Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
A ruling issued Wednesday by Judge Amy Reynolds Hay in a Pennsylvania district court states that Google's Street View mapping service is not an invasion of privacy. Judge Reynolds has dismissed a lawsuit against the search giant and has denied a request for injunctive relief that sought to block Google from publishing Street View imagery.
The lawsuit was filed last year by Aaron and Christine Boring, who contend that Google violated their privacy when a Street View camera car drove past a "private road" sign in their driveway in order to take pictures of their house.
Judge Reynolds sided with Google and concluded that the Street View service doesn't meet the criteria for an unlawful intrusion. Case law precedents define an actionable intrusion as one that causes "mental suffering, shame, or humiliation to a person of ordinary sensibilities." Reynolds doesn't believe that sufficient evidence was provided to demonstrate that Street View can cause such damage.
"While it is easy to imagine that many whose property appears on Google's virtual maps resent the privacy implications, it is hard to believe that any—other than the most exquisitely sensitive—would suffer shame or humiliation. The Plaintiffs have not alleged facts to convince the Court otherwise," the Judge wrote in the decision.
The Judge also pointed out that the Borings have not taken steps to have the images removed from Street View through Google's opt-out process and have, in fact, decreased their own privacy by drawing attention to themselves with the lawsuit. They did not file the suit under seal, which would have minimized exposure.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
As California Senators were literally locked in a budget debate overnight, the chamber's Republicans overthrew their leader because he had agreed to a budget deal with billions of dollars in tax increases.
Dave Cogdill, R-Fresno, was ousted as Senate leader in favor of Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murietta, who made it clear he opposes raising taxes to balance the budget which is more than 15 weeks overdue.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, made good on his promise to lock senators inside the Capitol after another vote on a budget compromise fell a vote short again overnight. Steinberg said he is prepared to keep the chamber in "lockdown" as long as it takes to approve a budget.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — After a frustrating holiday weekend that failed to yield the one vote needed to end California's budget stalemate, the state is poised to begin layoff proceedings Tuesday for 20,000 government workers.
In addition to the layoffs, the state also plans to halt all remaining public works projects, potentially putting thousands of construction workers out of jobs.
"We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg announced late Monday that lawmakers had failed to find the final vote in his chamber as Republicans refused to support tax increases. He called a session for Tuesday and said he would put the tax provisions of the budget proposal up for a vote, even if they would not pass.
TOPEKA | Kansas tax refunds, employee paychecks and money for schools are all on hold after a showdown erupted Monday between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
The game of political chicken places state taxpayers, workers and schoolchildren squarely in the middle of a politically charged battle over massive budget cuts.
Republicans, who hold majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, blocked Sebelius' proposal to borrow $225 million from healthy state funds to cover shortages in accounts used to meet the state's payroll and issue tax refunds.