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back to article Google Earth faces terrorist target airbrush bill

Concerned that international terrorists are prepping their attacks with help from services like Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Google Street View, a California lawmaker hopes to airbrush certain structural details from countless public buildings pictured on these web-based virtual landscapes. San Diego-based …

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Alien

Area 51

Anybody remember when Google Earth used to include Area 51 as one of the pre-set saved locations? It doesn't anymore, but I see the place is now visible in enough detail to make out air vents. Surely this is a major security risk considering some of the "terrorists" in this case may be able to hit a small target from several au away.

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Joke

More fear mongering

Do tell!

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Silver badge

@AC 10:10 & @Roger

"Years ago, I met some American visitors who were amazed by the detail available on an OS 1:25000 Outdoor Leisure Map."

Then they were ignorant and/or idiots. I've got maps of most of California with the same kind of detail as my maps of England, Scotland and Wales. See:

http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/usgsmaps/usgsmaps.html#7.5-minute

"Do all these wackos come from California?"

No. Most are from the Deep South & Bible belt. Many wind up in the Idaho Rockies.

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@AC18:47

You know your comment was the 51st, right?

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@Maty

Security through obscurity doesn't work? Then why is it one of the first arguments trotted out for things like the security of Mac OS X?

It does work, it's just not as effective as active security measures. Combine the two, and it's even greater than the sum of its parts.

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Black Helicopters

Too late!

Hmm

By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 5th March 2009 15:58 GMT

Military bases, sure, but they're already blanked out, aren't they?

No, most UK bases are now in reduced resolution and/or older data, 5 years ago I needed an overhead of Bisley for a Scouting event, no problem I used Google Earth, the NEW Lord Roberts Centre was clearly visible. Doing an updated overhead last year and its missing, along with any new detail of Pirbright camp, Google having rolled back their data set by 10 years...Microsofts version is just very low res.

Of course Google's supplying gov't agencies the full upto date stuff, and the drive-by data, as you'd expect as they employ ex-spooks to sell their wares and interface with gov't depts.

Google is NOT your friend.

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Anonymous Coward

Let's just all hide under rocks

Shortly after 9/11 the FAA started telling pilots to avoid flying over nuclear power plant sites. As a pilot, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of GPS coordinates of such sites so that I could be sure to avoid them and stay out of trouble. But some twit in a position of authority caused the removal of precise location data of these sites from various government sites, and the FAA only provided vague location information for pilots at the time. At least I was able to deduce the precise plant locations from Google aerial data. That gave me some piece of mind.

The terrorists have won. We are terrorized. That's what people like the legislator don't understand. He should consult with Bruce Schneier and learn about security before holding forth on these matters.

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