The CCTV Trap: Not just the Chinese, even American security cameras spy for their government


This article is a part of a larger series on CCTV cameras and digital security systems, how vulnerable they are and how Chinese players have come to dominate the market.

The previous article deals with how the Chinese communist Party uses CCTV camera systems to spy on people in foreign countries.

For years now, we have been listening to alarm bells of how China has developed into a rogue nation and how it spies not just on its own citizens, but also on different people in different countries across the world, who hold key strategic positions in the development of foreign policies for their own country.

In the previous article on in this series, we had seen how Chinese CCTV manufacturers like Hikvision often share data and the videos they record in foreign countries to the CCP in China, through a vast and elaborate network of cameras and security systems.

In such a world, people are under the impression that countries like the US and the UK are the good guys, that they have an immense and innate respect for their citizen’s privacy. We have also come to assume that it is only China that acts in this errant way.

Also read: Putin condemns ‘hypocrisy’ of Western cyber-spying programmes

The reality, however, is that just like China, the US also uses a network of CCTV and security cameras to spy on their citizenry. Just like China, American tech companies too are in cahoots with the US government, and often share videos with the US intelligence and law enforcement agencies without the consent of the user, illegally. 

The curious case of Ring security cameras
Ring, owned by Amazon is one of the largest-selling smart security cameras in the US. The service was found to be sharing videos with local law enforcement offices, without any warrants, or sometimes without probable cause, just upon receiving a request. 

What makes the situation murkier is that Ring offers a range of security cameras, that are suited for both, indoors as well as outdoors. As a result, their customers often install security cameras inside their houses as well, in living rooms, hallways and even bedrooms. 

The news of Ring sharing video footage with local police departments broke out, when Michael Larkin, a Ring user in Ohia had to deal with the police. Larkin had about 21 Ring cameras to his account, which are divided between is house, and his office which is situated in a completely different area of the city he lives in.

The police requested Larkin to share the video recorded on one of his external camerasn from a particular date and time, while investigating one his neighbours. At first Larkin agreed, but when the police department asked for all the footages that his cameras had recorded for a week, he refuses, because it would have been time-consuming.

The police department then reached out to Ring, who gave the police all the video footages that were stored in Larkin’s account, including the ones from inside his house, as well as the ones from his office, which is about 20 kilometres away from his house. 

Amazon currently has agreements to let 2,161 police departments across the country use an app called Neighbors where users post Ring camera footage and leave comments. Police can use the app to send alerts and request videos.

Amazon said in the letter it shares footage with police without a warrant under emergency circumstances involving imminent danger of death or serious physical harm. The company said it decides whether the requests meet its standards of an emergency.

However, the record has so far shown that the phrase “emergency circumstances” are very loosely applied. Rarely has Amazon turned down a request from the police departments it works with. 

American corporations share data with the government
As concerning as Chinese companies sharing their data with the CCP may be, the last few years have shown that government agencies in the US have the same sort of access to data of their own people as well as a number of other foreign countries.

The leaked papers of former NSA employee Edward Snowden in 2013 showed that the US monitors people’s internet data using fibre optics. 

The most intriguing element of this surveillance comes in the form of a map, which reveals that the NSA gathers more data on traffic from India and Pakistan than from China. During those times, it was also stated that India ranks fifth in terms of US surveillance. 

The United States has obtained over 63 crores of intelligence material from India, but no administration has taken any action. 

US surveillance in India and of Indian nationals covers communications, usage of social media as well as video footage taken from a bunch of sources, including security systems and CCTVs. Unfortunately, the breakdown of what percentage of the intelligence material taken from India was in the form of text communications, and what portion did video footage from security cameras constitute the intelligence material that was taken from India

China’s fist of iron, vs US’ powers of persuasion
Both, China and the US regularly spy not only on their own people but in other countries as well. In fact, most countries spy on foreign nationals in other countries. 

The approach China has taken to spying is more along the lines of a bull in a china shop – they collect as much as they can and then filter out what they need. They also have very clearly written rules about data sharing with the government and how tech companies are supposed to conduct their businesses in the country.

The US on the other hand, has taken a deft approach – they too gather as much as information as they can, but will try to portray that they are very selective in their approach. Moreover, their approach is very clandestine in nature. Even within their own legal framework, they will refer to the various acts of spying and data collection that they indulge in, using some code, or fancy-named programmes.

This article is a part of a series of articles that explores how China came to dominate the CCTV security systems all over the world, and how exactly they leverage their position and stranglehold over the industry in espionage and spying.

Read all the Latest NewsTrending NewsCricket NewsBollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Also Read



Article,4,ASE News,2,Business,23,codecanyon,3,DPR,1,Education / Employment,1,Entertainment,10,IANS – The Siasat Daily,3,India news,4184,Latest news,1,Madhy Pradesh,465,main,19,National,162,News,1,PTI – The Siasat Daily,3,Sports,11,World,22,World News,1903,
The CCTV Trap: Not just the Chinese, even American security cameras spy for their government
The CCTV Trap: Not just the Chinese, even American security cameras spy for their government
ASE News
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content