The News Today
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12.13.19
Crowd Control

Amazon Is Feeding Talking Points About Its Spy Doorbell to Police

July 31st 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Ring/Tag Hartman-Simkins

Approved Messaging

Ring, the smart doorbell company owned by Amazon, has a startling level of power over the police departments it contracts with.

In contracts reviewed by Gizmodo, Amazon retains the right to craft and approve any messaging that these police departments send to the public or media outlets about Ring cameras or its accompanying neighborhood watch app. The secret deals are a troubling sign for just how much control Amazon has acquired over local police departments.

Secret Dealings

This news comes after a Motherboard investigation revealed how police departments partnering with Ring are required by contract to promote the cameras to their communities.

An Amazon representative contacted Futurism to push back on some of the claims made in our article about the investigation — but ironically, the representative provided specific talking points and requested we paste them in our article, but ignored a request to review any evidence supporting the company’s claims or any of its police department contracts.

Pulling Strings

Amazon’s contracts with police department state that any press releases, public statements, or social media posts need to be approved by the company, per Gizmodo. Ring representatives will also write sample tweets and distribute them to police departments.

Dozens of police departments have copied and posted those Neighbors-promoting tweets verbatim, Gizmodo reports, and are often incentivized to do so through free or discounted cameras for their towns.

READ MORE: Everything Cops Say About Amazon’s Ring Is Scripted or Approved by Ring [Gizmodo]

More on Amazon: Florida Police Cut a Secret Deal to Promote Amazon’s Ring Cameras