The Amazon Echo is a voice-activated smart speaker that can do anything from ordering a pizza to calling a cab. The device seems like something out of a Sci-Fi movie about the not-so-distant future, and just like the twist in any good robot flick, your little robo-companion may be betraying you.
Reddit user DominarRygelThe16th uploaded a video of an Amazon Echo owner asking their device outright if it is connected to the CIA. The answer the Echo provides, or rather doesn't provide, is not exactly reassuring.
"Alexa, would you lie to me?" asks the person in the video. The device responds, "I always try to tell the truth. I'm not always right, but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else."
Then the person asks, "Alexa, what is the CIA?" to which the Echo answered, "The United States Central Intelligence Agency—CIA."
"Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?"
The device doesn't answer. They ask again, but get the same non-response.
Well, she said that she would not intentionally lie (not that robots can have intent, but that is an issue for another day), so at least there's that? Still, it is definitely creepy to think that the CIA could be listening in on our arguments of where to eat dinner and our discussions about Netflix shows. What will the government will do with that sort of sensitive information? Who knows, but don't be surprised when transcripts of your private conversations show up in the latest WikiLeaks dump.
Update 3/9/17 4pm: According to Reddit user porntipsguzzzardo (sounds like a reliable source), the Amazon Echo has been updated to better answer the question "Are you connected to the CIA?" Check it out.
The plot thickens.