German reactionaries have a bizarre new icon: Google. Vandals in the Bergerhausen area of western Germany have egged several houses for opting out of Google Street View, leaving behind notes reading, "Google's cool." Get the message, privacy-hoarding squares?
All of the victims in the Saturday night attacks elected to have their row houses blurred on Street View, joining about 3 percent of German households who have done likewise. One angry victim told the Der Westen website that there's nothing "cool" about egging someone's house. Google is also not lending any support to the digital anarchist attackers, saying the company "distances itself completely" from the attacks and that "we've clearly given people the possibility to blur out their house, and naturally we respect their wishes."
Great. But people who have bitched about GMail slowness on Twitter or maybe cracked some unkind Google Wave jokes on Facebook should probably watch their backs on the mean streets of Bergerhausen.