Google Street View Shows ‘Secret Base’ In Israel, But Military Says It’s Not Secret At All

streetview-israelSome in Israel are calling foul after images of what’s described as a “secret base” in the Tel Aviv area have appeared on Google’s Street View service. But the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) — the country’s defense department — says everything is fine.

According to an English-language article from Ynetnews, soldiers and vehicles inside a “secret base” are clearly visible on Street View, which just launched in Israel a couple weeks ago.

Journalist and new media consultant Yossi Dorfman revealed in his blog that a secret Tel Aviv-area base has been fully exposed by Google’s new service. The images allow users to see the guard post at the entrance to the base, several soldiers inside it, and vehicles parked in the base with their license plates clearly visible.

The article goes on to quote a “veteran officer” who saw the images and called it a “first-rate screwup” on the IDF’s part to allow the images to show up online. There’s nothing in the Ynetnews article that places any blame on Google.

In fact, in the Hebrew-language version of the article, an IDF spokesperson is quoted at the end as saying all images on Street View have been reviewed and approved for display, and that there are no military security-related reasons to hide the images in question.

For its part, a Google spokesperson gave us this statement:

“We always strive to cooperate with the relevant authorities in countries in which Street View is operated. We had very constructive discussions with the Israeli security authorities and are pleased that they have approved our plans to bring Street View to Israel. The imagery featured on Street View is no different from what any person can readily see walking down the street or looking at other pictures online. Imagery of this kind is available in a wide variety of formats for cities all around the world.”

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Outside US | Google: Street View


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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  • Fred Penner

    I noticed there are a few other areas completely blurred out in Google Street View – take a look at this place in Google Street View Israel - It looks like fog, but Google Israel was very careful to blur from every angle and even nearby streets!

  • Kyle Eggleston

    Think you can take a screen shot of this?  I want to see an example but I’m not seeing anything like you describe in the link you gave.

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