Amazon are letting police spy on you without a warrant

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Image Credit: Pixabay, sarangib, https://pixabay.com/photos/magic-eye-peephole-door-device-371396/, CC by 0.0, Public Domain

Is your own house spying on you?

Amazon is coaching police officers how to use its “Ring” home surveillance technology to snoop on users without getting a search warrant.

Under a partnership program run by Amazon, local police can “get access to the ‘Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal,’ an interactive map that allows officers to request footage directly from camera owners. Police don’t need a warrant to request this footage, but they do need permission from camera owners,” Vice reports.


Not everyone gives police permission to use their cameras, so Amazon is giving police tips on how to get the footage from their “community users” (customers) without getting a warrant.

“If the community member doesn’t want to supply a Ring video that seems vital to a local law enforcement investigation, police can contact Amazon, which will then essentially ‘subpoena’ the video,” GovTech reports.

“If we ask within 60 days of the recording and as long as it’s been uploaded to the cloud, then Ring can take it out of the cloud and send it to us legally so that we can use it as part of our investigation,” Tony Botti, public information officer for the Fresno County, Cali. Sheriff’s Office, tells GovTech.

That essentially means even though you own the camera, and it’s recording your property, the police can seize it without your permission, despite the Fourth and Fifth Amendment’s prohibitions on searches without a warrant and self-incrimination.


“If we ask within 60 days of the recording and as long as it’s been uploaded to the cloud, then Ring can take it out of the cloud and send it to us legally so that we can use it as part of our investigation,” Tony Botti, public information officer for the Fresno County, Cali. Sheriff’s Office, tells GovTech.

That essentially means even though you own the camera, and it’s recording your property, the police can seize it without your permission, despite the Fourth and Fifth Amendment’s prohibitions on searches without a warrant and self-incrimination.