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A Threat to 'Both Society and Consumers': New Campaign Urges Reviewers to Stop Recommending Amazon Doorbell Cameras

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/08/threat-both-society-and-consumers-new-campaign-urges-reviewers-stop-recommending

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Not a very comprehensive article. It gave no hard examples and very little data to support the premise of the article. While I would probably agree with this assessment, there is not enough here to go on. Very poor article.


Web reviewers and web sites may get payments to positively review ever more intrusive IoT devices. The information they collect - depending on the incomes of the subjects, is valuable, (who goes where, when, and why?) and may become more and more valuable as more and more devices become linked to database firms which have for decades collected every single aspect of useful information about people lives, spending habits, locations, etc.

Because they are corporations, I suspect everything IoT firms collect may become their private property.

Contrast that with the data collected by governments, at least the scope of which at least in the past might be subject to FOIA requests, etc.

In a world of corporations controlling everything, basically money exclusively determines what can be bought. We frankly have no idea the data various “smart” devices collect. What emerges is really quite horrible. Even just the cameras on them, microphones, etc. are constantly live. call me old fashioned but I reject embracing an Orwellian future.


“From a technical perspective it’s just a bad idea to fill your home with internet-connected devices capable of constantly watching and listening.”
—Ken Mickles, Fight for the Future

Exactly. Let big brother do it for you free of charge.

Those devices aren’t able to be controlled or even accessed by you. You probably wouldn’t even realize they were there.

For example, the sensors that upload your energy, water, gas, etc. usage every couple of minutes or seconds.

All of the sci-fi movies of the eighties were right: technology is literally going to kill us, and we are trading away virtually all of our privacy in exchange for the minor conveniences technology provides.

It’s bad enough that one is practically required today to have an email address, internet access and a cell phone - these all provide a trail of bread crumbs and deep tracking of our whereabouts, habits and circles of friends - so why anyone would add to these deeply exploitable ‘necessities’ by installing a Ring doorbell or having an Alexa or anything else in their home is beyond me.

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Yep, I always thought those doorbell cameras were deadly.

I’m sorry. I don’t understand how a camera on my front door is supposed to open the door to big brother surveillance.and racial profiling. No one should have to open their door to a complete stranger. Sometimes I think progressives want to go out of their way to make the work of criminals easier. Sometimes is the key word here…

Ring (out) in the new year


The old-fashioned “peephole” does the same job without recording all of the details of not just your visitors, but you coming and going… and then archive it for possible future use (for you or against you).

Government, police, hacker, advertisers, local fanatical/religious org… the media… all would/could have this info available to them if the $$$ are there in the asking for it. Amazon has already crossed that bridge many times that we are aware of, and I am sure many more that we are not.


If someone had told me 30 years ago that not only would we embrace Big Brother, but we’d actually PAY for him to come into our homes, I would have laughed. Now I simply do what I can to ensure that I live in a “dumb” home.


This article is terribly written, tho with time and an alert editor it could be improved. It offers many paragraphs of repetitive complaint before it actually explains what physically goes wrong these ring doorbells. How big and wide is the field caught by the camera lens? (This seems key to problems.) How do they malfunction? How could they be hacked? How could they menace children who live in the house? Why would they catch fire?
Maybe all CD readers except me understand the technological flaws that cause problems. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS to those of us who are not tech savvy (though I try). Explain a problem first, then how it is caused, then add more detail about the problem; and sprinkle in the analysis wherever it’s needed. Too many of Common Dreams’ articles are 90% front-loaded criticism and 10% trailing facts. The facts should appear EARLY in the article. Give them space. The What before the Why.


I went back and looked through the thread, and the very first reply made my point (in fewer words!). Then others bring in the databases these devices build up that are not controlled by the home owner. That’s the scary part.
But it’s also disturbing to think about the electro-magnetic fields inside houses with everything ‘wired’ and connected. That is not likely safe.
Finally the tech corporations and other players who collect our info are cashing in on our insecurity, while encouraging us to stop looking out for each other. A good society cannot result from the wide adoption of these practices and things. We do not need them, period.


