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. +++
Well done. After 600 posts you are entitled to feel like this...
Monalisa: to be honest I can't quite believe how much crap I have churned out over the years!
Is it the hot weather getting to you Steve? I think maybe a lie down in a dark room and a bottle or two of something strong might help :)
Heather: to be honest the heat doesn't affect me much; most padded cells these days have air con.
Padded cells, hmmm, join the club.
I have recently been on Google Earth looking at my old car parked outside my house. Did you know that they airbrush it these days, but years ago they just left the view as it was, warts an'all. There ain't no privacy anymore for anyone. I live in the middle of nowhere and can't get undressed in front of the window incase one of my sheep is carrying a scret CCTV.
CJ: airbrushing the pics, to my mind, makes it worse. Not only are they invading our privacy but they are also falsifying it! It would tickle me immensely though if Google had to devote a whole dept to airbrushing out thousands of English folk flicking their V's and offering up their middle fingers to the camera!
I was really pissed off when my house turned up on street view. AS you say there is no privacy. The car reg numbers are there bold as brass. Now I would have mooned the camera for all it was worth it I'd have been there and I was maoning at hubby about it and he chirps up "oh yes I saw the camera car" "WHAT and you did NOTHING" I was furious all over again!! I have seen some images of bizarre things from google earth street view (a man with a horses head stick sin my mind but I can't quite recall where I saw them)
Kelloggsville: a man with a horses head? Was he Italian looking and getting out of bed with a shocked expression on his face? Can the cameras get in that close? As for a camera van... damn. I'm going to have to give the finger to every type of vehicle known to man at this rate. All for the revolutionary cause, you understand.
Yay, I'm back and I love your new blogger photo - you are such a dashing chap and I'm glad the long black coat in high summer look has been abandoned.
Now - Google Earth has kept me very happy lately whilst I have been looking at hundreds of rental properties online. It also saved me from renting what seemed like the bargain of the year, only for Mr FF to point out that the satellite view showed that Eurostar almost passed through the living room.
So it does have its good points.
But you rant my friend - it's your page in the universe and you can stick your finger up anything
Oh Steve,I think you're just going to have to stand outside your house 24/7 with your middle fingers pointing skywards. Congrats on the 600th post and hope the therapy works. Are they using those electric thingies?
FF: nice to see you back; you've been missed. I guess there are useful application for Google Earth and I'm genuinely pleased if it's assisted you in your house hunting. I just think the bad outweighs the good!
Previously (Very) Lost in France: ECT my doctor called it just before the air started dancing with blue stars and I had a loud buzzing in my ears like I'd fallen through the backdoor of a sex shop. I felt very calm when I woke up - though there's an awful smell of smoke.
Nobody is going to look up my back passage without my say so and that includes my doctor.
can't actually believe I wasted time on this but here you go :
and these people managed to ban 'em http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7282635.stm
do you remember the student that painted the huge penis on his parents roof? I wondered if that is on Google Earth?!
I've been meaning to tell you that, about your succulents. They're ravishing.
Ooh, a plane! I'm off to sunbathe topless.
Whispers: "I know where THEY live. I wonder if their own houses are included?"
You are just full of achievements and anniversaries. 600 posts, a prolific milestone.
Somewhat off topic but that guy in the photo looks like Keith Allen?
Congratulations for the 600th post, here's to the next SIX HUNDRED!! Keep 'em coming
600 posts geez, congratulations. BTW you wouldn't want to live at my house your finger would be permanently in the position as I live near the airport LOL
Tenon_Saw: when they shove their cameras through your front bush there is little you can do about it, my friend...
Kelloggsville: stirling work, Kelloggsville - consider yourself promoted to General Major in the coming campaign!
Wanderlust: I got my pilot's license last week. 'Sall I'm saying. P.S. stop coveting my bulbs.
English Rider: good point - can I find them on Google Earth and invade their privacy? Thanks for the praise - not sure it's deserved: 600 posts = a lot of guff!
LöstJimmy: I don't think it is but now that you've pointed it out... hmm. Could this be the man who fathered Lily Allen?
Vicky: I'd get a billboard made and stick a big poster of myself on there. Hey! What a brilliant idea! Can anyone recommend a cheap printing firm?
One of the very few advantages of living on a pedestrianised estate is the fact they cannot get to see the front of your house.The back view of the property is completely blocked by the shed and the garage!
Congratulations on the 600 posts.
Ally: I'm seriously considering building a huge wall or planting a row of leylandii!
Well done on the 600 posts me old china!! I have some catching up to do before I reach that figure...
Meanwhile, well I don't mind too much about the Google earth thing personally, but I see what you mean about the invasion of privacy thing...
OC: thanks old bean. You know me; any excuse for a good rant!
600.....that's a book! I like your thinking...
Nota Bene: it's War And Peace without a publisher, is what it is!
Give them something to talk about! Maybe you should moonie them! Make your mission to get your arse on as many google earth stills as possible. It could be your life's mission - start a campaign called -
Moon Google Earth!
600th? well done, you mad man you! However, I think you may be onto something...Google has indeed intruded into the very flimsy fabric of our privacy. Good on you for taking a stand. I shall switch my lights on and off to annoy the sods, that'll teach 'em.
Oh my, I totally missed that about your 600th post (just skipped right to the part about calming meds and straight jackets). Well done you! I'm completely impressed. I think I just broke 150 and I've been high-fiving myself over that (stunning visual, I know).
Hear hear, I'll raise a psychotropic cocktail to that!
600 posts? Awwww ya newbie! ;) (Mind you, you've got 14 blogs haven't you, so 600 on just this one is no easy feat, come to think of it)
Hey, I like the idea of a nationwide Google-salute. And you know.... you do look a little like Where's Wally so that'd make it even more amusing to find your house and see this little guy with his finger stuck up. Make sure you put on your best striped jumper whenever you hear a plane, yeah?
Modern Military Mother: now there's a campaign that would really get to the bottom of things! I like your style!
Amanda: I am thinking of taking a photo of someone else's house, blowing it up to life size and then sticking it in front of my own... cunning, huh?
Wanderlust: 150? Those are the teenage blog posts... me, I'm now onto the crotchety octagenarian ones... apparently dimentia kicks in around 700...!
Being Me: are you calling me a Wally?! ;-)
*snigger* At least it made you crack a smile!
Modern Military Mother: you are sooo cheeky!
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