FBI worried that Ring doorbells are spying on police

Ring Video Doorbell 2

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image captionRing doorbells use both cameras and motion sensors to detect when someone approaches

Compromised documents suggest the FBI is concerned that some people are using Ring or other smart bells to oversee the police.

Newspapers describe a 2017 incident in which someone remotely watched live footage of police preparing to issue a search warrant.

The information was

found online by The Intercept among the compromised documents.

Previously, privacy advocates raised concerns about sharing smart bell data with the police.

The compromised documents, collectively known as BlueLeaks, were stolen from over 250 police websites.

The document in question is a technical analysis bulletin, which offers an overview of the opportunities and challenges for the police from home security systems and smart doorbells.

The 2017 incident describes how someone under investigation was able to “covertly monitor law enforcement activity while law enforcement was on site” and alert their neighbor and owner. It does not indicate the brand of the video door entry unit used.

Amazon’s Ring is one of the most popular, but there are a variety of companies that sell smart doorbells along with home surveillance kits.

It’s an interesting twist in the history of the smart doorbell. Previously there were doubts about the amount of information from private cameras shared with the police.

Last year, Amazon was criticized for partnering with at least 200 U.S. law enforcement agencies to enable surveillance via its Ring doorbells.

As part of the partnership, police officers can ask customers to share videos and information about crime in their areas.

At the time, the digital rights group Fight the Future said it “undermined our democratic process and fundamental civil liberties.”

In the UK, Wiltshire Police have created a database of smart private doorbells and security cameras, and residents are asked to register theirs.

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