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Google Street View - Prepare Yourself for Big Brother

If the idea of Google Street View creeps you out, you're not alone

After discovering up close and personal pics of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, the US defense department is a little ticked. And they've banned Google from filming military facilities for Street View on Google Maps.

Street View Sees You!Street View Sees You!In a statement released by the US defense department, filming military areas is a threat to national security. Just what are they hiding back there? The real truth behind Area 51?

Google spokesman Larry Yu said the drive-by recording of Fort Sam Houston had been "a mistake." He went onto say that Google is very happy to comply with the military or anyone else who may have a problem with images of their backyards being broadcast around the world.

Wonder how long it would take Citizen Jane to have images taken down? It took about 45 seconds for them to remove the Fort Sam Houston pics.

In case you're not in the know, Street View allows users to zero in on 360-degree, intimate views of any area where Google has cameras stationed. This video from YouTube hammers home the Big Brother idea.



"We don't have any issues regarding Google and their products, which are very useful tools," said Gary Ross, spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command. "But the Street View provides clear imagery of control points, barriers, headquarters and security facilities that pose a risk to our force-protection efforts."

There are some benefits to StreetView though. If you're traveling to an unfamiliar city, you can see exactly what you're in for before you arrive. And if you're meeting up with friends, sending them an image of the street can ensure you all get to the same location.

But this "Candid Camera" approach can also broadcast digital images of people in compromising positions and invade the privacy of your backyard picnic. Within hours of the first release, bloggers found images of students sunbathing at Stanford University, a man walking into an adults-only bookstore and a man picking his nose on a park bench in San Jose.

What do you think of Google Street View? Do you think it should be banned from residential areas or that it's just the future catching up with us?

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Comments

"... which are very useful tools," said Gary Ross, spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command. "But the Street View provides clear imagery of ... facilities that pose a risk to our force-protection efforts." So, military wants to keep using the very useful tools of Google? But not let public roads near their property be photographed? Military wants the milk but no cow. They want something for nothing. Dear military, so you like to use Google's pictures? Then you need to let Google take pictures. Military, the public road is not yours to own. The public road is owned by the public. The citizens own these roads. Maybe I share military's sentiment. Maybe I am not comfortable having criminals of any kind seeing my property. Government employs a lot of criminals lately, too many for my taste. But I let Google take photos anyway, because I support sharing of information. Security by obscurity is not a winning security policy. Quality of military security policy I am hearing is somewhat troubling.

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