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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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  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:48AM (#40386071)

    GPS used to have a 1km fudge factor inserted into it to prevent people using it for terrorist activities.

    Not that I'm entirely sure how I feel about Google using drones to improve Google Earth. If I have a privacy fence up... well, it's to protect my privacy. Taking pictures from a low flying drone isn't much different than leaning a ladder against the fence and climbing up to peer over. On the other hand, it's a one time thing (or at least rare) and the same viewing angle can be achieved any number of ways that people don't have a problem with (if nothing else manned aircraft). I think I'm actually going to have to think about this one a bit...

  • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:14PM (#40386445)

    What about someone's freedom to watch you real-time? You need to take appropriate measures to stop it by being on private property inside a building and away from windows. It is your responsibility to protect your privacy.

    As mentioned in another window, wait for things like Google Glasses. Everything could be recorded everywhere. You can't make the glasses illegal. You can't make a law that says, "When technology is too good, it can't do this or that".

  • by RobertLTux ( 260313 ) <{gro.nitramecnerual} {ta} {trebor}> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:38PM (#40386785)

    the thing is tech should always be "polite" when it has capabilities to this level.

    I have no problems with a sat shot of my house every 9 months or so.

    what i have a problem with is somebody filming my house 24/7/52

    photo showing that my backyard has a pool = not a problem
    film of my 5 year old daughter swimming in said pool = BIG PROBLEM

    so your rights to film my property end at the point where my rights to forcefully defend said property.

    (aka i need to be able to file an OPT OUT with you)

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:40PM (#40386813)

    You first, Chucky!

    Yet another mealy-mouthed, two-faced, lying, dinosaur of a career politician that should be swinging from the end of a rope instead of being in a position of government power.

    A Google drone might spot a greenhouse in my backyard and target horticultural product ads at me. The horror!

    A government drone might spot the same greenhouse and target a SWAT raid on me. Or a Hellfire missile.

    If Chucky and his TLA buddies can fly a drone over me, I should be able to fly a drone over Chucky & friends.

    Maybe an open-source drone project for civilians to counter the governments domestic drone spying with their own spy drones? I bet a few civilian drones buzzing over these politician's own homes and offices would get some attention.

    And if the government decides to severely restrict civilian drone use while giving free reign to TLA/LEO drones, maybe my experience with designing military missile & torpedo guidance/targeting systems could find civilian counter-applications.


  • Re:fear everything! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sentrion ( 964745 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @01:21PM (#40387331)

    Only governments have the right to use guns

    That used to be the case but no longer is. []

    "Privatization" is the primary agenda of the corporate sponsored Tea Party and related movements. The goals are to dismantle the government offices and subcontract those roles to private corporations (on the presumption that government-run organizations are inherently inefficient and waste taxpayer dollars). Multi-national conglomerates already "own" the US Congress through aggressive lobbying, kickbacks for campaign funding, and the promise of highly compensated future roles as consultants, senior executives, or board members for today's politicians, judges, and appointed officials. The mega-corporations are to US government what the cocaine and heroine cartels are to the Mexican government.

    To give you an idea, here's a quick summary of the transitions sought or already begun:
    WAS - NOW
    Regulatory Agencies - Self-regulation

    Public Utilities - Same utilities but customers now have to buy through specially qualified "distributors" of the same utility rather than direct

    Public Courts - Private Arbitration (many judges today are issuing one-sided pro-business decisions in the hope of landing a better paid position as a private arbitrator at one of the major firms. Arbitration proceedings do not have to follow state or federal rules of procedure, appeals are limited, legal precedant does not apply, there is never any jury of peers, and rulings do not even need to abide by the US Constitution)

    Collections Agencies - Sheriffs and Judges (ok, this is a reversal, but not a good one, and one that serves corporate interests and re-institutes debtor's prisons: [] )

    Corrections Facilities - Private Prisons (and much incentive to fill them regardless of guilt or innocence: )

    CIA - Private contractors (including foreign nationals. No oath of service or duty to uphold the Constitution. Can violate US and international law while not accountable to anyone outside of their employment contract)

    US Armed Forces - See above
    State Law Enforcement - See above

    Public Schools - Vouchers for Private Schools (non-sectarian schools have limited capacity. In a "free market" your kids would likely end up in a fundamentalist religious school). In time the vouchers would go away as they are not a product of the "free market" and make the system unworkable.

    Fire Departments - Private Fire Departments []

    The "benefits" of privatization have been debunked for most roles of government []
    But privatization is still pushed as a cure-all in election campaign ads. I could go on, but as I show above, "privatization" eventually eliminates all of your Constitutional rights and protections. Once the corporations OWN the government AND the guns, who is going to help you? I'd rather not give corporations any more rights than they already have, especially since they are now considered "people" [].

  • by ff1324 ( 783953 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:15PM (#40388019)

    You can ask, but you can't get it. At least not here.

    We purchased ArcGIS to evaluate our responses at the fire department I work for. The county, highway department, assessors office, and other 911 centers were more than happy to share data with us. The water company wouldn't. We were originally told their security policy would not allow them to share data with us.

    That's right. The water company could not tell the fire department where the fire hydrants are because of security policy.

    Total WTF moment...

  • WOULD BE impossible? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:17PM (#40388057)

    With the vast amount of infrastructure across the country, it would be impossible to secure every location.

    It IS impossible to secure every location. Will American policy makers ever address the problem of WHY people want to attack the US? Will the US ever adopt a proactive approach to defense?

    I'm fortunate to live in a country with virtually identical amenities and standard of living compared to the US, yet we don't inspire even a fraction of the fanatical hatred aimed at the US. Why is it, Americans, that people on the other side of the globe, who do not speak your language and have never been to your country, detest you with such fervour they would kill themselves to inflict harm on you?

    I'm not justifying their position; I'm just saying it's a question that bears asking.

  • Re:Whats Up Chuck? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:29PM (#40389445)

    This is opposed under the guise of protecting or fighting for the common man who doesn't yet know that he doesn't want Google taking a picture of his yard. More likely, it is paranoid companies (campaign contributors) who are worried about possible the backlash from people finding out about their unethical environmental practices that are still grandfathered in.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"