Amazon Refuses to Release Echo Data

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A case out of Arkansas has resulted in law enforcement demanding Amazon Echo data. It could be precedent-setting in eliminating our 4th Amendment rights.

Display photo of Amazon Echo
Display photo of Amazon Echo

The federal government is in hot pursuit of the 4th Amendment

As technology develops, improving our way of life, it is also putting us at risk of losing our freedoms. A case against Amazon Echo could be precedent-setting in abolishing some of our 4th Amendment rights.

The 4th Amendment is being threatened by stealth means and no one seems to be paying attention or perhaps they’ve come to accept it as the new normal.

In one of his numerous appearances, former NSA official and whistleblower William Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together and said, “We are that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”

Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care.”

He exposed the secret courts that aren’t courts at all, but rather one friendly judge who rubber-stamps warrantless searches and issues wiretapping permits.

Edward Snowden also did us a service in exposing just how expansive, invasive and unconstitutional NSA surveillance is.

Despite this, the government continues unabated in its efforts to run roughshod over our rights to privacy and fair hearings.

A new case involving Amazon Echo could be a watershed moment for our 4th Amendment.

A warrant has been issued for a precedent-setting case involving Amazon Echo

A murder in Arkansas exposed the amount of information that Amazon and other companies retain of peoples’ conversations with devices like Amazon Echo. The recordings are then stored in their servers.

Law enforcement wants them in Arkansas and it could set a legal precedent for all smart devices, forcing companies to store the recordings for future police investigations.

The warrant naming this device was over a 2015 murder case in Bentonville, Arkansas. A man killed his neighbor in his bathtub – allegedly. The warrant requests recordings for the day before and the date of the murder.

Police wrote in the warrant that “records … retained by Amazon.com … are evidence related to the case under investigation.”

Amazon refused to release the data.

Instead, the company provided investigators with the suspect’s account details, which included past purchases. Amazon refused to cooperate unless “a valid and binding legal demand properly [is] served.

Officials, however, may still be able to recover information from the device’s speakers without the company’s help.

Even without Amazon’s help,” CNET reported, “police may be able to crack into the Echo” by tapping “into the hardware on the smart speakers, which could ‘potentially include time stamps, audio files or other data.’”

Other smart devices covered by this warrant included Collins and Bates’ phones, a wireless weather monitoring system, a WeMo device used for lighting, a Nest thermostat, and a Honeywell alarm system.

Nothing is protecting our privacy. Government will use smart devices to usurp your rights without a warrant.

Follow simple rules to give yourself a fighting chance.

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