FYI protestors, this is what a Google car looks like
Photo: AP

Anti-occupation protest on Street View?

Israeli left-wing activists plan to take advantage of Google's obligation to announce location of camera cars two weeks before shooting

Facebook protest – out; Street View protest – in. Inspired by similar protests worldwide, activist Eran Vered is initiating a demonstration in front of Google's Street View cars.


"Google Street is coming to Israel," the initiative's Facebook page states. "In this group we'll coordinate groups for the camera's patrol routes and wave signs against the occupation."


Last week, the Justice Ministry approved Google's request to feature panoramic views from various positions along Israel's streets in its Street View service, subject to condition aimed at protecting the Israeli public's privacy.


The images, taken by special camera cars, will be combined into a panoramic view presented on the Google Maps and Google Earth software, and surfers will be able to take a virtual tour of the country's streets.


How will the protestors find the cars? As part of the Justice Ministry conditions, two weeks before it starts shooting, Google must publish newspaper ads detailing the cities its cars will patrol on the first three months. Upon the start of the shooting, the company will be obligated to publish the names of the cities the cars will patrol in the coming month. Its website will be required to post regular updates on the cities Google is active in and the cities it plans to patrol in the next five days.


In addition, the vehicles will be clearly labeled as Google Street View camera cars.


The protestors will appear in the images, unless Google decides to reshoot those areas so as not to expose the demonstration. The company, which will be forced to blur the protestors' faces in accordance with the Justice Ministry's demand, may also blur the signs – making the protest ineffective.


Almost 500 people have joined the initiative's Facebook page so far, and some of them have been discussing the issue selected for the protest on its wall.


Web activist Edo Amin wrote, "What does the occupation have to do with the Tel Aviv map? I'm afraid it'll just promote the image of the leftists with the round glasses from Tel Aviv.


"My suggestion: Take this excellent idea and implement it for the wide-scale social justice struggle. If Google's cameras spot protest signs for social justice – not just in the hands of protestors, but also on stores, cars, etc – it will convey the message that the people support the protest."


Koranit Stoler responded, "Just like the social protest has everything to do with Tel Aviv. We are Israelis, and so the occupation – like the social protest – is our business. There's no reason not to bring social protest signs as well (I would even recommend it), but definitely not instead of the anti-occupation ones.


"Who do you think uses Google Street View? Do you really feel in such great danger of being accused by them because you are a person with glasses from Tel Aviv?"


The page's operator wrote in response to a similar appeal, "The idea is to wave signs in English for the world to see… The world doesn't care about the public injustice in Israel."



פרסום ראשון: 08.31.11, 08:13
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