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Google Won't Pull Checkpoint Evasion App

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-for-them dept.

Android 343

RedEaredSlider writes "Don't expect Google to remove apps that help users avoid DUI checkpoints — the company says it is leaving the controversial apps on its Android Marketplace. A source said the company only removes apps that violate its Android content policies and the apps in question do not appear to violate these policies." We'll see if Apple caves to pressure to remove them.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602134)

Now where's the bar?

Unexpected benefits (5, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602136)

I wonder if they ever consider that this may actually be persuading people to not drink & drive. They check their phone, see that there are some drunk driver stake-outs, and they take a cab home instead. I'm sure it doesn't happen in all cases, but if it helps in a few, that's a good thing.

Re:Unexpected benefits (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602218)

Cops and district attorneys don't want people to stop drinking-and-driving. It wouldn't give them anything to brag about during election campaigns or "we need more funds" speeches.

Re:Unexpected benefits (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602338)

Citation necessary.

Re:Unexpected benefits (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602410)

"dont tread on me" anti-government conspiracies do not need citations. They are to be taken as absolute truth.

especially since its from commodore64_love (and sockpuppet accounts), they are always modded down by the government, they must be true!

Re:Unexpected benefits (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602694)

A common sense citation is more than sufficient here, IMO.

Re:Unexpected benefits (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602786)

It's not common sense, which is the problem, it's a deeply paranoid and cynical view point which doesn't have any support given. Hence the requirement of a citation.

I'd be surprised if he can cite anything because he's full of it.

Re:Unexpected benefits (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602950)

These days...pretty much ALL traffic enforcement is more towards revenue generation than safety. I'd not be surprised if they start treating DWI like the stoplight/speed cameras..where they actually print on the ticket "this is not a moving violation and will not go on your record"...??

Seriously, I say lets take all the fines for traffic violations, and rather than give them to the police or govt....let's pool it and redistribute it BACK to the citizens at EOY that haven't committed any infractions, as a type of reward.

I'd love to see how much enthusiasm and vigor law enforcement would continue to be for these type of stake outs, speed traps and checkpoints then when they didn't get any money out of it.

Frankly, I'd rather give bounties and rewards for preventing hard crimes like murder....I'm much more worried about that than some traffic infractions.

Don't get me wrong, if you're driving poorly and too inebriated to operate a vehicle safely, get them off the road, but other than that...go out and hunt REAL criminals.

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602364)

The conspiracy theorist is strong in this one.

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602398)

Hey, commodore64_love, please stop using your sockpuppets to mod your own retarded comments up. Thanks.

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602466)

Shut up! Don't you talk that way about the people I helped democratically elect!

Re:Unexpected benefits (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602654)

Because cops just love seeing all the dead, mutilated bodies drunk drivers leave behind right? How the hell did you get modded up for this ignorance?

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602772)

Right, because cops are always acting in the interest of public.

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602940)

Because the politicians love the profits it makes for their local governments.

Or do you think this whole red light fiasco is about saving lives?

Re:Unexpected benefits (0)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602710)

Yeah, that's why all our police departments and the State DA protested the DoT's "Drink. Drive. Go to Jail." ad campaign, as it might reduce the amount of drinking and driving arrests they are able to make.

Oh, wait, that didn't happen.

I meant, that's why the court house, with assistance by the local PD, hosts MADD meetings within the building to "scare people sober" with horrific stories of drunk driving accidents.

No, wait, that makes no sense.

I'll think of something, I'm sure of it.

Re:Unexpected benefits (2)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602296)

In Norway, this is allowed for that exact reason. These services are mostly targeted at speeding checkpoints but also works for DUI checkpoints (they are usually the same) There was a lot of fuzz from the police in the beginning but research showed otherwise. They discovered that people actually drive slower if they know about the checkpoints.

Re:Unexpected benefits (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602628)

They discovered that people actually drive slower if they know about the checkpoints.

Not sure how it is in Norway, but flashing someone with your headlights twice is a way to signal oncoming traffic that there's a cop lying in wait down the road. I try to do it all the time, because I don't want to see anyone get a speeding ticket, but only after I'm out of eyeshot of the police.

