Slog AM: It's Hot in Seattle, Doorbell Cameras Used by More Than 400 Police Departments, Queen Agrees to Suspend Parliament



Two things in regard to the Ring story: the owner of the camera can decline the request, and RIng has to email you and get consent before giving the police access. That is the way it is supposed to work, anyway.

Second, a camera can not consider anyone suspicious. People watching camera footage may consider someone suspicious, however.


"They do stories so big on Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren’s crowd sizes, adding many more people than are actually there, and yet my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage at all. Fake News!" --fake "president" djtrumpfy

Well, #FakePrez, much like your teensie weensie tiny handsies, your tiny, miniscule, mostly bought-and-paid-for "crowds" of "supporters" wouldn't fill up a closet in a Hurricane.

And yes, I'm sure the Natives are quite impressed with your Nazi heritage/proclivities.


Suppose a Ring caught a child abduction leading to an arrest. Or just catching the person stealing packages from the porch. The silly media tends to always focus on the negative.


We've got a Ring doorbell. Whenever a Ring doorbell goes off on TV (and it happens quite a lot), my dog goes batshit crazy. He never used to do that with the old doorbell.


Speaking of Fake "president" and Native Americans:
"Cherokee Nation Seeks to Send First Delegate to Congress"

Illegitimate "president" will probably bust a gut freaking out/twittiing about this one.

"... the Cherokee Nation is turning to treaties signed in the 18th and 19th centuries to push for a delegate to Congress for the first time in history. The treaties, the Nation claims, promised them a seat at the table.

'These treaties are sacred. They mean something. There’s no expiration date on them,' said Chuck Hoskin Jr., chief of the Cherokee Nation, who last week announced he would fulfill a longstanding legal right to appoint a delegate to Congress. 'What I’m asking is for the government of the United States to keep its word.'

'It’s a testament of the rebuilding of native nations in the 20th and 21st centuries,' she [Maggie Blackhawk (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe), a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania] said. 'In the last 30 years, what you have are native nations being able to exercise the things that were promised in treaties in the 19th and 18th century. It’s a wonderful showing of good governance and could bring additional power and visibility to native nations.'”



As we've seen with recent stories about AMZN employees monitoring surreptitious recordings made by one of their other products (cough! Echo cough!), the potential for rampant abuse and side-stepping of any "privacy policies" is certainly a possibility. I mean, it's not like they haven't been caught doing things like this before, right?


Mayhaps because the potential for using these devices for ill outweighs the comparatively small amount of good they may do?


Trump's Deutsche Bank loans were all co-signed by Putin's billionaire oligarch operatives, loans going back many years for hundreds of millions of dollars. This will hit the fan once a reputable news source gets solid confirmation.
Hey wing-nuts, please offer some defense of your high priest knowing this information. We would like to hear that.
If you deny this, then how will you react "if" it were true?


@6: Yes, people breaking the rules is always a possibility with literally anything humans are engaged in, something which is so obvious to most people that it does not need to be stated.

Does your second statement also apply to all surveillance equipment, or any kind of technology, or just this one thing? Can you give some examples of evil acts people use these doorbells for, and how they will be rampantly used for such evil?

Keep in mind that people being caught for committing crimes, or people noticing other people committing crimes is not an "ill effect."


@6: We can talk about good/bad scenarios ad nauseam, so it comes down that it is simply a matter of consumer choice. If you want them banned - then you have a host of legal, constitutional, and related matters to ask yourself.


If you have nothing to hide
you have nothing to fear.


If you standardize the new teachers' salary range to a real full-time schedule (most of us don't get 3 months off), this puts them at $84-165K per year. Can we please stop talking about how teachers are under-paid now? With benefits and basically zero chance of getting fired, those jobs are downright cushy.


Is the stranger going to cover the sudden and entirely predictable collapse of andy ngo’s career as a “serious” “journalist”? Or are you just going to outsource that to your sister publication in Portland since they seem less interested in the “reasonable centrist” soft shoe act at the stranger, where your writers think the presumption of good faith from the right while aggressively questioning the motives of the left is how you do “fair and balanced” journalism?

This piece was disgraceful enough when it was first published but it is looking pretty haggard in light of recent news:


@12 Don't hold your breath. Herzog is Savage's little proxy "plausible deniability" Lez-Bro.

