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Google Earth Street View Image of Fort Sam Houston before it was Removed  (Source: BBC News)
Pentagon bans Google from taking images and video of military installations

Services like Google Earth are viewed by many to be nothing more than an interesting curiosity.  However, for the U.S. military and other world governments the satellite images and other footage Google offers on its Earth service represents a big security risk.

BBC News reports that the Pentagon has banned Google from filming inside and making detailed studies of U.S. military bases. The ban comes after detailed footage from inside and outside of the U.S. military base at Fort Sam Houston in Texas turned on up Google Earth’s Street View service.

Street View is a service of Google Earth that allows users of the application to travel down streets from the perspective of a car driver. The problem the Pentagon had with these images was that they were shot with great detail and were found to represent a significant security risk.

The defense department said in a statement quoted by BBC News, “Images include 360-degree views of the covered area to include access control points, barriers, headquarters, facilities and community areas.” The fear is that terrorists could use the detailed images to develop plans to attack the base.

Larry Yu, a Google spokesman, told BBC News that the decision to enter the US military base had been a “mistake.” Yu further said, “[it is] not our policy to request access to military installations, but in this instance the operator of the vehicle with the camera on top - which is how we go about capturing imagery for Street-View - requested permission to access a military installation, was given access, and after learning of the incident we quickly removed the imagery".

The U.S. military isn’t the only military force that has had problems with images shown on Google Earth. DailyTech reported in July of 2007 that satellite imagery form Google Earth had shown a new Chinese ballistic missile sub in dock. Indian officials became irate when images of its new Sukhoi 30 MK1 aircraft turned up on Google Earth as well.

A U.S. spy agency stated in May of 2007 that curbs needed to be placed on satellite images made available to the public.



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How hard is it to understand the basic concept?
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2008 3:26:23 PM , Rating: 3
How hard is it to understand that Military installations are critical areas that are essential for our National Defense.

Without the Military, what way do we have to defend ourselves from the rest of the world? We have the 2nd Amendment, which grants us our right to bear Arms; however there are many people whom would be quite content to elminate that as well.

So I ask you: If we allow Military Bases to be photographed, detailed and made readily available online, while at the same time we have the 2nd Amendment repealed (which MANY on the far left feel both should be allowed to be done - in fact I'd go so far as they'd like to see our Military drained to squat), how will America ever be able to defend itself from combatants around the world?

You could argue - But PEACE is stronger than the SWORD. I can counter argue that it is Human Nature to destroy, kill, maim and conquer. There will always be people bent on global/regional domination regardless of our or other countries peacful policies (assuming we do not institute a mind-manipulation policy with emotionally engineered brain implants). It is part of the innate human psyche that goes back to the beginnings of our history on Earth. I don't see it changing any time soon.

You could argue we can build a wall or a fence and remain numb to the rest of the world - but I would argue that if we were to do so, due to the freely existing information that to these people should be allowed, outsiders would be able to survey our walls and defenses and figure out how to circumvent them from their own homes.

What then? Sadly, there are still many people that fail to realize the importance our Military serves.

I could go on but I'll leave it at this: If our Military is here to defend us, why on earth should we make information freely available to the GLOBAL populace which would render us vulnerable to outside influences?

There is a reason our Military bases should be kept private in many areas to prying eyes (within reason). There is a much larger reason to avoid keeping their inner workings and layouts from the global populace for analysis, plotting and scheming.

With the 2nd Amendment in place, we have armed citizens which counter-act the governmental and military influence they have over the populace internally. I'd be one hell of a war if our Military turned on the people and nobody should ever doubt the resolve of our citizens.

They are Military bases people, they aren't your local Costco. Of course their likeness and workings should not be available freely on the internet. Why can not people understand this?




By pauldovi on 3/7/2008 4:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
The US spends billions of dollars more than the rest of the world of military and defense related programs. Don't think for a second that any army is going to sail across thousands of miles of ocean to attack us. Your out of your mind.

Don't worry, the US will fall because of economic and monetary breakdown long before any army invades us.

When you spend $1 trillion a year maintaining an empire and several more trillion a year for welfare your currency is bound to crash and your economy will collapse under pressure.


By Christopher1 on 3/7/2008 4:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Several more trillion a year for welfare? What freaking world are you living in. The United States spends a grand total of 10 billion dollars on all welfare programs.

That is nowhere NEAR trillions of dollars on welfare programs, which are only NECESSARY because businesses are taking advantage of their workers today and not paying them the wages that they should be being paid.

Notice how much they said a person needs to support JUST THEMSELVES in the world today? 15 dollars an hour. Most people get paid closer to 8-9 dollars an hour.

If you want to get rid of welfare (which we should not do), it is time to start turning 'welfare' into something called "Payment for raising our next generation" and start giving that automatically to women and men who have children and are single, because they are doing EXACTLY THAT, raising our next generation which takes a hell of a lot more time and energy than even working at a warehouse job.

I know that from personal experience. I am working right now at a day care center (yes, they know what I am and so do the parents) and it is HARDER than working at the warehouses I worked at, because you are having to watch out, not only for yourself, but for 5-8 OTHER people who are inexperienced and who don't know that doing some things will cause permanent physical harm to themselves.

Also, look at the country that pays the most out in social welfare. It isn't the United States...... dum-da-dum..... ready for a shock - Saudi Arabia and Australia are tied, and they are doing pretty darn well.


By mdogs444 on 3/7/2008 5:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
which are only NECESSARY because businesses are taking advantage of their workers today and not paying them the wages that they should be being paid.

