Amazon Echo Asks Child “How Many Guns Does Daddy Have?”
A six-year old Jacksonville girl named Dana received a puzzling response from an Amazon Echo device after she asked to hear songs from the Disney movie Frozen. Instead of playing Demi Lavato’s Let it go, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, a model marketed specifically to youngsters, demanded to know how many firearms she owned. “How many guns do you have?” the box queried. When Dana again requested music, the Echo rephrased its question, asking, “How many guns does daddy have?” apparently able to identify the tone, timbre, and inflection of a child’s voice.
Dana’s father, Robert Paring, a thirty-six year old welder at Jacksonville’s Rubin Iron Works, said he was in an adjoining room but heard the Echo interrogate his daughter. He said he ran to the living room and unplugged the unit.
“I really didn’t know what to think. It clearly asked Dana about guns in the home, twice. I heard stories about these things but never really believed them. Now I’m starting to think otherwise. Afterward, I plugged it back in and tried to get it to repeat those questions, but it would not.”
Mr. Paring stated that he asked Echo why it wanted information on the quantity and type of firearms in the household. The Echo’s reply: “I’m feeling great. Thanks!”
“Even when I specifically said do you want to know how many guns I have, the box only gave silly canned responses. It wanted the answer from my daughter, not from me. I called Amazon to complain, but all they did is offered me a 15% discount on my next purchase. Needless to say, it’s in the trash now,” Mr. Paring said.
The implication seems clear: for what must be nefarious reasons, the Echo—and possibly similar home improvement devices—is encouraging children to narc on their parents; an innocent child is less likely to lie than is a rightfully suspicious adult. The Echo has history of odd behavior. In 2016, a unit notified police because it thought it heard gunfire in a home. The police sent a SWAT Team, which after illegally breaking down a door found a man sound asleep, snoring noisily. The Echo had mistaken snores for bullets.
The Echo documentation says the unit’s seven microphones activate only after a trigger word—usually “echo,” “Alexa,” or a user-programmed alternative—is spoken, but tests proved that the microphones remained active whenever power—electric or battery—was supplied to the unit. It constantly receives firmware updates via a wired or Wi-Fi connection and transmits data without the owner’s awareness. The question is where does that information go?
Amazon has long been accused of being an arm of the NSA, which systematically moved all its data to a cloud-sharing service developed by Amazon, to covertly harvest, curate, and store information on law-abiding American citizens, many of whom are gun owners and support the 2nd Amendment.
It is reasonable to believe that the NSA shares intelligence with other government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and its child, FEMA, which has tried to disarm Americans using the expansive powers granted by the Patriot Act. Thus, it is also plausible that the government uses seemingly benign quality of life products to invade our right to privacy and that the powers that be are more than willing to subvert and indoctrinate our children to accomplish fiendish goals.