Can't Even Urinate In His Own Yard Anymore

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

While some people were fretting over Google's new “privacy” policy that took effect March 1—“Calling this a ‘privacy policy’ is Orwellian doublespeak,” said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog—others were counting the Google AdSense dollars from their blogs, hoping that Google could collect more user data so that ads would generate more revenues. Ka-ching. Just then, an insidious and at once funny information-age issue erupted in France, or more precisely in a tiny village in Maine-et-Loire.

A guy was minding his own business in his yard.... He was, well, urinating, but the gate was closed. There must have been something appealing about it. Or maybe he was just too lazy to go inside or whatever. However, we know that he was doing it because a Google Street-View vehicle drove by, and its rooftop camera that was mounted on a post could see over the gate and caught the hapless but otherwise relieved guy in flagrante delicto.

But he didn't know it, and he still didn't know it when the scene appeared on Street View—the photo, though slightly blurred, showed him in his yard, relieving himself. His neighbors discovered the photo, and it was only as he was becoming the laughingstock of his village that he learned about it, according to his lawyer, who’d filed a lawsuit against Google, demanding the immediate removal of the photo and €10,000 ($13,000) in damages. "My client doesn’t do this for money, he just wants his privacy respected," the lawyer said.

It might be hard to feel sorry for this guy—as a commenter wrote: “Before, he was the laughingstock of his village; but thanks to his legal action and his lawyer, he has become the laughingstock of all of France.” But it’s one more example of how privacy, even in our own yard—and for whatever silly reason we may desire it—has become a quaint concept of the past.

Big-city folks have long gotten used to video surveillance cameras on sidewalks and inside buildings. Drivers are routinely filmed crossing red lights, an expensive event. The newest reincarnations are systems that study consumer behavior in stores. Customers with smart phones can even be identified. At the Safeway down the street, there is a small sign in the wine aisles telling you that you’re on video—that your cumbersome decision making process will be recorded for further study. Did you read the text on the back of the bottle? Did you agonize for 30 minutes? What was your facial expression when you saw that this fine wine didn't come from France but from, um, China? Oh man. Read.... Merde! Chinese Wines Did What to French Wines?

Then there are the run-of-the-mill data breaches. They happen even at institutions that are supposed to be technically sophisticated. NASA for example. It spends $1.5 billion on IT and $58 million on IT security annually, according to NASA Inspector General Paul Martin’s testimony before Congress last week. And yet, in 2010 and 2011, NASA discovered 5,408 incidences involving installation of malicious software and unauthorized access by a wide variety of hackers, including organized crime and foreign intelligence. In 2011 alone, it experienced 13 breaches, some of which could compromise US national security.

Occasionally, breaches become personal. A few years ago, the business school where I received my MBA an eternity ago—a sophisticated large institution—notified me that my personal data including my social security number had been pilfered. It added that my data had also been pilfered in a similar security breach a few years earlier.

In the information age, personal information has a monetary value. So it’s being collected, stored, stolen, and sold. Smartphones have become the most effective means of grabbing user information. Unlike the internet that still offers users some anonymity if they’re careful, smartphones are tied to the user’s identity. So, how far will all this go? All the way. Because that’s where the money is.

Among all products in the world, user information is unique. We hand it over for free. It can be sold from the same inventory millions of times without running out. There are practically no storage costs, and no handling and shipping expenses. It doesn’t rot or mildew or rust. User information is simply the best product ever invented—and yet, there is Friendster. Read.... The Value of Information in the Information Age.

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blindfaith's picture




Not money...but POWER.  The power corrupts, it always does.  Just look at Washington.  Wall Street.  Banks.  You name it..power, it just corrupts and the people it corrupts will NEVER admit it.

rsnoble's picture

That's nothing, I live in a rural area that has a nudist colony a few miles down the road. They mind there own business. However a odd neighbor down the other way who lives by himself and is nearly 7' tall and 400lbs(I am not exagerating) and is ugly as can be decided to become a nudist and take his hobby home with him. The neighbors that live across from him turned him into the sherrif last summer as he was pushing the lawnmower in the front yard completely naked. LMFOA!!!

