Counting Manhole covers in Manhattan from Space and How you can Protect Your Privacy from Satellite Imaging

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Sunday, July 3, 2005

If you are worried sick about your privacy you should be and you have probably guessed it - from Microsoft.

Orbimage Inc. has agreed to provide satellite pictures of Earth for Microsoft Corp.’s upcoming MSN Virtual Earth service, which would eventually have access to photos that could show manhole covers in Manhattan, an Orbimage spokesman said Thursday.

I can see two sides of the coin. In one sense it would be paparazzi heaven, you can snoop in on anyone from the comfort of you home. The images will not be real-time, however with high resolution satellite image of your favorite star sun-bathing or in other compromising situations who cares? In other sense paparazzi press will probably be driven out of business. Who needs them when you have free camera overlooking the planet, at the least USA? Imagine the delight of your ex-stalking-spouse.

All in all I think it is too much invasion of privacy.

What can you do?

I have several ideas. The simplest is using cheap shaded glasses over your house to allow sunlight but make satellite imaging impossible.

However a better way would be to use few strategically placed aluminium reflectors around your house to cause sufficient glare in the satellite images so as to make them unusable. This theory is untested but I am pretty sure it will work. I am not sure how well it will go with FAA if many people decided to place sky facing aluminium reflectors in their porch.

Now you have to protect not only your surface perimeter but from sky as well. Thanks Google for starting this and Microsoft for talking it forward towards commiting the ultimate invasion of privacy.

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