Inbox for

elijahradioprophet@yahoo.comThis serves notice on America that those who are called “the MEDIA”

are NOT here to “ENTERTAIN” us, but to CONTROL us! .

The Awful Truth is, WE SHALL HAVE NO CHOICE but to GO DIGITAL. The

old & Present ANALOG SYSTEM of TV Broadcasting, VIA the medium of RF

Signal transmitted through space, to be received with ANTENNAS and a





via PlanetNews

Don’t Talk to the Press!

White Dot Infiltrates iTV Industry Trade Body

by David Burke

Part One: Privacy at the Yale Club

The subject on the email was “Media Privacy

Gang-Rape”. But he seemed sane

enough. For instance, he remained good-natured

when I told him he was

paranoid, especially in this paragraph:

“I am absolutely convinced” he wrote to me, “that

televisions are already

capable of acting as cameras which enable the

media industry and their

clients to observe and listen to everyone and

everything within line of

sight of the screen.”

What sounds more crazy than saying “I think my TV

set is watching me?” He

might as well have signed his message

“. But few people

understand this subject, and I’m glad the man

found our website. I know how

hard it is to choose the right words and

anticipate what is possible,

without losing all credibility.

For three years now, I have been studying the

privacy issues surrounding

digital interactive television, and I was able to

reassure my correspondent

that I hadn’t heard anything about cameras when I

snuck into the Addressable

Media Coalition Luncheon at the Yale Club in New

York. If those people don’t

know about surveillance gadgets in television

sets, nobody does.

The Addressable Media Coalition (AMC) is a

division of the Association for

Interactive Marketing (AIM), which has recently

been made a part of the

Direct Marketing Association (DMA), a lobbying

group for junk mailers, cold

callers and market researchers. The AMC was

established to realize the dream

of addressable advertising – a new way to profile

and target people based on

their viewing behavior, or as it is now known,

their “telegraphics”.

Prominent among the Coalition’s 34 members are

Nielsen Media Research, the

advertising giant Young and Rubicam, WebTV, which

is owned by Microsoft, and

NDS, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News


The group I work for was not invited to join. I

serve as British Director of

White Dot, a small, but nevertheless

international, campaign against


I was so disorganized that day, that when I got

to the Yale Club, I didn’t

have business cards for my fictitious company. My

suit looked nice.

“You don’t have a business card?”

“Uh, no. ”

But the young man on the door couldn’t make too

much fuss. I had missed the

food, and walked straight into the AMC’s Privacy

Subcommittee meeting. The

oak paneled room of 20 people sat quietly around

their plates of cookies and

china cups of surprisingly bad coffee, listening

to a speakerphone, out of

which the CEO of BeyondZ Interactive passed on

what she knew of the lobbying

situation in Washington.

She emphasized how important it was to negotiate

something at the federal

level, before individual states could pass their

own privacy bills.

Discussion turned to their narrow escape in

California. That bill had gone

so far as to require viewers’ permission before

monitoring could begin, and

was only killed after intensive lobbying by

Microsoft and AOL. Everyone

agreed they were lucky. State Senator Debra Bowen

had been too far ahead of

the curve.

“May I ask who you are?”

I looked up, at Art Cohen, Senior Vice President

of Advertising and Commerce

for ACTV, and Chairman of the Coalition. I

recognized him from the SpotOn

promotional video he gives to advertisers.

Zoom right in – to a little street of identical

houses. Are the happy people

inside them identical as well? Oh no! They all

have different skins,

different numbers of children, make different

money and want different

things. Every time the old white couple with the

poodle click on their

remote control, it is recorded in a database on

their set-top box. The same

is true for the young black family with the

Labrador. SpotOn software

gathers this data, analyses it, and sends each of

them targeted advertising

or programs aimed at their unique behavior. The

secret: artificial

intelligence algorithms!

“See that box?” SpotOn’s head of sales in Denver

asked me at a trade show,

“That box can hold 64,000 bits of information

about you!” And that was just

the General Instruments 2000 box, not even the GI

5000 everyone was talking


“I’m a programmer” I said, “I’m just beginning to

work with interactive TV.”

Why did I give my real name? That was so stupid.

I had asked Mr. Cohen for

an interview months ago, and he had turned me


“I’ve got to be careful about what I say,” he

told me on the phone, “because

what I say could end up in a book, and I’ll be

sorry about it.”

He looked at my registration form, then looked at


“You’re not the press are you?”

“No” I said.

(a long pause.) “Okay.”

