Well, this is ironic.
Hunter Becoming the Hunted
According to a leaked FBI bulletin obtained by The Intercept, cops are worried that criminals are using internet-connected smart doorbells, such as Amazon’s Ring doorbells, to spy on law enforcement.
“Subjects likely use [internet of things] devices to hinder [law enforcement] investigations and possibly monitor [law enforcement] activity,” read the bulletin.
The leaked document highlights a 2017 incident in which FBI agents were recorded through a WIFI-connected doorbell system, notifying their target of their presence, as The Intercept reports. The target even “contacted his neighbor and landlord regarding the FBI’s presence there” as they were “able to see and hear everything happening at his residence.”
Smart doorbells and other internet-connected cameras are intended as a way to monitor neighborhoods for suspicious activity. Amazon subsidiary Ring even partnered with local police departments as part of a new surveillance strategy.
Civil Liberties Nightmare
Unfortunately, those kinds of partnerships, in addition to crime-hunting neighborhood watch apps, have already led to plenty of discrimination, with advocacy groups ringing the alarm bells over a massive potential for racial profiling.
To many, smart doorbells, particularly those with notably weak security features, are a civil liberty nightmare.
And now, we’re seeing, even law enforcement could end up becoming the target.
READ MORE: Doorbell Cameras Like Ring Give Early Warning of Police Searches, FBI Warned [The Intercept]
More on smart doorbells: Hackers Can Spy on and Hijack Amazon Doorbell’s Video Feed