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Arkansas Prosecutors Obtain Warrant for Amazon Echo Audio Recordings

HeadlineDec 30, 2016

In Arkansas, prosecutors seeking evidence against a Bentonville man charged with murder have obtained a warrant to receive data from his Amazon Echo—a voice-activated device that is always listening and often recording. James Andrew Bates says he’s innocent of the murder of Victor Collins, who was found strangled in Bates’s hot tub. Prosecutors hope to search audio recordings on Bates’s Amazon Echo for clues. Lawyers for Amazon.com have refused to comply with the warrant, and technology experts say it’s unlikely the device was recording at the time of the murder. But the case has drawn national attention and alarmed civil liberties groups. Bates’s lawyer, Kimberly Weber, told USA Today, “I have a problem that a Christmas gift that is supposed to better your life can be used against you. It’s almost like a police state.”

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