Posts tagged with "Vice"

Is your police department getting the feed from Amazon’s Ring cameras? See the interactive map!

September 4, 2019

More than 400 police agencies nationwide are working with the Amazon-owned Ring home surveillance system to track unlawful activities at our doorsteps and in our neighborhoods—and now you can check to see if your local department is one of them.

Ring disclosed the number today on August 28, according to the news outlet Quartz—and, at 400, it’s double what reports had previously revealed.

The security company also published an interactive map that shows which police departments can see all the Ring cameras in a given neighborhood, and can seamlessly request the footage from those cameras,

The map also provides information on when each department started working with Ring, along with a blog post about the Ring-law enforcement partnership. The company will be updating the map as new departments are added, it says.

The release coincided with an in-depth story by The Washington Post, which disclosed the full number of agencies for the first time. According to the report by the Post, “The number of police deals, which has not previously been reported, is likely to fuel broader questions about privacy, surveillance and the expanding reach of tech giants and local police. The rapid growth of the program, which began in spring 2018, surprised some civil liberties advocates, who thought that fewer than 300 agencies had signed on.”

The Ring system includes its surveillance cameras (most famously the motion-activated camera doorbells) as well as the Neighbors app (where people can share footage from their cameras and discuss crime in their areas) and the Neighborhood Portal (where police can see a map of Ring cameras and quickly submit a request for footage during an investigation).

In recent months, ViceCNET, and Gizmodo have reported on U.S. law enforcemnt’s close relationship with the company—which, for example, gives departments discounts or free cameras to distribute among local residents. In some cases, police have used the giveaways as leverage to demand that people hand over their footage, although Ring says it is supposed to be voluntary.

The company said in a statement sent to Quartz that “customers, not law enforcement, are in control of their videos.”

Ring added: “Videos are shared through the Neighbors program only if: 1) a customer chooses to post it publicly on the Neighbors app; 2) explicit consent is provided by the customer. Law enforcement agencies who participate in the Neighbors app must go through the Ring team when making a video request to customers. Customers can choose to opt out or decline any request, and law enforcement agencies have no visibility into which customers have received a request and which have opted out or declined.”

Research contact: @ring

Tom Arnold says he’s teaming up with Michael Cohen to ‘take Trump down’

June 25, 2018

Comedian Tom Arnold said on June 22 that he and President Trump’s former longtime personal lawyer are teaming up to “take down” the president, according to a report by The Hill.

After a meeting with Cohen—who has said in the press that he will testify, if subpoenaed by the Russia probe—Arnold tweeted a selfie of both men together with the caption “I Love New York,” which Cohen retweeted without comment.

Arnold then told NBC News that he met with Cohen as part of a show he is working on for the HBO series Vice, in which he searches for incriminating videos of the president.

“This dude has all the tapes — this dude has everything,” Arnold told NBC News, as reported by The Hill. “I say to Michael, ‘Guess what? We’re taking Trump down together,’ and he’s so tired he’s like, ‘OK.’ “

The idea for the Vice program followed the leak of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape during the 2016 presidential race, in which Trump can be heard bragging about grabbing women “by the p—-.” The show will feature Arnold’s hunt for other unflattering video and audio recordings of the president.

“We’ve been on the other side of the table and now we’re on the same side,” Arnold told NBC News. “It’s on! I hope [Trump] sees the picture of me and Michael Cohen and it haunts his dreams.”

Arnold declined to reveal to NBC News if Cohen was planning to give him any material for “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.”

Trump distanced himself from Cohen earlier this month, saying that the man who has been known as the POTUS’ personal lawyer—and had the business cards to prove it—is no longer his lawyer and that he had not spoken to him in “a long time”—a message that the Cohen could not have been happy to hear. Cohen also has complained that the president is not paying his legal fees.

However, a day after Arnold said the two would take down Trump together, Cohen said he had not agreed to that.

Most Americans continue to believe that the Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election is a serious matter that should be investigated, but the constant criticism by President Donald Trump of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is taking its toll, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on June 22.The number of Americans who approve of how Mueller is handling the investigation has dropped from 48% in March to 44% in May to just 41% now, the lowest it has been in CNN’s polling.

Research contact: 1-494-840-4300 (www.ssrs.com)