More than just entertaining TV audiences on Wednesday nights at 10 PM, the cast and executive producers of CBS’ new spinoff CSI:Cyber really want to educate Americans on cyber crimes — because it affects everyone.
Series star Patricia Arquette appeared at this morning’s TCA panel, just hours after winning a best supporting actress Golden Globe last night for her turn in Boyhood. “I don’t’ think we should hide from this (cyber crimes),” she said. “We can’t be an ostrich burying its head in the sand. We need to start asking questions like, do we need our phones to be Wifi-enabled? Do our coffeemakers need to be Wifi-enabled? We need to keep ourselves as low-tech as possible to avoid these unnecessary moments. Yes, we gobble everything up for convenience, but it becomes very inconvenient when you’re hacked.”
Added actor Charley Koontz, “These aren’t crimes that entail revenge or cheating on a wife. The horrifying thing about these crimes is that 90% of them are totally random. There’s nothing you can do. Someone can park outside your house and tap into your Wifi and put you in a precarious situation. That’s the most crazy thing about all these scripts. When solving a crime, there are not two people who are connected.”
“As people we’re on the surface of the web, but we’re talking about things in the deep web. We’re discovering what is evolving as law enforcement figures it out,” said Arquette about the series.
CSI: Cyber is inspired by cyber psychologist Mary Aiken who also serves as an EP on the show. She will be involved in conceptualizing episodes with EP Anthony E. Zuiker and showrunner Pam Veasey. Aiken defined for the critics exactly what a cyber psychologist does: Essentially they study the impact of emerging technologies on human behavior. Aiken qualified as a psychologist before the penetration of the internet. She returned to her studies to study forensics.
Said Arquette on how she translated Aiken to the small screen, “She’s developed a strong survival mechanism for profiling people. And she can have empathy for her victims. When it gets too close for her, it’s uncomfortable territory for her — to have her survival skills override her mind.” In regards to wrangling the techno-speak, Arquette says, “There are words (on the show) that are hard for my mouth to get around, but we want this show to be relevant to young people as well as parents.”
“It’s a show for the whole family,” said Aiken.
Zuiker exclaimed, “Cyber Crime is very relevant, very scary. As time goes by, you can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing news about a cyber crime. Even today, the U.S. Central Command system was hacked.”
The EP had some final words of advice from National Security before the sesh finished, “Do your updates (on your computer) and practice proper network hygiene.” CSI: Cyber premieres on Wednesday, March 4 at 10 PM.