WASHINGTON (ZAP) -- It's been a bad week for Google. First, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report -- released in essentially unredacted form by the search giant itself -- accused the provider of free Internet services of inappropriately collecting fragmentary, unencrypted, publicly available Wi-Fi data via vehicles engaged in their "Street View" mapping project. Though Google asserts that these completely legal activities were not sanctioned by management, and the FCC admits no laws were broken, the Commission demonstrated its condemnation of lawfully receiving plaintext transmissions from public airwaves by fining Google $25,000.
Now -- in a stunning double blow to Google -- comes word of an upcoming joint report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that will reportedly castigate Google for permitting their Street View drivers to breath air without prior authorization in the vicinity of homes and businesses passed by Street View vehicles.
A leaked excerpt of the FDA/EPA report states that, "It is likely that Google's Street View drivers directly inhaled carbon dioxide and other atmospheric components that had been previously respired by occupants of local dwellings and commercial facilities, without having first obtained explicit permission to do so. We additionally note the strong probability that Street View drivers so inhaling may have illicitly and at least temporarily incorporated some elements of such insufflations into their body tissues, without practical mechanisms having been prepared by Google for the categorization and separation of authorized vs. clandestine utilization of associated molecular constituents from associated atmospherically amalgamated respiratory contents and gaseous chemical fractions."
The trenchant report also stipulates, "While it is true that virtually any terrestrial oxygen-dependent organisms with conventionally configured lungs would have been easily capable of breathing the same air, in the same locations, in a similar manner, we hold Google to a higher standard than merely what's legal and necessary to sustain life, and are contemplating punitive actions including fines plus strict sanctions and prohibitions against Google employees respiring public atmospheric components, whether authorized or not."
An appendix to the report indicates similar concerns on the part of European Union (EU) leadership, including a quote from the EU Commissioner for Tropospheric Privacy, proclaiming, "Here in Europe, we take the privacy of citizens' exhaled carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and even argon with enormous seriousness. If we determine that Google Street View drivers have been ingurgitating these materials into their bodies without permission while driving public thoroughfares, the full and powerful dynamism of EU enforcement regimes will be brought to bear directly and firmly on such incorrigibly aerobic corporate scofflaws."
A Google spokesman had no immediate comment regarding the new FDA/EPA "breathing violations" report, but could be heard repeatedly bashing his head into a nearby office wall.
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