Monday, September 26, 2005

Google Earth - Security concerns

This is a great piece of software. Google has again managed to do a great job. I have personally used it to scan Bangalore.

Initially I was pleasantly surprised at the detail. I was even able to locate my house. The photos are so full of detail. And that is where the problem lies.

In an ideal world with no conflicts, this would have been great. But in our very real world which is far from ideal, there are states that are enemies of each other, to put it very plainly. This is typically the kind of information that warrants sending reco planes and what not. Granted, the pictures on Google Earth are not in real time. But even then, how many airports will a city like Bangalore have ? Including the military ones? Not many. So, it becomes easy in times of war to go take a place out, especially when the exact latitude, longitude and elevations are printed right in front of you!

In these days of mindless terrorism, is this not giving them ideas?

Then I saw in a Times of India article that the US Government has managed to blank out parts of the aerial photographs of its military establishments. But India has itself exposed and naked! I haven't checked China yet but I won't be surprised if their establishments have been blanked out from Google Earth. But India - it is a soft state and a push over, right? Where is the need to blank parts of the pictures out?

The Government of India has to take it up with Google to stop streaming those pictures. But the damage has already been done with Google Earth having been out in the public eye for months now.

Or, am I being too paranoid?

Turns out that I am not. South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand have expressed concern and you know what? India has too! Check out this article -,10801,104426,00.html?source=x73

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