Independent media getting wiped out. Plus, why we can't have nice things
And in related news.
The US has fallen to a new low in a global ranking of political rights and civil liberties, a drop fueled by unequal treatment of minority groups, damaging influence of money in politics, and increased polarization, according to a new report by Freedom House, a democracy watchdog group.
The US earned 83 out of 100 possible points this year in Freedom House’s annual rankings of freedoms around the world, an 11-point drop from its ranking of 94 a decade ago. The US’s new ranking places it on par with countries like Panama, Romania and Croatia and behind countries such as Argentina and Mongolia. It lagged far behind countries like the United Kingdom (93), Chile (93), Costa Rica (91) and Slovakia (90).
Or you could look at the glass half-full: "We're almost as democratic as nations with proud democratic traditions, such as Argentina, which has been democratic for nearly 40 years now."
It also illustrates that public trust in government has been damaged by the way rich Americans can use their money to exert outsize influence on American politics.
Then it's a good thing that rich Americans value freedom above all else.
Amazon delivery drivers across the U.S. who refuse to sign a so-called "consent" form enabling the powerful corporation's artificial intelligence-equipped cameras to monitor their every move and collect their biometric data will lose their jobs at week's end, according to new reporting by labor journalist Lauren Kaori Gurley.
"The only choice workers have is to comply with this gross violation of privacy or be unable to pay rent."
—Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, CWA
"This Technology tracks vehicle location and movement, including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance... as a condition of delivery packages for Amazon, you consent to the use of Technology," the form adds.
In the U.S. alone, there are roughly 75,000 drivers who work for Amazon, although they aren't officially employed by the tech behemoth but rather by "roughly 800 companies, known as delivery service partners that operate out of Amazon delivery stations," Gurley wrote Tuesday in Motherboard.
And if those workers don't sign the form requiring them to agree to constant tracking by the end of this week, Gurley reported, "they lose their jobs."