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A satellite image of a Pune, India airport reveals a few Sukhoi 30 MK1 aircraft
Indian military forces are concerned over Google's level of clarity when it comes to armchair espionage

New Delhi TV is reporting that India may launch a formal complaint against Google over specific satellite images from Google Earth that reveal state secrets.  Indian authorities are concerned that half a dozen or so state-of-the-art Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter planes were caught on camera when the data aggregator for Pune, India collected aerial data of the Pune airport for Google.

The Sukhoi fighters (featured, right) are clearly visible at Pune airport and many other airports across India via Google Earth.  Indian Air Force officials claimed concern that this might occur several months ago, but what may make matters more upsetting to the Indians is the fact that similar Pakistani images are grainy and reveal little to no detail.  Other Indian military analysts have claimed satellite imagery has always been taken into account when guarding state secrets, but on the civilian and commercial espionage level Google Earth can still be harmful.

Last year, Indian officials attempted to negotiate a method of streamline-censoring certain images regarding national security, but no protocol ever solidified.  Images of sensitive US installations, such as the White House, have been blurred out from Google Earth, but Google representatives claim this was done by the data provider.  Unfortunately for countries interested in censoring overhead images, Google changes its data providers frequently in an attempt to get the most current images of Earth possible.  Many of these images are not even supplied from satellites, but from high altitude survey aircraft.  Censoring military data suddenly becomes the task of keeping track of all of Google's data providers in virtually every country in the world -- something Indian authorities want Google's help with.

Thailand, Australia and Russia have also filed similar claims against Google. 



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Google will get into more trouble
By tuteja1986 on 4/1/2006 4:33:14 AM , Rating: 2
Google earth shows location of few Amo dumb in Georgia that shows crap loads of old USSR Arterially , Anti Air missile and much more. these base are now totally unguarded..




RE: Google will get into more trouble
By josmala on 4/1/2006 7:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. April the 1st is great day for these kind of news. Google is in deep shit ;)


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By boinkle on 4/1/2006 8:28:15 AM , Rating: 3
The linked article was written on the 31st. Besides; it's not funny.


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By mlittl3 on 4/1/2006 11:37:25 AM , Rating: 1
Why is it not funny? It's not funny that a country can't hide its human-killing weapons from public view. I think you mean it's not funny that humans have to build huge destructive weapons to kill each other. And of course, you love technology like Google Earth that brings education of foreign places to the masses for use in distance education, geography classes, city planning, statistics on urban growth, etc. etc. This is what you meant of course. :)


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By boinkle on 4/1/2006 11:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
No, I was just being superficial ;)

It's not absurd enough to be funny.


By mlittl3 on 4/1/2006 12:14:40 PM , Rating: 1
Oh, well in that case, carry on. :)


By latrosicarius on 4/2/2006 11:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's pretty funny. The Indians are all worried about their jets being shown off, and now they get the image posted on the web for all the world to see and laugh.... APRIL FOOLS ROFL


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By hwhacker on 4/1/2006 9:21:16 AM , Rating: 1
If that's true, which I have no doubt you are right and it is...That's extremely frightening.

It is a good thing that attention is being drawn to it though, hopefully something will be done.


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By nafhan on 4/1/2006 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
In most places higher resolution images of a location are available to anyone willing to pay a few hundred dollars. Google is just displaying publicly available information in an easy to use format.


RE: Google will get into more trouble
By cookj128371 on 4/1/2006 11:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
True! People need to stop complaining about Google and start watching more closely those who provide the data, or be careful about what data they give out. Google is purely an aggregator--they only make it easier to access what is already publicly available. They do not create their own data, only pull from what others have already done. Brilliant to make such a huge and thriving business off of other people's data if you ask me!


By Griswold on 4/2/2006 3:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree! It makes theft and terrorism much cheaper. Kudos to google for that!


By latrosicarius on 4/2/2006 11:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
They should build a frickin shed over their planes. This is the 21st century, you can't just leave your "top-secret" weapons of mass destruction out in your back yard.


Area 51
By Stoene on 4/1/2006 1:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
Type in Area 51 and it shows the top secret Groom lake facilty, nice. I tried to zoom in and see UFO but didn't see any unless of coarse they are shaped like building and hangers, hmmm.




RE: Area 51
By Lifted on 4/1/2006 1:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
You need to use goole earth to see our little friends. Unfortunately it's not on google maps.


