Sat, 05 Apr 2003 18:18:16 GMT

Is Your Television Watching You?. Here’s a nice article for all of you interested in privacy issues. It turns out that under the beloved Partiot Act, the government can now demand from non-cable companies such as TiVo or DirecTV a
list of everything you’ve watched on your TV – and those companies will be forbidden from telling you that the information has been requested. So, not only can they find out what books you’ve been checking out of the library, they can also see what sort of subversive programs you’ve been watching. I’m sure the “Joe Millionaire” watchers are probably considered upstanding Americans, but I’m not sure about all you PBS viewers…
[Techdirt]

I guess this would be really bad if there was anything really subversive being telecast. But it probably is possible to make some things look bad out of context or for embarrassing things to be disclosed. But, frankly, anything they found would be purely circumstantial and not something to build a case on. Maybe I’m missing something but it would seem to me that trying to use the fact that a possible consprirator checked out ‘Mein Kampf’ is one thing (a pretty small thing in my opinion) but watching the Playboy channel? These sorts of things seemed determined to be used purely for intimidation purposes for law-abiding citizen than having any real effect on evil people.