Re:Unexpected benefits (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602824)

To be clear, that can also be a signal that something's wrong with your car (like that you have a headlight out or your lights aren't on).

I just wish there were a reliable way to indicate to people that their taillights aren't on, those utter idiots.

Re:Unexpected benefits (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602942)

Ramming them from behind at a high rate of speed will do the trick. Messy, but effective.

Re:Unexpected benefits (-1, Flamebait)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602784)

Yay! A victory for drunk drivers. The Google app model is a success! BTW I'm surprised that so many slashdotters are so reflexively pseudo-libertarian that they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with drunk drivers, who kill thousands of people annually, and rail against the evil gubment who is out to get them. Down with the Man!

I expect no less (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602140)

Apple is practically obligated to pull the app, given the fact they're willing to act as the morality police for their users, though it might take them awhile because they like to pretend they 'think different'. RIM is a lily-livered chicken with no willingness to take any kind of stand for fear of offending anybody. It's also not a surprise they pulled the app. And Google is standing by their principles, and won't pull the app unless its actually illegal.

The world is acting according to my expectations in this regard. And once again, its Google I have the most respect for.

Re:I expect no less (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602382)

Yes but I would argue that now Apple is almost obligated to NOT pull the app because their fight with Google trumps all. Because when they do pull it you know Google will use that as an edge when marketing. We will see though. I hope this is the case.

Re:I expect no less (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602386)

Google could pull the App, but let's be honest, even if they did, the actual barrier to installing it is practically non-existent. I'm sure a significant number of people using such an app are googling it anyways, this just makes it somewhat more convenient than having to sideload.

In other words, I don't think it's worth the hit to Google's integrity to pull an app like this.

Re:I expect no less (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602606)

Probably true, but it's worth pointing out that installing apps from the SD card is far too advanced (lol) for average phone user. It couldn't get any easier but the morons can't wrap their heads around performing multiple sequential steps. Windows has the same problem with downloaded programs.

Re:I expect no less (2)

NetShadow (132017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602454)

Totally agree. I'm amazed to hear people calling for the censorship / restraint of the free exchange of tools and information by people who want to make them available to people who want to use them, when they violate no law. Just because something is controversial does not mean it should be banned. (I would think that we in the US would understand that more than most)

Re:I expect no less (1)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602854)

How would you feel about an app that purported to help black people not being black? And how is this any different? Bigots and religious lunatics already have the right to say pretty much anything they like, no need to give them an additional platform for doing that!

Re:I expect no less (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602484)

And Google is standing by their principles, and won't pull the app unless its actually illegal.

I fully expect this app to soon be made illegal by legislators "thinking of the children" and "tough on crime", along with another round of cries of "Google is evil" and "Google's monopoly should be broken up" by harebrained analysts and commentators. .

Re:I expect no less (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602636)

Let's not forget that Apple owes the cops a favor, after SWAT retrieved their "stolen" iPhone.

Why should they? (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602146)

Why should they? Police in most (all?) areas are required to publish the locations of checkpoints ahead of time, so these apps are just making public information easier to find.

Re:Why should they? (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602220)

Thats interesting. Can you back that up? Where would this info be published?

Re:Why should they? (5, Informative)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602276)

It's considered entrapment if they don't. If you read your local paper, you'll see checkpoints published. Of course, law enforcement is constantly trying to push the limits. After our local PDs started ramping up DUI checkpoints, they started restricting information on locations, shortening the lead time for announcements, etc.

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602420)

Perhaps it was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'?

Re:Why should they? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602574)

In the San Diego Union-Tribune published yesterday, DUI checkpoints for the weekend were announced, but the locations were not disclosed.

But San Diego is run by Nazi ultra-conservative big police/military chickenhawk neocon transplants from Orange County. Move away and don't move here for any reason. Ever.

-- Ethanol-fueled, incognito

Re:Why should they? (2)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602424)

Entrapment is only when they induce you to do something you normally wouldn't have done otherwise.

Re:Why should they? (3, Informative)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602528)

Regardless, they are still treating you and I like criminals. Show me your papers, citizen!

Re:Why should they? (1)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602674)

Talk to Scalia. But it's no different than an officer stopping someone on the sidewalk to ask them a question, and if they suspect something because of it, to frisk them (Terry Stop).

