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CBS’ “Hunted” Displays the Power of the Surveillance State

You are being watched.

This year, CBS launched their newest reality series, Hunted, which sets teams of two loose in a four state playing field.

Their only objective is to evade capture for 28 days while they’re being hunted by teams of former CIA, NSA, Swat and British Intel employees.

Sounds like good American fun so far right?

Not so much when you actually watch the show and ponder the techniques (that the show claims are real) used to capture the “fugitives.”

ATM cameras, public and private CCTV cameras, cell towers, license plate readers and massive databases were purportedly used to hunt down and apprehend the players.

For the 28 day period, each team is given a budget of only $500 and the funds are doled out in $100 increments through an ATM card.

So that pretty much explains how the “investigators” were able to locate the players who needed a burger in their bellies every few days.

But the show, being a Hollywood production, of course created extra drama by showing the players shadily walking up to ATM machines (using supposed live feeds from ATM cameras), or showing the scramble of activity when their cell phone was located by towers or a license plate popped on a reader.

Hopefully, these scenes were faked and a for-profit television production was not given access to these resources.

While you’ll have to watch the series to see if any team evaded capture (I won’t do the harm of spoiling the show), the creepy reality is if these former government workers had access to their old tools, the contestants would not have lasted a day.

While many Americans today shrug off privacy as unimportant and normally respond with, “I’m not a terrorist or criminal so don’t worry about it,” privacy is a penultimate to a civilized society.

The CBS series, Hunted, is available on CBS’s site for those who missed it.


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