Intelligence: Google Earth Sparks a Scare

Archives

September 16, 2005

A number of countries, including South Korea, the United States, Australia and several in Europe, are upset with the new Google Earth service. This feature enables any Google user to quickly get a satellite photo of just about any area on the planet. This capability is nothing new, its been available from commercial photo satellite firms for over a decade. But what has changed with the Google offering, is that it gathers together the largest collection of satellite photos ever, and makes them very easy to get at. This is what worries counter-terrorism officials. Islamic terrorists are long on fanaticism, but short on practical skills. Anything that makes it easier for an Islamic terrorist to plan an attacks, the more likely that attack will be put together and carried out. In addition, South Korea fears that poverty stricken, but heavily armed, North Korea, could use Google Earth to more effectively plan military operations against them. 

This is another example of how change, seemingly for the better, often has a downside. Google Earth is very useful to a lot of people. But it can, obviously, assist those up to no good. The same can be said for the telegraph (invented 160 years ago), the telephone (130 years ago), radio (100 years ago), and personal computers (30 years ago.) Youve got to take the good with the bad. Google Earth, and similar services, are not going away because they make counter-terrorism experts nervous.

 


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close