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602718)

Show me your papers, citizen!

*sigh* If I told you to grow up, drop the tired catch-phrase, not treat everything like an all-out assault on your "freedom", and just relax because, chances are, it'll all be okay, how long would it take you to make a canned response involving a gross exaggeration and misuse of a metaphor involving the words "frog", "pot", and "boiling"?

Re:Why should they? (1)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602810)

Mod parent up.

See Here [drunkdrivinglawyers.com]

To remember, when you say entrapment, think enticement.

Re:Why should they? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602476)

Citation necessary. That's not entrapment. Whether they tell the public ahead of time that there will be DUI checkpoints or not it's not entrapment. It might be a violation of portions of the constitution at the state or federal level, but it's definitely not entrapment.

Entrapment [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why should they? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602526)

Huhh???? That's not entrapment. That's not anywhere near entrapment. Some states may require police departments to publish locations but that has nothign to do with entrapment.

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602844)

Regardless there is a special exception for DUI checkpoints under federal law (via the USSC, they have refused to rule against them). Meanwhile drug checkpoints are illegal in all 50 states. In some states they are allowed to lie about having them, they put up a "Drug Checkpoint Ahead" sign right before a rest stop or some other stopping location. If you pull into the rest stop you'll instantly be surrounded by drug sniffing dogs and pushy officers.

Re:Why should they? (1)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602344)

Yes, check points need to be published in newpapers to allow police to side-step 4th amendment rights to unreasonable searches. If the info is made public, the rationale is you've been "notified", regardless if you've read it or not, and have waived your reasonable expectation of privacy in this regard.

Re:Why should they? (1)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602400)

I wonder if the illeterate could claim they weren't informed properly.

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602700)

Interesting. Could this be applied to other searches, too? I wonder if the police would get away with putting a notice in the local newspaper that next week, they will search all pedestrians at a certain street, for instance, and then doing that and claiming that their notice allowed them to search people even without any suspicion that they might be doing or have done something illegal.

My gut feeling is that this shouldn't be possible, of course.

I'm also not happy with the notion that something that somebody ELSE does, with no action required on my part, would amount to a waiver of my constitutional rights on MY part.

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602368)

In the classified ads in any newspaper with the rest of the public notices. This also happens to be the section no one bothers to read since craigslist took over.

Re:Why should they? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602432)

Thats interesting. Can you back that up? Where would this info be published?

I don't think anything is in law, but the NHTSA has issued guidelines for checkpoints that should help keep them legal, and on of those guidelines is that the public be warned of locations ahead of time:

http://www.duiattorney.com/dui-basics/dui-checkpoints [duiattorney.com]

How they do that differs - sometimes it's a local paper, evening news, etc, however posting on a bulletin board at the local police station 15 minutes before setting up the checkpoint may also count as sufficient notice.

Re:Why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602436)

Not in Canada, we get random DUI checkpoints all the time without notice.

freedom of speech does actually have its limits (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602174)

i can't call you a murderer, that's slander. i can't yell fire in a crowded theater and claim free speech. and i sure as heck can't just shrug my shoulders when a drunk using this app drives head on into a family in an SUV. you don't get to claim the high moral ground by selectively ignoring other valid moral considerations. its about balance, not adhering to one idea and taking it to the furthest extremes: EVERYTHING has its limits. being a fundamentalist on any single issue is a failed way of thinking. every concept you can think of, has its limits

so how is balanced restored? people howl, government steps in, and all google is doing in the long run is inviting legislators to get involved in the app approval process. and then people will grumble about government regulations. well, now you know why there are government regulations

people can't apparently govern themselves on their own: too many fundamentalists, taking things too far on stand alone crank concerns, beyond the realm of common sense

obviously, this app should be banned. if you really have to wonder why, consider yourself amongst the fundamentalist idiots of the world. "free speech no matter what!" pfffffffft

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602232)

I object to the content of this post on the grounds that it offended me. I vote that you be thrown in jail. Who's with me?

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (1)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602236)

The app just collects publicly posted information about DUI checkpoints. It could be easily replicated in a for pay website which uses the browser API to grab GPS coordinates and fetch the relevant information. What happens then, are we going to come up with a mobile application website list?

