The Mozilla Corporation, the company behind the popular Firefox browser, has announced it is laying off 250 people. In a blog post, the company cited the coronavirus as well as a new focus on developing monetizeable products as the reasons for the redundancies.

This is happening while its CEO’s salary had increased from $1 million in 2014 to $2.5 million in 2018. The salaries of other managers were also increased. Most of the 250 employees were fired from Mozilla’s development and technology departments, while its management refused to make any temporary reductions in their salaries and reduced the workforce under the false pretext of coronavirus.

Mozilla has always been a hard-working progressive corporation when it comes to internet, freedom, and privacy/freedom-respecting services but its recent actions have made activists doubt that Mozilla is deviating from its (and our) principles and what all of us believe in.

When we talk about violating people’s privacy and using their data against them, many think that this violation is just done by mining data. This is a fact that mining people’s data based on information provided to a service can do many wrongs but violating people’s privacy is not just done by mining data.

Most of the times, when we’re using a service, what we’re concerned is not the amount data we provide, it’s the data itself. Even small amounts of data in different and various services can be used against our privacy. Many corporations have relationships with each other based on mutual interest.

They share our data together and all these data together can be matched and build a complete set of profiles upon us. We know that certain amount of metadata can be even more useful than data itself. Metadata provided to these companies can be used build a better/more complete profile, needless to say that the metadata itself can be used too.

Sadly, many people think because a service collects less information than others, it’s privacy-respecting. However, smart and intelligent services are now focused on collecting the right data from users not every data.

A service is not safe or privacy-respecting just because it collects less data. As long as you don’t know how a service works and/or can’t control everything in it, that service is not privacy-respecting. A service is not safe because it has less users than others and the data they have can’t be mined. In fact, they can be even worse as they can sell perfect data of us to big tech like GMAFIA and its friends.

The use of automatic facial recognition (AFR) technology by South Wales [blue pigs] is unlawful, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

It follows a legal challenge brought by civil rights group Liberty and Ed Bridges, 37, from Cardiff.

But the court also found its use was proportionate interference with human rights as the benefits outweighed the impact on Mr Bridges.

South Wales [blue pigs] said it would not be appealing the findings.

Mr Bridges had said being identified by AFR caused him distress.

The court upheld three of the five points raised in the appeal.

It said there was no clear guidance on where AFR Locate could be used and who could be put on a watchlist, a data protection impact assessment was deficient and the force did not take reasonable steps to find out if the software had a racial or gender bias.

The appeal followed the dismissal of Mr Bridges’ case at London’s High Court in September by two senior judges, who had concluded use of the technology was not unlawful.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has endangered the lives and health of prisoners. Political prisoners and human rights defenders must be released as the virus continues to spread in prisons.

With the new waves of coronavirus, many human rights defenders are worried about the health condition and situation of prisoners. Many in Iran believe that the government of Iran is not doing enough to protect the lives of political prisoners.

Persian HRA News reports that Iran’s national TV reports about the condition of prisoners are not accurate but officials say that prisoners are taken care of.

There are reports that some political and/or activists have been released to be protected in their houses but some are still in jail as the Judiciary System says they can’t nor shouldn’t be released. Human rights defenders believe it’s injustice and those prisoners are in danger of being infected by the virus.

It’s not just Iran. Even in the United States the coronavirus stats are rising sharply. New York Times has reported that cases of the coronavirus in prisons and jails across the United States have soared in recent weeks, even as the overall daily infection rate in the nation has remained relatively flat.

People lives should be protected no matter they are in prison or free. Humans should be respected no matter what they did in the past. People should not be imprisoned because of their belief. If someone has committed a crime, punishment must be done, but no human being should be put in a dangerous situation because of the crime that person has committed.

The ice that hangs off the edge of Antarctica and floats on the ocean is melting faster than it is being replenished, even in pockets of East Antarctica typically thought to be less vulnerable to climate change, according to a study published Monday.

Results echo previous findings on retreat of continent’s ice shelves and go further, enabling better climate models.

The ice that hangs off the edge of Antarctica and floats on the ocean is melting faster than it is being replenished, even in pockets of East Antarctica typically thought to be less vulnerable to climate change, according to a study published Monday.

These structures, known as ice shelves, shed nearly 4,000 gigatons of their mass between 1994 and 2018, according to the new research, which leveraged nearly 25 years of satellite measurements of ice thickness. It echoes findings of numerous previous studies reporting the retreat.

