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Did corporate lawyers put kibosh on 'Mythbusters' RFID episode?

Did corporate lawyers put kibosh on 'Mythbusters' RFID episode?
Did corporate lawyers put kibosh on 'Mythbusters' RFID episode? 

By Daniel Terdiman
Gaming and Culture
September 2, 2008

One of the great things about the Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters is 
that it confronts the realities behind some of the most interesting 
phenomenons and technologies around.

That's why, reported the Consumerist blog [1], at a recent 
conference--it's not clear which one--Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage 
was asked why the show hasn't tackled the technology behind the security 
limitations of RFID.

His eyes lighting up at the chance to talk about something that clearly 
was a memorable experience for him, Savage said the show had actually 
set out to do an episode on the vulnerabilities of RFID but encountered 
some very powerful resistance.

In the video, Savage says that a conference call was arranged between 
co-host Tory Belleci and Texas Instruments to talk about the RFID 
vulnerabilities. But when Bellici and a MythBusters producer got on the 
call at the appointed time, "Texas Instruments comes on along with chief 
legal counsel for American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody 
else....(Bellici and the MythBusters producer) were way, way out-gunned 
and (the lawyers) absolutely made it really clear to Discovery that they 
were not going to air this episode talking about how hackable this stuff 
was, and Discovery backed way down, being a large corporation that 
depends upon the revenue of the advertisers. Now it's on Discovery's 
radar and they won't let us go near it."

Savage also said he got chills just from describing the encounter.



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