advertising Amazon's presence. The work is mostly mundane. One worker in Boston said he mined accumulated voice data for specific utterances such as "Taylor Swift" and annotated them to indicate the searcher meant the musical artist. Occasionally the listeners pick up things Echo owners likely would rather stay private: a woman singing badly off key in the shower, say, or a child screaming for help. The teams use internal chat rooms to share files when they need help parsing a muddled word -- or come across an amusing recording. Sometimes they hear recordings they find upsetting, or possibly criminal. Two of the workers said they picked up what they believe was a sexual assault. When something like that happens, they may share the experience in the internal chat room as a way of relieving stress. Amazon says it has procedures in place for workers to follow when they hear something distressing, but two Romania-based employees said that, after requesting guidance for such cases, they were told it wasn't Amazon's job to interfere. [...] Amazon, in its marketing and privacy policy materials, doesn't explicitly say humans are listening to recordings of some conversations picked up by Alexa. "We use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems," the company says in a list of frequently asked questions. In Alexa's privacy settings, the company gives users the option of disabling the use of their voice recordings for the development of new features. A screenshot reviewed by Bloomberg shows that the recordings sent to the Alexa auditors don't provide a user's full name and address but are associated with an account number, as well as the user's first name and the device's serial number. An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Bloomberg: "We take the security and privacy of our customers' personal information seriously. We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order [to] improve the customer experience. For example, this information helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone." They added: "We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system. Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow. All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption and audits of our control environment to protect it." Further reading: How To Stop Amazon From Listening To Your Recordings

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Man Caught Wearing Earbuds With a Dead Phone Found Guilty of Distracted Driving

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-04-11 01:40
Freshly Exhumed writes: RCMP officers spotted a man driving with earbuds plugged into his iPhone. The phone was not in his hands nor on his lap, was not playing music or video, and the driver was not using it to talk to someone or navigate. The battery was, in fact, completely dead. Nonetheless, a judge has ruled that "by plugging the earbud wire into the iPhone, the defendant had enlarged the device, such that it included not only the iPhone (proper) but also attached speaker or earbuds," he wrote. "Since the earbuds were part of the electronic device and since the earbuds were in the defendant's ears, it necessarily follows that the defendant was holding the device (or part of the device) in a position in which it could be used, i.e. his ears." On the question of the battery, the judge said he relied on a 2015 precedent set in a Canadian provincial court, which says that holding an electronic device in a position where it could be used constitutes an offense, even if it is temporarily not working.

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Two Out of Three Hotels Accidentally Leak Guests' Personal Data: Symantec

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 22:15
Two out of three hotel websites inadvertently leak guests' booking details and personal data to third-party sites, including advertisers and analytics companies, according to research released by Symantec on Wednesday. From a report: The study, which looked at more than 1,500 hotel websites in 54 countries that ranged from two-star to five-star properties, comes several months after Marriott International disclosed one of the worst data breaches in history. Symantec said Marriott was not included in the study. Compromised personal information includes full names, email addresses, credit card details and passport numbers of guests that could be used by cybercriminals who are increasingly interested in the movements of influential business professionals and government employees, Symantec said.

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You Can Now Use Your Android Phone as a 2FA Security Key for Google Accounts

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 18:41
Google said today it will now enable Android users to use their smartphones as a Fast Identity Online (FIDO) security key (for two-step authentication) for their Google accounts, thereby addressing one of the biggest challenges that has slowed the adoption of this security measure: convenience. A report adds: You can thus use your Android phone to protect your personal Google account, and your G Suite, Cloud Identity, and Google Cloud Platform work accounts. (Android tablets aren't supported -- Google specifically limited the functionality since users are more likely to have phones with them.) This means Android phones can move from two-step verification (2SV) to two-factor authentication (2FA). 2SV is a method of confirming a user's identity using something they know (password) and a second thing they know (a code sent via text message). 2FA is a method of confirming a user's identity by using a combination of two different factors: something they know (password), something they have (security key), or something they are (fingerprint). The feature is coming only to Android devices versions 7 and up.

