Sorry, Richard Littlejohn, but you had your chance to kill Google

27 October 2010

Richard Littlejohn? Exactly. But just how much of an ill-informed asshat is he? In his latest column for the Daily Mail, Littlejohn turns technology commenter and reveals a tantalising solution to Google's recent data-grabbing antics:

Bitterwallet - Richard Littlejohn, Google and Tony Martin

Littlejohn states that Tony Martin - who in 1999 was found guilty of murder, after shooting an intruder in the back as he attempted to flee Martin's farm empty-handed - should treat Google the same way, for inadvertently downloading personal information from unsecured WiFi networks.

Unsurprisingly, there are several reasons why Littlejohn's article is fantastical horseshit:

"Now it has been revealed that the [Street View] cars, which are bristling with high-tech equipment, have also been tapping into home wi-fi networks and rummaging through our PCs and laptops."

No, they haven't been doing that. Google did no such thing. The information was collected passively was from unsecured WiFi networks. Google collected and stored this information without permission; they didn't hack into home computers and deliberately search the content.

If Littlejohn had furthered his already boss-eyed analogy, then it's the equivalent of Tony Martin hauling his belongings onto the street outside his farm, leaving them unattended and then shooting anyone who attempted to pick them up.

"I don't bank online, not just because I am fortunate enough to still have a proper bank manager, rather than a computerised account wallah at a call centre in Mumbai."

That's right Richard, because to use online banking on the internet, you have to telephone staff at a call centre every time. Except no, that's not how it works at all.

Google might call it 'downloading'. I call it stealing, just as if they'd kicked in your front door. This is a matter for the police, not the Government's information quango. Officers routinely abuse anti-terror laws to confiscate the cameras of legitimate photographers taking pictures at 'sensitive' landmark sites. They'd soon stop and question anyone acting suspiciously by photographing homes at random. Yet the police have sat back and watched Google's camera cars casing every joint in Britain.

Google "stole" information in much the same way that we "steal" conversations we overhear in the pub. That is to say, they didn't steal anything. That's why the ICO are investigating and not the Police, because the concern is the collection and storage of the information.

As for Google cars "casing every joint in Britain", unless Street View is updated 24 hours a day, then it'll be less use than walking past a house and seeing whether the lights are on. Like, say, in 1999 when Tony Martin's farm was broken into. Yes, even before Street View existed, homes were still burgled.

"Only when one of these cyber criminals is sent down the steps at the old Bailey will this outrageous larceny cease. Better still, point Google in the direction of Tony Martin's farm in Norfolk. He'd soon put a stop to their little game."

Sorry Richard, but Martin has already had the chance and he didn't take the shot. With not too much trouble, thanks to the internet and all that personal information reported by the likes of newspapers, we found Tony Martin's farm on Street View. Google have already drove straight past Martin's property and he was nowhere to be seen!

Bitterwallet - Tony Martin, Google and Richard Littlejohn

Where was your saviour then, Littlejohn? WHERE?

To sum up, then - a Daily Mail columnist asking a supporter of the BNP to shoot a Google Street View car will achieve very little. Asking them to shoot an ignorant, ill-informed, thick-headed fool like Richard Littlejohn, however, would probably make for an exciting two hour special on Channel 4. That sort of thing would definitely be in the public interest.

TOPICS:   Technology


  • dacouch
    What would Princess Diana think
  • Grammar C.
    More to the point, what would his English teacher think? Do you not proof articles before publishing?
  • Nobby
    I agree with Dick Littledick. People should not be allowed to case other people's houses, whether online or not. I think the only way to resolve this is to build solid fences (with a solid gate) around everyone's property so nothing can be seen from the road. Each house should also have a policeman standing outside with 24 hour security. Shops should be banned, in case anyone tries to case them too. To buy groceries or other items you could either order online for delivery (the delivery man should place them through the gate, preferably blindfolded so he cannot take a sneak peek during the delivery) or if you do not have online access, then you should wait at a pre-defined bus stop in town for each store, and a van could come along and collect you, blindfold you and take you to the secret location of the store. You could then hand your order through a slot in the store, and your items would be brought out then you (again blindoflded) and the items would be dumped back in town.
  • Nobby
    Ah fuck. I type all that and it is awaiting moderation. Oh well. Nice peacock.
  • The B.
    Too easy, it's Richard Littlejohn ffs, pulling apart his ill informed arguments is like shooting fish in a barrel, it's like trying to hold a debate with Nick Griffin or Ed Balls (the man renowned for simply talking over people making a contrary point), ultimately pointless. The people that believe this poorly researched drivel will believe it because they're mindless Daily Mail reading sheep not because no one has pulled the argument apart.
  • zleet
    Everyone knows the internet is a series of tubes and the best way to clog up tubes and pipes is with a massive load of shit. Simply publish all Littlejohn's articles online, internet clogs up, no more streetview and problem solved. Either that or don't beam your personal information out for the world to see like a fucking retard and then cry when someone notices.
  • Nick T.
    "flea" Ha haaa!!
  • Jane
    Grammar Control - would it surprise you if the kind of ignorance exhibited in this article extends to apostrophe usage? We can't expect too much - it's not like this guy's a journalist or anything.
  • singhster
    Littlejohn = Littlecock. Why aren't the Mail charging for their online content yet? Do they accept it's just shit?
  • Faredoggers
    They will be charging soon it seems. Their iPad app goes on sale on Friday
  • TheDean
    WTF??!! IS DIS REAL?
  • Rob
    Tony Martin had the right idea. If some little scum bag decides to break into your house the state should actively encourage you to beat the little scroat to death.
  • Al
    Ill informed journo's - the world is full of them. Obviously he had no anti-government or anti-police stories for this weeks drivel.
  • RimJogger2000
    I avoid Littlejohn. If I ever saw him in the street I may just have to punch him.
  • Dave
    I agree. I'm just not sure who with.You've got to stop with these KFC chicken brains and Littlejohn is wrong type of non-news articles.
  • Maggie H.
    Great, thanks for sharing this article. Fantastic.
  • Helen
    Damn, the title cut off at "kill" in the search result, I thought this was about the time he killed a teacher.

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