How did you manage to use so many words to say so little? You offer not a shred of counter-argument, just a bunch on name-calling surrounded by a lot of blah-blah. Sounds like the criticism hit a bit close to home for you...
"There are literally dozens of affordable, easy to use legal services."
You're right! IF you want to be able access the same range of content you can have though illegal means you'll have to sign up to dozens of different legal services. No problem right? That's not inconvenient at all!
Actually this is far more likely because of a huge shift in societal attitudes towards drunk driving. People better understand the dangers to both their health and others, and they also know that most of their friends, family and colleagues will have a very low opinion of their actions. This is why smoking is far less popular now, despite being perfectly legal.
"Instructing my computer to lie about its identity in order to break into a network that someone in authority had deliberately locked me out of would never even cross my mind; that is the act of a criminal..."
Before you so casually through out the 'criminal' accusation from up on your high horse, why don't you explain what harm his actions were causing that could possibly justify the harshness of the punishment he was facing.
"The sharks are not primarily costumes, but characters with a distinctive, recognizable look..."
You mean the distinctive, recognizable look of cartoon and toy sharks that've been around in numerous similar forms for decades? What rock have you been hiding under to think this shark design is something new and amazing?
The only way to truly disable these "features" is to not connect the TV to the internet. But then none of what makes these TV's "smart" will work, meaning you've wasted your money. So if you don't want to potentially be spied on the obvious thing to do is not buy one in the first place. Just get a regular TV and plug in devices over which you have more control.