See. He still wants to be invited to all the cool lefty parties. BUT he also wants shit on those same mean ol' lefties who pointed out his racist dogshit in the early 2000's when he was going around on TV cheerleading for murdering Iraqis. The man holds a grudge.

You may as well ask when we're getting the story on why he fired Stranger Staffers and reporters after they were sexually assaulted by Dave Mienert, his good buddy and major advertiser.

The answer: Never.


Katie Herzog is to Trumpism as Cliff Mass is to climate change. "Sure it's a real issue, but what's really important to talk about 10× more is that the liberal media consensus is unfair and doesn't reach out to the moderate Republicans who would be on our side if we were nicer."


So the Queen literally refuses to exercise her only power in support of the so-called democracy in the UK? She exposes the utter farce of the Monarchy. She has allowed an unelected leader to force the only democratic mechanism in the country to disband. And now the people of the UK will have no oversight whatsoever on the slow motion debacle that is Brexit. Though I’m sure the queen will wear a blue hat with yellow flowers again in protest!

Oh. My former home. How far you have fallen.


I live in a city in a country that had a bad experience with facism in the 20th century.

Even so, some of the (younger) members of my appartment's co-op board (a 4-floor building with street entrance) wanted to install a WiFi connected doorbell/intercom with a camera that could be controlled by an app. Part of their rationale was that it bypassed a lot of wiring and in-home consoles, which seemed handy to them. And so much cheaper!

I said I didn't want yet another surveillance camera in my life, particularly one attached to my home which streamed data via a privately owned third-party server to a fourth-party app. At first, they thought I was just an old grump.

I explained my concerns that the camera may only be turned on when the doorbell is activated… or not; that the data may be secure, and never leaked or sold to others for "data analysis"… or not; that the manufacturer or the company managing the app and its data may be trustworthy and may never make any errors or itself be sold to less-than-trustworthy investors or holding companies… or not; that facial recognition software would never be used to build a dossier of your comings and goings, your visitors and friends… or not. And that the police would never need to know when you or your friends are at home or away… or not. So you can put your trust in this dandy convenience… or… NOT.

Even if the data isn't (yet) being streamed directly to the police, the NSA (remember when they swore they weren't recording to all our calls?), or being hacked and sent to the highest bidder, the potential is certainly there. The company charged with protecting this data could be here today and gone tomorrow. And while there are currently laws and "privacy policies" protecting us from abuse, laws can be changed, especially when there's money to be made or "freedom" to be "protected".

(As a formerly Nazi-occupied country, with fresh living memories, we're in reasonably good shape here, politically, but the US has never experienced this and is closer than it's ever been to a 1933 situation, so brush up on your German history, folks!)

In short, when the pattern is toward heightened surveillance through facial recognition, personal data as capital, and a rapid swing towards authoritarianism, why would anyone invite another Telescreen into their life?

At first, the other members thought I was being strangely paranoid, and wondered what sort of "interesting hobbies" I might be hiding. Then they thought about it for another couple days and agreed to a wired intercom doorbell with no camera.

One less Telescreen watching my every move.


@15: I would hardly say content written by anyone at The Stranger amounts to Trumpism. However, what's Trumpian is your use of superlatives.


No British monarch has not signed off on a request from a PM in 350 years, they are there as a mere formality.



I wouldn't go so far as to say teacher's salaries and benefits are "cushy," especially with cost of living in Seattle, but yeah, it's a huge bump up and I'd put them at "decent" now.


You're thinking the metaphor is that Cliff Mass creates climate change? Harsh.


@14 pretty much, yeah, though tbh i’m way more interested in how the whole “intellectual dark web” reacts since their alleged commitment to facts and reasonable debate is their whole brand and this ngo character is a touchstone for a lot of their work. The weinstein nitwits from evergreen for example have treated him not only as a credible journalist but a friend and a “nice young man” who was treated unfairly. Ngo was even the first guest on bret’s podcast so that’s obviously off to a great start.

I can’t tell if these people are too blinkered by their hatred of “identity politics” to see they were playing with fire or if they are just not all that bright because they banked their entire brand on an obvious charlatan whose pathetic charade was bound to be exposed at some point.


