Omniveillance: Long Island Town Uses Google to Find 250 Pools Without Permit

August 2nd, 2010

I wasn’t even aware one needed a permit to build a pool in one’s backyard. Apparently Long Island has such a law, under the guise of pool safety. What else?

From Vos Iz Neias (Yiddish for What’s New?):

The town of Riverhead has used the satellite image service to find about 250 pools whose owners never filled out the required paperwork.

Violators were told to get the permits or face hefty fines. So far about $75,000 in fees has been collected.

Riverhead’s chief building inspector Leroy Barnes Jr. said the unpermitted pools were a safety concern. He said that without the required inspections there was no way to know whether the pools’ plumbing, electrical work and fencing met state and local regulations.

“Pool safety has always been my concern,” Barnes said.

Maybe we can just replace life guards with a Google satellite? If a satellite detects that someone is in trouble in the pool, it can automatically dispatch a swat team to help the aquatically challenged? Just a thought.

I won’t bother quoting from Omniveillance, suffice to say a pervasive surveillance network in the hands of the State can wreak serious havoc on our notions of privacy.