A lot has been written about it.
References made to 1984, Big Brother, The All Seeing Eye, satellite spy networks, burglaries and virtual house-rapes.
Suddenly, with the help of modern photographic technologies, computer aided flight and an online search engine with a god complex, any Tom, Dick or Harriet can take a leisurely stroll across our front lawns, peer up our back passages or peer over our garden fences to see who we’re burying beneath our patios without fear of apprehension, condemnation or even question.
Google Earth has laid bare our castle ramparts and exposed our jakes to the entire universe.
But did they ask our permission to do this? Did they check that it was OK?
No. The hell they did. Don’t make me laugh!
I believe even now you have to jump through several thousand hoops just to win the opportunity to opt out.
Well, enough is enough. It’s time to make a stand. Our privacy has been invaded for the last time. The campaign to end the rule of Google Earth starts here.
See, I’m fed up of living with the feeling that someone is continually watching me over my shoulder, analyzing my every move digitally. Every time an aircraft passes overhead I feel a cold shudder of paranoia rattle through my bones. Is it photographing me? Pixellating the new and slightly illegal loft conversion that I didn’t run past the planning department of my local town council? Is it perving at my wife sunbathing in the back garden? Is some cyber nerd in the Sudan going to be drooling over my herbaceous borders and planning to steal my succulents? Cos thanks to Google Earth anyone can pinpoint my every garden possession and identify the make of my wife’s car. My garden gnomes no longer feel safe.
At first the paranoia made me hunch my shoulders. Made me want to hide my face. It was then – on the very cusp of turning into a hoodie, faced with a fate worse than death – that something snapped and I made my stand. With the buzz of a light aircraft ricocheting through the stratosphere over my head I could suddenly take no more. I turned to face it. I peered upwards and gave that snarling aircraft the bird long and hard. Finger straight, right up its imaginary jacksy.
“Screw you, Google Earth!” I cried, “Take a photo of this!”
And now I do it every time I hear or see a plane. Even hot air balloons and microlights get it. See, I want Google Earth to photograph me now. I want some criminal mastermind in the Dordognes, searching online for an easy hit on mainland Britain, to search my street, take a virtual walk up my garden path and find me there giving him the finger.
But more than that. I want there to be someone on every street, in every town and city, in every county in this great country – hell, even the world – someone brave enough to face the eye in the sky when it flies over and give it the almighty finger of freedom. To yell “Swivel on this!” at the top of their voices! You like technology, Google? Well, it doesn’t get much more digital than this!
So join me, brothers and sisters. Let the revolution begin. Let us take back what belongs to us. When you hear a plane fly overhead you know what to do. Push away your pens; cast aside your keyboards; welly your Wii’s out of the window. Hit the street with me and offer up your finest bird up to those that would deny us our privacy.
You want to have a finger in all of our pies, Google? Well here’s a finger for you!
+++ We interrupt this blog for a special service announcement. The author has been rushed into a psychiatric hospital for immediate assessment. It seems that after reaching his 600th post he is beginning to suffer delusions of grandeur. We hope to restore normal service very soon. +++