I shook his hand. It was fleshy and strong, like

his face. The fashionable,

narrow lens glasses made a nice contrast. He

looked good.

Art Cohen is very concerned about people

listening in on what he says. With

the Addressable Media Coalition, he is determined

to offer a place where

industry leaders can speak in confidence,

agreeing how to proceed before

saying anything in public.

“You don’t want to talk to the press about any of

this,” he told us over and

over. “If some bad PR got out, whether it’s true

or not, it might take us a

year to make it up.”

Everyone nodded. They all agreed they couldn’t

afford to make the same

mistakes they had on the internet – rushing into

a medium they didn’t

control, without a strategy in place, a back-up

plan, just in case users

found out about all those cookies.

Companies who make interactive television are

keen to talk about “the coming

digital revolution”, hoping viewers will forget

about the one that has

already happened. Interactive TV is really a

digital counter-revolution,

walling in the content that viewers can see, and

handing control of their

news and leisure time back to broadcasters.

DoubleClick, the internet advertising firm, got

into big trouble when they

tried to connect internet surfing data with

offline records from Abacus, a

mail-order catalog company. But television

service providers won’t have to

improvise this way. Digital set top boxes connect

on and offline data as

soon as they are installed. That is what the

machine was designed to do. A

number of companies now hope to connect the

commercials you see to the

products you buy using a supermarket loyalty

card. There is no end to this


In Europe interactive TV is a big success. But

the American industry

requires visionary leaders to overcome the

skepticism of advertisers and

viewers. Art Cohen is running for Steve Jobs. And

he might win; he talked

tough and interrupted people. He moved around the

room behind the CEOs, lost

in thought one second, commanding our attention

the next. We were all


I’ve interviewed dozens of executives in this

industry, on the phone, in

their “homes of the future” and at conferences on

interactive TV and

one-to-one marketing. These are people you will

never meet, but who will

soon know a great deal about you.

David Byrne, Senior Manager of Business

Development at Microsoft was happy

to talk about the warehouse of data that is being

collected by WebTV,

waiting for some future use. Other salesmen and

women were young and excited

to be part of the next big thing. They weren’t

sure how to handle privacy

questions, but their repeated hope was in today’s

“media-savvy youth”.

Apparently, the younger kids are, the less they

worry about privacy.

At one conference, Kirt Gunn of the advertising

consultancy Cylo had a whole

room laughing when he speculated why this might

be: “I don’t know whether it

‘s how many people read 1984 or what piece of the

puzzle it is.”

Indeed, Orwell’s book is about to lose much of

its rhetorical power. The

real experience of interactive television will

soon take its place. When

consumers discover that their TV sets are

recording what they do in their

living rooms and bedrooms, they will either stand

up and demand protection,

or, conversely, they will learn to love it.

“Big Brother,” our children may laugh someday,

“Some old guy worried about

that in the last century. But see – now they

record everything I do, and I

can order a pizza without dialing my telephone!”

The data analysts I’ve met were brilliant. I

couldn’t think of any use for

this technology that was not already being

studied or already in


Neal Muranyi of the Database Group is the man who

first coined the term

“telegraphics” to describe the data you and I

will produce each evening. He

has already seen how the insurance industry could

save millions of dollars:

“Such systems would allow, say insurers to

differentiate risk-averse

conservatives from high-living show-offs, and

then tailor both marketing

messages and risk scoring systems accordingly.”

Pat Dade of Synergy Consulting told me about his

psychographic “value

groups”, people he has surveyed and interviewed

until he is able to

categorize the emotions that make them act. Here

he describes how your

television data will be used as a digital

fingerprint, linking you into one

of them:

“Let’s say that the hypothesis is that an

inner-directed person, if they

watched da-da-da, would react in such and such a

way. Now you can test that.

You can test that at the end of each time,

because you’re starting with the

question `Can we change or reinforce behavior

based on this information?'”

Control. That’s the slogan used to sell

interactive television. But what

really excites these people is the way it creates

experimental conditions in

the home. Your TV set will be able to show you

something, monitor how you

respond, and show you something else, working on

you over time until it sees

the desired behavior.

But who nicer to push the buttons? Pat Dade spoke

like the gentle, self-help

author he could so easily have been, and he had a

nice sense of humor. When

I found out that he had worked on Echelon, the US

military’s worldwide

electronic eavesdropping system, he laughed.

“Oh yeah” he said, “We spied on everybody.”

That’s why the AMC Luncheon was such a surprise.