@14, Also I don’t expect Katie to even acknowledge this because it touches on the central criticism of all her work — that she plays softball with the right while relying on her own identity and beliefs as her counterweight, rather than seeking journalistic balance in her writing. Admitting an error in judgment in her coverage of andy ngo would unravel her entire body of work at the stranger.



Well, I'm sure pretty much every person who purchased an Amazon Echo was very surprised to find out that, not only was the device capable of recording everything they said (pretty sure that feature wasn't originally mentioned in the product description) AND that AMZN employees were listening to those conversations - literally recorded in the privacy of one's own home. Based on their track record, why anyone would suppose they wouldn't do the same thing, namely, misuse the device for their own purposes - whether nefarious or otherwise - just because the recording device is outside your home, seems woefully naive.

And apparently, I'm not the only one who has this concern:

So, yeah, perhaps it does bear stating, if for no other reason than to remind consumers that corporations will do whatever they can get away with, regardless of any stated policy to the contrary or even the rule of law; they literally do it all the time.


Due to the way our houses are oriented my neighbor's "smart" doorbell points right at my backyard. Are they recording, doing face recognition, sharing with the police, just watching, or is someone at Amazon watching, or a hacker because security at these companies is shit? Bleah. I need to plant another tree.


The Queen does what she's told to do. And I know..INSANE!! The largest vote in UK's history to leave the EU and they still haven't done what the majority of Brits asked for several years ago. Totally insane!


@23: Katie does indeed strike a journalistic balance. What you describe as "softball with the right" is actually presenting political nuances and other sides to the story. Intellectual growth and curiously is well served by content we disagree with, instead of being hostile to it.


Mixed feelings on doorbell cams becoming ubiquitous which all seem to hinge on when the last time someone was jumped outside my house was. I would've given a different answer 3 weeks ago.

Without the cloud storage option, it's basically just a peephole. With, it's either a convenient way to monitor your home, and tool in crime reporting, or a surreptitious way for a corporation to mine Big Data—all depending on who's in control. The latter of course being the only option that's a new concern.


@25 If it's any consolation, those things all have a 180 field of view, which in standard photography terms equates to an extreme fisheye like an 8mm. Any person further away than 20 feet is probably a tiny, 4 pixel speck. Also, never a bad idea to plant more trees.


@27 sorry but asking a journalist who has been credibly accused of misrepresenting events if he is a nazi is not “presenting nuance”, it is malpractice that should embarrass anyone associated with its publication


@30: Whomever is a "nazi" is a matter of opinion (even if he "is"). It's unreasonable to expect journalists to foresee all the loose ends and questions arising out of any story they write. Look forward to her next article instead of ruminating in the past.


“Are you a nazi?” is not a serious question and it is the same kind of half-baked garbage reporting she has produced since day 1 at the stranger so not sure why anyone should expect that to change with the next article.

Btw you sound suspiciously similar to raindrop the more closely i read your comments


Ring doorbell cameras: Hmmm. Every time a technology that can be used to invade privacy ("spy" and collect data) on individuals is released, Amazon always seems to be intrinsically involved in some way.

I keep wondering when all of the paranoids who totally distrust the government are going to finally realize the danger to privacy and individual freedom that's coming from Amazon? C'mon all you "patriots", wise up.


@32 - I won't belabor the point, but your hostility to Katie is most strange.

Our views are similar, I suppose. We share adherence to correct punctuation and capitalization at least.


appreciate the confirmation thx


@32 Feebles has many names, but "raindrop" isn't one of them.


@34 No, you're an idiotic sock puppets and why you keep up this moronic charade just belies what a pathetic loser you are.


@37 - What are you babbling about? You're always hostile and angry but never explain why.


I'm on board with wanton doorbell destruction. My neighbor has one of these and I'm seriously considering sabotage.


@1. Actually Teddy the fuzz don’t have to get your permission to get the data from Ring. There are several ways to do it while not allowing Ring to tell you. Just like a wiretap, snooping on your email or in your cloud storage.

While Ring doesn’t provide the camera data directly to third parties it’s likely they use it in house to augment the advertising they display. Combined with the cookies and beacon (a non threatening name for a tracker) using the video it’s possible to see who is coming to your home, deliveries, food, when you come and go, etc and use that data as part of your targeting profile. If you want one great but don’t play the naive card when it comes to negative implications of the technology.


I always get a kick out of seeing pictures of kids spraypainting cameras.


@39 -- Not that I recommend it.