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Google to Blur Sensitive India Sites

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-can't-see-you dept.

Google 194

theodp writes "Citing unnamed officials, the Times of India is reporting that Google Earth has agreed to blur and distort Indian locations identified by the government after security concerns were voiced by the country's president. This includes total blurring of locations like government buildings, as well as the outlines/building plans of key facilities. This came about after a recent meeting between Google technicians and Indian officials."

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Don't be evil - yeah fucking rite (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886494)

n/t

yeild to other countrys but show area 51 ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886664)

fucking hypocrites, i agree with you

trail of tears (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886504)

Google Earth has agreed to blur and distort Indian locations

I thought the US government took care of that already, around 1838?

Re:trail of tears (5, Insightful)

O.W.M (884392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887206)

I think this is a great idea. Now terrorists don't have to figure out which buildings are government / sensitive buildings. Now they can just attack everything that is blurry. Makes them a lot easier to find for terrorists.

Call me crazy... (2, Insightful)

winphreak (915766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886510)

You can call me crazy, but this sounds like an interesting idea. Sure, it's not the best, but in a country like India, it makes sense. Glad to know Google will listen to a government that doesn't give harsh threats as a welcome.

Re:Call me crazy... (1)

Loucks (951130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886596)

No problem: You're crazy. :-) What do you mean by "a country like India?"

Re:Call me crazy... (3, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886876)

India frequently deals with domestic terrorism, especially around the Kashmir area.

Re:Call me crazy... (-1, Troll)

Loucks (951130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886942)

I prefer to call it a "coalition" of "freedom fighters." Isn't semantic warfare fun?

Re:Call me crazy... (3, Funny)

Omeger (939765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886976)

Just like you're a "free word bearer" and not a "troll?"

Re:Call me crazy... (4, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887042)

No. "freedom fighters" become terrorists when they target civilians rather than military targets. If the Kashmiris were fighting the Indian Army, one might or might not agree with the their goal, but they would be soldiers. When they set off bombs in public places, they become criminals.

Re:Call me crazy... (2, Insightful)

Loucks (951130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887092)

That's an interesting definition. So if, say, a country were to spray a neighbor with missiles the ensuing "collateral damage" (think bloody pieces of civilians scattered about) wouldn't render that country a "terrorist state" because the citizens weren't the "target?" Or, even better, if a country routinely trained foreign military personnel in the fine art of torture, would that qualify as terror if it was known that the knowledge would be used on non-military targets?

Re:Call me crazy... (5, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887248)

A government can indeed engage in terrorism, which is a good point since some governments try to play semantic games and either deny that they are terrorists on the grounds that government forces cannot be terrorists or call people soldiers engaged in legitimate military action terrorists simply because they are non-governmental. Collateral damage is not, in and of itself, terrorism or a war crime. The test in international law is whether the legitimate military objective justifies the collateral damage. One is required to use the approach that minimizes collateral damage. In cases in which one side uses civilians as shields, if the military objective is sufficiently important the other side may have no choice but to kill civilians. In this case, it is the side that uses civilians as a shield that has committed a war crime.

Training another country's personnel in torture is certainly evil but is borderline as terrorism because torture isn't usually considered a sort of military activity. Insofar as the torture is publicized and so used to terrorize the population, it arguably should be considered a kind of terrorism.

Re:Call me crazy... (2, Informative)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887546)

Mod me down if you like, but he's right. You only consider them terrorists because of what is fed you by governments and news corporations. Good book for this topic: Dining With Terrorists - Phil Rees (ISBN 0-330-43305-9)

Re:Call me crazy... (4, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887122)

India frequently deals with domestic terrorism, especially around the Kashmir area.

So? You're implying that terrorists would use Google Earth? How? The only thing that might be useful to them would be real-time displays of military activity. Years-old photos of sites they'e lived near for years will be of no more than decorative use.

Re:Call me crazy... (4, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886974)

> What do you mean by "a country like India?"