Oh yeah, forgot one thing: They’re made by Amazon. Join the boycott! American society loses too much by patronizing Amazon–as do its warehouse workers. There are other websites to buy from if you must consume things to have a happy Christmas. There are yet other websites where you can give money for food banks, give away used clothing, donate your car. The world we’re living in now badly needs generosity and thoughtfulness of others. Change the narrative and we can recover or discover our best selves.


People want all the tools of technology but are unwilling to learn how to use them without these blood sucking corporations.

They are incredibly lazy.

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I know nothing about the Ring device, but I put in (multiple) video cameras to capture images of people who come to my door years ago. Its not difficult at all, anybody can do it. People have been misled into thinking technology is complicated. Doing the basic things people need to know how to do is not rocket science. Buy a Raspberry Pi, or dozens of other similar “SBCs” and you’ll get tons of help, learn how to do almost anything you want to do with the ultimate swiss army knife, a single board linux computer, and pay almost nothing for the hardware and nothing at all for the software to do things that pre-built would in many cases cost hundreds or thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars… All tehse companies like Google and Apple and Amazon were built using free software. They got rich using tools they got for free. there is nothing mysterious about this, anybody and everybody can do this too. Open Source software is a huge thing, a gift to everybody.

It could save our country and planet by freeing us from these corporations. Check out fsf dot org.

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It was a joke zed.

We’re doing everything we can behind the scenes, to ensure that kind of corporation and nothing else, is the future of work.

That world would be a horrible one to live in.

Technology is making it easier to reduce drudge work.

What will that mean? More competition for jobs and lower and lower wages? Or the opposite?

The amount of RF in our environment - is rising rapidly. Newer kinds of telecommunications technology vastly increase the power used and the possible health effects are of course being trivialized. That said, lots of people who claim RF generally is dangerous, are not very well informed about the issues and I suspect efforts are being made to discredit criticism of the vast increase in RF devices and their power by seding the discussions online with deliberately stupid and unscientific comments. Thats a common tactic used in propaganda. For example, its not at all unlikely Trump likely has been tasked with making many important issues toxic by the use of similar sounding but unrelated issues to “poison the well” as it were.

These devices destroy our privacy, and at least for now, that still seems to me - with one possible exception, to likely be by far the biggest issue, even if the rising levels of increasingly omnipresent RF do have adverse effects on health. The one exception is, we should be concerned about safety to pregnant women because pr oxidant environmental influence likely cause problems at far lower levels than at any other time in our lifecycle because of two genes fyn and c-Cbl (I think those are the ones) whose regulation of cells during the early stages of life is perturbed by pro-oxidants even at low levels. This results in all pro-oxidant substances and even non-substances like radiation having measurable effects and being additive. But we don’t regulate them in this way which is a huge mistake.

The substantial increase in pulsed RF anticipated in the coming years is concerning a lot of people, even telecom operators, pilots and others. We have reasons for concerns because society is treating these dangers as if corporations have inherent rights to pollute which require compensation for countries to regulate. Thats a way of looking at these dangers that are being promoted by the US. Also, with all this RF in the air, device makers quite possibly will gradually gain a capability to recharge and power devices from its presence in the environment thats adequate for powering small computing devices with communications - without any external power. We already have RFID containing credit cards, passports, and likely many other devices which give people characteristic RF signatures that uniquely identify us, when they are illuminated with a bit of RF energy. Even if we dont have or carry cell phones. Peoples omnipresent cards now carry transponders. Their phones have networked devices that have globally unique network addresses. The IOT devices will likely query all the other devices they can reach. This is a feature of IP version 6. So IP v 6 and IOT and the widespread use of computing and face recognition and innumerable other technologies - means that people have almost no chance of not carrying equipment which radiates all this data It basically is making not just Internet anonymity impossible forever.

As work becomes scarcer, there is obviously a lot of concern. Who will be able to manage the transition, what will society do with all the people whose skills are not up to the challenge?

What kinds of lives will be permitted to those who dont have these devices? Will they be able to travel on the privatized roadways of tomorrow? Will they be ale to buy food or water without a device of one kind or another? No system is totally immune tooutages, what happens when these systems go down, possibly for extended periods?

We urgently need for people to be more technology literate and lawmakers and societies to be more ethical - the chance of that happening however today seems very very low.