Tuesday, February 24, 2009

hidden cameras in dtv converters? youtube hoax taps conspiracy fears

as i said on the show: even if this is a hoax, they reality is there. but now this hoax can be used as a strawman to attack/dismiss the whole idea of the pervasive panopticon. so, there is no surveillance, nothing to see here, go back to worksleep...

hidden cameras in dtv converters? youtube hoax taps conspiracy fearsfrom threat level: Ever wonder what the government is really up to paying for all those digital TV converter boxes? Last week a Spokane, Washington man claimed he'd discovered the horrifying truth, and he produced a YouTube video to prove it. In a 90-second video that's popping up on tin-foil-hat sites everywhere, 28-year-old software engineer Adam Chronister is seen cracking open his government-subsidized Magnavox converter, and revealing to the world the tiny video camera and microphone hidden inside... The video instantly went viral, tapping into a current of DTV conspiracy theory that's been building online since the government started issuing $40 converter box coupons last summer... Last week Chronister's video was promoted on the conspiracy-friendly Alex Jones radio show, and as of Monday the clip has chalked up almost 200,000 views and over 850 comments, many skeptical, but an equal number expressing alarm. "This is nuts! I had an odd feeling when the government planned to pay for everyone [to] get one of these," wrote one viewer. "Yup, that's a camera, and a mic. Holy shit. I am taking my DVR apart tonight," added another.

ground zero lounge: panopticon: the pandemonium configuration

In an interview with Threat Level, Chronister admits the whole thing was a hoax, concocted in about five minutes with a hot glue gun and parts from an old cell phone. The reaction surprised even him. "I was listening to the Alex Jones show ... and I heard him mention the video," Chronister says. "I just about fell out of the shower." Chronister says the video is partially true: A friend really did share the rumor about hidden camera in the DTV converters. "I originally opened up the device with the intention of proving him wrong," says Chronister. "At which point the thought popped in my head, wouldn't it be funny if I proved him right instead?"

ground zero lounge: panopticonII: wetwired: converting to tunnel vision

Observers in more technical forums like BroadbandReports.com have dissected the video and easily discerned that it's a hoax, with some taking apart their own converter boxes to provide proof. But even as posts debunking the clip roll into his YouTube comments, some remain convinced of its veracity. "There are still people defending the video," he says. As a sometimes-believer of conspiracy theories himself, Chronister is sympathetic. But critics charge that Chronister's prank only provides a smoke screen for genuine government wrongdoing. He's more worried about a different kind of backlash. "I've seen videos go viral before, but I never thought some stupid little video I did would get popular like that," he says. "I'm waiting for the Magnavox police to come and haul me off or something."

flashbacks: did u go digital last nite? u should open yr converter box, comcast cameras to start watching you? & apple files patent for a camera hidden behind the screen

1 comment:

reflux the chemist said...

Wanted to relay a funny comment to you, from a girl in one of my political science classes. She is claiming that the digital-analog conversion, and further, the government providing money for us to buy digital converter boxes, is meant to help the environment, because digital signals 'take less energy' to send. Notwithstanding the fact that the government is still using all of the analog frequencies anyway. What a fuckin joke!

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

fair use notice: this site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. we are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, & social justice issues, etc. we believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law. In accordance with title 17 usc section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.