The First Issue

I want to lay out the goals of this newsletter and how I would like certain milestones to shape the future of the website.

500 subscribers will be the first main goal. At 500 subscribers, I feel comfortable working on monetizing this newsletter and creating other community-driven projects like a private chat room/forums (or public) with members.

The primary value of this newsletter will be getting the latest news around privacy, data, and technology and sharing interesting websites and stories that focus on the small and open web. As we find our place and a working niche, this may change over time.

Your data will be kept private and never sold. The only tracking that will happen will be anonymous, never sacrificing privacy over profit.

Lastly, bare with me; I created this to inform and improve my writing. Things will change over time as I find my style and what works. Anyways, let's jump into the first newsletter.

In this week's issue:

  • Amazon shared Ring camera footage 11 times in 2022 without a warrant or consent from users
  • The FCC proposes increasing minimum broadband speeds to 100/20
  • Unity merges with ironSource, a known malware and adware distributor

Honestly, you can't be too surprised by this.

In 2019, Ring created a program for users to voluntarily share footage with police. The user can either accept, decline, or stop receiving requests altogether. So if you decided to share that data, it is your fault if you feel your privacy is violated, according to Amazon.

But it seems like Amazon, who owns Ring, and police officers got a bit too cozy in bed and decided to share footage 11 times, just this year, without the consent of the users and a warrant.

Ring says they reserve the right to supply footage in “emergencies.” They didn't want to elaborate more than saying it means “cases involving imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person."

If you haven't learned from any other shady instance of big tech handling your data, don't trust big tech.

The FCC proposes increasing minimum broadband speeds to 100mb/s

The proposal is overdue but duly recognized. The United States is ranked 11th in terms of global median download speeds even though we have the highest GDP.

Internet Service Providers(ISPs) profits have continued going up even though internet speeds have stayed relatively the same, and not to mention they now limit the amount of data you can use per month.

Chairwomen Rosenworcel created a separate proposal to create a national goal of 1 Gbps download and 500 Mbps upload to be met in the future. The current minimum is 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, which seems hardly sustainable in a connected world. If this passes, though, prices will likely increase with the speed increase.

With how slow the government moves, let's hope by the time this gets passed, and ISPs are forced to adopt this, 100/20 will even be up to date.

Unity Merges with ironSource, a Known Malware Distributor

Unity has merged with a known malware and adware distributor, ironSource, in an all stock deal.

Honestly, this is not good for optics regarding Unity’s priorities. It seems clear now that they care about making money from ads over the core product they provide, a formerly beloved game engine.

The sentiment with indie developers seems to be to start learning an alternative, like Unreal Engine 5 for 3D games or Godot for smaller 2D and 3D games. We will see how Unity will react and if its profits change after this acquisition.

Luckily they are a public company, so we can track this in the future. Maybe Unity should try being a game engine vs whatever they are trying to be now…

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