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Amazon is rolling out encryption for Ring doorbells



Did you know that the practical video The doorbell takes on someone who comes by your door is not private? If you get a Ring Protect plan, your videos will not only be held in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, your videos can still be viewed by outsiders. A sufficiently motivated hacker, or your local police force, can easily see who is walking past your door. Until now. Starting today in the United States (and soon, worldwide), you will be able to encrypt your video stream to keep it private.

This is done with Amazon’s Video End-to-End Encryption (E2EE). If you decide to install this optional privacy feature, you will need to install a new version of the Call application on your smartphone. Once installed, it uses a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security system based on an RSA 2048-bit asymmetric account signing key pair. In English, the foundation is pretty darn safe.

Previously, Ring already encrypted videos when they were uploaded to the cloud (during transport) and stored on Ring̵

7;s servers (at rest). Police do not have automatic access to customer units or videos. You choose whether you want to share footage with law enforcement or not. With E2EE, customer videos are further secured with an additional lock, which can only be unlocked by a key stored on the customer’s registered mobile device, designed so that only the customer can decrypt and view recordings on their registered device.

In addition, you must choose to use E2EE. It does not turn on automatically with the software update. You must also enter a passphrase, which you must remember. AWS does not keep a copy. If you lose it, you’m in luck.

Before using E2EE, you should know that AWS has not fully integrated E2EE into the Ring feature set. In other words, there are many features – such as sharing your videos, being able to watch encrypted videos on Ring.com, the Windows desktop application, the Mac desktop application or the Rapid Ring app and the Event Timeline – that you will not be able to use.

E2EE also does not work with many Ring devices. In particular, the E2EE will not run on Ring’s most popular, least expensive, battery-powered ring doorbells.

Even with E2EE security, the police can request or demand your video and audio content. As Matthew Guariglia, an Electronic Freedom Analyst (EFF) analyst, points out: “If the city’s police department has a partnership with Ring, you can also anticipate receiving e-mail requests from them and requesting footage from your camera at any time. a suspected crime is imminent. “

According to a Ring representative, Rings E2EE is designed so that even the company can not decrypt your end-to-end encrypted video. This includes police authorities because the private keys required to decrypt the videos are only stored on the customer’s registered mobile devices.

Until recently, by default, police could send automatic bulk email requests to individual Ring users in an area of ​​interest of up to one square kilometer. Now the police can publish their requests to Ring’s Neighbors app.

Guariglia also observed, “Ring standard setup is designed to instill paranoia: Ring doorbells send you an alert when motion activation is triggered, which means your phone buzzes every time a squirrel, snowfall, dog walker or delivery person puts off the ring.” For example, think Many now realize that violent crime is worse than ever in the United States. That is simply not true.

Privacy, on the other hand, is besieged. If you value your privacy and you still enjoy the benefits of Call, I encourage you to use E2EE. I will be.

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