A few years ago a friend of mine told me that the TV could see into a person's home, in a double interactive way. He suggested that advances in
fibre optics would create a whole new world of technological advances that could both benefit, and be used against mankind. Below is some information
I've found mostly about interactive TV, check the links because they are full of information.
Ground-breaking legislation in California is fighting Microsoft and AOL to stop them creating the machine George Orwell foresaw - the TV set that
At the same time, a new book titled Spy TV exposes the methods by which digital interactive television will observe and experiment of viewers. It
describes how neural network software will be used to create "psychographic profiles" and then "modify the behaviour" of individuals.
This year broadcasters will celebrate interactive TV in public, using words like "convenience" and "empowerment". AOL TV is rolling out with the
TiVo personal video recorder (PVR), that helps viewers find and save programs they might like. Microsoft is launching its own PVR called Ultimate TV,
claiming "It puts you in control!". But while you may be sold on home shopping and chat, broadcasters have been selling advertisers their new power
to monitor everything you do with your remote.
At industry conferences on interactive TV, Microsoft has been handing out specifications of its new platform. Their Microsoft TV Server, for instance,
enables "optimizes revenue opportunities by providing rich personalization and targeting of content and ads to consumers based on their television
viewing and Web surfing histories and preferences."
Matthew Timms, of Two Way TV in London, describes this surveillance in the home in plain English: "..Somehow they feel they're sitting there - it's
just them and the television - even though the reality is it's got a wire leading straight back to somebody's computer."
Are you worried about the increase in surveillance, domestic snooping, financial scrutiny and an all-pervasive "Big Brother" attitude on the part of
government agencies and corporate entities? You have reason to be concerned.
Let me illustrate just how deeply you have been penetrated. Go into your living room, family room or bedroom; anywhere in your own home where you have
a modern television. The TV is off, right? Or is it on? Is it on? No, it's off right? It's off, right?
Pick up the TV remote control device, point it at the box and push the power button. Most likely a device, either the TV, a cable box or video
cassette recorder would've turned on. It was seemingly off before you pushed a button from the remote. You could have turned the device on from a
myriad of positions within the room. The TV which you thought was off was actually in a standby mode and you activated it with a handheld device. The
box came on.
The remote control device emitted a light wave, not a radio signal. You couldn't see the light which it emitted though, why? Because the light was in
the infrared spectrum. The Infrared light bandwidth is much lower than the threshold for normal human perception. But you can prove that the device
did emit a light. How? Point the same remote control at a video camera and when you playback the recording you'll see a blinking red light on the
screen. I advise against looking directly into remote control devices to look for the light. Even though I have heard of no specific dangers to
looking in a remote control light, it is a low-powered laser emitter and one just doesn't know what the damage to the eye could be resulting from
The red light you saw blinking on the video camera playback is infrared light. Now think about some of the movies you've seen where the infrared
spectrum was translated to visible light bandwidth. The Predator movies come immediately to mind but there have been numerous. Infrared can detect
that which is commonly visible to other spectrum of light but can also read temperature changes, making it accessible to that which humans normally
So your TV has a "camera" in it which monitors this infrared bandwidth even while the television is seemingly turned off. It can virtually view an
entire room; remember from how many different angles you were able to use the remote control. Yes, even when the TV, cable box or VCR is turned off,
it's infrared eyes are still on. Deep, huh? Wait a minute -- it gets even wilder.
Most likely your system is hooked up to cable. Does the signal just come into your house or is the cable capable of transmitting a simultaneous feed
from the house back to the cable service provider? We know absolutely that modern cable systems are implementing interactive multimedia networks. This
can range from cable boxes which transmit viewer queries back to the distributor (i.e. Select TV, Pay-Per View, experimental interactive networks,
etc.). Thus we've established that a connection could have already been made between your infrared scanner, the device in which it has been placed,
the cable to which it is connected (and the cable is always active) and the cable service provider. The cable company ultimately has the technical
ability to manipulate this intricate series of connections for whatever purpose suits its self-interests.
Imagine all the times when you would particularly not welcome such prying (infrared) eyes: strutting butt-naked around the home; frolicking with your
(or someone else's) lover; watching a hot porno flick; beating your kids; beating yourself; engaging in criminalized activities; talking loud about
your enemies (I forgot to say, the speakers in the TV can serve as baffles which serve a microphone-like effect) -- the disastrous possibilities for
such intimate surveillance are seemingly endless.
We also have the fairly recent introduction of "Web-TV" and other Internet connections between your television and web service providers. These
private businesses, whether large or small, now can access your intimacy in the same manner as the cable TV provider. Theirs is a more-obvious process
I think I've conveyed the warning fairly substantially. We have in the most developed nations become wired up to a potentially devastating mechanism
for mass surveillance. Some of us would wish to protect our ability to remain discreet in our private affairs to the best of our abilities. As such
we'd really better consider the endless possibilities which the modern lifestyle provides for our enemies or competitors to have access to our
The solution to the infrared camera in the television, cable box and VCR is not too complicated to override. I propose buying a little strip of Velcro
and a square patch of leather or thick cloth. Merely tape the Velcro just above the small red window containing the infrared sensor and when you want
the lens blocked attach the leather patch so that it blocks the window. Stand across the room and test the remote control and you'll find that it no
longer activates the TV. Of course you could unplug the device and the cable but that would require extra time in reprogramming it every time it
needed to be utilized. Velcro, a couple of pieces of tape and a patch of cloth or leather -- a simple solution.
It's hard to believe that something so seemingly-innocuous as a TV remote would lead us to this devastating theory of deep penetration by potentially
hostile forces into our last bastion of refuge in a seemingly hostile world -- our home.
Information Links Below:
Comcast Spying on Customers
The Spy in Your Living Room
Interactive TV Spies on Viewers