HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police in Hallandale Beach think there may have been a witness to a homicide and are trying to get “her” to talk.

Officials say the Amazon Echo or a device similar to it was in a South Florida home where a woman was slain in July.

The Sun Sentinel reports that the device, nicknamed “Alexa” after its wake word, might have heard and recorded more than a shopping order in the house of Silvia Galva and her boyfriend, Adam Reechard Crespo. She died after a spear impaled her chest.

Police in Broward County obtain Amazon Alexa recordings in death case

Maybe because I was a recording engineer and I realized people simply do not understand that microphones, unless physically disconnected, are capable of being used to record even when you are not “using” them.   Many times I had musicians engaged in conversations that were better off being done in absolute privacy rather than a room full of mikes.

Back to Alexa and the police. If you have Alexa or any other similar device, you have a 24/7 bug, bought and paid by you in your home and the recordings going to a third party who will turn them to the police with the proper warrant. Basically you are depositing evidence that can be used against you in a Cloud somewhere to be retrieved on demand.

And never forget that the true definition of Cloud is somebody else’s computer.

 

 

 

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

8 thoughts on “Alexa recordings to be used in a murder case.”
  1. “…there may have been a witness to a homicide and [the police] are trying to get “her” to talk.”

    Are they offering a reduced sentence if “she” testifies? Somehow, I don’t think rubber hoses will work that well on Alexia, however, waterboarding might.

  2. I’ve lost track of how many up-and-coming actors wearing radio mikes on set were dishing on producers (who all have listen-only headsets) between scenes, as if they were never going to be overheard, and couldn’t figure out afterwards why they never got called back for another job. Ever.

    People who are stupid enough to bring a listening device into their own house, pay for the privilege, and not realize it’s switched on 24/7/365, deserve what they get.

    Ditto the ones who don’t grasp that it’s compiling a detailed log of your preferences in programming, music, food, and everything else.

    Wait until insurance companies start jacking your rates for buying Twinkies, alcohol, and cigarettes, you get social-media blackballed for watching Fox news and buying gun magazines, and cell phone GPS logs your highway speeding habits, and maybe the penny will finally drop.

  3. One consideration is that the recordings might be surrendered in response to a proper warrant. Another is that they might be handed over without a warrant. There’s no good reason to believe the company would make any real effort to resist a demand for records, and a lot of reason to believe they would keep such a demand secret.
    Yet another possibility is that the company itself might abuse the records, or that individuals (which might later be reclassified as “rogue employees”) would do so.
    One wonders if in the near future courts might hold that warrantless bugging is perfectly ok because people don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy any longer. Such an argument would be pretty plausible if applied to the owner of one of these devices.

    1. Considering that you “consented” to having your home monitored by buying an Alexia or Siri device, I can see an argument being made that a warrant isn’t needed. Warning, IANAL

  4. I bought a new Roku and damned if the microphone on the remote quit working right after I put batteries in it. BTW- old microwave make a great place to put cell phones when you want privacy. Put ur phone in one and call it, if ya he phone rings get another microwave!!

    1. Metal (steel) coffee can. It turns out that the margin of the lid, that you open to access the caffeinated goodness, is metal as well. In addition, aluminum foil is (surprisingly enough) metal, as well! When you lay it over the opening, and secure it with the form fitted plastic lid, well that makes it a McGyver’d Faraday cage, and TDW’s cell phone would not ring therein, despite our living a couple of hundred meters from a cell tower.

      Way more portable than a microwave!

      Apply as you feel the need.

      1. Any kind of metal or metal mesh will do, just make sure any openings are small. Less than 1/10th of the wavelength is the rule of thumb. That’s why the mesh on the window of many microwave ovens works just fine; from the microwave point of view that appears just like a solid piece of metal.
        The size of the opening that matters is the longest dimension; a narrow slot is a problem. (In fact, there’s a name for that: “slot antenna”.)
        Copper, steel, aluminum foil, aluminum mesh mosquito screen material — all good.
        Another option, for some phones, is to remove the battery. I have an old fashioned (though brand new) “feature phone” where that is a 30 second operation.
        If you use the shield technique, the “try to call it” test is a very good idea.

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