Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Brother- he's not just watching anymore

This article from Yahoo News regarding privacy protection is a must read. Basically a federal judge has ordered YouTube to release their viewing records in relation to the billion dollar Viacom lawsuit against them, which maintains that they are suborning copyright infringement by allowing people to post clips of TV shows, movies, music videos and other media that does not belong to them. My question is, how far are they going to take this? The potential for personal prosecution is great. Not only could the people who posted the clips eventually be sued for copyright violations, so could the viewers! According to the Yahoo article: "The YouTube database includes information on when each video gets played. Attached to each entry is each viewer's unique login ID and the Internet Protocol, or IP, address for that viewer's computer — identifiers that, while seemingly anonymous, can often be traced to specific individuals, or at least their employers or hometowns" (JESDANUN, July 2008). Scared yet? It gets worse.

The article discusses more than just the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit. The journalist goes on to discuss other cases where private records have been sought and received for use as evidence. For example, the US Justice Department subpoenaed search records from the major search engine providers related to people's online pornography search habits. Did you know that every search you perform is saved corporately for 1 year?! I can understand if they are tracking illegal activities such as child pornography how such records would be valuable, but in this case they are attempting to;"
to prove that the 1998 law is 'more effective than filtering software in protecting minors from exposure to harmful materials on the Internet'."(McCullagh and Mills, 2006). In other words, the goal was to find out how many people were search for legal pornographic images, not illegal ones. Does the government really need to know that?

In light of such information and the certainty that companies have more data on our lives than we could ever imagine it seems the only recourse for the individual is to become exceedingly careful with the data we share. And quit watching videos on YouTube.


Destiny said...

It is very scary how many privacy rights we are loosing (or having violated). I really do not know why people put up with this crap. When will people learn just how important it is to elect a president who will appoint judges to protect PEOPLE not corporations?

There is no reason to keep a record of all searches done for a week let alone a year. There should also be notices posted on the search engine pages that these records are kept. I bet most people do not know that.

I know that many people will say " I have nothing to hide so I don't care and if it catches one bad guy that is great". But they SHOULD care because who knows what could come next. Who was it that said " Those who will give liberty in the name of security. deserve neither" or something like that?

WAKE UP PEOPLE before it is too late.....

ok kicking the soapbox back to Chrissi lol

Christina said...

LOL Destiny, there's plenty of room on this soapbox for two!

I agree, most people have no idea how much data is collected on them from so many different agencies and corporations and they should really be made aware of it.

I believe it was Ben Franklin who said that quote about liberty and security. Our founding fathers were some amazing thinkers, it's too bad we don't heed their wisdom any longer.

Sara said...

I shudder to think what they've compiled on me. We all need to be concerned, because even the most innocuous things could mean bad news to someone. We post pics of our kids all the time, who is to say someone won't find that offensive in some way?

Whole thing give me the creeps. Makes me glad for encoding programs. Take that bastards!

HomeSlice said...

what blows my mind is that youtube provides great pr and exposure for shows. it's a double edged sword, i get that, but it is really going overboard now. makes me want to resort to putting my videos back on instead. gag.

Lisa said...

For some reason, this doesn't make me feel any safer. I understand the reasoning behind it, but that doesn't make it a good idea. I guess as long as they say they're doing something, my right to privacy means nothing.

jae said...

Pffft, now EVERYONE is going to know I search for sites on women gettin' down with donkeys.