These guys were so hard and

aggressive, like big business baddies in a

cartoon strip.

Poor Jerome Samson, the French data analyst

working for Nielsen, was openly

ridiculed for talking too long, and a running

joke about “career terminating

statements” was thrown back and forth between

tough young sales reps.

Except for Karen Lennon of BeyondZ, none of the

women dared say anything.

And when some namby-pamby suggested explaining to

viewers about the unique

identifier and what we did with their data, Jack

Myers of the Myers Report

shot him down.

“Listen,” he said, “There really is no such thing

as privacy, unless you’

re..[Unabomber] Ted Kaczynski or something. There

is no privacy. It’s all

public relations. It’s all perception.”

At the top of the pecking order stood Art Cohen.

And he made it clear there

would be no telling viewers anything:

“Right now you’re being targeted by Nielsen,” he

said, dismissively, “This

is just better data. Nobody’s getting permission


But then, it’s like he had to go on:

“The difference is” he said, totally

contradicting himself, “this box has a

unique identifier, so you’re able to poll boxes

individually. The Cable Acts

and things that were written years ago don’t

really deal with that.”

It was then that I began to have the strangest

feeling of sympathy for Art

Cohen. I began to see how much we have in common.

Oh sure, before

congressmen he can play casual, and say the

profiling he does is no

different from the way people know their local


But in front of these advertisers, like Wes Booth

of Grey Advertising, or

Tim Hanlon of Starcom Worldwide, who was

listening somewhere on that

speakerphone, Cohen had to lay out his vision of

the coming, irrevocable

change to the way human beings live. He had to

predict the unthinkable. He

had to make people listen, but not in any way

that could appear, let’s say,

too far ahead of the curve.

“This is going to happen” he was saying again,

“Nothing is going to stop it.

The technology is so powerful! It’s not just

interactivity; it’s

targetability and accountability… All the data is


Would he find the right words? How do you

describe a future that already

takes up your entire present, that you have

studied in the smallest detail,

so that you are already living it – without

sounding crazy?

“Television is projections!” he was insisting,

“Nielsen is projections! This

will be based on actual counts! …Instead of an

unreal world of projected

data, we’re entering a real world of actual data,

census data. That

differentiates all these things from everything

that’s gone before.”

What did he say? That was good. I scribbled it

down. Census data! Why didn’t

I think of that? I’ve been so hung up on the

experimental conditions thing.

Cohen is a genius! That’s the perfect way to

describe it. This could bring

the right-wingers on board!

Anyway, I wish my email correspondent had been

there. There’s nothing like

being with people who finally understand what

you’re talking about.

Part Two: e-Trussed

In the following months, I took part in the AMC’s

Privacy Subcommittee

Meetings. These were chaired by Karen Lennon, a

very nice woman whom I would

call a privacy dove. That is, she thinks

everything will be fine as long as

the consumers are told that their civil liberties

are being spit on. But

both she and the privacy hawks, who were against

raising such issues in

public, agreed on one thing: a privacy seal was

urgently needed.

The AMC have published a Privacy Guideline

document about this matter,

explaining that an industry run system of self

regulation had to be in place

before legislators themselves understood what

interactive TV was and how it

would affect citizens’ lives. The cornerstone of

any such effort is to be a

new Privacy Compliance Seal, that the Coalition

hopes to announce with

fanfare this Autumn. The rest of the Guideline

document is written in vague

language about respect and trust, although these

two sentences do stand out:

Such security measures will vary depending on the

configuration of the

systems handling the data and the purpose of the

data collected. Financial

information, medical information, VOD/PVR/viewing

information mapped to PII

will require greater levels of security than

anonymous information regarding

clicks, viewing or purchases.

I suppose it is nice of them to fret over the

security of viewers’ financial

and medical information, but what right do they

have to all that data in the

first place?

Anyway, these meetings were held mostly by

conference call, so I will skip

the witty personal observations and get right to

the issues. What follows

are the matters that were important to members of

the AMC Privacy

Subcommittee, the group that will be creating

this new Privacy Compliance

Seal. When consumers see this seal appear on

their TV screens, reassuring

them that the highest standards are being met,

they should know what went on

in these meetings where the Seal was created.

Goal: Persuade Legislators to Scrap the Cable Act

An anomaly exists between the privacy regulation

of cable and satellite. The

1984 Cable Act is far stricter. Both privacy

advocates and broadcasters want

to “level the playing field”, except in different

directions. Members of the

Coalition were specifically advised to copy

language that Cox cable had

written up for their subscription contract. It

was considered a good first

step towards freeing interactive TV from the

Cable Act.

