“It’s bloody outrageous – I feel as if I’ve been cyber-raped!” declares Freda Glinthern, a thirty-two year old Londoner who was shocked to find herself featured in a compromising position on Google’s new Street View application. “People should be able to pleasure themselves with any type of fruit or vegetable they like in the privacy of their own bedrooms, without being snapped by bloody perverts and having the pictures spread all over the internet!” Miss Glinthern’s street – Felcher’s Way – quickly became the most clicked-on location once word of her ‘display’ spread across the web, registering more than two million hits in an hour. “I can almost feel their eyes crawling over my body,” she exclaims. “Just the thought of millions of grubby little nerds whacking off over that picture makes me feel physically sick!” Glinthern is just the latest ‘victim’ of the new application, which has generated thousands of complaints from angry citizens, shocked at what they see as a gross invasion of their privacy. Indeed, one newspaper has even claimed that the introduction of Street View has encouraged a whole new breed of internet pervert. “Our investigations have revealed that there are thousands of these deviants who spends several hours a day in front of their computers, scouring Google Street View for a flash of nudity,” declares Ron Bigwadd of the Daily Excess. “They concentrate on upper storey windows in the hope of catching a glimpse of bared breast or buttocks – it’s absolutely disgusting!” According to the newspaper thousands of blogs, message boards and photo sites have sprung up to host the obscene images discovered on Street View by the cyber-voyeurs. “This makes a nonsense of Google’s claims to remove any offending images once they’re notified of them – by the time anyone realises their privacy has been compromised, it is too late. It is already all over the web!” fulminates Bigwadd. “The only way to protect the public from further incursions into their privacy is to have this infernal site shut down altogether!” However, the Excess has been accused of hypocrisy over its calls for the shutting down of Street View, with critics pointing to its willingness to publish photographs of celebrities and politicians in compromising positions, usually taken illicitly through their bedroom windows. “Obviously, that’s completely different,” blusters Bigwadd in response to such allegations. “Celebrities and politicians are just asking for it – they’re the ones who court publicity in the first place. How can they complain when we publish pictures of them? Besides, we’re talking about stuff on the internet – everybody knows that exists solely to promulgate depraved filth and pornography for the titillation of perverts! Unlike newspapers, which only publish such stuff when it is in the public interest!”
Apparently inspired the Excess’s campaign, some citizens have taken their own measures to avoid having their communities exposed on Street View. In the village of Bishop’s Pricker, for instance, road blocks were erected to stop the Google Street View camera van from entering. “It was bloody terrifying, before we could turn the van around, we found ourselves surrounded my a mob of rural inbreds waving flaming torches,” says Andy Jippwoller, the vehicle’s driver. “We were pulled from the van as they shouted ‘Kill the witches’ and tied to stakes in the middle of the village green – I got really worried when they started piling kindling around our feet! Women and kids were chanting ‘Burn them, burn them’, all the time!” The van’s crew were saved from being burned at the stake by the timely arrival of the police, although no arrests were made, a spokesperson for the local force claiming that the incident was merely part of a harmless local tradition that had got out of hand . However, the village has a history of hostility toward those trying to record it on film, with several local speed cameras having been smashed and burned and a coach load of Japanese tourists armed with camcorders having been chased out of the village by a gang of stone-throwing youths. “We don’t want none of your modern black magic around here,” explains village elder Bill Cripploss. “Everybody knows that them cameras steal your soul if you let ‘em snap you! Mark my words, those Google people are devils out to enslave our souls by trappin’ ‘em all in their computers!” Bishop Pricker’s stance on Street View doesn’t convince everyone. “All that soul stealing crap is just a smokescreen,” opines Jack Fopling, from the neighbouring village of Upper Pricker. “The reason those dirty bastards from Bishop’s Pricker don’t want to be photographed is because they’re a bunch of decadent sex maniacs. Trust me, they’re bloody at it all the time! No perversion is too low for them – animal, vegetables, minerals, they’ll do the lot! They don’t want to be photographed because they’ve got too much to hide!”
Many commentators have little sympathy for the likes of Glinthern, or the Excess’s anti-Street View campaign. “It’s amazing how none of these people seem to be worried about their constant surveillance by CCTV cameras, or the government’s monitoring of their phone and internet access records, but as soon as fuzzy, out-of-focus picture of someone who might be them taking a dump in someone’s front garden appears on Street View, they’re up in arms about it,” observes Henry Humpworth, Media Correspondent for the Sunday Bystander. “Let’s face it – they’re only upset because they’ve caught out doing something they shouldn’t.” Humpworth also points out that there has been increase in ‘cyber-exhibitionists’ since the inauguration of Street View. “These idiots are so desperate for fame they deliberately expose themselves at their windows when they know the Street View camera van is coming to their town,” he says. “As for the Excess’s campaign – it’s nothing but hypocrisy! Everyone knows that they’ve been using it to try and peer into celebrities’ homes!” Nevertheless, the anti-Street View crusade has attracted some political support, most notably from Tory back bencher Harry Chopper. “It’s a Peeping Tom’s dream come true,” he claims. “Nobody will be able to feel safe in their own homes anymore – thanks to this application the threat of cyber-peeping will be ever-present!” Chopper also points out that it isn’t just people naked in their own homes who are at risk. “This thing makes it absolutely impossible to do anything in public, like scratching your arse on the street, or taking a piss in telephone booth, without the risk of being caught on camera,” he says. “They’ve already had to remove a picture of some poor bugger throwing up over a vicar. The trouble is that by the time you realise they’ve got your picture, it’s too late – millions of people could already have seen you taking a dump on your ex-wife’s doorstep!” Chopper has categorically denied being the man pictured on Street View leaving a notorious Hoxton sex shop clutching a stack of hard core porn magazines, bondage equipment and a giant pink vibrator.