Not a bunch of totalitarian scum like their neighbours I guess.

Re:Call me crazy... (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887024)

But aren't all the satellite images used by Google maps public domain? Couldn't a terrorist interested in it just go get access to the original images? And didn't we all have this conversation when they blurred the top of the White House and when Australia bitched to have it done to their nuclear power plants?

Re:Call me crazy... (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887432)

No, the imagery is not public domain, they buy it from companies like digitalglobe.

OK, crazy (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886856)

To me, this seems like a wonderful present to potential insurgents and external enemies alike. Instead of having to scout out facilities and find out where and what they are, all you have to do now is to target any area that has been blurred out, cause you know that whatever it is, the Indian government doesn't want it hit. What a nice present.

Re:OK, crazy (3, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886900)

From TFA: Official sources said Google Earth would distort building plans by adding structures where none existed or masking certain aspects of a facility. This could be done without attracting attention to such establishments, which range from laboratories, mines, military sites, space and atomic centres and residences of high-profile VVIPs.

Re:OK, crazy (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886910)

One doesn't need to see that an area is blurred out on a Satellite picture to know that it's a government facility. You could just look at the big metal or stone sign in front of the building. Or military uniforms.

Really, though, people who want to do a government harm don't have to discover targets. Real estate is slow, and governments are slower still. If a building was used by a government 20 years ago, it's likely still used by that government today. That puts the ownership of the building into the "common knowledge" category.

Re:Call me crazy... (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886980)

I won't get into whether or not it's a good idea, because I honestly think it doesn't matter... but what the hell did you mean by "in a country like India"? What exactly is it about the Republic of India that gives this idea more credence than it would have elsewhere?

By the way, didn't they do something like this to the White House and a few other buildings? I seem to remember something about that, but now it's back. [google.com]

my house (1)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886512)

my house is sensitive infrastructure. When can I meet with a google technician?

Re:my house (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886548)

my house is sensitive infrastructure. When can I meet with a google technician?


I saw him heading towards your house with a ten pound sledge hammer, a bottle of ketchup and a food processor. He had a funny look on his face. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Re:my house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887136)

my house is sensitive infrastructure. When can I meet with a google technician?


When your house shows as larger than 2x2 pixel image.

What about individuals? (5, Insightful)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886520)

It's all very well for these government types and their top secret kitten-killing factories or whatever, but what about individuals who don't want aerial pictures of their house and grounds online? Anyone looking on Google Maps over my area can see my house, garden and outbuildings in scary detail.


I'm not saying I am afraid of it happening (I'm not that hysterically moronic, yet.) but it seems to me that the premise of "Google must blur this building because terrorists could somehow benefit from already slightly blurred photos of the outline of the building." applies equally to my house - "Google must blur this area because burglars could use the pictures to plan an escape route along the back of the garden which is hidden from normal view."


The last thing I want to have to do is put an opaque roof over my greenhouse shrine to Peter Krause.

Re:What about individuals? (1)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886590)

"Google must blur this area because burglars could use the pictures to plan an escape route along the back of the garden which is hidden from normal view."

You've been in Farmer Maggot's crop again!

Re:What about individuals? (2, Interesting)

Neoncat (1015169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886660)

Don't worry, if you live in US at least your face is recorded with hundreds of cameras on daily basic. They can even catch you when you are making love. Err... Wrong site to talk about that last one.

Re:What about individuals? (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887180)

you mean UK, not US, closest cameras to me are in ybor city, over 40 miles away.

Re:What about individuals? (4, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886714)

I suppose it boils down to finding the right sweet spot between getting maximum value and utility out of a service like Google maps, and eliminating risk to high-value targets.

No offense, but millions of people probably won't suffer if a burglar plans an escape route from your house. Successful takedown of a seat of government on the other hand...

