Indian Government Wants Google Earth Censored

On the heels of the tragic terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month, legal advocates in India are asking the country’s High Court to demand that Google blur sensitive locations on Google Earth.

The Times reports that the Indian petition says Google Earth “aids terrorists in plotting attacks” and offers “absolutely no control to prevent misuse or limit access” of the service, particularly access to photos of sensitive locations such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

In the wake of the attacks, there were many reports that the terrorists used high-tech tools — including GPS — to plan, execute, and monitor the attacks. The only gunman captured alive has reportedly told police that the terrorists used satellite imagery to learn about the city of Mumbai.

Security concerns over Google Earth go back years. In 2005, Australian officials asked Google to remove the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor from Google Earth. Just last month, USA Today wrote about governments that are concerned about easy access to satellite photos on Google Earth and from other sources.

(And it’s not just Google Earth: Earlier this year, the Pentagon banned Google StreetView cars from taking photos on U.S. military bases.)

No word on if/when the Indian High Court may respond to the petition.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Earth | Google: Legal | Legal: Censorship | Legal: Security | Search & Society: General


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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