There is clearly a market for something that simply runs off a small embedded system, but that would cut off the recurring revenue gold mine
I suspect this has been a gold mine for "Super-Feeder", makers of an automated pet feeder with no smarts or IoT at all. It comes with a simple electro-mechanical timer like you'd use to make your lights go on and off while on vacation, and then if you want anything "smarter" than that, you are on your own to choose a "smart" ecosystem and plug the feeder into it.
Price is higher than Petnet, but you get something which actually works, and that doesn't die when the "cloud" it is tethered to goes offline.
Not all "smarthome" devices are inherently connected devices with their own IP address and cloud connectivity. For your own property you could choose a Zigbee or Z-Wave lock, and your privacy is as good (or bad) as the privacy of your Z-protocol hub. Even manage your smart devices using a non-internet connected solution if you choose.
Tenants, however, don't get a choice.
Inherently these landlord-issued "smart" locks, like all smart devices, serve their true owner (Latch and, to a lesser extent, the landlord), rather than the tenant.
NRA's ad video is likely to have the opposite effect. If tourists feel that there's tons of guns nearby the sculpture, they're not going to visit the place.
Actually, the NRA hates Chicago, using of "The Bean" as background when the video mentions hometown hero Barack Obama is more about how the city goes out of their way to make sure there aren't any (legally possessed) guns anywhere near Millennium Park, or maybe how the NRA has (successfully) sued the city multiple times to roll back restrictions on gun sales and possession in Chicago.
Cloud Gate stands as a symbol of a city which spends $23 million on a shiny hunk of stainless steel, but can't find funds to prevent "wilding" in that same neighborhood every summer.
This is just the formal ending, the program unofficially ceased on January 29th, 2015.
The latest Choke Point letter is a response to a request from August 10th, predating Charlottesville. The official termination of the program has nothing to do with "Racists" -- Non-partisan groups like ACA International have been pushing for this change for years
The same BlueCoat Proxy technology that Syria was caught using can Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) SSL interception, so https everywhere is not a panacea against hostile regimes! Even without breaking SSL, a firewall can still detect the website being accessed (through lookup tables or TLS+SNI), so when everything goes to https, blocking by domain will still succeed.
For more granular blocking, Syria would need to break SSL/TLS through MITM. Browsers detect these privacy breaking proxies, so for users to not see warning messages, the "attacker" needs a Certificate Authority (CA) signing certificate that the user trusts, either control of a CA that is in the default key set shipped with the OS or browser, or the ability to push a key down to the client.
As a measure of security, the latest Firefox includes "Public key pinning" which limits which signing certificates will be trusted for a small set of very popular and often-targeted HTTPS sites, including Twitter.
Realistically, hostile environments with no need to stealth will just force MITM on all sessions and block anything that looks like encrypted traffic (e.g. Tor). It's not like Syria has to worry about their reputation getting any worse.