Not only that, but any burglar savvy enough to consult Google Maps is probably savvy enough to escape from something as simple as a basic residence without needing Google Maps. This is partly because information about the floorplan of your house is already freely available through a variety of information sources--all of which have already been purged of information about sensitive locations (assuming such sensitive information even made it into those repositories in the first place).

You weren't complaining last year when your housing development's floorplans were on file at city hall, available to all citizens for a small archiving fee, while the floor plans to the White House were classified and restricted. Why complain this year that your house is on Google Maps, but Indian government facilities are not?

Re:What about individuals? (1)

nnkx00 (1006341) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886820)

I wouldn't object to Whitehouse plans being made public or my house being taken off-file at City Hall, really... Actually, I want those blueprints put on the internet, honestly... Isn't hiding Whitehouse plans effectively security-by-obscurity? On the other hand, I'm not going to be posting using my full name here...

Re:What about individuals? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887030)

Not security through obsucrity: defense in depth.

"Security through obscurity" is the idea that if you hide the information, you don't need to take any other security steps. It's a bad idea for a variety of reasons.

"Defense in depth" is the idea that the best security is security that comes in layers, uses a wide range of technologies, and makes every stage of your hypothetical opponent's attack more difficult for him to plan, rehearse, equip, and execute. So you hide as much of the information as possible, and you put up security cameras, and you put up checkpoints, and you put up roving patrols, and you put up a security perimeter, etc. Obscurity is actually a very important part of security. It's just not sufficient by itself.

There's a huge difference between "we don't have any security guards, but as long as we don't tell anybody..." and "we have plenty of security guards, and we make sure nobody has an opportunity to study their patterns, equipment, policies and procedures, etc. for weaknesses".

Get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886750)

It's not like you have any rights as an individual or anything.

Re:What about individuals? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886896)

Hate to tell you this, but anything that can be be seen by the human eye by legally flying small aircraft is considered public. Certain large cites in the have busted people growing pot in their backyard using low flying aircraft.

You could always. . . (2, Funny)

Hamoohead (994058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886934)

. . . paint a big sign on your roof that says, "This is not my house."

Re:You could always. . . (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886978)

C'est ne pas une maisonette?

Re:You could always. . . (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887002)

In Serbia, I heard about a funny story.

There was a large gypsy encampment, right next to an airfield. The gypsies put a large sign, that said "Dear Mr Nato. Here live the peaceable Romany peoples. The airport is over there (arrow)"

Re:What about individuals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887060)

What the individual can do is learn the exact time to the second of the next satellite photo pass, climb up on his roof at that time, drop his pants, bend over, and kiss his privacy goodbye.

Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886544)

So does Google bow to the whim of anyone who requests obfuscation, or just governments? I'm pretty sure that this decision fails to maximize shareholder value.

A thumb in the hole won't hold back the (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886600)

tide of free information. The little dutch boy approach won't 'hold water' in the age of ever increasing amounts of data. Data that wants to be free, or freely sold to the highest bidder. What should be happening, and probably is, is that such photo services' data should be used by those that want to hide things, ensuring that they have done their hiding correctly.

If you want to be sure that nobody steals your identity, don't give it to anyone for any reason, or better yet, always pretend to be someone else. Same applies to sensitive infrastructure. The problem with trying to hide information is that you tell people where to look more intensely. This simply puts a big target on those areas for local spy work. It doesn't take much to find out what you want to know about most places, if they aren't hidden or protected with the same efforts as is Area 51. Even if Google blurs the pictures, China won't, nor will any other government with a space presence.

I think the whole thing is either a ruse, or just another example of people thinking they can regulate the Internet or its uses.

Re:A thumb in the hole won't hold back the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887050)

If you want to be sure that nobody steals your identity, don't give it to anyone for any reason, or better yet, always pretend to be someone else.
I don't think that will quite work out. The whole point in protecting your identity is so that you can prove who you are to someone else. If you're always pretending to be someone else, that becomes your identity. (or identities as the case may be)

And if you post anonymously, you're no one.

