The tens of millions of Americans that own Amazon smart devices like Alexa, Echo and Ring only have a few days left to opt out of a company experiment that will severely compromise their personal privacy and security.
Article by Arsenio Toledo from Natural News.
On June 8, Amazon will launch the Amazon Sidewalk, a new shared mesh network that will help its devices work better and remain connected to the internet. It will do this by automatically connecting to other Amazon smart devices, or what it calls “Sidewalk Bridge devices.”
Sidewalk will use these Bridge devices to siphon off a “small amount” of bandwidth from the owner’s internet and broadcast the Sidewalk network to nearby neighbors and their Amazon devices. This process then repeats until all Amazon devices in a certain area are connected to each other.
“Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices to help find pets or valuables with Tile trackers and help devices stay online even if they are outside the range of their home wifi,” wrote Amazon on Sidewalk’s website. “In the future, Sidewalk will support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as smart security and lighting and diagnostics for appliances and tools.”
According to Amazon, the more devices there are that are connected, the stronger the Sidewalk network becomes. Here are the devices that will automatically connect to the Sidewalk network:
- Echo Dot (third generation and newer)
- Echo Dot for Kids (third generation and newer)
- Echo Dot with Clock (third generation and newer)
- Echo Flex
- Echo Input
- Echo Plus (all generations)
- Echo Show (all generations and models)
- Echo Spot
- Echo Studio
- Ring Floodlight Camera (2019)
- Ring Spotlight Camera Mounted (2019), Wired (2019) and Echo (third generation and newer)
Fortunately for the people who own these devices, it is easy to opt out of the shared network. They simply have to open the Alexa app, hit the “More” button in the lower right corner, go to “Settings” and then to “Account Settings.” From there, people should be able to see the “Amazon Sidewalk” option where they can turn off their participation with the Sidewalk network.
Sidewalk will open people up to their data being passed around through the devices of their neighbors
Wireless technologies and networks like the Amazon Sidewalk have a long history of being vulnerable to attack. Even established technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can make people vulnerable to data theft if they are not careful.
This situation is made worse by the Amazon Sidewalk, a technology that operates as a shared network where all data can be passed around through different Amazon smart devices. (Related: Amazon and Ring under fire after revealing authorities can keep homeowner videos forever, endangering user privacy.)
People who are considering joining the Sidewalk network must also be reminded of Amazon’s own poor track record when it comes to privacy. Amazon devices are already intimately connected to people’s homes. Amazon’s smart devices can already control locks, see who knocks on people’s doors and take charge over other security systems in people’s homes. The company’s devices can even peer into living rooms and hear and record private conversations people are having with their friends and family.
All of this data is stored in a person’s device and mostly stays put within the confines of a person’s home. Connecting these smart devices to the neighborhood- or city-wide Sidewalk network – a network that has never even seen widespread testing – will allow this encrypted data to potentially be transferred to other devices within the network.
“In addition to capturing everyone’s shopping habits (from amazon.com) and their internet activity (as AWS is one of the most dominant web hosting services) … now they are also effectively becoming a global ISP with a flick of a switch, all without even having to lay a single foot of fiber,” wrote independent privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani.
Amazon has published a white paper going into detail regarding the technical underpinnings and service terms that the company claims will protect the privacy and security of the people whose devices join the network. Despite these supposed checks and balances, there are still far too many risks to joining the Sidewalk network, and people should strongly consider opting out of it before it goes online.
Learn more about how Amazon’s smart devices steal data and compromise people’s privacy by reading the latest articles at PrivacyWatch.news.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
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The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
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Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
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