While not quite on the level of the government spying on your phone conversations without a warrant, the next shot in the entertainment industry’s attack on their customers was fired last week in the courts and if you’ve ever watched or uploaded a video to Google’s YouTube, your identity along with your viewing habits will soon be in the hands of media giant Viacom.
Under the terms of a US court judgment, Google, which owns YouTube, must now surrender the details of video-watching histories, IP addresses and usernames, to Viacom, which wants to use the data to prove that the site is hosting thousands of television and other media clips in breach of strict copyright laws.
And even though you may have never watched one of the Viacom owned media clips that the company claims was uploaded illegally, you are about to be put squarely in their crosshairs anyway.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an internet rights group, said the ruling will allow Viacom to see what everyone is watching on YouTube. “We urge Viacom to back off this overbroad request and Google to take all steps necessary to challenge this order and protect the rights of its users,” the group said.
And what makes this funny, if there is any humor to having your privacy invaded, Viacom is targeting the same viral video phenomenon that is responsible for making 2 of their more popular on air personalities household names. Who would have heard of Stephen Colbert or John Stewart if their clips hadn’t shown up on YouTube to be broadcast to the world from there?