Senator Schumer Wants To Censor Google & Apple; Displays Ignorance Of Law
from the uh,-whoops dept
We already covered the grandstanding by various politicians on the issue of mobile privacy, but the hearing took an odd twist at one point. Senator Chuck Schumer, who has a habit of going off on weird tangents, went after both Google and Apple for not responding to his request that they both remove an app that highlights police check points from their mobile app stores. Apple exec Bud Tribble pointed out that such apps often publish data provided by police departments for the public.
Schumer found that to be preposterous:
?I don?t know of a police department that would publish where all of the checkpoints would be,? replies Schumer, calling Tribble?s response ?a weak read.?
Of course, as Danny Sullivan points out, in California, it’s actually required by law for all police departments to provide advance notice of roadblocks to the public. In fact, part of the reasoning is that publishing such info, so that people know there are such checkpoints, actually works as a disincentive for people to drink and drive.
It would appear that Senator Schumer owes Tribble a pretty big apology for calling his response “a weak read,” when Tribble’s response was completely accurate, and Schumer’s belief was incorrect.
Of course, the bigger issue here is that a representative for the US government is asking private companies to censor software and putting significant public pressure on them to do so. That seems to go against an even bigger principle, one found in the First Amendment. Perhaps Schumer can be forgiven for not knowing California state law, seeing as he’s not a resident here. But you would think he understood the First Amendment.