[funsec] Continued irony in the UK

Gadi Evron ge at linuxbox.org
Thu Apr 2 21:30:34 CDT 2009


Alex Eckelberry wrote:
> OTH, you're getting one shot with Google Maps, which may show you 
> picking your nose or something embarrassing, like throwing up outside a 
> pub.  Wow, what an invasion of privacy. This is the same exposure that 
> you'd get from a tourist posting a travel pic on a blog or Flickr.   
> And, Google will respond and take out or blur something if it's offensive.
>  
> Compare that one picture to a continual series of video images, 24-hours 
> a day, 7 days a week, which certainly show quite a bit more.  And they 
> may be viewed by LE, but now LE knows a lot about you that perhaps 
> should be kept private.
>  
> And even though it's largely "innocuous" now, CCTV's on every corner 
> open the door to a lot of things that civil libertarians get quite 
> worried about.  It's an enabling technology that has far more downside 
> than upside, IMHO, in terms of not only our privacy, but fundamental 
> freedoms.

While I personally feel these folks are just being silly and fighting an 
already lost battle, ideologically I am with them. I will protect their 
position as best I can.

People have a right to their privacy, but the fallacies that accompany 
this discussion are off-point and muddying the water.

First, comparing Google street view with London CCTV is not exactly fair.

	1. Just because you are already exposed to one sort of threat,
	   does not make another any less real, even if very similar.

Both threats are in fact there, "why not try to get rid of one?" seems a 
reasonable path of thinking.

	2. While Google street view seems like a much smaller exposure
	   threat than regular CCTV exposure in the UK, it is only by
	   comparison.

Example: an Apple sales person got me to get extended warranty which I 
originally refused. After I already paid for a laptop the extra 300 
bucks didn't seem like much in comparison.
(Good thing he fooled me, too. Must have warranty on Macs. They break.)

Also, I see no reason why they shouldn't work against what they can.

	3. The UK citizens have no control over CCTV in their streets.
	   Google however has just done this, and they can try and
	   impact it.

And come on, comparing a blog to Google street view does not scale.

	4. Google will get a rather large number of people looking at
	   these images whenever they generically look for a certain
	   location. A blog is a while other matter. Both public, but at
	   a much different exposure rate.

More on point though:

	5. Only law enforcement is to have access to CCTV, and that is
	   not exactly straight-forward as UK cop shows make it look
	   like.

To end my rebuttal to your post, which is hopefully ironic:

	6. God can see everything, too. But we don't see God and it
	   feels okay. Google street view, anyone can see, as well as
	   we. It's right in our faces and psychologically, we can't
	   handle it.

Anyway, if they managed to keep the small town free of technology as an 
haven from modern world (which I have no idea if is the case here), then 
they have a right to try and keep it that way.

Satellites can take their pictures from space, out of reach and out of 
heart. But on their streets, I'd be careful.

	Gadi.


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