Ok what about my house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886616)

I dont want some idiots planning to get on my property.. how come governments get this right but individuals don't?

It's a fair question. Or is an individual just worth crap?

Note, I'm libertarian so actually I dont think anyone has the "right" to tell another what to blur. Maybe they should charge a fee for it?

OK, what ABOUT your house? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886666)

You don't know what words mean, do you? Go do some research. Come back when you can clearly define "right" in this context and "libertarian" in any context.

HEY DON'T LOOK AT THIS! (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886622)

Isn't this sort of like walking outside naked and asking people not to look at you. It was already available, now we all know it's _going to be_ censored. What if the way-back machine actually recorded google maps, you would have little blurry pin-pointed areas to KNOW ARE OF GREAT CONCERN TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.

How stupid. Do you think the CIA isn't drooling over the exact locations they don't want made available? Or... every single intelligence agency on earth for that matter. So hard to believe they're going to ID sensitive areas already photographed.

---
Sensitive areas? [douginadress.com] ewww.

Re:HEY DON'T LOOK AT THIS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886740)

haha, u r a dumb guy

Re:HEY DON'T LOOK AT THIS! (1)

revolu7ion (994315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886788)

Your privacy falls under public domain and ultimately only effects you. (same law that allows me to take photographs outside your house) The privacy of Government installations (when breached) have effects that are much more far reaching.

replying to my own post... (1)

revolu7ion (994315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886824)

http://www.photosecrets.com/tips.law.html [photosecrets.com]

Aparently, if your building was built after 1990 it is protected by copyright. I wonder how Google could or would monitor that?

Re:HEY DON'T LOOK AT THIS! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886792)

I doubt that india is concerned about the CIA - obviously the US government has the capability to take images that are many times the resolution of Google Maps. They are probably concerned about countries that don't have high resolution satellite imagery. Like, say, Pakistan, who has supported Islamic terror groups in attacks against India?

Re:HEY DON'T LOOK AT THIS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886906)

Do you think the CIA isn't drooling over the exact locations they don't want made available?

The CIA has more and better satellites than Google does. They have the same images at much greater resolution, in visible light and other bands, updated any time they want. I don't think they need Google Earth's blurring to tell them where the sensitive areas are, either.

Seems appropriate. (1)

LostBurner (916484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886644)

Architecture and layout of sensitive sites is legitimate information to want to keep secret. If India wants to keep it under wraps, fair enough.

Re:Seems appropriate. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886954)

I really don't understand this reasoning. How does bluring out sensitive sites help? If I have a hunch that a certain site might be top secreat all I need to do is look at google now and see if its blurred out. If I'm actually going to attack it, I'll just bomb the heck out of it. doesn't really amtter that much If I knew what it looked like before the mission. I think this would only help prevent smal scale attacks by terrorists, but if you were going to go small scale, you might just be better off casing the joint in person, or flying over with a airplane, or spy camera attached to model helicopter. Or something. I wonder how much of this is just security theater rather than actual security.

The "right" of people not to look at you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886672)

I don't remember there being a right in any country anywhere that says you have the right for people not to look at you (or your property) except in special circumstances (i.e. bathroom, INSIDE your own home). Everyone has the right look at what they want that is in public view. It just so happens that google has a program and technology to see from a larger distance. They are only letting you use their telescope to look at what they allow you. If you don't like it....get your own telescope. I don't see what the big deal is.

Do no... (2, Interesting)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886680)

I put trying to modify world geography to make a buck pretty high on my "what counts as evil" scale. That's Bond-villian level there.

Re:Do no... (3, Funny)

Loucks (951130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886770)

Do you suppose India knows that "blur" means "nuke from orbit" in GoogleSpeak?

Re:Do no... (1)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886830)

Blur, destroy? What's the difference anymore? We're getting to the point where for any given place on earth, more people are likely to have seen it online rather than in person. After that line's crossed, what's really real?