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602770)

Yep. How many people here would be willing to eradicate an objectionable website from the internet? Probably none. So why are apps treated differently?

If this becomes normal attitude then websites are going to be next.

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602244)

so, you believe only drunks use apps like this?

sorry, I am not from america, but here many people use apps like these and most aren't too stupid to drive when drunk.
sure a few are, but are you suggesting you have that many more stupid people in america? (then the rumors are true...)

I think we should ban GPS as well, it makes people, especially drunks not having to care so much about the road since they can see every turn coming on their phone.
hell, as far as i know most people will flash with their lights if there is a random checkpoint somewhere, so people know to avoid it when they want/slow down.

The government should make the app illegal if they believe it is a problem for human safety. It is not up to the companies to police the app users.

also, random guess, conservative person?

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602944)

In no way do I think that is a conservative position to take. I think its a retard position to take.

Search and Seizure has Constitutional Limits (3, Insightful)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602320)

This application just allows users to enforce their constitutional rights.

Americans once had a right under the constitution to protection from illegal search and seizure. Now even someone who is driving in total compliance with the law is subject to being interrogated by the police and having their blood forcibly taken from them.

Personally, I'd rather not have the police stick me with a needle in violation of my constitutional rights.

This app will be very useful until unconstitutional police checkpoints can be banned.

Re:Search and Seizure has Constitutional Limits (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602596)

Americans once had a right under the constitution to protection from illegal search and seizure. Now even someone who is driving in total compliance with the law is subject to being interrogated by the police and having their blood forcibly taken from them.

Since you said "Americans", with the implication that it applies to people in the US, I can feel safe in saying: bullshit.

Point 1: Sobriety checkpoints are not interrogations.

Point 2: Stops other than checkpoints require probable cause, which means you were most likely NOT driving "in total compliance" with the law. Even a broken taillight takes you out of the "total compliance" status, or wandering over the fog line.

Point 3: You NEVER have blood taken forcibly. You have the right to refuse to take a blood test. This makes it very hard for you to disprove the expert testimony of the cop who will have given you a field sobriety test before taking you to the shop where blood could be drawn, but it is still your right, and it is part of the agreement you entered when you signed up for a driver's license.

Re:Search and Seizure has Constitutional Limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602862)

Point 2: Stops other than checkpoints require probable cause, which means you were most likely NOT driving "in total compliance" with the law. Even a broken taillight takes you out of the "total compliance" status, or wandering over the fog line.

Officer: [Lie] "You were swerving across the lane."

Point 3: You NEVER have blood taken forcibly. You have the right to refuse to take a blood test. This makes it very hard for you to disprove the expert testimony of the cop who will have given you a field sobriety test before taking you to the shop where blood could be drawn, but it is still your right, and it is part of the agreement you entered when you signed up for a driver's license.

Officer: [Lie] "Resisting arrest!"

Fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602362)

The age-old "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" is NOT an excuse to attack freedom of speech, let alone some kind of proof that freedom of speech "has limits". That kind of thinking is immature to say the least. Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is already the practical equivalant of tripping the fire alarm, and everybody knows it -- freedom of speech has nothing to do with this. When somebody trips the fire alarm without due cause, there are legal consequences, and rightfully so. Why do we need to invent a reason to attack free speech in order to solve this problem? The problem is already solved: put people in danger, and you are liable.

And this leaves us with only one conclusion: the people who drag free speech into this have a bigger agenda than simply holding people liable for putting others in danger.

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602384)

obviously, this app should be banned. if you really have to wonder why, consider yourself amongst the fundamentalist idiots of the world.

A bit hypocritical, wouldn't you say? You're the one spouting fundamentalist FUD.

Its not Google's job, or even moral responsibility, to police our streets nor our people. They didn't create the app, and even if they banned it people could still get a hold of it (easily, and legally). In this respect, its imperative for Google to stand by its principles and avoid starting down the path of "morally superior control freak."

A real solution to the drunk-driving problem is autonomous cars. DUI checkpoints are simply a profit generator for the police and, IMO, have very little consequence on the amount of accidents.

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602956)

A real solution to the drunk-driving problem is autonomous cars. DUI checkpoints are simply a profit generator for the police and, IMO, have very little consequence on the amount of accidents.