RE: Area 51
By Lifted on 4/1/2006 1:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
I just realized the article didn't mention it, so the Area 51 post was probably just a coincidence, but google earth does have a little flying saucer at Area 51 today, being April 1st and all.


RE: Area 51
By Spinne on 4/1/2006 2:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
HaHa, That's pretty funny!

The point isn't the 'legitimate' users (read governments) won't be able to access the data in some other fashion, but that illegitimate users (read terrorists) will find useful information more easily.


RE: Area 51
By modestninja on 4/2/2006 1:40:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'll repeat what previous people have said. These images are readily available anyway. If a group is planning a terrorist attack you can be damn sure they'd get the best/most recent recon they could on whatever their target is. One thing they aren't is stupid (generally). They are generally pretty thorough in planning their attacks.


RE: Area 51
By notposting on 4/1/2006 5:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Where is the flying saucer at Area 51 in Google Earth...not seeing one at all?


END THIS DISCRIMINATION!
By UzairH on 4/1/2006 3:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
Being a Pakistani, this tickles me... but no hard feelings, right Anand :)?

Seriously, a few months back, in Google Earth I went to some Pak airbases that I know of, and could clearly see the fighters and transports and identify them. However GE's coverage resolution varies with Pakistan, so while Karachi is high-res Islamabad is low-res. I would like to see high-res mapping of Islamabad so I can chart my commute routes :)




RE: END THIS DISCRIMINATION!
By Mitul89 on 4/1/2006 6:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
This is fucked up man. There are things that need to be kept secret or not included in these programs. Its rediculous how google can show Other countries air base but not White House...


RE: END THIS DISCRIMINATION!
By suryad on 4/1/2006 9:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
Meh those are Migs...nothing top secret about them...now if they were JSFs or F22 Raptors then yeah there would be a reason for clamoring.


RE: END THIS DISCRIMINATION!
By Griswold on 4/2/2006 3:18:42 PM , Rating: 3
No, these are not MiG's. Its a completely different plane that serves many more purposes than a MiG. And its pretty state of the art too, considering that it was designed in the 80s and mass produced in the 90s.

The relevant information here is:

a) what type of plane
b) what number of planes
c) where are these planes
d) when was the picture taken

Thats very interesting information for any potentially hostile nation.

Besides that, one cant spy on the design of a plane with a satellite photo..


RE: END THIS DISCRIMINATION!
By wavelet on 4/1/2006 10:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
Uzair,

Islamabad *is* in high resolution. I can easily pick out the Majlis and the Faisal Mosque.


White House not blurred
By morrisbj on 4/1/2006 4:18:44 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure what India is bitching about, but the main example they give of the image of the White House being blurred definitely isn't right. I think the White House picture may actually be more detailed than the picture here with the article. I can see individual vents on the roof.




RE: White House not blurred
By notposting on 4/1/2006 5:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
:O

Somebody forgot to sanitize their photo's! Usually it is just a white shape--outline is complete everything else blotted out.

Funny.


RE: White House not blurred
By TacticusV1 on 4/2/2006 5:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
not really this has been clear since google earth came out

though i think google maps took a while to clear its pictures


RE: White House not blurred
By themelon on 4/2/2006 3:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Every time I have looked it has been clear as can be including today.


RE: White House not blurred
By TomZ on 4/3/2006 5:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Last I looked, which was several months ago, the White House was blurred on google. That's a fact.


Stop the insanity and fear-mongering!
By Christopher1 on 4/2/2006 10:01:32 PM , Rating: 1
Everyone needs to stop the insanity and fear-mongering that is going on today!

If terrorists are going to attack us, they are going to attack, and there is almost NOTHING that our governments can do to stop them!
You just live your life like they don't exist, and live it to it's fullest!




RE: Stop the insanity and fear-mongering!
By TomZ on 4/3/2006 5:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Pollyanna speaks! Just ignore our fears and they will simply melt away!

Sorry, I disagree. Governments can, and do, a lot to help prevent military and/or terrorist attacks. While I agree that the actual risk of attack is far less than perceived, I don't think it is okay to just stick our heads in the sand either. We have to continue to hold the governments responsible for their job of protecting us from these dangers.


