Members of the “Boogaloo Boi” movement in northern Nevada have installed Amazon Ring camera systems in their homes in the hopes that the tech will allow them to ambush any federal agents who come along, according to an FBI memo obtained by the group Property of the People via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The document, first reported by Vice on Friday, is an FBI internal security assessment dated April 22, 2021. It briefly states Boogaloo adherents had learned of an incident in Sunrise, Florida in February 2021 in which a gunman observed FBI agents about to serve a warrant via a doorbell cam and shot two of them to death, with the group in Nevada buying their own Amazon cams to similarly enhance “operational security.”
“Boogaloo” refers to the idea that a second American Civil War is inevitable (or even desirable). In recent years, groups devoted to the discussion of Boogaloo have gone viral on social media networks. Those include innumerable meme pages with users of broad-ranging political persuasions, but the term has racist origins, and it is particularly popular with armed, far-right extremists who in some cases have treated Black Lives Matter protests like dry runs.
As Vice points out, people affiliated with the Boogaloo movement have been accused of murdering a federal officer, firing an assault rifle into a police station, planning bombings at BLM protests, and even being involved in plots to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and sell weaponry to Hamas. The result of all this was increased federal attention and scrutiny on social media networks, driving the more hardcore adherents of the movement underground to digital spaces like messaging app Telegram.
In a separate November 2019 bulletin, the FBI warned via joint federal-state-local intelligence-sharing operations called fusion centers that smart cams could obviously tip off suspects to police arriving at a dangerous situation or attempting to serve warrants. As Vice noted, many smart cams also come with features such as night vision, face recognition, and remote access, all of which would appeal to the type of person convinced that deep-state agents may come for them at any time.
Somewhat ironically, the report states that “FBI Las Vegas has no information to indicate that Ring or any other video doorbell manufacturer is knowingly complicit in efforts to defeat law enforcement efforts.” The irony being that doorbell cams can also easily backfire for any nefarious parties using them to keep a lookout for the authorities. Amazon’s network of Ring cameras constitutes one of the largest surveillance networks in the country. Authorities across virtually the entire U.S. have gleefully partnered with Amazon as part of a program to obtain recordings for investigations, and police can obtain warrants or subpoenas to obtain footage from either users or Amazon itself (if the footage is stored on the cloud). The Boogaloo Boys may be keeping an eye on the cops but they’re also potentially giving law enforcement a peek into their patterns of movement and close associates.
You can read the full memo embedded below: