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Shooters’ body reviews membership of gun owner involved in violent video

Australia s peak shooting body is reviewing the membership of a firearms holder who filmed a violent video of what appears to be an effigy of the grand mufti being shot and incinerated. A series of videos filmed by Shooting Stuff Australia, an online group of gun enthusiasts, has alarmed gun control groups about increasingly violent rhetoric being used by some gun owners. One video depicts a plush toy effigy of the grand muffin which appears to be a caricature of the grand mufti laden with an explosives belt decapitating Santa Claus. Another shows them shooting a female character wearing a hijab. One of the men in the video says: Shit there s another one, a breeder.

Related: Gun owners who made video of Grand Mufti effigy being shot face calls for ban1

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia s Queensland2 spokesman, Geoff Jones, confirmed it was reviewing the membership of Martin Phillips, one of the men involved in the online group. In one of the group s YouTube videos, Phillips explains how the genuine reason requirement needed for obtaining gun licences can be obtained in Queensland, using his own membership with SSAA as an example.

I m not a huge fan of the way they operate, he said in the video.3 I just joined SSAA because it was quick and easy. After Guardian Australia s report about the group, Jones said: SSAA Queensland is currently reviewing the membership of Mr Martin Phillips. Our review will follow the proper due processes as we conduct our own internal investigation into whether Mr Phillips retains or loses his membership. That being said, we will not tolerate anyone who brings the integrity of our sport into question.

Phillips denies he is a member of the SSA. He stated: I left SSAA in 2015 and joined another club that offered better benefits to members. Plain and simple. The online group s actions also led Greens MP David Shoebridge to write to the New South Wales police commissioner, Andrew Scipione, asking him to investigate a number of individuals who he says have posted material that appears to advocate political and ethnic violence. In an earlier statement the SSAA s national media manager, Kate Fantinel, said: All members must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which includes preserving the good image of our sport and the association at all times. While the SSAA is proud of Australia s culture of larrikinism and mateship, the ownership and use of firearms is a privilege that should not be abused.

Membership of Australia s biggest shooting organisation does not entitle any member to use firearms irresponsibly, nor does it pave the way for easy access or ownership of a firearm.

The SSAA takes firearms safety seriously; we expect our 180,000+ members to behave in a safe and ethical manner at all times.

But she criticised Shoebridge s concerns raised about the group.

While we appreciate Mr Shoebridge s concerns, we must point out that if he was seriously concerned about firearms ending up in the wrong hands, he would not have published a website giving criminals the location of registered firearms across New South Wales, she said. The comment is a reference to Shoebridge s Too Many Guns website4, which uses data provided by NSW police to catalogue gun ownership by suburb in the state. Shoebridge said the response to the online group and the defensiveness of the gun lobby pointed to a serious cultural problem with firearms use in Australia.

Even when the most serious cases of inappropriate firearms use are raised there are still large parts of the gun lobby that refuse to acknowledge any fault, he said.

When you raise quite reasonable and legitimate concerns, the level of vitriol being used is really alarming.

References

  1. ^ Gun owners who made video of Grand Mufti effigy being shot face calls for ban (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ Queensland (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ video. (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ Too Many Guns website (www.toomanyguns.org)

Connected Toys Are Raising Complicated New Privacy Questions

Connected Toys Are Raising Complicated New Privacy Questions

Toys and other devices are collecting loads of data from children. What could go wrong? Talking toys have come a long way since the original Furby. Now they re connected to the Internet, use speech recognition, and are raising a host of new questions about the online privacy and security of children. Hackers have already targeted toys. Late last year, Hong Kong-based digital toy maker Vtech admitted that cybercriminals accessed the personal information of 6.4 million children1. Researchers have also shown how hackers can gain control of connected dolls. But a number of the privacy-related challenges raised by connected toys are novel. They are collecting new kinds of data, and what s at stake if something goes wrong is not always clear.

Two of the most prominent examples of the new generation of toys are the Dino2, a cloud-connected, Wi-Fi-enabled plastic dinosaur that uses speech recognition technology and IBM s Watson to listen and respond to a child s words, and Mattel s Hello Barbie3, which also uses speech recognition and uploads voice recordings to the cloud. Both work in way that s similar to the way virtual assistants like Apple s Siri and Amazon s Alexa work. They re regulated by a law that now looks outdated. In 1998, the U.S. enacted the Children s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, to protect young children from the risks of sharing personal information online. The Federal Trade Commission enforces COPPA, which is designed to give parents control over their children s data. But some privacy advocates and policymakers argue that COPPA is not clear enough in some cases, given the wide and growing range of technological capabilities of today s toys.

Connected Toys Are Raising Complicated New Privacy Questions The Dino, made by a startup called Elemental Path, records what children say and uses IBM s Watson to respond.

Technically4, COPPA applies to online services directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children. That clearly includes toys like the Dino and Hello Barbie. But should it also apply to other applications like Siri and Alexa, or other data-collecting online services that are popular with children even though they are not exclusively directed at them? Earlier this month, Virginia Senator Mark Warner sent a letter to the FTC5 expressing concern over the increasing collection of children s personal information by apps and toys, and to ask for clarification about how the FTC will enforce COPPA in this environment. While Congress may have had an inkling of the future growth of web-services in 1998, Warner wrote, it certainly did not envision the array of conventional household products that now possess data gathering and processing capabilities. He asked the commission to clarify how it determines whether a device, website, or app is directed at children. The FTC has not yet responded.