Autonomous cars seem excessive, when there are safe, already available alternatives, like taxi service. Furthermore, in some cities there are FREE taxi service options such as this one [austinsoberride.com] for major occasions when folks are likely to be out partying.

Re:freedom of speech does actually have its limits (1)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602462)

What if you object to the existence of the checkpoints themselves? DUI checkpoints are the only scenario I can think of where a refusal to be searched absent any probable cause constitutes the probable cause required to search you.

I don't even drink and I'd like to know where the checkpoints are just so I don't have my 4th amendment rights violated on the way home from work.

meanwhile, on my computing devices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602182)

Whether or not the company I bought the device from blesses any particular piece of software is irrelevant, because I own the device after I purchase it and can install whatever software I want, from whatever source I want.

It absolutely astonishes me how many people are willing to live in a cage if it's shiny enough.

hostages to delay paying usury, unrepresented tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602184)

search engine? ad gimmick? same thing now? what's good enough for the kings.

top rated key word overlooked?

truth. there's no substitute. it's not a long story, & there's only one(1) version. locating it sometimes can be difficult, as it's not one of the few correctly answered (sponsor/product) searches.

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602188)

Extra paranoid people can use these apps to find places where DUI checks are happening and be sure that no drunkard will be traveling through those paths!

I don't see a problem (3, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602200)

If you're rational enough to pull out an app and plot a route home that avoids all the checkpoints, you're probably sober enough to drive. The problem with drunk drivers is that they DON'T think straight.

Re:I don't see a problem (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602264)

Or maybe I'm not "sober enough," I'm completely sober and I would like to avoid being repeatedly stopped for no damn reason.

Re:I don't see a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602348)

This ... exactly!!

Re:I don't see a problem (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602842)

I know how you feel, I hate getting stopped at these DUI checkpoints also but they do perform a useful purpose. As annoying as it is I think the fact that they are getting drunks off the road is important. It's incredible how many people get arrested for drinking and driving at these stops. Most people who get caught admit to drinking but think "they're fine." They don't believe the fact they've been guzzling alcohol at a bar for 3 or 4 hours has any effect on them.

Re:I don't see a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602336)

Actually I think degraded reaction time is the biggest problem. You're over the legal limit waaaaay before you're falling down sitcom drunk.

Re:I don't see a problem (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602556)

That's actually a myth, a person's reaction time starts to take a hit way before the person becomes unable to use an app like this. Unless of course it's poorly designed. Particularly for people who have developed a tolerance, they might look and speak fine, but the reaction time still isn't there to drive safely.

Sure that's the case for some drivers, but it's hardly the only ones. Somebody in that condition can at least stick to back streets and leave more room, they aren't necessarily that much more dangerous than the ones that aren't aware that they're inebriated.

Thank you google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602202)

Good on Google. I never drink, maybe one beer a month with a meal or something. But I would use this app because I would be better off avoiding the stupid checkpoint.

Maybe they should just make the app harder for drunks to use. Make the screen rotate or wobble randomly or something.

Google is Redefining Evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602206)

No surprise Google has this attitude when it employs accountants to cheat tax law. These masters of the road who think they're being so clever avoiding the the speed traps are the same sort of jerks who crashed the banks and beat their wife then open the door with a cheery grin. Clean hands? Yeah, right.

Corporations don't pay taxes (1)

rlglende (70123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602408)

People pay taxes. Corporations consider taxes part of their costs, and pass them along to the customers in the sales price, or deduct them from employee's wages -- economists support both POVs, but no economist says that corporations pay taxes.

Sales taxes are widely understood to be regressive, that is, having a larger effect on the poor than the rich. Corporate taxes on food and drug suppliers are equally regressive.

As for 'cheating', there is a serious distinction between tax avoidance and 'cheating'. Most corporations are strictly within the law wrt taxes, and Google is merely taking advantage of the laws as they are written.

Generally, tax avoiders have the same advantage as black-hat hackers, and for the same reason : writers of laws and regulations are fewer and dimmer than the people looking for loopholes.

OMG!! Steve is here!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602460)

Hey Steve, how is it going in your walled garden? I've heard the sun shines brighter there than anywhere else!?

