This cyberpunk dystopia sucks.

Today we learned of a gentleman who has apparently turned his home into one of the so-called “smart homes” via a selection of Amazon’s “smart” devices.

Near as I can tell he had purchased these devices, and he owned them free and clear.

Over the Memorial Day weekend Amazon shut down his house.

The facts that we get from him — I can’t find where Amazon has answered the allegations yet, they probably should — is that an Amazon delivery driver who was wearing headphones though that the gentleman’s automated video doorbell called him a racial slur.

The driver reported this to Amazon, and with absolutely no investigation Amazon shut down all the “smart” devices that Amazon had a connection to in the “smart home”; as well as shutting down his Amazon account. Since his Amazon Echo devices were apparently the only means this gentleman had to interface with his “smart home”.

Amazon unilaterally shut down devices he owned, which controlled a home he owned, based on a single-point complaint from 25 MAY 23 until their “investigation” was completed on 31 MAY 23.

I can see situations where having a “smart home” controlled by your voice would be necessary, or useful, but I’ll have no truck with that sort of thing.

Not when a faceless mega-corp can unilaterally decide to shut off your personally-owned devices, based on a verbal complaint of you being naughty.

If you think this is bad, wait until the FedGov decides they like “smart homes”. Given the alleged shut-down capabilities of the next generation of vehicles — where you have to prove you’re not drunk before you will be allowed to start your vehicle — and given the abundant evidence of how far the FedGov and various State governments are willing to trash your civil rights in the name of “safety”, we may very well look back on the days of Amazon shutting down your home with fondness.



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14 thoughts on “This cyberpunk dystopia sucks.”

  1. I went to a fire call over a year ago to a “smart home.” The guy basically installed and configured it himself. There was solar on the roof, Tesla battery boxes on the basement wall next to the breaker boxes, strange “smart” breakers wired into other controllers, and the guy had a pile of prints and schematics that I am usually able to follow but not these. Every light was blinking on and off, wall outlets were randomly buzzing and arcing, switches would work, then not. There was a residual smell of burnt electrical. After investigating for over an hour, we called the Fire Marshall and Building Inspector and killed power to the house. The power was to stay off until a qualified electrician came out to the house. The wife was pissed.

    Smart Home? All appliances connected to the “Internet of Things”? The ability of some entity to kill or lock things? No fuckin’ way.

  2. The whole point of “smart” devices is to allow corporations (and eventually, through them, government) to surveil you in your home. I won’t have them, and I won’t visit homes that have them. Especially “smart speakers” such as Alexa, Echo, and Siri, and “doorbell cameras” such as Ring.

    We should have realized this as soon as OnStar and similar devices appeared in cars. (They’re scheduled to be compulsory in 2025 and later models.)

    They’re all part of the “Great Reset,” which needs to be stopped.

  3. What’s bad is the “free” smart thermostats some electric providers have been giving away. The electric providers can and will adjust those thermostats if they fell the need to.
    Every computer security professional I know refuses to have any home automation connected to the internet because of the ability for external actors to gain control of these devices.

    1. At one point [orange sign] security company had a huge hole discovered in their “smart” system that allowed for easy hacking into the security system and anything attached to it (thermostat, et cetera). They didn’t get around to patching it for several months at least.

      No. Don’t want one, don’t want a smart meter, don’t want anything I can’t unplug or default to push-button only.

  4. Seems like a “test”. If you have a “smart” device, you ain’t “smart”.

  5. I always warn my troops away from Insecurable Devices on the Internet Of Things (I.D.I.O.Ts).
    Too many are incapable of secure operation, not just by default but by inherent design flaws.

  6. Personally, I don’t like the “smart tech” for anything. I have to be the smartest being in my house, so having dumb appliances etc helps to lower that bar.

    Ulises from the People’s Republik of Kalipornia

  7. “…complaint from 31 MAY 23 until their “investigation” was completed on 25 MAY 23.”

    Wait… if Amazon sells time machines, I might sign up!

  8. If you think that’s bad, wait until their ‘smart money’ scheme is implemented.

  9. He bought the boxes. He didn’t buy the systems in the cloud that make the boxes useful. Right now Amazon needs to fire the driver for being an utter wuss AND the minion who decided to cut the guy off without any research plus the next 3 layers above him. Oh, and the driver was likely breaking the law by driving wearing headphones, so there is that little problem too..

    The people in Colorado were paid to install the remote controllable thermostats. Did they NOT expect the power company to use the tool they were given when power was limited? Much better to crank up a few thousand thermostats to reduce load than shed entire rotating outage group (block of homes)…

  10. My phone is bad enough. My house will remain “BA”. (Before Amazon)

  11. Long ago, when they were new, bought a couple of Nest thermostats. Control the temp of your house from far away. Great, right? Had to move (real estate taxes – we were renting our (paid off) house). Tried to buy another Nest thermostat. Found out that Google had bought Nest. No f^&king way, methinks. So bought another “smart” thermostat. Only to learn that google got caught putting microphones in the nest thermostats. “Just so we could add voice features.” Bullshit. I will never, I say again my last, NEVER let a “smart” device in my home! Or anything else that listens to me 24/7.

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