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Amazon agrees to hand over Echo data in murder case - CNET

The voice-activated Echo lets users control other smart home devices, play games and order products on Amazon's site. Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon's mounting First Amendment battle has reached an anticlimactic end.

The company agreed to hand over user data of an Amazon Echo speaker for a murder trial in Arkansas, after it spent months pushing back against a warrant for the information. Amazon changed its position after the user, defendant James Andrew Bates, consented to the disclosure, according to court filings that were made public Monday.

Before Bates consented, Amazon just last month offered a strong defense against releasing the user information, with the company saying Bates' audio recordings with the Echo were protected under the First Amendment.

Amazon handed over the data on March 3 and its motion in the case will be dismissed, the filing stated. Also, a hearing set for Wednesday on the Echo dispute was canceled.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to offer additional...(continued)

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