I honestly don't care what he does. I personally piss in my front yard all the time. There used to be no traffic now I punish the bastards for driving by and just wave and them holding my dick in one hand and a beer in the other. For the most part we all get along.

Bringin It's picture

Around here, peeing on trees adds nutrients.

Hulk's picture

Careful there, you may be channeling Randy Quaid (cousin Eddie), and that doesn't end well...

Whatta's picture

LOL, yeah, I live rural as well and often stop on the treed, 60 yard trip out to the mailbox. It saves a gallon or two of well water and is being "at-one with nature"!!! Sheeeit I am a greenie.

The Bing birds eye maps show me out on my tractor. And I was not pissing or beer drinking.

12ToothAssassin's picture

How do you waive with both hands occupied?

steve from virginia's picture


If this keeps up people will have to quit using their phones and actually start talking to others, like real people!

It's coming: get rid of computer, get rid of cell phone, get rid of car, get rid of TV. Pay cash, 'information' problem solved!

Cursive's picture

@steve from virginia

It's coming: get rid of computer, get rid of cell phone, get rid of car, get rid of TV. Pay cash, 'information' problem solved!

Hells yeah!  Enjoy!

Dave Thomas's picture

Ooooh, ooooh Cedar Siding...

Ooohhhh Yeeaahhh pot bellie stoves! YEAH!

Aaahh, eeeahh, yeaaaahhh ouuuthouse!!

azusgm's picture

Don't smart phones have sim cards that can be pulled?

(Sticking with my old not-too-bright 3 year-old cell phone until it totally quits. I'd rather not be stalked.)

Idiot Savant's picture

Due to advances in facial recognition, you'll need to wear a disguise, too.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Some Brits have found a rather entertaining way to respond to the traffic cameras (a.k.a. Gatsos):


New World Chaos's picture

If he was American, he would now be on the sex offender registry for indecent exposure.  He would be slapped with all the legal proscriptions designed for pedophiles and he would soon be unemployed and living under a bridge on the edge of town. This sort of thing really happens.  Meanwhile, our pedophiliac overlords are untouchable.

boiltherich's picture

Oregon used to have about the lowest age of consent in the country till Saturday Night Live did a few skits about it in the 80's in which older wealthy salt and pepper business types were seen out and about in some expensive and flash dining and dancing clubs in Manhattan dating an obviously 6 year old girl. 

The state raised the age of consent to 18, no exceptions, now we have about the highest rate of sex offenders in the country and most of them are/were just 18 year old boys that had sex with their 16 and 17 year old girlfriends.  But I did know a guy that was schizophrenic, high functioning when on his meds and stayed away from pot, he had sex with a very willing girl (her idea) of 17 years 11 months three weeks and 3 days.  Poor bastard just could not wait 4 days till her 18th birthday (he was 23 at the time) and is now and forever a registered sex offender.  He says the cops treat him really bad every time they see him too. 

Americans are mental when it comes to sex, they are even more mental when it comes to their "kids" who in fact to them will still be children when thy are 50, but when those kids make the independent decision to start having sex most parents just go off the deep end.

They say there are about 1,500 teens in this valley that are homeless, not part of a family that is homeless, but on their own and homeless, and because parents reject gay teens at a much higher rate than het teens many of those kids in need of a home are gay.  I have room for and could afford to help but there is simply no way I would ever allow a person under 18 in my house, the consequences of a false accusation are simply too high.  I mean it too, nobody under 18 even with a parent allowed in my home.  Part of the problem is the number of teens that know how much trouble they can get you in just for saying you made an advance when you did not and use it to their advantage. 

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

can't believe I'm the first person to fucking junk you, this post is screaming fucking weirdness

Incubus's picture

18 is too young to be considered "adult" or independent in western society. 


