First of all: hello everybody. This is my first time posting here, and i want to apologize in advance for my bad english, as it's not my native language. I've been following this page for quite some time, and I've finally decided to step ahead, as I need some help in a little series of short stories I'm writing at the moment.

Well, I'll explain the situation that's giving me problems, and then I'll proceed to expose my questions: The society we're contemplating is a first-world coutry, set in the early 2100's. So some quite fascinating advances have been developed, but the way of thinking of the people is still more or less the same we have in the present day. The most fascinating advance, and the one which is the center of the story is a technology that provides "full-sensorial 3D experiences": This means, people have "F-S3D" suits, with helmets and gloves, in which they get to experience all 5 senses, and actually to "live" other lives just sitting in their sofas (or sustaining pods, as people really just spend hours and hours inside the suits). The experiences they live, are "recorded" by other people, and as it seems logical, the preferred "lives" people choose to live are those exotic and amazing ones: rock stars, rich people partying, sport stars, etc. So society has been divided in three groups: 99,98% of people who stopped living their lives, and just spend all their days getting great experiences lived by other people, sitting in their houses. 0,01% of "recorders" or "streamers", who earn insane amounts of money living their amazing lives and streaming them. 0,01% of people who don't use the F-S3D suits (because different reasons) and just keep the world running (some politicians, administratives, technicians), as the whole world is pretty quiet and self-mantaining. (No crimes, no people on the streets, pretty utopian world). The police force has been reduced to 0,001% of his previous size and it's main activity is actually going to "viewers" houses who have not been "connected" for several days, usually to find them dead for natural reasons.

The company who owns the "Streaming rights" the X-Company is obviously the bigger company in the world, and it's like the center of everything. They are filthy rich and kinda evil, as they are aware that their product has "zombified" 99,98% of the population, but they don't care as money keeps flowing. But it has this policy: The "streams" are never live. There is a 48 hours delay between when a streamer records his life and when the viewers get to view it. So you can always see what your favourite singer or boxer or celeb was doing, right 48 hours ago. And because confidentiality reasons, the company claims that footage of the present-and-last-48-hours is encrypted and unreacheable until the 48 hours gap passes. We know (the readers i mean) that this is bullshit and that the company actually does have access to the live stream.

So here's the thing: One of the streamers, one random day commits a murder. And the whole world is able to see, hear and feel the murder, 48 hours later, as it comes "live" and nobody knew it was coming. So there's a lot of commotion, and things get crazy. But as people's nature is as it is, the killer's stream becomes the most watched stream ever.

So police starts looking for the killer. But there are so few policemen (remember that almost everybody is in their matrix-like zombiness, and it's a society without crime so almost all the police is either retired or rusty), and the killer has a 48 hours advantage over the police, so it seems almost impossible to catch him. In the meantime, the killer keeps killing (mainly other streamers) as they are the only ones "awake".

So our main protagonist, an old-school detective, goes to the X-Company, and asks them for the live version of the killers "feed", to get an advantage over him and know his actual position. But the company (as the killings have increased their profits like in 300%, the publicity, the product placement, all people watching the killers stream and whatnot), refuses to provide the live feed. So my questions are:

  • What kind of encryptation system could be used to hide all the live data coming out of a "F-S3D" experience?

When the police discover that the data is actually reacheable:

  • What legal reason could the X-Company give to avoid providing the data?
  • Is there any way the company could avoid responsability for not actively try to provide the information and thus help to catch the killer?

Assuming the police don't get the live feed and they stick to the 48-hours delay, and assuming there's only 20 policemen involved in the investigation.

  • How could they use the information in their power to try and catch the killer?

Thank you all for reading. W.

  • $\begingroup$ See this meta post. Welcome, wuome! $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    May 26 '16 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this as off topic because this is about a story in a world and not about worldbuilding. $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    May 26 '16 at 20:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! What a fascinating premise. You're asking several questions here, not all of which we can answer here. To address what legal reason they could give we'd need to know about the laws in your world; laws about privacy might be very different in a world like yours, after all. I suggest you split this into two questions. In one, you could ask how (in this world) investigators could catch a killer with a 48-hour head start. In the other, you could ask how Company X could protect its streams. (I don't think we can answer about encryption algorithms; that sounds like CS.) $\endgroup$ May 26 '16 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ A good read regarding what constitutes a broad post, and how to better frame your question: Risk Factors $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    May 26 '16 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ Not a full answer, but an idea; perhaps this company has bribed government officials and the police chief to not press the issue. Most major corporations already do this (but you'll never get them to admit it and if you try to prove it you'll disappear). As for the encryption algorithm thing, that is off topic here, but it is likely sufficient to say "Company X has top of the line encryption algorithms that even the law cannot break". $\endgroup$ May 26 '16 at 21:19

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