Another set of big questions hovers around consent. Under COPPA, companies must get verified consent from a child s parent before collecting personal information from that child. But getting that consent for connected toys can be much trickier than when Internet just meant browsers and websites. One of the biggest challenges is that new connected toys and devices often feature small, limited, or disconnected user interfaces, if they have them at all, former FTC commissioner Julie Brill6 said at a discussion this week in Washington, D.C., focused on children s online privacy. Brill, now a partner at a D.C. law firm, served as an FTC commissioner from 2010 until last March. The Dino and Hello Barbie come with applications that parents can use to adjust settings and provide consent to data collection. But what happens when another child comes over, or the child takes the toy to school? Technically it can t record other children until their own parents give consent as well, said Brill. This will be an interesting challenge, and companies will have to come up with creative new ways to get this consent, she said. For example, future products may be able to use voice recognition not just speech recognition to identify specific people and refrain from recording those who have not consented.

Finally, thorny ethical dilemmas could arise, especially if young children choose to share very sensitive things. What exactly should a company do when it records a four-year-old saying she s been abused? Notify the police? What if it s not true? Questions like these are challenging, but as connected toys and other listening devices become more popular we ll probably need to answer them.

References

  1. ^ 6.4 million children (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ the Dino (cognitoys.com)
  3. ^ Hello Barbie (hellobarbiefaq.mattel.com)
  4. ^ Technically (www.ftc.gov)
  5. ^ letter to the FTC (www.scribd.com)
  6. ^ Julie Brill (www.hoganlovells.com)

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

If teenage girls get to celebrate their birthdays for a week, dads ought to be able to indulge in their week of honor as well. So, here s a belated Father s Day wish list on behalf of your pop. Let s face it, dads love their toys. Besides, the odds that some of us gave him an IOU last Sunday are pretty good.

From Bluetooth tunes to fish-eye phone cases, here are a few more waterproof toys dad ought to appreciate. But don t worry if you already spent your allowance, just pass along this ode of appreciation1 to dads everywhere2.

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Fugoo Sport Speaker

What other portable speaker have you found that offer 35-hour battery life? Shock-mounted components resistant up to a six-foot drop? A waterproof housing that also works to keep out dust and sand? And eight acoustic drivers for full-on 360 sound? We play hard and we like our music to play harder so for us, the Fugoo XL is the top choice in portable Bluetooth speaker systems. This thing bumps no matter how hard you bump it.

Fugoo.com3

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Hitcase PRO

Hitcase PRO is a waterproof, shockproof, and mountable case for the iPhone 6/6s that uses an attachable wide angle lens to expand your photo game. With interchangeable lenses and versatile mounting systems, it s a little like turning your iPhone into a GoPro. The Hitcase PRO comes with an attachable floating lanyard and multiple mounting attachments so you can keep it close no matter where you go.

Hitcase.com4

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Black Project Epic 95 3-Piece Adjustable Paddle

This 100-percent carbon three-piece paddle is an option to combine convenience and portability with performance and light weight. It breaks down small enough to put into a suitcase, but offers enough strength and performance to feel like a legitimate race paddle. The sturdy buckle allows for ample length adjustment but also keeps things tight enough for the paddler to forget it s an adjustable. All-in-all, this is an ultra functional stick with a mean bite and a sleek look.

redriverpaddle.com5

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

Icemule Classic Cooler

Here s a basic and functional cooler that works great for us. Good for any SUP activity from expedition paddling to just another lazy beach day, the Icemule soft cooler is the balance of simplicity and quality we look for. It comes with a valve that allows for insulation-layer air-removal so it takes up minimal space, and its collar can roll up for storage in its stuff sack. The Icemule Classic comes in three sizes a 10 liter, a 15 liter and a 20 liter. We tested the 15 liter and were able to close and seal the top with two six packs of bottles inside. We didn t test it, but they re claiming this baby keeps things frigid for 24 hours. There are other coolers out there like this, but starting for under ?50, this is the best bang for your buck we ve found.

icemulecooler.com6

Gear Review | Waterproof Dad Toys

SUP Hipster

A novel piece of gear for the water lover who has everything. Part fanny-pack, part SUP caddy, part water bottle holster, the SUP Hipster is a convenient paddling utility belt. Here s how you use it. Strap the SUP Hipster around your waste, then tighten and secure its Velcro strap. Slip your sled into the detachable waste-hook before a long walk to the beach and save your shoulder energy for the water. Carry bars and snacks or portable gizmos and other belongings with you when you paddle in the Hipster s girthy side pocket. And fill up the easily removed water bottle before setting its snug in its holster and you won t go thirsty in the drink. Plenty of men and women out there who would benefit from this kind of gadget. To each their own, right?

SUP Hipster tutorial7

More gear.8

References

  1. ^ ode of appreciation (www.supthemag.com)
  2. ^ to dads everywhere (supthemag.com)
  3. ^ Fugoo.com (fugoo.com)
  4. ^ Hitcase.com (www.hitcase.com)
  5. ^ redriverpaddle.com (redriverpaddle.com)
  6. ^ icemulecooler.com (www.icemulecooler.com)
  7. ^ SUP Hipster tutorial (www.youtube.com)
  8. ^ More gear. (www.supthemag.com)
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