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May 23, 2015

Apparently, it all comes down to dick pics. When comedian John Oliver went to Russia a few weeks back to talk to NSA document leaker Edward Snowden about how the National Security Administration monitors the flow of data created and transmitted by American residents, the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” found the perfect way to alarm U.S. citizens about the government’s latest invasion of privacy: Dick pics.

COLIN ROWNTREE podcast excerpt: "One of the reasons we started BoodiGo was because, years ago, a few of us were talking about privacy. If you go to and buy brown shoes, everywhere you go with the Internet, forever, those brown shoes will follow you around. It's fine with brown shoes. But when it comes to searching for Ukrainian tap-dancing amputee midget fisting porn, you might not want to have that logged with Big Brother and Big Data. We created this search engine tool for the consumers so they could have a safe place to go and look for things and not be mined within an inch of their life."

I won’t go into all the extended details here because you can find the interview easily enough on YouTube by searching “John Oliver” and “dick pics.” (Or click HERE.) The point is that even if you or your partner think you’re only sharing your intimate anatomical photographs with each other, there is a pretty good chance the watchers can see your goodies, too, if they should choose, once the data crosses international boundaries. You’re welcome, America.

COLIN ROWNTREE podcast excerpt: "The Internet is watched continuously -- not just by the NSA for dick pics -- but Big Brother is everywhere, including Google and Bing. A cool tool on my Chrome browser tells me exactly who is watching what I'm doing. If I go to CNN, there are more than 37 entities there spying on my behavior, mining my data while I'm reading the news. It's quite remarkable."

What does that have to do with today’s Mr. Media interview? My guest knows a thing or two about searching the Internet for dirty pictures – and how most people doing that like to keep their Internet searches private. Colin Rowntree is the founder of the porn website; his wife, Angie Rowntree, is the proprietor of a female-oriented porn site, Beyond that, Rowntree recently launched, a search engine exclusively devoted to adult interests. You can use it to search the web, Tumbler, Blogspot, and for whatever floats your boat. And you can do it with some measure of privacy.

COLIN ROWNTREE podcast excerpt: "I don't know if you know many programmers, but they're kind of an unusual bunch of people. They think these great, complex thoughts that nobody really knows what they mean. Five of them and three of us started throwing out ideas. They all thought the BEST name in the WORLD was BOODIGO... It probably translates into some kind of BinHex programmer code meaning 'I am God' or something. But 'Boodi' goes well with everything, so our staff meetings are 'Boodi Hangouts.' Our ad platform is 'Boodi Ads.' Our new blogging platform is called 'Boodi Blogs.' We have a new service called 'Boodi GoGo.' It's Boodi Time!"

Whether you’re interested in porn or not, I think you’ll find that Rowntree will make the case that all Americans are entitled to a measure of privacy, whether sharing their dick pics or researching the earliest references to “granny panties.” Certainly he’s a porntrapreneur, but he’s one with legitimate concerns about the potential renewal of the Bush era Patriot Act, data mining and more. This is Rowntree’s second appearance on Mr. Media. And I’m going to suggest strongly here that while this may, in part, be a conversation about the NSA and dick pics, it will likely get into graphic, adult-oriented topics. So if you’re under 21, please find something else to watch on Mr. Media. I don’t want to hear complaints from your Mommy or Big Brother.

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