MR ROBOT season 2 to tackle software encryption and privacy issues

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Sometimes fiction is best viewed when it mimics something that we can relate to in the real world and it seems the second season of Mr Robot might be headed this way much as the first season did, though apparently it wasn’t by intention. It is reported by Mr Robot show runner Sam Esmail at SWSX  that the second season will deal with the issues of digital privacy and encryption, just as the FBI and Apple are having a very public fight about access to private iPhone user data. The first season tackled government surveillance just as the whole post-Snowden national debate was going on in the US and now they’ve seemingly hit another hot topic again. Esmail claims this is all coincidence and that they came up with the idea first.

What’s weird is that we were really going into [Season 2] talking about encryption and privacy. And then this whole thing with Apple and [CEO] Tim Cook happened.

Is it really a case of truth just being as strange as fiction or did the show writers deliberately pick up on some of the early story and expand on it further for season 2, we will probably never know. One thing the show is likely to spark though is debate on the topic and they are looking to try and hit the story from all angles.

I don’t know if it’s to make commentary, but it’s to bring it up and have a conversation, the Apple/FBI thing. … We talked to our FBI consultants about this, and their view is that encryption should allow for this sort of third-party side-door thing.

Though, having spent time researching both sides, he should have a well educated opinion, so which side is he rooting for in the debate between the US Government and the Apple CEO?

I’m on Tim Cook’s side, if you keep breaking [the issue] down in a credible way and if you show both sides so that the audience can understand the debate, hopefully it gets people interested and invested in wanting to learn more about it. If our show contributes to that conversation, brings that conversation up again.

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Personally, as a computer geek myself, I love it when shows try to present these difficult topics to mainstreams audiences to make them more aware of the actual facts as hopefully a more informed public will make for a better society… Oh, who am I kidding? People love ignorance and the internet feeds off trolls who prefer to stay uninformed. Go off and watch your soapies instead people.

Mr. Robot stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater were also apparently there for the panel, which largely addressed the process of credibly presenting technology on TV. Neither of the actors boasted of being particularly tech-savvy, though Slater admitted he’s definitely better about password protection since joining the show.

Mr. Robot‘s second season is in production for premiere later this year in the USA and probably follow soon after in South Africa.

Last Updated: March 17, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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