Tuesday, December 09, 2008

'The Google Threat?' Indian Court Asked to Ban Google Earth

Rhys Blakely writes on Australian IT:

Google Earth should be banned amid suspicions that the online satellite imaging tool was used in planning the attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month, an Indian court heard.

The demand from Amit Karkhanis, an Indian lawyer, came as a new school of “tech-savvy jihadis” make use of data freely available online and other web-based services to plot and execute their strikes, a phenomenon dubbed “the Google threat” by military commanders.

The case filed at the Mumbai High Court alleges that Google Earth and similar services, “aid terrorists in plotting attacks” by supplying detailed bird’s-eye images that are used to acquaint militants with their targets.

The British Army is already thought to have taken up the issue with the company. It emerged last year that Iraqi insurgents planning attacks on a British base in Basra had used Google Earth images in which individual buildings inside the camp could be seen clearly.

Google replaced the images with photographs that predated the construction of the base. The Indian authorities do not appear to have cracked down so swiftly. Yesterday the layout of India’s most important atomic research facility remained accessible on Google despite officials voicing concern more than a year ago.

More here.


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