Friday 20 March 2009


One of the many things that I can't stand about modern politics is the attitude of civil rights and privacy campaigners. While they are right on many issues, they always manage to kick up the biggest stink and get the most publicity when they are completely wrong, which makes them look like weirdo lunatics, which in turn means that no-one listens to them when they're right. This is one of the many reason why we're getting that bloody ID database in the UK.

They're at it again with Google Streetview:

Privacy campaigners are to launch a legal challenge against Google's new Street View service which shows 360-degree photographs of public roads.

... campaigners claim it violates the right to privacy and could be used to plan crimes.

Yes, obviously it could be used to plan crimes. So can cars. And cameras. And telephones. And maps. And pencils. And a decent education. Let's ban them all.

As for the right to privacy, I have to say this is news to me. I always thought that I had a right to privacy when I was in, you know, private, but not so much when in public. Try masturbating in the street outside your local primary school and see whether the police will respect your right to privacy.

Simon Davies, of Privacy International, said: "These images are being captured without people's permission for commercial use, and we believe that it is not legally acceptable.

"They are also putting into place a system for updating these images in the future, and for storing the images digitally where they could be misused."

Yes, the images are being captured without people's permission. But no permission is needed, as they are photos of public places. If the outside of your house was private, you wouldn't need planning permission to have it cladded in aluminium and covered in red floodlights. (I'm still fighting my council over that one.)

I wonder if Simon Davies has ever taken a photo of a building, such as the Eiffel Tower, for instance. I wonder if he's ever taken a photo, perhaps while on holiday, in which passers-by appear. I wonder if he asked permission first.

Simon Davies, Privacy International, you are idiots, and you are helping to make the world a worse place. Sod off.

Sal Brinton, Liberal Democrat and would-be MP, is also an idiot:

She said: “I was astonished when I saw the detail of the photographs held in Google's database.

“The detail is very clear.

Yes, it is. It's almost exactly as clear as a photograph. What, exactly, was Ms Brinton expecting to find when she first logged on? Charcoal sketches?

“The example that was drawn to my attention was that of one of our candidates who 'googled' her home address to find a picture of her car sat outside her home.”

Oh. My. God. I take it all back. That is shameful. I am shocked, shocked, I say....

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