This is a part of Riseup’s newsletter (today):

Every year we grow a little bit more. More people use riseup each year as we take on new services and maintain additional systems. If you can, please make a donation to Riseup Networks in support of the services people use around the world as they struggle against capitalism and other forms of oppression. https://riseup.net/en/donate

If you want to directly support the research, testing and development of the software that Riseup Networks depends on to provide its services, please consider making a donation to Riseup Labs – the sibling organization that focuses on software research and development. https://riseuplabs.org/donate

For many years, campaigning was the only option we had to defend our rights. Even today, when we want to raise our voice to show what we want, we campaign for or against stuff. For example, FSF is now campaigning against using proprietary software for education and wants schools to use software libre instead, to protect students and defend their digital rights.

Well not every time we campaigned for something, we succeeded but at least many people heard our voice and started learning about what we said. Campaigning is still very important for advocacy. Individuals like me, can do nothing without the power of society joined together for a common interest.

In today’s world, many of our rights are being violated. Even those who believe that are supporting us sometimes do stuff we don’t expect at all. The 16th anniversary of OpenStreetMap was celebrated at an online Zoom conference. We know for a fact that Zoom has serious problems over security and is a proprietary software.

Now, as a user of OSM, if I protest against it, nothing would happen as I would be considered an individual who doesn’t like Zoom. But if we campaign against it, the anniversary holders will realize that what we’re talking about is a matter of public interest of OSM users.

Joining the campaigns that defend our rights is very important. In many ways, campaigning is the only way that can support our belief and rights. For example, while ago, ICANN was giving the .org registry control to a private firm, which EFF campaigned against. The results were great. ICANN canceled it because it realized that people are highly disappointed. Now, PIR (Public Internet Registry which is a nonproft) is still in control of .org domain extension.

Now, our problem is that many people don’t participate in a campaign because they see a large group of people were already joined. We should know that no number is considered enough when we campaign. The amount of people who join the campaign shows the power of that statement people are campaigning for.

Sadly, many people don’t bother to take few minutes and signing a campaign which they know is for their own benefit. It is very wrong. As I said, more people joining the campaign, more power the campaign gains to defend its goal.

Please join the campaigns that defend your rights because they are not worthless. In fact, they did a lot of things for our own good and they are still powerful to defend us. Campaigning is still important and useful in many ways. Let’s campaign for our rights again.

There are reports that Google Home (may) have been listening and recording to all of people’s conversations, without permission and consent. Google collects every recording to process and if Google Home devices were listening/recording people, Google now has thousands of hours of people’s private conversations in its data centers, backed-up and ready to be used.

The Chocolate Factory admitted it had accidentally turned on a feature that allowed its voice-controlled AI-based assistant to activate and snoop on its surroundings.

Normally, the device only starts actively listening in and making a note of what it hears after it has heard wake words, such as “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google,” for privacy reasons. Prior to waking, it’s constantly listening out for those words, but is not supposed to keep a record of what it hears.

Yet punters noticed their Google Homes had been recording random sounds, without any wake word uttered, when they started receiving notifications on their phone that showed the device had heard things like a smoke alarm beeping, or glass breaking in their homes – all without giving their approval.

Many Belarusian people believe re-election of Lukashenko is making Belarus a new dictatorship. Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus since 1994 and has been re-elected on August 9 for his sixth term.

Protests erupted across Belarus late Sunday after disputed preliminary results showed a landslide election victory of his. In the capital, Minsk, live feeds from Radio Free Europe showed riot police using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters.

After polls closed Sunday, the head of Belarus’ central election commission Lydia Yermoshina said on the Belarus-1 TV channel that Lukashenko was ahead in five regions with about 82% of the vote. Official exit polls published by state-run news agency Belta put Lukashenko at about 80% of the vote, with his main rival, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, at about 7%.

Tikhanovskaya said in a news conference late Sunday that she did not agree with the results. Her campaign maintained that she had won in dozens of polling stations in Minsk at that stage.

Google will one again have human workers to listen to users’ voice recordings. Few days ago, Google sent email messages to users who have used Google’s voice products such as Google Assistant and Google Maps and asked them to opt into audio sharing. Previously, all users have been opted out automatically.

There are two things we should be concerned about. First, people being opted out doesn’t mean that their data have been purged. Google still has access to all audios that have been recorded and sent to it. Also, there’s no proof that Google hasn’t been listening to these recordings and/or haven’t shared it with third-parties.

Second thing is that Google doesn’t explain all the story to people. “We recently updated our settings and included more detail about how Google uses voice and audio recordings to improve products like Google Assistant for everyone.” A Google spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

Google doesn’t explain to people how this can affect people’s privacy and how they share people’s conversations, whether they have consent for that specific conversation or not, with third-parties.

Until last year, Google had human employees including third-party contractors listen to audio recordings of users to evaluate how well its AI transcribed audio. Google paused the practice last September amid widespread backlash after reports first surfaced about the practice.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft faced similar criticism along with Google, last year for letting humans listen to audio clips from their users. Google is lying about its program because it’s not telling the whole story to people. Many people probably opted in with no clue about how their privacy is going to violated.