FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears
This is a discussion on FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears within the P2P / File sharing forums, part of the General chat category; FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears | TorrentFreak Google Glass is expected to transform the way ...
- 21-01-14, 08:33 PM #1
FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears
FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears | TorrentFreak
Google Glass is expected to transform the way that people interact with data and communications but for one unlucky user a paranoid reaction to the device ended up becoming a huge time waster. After wearing a turned off and prescription lens-equipped model to the theater, a man had it torn from his face on suspicion he was engaging in movie piracy. Several hours later the FBI conceded they’d made a big mistake.
Sometime during 2014 the much-anticipated Google Glass will launch to the general public. When it does the age of the wearable computer will have truly arrived in the form of a relatively unobtrusive pair of eye glasses. While every technology enthusiast is bursting to at least test the device, there are concerns over its appearance. On the one hand it looks cool and futuristic, but on the other it could quickly be perceived in the same way as the original bluetooth ear-piece.
Nevertheless, in a few months time thousands of people will be wearing them, which will only serve to amplify the already considerable debate over the device. From the inside looking out, the integrated video camera is generating privacy worries in abundance and just last week a San Diego traffic court threw out a traffic violation against a Californian motorist after she was accused of watching video on her Glass while driving.
And now, right on cue, for the first time a Glass user has revealed the kind of treatment people can expect from the movie industry should they dare to wear even a switched-off device in one of their establishments.
Last Saturday evening a man and his wife attended the AMC movie theater in Easton Mall, Columbus, Ohio, to watch Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The Glass unit itself was switched off, but out of convenience the man had paid for prescription lenses to be fitted to the device turning them into regular glasses. Sadly, theater staff and their friends at the MPAA and FBI were geared up to presume only the worst.
“About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says ‘follow me outside immediately’. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops,” the man told Gadgeteer.
After trying to establish the official’s identity and authority (and trying to get his property back), the man was put firmly in his place.
“You see all these cops, you know we are legit, we are with the ‘federal service’ and you have been caught illegally taping the movie,” he was told.
His protests that this was a big misunderstanding only led to the couple being split up and taken to different rooms. The man was searched and his wallet plus work and personal phones (both off) were taken away from him.
“What followed was over an hour of the ‘feds’ telling me I am not under arrest, and that this is a ‘voluntary interview’, but if I choose not to cooperate bad things may happen to me,” he explained.
“They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again.”
And then yet more paranoia. Even though the Google Glass was switched off the man wasn’t allowed to touch the device out of fear he would “erase the evidence.” The FBI also asked some pretty strange questions.
“Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie,” he explained.
Finally someone had the good sense to connect the Glass up to a laptop. Five minutes later and all family photos viewed (some 3.5 hours after the movie began) Mr Google Glass wearer was declared an innocent man. But not to worry, since the guy from the ‘movie association’ was about to make amends.
“A guy who claimed his name is Bob Hope (he gave me his business card) came in the room, and said he was with the Movie Association and they have problems with piracy at that specific theater and that specific movie. He gave me two free movie passes ‘so I can see the movie again’,” a gesture that was subsequently upped to four passes after the revelation that AMC had called him first and he’d decided to escalate the matter to the FBI.
This kind of heavy-handed response is what people have come to expect from the movie industry when confronted by people they suspect of piracy. Sure, there’s a need for them to be vigilant, but shooting first and then asking questions later is something that could and should be avoided. Google Glass might be the first device of this type, but it won’t be the last. Expect the problems – and controversy – to continue.
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Ned Ludd (21-01-14)
- 22-01-14, 12:36 PM #2
Re: FBI Drags Google Glass Man From Theater on Piracy Fears
Now the Cinema chain responds...
Google Glass deemed 'not appropriate' by cinema chain following homeland security incident | Film | theguardian.com
Google Glass deemed 'not appropriate' by cinema chain following homeland security incident
After incident in which a man was hauled out of a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit for wearing Google Glass, US cinema chain AMC cracks down on usage
US cinema chain AMC has deemed that Google Glass, the eyewear that can record video and photography, is "not appropriate" for use in cinemas, following an incident in which homeland security officers interrogated a Glass wearer during a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Writing anonymously on The Gadgeteer blog, the man explained that halfway into the screening at an AMC in Columbus, Ohio, he was hauled out by police and officers from homeland security's ICE unit, which monitors piracy. "A guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says 'Follow me outside immediately'," said the man, who was taken into a room for interrogation. His Glass had been switched off during the movie, and he was wearing it for its prescription lenses.
"After a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the [ICE officer] finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one … Then they went through my phone, and five minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong." He wasn't apologised to, but was offered four free movie passes, which "infuriated" him.
The ICE's Khaalid Walls confirmed the incident took place, and AMC responded with a statement: "Movie theft is something we take very seriously, and our theatre managers contact the Motion Picture Association of America any time it's suspected that someone may be illegally recording content on screen. While we're huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theatre."
The Motion Picture Association of America, who is responsible for film ratings and safeguarding intellectual property, meanwhile said that: "Google Glass is an incredible innovation in the mobile sphere, and we have seen no proof that it is currently a significant threat that could result in content theft."
Google Glass is a new piece of hardware from the technology giant that resembles a pair of glasses, and features an inbuilt camera for recording your surroundings. It can also display information via the internet on a small screen next to the eye. Glass is not yet available to purchase, but is being rolled out to certain users and app developers via its Explorer program.
As well as potentially enhancing our culinary skills, cycling trips and sex lives, there have been concerns about its potential for surveillance – activist groups like Stop The Cyborgs have cropped up to monitor its potential for privacy invasion.