Smart Doorbells Alert Search Warrants, FBI Says

Turns out the smart doorbells are doing everything they can to protect their users.
Deniz Yildiran

We know that technology is of great help to us with many things, involving supporting the law. Nevertheless, some specific developments could mess with the rules of society in an unintended way as well as help the social order.

Changing the roles

A recent leakage of an FBI bulletin revealed seemingly hypothetical threats against police, as The Intercept reports. Apparently, the smart ring cameras let the residents know when the police show up at the door of a possible criminal's house with a search warrant.


Until now, checking the camera footage of the neighborhood for suspicious activities has been a common request by police in case of a crime. However, it seems thatcriminals were already giving police a taste of their own medicine. 

“If used during the execution of a search, potential subjects could learn of LE’s (law enforcement) presence nearby, and LE personnel could have their images captured, thereby presenting a risk to their present and future safety,” the bulletin described the downside for police.

Caught in the middle

The leakage presented a couple of incident examples. One of them took place in 2017 when FBI agents showed up at a door in New Orleans upon a search warrant. They fell at the first hurdle and caught on the camera. “Through the Wi-Fi doorbell system, the subject of the warrant remotely viewed the activity at his residence from another location and contacted his neighbor and landlord regarding the FBI’s presence there,” the bulletin revealed.

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After the smart door-bell trend hit the world for safer security protection, the pioneer technology companies immediately took advantage of it. Admittedly, they were charming the users with affordable prices and even providing a waterproof quality. 

But things have been taken to the next level by some of the companies such as Amazon Ring, which held a partnership between 1300 law enforcement agencies. Basically, law enforcement are allowed to submit video requests to users in a given area when investigating an active case upon their partnership with the companies. However, there appeared civil rights group opposing that back in the day. It seems that police will no longer need these, as there are possible risks emerged, revealed by FBI. 


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