Sorry. Shouldn't listen to the RiffTrax for The Matrix while Slashdotting.

Govnmt. wants to feel that they're still in charge (5, Insightful)

acid06 (917409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886696)

I think this is the truth behind all this histery coming from governments directed at internet companies which try to make information freely available (or available in a less-restrictive way).

I somehow think that this situation is analogous to other governments trying coerce Google into providing their user's personal details or removing content that is legal under US law, despite being illegal in other countries (e.g. hate speech).

Governments are losing their power and they're not liking it. This time Google decided they could drop them a cookie or something, you know, just to show some good faith. I'd prefer if they didn't blur anything, though - would make me respect Google a little bit more (but I don't think this will make them automatically evil or anything like that).

Re:Govnmt. wants to feel that they're still in cha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887496)

Yes, information wants to be free etc etc. But Governments are elected and companies aren't. Governments are sovereign and hold unquestionable power given by people. Somewhat contrary to the USA, some people LIKE their governments, especially when it does something good, instead of supplying the citizens as consumer-sheep to corporations and exploiting them as tax payers for the benefits of some rather than all.

Stupid idea... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886698)

So what's going to prevent someone from asking a local person where the building is and casing the outside for a few weeks? Or going to the library to examine historical records and pictures? While Google may be THE PLACE to locate information, it's not the only place.

Re:Stupid idea... (1)

indraneil (1011639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886834)

You do realise that a lot of these buildings are under no fly zones and that you would have the police check on you if you tried photographing them Thats true not just about Indian, but in most countries. In the library, books would have snaps but which would not have any real time implications. A snap of Pokharan taken 8 years ago would not show India preparing for a nuclear test, would it?

Too Late..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886724)

Too late. I already have photos! Take 'em while ya can.

Make a good 1st impression. (1)

amrust (686727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886726)

They should just paint giant "BABY FOOD FACTORY" signs on the roofs of all their sensitive goverment buildings.

Re:Make a good 1st impression. (2, Interesting)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886850)

Wouldn't really make a difference to terrorist militaries [google.com] (you know, the ones that target clearly-marked Red Cross ambulances and the like).

Re:Make a good 1st impression. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887564)

Wouldn't really make a difference to terrorist militaries (you know, the ones that target clearly-marked Red Cross ambulances and the like).

That would the military from the country which is entirely blurred. But they probably have complete unblurred maps for the entire planet at least the parts they have their ICBMs pointed.

who cares ? (5, Funny)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886732)

Terrorists will just ask their computer to "enhance"

Same thing apparently happend in Japan (4, Funny)

atrocious cowpat (850512) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886784)

I did a Google-image-search the other day, and what do you know: some of the images from Japan were heavily pixellated in rather sensitive areas!

Re:Same thing apparently happend in Japan (1)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887438)

Come on, the resolution on Google Maps isn't that good -- unless you were you watching Ghidorah getting ass-raped by Rodan...

Nice move, India! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886802)

Now all a terrorist needs to do is scour the maps for blurred spots, or automate the process with DSP, and you have a nice little map of everything the Indian Government considers a security risk. And of course, nothing is to stop a terrorist traveling to these locations with a nice high-res digital camera.

Face it: The buildings are there, you can't blur them out in real life. If you want security through obscurity then disguise their real purpose and don't partake in silly exercises such as this that actually draw more attention to them.

Nothing to see here... but look at me! (4, Insightful)

tcdk (173945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886804)

This isn't about security. It's about being able to say that you've done something about something.

In this case something very important about security. This is what politicians do to profile them self. It really doesn't matter what they do and what they do it to, but at the moment "security" is the cheap way to do something. Mostly because it's so damn hard to prove that the measures are ineffective. It's impossible to prove that blurring some images *didn't* foil some terrorists plans.

Being able to say that you got google to do something that you wanted them to do, is just an added bonus in the "look how important I am" hat.

