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by Dale Connelly, 11/12/99

DC: The Internet is killing personal privacy faster than any technology that came before it. We've set up a computer so we can sample one privacy busting site called MikeMike".
Mike lives in an efficiency apartment and has a microphone to the top of the headboard of his bed. For just $15 a month you can visit the MikeMike and listen to whatever is happening right there, right now.
Which raises the question; if you can't see anything, are you still a voyeur? In the name of social research, let's find out.

(sfx: snoring, loud, continues throughout)

It sounds like Mike is "in."
It sounds like Mike is unconscious.
I've asked two fans of the site to come into our studio to listen to Mike just as they might at home. Paula Trumpeter is a security guard at a shopping mall ...

Paula: Hey there.

DC: And Lars Hunter is a stockbroker.

Lars: If you'd like to talk about investments I can also do that.

DC: Both of you listen to MikeMike regularly?

Paula: Yah, and talk about him in the chat room too.

Lars: Are you "HushBunny 37?"

Paula: Maybe. Who's asking?

Lars: MikeFright.

Paula: No Way!

Lars: Oh, yes.

Paula: I thought you were a geezer, man.

Lars: And I thought you were ... taller.

Paula: Well don't that beat all!

DC: I thought we could listen to MikeMike for a while and guess what's going on. This is a major activity online, right?

Paula: Oh yeah. Especially during those slow times at work.

Lars: I don't have many slow times where I work, what with the market being so hot, but I do listen sometimes at home.

Paula: (skeptical) Right. You're too busy at work playing "Minesweeper."

DC: Ok. I'm going to say Mike is snoring, and it's a nap.

Lars: No, that's not what it sounds like to me. I think Mike really IS sawing wood. He's building a bookcase.

Paula: If you ask me, a huge Siberian Tiger escaped from the zoo, crawled through Mike's open window, and is now resting after it's kill.

(sfx: huge snore with lip smacking)

Paula: Well, it COULD be!

Lars: That's the Internet. There's always someone with an imagination more twisted than yours.

(sfx: door opens, footsteps approach)

DC: Wait! It sounds like someone has entered the room.
Light, feminine footsteps.
It could be Mike's girlfriend, Maureen.
Regular visitors to the mikemike site know all about her.

Lars: No, his mother has come to visit.

Paula: The tiger's leather clad trainer, Greta, is going to take it home now.

(sfx: crash)

Mike: Ouch! Dang!

DC: Or it could be Mike himself.

Lars: I think Mike's father is making a rare appearance.

Paula: No, the trainer's name is Gunther, and he's really built.
Besides, why would Mike trip over something in his own room?

DC: The room is dark.

Lars: It's NOT Mike.

Paula: Mike is dead.

(sfx: snoring stops)

DC: Wait a minute. Now Mike's awake.

Paula: The tiger's awake.

Lars: The bookcase is finished.

Mike: (scream) No! No! Stop!

(sfx: footsteps stutter off)
(sfx: window smashes)
(sfx: outside / city traffic)

Mike: (quick fade off) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

DC: (gulp) I think someone just fell out the window.

Lars: Nah.

Paula: That would be too weird.

(sfx: distant crash)

Then again ...

Lars: Should we call 911?

DC: Shhh! Listen! I can hear breathing.

Mike: (off mic) Let's try it again. (fade on mic) That was too sloppy. Nobody will buy that.
(deep breath) No, no! Not that! Stop!

(sfx: window smashes)
(quick fade off) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
(sfx: distant crash)

Paula: He's pretending to fall out the window! The nerve!

Lars: This whole thing is a hoax! I had more faith in the Internet!

Dc and Paula: You did?

Mike: (sigh) Once more. No! Not that! Stop!

(sfx: window smashes)
(quick fade off) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
(sfx: distant crash)

(satisfied) There, that was a good one.

DC: Someone should tell the authorities about this.

Paula: Wait! What's that sound?

(sfx: helicopter fades on)

Mike: Oh No!

Detective (bullhorn): You! In the apartment! It's the Cyber Police! You're under arrest for perpetrating a fraud on the Internet!

Mike: (calling) Detective Webb! You'll never get me, copper!

Detective (bullhorn): Put down the mouse! Put it down!

Mike: Never!

(sfx: two objects break remaining glass)
(sfx: helicopter fades off)
(sfx: steady hissing)
(sfx: intermittent coughing)

DC: It's a raid! We're hearing it live!

Lars: No, this is still part of the fraud.

Paula: It's a mistake. He left the TV on. It's America's Most Wanted.

(sfx: pounding on door)

Detective (muffled): Open up in there! We're coming in!

(sfx: door splinters)
(sfx: shouting)
(sfx: gun battle erupts, quickly peaks, dies down)

DC: Well? Anybody? Sounded real to me.

Paula: I think the microphone got hit.

Lars: Naw, it's phoney and the sound effects guy is catching his breath.

(sfx: a few more shots fired)


Mike: (in agony) Well, Detective, ya got me.

Detective: You're gonna be OK kid. We'll get you outta here in no time.

Mike: Out? But don't you see? This is where I belong! My microphone's here. My server. I'm a celebrity on the Web!
My audience is listening!

Detective: All that's over now.

(music: sad violin)

Mike: They'll miss me.

Detective: Will they? Will they miss satisfying their sick compulsion to eavesdrop on what you were supposedly doing in this room?
Will they miss the way you faked them out with your phony stunts, like falling out the window?
Will they miss paying the fees you charged for this scam?
I don't think so. You took a new technology and used it's power to deceive. People don't forgive that.
It's like those hooligans who used to do radio drama!
All that stuff was fake.
Look at where they are now!

Mike: (sobbing) I didn't mean any harm!

Detective: Too late for that. You've got some answering to do.

DC: Is anybody buying this?

Paula: Too melodramatic.

DC: It's phony.

Lars: Detectives don't talk like that.

Paula: This whole thing is a lousy act!

Mike: Wait! Why come down on me! I wouldn't have done it if there weren't people on the Internet willing to listen!
Go after them, Detective! They're as sick as me. MORE sick.
I know who they are! I can tell you who's connected right now ... all I have to do is ...

DC: OK, enough of this!

(sfx: fumbling for equipment buttons, clatter, etc)

Paula: Shut 'er down!

Lars: Off! Off! Off!

DC: Are we out?

Paula: Clear!

Lars: Whew!

DC: I don't think there's any future in this kind of mass invasion of privacy on the Internet.

Lars: It's interesting for a while, and then the charm kinda ... vanishes.

Paula: Right. Too boring. It's time to get on with our lives.

DC: Paula Trumpeter and Lars Hunter are fans of the MikeMike site ...

Lars: FORMER fans.

DC: ... an audio exhibitionist site on the Internet.

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