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Chuck Schumer Tells Apple and Google To "Curb Your Spy Planes" 302

mk1004 writes with news from The Register that U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has written to Apple and Google regarding their use of 'military-grade spy planes.' The Senator claims concerns ranging from voyeurism to terrorism. Suggested protections: Warn when areas are going to be imaged, give property owners the right to opt out, and blurring of individuals. Schumer seems happy enough, though, with the more detailed versions of such surveillance being in the hands of law enforcement agencies, and phrases his complaint to emphasize what he perceives as risks to infrastructure brought about by detailed maps that anyone can browse: "[I]f highly detailed images become available, criminals could create more complete schematic maps of the power and water grids in the United States. With the vast amount of infrastructure across the country, it would be impossible to secure every location."
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Chuck Schumer Tells Apple and Google To "Curb Your Spy Planes"

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  • fear everything! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:44AM (#40386011)

    let's completely ignore the societal and economic benefits of such technology because ... fear, people. Fear.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:47AM (#40386055) Homepage Journal

    Yeah.. give corporations the same rights as governments. That always works out for the best.

  • by Revvy ( 617529 ) * on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:49AM (#40386073) Homepage
    Senator Schumer,

    You seem to be arguing that drone usage by private companies violates the privacy and/or security of the American public. Many people agree with that. Additionally, many people agree that drone usage by Law Enforcement Agencies and US Federal Agencies also violates the privacy and/or security of the American public.

    I find it hypocritical, then, that you would simultaneously support the use of armed drones in the US by Federal Agencies and Law Enforcement while objecting to unarmed drone use by private enterprise. Perhaps I'm not understanding your position clearly. Perhaps, and I believe this to be more likely, I am.

    Your lips are moving.
  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:09PM (#40386373)

    I really fail to see how this should be treated any different than someone flying 100 ft or 10,000 ft over your house and looking down. Just because the camera is insanely better than a human eye and it can be stored perpetually should be inconsequential. If you want progress, you can't legislate technology. This is like Google driving around on public roads to take pictures and collect WiFi info. Just because they did it on a large scale shouldn't make it illegal. These arbitrary lines drawn by government (or people simply requesting them) are crazy.

    When you have a neighbor, you put up a fence. If someone looks over the fence, too bad for you; build it higher. If someone flies over the top, put a roof up.

    Wait until we have contact lenses like the Google Glasses. These arbitrary lines are going to stop innovation. You won't be able to use it because it can process too much information, when it would probably revolutionize society.

  • Schumer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:12PM (#40386413)

    Schumer doesn't give a rat's behind about privacy. What he cares about is calling attention to himself so that he can go on bullying the private sector from his imperial senate seat

  • by Mr 44 ( 180750 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:15PM (#40386475)

    Chuck Schumer is one of the biggest pro-government control-freak assholes in congress. He has no qualms bending logic, twisting and lying to spin whatever propoganda he needs to in order to advance his agenda. He has never met a law he didn't like, and works to restrict freedom with his every move.

    This is only latest in a decades long series of moves by him.

    Chuck Schumer vs. Free Speech []

    Schumer Among Biggest Supporters of Anti-Piracy Laws [] (He was a co-sponsor of SOPA and PIPA)

    Schumer's racket: Lobbyists and hedge funds []

    Schumer proposes new federal regulations on grill brushes []

    And since the above links are all pretty recent, here's some Schumer history: []

    On the eve of the first anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing in April, 1996, Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The Democrats were very disappointed, however, because the bill passed without proposed expansions of wiretapping authority. In May 1996, Reps. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 3409 "to combat domestic terrorism."

    The bill, titled the "Effective Anti-Terrorism Tools for Law Enforcement Act of 1996," would expand the powers granted to the FBI to engage in multi- point (roving) wiretaps and emergency wiretaps without court orders, and to access an individual's hotel and vehicle and storage facility rental records. It also relaxed the requirements for obtaining pen register and trap and trace orders in foreign intelligence investigations.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:20PM (#40386535)

    Firstly, governments, wether they be state, federal, county, whatever, don't have "rights." They have powers. It's a big difference -- human beings have rights because of natural law, or social acceptance, or convention; they aren't contingent and cannot be revoked. Government power is always contingent, even if they put guns to everyone's heads -- which is actually an indicator of a very weak government, not a powerful one.

    Therefore Corporations can be given far more rights than the government.

    Well said, loyal consumer! For your grassroots advocacy, you have earned an extra allotment of scrip to spend at the company store!

  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:57PM (#40387051)

    That is an administrative nightmare. You are drawing up exceptions to the freedom of another individual. Do you own the image/video of yourself and/or your property?

    I understand that you would WANT it to be illegal for someone to watch your 5 yr old daughter swimming, but what about the freedom of someone else watching them? Do you draw the line with video cameras? The risk, because private property is everywhere, is that video cameras would then be illegal. Eventually, all technology would be illegal, because they could potentially record/tape someone one private property.

    What about my memories of your private property? Do we have to have a neutralizer wipe them from my memory? The more lines you need to draw in the sand, the more lawyers, politicians, and lobbying you have to deal with. The more of that, the higher cost on society. All because you didn't put a roof over your pool.

  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @01:16PM (#40387265)
    Which is another reason the government should be extremely limited, so that it can't be a powerful tool of anyone.
  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:33PM (#40389525) Homepage Journal
    I can't think of any such nation in history, unless you're counting narco states. I don't understand why people think that even supposedly democratic governments are inherently less corrupt than publicly held corporations. You buy your votes in both.

    Your post just seems like a nihilist form of advocacy for authoritarianism, like a fascist Eeyore. "Can't win; guess we might as well have a dictator and fake elections 'cause at least it's better than being run by corporations. OOOOO-kay."

  • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:37PM (#40389577)

    Your entire post is made up of the liberal's standard mythology - evil rich corporations are taking away our rights etc. I am too lazy to reply to all the nonsense in there but let me just make two points: subcontracting is not the same thing as privatizing. Military/Police/CIA/Courts are not being privatized and nobody on the right or in the Tea Party (btw not sponsored by corporations) has suggested that they should be. Public Schools, Public Utilities are being privatized all over the world, especially in Europe, and if they are not they should be, and you give no reasons why they shouldn't be except ridiculous ones (all our kids will end up in fundamentalist schools!?).

Maybe you can't buy happiness, but these days you can certainly charge it.