Re:Nothing to see here... but look at me! (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887512)

This isn't about security. It's about being able to say that you've done something about something.

If anything it's counter security. Since by doing this you help out any potential terrorists with "target selection".

Got to wonder..... (2, Interesting)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886826)

How long it'll be before large numbers of businesses paint advertisments on their roofs and parking lots? The more people use the service the more the planet is likely to start looking like one large web page. It's already happening in a small way but I'm guessing there'll be an explosion of businesses taking advantage of the free advertizing. Then does Google demand they pay up or get blurred?

Re:Got to wonder..... (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887004)

Heh.. this reminds me of the Red Dwarf books and the part Nova 5 took [wikipedia.org] ...

In the novel, Nova 5 is an American vessel owned by The Coca-Cola Company which was sent on a mission to induce the supernova of 128 supergiant stars in order to create a five-week-long message in the sky visible even in daylight, reading "COKE ADDS LIFE!"

Re:Got to wonder..... (1)

5ynic (755747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887040)

Nice line of thought. I guess people with land will therefore start offering such rights to the highest bidder. Will it be illegal to have hardcore goat pr0n depicted on your dude-ranch in such a manner that it can only be seen from space (and on google earth)..... Food for thought (and goatse)

Pointless (3, Informative)

this great guy (922511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886832)

Huh ? Do they realize these satellite and aerial photos (high-res areas are actually photographed from planes not satellites) can be freely and relatively anonymously purchased by anyone from companies such as NAVTEQ ? Blurring sensitive areas in Google Earth/Maps is not going to stop "evil" people from getting access to unedited photos...

wrong point. (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887260)

That's not the point. I am sure that NAVTEQ and the other satellite imagery companies are frequently in communication with people from various three-letter organizations (FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security). A business request to NAVTEQ for high resolution images of some government facility in India has the opportunity to draw more attention an investigation than an anonymous access to Google Maps/Earth from an internet cafe in Pakistan.

Re:wrong point. (1)

this great guy (922511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887574)

Don't you think that a terrorist would rather ask for images of a whole city or region, instead of specific sensitive facilities ?

Re:Pointless -- not really (1)

NovaSupreme (996633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887338)

You may argue extent to which this will deter terrorists from blowing up innocent people but it certainly doesnt help them, right?

Combine that with the fact nobody genuinely needed to know layout of those sensitive places and we are better off w/o those high res pics.

End of the case.

Aim (1)

w_lighter (995939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886838)

Aim those nuke at the blured spot :p

hey look a blur! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886866)

lets bomb it!

now terrorists wont even need to search the maps to identify which buildings are "key" governmental structures. they just need to look for the blurs!

Attention all terrorists (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886868)

Bomb the blurred areas. Duh!

Really, this isn't any type of security measure at all. Humm, don't ya think they might have the data on this already? It's not like you move buildings around.

Re:Attention all terrorists (1)

the_masked_mallard (792207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886924)

From TFA

Official sources said Google Earth would distort building plans by adding structures where none existed or masking certain aspects of a facility. This could be done without attracting attention to such establishments, which range from laboratories, mines, military sites, space and atomic centres and residences of high-profile VVIPs.

Methinks its more like camouflage.

Re:Attention all terrorists (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887296)

This is the asinine part.

What other areas are Google going to add structures where none exist?
This seems like a great way to destroy the integrity of Google Earth and will invariably spawn questions regarding accuracy of the images.

This is like a library rewriting books or adding content to "balance" controversial books due to the fact that they're so "sensitive".

Re:Attention all terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886956)

Bomb the blurred areas. Duh!
That'd make it interesting... Google technicians could then commandeer missile strikes by blurring out areas of India they don't like!