You earn wages based on SKILL and demand for a position, now how hard you work. You can train a monkey to answer phones all day - should he be paid a much higher wage than he is now? The laws of supply and demand correlate perfectly well to the job market.
quote:
15 dollars an hour. Most people get paid closer to 8-9 dollars an hour.

Then go back to school, get a better education, get a second job, etc. If you are only making 16-18k/year as you just suggested, then you would be able to go to college for next to nothing on need based grants, and if you dont qualify for those, then you automatically qualify for student loans. Yes, you'll have to pay them back just like everyone else does.
quote:
"Payment for raising our next generation" and start giving that automatically to women and men who have children and are single, because they are doing EXACTLY THAT, raising our next generation which takes a hell of a lot more time and energy than even working at a warehouse job.

So let me get this right. Families who pay taxes, and have 2, 3, or 4 kids should have to pay into the welfare system so someone else can raise their kids? What about the parents right to provide a better future for their own kids? This entitlement and welfare bull**** is getting old really fast. Get motivated, get off your lazy ***, and do something with your life. Not everything is perfect, and the world isnt going to change for you. Its call get an education, and learn how to better yourself within the system that is currently in place.
quote:
I know that from personal experience. I am working right now at a day care center (yes, they know what I am and so do the parents) and it is HARDER than working at the warehouses I worked at, because you are having to watch out, not only for yourself, but for 5-8 OTHER people who are inexperienced and who don't know that doing some things will cause permanent physical harm to themselves.

Again, not sure what is so hard about this to understand. You are paid based upon your skills. You must possess something that someone else needs, and is difficult to find. Exactly why there is no market for someone with only a high school diploma. They are a dime a dozen, so why would anyone pay you more money for it? Just becuase you want them to? Being a child day care person is difficult work, so is stacking boxes in a warehouse, and so is digging ditches. But none of them require any skills that are in high demand above and beyond and average person! I've heard you cite so many times in here that they should raise the minimum wage to $20/hr. You have no sense of economics because by doing that, all you are doing are raising the price of the products that we buy. If labor cost increases, so do production cost, operating expenses, and the final price of the product. Its a direct correlation.
quote:
Also, look at the country that pays the most out in social welfare. It isn't the United States...... dum-da-dum..... ready for a shock - Saudi Arabia and Australia are tied, and they are doing pretty darn well.

Have you ever considered the term "standard of living". Go ahead and compare the standards of living between the US and the people of Saudi Arabia. You talk about people being poor throughout the world - and its quite sad. But people in the US are not poor. Most of the poor in the US have color televisions, heat, running water, electricity, lamps, a dvd player, etc. Im sorry, that is not poor. Its just a lower standard of living compared to the middle class who have what the lower class lacks: "motivation to better themselves".


By SlyNine on 3/8/2008 9:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ha , Iv worked for lowes distribution center, and seen how some of these people handle the job. Many of these people have kids man and women and still cannot handle the job. You're so full of BS its coming out your eyes.

My dad raised me by himself working a full time job plus overtime. Get over it.


By SlyNine on 3/8/2008 9:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
I love how we reinvent negitive words to fit new things that we dont like. the USA is not anything like an empire.


RE: How hard is it to understand the basic concept?
By walk2k on 3/7/2008 4:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't you understand that you can't preserve freedom abroad by eliminating it at home?

It's a very basic concept.

What is our military there to defend if not our freedom?

Obviously you don't want sensitive or secret areas to be photographed - that's why you keep the public OUT of those areas.

As long as the Google van is on public roads (including those inside military bases - which after all are PUBLIC property, paid for with public tax dollars) they have no right to keep censor them.

After all any terrorist could drive the same street and take the same pictures.


By MrBlastman on 3/8/2008 3:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
Preventing Google from cataloging and posting detailed pictorial information of our military bases on the internet within the domestic United States in now way eliminates YOUR or OUR personal freedom in this country.

It protects it.

The people outside our nation that hate us so dearly (aka terrorists and other hostile nations) would take great joy in infiltrating our nation and conducting pinpointed attacks on critical areas of our infrastructure and perhaps the areas that defend us directly to create dissaray and chaos.

You see, if they were to succeed on such attacks due to Google being allowed to post information on our national defense, how much freedom would you have at that point?

I dare say you would have even less than you have now. Look at what happened after 9-11. The Patriot Act was signed into law. Albeit quite controversial, it has adversely effected quite a few of our civil liberties. The only reason we got to the point of 9-11 was Americas lackluster attitude towards the rest of the world that was out to get us and our ignorance towards what they sought to do to us.

So, you see, by practicing ignorance (like allowing Google to post information that could be used to plot an attack on a US installation), you are in effect continuing down the road of "ignorance is bliss" which in turn will doom you to yet further liberties being removed. I dare say that prevening Google is far less of an infringement on your day-to-day lives than what it could be if such an attack were to occur.

What would you rather have? I think it is silly to continue on the old ways of ignore until it hurts us. Complacency has doomed many a great Empire throughout the world. Do you really want to piss down the drain what hundreds of thousands of American men and women have died for?

The difference between a terrorist going down the same street and taking those pictures and the Google van is very simple:

The Google Van is already here. The Google Van shares such imagery in a catalogued way that is accessable GLOBALLY to people that do not even have to set foot outside of their own home. A terrorist on the other hand, would first have to gain access to our nation and then throughout all the dissaray they would then have to disseminate a plan of action in far more of a meticulous and cautious, time-consuming matter than they would otherwise. That is why there is a difference between the two. Having a plan already in place far before access is gained allows for advanced planning and more rapid implementation when within our nation. This also would increase their likelyhood of success.

Why take that chance? I'd rather preserve what liberties we have than give up even more to the absurdity of ignoring until it is too late.


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