Goal: Keep Legislation Away from the States

It came up a number of times that state

legislatures might propose their own

privacy legislation. Debra Bowen’s proposed

opt-in legislation was discussed

a number of times. Repeatedly, it was agreed that

if legislation was to be

changed, it was best done at the federal level,

where the various media

lobbyists had more influence.

Goal: Create a Privacy Seal Before Government


Or, as Art Cohen said, “bites us in the ass”.

One of the earliest conversations of the Privacy

Subcommittee contained a

humorous moment. Everyone had been agreeing that

speed was of the essence

and that the process of creating a Seal could not

be allowed to bog down. A

lawyer on the call offered to take the initiative

and draw up a quick list

of privacy principles.

That’s when there was a silence, followed by a

bit of laughter.

Of course he couldn’t draw up such a list of

privacy principles! We hadn’t

sent out our Privacy Audit, asking all our member

companies what practices

they already had in place! We had to ask them

what data they gathered, where

it was stored, whom it was shared with,


The Privacy Audit was every question that I,

investigating these companies,

could ever want to ask. But it was more important

for the AMC’s Privacy

Subcommittee, because the last thing we all

wanted to do was put out rules

that might “cut somebody out”.

So there is the first lesson in how you create a

Privacy Compliance Seal:

Make sure it embodies the lowest common

denominator of what everyone is

already doing anyway.

Goal: Avoid Permission, Concentrate on Suitable


The Privacy Guideline document was written by

Karen Lennon and a man named

Jim Koenig of something called the ePrivacy

Group, which turns out to be a

wholly owned subsidiary of a company called

Postiva. So one would assume he

is very strong on things like viewer permission.

But in the meetings, he claimed it was not

important. He said that with

education, viewers could be made to see that

“suitable content” was more

important than “permission.”

In other words, if a television collects data and

uses that data to provide

programming that the viewer likes, and the user

doesn’t notice or sees no

reason to complain, then there is no problem.

“There is no privacy problem if content gets 100%

acceptance,” said

Koenig. …”If we can go towards relevance, that is

ultimately where we want

to go.”

This argument is seductive, and has a lovely

libertarian ring to it.

But think again about what he is saying. First of

all, there is such a thing

as the principle of privacy. And reasonable

people can argue about where to

draw lines around it. But whatever your

definition, privacy is a principle

of human rights. It must be defined somewhere and


What principle has Jim Koenig defined that the

AMC can then respect?

Absolutely none.

When he says the AMC should move away from

permission and towards

“relevance”, he implies that no principle is at

stake that would require a

viewer’s agreement. In fact, his advice to his

fellow iTV producers is not

“give consumers what they want”, but “do to

consumers whatever they let us

get away with”.

And here is a second way that Koenig’s comment

betrays his industry’s

disrespect for its customers:

The viewers he is describing, who meekly accept

his scrutiny, are not told

the truth about what he does in their homes, or

what he will do with the

data he gathers. Every month new interactive

systems are launched, and each

arrives with two sets of promotional literature:

one set for the viewers and

another for the advertisers.

Viewers are told how they will be able to order

pizzas through their TV

sets, advertisers are told about psychographic

marketing and links to huge

third party data services. Who would knowingly

‘opt in’ to that? No one. And

Jim Koenig knows it.

Yes, iTV producers and privacy advocates share a

fondness for overblown

rhetoric. But if the people in this industry

refuse to be restrained by any

principle you could discuss calmly, then we on

the outside must continue to

imagine that they will follow Koenig’s advice,

and do whatever they want

until somebody complains.

Goal: Just Get A Birthday and ZIP Code!

Now that the Center for Digital Democracy has

published its report exposing

interactive television, Ben Issacson has been

very busy. He is the Executive

Director of the Addressable Media Coalition’s

parent body, the Association

for Interactive Media (AIM) and he has been

offering himself to any news

organization covering the story, rushing to

assure viewers at home that

nothing is wrong.

“The industry plans are to collect aggregate

information for advertising,”

he told WIRED magazine, “but not to collect

information without user

knowledge and consent.”

