Hi Guys,

I hope that you are well.

Do you have an Amazon Ring doorbell? Did you know the police can access its live and recorded footage without permission? Educate yourself; if you do not want the police and who knows who else in your house with you at all times, then don’t get one of these devices. This warning also applies to devices like Amazon Echo. There is a reason why these devices are so cheap. Users of them are installing state surveillance devices in their homes. Oh, and they can also give you a recipe for grilled cheese. Please get rid of them. You don’t need one.

Here is a fascinating posting by Bruce Schneier about it and some links for further reading:

Amazon has revealed that it gives police videos from its Ring doorbells without a warrant and without user consent.

Ring recently revealed how often the answer to that question has been yes. The Amazon company responded to an inquiry from US Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), confirming that there have been 11 cases in 2022 where Ring complied with police “emergency” requests. In each case, Ring handed over private recordings, including video and audio, without letting users know that police had access to—and potentially downloaded—their data. This raises many concerns about increased police reliance on private surveillance, a practice that has long gone unregulated.

EFF writes:

Police are not the customers for Ring; the people who buy the devices are the customers. But Amazon’s long-standing relationships with police blur that line. For example, in the past Amazon has given coaching to police to tell residents to install the Ring app and purchase cameras for their homes—­an arrangement that made salespeople out of the police force. The LAPD launched an investigation into how Ring provided free devices to officers when people used their discount codes to purchase cameras.

Ring, like other surveillance companies that sell directly to the general public, continues to provide free services to the police, even though they don’t have to. Ring could build a device, sold straight to residents, that ensures police come to the user’s door if they are interested in footage—­but Ring instead has decided it would rather continue making money from residents while providing services to police.

CNet has a good explainer.

Slashdot thread.

I hope all is well with you and as always give us a shout if you need anything.


Max Roberts,
Incognito Privacy Care Team