from BuzzFeed News
Amazon is turning to the First Amendment to support its refusal to give law enforcement recordings and responses captured by the Alexa voice assistant on an Amazon Echo speaker that may help police solve a murder case.
After James Bates was charged with murdering his colleague Victor Collins in Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015, police issued a search warrant for the contents of Bates’ Echo speaker. But Amazon has fired back with a 90-page brief contending that the records Alexa collected are protected free speech. Forbes has reproduced the document in full.
Bates also owned an LG Nexus cell phone, which, as Amazon noted in its brief, could contain his Echo’s recording if he had downloaded the Alexa app. Amazon has already handed over Bates’ purchase history and account information to law enforcement, but it has declined to release his speaker’s records.
In its brief, Amazon argued, “Such government demands inevitably chill users from exercising their First Amendment rights to seek and receive information and expressive content in the privacy of their own home, conduct which lies at the core of the Constitution.”