Alli Snow (allisnow) wrote,
Alli Snow
allisnow

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PoI and PRISM

Last Friday I was listening to talk radio on the way home, and finally heard the first person mention Person of Interest in regards to the NSA/PRISM data-mining (go ahead, call it, 'snooping') scandal. The host did a credible job summarizing the show and pointing out similarities, namely the fact that the Machine is watching everybody all the time. He wondered if shows like PoI might - intentionally or otherwise - work to make people feel more comfortable with the idea of the government watching our phone records and monitoring our calls and our credit cards and Internet activity and email and...

What the host didn't mention, however, because he obviously doesn't watch the show, is that in the case of PoI, the heroes of the story - the ones who take that data-mined information and save ordinary peoples' lives - are not the government. In fact, if anything, PoI portrays the government as the bad guys. They're the ones that told the main character to kill his partner, who killed Shaw's partner, who've been knocking off people left and right to try to control the Machine, and who, generally speaking, have been trying to exploit the information that the Machine provides. Heck, even organized crime has been portrayed in a more sympathetic light, at least where privacy rights are concerned.

PoI works as a show because the viewers believe that Finch, Reese and their 'inner circle' are good guys, that the information the Machine analyzes are in good hands and won't be used for the wrong reason. Also, as far as we know, it's still fiction. Here's hoping that it doesn't contribute to making people complacent about Big Brother.

I leave you with this forehead smacking quote by a senator from my own seriously screwed-up state, as reported by the New York Times. Emphasis is mine.

The defense of this practice offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching, was absurd. She said on Thursday that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future.
Tags: news, politics, tv:person of interest
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