FBI: Ring Doorbell Good, Ring Doorbell Bad

Yup, sometimes tech is a double edged sword.

While smart doorbells and other web based security cameras discourages crooks, it is not all good news says the FBI in a secret report.

On the good side, you get to see who is outside your place (home or work). Typically, these devices are motion sensitive. They usually record the video, either locally or in the cloud.

If your place is broken into, many times the police have pictures both of the bad guys and also what they took.

In fact, Ring, a division of Amazon, is working with the police in hundreds of cities to encourage sales. Amazon is giving the police some devices to give away free. All in hopes that other people buy one.

Why are the police excited? They hope that they can get homeowners and businesses to give them access to their accounts so that they can review footage to try and find bad guys. If the home or business owner gives them access to the video, they don’t need probable cause to get a warrant. They don’t need to spend the time getting it and they don’t need to convince a judge that they meet the requirement for getting a warrant.

Okay, so all of that is good. Why is the FBI saying it is bad.

Lets say the cops suspect you of being a drug dealer. No, not that you; the other you.

So the cops might want to surveil your place for a while. But there are cameras. Some of those likely have motion detection. Even ones that don’t might record the cops in their car across the street or down the block. And the cameras might be across the street or down the block – recording the cops every move.

For sure if they plan to burst in on you, that will trigger the motion sensor.

Which may give the bad you time to flush the evidence.

If there is a standoff between the police and bad you, those security feeds, maybe from a house across the street owned by a friend or accomplice, could give the bad you all sorts of tactical information.

And, of course, there are less nefarious issues. We have all seen people post snaps of videos on social media bypassing police all together and sometimes compromising their future case.

So, as is often the case, nothing in tech is simple. Good? Bad? Both?

Credit: Threatpost

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