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Chrome, Safari and Opera Criticised For Removing Privacy Setting

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 16:40
It's a browser feature few users will have heard of, but forthcoming versions of Chrome, Safari and Opera are in the process of removing the ability to disable a long-ignored tracking feature called hyperlink auditing pings. From a report: This is a long-established HTML feature that's set as an attribute -- the ping variable -- which turns a link into a URL that can be tracked by website owners or advertisers to monitor what users are clicking on. When a user follows a link set up to work like this, an HTTP POST ping is sent to a second URL which records this interaction without revealing to the user that this has happened. It's only one of several ways users can be tracked, of course, but it's long bothered privacy experts, which is why third-party adblockers often include it on their block list by default. Until now, an even simpler way to block these pings has been through the browser itself, which in the case of Chrome, Safari and Opera is done by setting a flag (in Chrome you type chrome://flags and set hyperlink auditing to 'disabled'). Notice, however, that these browsers still allow hyperlink auditing by default, which means users would need to know about this setting to change that. It seems that very few do.

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Apple Music Caught Censoring Pro-Democracy Music In China

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Chinese journalists and netizens recently found that Apple Music's Chinese streaming service censored a song by Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung that references the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, an extremely politically sensitive topic for the Chinese Communist Party. The incident's 30th anniversary is coming up in June. Sophie Richardson, the China Director at Human Rights Watch, called the reported move "spectacularly craven." The Tiananmen protests are emblematic of a larger pro-democracy movement in China that was snuffed out by the Beijing government. Thousands of protesters were killed, but the exact numbers have themselves been censored by Chinese government officials. Apple Music has also reportedly censored Anthony Wong and Denise Ho, two pro-democracy singers. After being noticed by Chinese netizens, the removals were reported by the Hong Kong Free Press and The Stand, two Hong Kong-based news outlets. Taiwan News also reported the censorship of Cheung's "Ren Jian Dao." The music remains available on Apple Music's North American products. "By removing a song referring the Tiananmen Massacre, @apple is actively participating in the Chinese Communist Party's agenda of scrubbing the colossal violations it has committed against the Chinese people from collective memory and rewriting history," tweeted Yaqiu Wang, a Chinese researcher with Human Rights Watch.

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Senators Introduce Bill That Would Ban Websites From Using Manipulative Consent Forms

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 04:10
U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) have introduced a bill to ban online social media companies from tricking consumers into giving away the rights to their data. The Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act would ban companies "from manipulating adults into signing away their data, or manipulating children into staying on a platform compulsively," reports Motherboard. "The bill also requires platforms to ensure informed consent from users before green-lighting academic studies." From the report: The DETOUR Act would make it illegal to "design, modify, or manipulate a user interface" in order to obscure, subvert, or impair a user's ability to decide how their data is used. The interface refers to the "style, layout, and text" of a privacy policy. The rigor of default privacy regulations would also be subject to regulation under the DETOUR Act. The DETOUR Act would also ban features that encourage "compulsive usage" for children under 13 years old. This would directly target platforms like YouTube, which has auto-play for both its regular site and for its child-specific YouTube Kids app. A representative for Common Sense Media told Motherboard in a phone call that the organization provided feedback and input to the authors of the bill. The law would also apply to "behavioral or psychological experiments or studies," such as the ones used by Cambridge Analytica in order to sort users by personality type. Per the bill, any such studies have to get informed consent first, and experimenters would need to make routine disclosures to participants and to the public every 90 days. If enacted, the DETOUR Act would require tech companies to make their own Independent Review Boards, which would be responsible for making sure they comply with the law. The act would also give the FTC one year to make infrastructure to would review tech companies and enforce violations of the law.

