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Is Big Brother Watching Us?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by cbaker, Feb 9, 2007.

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  1. jahgreen

    jahgreen Godfather

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    And there goes the Constitution!

    Silly piece of paper gets in the way of the government anyway.

    George Orwell is turning over in his grave.
     
  2. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Alright, let's not get into "constitutional" debates here.
     
  3. DonCorleone

    DonCorleone Icon

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    That would be true if you were being forced. However, you have choice, so if you don't want to be watched, don't buy.
     
  4. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Please... The question is NOT if they are legally allowed to do this... I don't think any of us are "experts"/"lawyers" in that field to answer that.

    The question was asked (but can't be answered at this time), on what they are collecting and how you secure your network.

    That's it.

    If you want to discuss the "legality" of it... take it up to the General Discussion forum.
     
  5. cbaker

    cbaker Icon

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    Your home is your private space and what you do in your home doesn't matter to me if it does not affect me. But if what D*TV (or some other company) does in my home could affect me then I would care.

    Examples:
    Until your viewing habbits get stolen off their insecure web site and end up getting posted for everyone to see. (Let me count the number of sites that have had private info like just SS# stolen in the last year alone .... heck the last month.)
    1) What if you work for a religious institution and they find out you watch the playboy channel every night. And you get fired over it.
    2) How many people order adult PPV or watch adult tv in the privacy of their home on D&TV? ALOT. How many advertise it to their friends, neighbors, boss, co-workers? Not many.
    3) Or your son's grade school teacher watches the Gay/Lesbian channel.

    What if now D*TV sells the info they collect on my viewing habbits to marketers who then flood my mailbox with directed marketing material. That info is worth money and who gave them a right to sell that? Who gave them permission to violate my privacy.

    I care and I am not doing anything wrong.
     
  6. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Okay...

    Seriously... enough of the "are they allowed to" discussion.

    Right now, we don't even know what they are communicating.
    You can bet (just like TiVo), that if they where gathering your viewing habits to "sell" as marketing data... and got it as specific to a name....

    They would make that very public knowledge as they would have to "announce" they have that data, so people know that it is there to buy.

    And just like they did with the TiVo software versions, I am pretty sure they would have a way for you to OptOut if you wanted to.

    So before this snow-ball continues to roll and get bigger, for really no reason at this point, given the information we have about what is going on

    Back to the original question (Which still has no answer).

    If you are concerned right now... until VOD is available, there is nothing that the HR20 needs from the "public" internet.
    So block it on your router/firewall. When a need comes that the HR20 needs to access the public internet, we can revisit this issue.
     
  7. cbaker

    cbaker Icon

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    Dec 20, 2006
    Agree. Doesn't have to be so specific that it compromises security.

    I think general statements would be good. What can they do ... If you connect to the phone line we can do ... If you choose to connect the network we can additionally do .... and on a periodic basis our system sends the following type of information for the purpose of x,y,z. And by the way if you prefer to "opt-out" of such transmissions, you can do that by going to this setup screen on your HR20. And these are the things you can't opt-out of. We also have the ability to remotely connect to your device for the purpose of x,y,z. Oh, and we take security very seriously and do this/that to protect against abuse of these connections but nothings is perfect and you should take reasonable steps to avoid issues like ... firewall, etc.

    Heck, every legit web site that collects information has a privacy statement and tells you what info they collect and how they use it. Your bank, doctors, and others are required by law. Most companies do it for legal and marketing reasons with their customers.

    Image your suprise if you get a phone call from some stranger saying "We saw that while you were watching the Playboy channel last night on your HR20 located in your bedroom that it rebooted. We were just calling to make sure everything was okay." :lol:
     
  8. cbaker

    cbaker Icon

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    Dec 20, 2006
    Thanks. Back to the original Q.

    Agreed, you can block the outbound traffic without ill affects right now, but if the average customer doesn't, does the HR20 currently send out info to D*TV via the network? And do we know what type of info that is?
     
  9. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Earl,

    I submit there was a huge difference between the Tivo connection and what is being discussed here. With a Tivo, the fact that data was being collected and the general nature of that data was made known up front with legal disclosures. DIRECTV has not informed the user at all. I just re-read the "beta test disclosures" and there is no word about information being collected and sent.

    And we have seen a tcpdump of some of the data, but users shouldn't have to do that to protect their rights.

    Lastly, when I tried to block the HR20 at the firewall, I could not use the Music/Photos feature at all. (Unless I opened the firewall, let the HR20 talk to the internet, then shut the firewall again. But I don't know how long that would work either...)

    Its all a matter of treating us with respect in one sense. From the data I've seen, they respect us enough to make a very useful feature--phoning home to help us with potential problem. The issue is that the respect didn't quite follow thru to letting us know about the cool feature.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  10. iceman2a

    iceman2a Icon

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    Hudson, FL...
    Just a thought? People that think this way are what's wrong with America today!

    So you wouldn't mind having cameras and microphones installed in your home and your place of work? How about a surgicaly inbedded gps micro chip?

    I would tell you what I realy think about someone who makes comments like that, but I'm sure that would violate some rules of the forum, so I won't! :mad:
     
  11. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Fair enough, it is not "exactly" the same as the TiVo versions.

    But neither is the comparisons to installing a "gps" in my head to find out where I am going... or having Microphone's installed in my home...

    Bottom line.. unless someone knows exactly what is being sent or received... we don't have an answer to the original question.
     
  12. iceman2a

    iceman2a Icon

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    Hudson, FL...
    Obiously as mentioned in a previous thread, when a D* rep calls someone to say that they "noticed via the network connection that that person was having problems needing RBRs and wanted to know what those problems were" Some data is being sent a some time that ID's that box?
     
  13. HarleyD

    HarleyD Hall Of Fame

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    Who said anything about your head?

    All he said was surgically imbedded... :eek2:
     
  14. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    I just figured head, as it is the part with the clearest view of the sky.. ;)
    Except for some days, where I don't want cameras to see what is the highest.. :eek2:
     
  15. HarleyD

    HarleyD Hall Of Fame

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    Well, how diferent is that from getting the bill for the pay per view you ordered with your remote? That info is sent back over the phone connection. D* has been downloading some types of information for a long time.
     
  16. cbaker

    cbaker Icon

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    Dec 20, 2006
    This is the point. D*TV should disclose it in some very plain form.

    Well said Tibber!

    (And us tech users should have to sniff it and try to figure it out.)
     
  17. cbaker

    cbaker Icon

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    Dec 20, 2006
    FYI - No one said anything about installing a GPS in their head ... or I missed that. Just in your phone.

    Now the mircophone thing... that was said. (Not by me.) That is a bit over the top. I don't think any serious company would be that crazy to do that and why ... now the goverment that is a different story ..... ;-)

    But I do fear the abuse of information that might be collected innocently enough and then either stolen because it was poorly managed or used for "business" reasons without my knowledge/permission to abuse my privacy.
     
  18. tcmears

    tcmears DBSTalk Club Member

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    Jul 5, 2006
    cbaker - If you are so worried about this, why don't you just throw a sniffer on your network and see what, if anything, they are doing with the network connection?
     
  19. ProfLonghair

    ProfLonghair Hall Of Fame

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    CMH
    I have to stick up for cbaker here. While IMO I htink he might be a bit overprotective, it's people like him that are necessary to balance the people who do want to know every bit about what everyone is doing, and do have nefarious plans in mind. While D* isn't anywhere on the path to Nazi Germany, how do you draw that line, and where? Better to have people like cbaker as a coutnerbalance now then when it is too late.
     
  20. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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