NIN iPhone app offers endless voyeurism to fans

NIN iPhone app offers endless voyeurism to fans

Sorry, but isn't this just the kind of surveillance that Reznor predicted with much dread in Year Zero? The kind of voyeuristic danger technology he lampooned in his Lights in the Sky performances?

Be that as it may, Trent Reznor debuted his upcoming iPhone application to the press yesterday afternoon. Yeah yeah-- it comes bundled with all the interview and live footage and, bestill my beating heart, fan remix material.

But it also comes with a shockingly potent GPS feature, where active members of the NIN community can pinpoint one another's precise global location, thanks to a handy bit of collaboration from our "friends" at Google Earth. What's this mean? It means if you post a scathing review of The Slip on the NIN forum, you'd better have a sturdy deadbolt on your front door.

Like Trent Reznor's whole musical career, this move seems unsettling and weird. But unlike his career, this iPhone scheme seems poorly thought out and badly executed. The benevolent applications are clear-- you can hook up with fans at concerts, make new friends in your spare time, blah blah blah.

But the Patriot Act had some benevolent applications too. What will happen, for example, when legions of Golden Valley NIN fans decide to unite against that guy who keeps saying that Reznor is gay just because he was in 10,000 Homo DJs?

If there's one thing of which we can all be sure, it's mankind's penchant for perverting even the most benign internet function into an instrument of obsession. And, call us a bunch of alarmist ludites, we're never keen on technology that turns the population into pips on someone's radar screen.

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