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…
from 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.
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?”
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.”