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Monday, August 31, 2020

Doorbell Cameras Used by Criminals too

I have recently been asked about security issues with doorbell and other smart home camera systems.  The following excerpt from The Verge shows a perhaps less than obvious use by criminals too, they could record/alert themselves whenever the FBI shows up at the door.  An embedded link in the article points to details.   A notable alternative for security concerns in the Smart Home.  More also in the full TheVerge article pointed too.

FBI worried Ring and other doorbell cameras could tip owners off to police searches
Cameras capture everybody — even the cops
By Adi Robertson@thedextriarchy  in TheVerge (Excerpt) 

....  Federal Bureau of Investigation documents warned that owners of Amazon’s Ring and similar video doorbells can use the systems — which collect video footage sometimes used to investigate crimes — in order to watch police instead.

The Intercept spotted the files in the BlueLeaks data trove aggregated from law enforcement agencies. One 2019 analysis describes numerous ways police and the FBI could use Ring surveillance footage, but it also cites “new challenges” involving sensor- and camera-equipped smart home devices. Specifically, they can offer an early warning when officers are approaching a house to search it; give away officer locations in a standoff; or let the owner capture pictures of law enforcement, “presenting a risk to their present and future safety.”

These are partly hypothetical concerns. The standoff issue, for instance, was noted in a report about motion-activated panoramic cameras. But the FBI points to a 2017 incident where agents approached the home of someone with a video doorbell, seeking to search the premises. The resident wasn’t home but saw them approach by watching a remote video feed, then preemptively contacted his neighbor and landlord about the FBI’s approach. He may also have “been able to covertly monitor law enforcement activity” with the camera.  .... "

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