Google Earth Not An Equal Opportunity Spy Satellite

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.

News source: DAILYTECH


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