RE: Stop the insanity and fear-mongering!
By Fnoob on 4/7/2006 8:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I agree. Did you see where the (sorry, forgot the names) US news agencies managed to smuggle radioactive material into the US through both east and west ports? Then they did the same through north and south borders using forged NRC documents...

Fantastic job our gov't is doing. I can't believe our tax dollars haven't bought us an insanely secure wall ALL THE FN WAY around the country since 911.



By Fnoob on 4/7/2006 8:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
I mean DAMN - my taxes alone would cover a big chunk of it...


Pretty unfair article.....
By wavelet on 4/1/2006 10:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
This article is actually very unfair! The U.S. is actually leading by example in "revealing" its own secrets. Do your own search. Try, for example, Norfolk Naval Base (U.S. 2nd Fleet, you can see Aircraft Carriers, Nuclear submarines etc), Pearl Harbor, Sand Diego Naval Base, Minot Air Base (Nuclear missiles visible) etc. The resolution is of such high quality you can see individual guns on the battleships.

Contrary to what the article says, the White House isn't blurred. You can see the roofs of all important U.S. federal buildings including CIA and NSA headquarters. I have bookmarks of over two dozen U.S. nuclear reactors shown in high resolution.

If anything, U.S. by Google than India's. What would be nice, of course, is for Google to continue building its database so we can all see what's in Pakistan and China, for example. If any country wants to hide something - build a bunker so spy satellites can't see it! Most industrialised countries have satellites in space these days anyway, so doesn't this make sense?




RE: Pretty unfair article.....
By biohzrd on 4/1/2006 10:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
I felt I had to register to help spread some truth on this...

I'm sorry wavelet, but what u see in Minot Air force base are not nuclear missiles. Those are only visible a few times a year, and those times are never disclosed.

What you MAY see is empty shipping containers and the tops of missile silos, the later of which are capable of resisting a nearby nuclear detonation. Of course, having a top secret clearance might help get a bit more info :).


By masteraleph on 4/2/2006 10:16:29 AM , Rating: 2
Another minor correction: those aren't battleships, because there aren't currently any active battleships in the US Fleet (there are several mothballed ones on the way to full retirement- that actually may have already happenned- but there are none at Naval Base Norfolk). Go a few miles east on the map to see a real battleship's guns, as the Wisconsin (Iowa class, the biggest type ever built in the navy) is docked at Downtown Norfolk. That means you're seeing smaller guns on smaller ships, which makes it even more impressive, actually.


Time for Shrubbery
By feraltoad on 4/1/2006 8:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Guess I better get some shrubbery for those mass graves in my back yard before Google outs me with their Evil Hi-Res Photos.

Maybe I should buy stock in the companies that make those blue tarps.




RE: Time for Shrubbery
By modestninja on 4/2/2006 1:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, now that is funny... Albeit in a very, dark and tasteless way.

My favourite kind of humour!


Hide Your Secrets Better!
By TomZ on 4/2/2006 9:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
Hey India and everyone else, if you don't want your "secrets" in plain view in google Earth, then don't leave them out in the open. Have you ever heard of aircraft hangars?




RE: Hide Your Secrets Better!
By The Cheeba on 4/3/2006 3:05:35 AM , Rating: 2
" Other Indian military analysts have claimed satellite imagery has always been taken into account when guarding state secrets, but on the civilian and commercial espionage level Google Earth can still be harmful. "


Google Earth is a good thing
By napolihos on 4/6/2006 9:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Hey folks...we're all living in a new, much smaller world now. As was pointed out by an earlier poster, Google is merely aggregating unclassified, open source imagery with an easy to use interface for all of us earthlings to enjoy. The US may have had early concerns about high resolution imagery of "sensitive" sites, but they've gotten over it. Other nations will get over it as well - sooner or later. Google earth like the internet itself bring us all closer - students, teachers, and yes terrorists too. Bad people are gonna due bad stuff - but censoring unclassified imagery is not going to prevent them from doing so. My two cents.




RE: Google Earth is a good thing
By Fnoob on 4/7/2006 8:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hey folks...we're all living in a new, much smaller world now

Seriously, Gary Powers.... are you still alive? What is your opinion of all this?


How Up to date is is though?
By loftus2 on 4/5/2006 2:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
Look at Heathrow London and there are still 3 concordes, 2 at terminal 4!! Theve been scrapped for over a couple of years. The photo is only a moment in time - and I'm sure India have moved the jets since.




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