Google is coming under fire today and stands accused of making it easy for burglars to rob our homes once again; following new reports of a malicious code hidden in its already controversial Street View programme.
In a leaked internal email to somebody within Google, somebody else within Google wrote: "Don't tell anyone about the key kept under the dustbins thing! Especially not the press. OK, got it? Schtum! Right then, 'nuff said."
This communication is widely thought to refer to a hidden application believed to have been written into the main programme by accident, when camera cars doing the initial photography unwittingly snapped people secreting keys under dustbins and door mats. In a worrying development Google's omnipotent big computer refused to let boffins remove it from the application, and as costs to start the whole process again from scratch were deemed to be prohibitive, it's understood that Google is running with it and hoping for the best.
But not if civil liberties campaigner, Nigel Brown, has any say in the matter. "This is nothing less than a criminals' charter if you ask me and I shall take the issue to the highest court in the land and beyond to have it stopped," he insisted, adding "Felons who know about this will simply wait outside properties, and equipped with smartphones and iPads and the like, they will wait until homeowners go out. Next they'll open Street View, and identify the relevant properties before walking up the path and letting themselves in with the keys as bold as brass, then swiping everything that isn't nailed down."
Dougal McDougal, a security spokesman for Google, told the press, "This is a load of nonsense. There is no such coding concealed within Street View and we believe that this rumour was started on social networking site Twitter by a disgruntled former employee. Let me take this opportunity to assure the world that our application is completely safe and free from all risk. Although perhaps just as a precaution, I would suggest that if you do hide a key under the bins or doormat, then you may wish to consider stopping doing so immediately."