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Yahoo Offers $118 Million To Settle Lawsuit Over Massive Data Breach

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2019-04-10 03:30
Yahoo is offering to pay $117.5 million to settle its massive data breaches that compromised personal information, including email addresses and passwords. "The proposed settlement was announced on Tuesday, but still needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh," reports CNN. From the report: Earlier this year, a different version of the class-action settlement was rejected by Koh, who wanted to see more benefit to consumers and a specific settlement amount. Yahoo was hit by multiple data breaches from 2013 to 2016. The 2013 breach affected every single customer account that existed at the time, which totaled 3 billion. Yahoo previously said names, email addresses and passwords were compromised but not financial information.

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Are the Kids All Right? These School Surveillance Apps Sure Want To Tell You

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-09 18:10
A number of businesses are rushing in to watch everything kids do on their school-issued tech, reports the Outline. From the story: As schools struggle to catch up with the fast-moving online environment, technology can seem like both the cause of and solution to life's problems. Increasingly, schools are turning to high-tech surveillance tools to supervise students online. As Nelson, who has worked in education for 20 years, told The Outline: "There has always been a small proportion of the student body that are going to be jerks or are struggling. With technology, they're able to [do harm] much more quickly and intensely." [...] Apps like Apple Classroom, DyKnow, and ClassDojo extend these common disciplinary practices into online spaces. Apple Classroom and DyKnow, which bills itself as "classroom-management software for teachers," allow teachers to remotely lock students' computers or tablets into particular apps in order to cut off distractions and the temptation to cheat. These apps also let teachers call up real-time images of students' screens and histories of apps each student has used during class to check who has been following instructions and who was off-task.

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Chicago Is Tracking Kids Awaiting Trial With GPS Monitors That Can Call, Record Them Without Consent

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-09 02:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Appeal: On March 29, court officials in Chicago strapped an ankle monitor onto Shawn, a 15-year-old awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery. They explained that the device would need to be charged for two hours a day and that it would track his movements using GPS technology. He was told he would have to be given permission to leave his house, even to go to school. But he found out that through his monitor, officers wouldn't just be able to track his location, as most electronic monitors do. They would also be able to speak -- and listen -- to him. Shawn, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is one of hundreds of children in Chicago whose ankle monitors are now equipped with microphones and speakers. The stated purpose of these devices is to communicate with the children, but they are raising concerns among civil liberties watchers that they are actually a mechanism for surveilling the conversations of these kids and those around them -- and potentially for using the recordings in criminal cases. In January, Cook County, home of Chicago, awarded a contract to the electronic monitoring company Track Group, which will lease 275 ankle monitors to keep tabs on children awaiting trial. The devices, known as ReliAlert XC3, have two-way communication capabilities that allow both electronic monitoring officers at the criminal court and employees at Track Group's monitoring center to call an individual wearing a monitor at any time. The wearer can press a button on the device to reach the monitoring center, but there is no way to decline an incoming call. Cook County officials said juvenile probation began using the new devices in February because of their extended battery life and more secure band. The devices were also selected because of their built-in communication, as some children on probation are difficult to reach by phone. But Pat Milhizer, the director of communications for the office of the chief judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, said the county would now review concerns about privacy. "I can't quite even start down the parade of horribles in terms of all the ways this could be a problem," said Sarah Staudt, senior policy analyst and staff attorney for Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and a former juvenile defense attorney in Cook County. "The idea that an adult can turn on a listening device while a child is, say, in the bathroom or in their bedroom is not good."

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Across the US, Popular Video Doorbells Are Recording their Own Thefts

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-04-09 00:20
There has been an uptick in reports of video doorbells getting stolen, according to local news reports. A story adds: According to the reports, residents are waking up in the morning or coming home at night only to find their video doorbell devices stolen. Typically the devices are screwed into place on the outside of a house, often with mounts or braces to hold them in place. While they are wired into the wall, thieves don't seem to care too much about that. In most cases, residents appear to report the devices have been pried off the side of their home. In some cases, the cameras are able to capture an image of the perpetrator as they are stealing the device. Those images are usually available through mobile apps connected to the doorbell, which might help police track down the person responsible for the theft. However, there's no guarantee that officers will be able to find the thieves, especially if they steal the device while keeping their face and other identifying features covered while on camera. Police are suggesting that people keep track of the serial number on their devices in order to keep track of them and watch in case the devices appear on Craigslist, eBay, or other online marketplaces.

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More Jails Replace In-Person Visits With Awful Video Chat Products

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-08 23:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: After April 15, inmates at the Adult Detention Center in Lowndes County, Mississippi will no longer be allowed to visit with family members face to face. Newton County, Missouri, implemented an in-person visitor ban last month. The Allen County Jail in Indiana phased out in-person visits earlier this year. All three changes are part of a nationwide trend toward "video visitation" services. Instead of seeing their loved ones face to face, inmates are increasingly limited to talking to them through video terminals. Most jails give family members a choice between using video terminals at the jail -- which are free -- or paying fees to make calls from home using a PC or mobile device. Even some advocates of the change admit that it has downsides for inmates and their families. Ryan Rickert, jail administrator at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center, acknowledged to The Commercial Dispatch that inmates were disappointed they wouldn't get to see family members anymore. Advocates of this approach point to an upside for families: they can now make video calls to loved ones from home instead of having to physically travel to the jail. These services are ludicrously expensive. Video calls cost 40 cents per minute in Newton County, 50 cents per minute in Lowndes County, and $10 per call in Allen County. Outside of prison, of course, video calls on Skype or FaceTime are free. These "visitation" services are often "grainy and jerky, periodically freezing up altogether," reports Ars. As for why so many jails are adopting them, it has a lot to do with money. "In-person visits are labor intensive. Prison guards need to escort inmates to and from visitation rooms, supervise the visits, and in some cases pat down visitors for contraband. In contrast, video terminals can be installed inside each cell block, minimizing the need to move inmates around the jail." The video-visitation systems also directly generate revenue for jails.

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FBI Criticized For Delaying Breach Notifications, Including Insufficient Details

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-08 22:21
The Federal Bureau of Investigations does a poor job at notifying victims of a cyber-attack, a US government report released last week said. A story adds: FBI notifications arrive either too late or contain insufficient information for victims to take action, a report from the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) has concluded. The report analyzed Cyber Guardian, an FBI application for storing information about tips and ongoing investigations. The system also allows agents to enter details about suspected victims, which Cyber Guardian can later notify via automated messages. But the DOJ-OIG report said FBI agents are not using the system as it is intended. For example, interviews with 31 agents revealed that 29 entered victim information in a lead category called "Action," rather than the standard "Victim Notification."

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Two-Thirds of Consumers Don't Expect Google To Track Them the Way It Does

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-08 21:40
A significant majority of consumers do not expect Google to track their activities across their lives, their locations, on other sites, and on other platforms. Jason Kint, writing for Nieman Lab: Our findings show that many of Google's data practices deviate from consumer expectations. The results of the study are consistent with our Facebook study: People don't want surveillance advertising. A majority of consumers indicated they don't expect to be tracked across Google's services, let alone be tracked across the web in order to make ads more targeted. Nearly two out of three consumers don't expect Google to track them across non-Google apps, offline activities from data brokers, or via their location history. There was only one question where a small majority of respondents felt that Google was acting according to their expectations. That was about Google merging data from search queries with other data it collects on its own services. They also don't expect Google to connect the data back to the user's personal account, but only by a small majority. Google began doing both of these in 2016 after previously promising it wouldn't.

