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Google says 250,000 Germans opt out of Street View

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Nearly a quarter of a million Germans have asked Google to block images of their houses, the US Internet giant said Thursday as it prepared to launch its Street View service in the country.

Google has already rolled out its navigation service in 20 countries but exceptionally, due to heightened privacy concerns in Germany, has offered to pixel out buildings before the pictures are published online.

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“We’re now close to launching Street View imagery for the 20 biggest cities in Germany and we’ve counted the number of households in those cities which decided to opt out,” said Andreas Tuerk, Google’s Germany product manager.

“Out of a total of 8,458,084 households, we received 244,237 opt-outs, which equals 2.89 percent of households,” Tuerk wrote on a blog nearly a week after the October 15 deadline passed.

Google had said in August that it expected tens of thousands of tenants and owners to respond to its offer to blur out pictures of homes, which are taken using specially equipped vehicles deployed throughout the country.

Tuerk, writing on Google’s European Public Policy blog, warned that the process was imperfect and that some homes might still be visible when the service launched in Germany later this year.

“We’ve worked very hard to keep the numbers as low as possible but in any system like this there will be mistakes,” he said.

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“In such cases the household can still ask us to blur the image using the ‘report a problem’ tool on Street View once imagery is published — and we’ll do it as fast as we can.

“The same is true of faces and car licence plates that our automatic blurring technology may have missed,” he added.

Although Germans are avid users of Street View images from other countries, the planned roll-out here caused alarm in a country particularly sensitive to privacy concerns due to the gross abuses under the Nazi and communist regimes.

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Trump personally asked what ‘tanks’ could be used to break up George Floyd protests

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast detailed how President Donald Trump himself has been behind the push to use the military to control the protests against the police killing of George Floyd — to the extent that he actually asked about specific military equipment that would be available for that purpose.

"[Defense Secretary Mark] Esper, along with other cabinet secretaries, stood next to the president during the remarks in the park after participating in an hour-long call with governors in which he said they needed to 'dominate the battlespace' to quell the protests," reported Erin Banco, Spencer Ackerman, and Asawin Suebsaeng. "But three senior Pentagon officials who spoke with The Daily Beast said they viewed the secretary’s comments on the call as a way to publicly show support for the president. They did not expect the department to actually implement a plan that would reflect the president’s rhetoric and force additional troops upon the states."

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FBI has ‘no intelligence’ Antifa was involved in Sunday’s violence at DC protests: report

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Attorney General Bill Barr and President Donald Trump have tried to blame Antifa -- or anti-fascists -- for violence in the protests against police injustice. But the public data has backed up their case, and even their on intel disputes the argument.

"he FBI’s Washington Field Office “has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in the violence that occurred on May 31, according to an internal FBI situation report obtained exclusively by The Nation. That same day, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would designate Antifa a terrorist organization, even though the government has no existing authority to declare a domestic group a terrorist organization," Ken Klippenstein reported for the magazine.

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NYC protesters defy curfew — with a profane message for Mayor Bill de Blasio

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Protesters in New York City continued to march after 8 p.m. on Tuesday -- in open defiance of a curfew order from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Jan Ransom, who covers courts and jails for The New York Times, posted video of protesters chanting, "f*ck your curfew."

Wonder what protesters think about @NYCMayor’s 8 pm curfew?

Just listen. pic.twitter.com/8H38XNGfQt

— Jan Ransom (@Jan_Ransom) June 2, 2020

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