Apps Have Been Leaking "Golden Nuggets" of Personal Info to the NSA

Nitasha Tiku · 01/27/14 01:08PM

The Guardian has obtained top secret documents from Edward Snowden that show that both the NSA and GCHQ (its UK equivalent) have been developing the ability to siphon personal information from "leaky" smartphone apps such as Google Maps and Angry Birds. In one document, the agency lays out the "perfect scenario" of the type of info it can obtain when a photo taken with a smartphone is uploaded to a social media site.

Google Streetview Captures Public Handjob in Manchester, England

Adrian Chen · 03/14/13 12:48PM

This has got to be the most explicit and NSFW of all oddities discovered on Google Streetview. A prostitute giving a hand job to a "bloke" (that's British for, "prostitute customer" ) in a back alley in Manchester, which seems like a lovely town, by the way. Google took down the images soon after they were spotted by the Google Sightseeing blog, but the incident was memorialized by a troll who renamed the alley "Hand Job Alley" on Google Maps (also removed.) The wonders of crowd-sourcing.

Okay, Who Drew a Penis on the Google Maps Camera?

Max Read · 09/07/11 10:35PM

Be honest: If you had a green marker, and you saw the weird-looking car-mounted camera used to take pictures for Google Maps Street View, what would you do? I'm thinking, you would probably not write out a situationist slogan. No, you would probably draw a dick, like the unidentified Australian prankster whose work will forever grace the Google Maps Street View of "Sparrowhawk Road" in "Maiden Gully," Victoria. What is it with the Antipodes and their quest to put as many crudely-drawn dicks as possible on Google Maps? [Google Maps via BuzzFeed]

Google Maps Ruins Woman's Life

Max Read · 07/11/11 11:09PM

Are you looking to go to New Jersey's Round Valley State Park? (It features "swimming, boating and camping in summer, and cross country skiing and sledding in the winter"!) Just don't use Google Maps to get there, as you may end up at Laurie Gneiding's house.

Enormous Penis Located on Google Maps

Max Read · 06/08/11 01:02AM

Technology! Without it, we'd never be able to immortalize huge penises drawn on school lawns with weed killer. But thanks to the efforts of Google, a 2009 prank at Fairfield College in New Zealand lives on, much to the chagrin of principal Gerhard van Dyk, who says he plans to contact the internet search giant about the lawn dongs now appearing on Google Maps. Penis discoverer David McQuoid, who was looking for property when he stumbled across the phallus, says "at first I thought it was a large piece of art work." Well, yes, David.

Nicaragua Blames Google Maps for Accidental Invasion of Costa Rica

Adrian Chen · 11/06/10 04:38PM

Nicaraguan troops accidentally invaded Costa Rica earlier this week. Now the Nicaraguan government is blaming Google maps: "There is a bug in Google, we sent a note to the company to rectify the map," said the Deputy Foreign Minister.