Shucks! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886908)

There goes my plan to find the dude who took my programming job and punch him/her in the chops or make him/her eat a hamburger.

so much for my (2, Funny)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886932)

Google targeting plugin I figured Pakistan would pay good money for itl

Duh (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17886958)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: a blurred image on the map will tell everyone that there is something interesting there, be it some big bad uu aa terrorist or some other intelligence gathering agency.

Re:Duh (3, Informative)

mrokkam (783202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887304)

If you read the article, it actually says that the images would be carefully camaflouged, not just blurred. So, you see low res pics or you see buildings etc that are not actually there. This has been done to various US military installations already (and even the white house)... so it's nothing new really.

Quoting from the article
" Official sources said Google Earth would distort building plans by adding structures where none existed or masking certain aspects of a facility. This could be done without attracting attention to such establishments, which range from laboratories, mines, military sites, space and atomic centres and residences of high-profile VVIPs. "

The main reason why this was done was because India's President (a highly respected man and very intelligent) was worried that such high resolution imagery could pose security implications.

I personally think that this will help reduce access to terrorists that may be planning attacks. It is nothing against major governments that already have all the satellite information that they need. A bit too much info actually.. as the US found out when India blasted their nuclear device right under everyone's noses :-)

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887530)

You, Slashdot user 211056, have had a chance to think about this for what - a whole minute? Do you think a technocrat President, with the resources available to him, would not have worked out a solution to this issue? Not all countries have top politicians who are law and business school graduates, some really know their stuff.

Whose responsibility, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17886968)

Shouldn't India be complaining to whomever provides the satellite photos to Google? Otherwise India has to talk to all providers separately, like Windows Live Maps and Yahoo Maps separately, instead of intimidating...I mean talking to...the actual source.

Wonder (1)

w_lighter (995939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887066)

I wonder if http://homepage3.nifty.com/furumizo/gmaskd_e.htm [nifty.com] can unblur them.... Providing that google used the same technique that Japanese Porn industry blur thier pictures... hahahahaha

Google knows it all! Doomsday is up on us! (1)

kiberovca (524346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887078)

But, seriously though... If a country wants their sensitive parts hidden from the world, they have to contact Google and inform them about it.

So, if I'm reading it right, soon Google will know about all the secret (or not so secret but important) facilities of all the countries in the world that want it altered? Well isn't that just great? After all the secrecy the goverments of the world are trying to implement for centuries, now they all will tell it to one company? And who can guarantee that the secrets will stay that way? The next step would be Google tax - wanna blur it baybe? Well, pay up!

Anyone here for a friendly lobotomy, discount family prices?

Re:Google knows it all! Doomsday is up on us! (1)

kiberovca (524346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887104)

Ah, nonnative language spelling error:

"wanna blur it baby? Well, pay up!"

You fa17 it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887134)

rival distribution, RivAlry. While

If it were me.. (1)

w_lighter (995939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887170)

If it were me.. If i wanted to hide something. Instead of blurring it... I'll make it more obvious... lolz

so then... (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887200)

It would be very easy to identify sites to be bombed... just go for heavily blurred areas.

I can see a US defense powerpoint presentation with "proof" of wrongdoing of India, arrows pointing towards blurred sites...
After all, if you have something to hide, surely it can not be good!

B.

Re:so then... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887570)

I can see a US defense powerpoint presentation with "proof" of wrongdoing of India, arrows pointing towards blurred sites...

More probably would be a Pakistani general pointing out the blurred bits of India and an Indian general pointing out the blurred bits of Pakistan.

Uhmmm (1)

pablodiazgutierrez (756813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17887318)

If I were a terrorist who wanted to attack India, I would bomb the hell out of some place that appears blurred in Google Maps. I really don't see the point of doing this.

Re:Uhmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887578)

Have you seen google maps? Contrary to what you might think, most of the world is "blurred" and there is no high resolution map for most rural areas and parts of urban areas - even in the US map, you don't see the high resolution cord fields.

!technicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17887534)

Hands up who thinks google really sent managers instead of technicians.
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