Australia: Sydney Spies On Its Citizens
Tim Rahr was sitting in his backyard in Paddington "re-reading my tattered copy of Franz Kafka" when the phone rang.
It was an officer from the City of Sydney council calling about his application for a resident parking permit.
"She wanted to know why was I applying for a parking permit when she could clearly see on her computer satellite image of my backyard that I had off-street parking," Mr Rahr recalled.
It turned out the "apparatchik from central office" was looking at the wrong backyard but Mr Rahr was outraged that his council could monitor anyone's home: "It gave me a nasty feeling. It was just like Big Brother, like something out of 1984."
The council does not use Google Street View or Google Maps, but rather its own in-house aerial mapping program, E-view.
Mr Rahr said "that makes me feel even more creepy. It's a bit weird they have their own program just to look at us."