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Posts Tagged ‘Ring (Surveillance Company)’

Amazon, Ring, and the New Policing (USA)

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

From It’s Going Down:

Report from insurrectionary anarchist publication Anathema on the growth of networks of surveillance being developed by Amazon and local police departments.

In November, The Intercept reported that internal documents at Ring, the home security company owned by Amazon, reveal that the company is planning to create automated neighborhood “watch lists” by incorporating facial recognition technology into its increasingly vast network of “smart home” doorbell cameras. The feature would alert camera-owners via smartphone when someone deemed “suspicious” pops up on their cameras. Like the old-fashioned “neighborhood watch” that Ring wants to replace, the feature would extend the power of the police and as well as make certain areas of town more dangerous for anyone Ring camera owners deem “suspicious.”

Ring’s documents do not define what “suspicious” means. In practice, this will likely be defined by gentrifiers and cops, whose systemic racism is well documented. At its core, the watch list would identify people who “don’t belong” in certain areas; this means black and brown people, poor people, and anyone whose appearance deviates from social norms. Ring’s Neighbors program — an online discussion forum between camera owners — is already well known for its aggressive racism and for generally heightening distrust and paranoia within neighborhoods. For many people, Ring’s new feature would make it dangerous to be in certain neighborhoods at all — a victory for the forces of gentrification everywhere.

Ring doorbell cameras have already allowed police to significantly expand their operations, simply by appropriating private citizens’ technology for no additional expense. The technology therefore has immense “value,” not only for the company, but for the state. For decades it’s been steadily expanding policing in order to keep its increasingly immiserated people under control, while struggling to balance its own budgets. (more…)

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Posted in Social Control