Notice his emphasis on the word aggregate, the

implication being that even

if your data finds its way into a database, it

would never be connected to

you personally. But that is not what Ben was

saying when the Addressable

Media Coalition met behind closed doors to

discuss data collection issues

and their new “Privacy Compliance Seal”. At that

meeting, Ben was reassuring

his fellow interactive programmers that

individuals could always be


“You have one company that wants information,” he

told us, “they may ask it

directly up front, but they may see a decline in

the number of subscribers,

because the users feel it’s intrusive. On the

other end, let’s say I want

the same information, but jeez, I can’t bring

myself to ask that, because

the decline is percipitous, so I already have

their nine digit ZIP code, I’m

going to ask them for their birth date, just to

confirm it. With a 97

percent accuracy I can then derive that data of

who they are, and go buy all

that information.”

Ben Issacson is deliberately misleading reporters

and the consumers who read

about this issue. That is not surprizing; Mr.

Issacson is a paid spokesman

of the interactive advertising industry. What

needs attention though is his

use of the word “aggregate”. He and the

programmers he represents are

purposely trying to create the impression that

“aggregate” data must be

“anonymous” data, and therefore protects the

viewers who surrender it.

Not so. If the data describes a small enough pool

of subjects (individuals

with a certain birthdate in a certain ZIP code

for instance) then it becomes

possible to use that data as if it were

personally identifiable. In data

wharehousing theory, this is called a dataset’s

“granularity”. And like the

granularity of a photograph, it shows a clearer

and clearer picture of a

crowd, until it is possible to pick out

individual faces. Ben Issacson has

assured his fellow members of the AMC that he can

pick out those faces with

97% accuracy. Shall we then call his data

“personally identifiable”? Of

course! And it should be regulated as such.

As for the “knowledge and consent” Mr. Issacson

mentioned, the Addressable

Media Coalition hopes to standardize what viewers

everywhere are asked to

sign when they subscribe to interactive

television. One wording that members

liked was “Yes, I want rich personalization!”.

Who would imagine that little

phrase actually gives a cable or satellite

company the permission to do so

much? If you see these words, watch out.

Goal: Tell Us About Yourself!

It turns out that the moment you sign up for

interactive television is the

most important 15 minutes in the history of

television. Art Cohen, Chairman

of the Addressable Media Coalition, was

especially keen on this point. Set

top boxes are expensive, he told us. And if cable

or satellite companies are

going to subsedize these boxes, they will want as

much information as

possible in return, to hold and use for


When you stand there looking over your television

subscription form,

wondering why there are so many questions to fill

out, consider what Cohen

told the Coalition:

“When you put these boxes out there,” he said,

“you also want to know who

these people are, in addition to what they have

in their billing methods,

it’s very important to these cable operators that

the minute they install

that cable box, they want to give you a


The checkbox where the user opts-in our opt-out

of “rich personalization” is

important. But Cohen then described other

questions that should be asked, in

a standardized way, of every new customer:

“..whatever demographics they can collect

because, think about it, if you

don’t get that, you have to go outside to other

sources and it’s not as

accurate. The whole point being that the cable

box is a polling mechanism –

the absolute customization, media tool. You have

to get as much information

as you can on installation and in the follow up.”

Another member of the Addressable Media

Coalition, this august body which is

soon to launch its own Privacy Compliance Seal,

named Bob Williams, was

enthusiastic about the way such information could

be used, saying “Once you

get their credit card number, you can get their

whole history. There’s no

stopping you!”

Chairman Cohen saw a public relations disaster in

the making. “Sure” he

joked, “we can have DoubleClick make that

announcement. And make sure you

have plenty of press there.”

That’s funny. But what is funnier, of course, is

that DoubleClick will never

have information as complete as the people who

provide interactive

television. There are no technical obstacles to

stop these men and women

from collecting the data they want, only the law.

For information on David Burke’s book Spy TV:


About homelessholocaust

I actually do not write most of these articles, I collect them here, for my personal useage, I find Some Other's enjoy them as well, which is a side effect of my Senility. As I am a Theosophist, and also study Vedanta Society of Northern California, so Your Visitation from the Akashic records to approve my feebile works gives me Great Hope! I am 68, years old, I will Come To You in another 30 or so years. You Reinforces my Belief that in my Sleep I visit The Akashic Records when I remember my dream's. I keep notes about 'Over There." the Colour of Daylight is Darker, but the Life is Brighter, property has no meaning, and it is homish. are the energetic records of all souls about their past lives, the present lives, and possible future lives. Each soul has its Akashic Records, like a series of books with each book representing one lifetime. The Hall (or Library) of the Akashic Records is where all souls’ Akashic Records are stored energetically. In other words, the information is stored in the Akashic field (also called zero point field). The Akashic Records, however, are not a dry compilation of events. They also contain our collective wisdom.
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