partial recall

a blog of ideas, links, and musings.

Afraid of Google Earth

Google Earth

Back in May I discussed the potential misuse of a powerful mapping tool like Google Earth. Today, the New York Times reports that international governments are afraid of the potential for misuse of this technology. Since the New York Times will eventually make the link to their article obsolete (unless you pay for a subscription), I felt compelled to include some of the more interesting tidbits…

From the Dec 20, 2005 edition of the New York Times, “Governments Tremble at Google’s Bird’s-Eye View”

“Lt. Gen. Leonid Sazhin, an analyst for the Federal Security Service, the Russian security agency that succeeded the K.G.B., was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying: “Terrorists don’t need to reconnoiter their target. Now an American company is working for them.”

“India, whose laws sharply restrict satellite and aerial photography, has been particularly outspoken. “It could severely compromise a country’s security,” V. S. Ramamurthy, secretary in India’s federal Department of Science and Technology, said of Google Earth. And India’s surveyor general, Maj. Gen. M. Gopal Rao, said, “They ought to have asked us.”

“Andrew McLaughlin, a senior policy counsel at Google, said the company had entered discussions with several countries over the last few months, including Thailand, South Korea and, most recently, India.”

“When you have multiple eyes in the sky, what you’re doing is creating a transparent globe where anyone can get basic information about anyone else,” said Mr. Gupta, the Sandia analyst. His recommendation to the Indian government, he said, would be to accept the new reality: “Times are changing, and the best thing to do is adapt to the advances in technology.”

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Saurier on January 18, 2006 AT 03 pm

There is a cool tool which generates persistent links for articles from the NYT:

Rob Fay on January 19, 2006 AT 11 am

Thanks for the info, Saurier!

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