Take care..
Rest of the world.

Too drunk to drive? (2)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602252)

Then chances are you're too drunk to use the apps. I can't imagine some drunk driver trying to use some Google Maps mashup on a phone to navigate around police roadblocks, let alone have the mental aforethought to consider using it. People don't drink and drive because they're evil-doers, they do it because they lack the sober rationale to realize they're not capable of driving in their current condition.

Re:Too drunk to drive? (1)

webbrowser (2025328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602438)

This would only be true if being legally drunk was anything close to being actually drunk. A normal man can have a few drinks and be sober, but still legally drunk. The prudes are constantly pushing the legal limit down. Some people just can't drive in general, whether they're sober or drunk.

Re:Too drunk to drive? (1)

PDG (100516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602632)

Heck, they should allow the apps to stay and just pull them over for illegal use of a device while driving, or distracted operation or something.

Re:Too drunk to drive? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602874)

Yeah, who needs good reaction times whilst using a multi-ton murder machine? Being able to stand moderately upright with only occasional support should be good enough.

Re:Too drunk to drive? (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602796)

I would wager that quite a lot of people who drink-drive do it because they think of drink-driving in the same way that you do in this comment - that drink-driving is what happens when you are so drunk that you are unable to perform basic functions - and therefore don't consider what they are doing to be drink-driving. It only takes a small amount of alcohol for a person's reactions and judgement to be greatly reduced, with potentially fatal consequences if they then drive a car. They can therefore be unfit to drive well before they are unable to use an app.

More importantly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602290)

I don't drink at all, I can't for health reasons, so why should I have to wait in a long traffic line that exists (supposedly) to "catch drunk drivers", wasting my time sitting there in traffic while cops use it as an excuse to look over me, any passengers, and my vehicle so they can fulfill their real reason, finding things to write tickets for so they can get back some of the revenue they lost to shrinking tax bases states and the fed cutting revenue sharing...

All traffic fines should go to charity rather than the policing agencies/municipalities issuing them.

I wonder have just being clumsy but not drunk at all would affect their DUI tests....Obviously you'd pass the breathalyzer...

Organized resistance to the overlords FTW

Proper protocol would be to pass a law (0)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602304)

The proper course of action would be to pass a law making these apps illegal and only then would they need to be removed, but of course such a law would be held to be unconstitutional so law makers are trying to bully these companies into enforcing a would be illegal law.

Re:Proper protocol would be to pass a law (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602554)

From what I've seen the past few years, the federal government seems to be able to do what it wants, constitutionality be damned. I'm sure Apple and Blackberry find it easier to comply than to try and fight city hall (as the saying goes). Furthermore, if they throw them a bone, less likely it is to see Washington attempt to come in and meddle in their businesses. You make certain congress critters mad at you and they'll go on an almost holy crusade if they think it will buy them points for the next election crusade.

And they don't have to pass laws to do it. Let's say google refuses, depending on the congress critter, they could decide to hold hearings on say Google's online advertising monopoly or privacy or whatever topic makes for a good witch hunt and do so in public. That costs google time and money (lawyers) and costs shareholders (at least in the short term).

Those who play politics see it as a game.

This should violate their ToS (0)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602358)

In a strictly literal sense, the app in question is aiding and abetting a person to break the law. There is no other way to spin it, unlike the murky waters of file sharing apps where there are proven legitimate uses to it. If aiding and abetting does not break the ToS, then they need to take a serious look at changing it, otherwise the App store is going to become a cesspool of criminal tools.

Re:This should violate their ToS (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602450)

So the possibility that a completely sober driver might want this information in order to avoid a pointless traffic stop, just doesn't cross your mind? I drive sober, period. I'd love this app. I'm not fucking obliged to drive through checkpoints if I can avoid it.

Re:This should violate their ToS (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602550)

That might be the case, if it weren't for the fact that the time and location of DUI checkpoints generally have to be published ahead of time. So they're simply redistributing already-public knowledge.

Re:This should violate their ToS (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602584)

That's kind of like saying the 4th and 5th Amendments are "aiding and abetting a person to break the law".

