The joke I used to hear was that a security audit in a newly built embassy in Africa came back full of dangerous warnings and safety failures.
“Listening devices in every room” yelled the diplomat in charge, “who is screwing us the Chinese, Americans… Russia?!”
The auditor looked blankly and replied “Amazon”.
Tour Amazon’s dream home, where every appliance is also a spy: A visual guide to what Amazon learns about you through Alexa, Echo speakers, Fire TVs, Ring doorbells, Roombas and more.
In a similar vein, a very long time ago I was working in a group that had joked about sprinkler heads being listening devices in a large high-security technology bunker underground.
The joke was actually a terrible joke, playing off a cynical premise that things presented for your safety might be doing something else.
It leaked (pun not intended) in the worst way, being overheard by someone who thought sprinkler-head-spying was being discussed as something real.
Those were the days when outrage was the normal response to Admiral Poindexter-like centralized gathering of data (TIA, if you remember).
We shortly thereafter were brought into a bunker room and told in very direct language that immediately we must convince everyone of the truth — sprinkler heads were there only to give (dump water to stop fires and saves lives) and had no special ability to “take” (sense: smell, hear or see) except narrow and specific fire indicators.
Who dreams of really putting spies in your home?
And that begs an obvious question of what history is Amazon ignoring in their dystopian dreams?
Spoiler alert: 1800s-era attempts to install spies everywhere… did NOT end well.
It seems Amazon believes their dream will turn out different, versus what we saw from a corrupt and cruel President Jackson whose legacy is ripping innocent people from home to put into concentration camps (“trail of tears” genocide).