Comparing it to blaming car makers for deadly car bombs, Google Earth chief John Hanke recently said Google shouldn’t be blamed for terrorist use of Google Earth. Hanke defended his online mapping tools in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
“You have cars; you have car bombs,” Hanke said. “You have GPS transceivers that help you navigate; those GPS transceivers could be used for lots of nefarious purposes. Cell phones have all kinds of benefits; cell phones can be used to detonate a remote explosive device.”
His comments are in response to ongoing concerns over Google Earth — concerns that flared late last year when terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks reportedly used Google Earth to help plan their missions. The Indian government responded by suggesting Google Earth should be censored because it “aids terrorists in plotting attacks.”
Hanke sees it otherwise:
“I don’t really think it’s tipping the balance in favour of the bad guys…. The evilness is in the philosophies and the desires of those that want to do evil. They will use the tools at hand to do that, whether it’s throwing a Molotov cocktail, or shooting a rifle or using some piece of technology as part of the process”