The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your home.

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ckessel's picture
ckessel
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The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your home.

Check this out. I'm sure the reason to put hidden cameras and microphones in the new digital TV boxes is to protect your life, liberty and persuit of happiness!

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Mike Pilat
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

I briefly looked it over and certainly can't disprove anything yet...My questions: Are we absolutely sure these mics and cameras are real? Are they advertised or is this truly secretive? Is there any sort of law or statute that would protect our rights in this?

If this is indeed what is going on, I wonder how long the American people will stand for it. This would be a very obvious sign that the government of our country does not trust its people. If that is the case, then why should the people trust the government? It is curious though, that this would be the avenue to invade privacy, but at the same time, the internet is left wide open to quickly expose this attack on Liberty. I suppose the Police State wasn't gutsy enough to try to censor internet or directly attack gun rights. 

It's times like this that I'm glad I don't care enough about tv to even get one of these boxes. Now I just wonder a little more about my computer, etc. There's already RFIDs on practically everything I buy.

I don't want to get to really touchy subjects, but I suppose if we can use "privacy" to justify an issue as profound as abortion, certainly we should be able to use "privacy" to justify keeping spy cams out of our rightful homes. Am I missing something?

Mike

 

 

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mainecooncat
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...
Mike Pilat wrote:

I don't want to get to really touchy subjects, but I suppose if we can use "privacy" to justify an issue as profound as abortion, certainly we should be able to use "privacy" to justify keeping spy cams out of our rightful homes. Am I missing something?

So I assume you don't agree with his excellency Bill Bennett that all black babies should be aborted to reduce crime. Of course, this idea's corollary is even more "thought provoking": if all white babies were aborted government and Wall Street fraud would be eliminated.

(Tongue in cheek.)

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Smells like a hoax to me, Mike. But, of course, the privacy issues you raise are important and pertain to plenty of real things.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Of course it initially smells like a hoax. But I've grown more suspicious of the government as time has gone on. And I'll never forget hearing how "Perception lags reality." I certainly don't want to make the mistake of saying "our government would never do that" just because something appears outlandish. Let people run wild to put a check on our government's abuse of power.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Ultra-Surveillance and the end of privacy or total public/private transparency and accountability?

Makes you wonder who is going to be watching all of these? Will we be paying our governments to watch them or are we going to be able to tune into our neighbors' living-rooms all be reduced to commie snitches?

All inclusive vacations (or mortgage bailouts) as bonuses for information leading to convictions!

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Mike and Ruhh,

Apropos of some of the themes of this conversation, I’m reminded of an interview I heard a few months back with near-legendary NSA historian James Bamford. He documented with the help of several whistle-blowers the disgusting abuses carried out by employees of the US government supposedly engaged in “protecting the nation from terrorism” while eavesdropping on overseas phone calls, emails, and other communications. One of the whistle-blowers talks about groups of people sitting around on the clock listening to US soldiers calling home to their wives or girlfriends while they laughed as the couple proclaimed their love of each other or the soldiers talked about their depression and cried.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Gotta be a hoax.  Cameras are sensitive to heat, and this one is mounted to a heat-sink.  Also, another person with the same box opened his and there was no camera.

 

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

As an AV systems designer, I have to say that the chances of the converter boxes being used to spy (with video and audio) on your living room are slim to none. Logistically, it's not likely because:

1. The odds of someone placing their converter box in plain view (and within an intelligible sound field) of the viewer is low. A mic would surely pick up the audio from the TV before it could pick up the sound of those people watching it.

2. Digital TV signals will be broadcast over air just like analog tv signals were. The infrastructure you have on your roof is not really capable of transmitting (broadcasting) any info back out to the broadcast TV substation.

3. There is not enough bandwidth in the allocated TV radio frequency spectrum to give a unique frequency to each and every house's unique video and audio feed to send information back out to a receiver elsewhere. Even if everyone could broadcast info out of there house, there would be so much interference with everyone else's broadcast, that a receiver would only receive mixed signals.

4. The converter box is not large enough to house any significant transmitting equipment.

However, what I think is possible and likely to come out of the digital transition is that the digital doman allows for the transmission of basic data via the T-channel return path that has existed in the analog world for decades. What this means is that information about what channel you are watching, how long you have watched it for, and what time you watched it can be transmitted back to your cable company. What this opens the door for is customized advertising in the way that google can scan your email content and display ads that relate to things it thinks you're interested in. So in a way, "a door is open," to send info back to your cable company, but not to a broadcasted (free) standard TV programming. So, if you're really paranoid, get rid of cable :)

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

It may be a hoax, but it's a great metaphor the hoaxer is using to wake people up to the general trend of what's been happening in the country for years, decades.  

Mike, you wonder if the government still trusts its people.  I say that's been obvious for a long long time.  We only wonder about that because we've been born into this world, at this time, and accept its current framework as "free" and we believe our civics classes on democracy that our government trusts us, and is us.  People 50 years ago, let alone 100 years ago or more, would think the invasions of privacy and government control that you and I live with today are completely out of line and unconstitutional.  To them it's been obvious for a long time how much the government distrusts the people.  Unfortunately the younger generation never notices, so a revolution to stop this evolution probably isn't possible.

 

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Mike Pilat
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

strabes:

Make no mistake, I don't wonder if the government trusts its people.

You raise good points about the erosion of our liberties over time. But I'm not quite sure that it will go unnoticed forever. Our crisis now is very dynamic and it's oftentimes hard to predict what the Black Swan event might be to catalyze one type of action of another. I hold out a sliver of hope that we can have a peaceful revolution in this country. Though I do admit that the sliver of hope is unfounded in most of the evidence we have now.

