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Rockford confronts the data industry

by Critical Commons Manager

In a prescient episode from season 4 of The Rockford Files titled, "The House on Willis Avenue," private detective Jim Rockford (James Garner) uncovers a government surveillance operation that is collecting intelligence on U.S. citizens by means of data centers located in suburban homes. Each data center is protected by remote surveillance systems and continuously monitored by government agents. Rockford discovers one of these data centers while investigating the death of a fellow detective, which makes him a target for those trying to keep the surveillance operations secret. The episode does not offer much detail on the nature of the surveillance, nor why these unmanned centers would be located in suburban houses, but the efficiency and ruthlessness of the government agents operating them is unmistakably fascistic and contrary to American Constitutional rights to privacy. Rockford narrowly escapes being murdered in order to secure his silence and goes on to expose a related conspiracy that vindicates his former colleague, prompting an investigation that promises to shut down the unlawful surveillance operation.

Rockford Files on private information industry

Jim Rockford exposes computer data abuse by private companies

from Rockford Files S4E21 "The House on Willis Avenue" (1978)
Creator: Stephen J. Cannell
Posted by Critical Commons Manager