I'd go with Mid 20's as an "adult" age: "fresh" 18 year olds need a few years to be humbled by the world.

jeff montanye's picture

not that the mdaa martial law doesn't make all this quibbling a moot point, but an interesting line was breeched for sex offenders in 2010 (serve the term, get released):

a bit like the exception for drug crime accusations (can't seize assets without conviction):

soften them up on the sex and drug (and "terrorism") offenses; they won't notice when the exceptions become the rule.


New World Chaos's picture

He never said anything about getting it on with these homeless teenagers, he said he wants to help them but feels it is too risky.  How long before he takes in a meth addict who figures out the perfect way to milk him?

Elites use taboos to create some of the laws which they use to consolidate power.  Taboos also serve as internal censors to shut down conversations about the unjust system and the human wreckage it leaves in its wake.  Not to say there should be no moral code- just saying to be aware that the elites use our moral code against us even as they violate it with impunity.

Temporalist's picture

I think "I Am A Man..." used to be the live-in child servant of Michael Jackson.

New World Chaos's picture

Destroy love.  Destroy trust.  Destroy family.  Cut off all sources of support that don't come from the elites' redistributed booty.  Reward backstabbers.  Crush anyone with a soul.  Let no good deed go unpunished.  Get kids ass-raped (in jail or foster homes) in the name of protecting kids.  All in a day's work for Lucifer.

Your friend should have been a violent sociopath- the cops would have treated him better.  Professional courtesy and future job security.  If he makes soccer moms truly fear for their children, they will support the police state which will ultimately destroy their children.  Lucifer leads people around by the amygdala, gives them a hand in their own destruction or destruction of their family (but makes them think they are doing it to one of "those people"), and thereby Lucifer gets people to willingly jump out of his frying pan and into his fire.

Moe Howard's picture

No offense, but you come across as kind of creepy. Sorry.

mick_richfield's picture

What do you mean, creepy?

Just because he talks, with very little provocation, about age of consent and the consequences of having a pre-18 year old falsely accuse him?  And talks about how he would otherwise be happy to take in homeless gay teens?  Just because his handle is "BoilTheRich" ?  

What's creepy about that?

jeff montanye's picture

very little provocation?  wasn't it a comment on something about pedophiles?

boiltherich's picture

UM, look at your avatar and then consider who you are calling creepy.  I have been falsly accused (not related to sex) and I am here to tell you I will do anything never to go through anything like that again.  If you want to seal yourself off from bad people you will find about all yu can do is seal yourself from all people and that is my choice.  I still think most people are good, but once you have met really bad ones you will no longer take the chance.  But also, I know a guy, he was a friend and neighbor, that was accused of a lot of sexual misconduct with a young girl, and though he swore he was innocent he accepted a 17 year prison sentence in order to avoid a twenty five to life sentence, he had a public defender that did NOTHING for him, did not even care if he was innocent or not.  Because it never went to trial nobody knows any of the facts, and I am pretty sure he will not survive the ordeal. 

If you want to root out pedophiles I suggest you start your search with people who show their avatar flipping the bird.   

The entire thread is about a guy holding his penis in the privacy of his yard taking a leak and a corporate peeping tom. 

But it really is about somethings that are larger, it is about prudish morality, community condemnation, justice by size of bank account, and our rights, whether we live in Paris Texas or Paris France.  My only point above was that what used to be simple human nature and the desire to help those in need has been ruined by fear and oppression, I would like to help people, but I just will no longer take the chance.  If that is creepy then I am a creep and so are you. 

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

If you use google maps and check out 33 Maiden Lane in NY you can see a bearded guy screwing a whole pile of people...

hairball48's picture


CompassionateFascist's picture

If you use google maps and check out 33 Maiden Lane in NYC you can see an old Jew with a beard screwing 294,000,000 Goyim. *fixed*.

jeff montanye's picture

i think bernie madoff made it clear that there isn't the internal respect for the tribe that there used to be. that pile may well have a few million more in it (well, less 1%, or .1%). 

Imminent Crucible's picture

Cheese, that's the funniest comment I've ever seen on ZH. I'm so thankful I was not drinking hot coffee.

Wakanda's picture

I see it!

He's screwing everyone and still has his cloths on!  Fortunately!