Amazon Sidewalk sharing your network?

Just got an email from amazon about their Sidewalk rollout. They’ve really up’d the creepiness this time. Apparently all Echo and Ring devices are going to be sharing (leaking?) your home network with your neighbours.

The email I received says you can turn this off in the Alexa app but I just checked and the setting is not yet there in the the latest Android app (at least in the UK region). Nice touch amazon, send the email out before the setting is available. How many people will forget about this and amazon will quietly build a peer-to-peer network for itself. This should be an opt-in not opt-out service.

I have all my smart devices in an IoT VLAN but in a flat network (the vast majority of use cases) it could also be used to snoop other traffic in your home; what you watch on Netflix, Plex, bittorrents, where you shop, etc. It could be collecting all sorts of remote telemetry.

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The verge covered this

and here is the Amazon page

The Verge article really just describes the capabilities and repeats Amazon’s assurances that it’s secure.
It certainly doesn’t address the security concerns I have that amazon is opening up home networks through a device back door to the neighbourhood and anyone passing by with a compatible device.
And it should opt-in NOT opt-out (when that option becomes available).

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If you want privacy, I would not put listening devices in your house.


@sportq I think you’ve got it all wrong, that’s why Bezzos is swimming in dollar bills !

Young people don’t give two hoots about security / privacy / data protection they are the future you’re an old dinosaur. I’m not insulting you (I’m in the same camp) I’ve had recent graduates in the office laugh at my Thinkpad x201 running linux !

On the flip side getting all this networking secure at home is next to impossible if your knowledge is glued at android / IOS levels.

99% of what’s discussed in these forums are super niche … the population as a whole are not prepared to put in the hours for what strikes them as something that ought to be intuitive.

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@LTS_Tom point taken on listening devices, it’s impossible not to trade off some privacy for convenience. Unfortunately that boat seems to have sailed in my house. I do turn the microphones off by default though.

What I’m more concerned about it network security. There’s little point installing pfSense with finely tuned and tested rules if my Echo is creating back door networks to the neighbourhood.

If you are in the USA, you might try contacting some of the Senators that are on the Amazon/Twitter cases. You’ll be able to figure out who is for and against them with a few quick minutes of study.

MPAA and RIAA should be very against this, anyone can roll up to your house, park outside, and start uploading illegal content and it would all point back to you. I’d be quick to point this out if I had one of these devices, and I received a complaint/summons. Let them take the case to Amazon to figure out who really uploaded the stuff.

This was a error by Amazon, it is not available in the UK. Our main telecom company did something similar, when using their router, meant if other people did it you could get free wifi when out and about. This was quite a while ago though.

This makes me want to get rid of my alexa devices, I only use the one in my room as a clock and it cant even tell the time if it isn’t connected to the internet, I think it’s time for my amazon devices to to.

Also i just remembered that telstra was doing a similar thing with there telstra air network, not sure if they still are but i assume if they were doing it before they still would be.

I’m a millennial and I extremely value my right to privacy. We’re not all potato heads.

Although I kind of am alone in knowing how to setup a pfsense business network and a myriad of other things Linux related. Most of my millennial friends are old fashioned car mechanics while I program modules for my Duramax diesel on a whim using my MDI 2. It’s lonely knowing this stuff

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Lol you must have met my nephews, potato head would be an adequate description !

While I say the young don’t give two hoots, it’s also their parents who have no idea too, over the last 15 years computing has become consumerised not too different to a fridge, I mean few care about thermodynamics and refrigeration cycles they just want their beer cold. The majority of people want to go on the internet and do whatever it is that they do, Apple and Amazon understand this and exploit their users like hell.

The old dinosaurs in this forum (including myself) grew up with computers not working and trying to figure out how to get it to work, that was just how it was, trial and error.

It’s good that you take an interest in how these things work and seek not to be exploited, these days there is a lot of information out there and people offer help freely. It can only benefit you. Yeah none of my friends have an interest in tech either, in the workplace it’s even fewer, and that’s in tech parts of the business.

Unfortunately I think exploiting technology is a niche area but consuming technology is all pervasive.