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Airbnb Has a Big Hidden Camera Problem

CNN Investigates learned that the company has received 35K surveillance complaints

(Newser) - Checking into a home rental? You might want to also check for hidden cameras. CNN investigated what exactly happens when companies like Airbnb receive complaints about surveillance cameras from customers, and what they found wasn't exactly reassuring (they also have a handy tl;dr version). A look:
  • 35,000:

Post Office Lets Police Monitor Americans' Mail

Thousands of requests to log the outside of letters are approved each year, per the Washington Post

(Newser) - The Washington Post reports that the US Postal Service allows law enforcement agencies to monitor the mail of Americans—or at least the outside of it—on a fairly regular basis. The postal service has received more than 60,000 such requests since 2015, and it has honored virtually all...

911 Calls in NYC Will Soon Draw a New 'First Responder'

NYPD says it plans on deploying drones in response to 'certain' emergency calls

(Newser) - If you call 911 in New York City in the coming months, drones may show up to assist as the NYPD's newest first responders. Per the New York Daily News , station houses in five precincts—including the one that covers Central Park, as well as three in Brooklyn and...

US Senate OKs Spying Bill, Despite Privacy Worries

Bipartisan vote gives thumbs-up to reauthorization of FISA surveillance program

(Newser) - Barely missing its midnight deadline, the Senate voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key US surveillance law after divisions over whether the FBI should be restricted from using the program to search for Americans' data nearly forced the statute to lapse. The legislation approved 60-34 with bipartisan support would extend...

House Reauthorizes Controversial Spy Tool

But measure to extend FISA is for only 2 years, to satisfy GOP objections

(Newser) - The House passed a bill Friday to reauthorize a controversial US government surveillance tool without including broad restrictions on how the FBI uses the program to search for Americans' data. The bill, approved 273-147, now goes to the Senate, where the Wall Street Journal reports that it is expected to...

Johnson Faces Revolt Over Spy Tool Reauthorization

Trump urges Republicans to 'kill FISA'

(Newser) - A bill that would reauthorize a crucial national security surveillance program was blocked Wednesday by a conservative revolt, pushing the prospects of final passage into uncertainty amid a looming deadline. The legislative impasse followed an edict earlier in the day from Donald Trump to "kill" the measure. The procedural...

On NYC's Labor Day Weekend, a 'Sci-Fi Inspired Scenario'

NYPD says it will deploy surveillance drones to check on too-large holiday gatherings

(Newser) - Americans across the nation are gearing up for their final summer weekend, but for residents of New York City, there may be what the AP calls "an uninvited guest looming over their festivities." The NYPD announced Thursday it will deploy surveillance drones throughout Labor Day weekend to check...

China Is Once Again Busy in the Antarctic

Beijing is building a fifth facility, which is raising surveillance fears

(Newser) - China is back to building in Antarctica. Satellite images from January show new support facilities, temporary buildings, a helicopter pad, and foundations for a main building at the site of the country's fifth Antarctic research station on Inexpressible Island near the Ross Sea. China began building there in 2018...

HOAs' New Favorite Tool: License Plate Readers
HOAs' New Favorite
Tool: License Plate Readers
in case you missed it

HOAs' New Favorite Tool: License Plate Readers

Investigation by 'The Intercept' finds the devices in wide use, often without residents' knowledge

(Newser) - The HOAs are watching us. An investigation by the Intercept reveals that the practice of setting up license plate readers, often without public knowledge, is becoming the norm for homeowners associations throughout the US. The outlet has found more than 200 HOAs around the country that have installed cameras from...

US Hits Back With Blacklist Over Alleged Spy Balloon

Move comes on same day the US shot down unknown object off coast of northern Alaska

(Newser) - The United States has blacklisted six Chinese entities it said were linked to Beijing's aerospace programs as part of its retaliation over an alleged Chinese spy balloon that traversed US airspace. The economic restrictions announced Friday followed the Biden administration's pledge to consider broader efforts to address Chinese...

China: Let's Stay Calm About This Alleged Spy Balloon

It still hasn't confirmed the United States' allegations of the orb floating over Montana

(Newser) - The giant white object spotted drifting over Montana earlier this week is a spy balloon sent by China, at least according to the United States government. China, however, is urging everyone to take a deep breath and not pass judgment "before we have a clear understanding of the facts....

US: China Has a Spy Balloon Over Montana

Biden, Pentagon debate shooting it down

(Newser) - The Pentagon said Thursday it's tracking a surveillance balloon sent by China that's crossing the northern US—bringing another increase in tensions between the two nations. The balloon, described as about the size of three buses, was spotted over Montana on Thursday, ABC News reports, and officials said...

Dutch Judge Backs Worker Told to Keep Webcam on All Day

Court cites human rights decision in ruling against employer

(Newser) - An employee of a US software company, when told to keep his webcam on all day, pointed out that he already was sharing his screen, and that his boss could monitor everything he was doing on his laptop. He argued that being watched on top of that seemed like an...

Reported Secret CIA Program Sees Pushback: 'It Is Not OK'

Edward Snowden, civil rights advocates slam initiative that reportedly scooped up Americans' info

(Newser) - Facebook isn't the only entity you might need to worry about when it comes to your personal data. According to two lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA has been secretly scooping up info en masse on Americans, and civil liberties activists aren't happy about it. News...

Ex-Security Worker Alleges 'Extremely Sensitive' Britney Audio

New documentary says dad Jamie Spears had singer's phone, bedroom surveilled

(Newser) - There's a new documentary out on Britney Spears, and this one makes even more damning allegations against her father, Jamie Spears. In the New York Times' investigatory Controlling Britney Spears, released Friday on FX and Hulu , "key insiders" speak about the conservatorship she's been under since 2008,...

Court Rips Baltimore's Aerial Surveillance

Program violated the Fourth Amendment, opinion says

(Newser) - A federal court ruled Thursday that Baltimore's crime-fighting surveillance flights were unconstitutional and that police can't use any of the information gathered by the planes. The judges said the program violated the Fourth Amendment safeguard against illegal searches, the Verge reports. The planes' cameras were intended to record...

Staff Used $1B Startup's Security Cameras to Harass

No one was fired, a move Verkada's CEO defends

(Newser) - A surveillance startup boasting clients including Juul Labs, Red Lobster, and the city of Memphis has come under fire over claims that its own facial recognition system was used to harass female employees. Motherboard and the Verge are out with reports on the behavior at the Silicon Valley headquarters of...

USMS: We Sent a Plane Over Portland to Surveil Protesters

Meanwhile, violent clashes between protesters and federal officers in the Oregon city start up again

(Newser) - Thursday night marked the 84th night of protests in Portland, with clashes between protesters and federal agents once more emerging after weeks of nonviolence. The Oregonian reports that police declared the demonstration in the Oregon city a riot around 11pm local time, with a couple hundred protesters initially gathering around...

'Concerns' Prompt Air Force to Probe Use of Secretive Planes

Aircraft were deployed over DC, Minneapolis protests

(Newser) - The Air Force says its inspector general is investigating the use of Air National Guard reconnaissance aircraft during protests in Minneapolis and Washington, DC. Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder says the investigation is being conducted after discussions about "shared concerns" with Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The investigation...

IBM: It's Time to Talk About Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech

Company says it will no longer offer the technology

(Newser) - IBM says it is turning away from facial recognition technology—and the company thinks it's time for the country to take a hard look at its use by law enforcement. The company said in a letter to Congress that it will no longer offer, or research, "general purpose"...

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