You're free to speak and to associate. That's what this app does. You're free not to incriminate yourself. That's what this app does. This is true whether you're committing a crime or not.

It's the responsibility of the police to observe you doing it, not the privilege of the police to make you prove it. And if it weren't for the ridiculous "driving is a privilege not a right" rulings, police checkpoints of any kind would be entirely unconstitutional stops, as they are based on no reasonable suspicion.

Re:This should violate their ToS (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602600)

How is it illegal for me to want avoid these checkpoints? I'm not doing anything illegal. I just don't want an officer stopping me with out probable cause and I like to avoid all attempts other wise.

By law in my state at least this is all public information that has to be posted before such a check point can take place. My understanding is that this is true in most states.

Re:This should violate their ToS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602638)

In a strictly literal sense, automakers are aiding and abetting a person to break the law. For that matter, road builders are aiding and abetting too. Oh, and what about the Bar owners and bartenders?

I say we throw the whole lot of them in jail!

Re:This should violate their ToS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602686)

You're a fucking idiot.

Re:This should violate their ToS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602864)

Not so quickly
The same argument can be made for guns - made primary to kill.
More so, consider even kitchen knifes....they are meant for cutting flesh and can be use to cut a living flesh.
How about radar detectors?

Re:This should violate their ToS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602868)

Bartender, car salesman, manufacturer, contractor who constructed the roads, ... those guys are helping the driver break the law (drunk driving). The person selling the app is only helping the drunk driver avoid detection of a law he has already broken, not do the actual deed.

Problem Solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602372)

Just re-brand the application as one discouraging drinking and driving.

Apple (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602422)

We'll see if Apple caves to pressure to remove them.

Knowing Apple, they'll cave to whoever screams loudest.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602598)

Should be modded "Troll".

Pull It! (1)

kwmbt (1871132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602506)

All they need is the first person to die in an accident that happens after someone uses one of these apps to evade a checkpoint, and the lawsuits and bad publicity will push them to remove them. Hopefully they get smart before that happens. "Don't Be Evil" - risking innocent death vs. whatever theoretical argument? Be reasonable, and pull those apps.

What if... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602522)

What if it was an app that helped people avoid hate-crime checkpoints?

Checkpoints (5, Insightful)

ryanov (193048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602618)

I find checkpoints annoying, and I don't drink and drive. Seems to me if I want to know how to avoid them, I should be able.

Checkpoints where I live (4, Informative)

pnuema (523776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602648)

It is common knowledge where I live that certain municipalities stop drivers at checkpoints, and then will not release them until they have found some reason to give them a ticket. They aren't DUI checkpoints. They are the modern version of "highwaymen". A few coins to keep the kings peace....

one thing better than... (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602662)

not drinking and driving is not driving at all

Soo um. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602828)

Granted, I really don't know a lot about this story, every article on it is a little hazy, but one issue, two really come to mind.

Why isn't the bar tender locked up when he says, "Be careful, there is a traffic stop 3 blocks away." I mean technically that is two counts of being an accessory to attempted homicide.

The other, how does the app maker obtain this info? Some states require that check points are made public, others do them at random. Using public information really isn't that different than owning a police scanner to know who is getting locked up, only the maker was too stupid to word their product as a "Tobacco pipe, only for tobacco, not crack, pot or opium; did you say something other than tobacco, sorry, you'll have to leave".

If the data is user reported and this is really that big of an issue why isn't someone like MADD downloading these apps like crazy and reporting that every street corner in America is a traffic stop?

Dumb response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35602946)

An app like this should be encouraged. These senators are trying to throw away a great opportunity to catch drunk drivers. Smart police (if there are any) could use this to funnel drunk drivers towards a particular intersection where their checkpoint is set up. Just sit down with a map, look at where the bars are, where the colleges are and where the residential neighborhoods are. It should be pretty easy to pick a small set of intersections that a majority of the bar traffic will pass through when the bars close for the night.

Use the app to announce fake checkpoints at the other intersections an hour or so before closing. Then don't setup the checkpoint until the last moment. All the drunks will come right to you! Cops used to do the same sort of thing via CB back when that was a popular way to avoid speedtraps. Stupid senators, ruining a good thing. They share the same half brain as the RIAA/MPAA crowd.

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