When police partner with Ring, Amazon’s home surveillance camera company, they 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.
Emails and documents obtained by Motherboard reveal that people aren’t always willing to provide police with their Ring camera footage. However, Ring works with law enforcement and gives them advice on how to persuade people to give them footage. Emails obtained from police department in Maywood, NJ — and emails from the police department of Bloomfield, NJ, which were also posted by Wired — show that Ring coaches police on how to obtain footage. The company provides cops with templates for requesting footage, which they do not need a court warrant to do.
Ring suggests cops post often on Neighbors, Ring’s free “neighborhood watch” app, where Ring camera owners have the option of sharing their camera footage. As reported by GovTech on Friday, police can request Ring camera footage directly from Amazon, even if a Ring customer denies to provide police with the footage. It’s a workaround that allows police to essentially “subpoena” anything captured on Ring cameras.
Last week, Motherboard also found that at least 200 law enforcement agencies around the country have entered into partnerships with Amazon’s home surveillance company Ring.
Heinrich Himmler would have KILLED for this kind of surveillance. It’s a Police State’s wet dream.
Here’s an intriguing question, can your neighbor across the street legally give the police permission to watch and use the camera footage from a camera that is basically looking across the street at your house?