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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: The way it should be
By rcc on 3/7/2008 5:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Goodness, that's a fine case of sphincter lock you have there. I'm guessing you just assume that anyone that spouts off something contrary to public knowledge must be right?

I'm not going to dive into that whole sordid mess, but I do have a couple of comments.

3. If you think Pearl Harbor was a lie, you should visit the Arizona memorial sometime. If you are talking about all the "secrets of Pearl Harbor" shows created to make money, consider the sources.

5. Unlike you, I don't claim to know 50% of the population, but in the slice of it that I do know, not one person believes that "the US did it". Then again I try to hang out with productive working people.

I'm not saying the US is pristine, blah, blah, blah. But of the countries I've been in, and it's quite a few now, it's really the only one I'd care to live in. Well, if certain things happen in our government I might consider Australia or New Zealand. : )


RE: The way it should be
By andyjary on 3/7/08, Rating: -1
RE: The way it should be
By rcc on 3/7/2008 6:12:48 PM , Rating: 3
I question everything, continually. I admit to a bias when reviewing the work of a liberal, but I give both sides a fair shake.

Everything has to be taken in historical context. It's easy to say "they knew beforehand". I knew that eventually there would be a major terrorist attack on US soil. It was inevitable. Hopefully the government and it's intelligence sources had a better grip on the when and where possibilities. But knowing that is a far shot from predicting time and place and being able to take action. Particularly without violating anyone's rights.

As far as a government put up job, we'll just have to disagree on that.


RE: The way it should be
By cvmaas on 3/7/2008 7:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, maybe it is you that needs to learn how to read and properly do research. These comments on Pearl Harbor are very distasteful and disrespectful to those that gave their lives for us on that sad day!!

How you can constitute the USA receiving the declaration of war from Japan only 15 minutes before the attack into saying we knowingly sat back and let it happen is absurd! Honestly, did we really need to be decimated at Pearl Harbor in order to justify joining the war in self-defense? If Japan attacked us, and as you beleive, we could have actually fought back and not, not been told anything, would it really take anything more than that to justify self-defense?

You seem to forget that one way or another more than 50% of the country was for the Iraq war in the beginning. Granted, many people thought that way due to mis-information, but nonetheless, we were still drawn into war. Now if Iraq had attacked us, as Japan did, even if we didn't lose a single soldier in the attack, would anyone be complaining today about attacking Iraq?


RE: The way it should be
By andyjary on 3/7/08, Rating: 0
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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