An Amazon Echo device is displayed at the Ford booth at CES 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Amazon is sticking to its guns in the fight to protect customer data. The tech titan has filed a motion to quash the search warrant for recordings from an Amazon Echo in the trial of James Andrew Bates, accused of murdering friend Victor Collins in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015. And it's arguing that the responses of Alexa, the voice of the Echo, has First Amendment rights as part of that motion. The case first came to light in December, when it emerged Amazon was contesting an order to provide audio from the Echo device, during the 48-hour period from November 21 through 22 2015, alongside subscriber and account information.
A free speech debate has erupted over Amazon's efforts to prevent prosecutors from obtaining audio that was recorded by one of the company's new Alexa personal assistants. Prosecutors in Arkansas say the audio could be important to proving the first-degree murder charge that it filed against James Andrew Bates, who is accused of killing a friend, Victor Collins. Bates' home had an Amazon Alexa, a device that can answer questions and perform simple functions, such as playing music. The voice-activated device is complemented by Echo, which contains speakers and microphones. Seattle-based Amazon says that the data recorded by the device, and the responses from the Alexa operating system, are protected by the First Amendment.
On August 1st, Defense Distributed was set to upload designs of 3D-printed guns for the public to buy and download. But the day before, a Seattle judge temporarily blocked their release after seven states and Washington, DC sued the company and State Department. Today, eleven more states have joined the legal battle to stop the firearm plans from being sold online. According to the filing, amended complaint added California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to the list of states Attorneys General opposing the release of the files. Per the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for August 21st and the temporary restraining order has been extended until August 28th.
In George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, "1984," every house is equipped with a Telescreen, a monitoring device enabling government surveillance. Amazon is trying to prevent its Echo/Alexa from turning into just that. Amazon is hoping to keep its Alexa devices from being a tool of government listening, which could inhibit people from buying them. Accordingly, the Seattle-based company has filed a motion to prevent recorded audio from an Echo being used as evidence in a criminal trial. Last year, police in Arkansas sought to obtain recordings captured by Echo as evidence in a 2015 murder case.
Mexican officials said that a son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán may be one of the six men abducted early Monday morning at a restaurant in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Jalisco Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer told Radio Formula that "it is presumed," though not yet certain, that Iván Archivaldo Guzmán was among those kidnapped after gunmen burst into the La Leche restaurant in Puerto Vallarata. One of Guzmán's three sons, Iván – better known as Luis or Chapito – is believed to have assumed control of parts of his father's business after he was re-arrested in January. The young Guzmán, who is believed to be around 32 years old, has been wanted by U.S. Justice and Treasury departments for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering activities and has been on the most wanted list since June 2012. "The defendant Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, better known as Luis or Chapito, is accused of transporting multiple kilograms of cocaine and several tons of marijuana from Mexico to the U.S. border to introduce them throughout the United States for distribution," reads a District Court of California document obtained by El Universal that's dated September 2013.