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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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RE: What Authority?
By Christopher1 on 3/7/2008 4:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no, they don't. The draft laws expired YEARS ago and they have never put another law reinstating the draft back into effect.

They cannot force you to kill or die as well.... if you are a conscientious objector and simply believe that killing is wrong, like myself, they CANNOT force you to go against your beliefs.
They can find you a non-combat job over here or in the combat zone, but they cannot make you kill or die for this country.


RE: What Authority?
By mdogs444 on 3/7/2008 4:44:18 PM , Rating: 3
You may want to do a little bit more reading on this sonny.

You are correct that the draft law does not exist, however there is an opening in current law that they could reinstate it if it passed through congress.

Also, if during war times where there is an instituted draft, you do not have a choice in what job you are going to. The reason the draft was there were because more soldiers were needed than those who volunteered. None of the people drafted in vietnam WANTED to go, or WANTED to kill, but none the less they were forced to fulfill their duty overseas in a war zone. Now whether you kill or not kill, die or not die, is up to you once you are on the battlefield.

If you really think that after the government drafts you into a military sector for war, that they are just going to let choose your job...you are greatly mistaken.


RE: What Authority?
By Christopher1 on 3/7/2008 4:55:52 PM , Rating: 1
Notice, I also said that they could reinstate it in my posting.... work on your reading skills, please.

Also, you do have a choice in wartime of what job you will have if you have a moral or religious objection to killing another human being. Don't give me that bullshit that you don't because my uncle's brother used that exemption. They kept it away from combat driving supply trucks for the Army, where he was kept away from action, and that WAS during Vietnam and Korea.


RE: What Authority?
By mdogs444 on 3/7/2008 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
I dont buy it. Its all bull, you dont get drafted against your will for war, then given a choice between an M16 on a battlefield running over dead bodies, or driving a jeep and making sure the coffee pot is filled.

Sorry, but logic says otherwise.


RE: What Authority?
By rcc on 3/7/2008 5:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's entirely possible Mdog. It's self preservation on the part of the troops that work for a living. You don't want someone that's not going to do their job next to you in the foxhole.


RE: What Authority?
By rdeegvainl on 3/10/2008 8:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to look at you like you're stupid for thinking the military follows logic, whilst I jump through a hundred hoops to get something fixed.


RE: What Authority?
By rcc on 3/7/2008 6:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
Like most of our current armed forces, I have no desire to kill or even injure anyone. However, if it's necessary to protect me or mine (and mine includes this country), I certainly will.

As far as conscientous objectors go, they don't need to volunteer. But, if this country needs them and they refuse? Grant them an exemption, and a one way ticket to the country of their choice. Because if you are unwilling to defend your country (or home, or family) in time of need, you have no business living there.

IMNSHO, of course.


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