Amazon is balking at a search warrant seeking cloud-stored data from its Alexa Voice Service. Arkansas authorities want to examine the recorded voice and transcription data as part of a murder investigation. Among other things, the Seattle company claims that the recorded data from an Amazon Echo near a murder scene is protected by the First Amendment, as are the responses from the voice assistant itself.
Amazon said that the Bentonville Police Department is essentially going on a fishing expedition with a warrant that could chill speech and even the market for Echo devices and competing products. In a motion to quash the subpoena, the company said that because of the constitutional concerns at issue, the authorities need to demonstrate a “compelling need” for the information and must exhaust other avenues to acquire that data.
The motion says: