Police departments across the US have begun a partnership with the surveillance company Ring, where they can directly request camera footage from device owners. Emails which have been made public show that Ring will coach law enforcement on how to find actively enrolled Ring devices and pursue device owners to give authorities access to the footage.
The Verge has reported that over 200 police departments have reportedly begun a partnership with this company, where they have access to an interactive map called the “Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal.” While inside the portal, police have the ability locate active Ring devices and request specific footage. However, in order for a device to be present on the interactive map, the operator of the security camera must enroll into the program.
In emails to law enforcement, Ring correspondents are advising agencies to push enrollment in the program into their local communities by having an active presence on social media, speaking at town meetings, and spreading information via word of mouth. Law enforcement hopes having more users enroll in the program will allow for more neighborhood security, and more evidence sources if a crime is committed. In the emails, a Ring employee states, “When you put a video request out it goes to ring device owners who have footage during the timeframe the incident occurred. The more users you have the more useful information you can collect.”
Currently, Ring has a neighborhood surveillance program available on IOS and Android devices. The application, named “Neighbors”, allows users to report crimes within their neighborhood and upload photo and video evidence to notify the local community.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology