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Friday, March 20, 2009

Google Pulls Street View Images

Online monopoly, Google, has pulled some images from its UK Street View service, following complaints by the people in the images. Google said anyone can have their pictures removed if they contact the service and seeing as how there are millions of pictures in the databse, the number removed was "very small." However, BBC notes you can simply move up or down a notch on the street to reveal the "removed" pictures. Removed images included revealing pictures of homes, an arrest, a man entering a sex shop, and someone getting sick.

Google Street View came under fire before it ever launched, specifically for the reasons people gave for asking their images be removed. A UK rights group, Privacy International, asked Google to send them information on their face-blurring technology, but Privacy International found out what we all already know: they didn't call Google "assholes," but said Google's reply was "snide," when it told them to "look more closely at our blogs."

Google is a corporation and corporations are granted the same rights as individuals, meaning Google is, legally, a person - and that person is an asshole. Google is above the law and knows it, but time and again, the British have reminded Google that they are not America, and I sincerely hope this latest row turns into a full-fledged court case! Google is undeniably a monopoly and where they once helped expand the Web, they are now seeking to limit it, tax it, and hold the information it has for ransom.

Google continues to purchase sites, technology, and holdings far outside its search engine descriptor, without repercussions. Further, frivolous lawsuits concerning Google's practices have led many in the mainstream to overlook the true criminality of the megacorporation's actions - in fact, many experts carefully measure their words when discussing Google's practices. The simple reason is that Google now owns the Web and many are scared to speak the truth because they don't want their sites banned from the monopoly's listings - as one analyst put it, "Google is becoming so dominant in the search market that soon the phrase 'If you're not on Google, you don’t exist' might literally become true."

Maybe the controversy of Street View will lead investigators to uncovering Google's real criminal practices. Of course, that still doesn't mean they will actually do anything about it, but it will definitely be discussed in the media, and mainstream Web-users will learn more about what we Netizens have known for years now: Google is Evil.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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