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Are America's Big Telecom Companies Suppressing Fiber?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-04-08 12:34
Salon just published a new interview with Susan Crawford, the author of "Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution -- And Why America Might Miss It." Crawford has spent years studying the business of these underground fiber optic cables that make fast internet possible. As it turns out, the internet infrastructure situation in the United States is almost hopelessly compromised by the oligopolistic telecom industry, which, due to lack of competition and deregulation, is hesitant to invest in their aging infrastructure... This is going to pose a huge problem for the future, Crawford warns, noting that politicians as well as the telecom industry are largely inept when it comes to prepping us for a well-connected future... "The decay started in 2004 when -- maybe out of gullibility, maybe out of naivety, maybe out of calculation -- then-chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell, now the head of cable association -- was persuaded that the telcos would battle it out with the cable companies, that their cable modem services would battle it out with wireless, and all of that competition would do a much better job than any regulatory structure could at ensuring that every American had a cheap and fantastic connection of the internet. That's just turned out that's just not true. Since then, he deregulated the entire sector -- and as a result, we got this very stagnant status quo where in most urban areas -- usually the local cable monopoly has a lock in the market and can charge whatever it wants for whatever type of quality services they're providing, leaving a lot of people out." "Because Americans don't travel," she adds, "you don't get the sense of what a third-world country the U.S. is becoming when it comes to communications."

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Google Helps Government Conduct Warrantless Searches, Alleges EPIC

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-04-07 21:32
schwit1 quotes Tom's Hardware: The Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC"), a civil liberties group based in Washington D.C., filed an amicus brief in the United States vs. Wilson case concerning Google scanning billions of users' files for unlawful content and then sending that information to law enforcement agencies. EPIC alleges that law enforcement is using Google, a private entity, to bypass the Fourth Amendment, which requires due process and probable cause before "searching or seizing" someone's property. As a private entity, Google doesn't have to abide by the Fourth Amendment as the government has to, so it can do those mass searches on its behalf and then give the government the results. The U.S. government has been increasingly using this strategy to bypass Fourth Amendment protections of U.S. citizens and to expand its warrantless surveillance operations further. Google and a few other companies have "voluntarily" agreed to use a database of image hashes from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help the agency find exploited children. More than that, the companies would also give any information they have on the people who owned those images, given they are users of said companies' services and have shared the images through those services.

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Startup Sells Pot 'Grow Fridges' That Are Tended By Robots

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-04-07 18:34
NJ Advance Media reports on "an Israeli and Maryland-based startup that claims to be able to quadruple the yield of traditional cannabis grows" -- using indoor, climate-controlled 40-inch-tall "grow fridges" that are tended by robots. You see, despite the old cliche of "growing like a weed," cannabis has actually been something of a high-maintenance slacker when it comes to its cultivation... In shade, it provides far less seed and pollen. It's not tolerant of the cold, and does not reproduce well in drought. It's also very susceptible to fungal infections, so too much water leaves it vulnerable to pathogens... For years, the high price fetched by traditionally farmed cannabis and low cost of human labor conspired to make robotic farming uneconomical. What else is inside the Seedo container besides the plants, gro-bots and soil? Nothing -- which is kind of the whole point: Seedo uses a patented, beyond-surgical grade filtration system that ionizes the air, making it deadly to bacteria, viruses and mold.... At $150,000 per Seedo container, the costs to achieve this are high, but cutting the usual 10 percent to 20 percent loss to disease of a traditionally farmed cannabis crop to disease to less than 5 percent, they rapidly become economical... A traditionally-farmed 1,000 square meter grow operation produces 600 kilograms of cannabis per year. But Levy says 16 Seedo containers (along with a Seedo robot to tend them) can fit into that same space, producing 2.4 tons of dry bud [2,177 kilograms]. And because they can be stacked 5 high, the same robotically farmed footprint can generate up to 12 tons [10,886 kilograms] of dry bud cannabis. "You can make a return on investment very fast," said Levy, whose backers now include include Daniel Birnbaum, the CEO of SodaStream International, acquired by Pepsi late last year for $3.2 billion. "Think of Seedo as the first driverless car for hydroponic growing," explains their web site, noting that their gro-bots control each container's temperature, humidity, lighting, pH sensors, and automated CO2-release systems, with internal cameras offering HD-live streaming to their iOS/Android app. Seedo is now "in negotiations" to export its containers to California and Nevada, according to the article, and also in New Jersey -- assuming New Jersey's state legislature votes to legalize it first.

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