Thanks for your input.

Mike

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Yeah I have a sliver of hope as well.  But if Obama's "domestic security force" gets fully implemented, my sliver of hope will be gone.  

Student of Jefferson eh?  Does that mean UVA? I was going to UVA for law/business, but switched to Harvard because I wanted to see the way the elite really works.  It's a scary place...dark souls.  I wish I had gone to UVA!   

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

I wish you had gone to UVA too! (just don't tell Dogs!)

I never understood the power of Jefferson's wisdom until after I was graduated. Now I feel prouder than ever to have gone to his University. And I have fallen in love with the surrounding countryside and city of Charlottesville.

It would have been interesting to see the elite circles in Harvard, though I've always been curious about the Skull And Bones at Yale...Oh well, my curiousity isn't quite that intense...I know enough now to know what's good and what's bad for me. UVA and Thomas Jefferson have instilled and strenghtened principles in me that will never die.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

The only problem  I see with this theory is that only a relatively small percentage of the population will use these boxes. Most people have cable and you don't need one of these boxes for cable. 

 I think the government just wants to make sure people have access to the mainstream media and the associated brainwashing. The people who use these boxes don't have much in the way of alternative sources of media, ie are primarily poor. Just my $0.02 

ckessel's picture
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

It will be curious to pop open one of the devices just to see if the video clip is true or false. Metalmongrel has good points as to the reality of being able to use such a device for spying vs gathering media data.

When I was studying  (in a west coast school at Cal Poly Univ in San Luis Obispo ) one of the issues which resulted in street protests on campus was the fact that servicemen were given LSD without their knowledge as a test to see if the drug would create a more fearless soldier. This experiment occurred on the East Coast as I recall and one man actually jumped out of his apt. window to his death. On a neighboring campus at UC Santa Barbara the demonstrators burned the local branch of the Bank of America to the ground!   Wouldn't be surprised to see that happen again if not for different reasons!

In any case I do not trust our officials to make the correct choices regardless of the subject matter. They will follow the paycheck and it is obvious from whence that comes. 

Coop

 

 

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

This is where I first heard the story.  http://www.prisonplanet.com/hidden-spy-camera-mic-found-inside-digital-t...

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

I'm an electronics engineer. I design stuff like this for my bread and butter.

My company also designs these boxes although my sector does not.

I'd think that if this was happening I would have heard about it. Has anyone taken one apart?

False rumors destroy credibility.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Nice post metalmongrel. You're more of a systems engineer I see? High level implementation?

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Uhh. Just looked at the video folks. Although grainy, that "device" most certainly could be a run of the mill photodiode used for demodulating the IR signal of your remote control. LOL

The microphone thingy is suspicious but I don't pretend to have a clue what it is. But here is another clue. Microphones are electromechanical transducers. In english, they change an acoustic pressure wave into an electrical signal.

Unfortunately that's not possible through that thick plastic housing sitting in front of it. 

Looks like a hoax from what I saw.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

For the reasons described metalmongrel above, I don't believe this at all.  But would it really kill you to just not have a TV?  I've not lived in a house with a TV since I moved away from my parents.  It makes for sureal conversations with cable salesmen.  They are usually very confused when we say we don't have a TV, like the thought has never occured to them.  

That being said, I have complete confidence that there are no hidden cameras in the digital converter boxes.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Metalmongrels's comments pretty much state a solid case against, IMHO.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

I am an Electronics Buyer.  When I heard about this I  had my staff take apart the three digital converter box models that we sell.  We inpected these brands:  Zenith, Tivax, and Philco; no evidence of a microphone or a mini camera inside these three models.

 

This appear to be a haox. 

 

 

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

There are no cameras that I know of that can see through the solid plastic frame or metal chassis involved in the construction of these "low-tech" boxes.

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

I'm surprised to see the attention that this thread has gotten. This is pretty much what I would have hoped for.

While I personally think the sort of possibility presented by the initial video was a very long shot, I am very glad that it received attention. I never want to find myself in a position where something bad happens that I could have exposed or prevented but didn't because I trusted the government.

What we have all taken part it in was an exercise of freedom of the press, a necessity for a free society. I've been on a bit of a Jefferson quote binge lately and it doesn't seem time to stop just yet:

"No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will." --- Thomas Jefferson

Thank you all.

 

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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

Jefferson and the other founders were so prescient.  Quotes like this amaze me.  But unfortunately we do not have a free press any longer (a little website compared to 50,000,000 watching NBC CBS ABC is irrelevant).  Game over...we've evolved from a free republic to a financial tyranny.  Political tyranny is coming in a matter of time.  

Jefferson's quote about never letting banks control our currency or we'd lose our country is the most prescient...amazing insight.   And since the banking oligarchy has been running our currency, and our lives, for 100 years, I'm afraid he's right...we're on the irreversible slope to tyranny.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: The Real Reason Gov't wants digital TV boxes in your ...

strabes: T.J. is probably #1 on list of people I wish I could meet...When you read his writings, it was as if he predicted everything that we have wrong with this country today. If only the People he fought for listened to what he had to say.

The fact that he basically foresaw so much of this is indicative of how much we've collectively dropped the ball and failed to be diligent in truly defending liberty. This just ties in pretty nicely with the premise of that Fourth Turning book that Dogs has mentioned...Our present unwind is sad to watch more than anything.

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