Monday, August 2, 2010

What Do You Think About This?

Google Earth Used To Find Unlicensed Pools

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - A town on New York's Long Island is using Google Earth to find backyard pools that don't have the proper permits.

The town of Riverhead has used the satellite image service to find about 250 pools whose owners never filled out the required paperwork.

Violators were told to get the permits or face hefty fines. So far about $75,000 in fees has been collected.

I have always found issues like this intriguing.

On one hand you have privacy questions and where the line is for expecting privacy at home.

On the other hand you have the question of do we have a right to break the law.

What are your thoughts, big brother violating these resident's right to privacy or scofflaws getting caught at something they should not be doing?

This is a minor law. Is this type of surveillance more acceptable for something else? What about looking for marijuana plants? Chop shops processing stolen cars? Illegal immigrants crossing the border?


Karen Howes said...

I've always thought Google Earth was cool, because you can "visit" any place in the world. But there's another side to it, as this post illustrates... it can also be a tool of Big Brother.

Although I don't approve of breaking the law, I think it's worse to literally cyber-spy on people's property.

Hayden said...

It is interesting because Google Earth is not updated that often. It does raise the concerning question of the power of Big Brother, but then, we must also consider within this invasion of privacy the use of ATM cameras by police, cameras at stop lights, face recognition devices in airports etc. When and where does it stop? All technology can be used for good and for evil intentions.

LomaAlta said...

When the government exceeds its constitutional authority, no matter the "cause", it is wrong. Invasion of privacy is particularly dangerous.

Chuck said...

Sorry, weird work schedule last night

Karen and Hayden, there is a danger with the new technology

LomaAlta, I think one of the biggest concerns is where does it stop?

cube said...

First of all, I hate the Big Brother aspect of this whole thing (my youngest just read 1984 and she's discussing it with me. I'm so proud.)

On the other hand, I hate the idea of some people who think they can escape the costs that the rest of us must pay. I built a pool in 2006 and, believe me, we paid a pretty price for it.

Congress, are you listening?

Z said...

they'll be seeing us smoke on our patios soon, and not having GREEN appliances, too...
There won't be an end in sight.

The system's worked this long.....I'd say it's worth a renegade pool here and there (can't be very often they're not legal) to keep our freedoms. "Where does it stop?" is right, Chuck. (but then, you always think right :-)

MK said...

I'm surprised that in America google is even allowed to do it. Wasn't there some civil liberties group that whined and wailed over this, who gave google the right to film sh!t?

I'll bet if Google were snapping pics of marijuana plants and illegals, they'd be jumping to sue Google.

Chuck said...

Cube, this is why I am not dead set against it. One thing to keep in mind is the government did not put a satellite up to spy

MK, pointing it at illegals would be racist.

Actually it would be interesting to see how this was reported if they were targeting inner city youths for crime?