back to article Google Maps aids terrorists, NY lawmaker warns

Adding to the chorus of critics who say detailed images on Google Earth can aid and abet terrorists and snoops, a New York state lawmaker is calling on the company to blur potential terrorist targets. The plea from Assemblyman Mike Gianaris follows the alleged discovery earlier this month of a plot by a Muslim terrorist cell to …

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  1. Morely Dotes

    Proof that lawmakers are idiots?

    '"It's only a matter of time before someone uses the information Google Earth provides to do this country harm," Gianaris was quoted as saying in an article in the New York Post. He objects to the satellite images carried on Google Earth and Google Maps that gives detailed views of skyscrapers, airports and other potential terror targets.'

    Well, let's see... Terrorists are allegedly funded by Iran. Iran is a nation, and has sufficient resources to build ballistic missiles and (allegedly) nuclear warheads.

    You don't suppose that Iran could purchase a satellite downlink receiver, and gain direct access to the maps and photos that Gianaris wants to keep ordinary law-abiding citizens from seeing, do you?

    This is why we send them to the seat of government - we don't want cretins like that in our own neighborhoods.

  2. Adam Azarchs

    They already do, a bit

    If you look up the Hudson River to Indian Point nuclear power plant, you immediately see that they did, in fact, blur it a bit.

    For the most part, Google Maps won't show you anything a high-quality paper map won't show you.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or did he mean it'll help tourists?

    So the intarwebs is used by tourists. And phones. And they eat. And use trains. Why not ban everything?

    What is it that "our" politicians want; the entire population in chains? Have we really sleep walked into loosing all our liberties?

    McCarthyism had nothing on what this lot seems to want!

  4. charlie wallace

    They're just upset.

    That instead of the offcials/politicians being bribed for the information on sensitive sites, the bad guys can get it free off the internets.

    Google earth doesn't really provide the information, the mapping company does, its them they should talk too.

    Here be dragons, for instance.

  5. Chris

    Oh the horror!

    I propose that we compile a list of all materials and information which could be used to "do this country harm". Things like guns, missiles, explosives, fertilizer (can be used to make a "bomb"). I think 9/11 showed us that airplanes can be used to do this country harm, so we might as well outlaw airplanes as well. As for information sources, we have libraries and websites, books and magazines. Heck, the Internet itself is claimed to be used by people who want "to do this country harm", so let's outlaw the Internet, too.

    Plenty of things *CAN* be used for bad purposes. But that doesn't mean we should outlaw them. Cars *CAN* be used to run people over; should we outlaw cars? Fingers *CAN* be used to poke people's eyes out; should we cut off everyone's fingers? I'll go out on a limb here and venture a guess that there is literally nothing in this world that cannot be used for bad purposes.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything else terrorists might find handy?

    And in other news, a lawmaker has expressed concern that cars might be useful to terrorists. "These new-fangled inventions could be a grave threat in the wrong hands" he said, pulling on his galoshes.

  7. Jamie A

    The terrorists have already won

    Why do the terrorists need to blow anything else up? All they need to do is keep making vague threats, and people like this guy will keep over-reacting and thinking that their lives are in mortal peril.

    The whole point of terrorism is to strike fear. That goal has been achieved, so it seems.

  8. Vek

    Cars aid terrorists, NY lawmaker warns

    Ban cars!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Land of the free and all that

    Maybe they should concentrate on banning the really dangerous things first? Like guns?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off with there heads

    I could father a child who could join a cult and become a terrorist, quick chop off my .........

  11. Matthew

    Perhaps they should just ban books...

    that makes just as much sense :)

    Im sure every terrorist who can use google earth could just as easily pick up a hard copy book with satalite images in it....

    Or are terrorists too lazy to go to their local libray?

  12. Brett Brennan

    It's not the sawdust, it's the wheelbarrow...

    My favorite quote of the week.

    The politicos are like H/Bollywood stars: they need to keep being quoted in order to build up a chunk of "I was for/against..." sound bytes for campaign purposes.

    It wouldn't matter at all what the subject was - as long as Assemblyman Mike Gianaris can be quoted on something that has the words "terrorism" and "security" in it, he'll be counted as being a "good guy" protecting his constituents.

    So, once again, it's not the "sawdust" of the actual words, but the "wheelbarrow" of being in the media eye that matters...

  13. Silas Humphreys

    Jamie A:

    I've been saying that all along. So have others: http://qntm.org/terrorism

    Now can someone PLEASE give all these politicians implants of prosthetic Clue?

  14. Vernon Lloyd

    While your at it.....

    I am sat at my desk, I have a phone, my mobile phone, computer, printer, fax machine, access to the internet and my cup of coffee.

    Damn people looks like I cannot do any work today except drink coffee (soon to be outlawed know doubt due to carrying hot liquids) as everything else could be used for terrorist purposes.......

    Why do we have such MUPPETS running the show.

  15. Sean

    The solution is simple

    Ban lawmakers.

  16. Ralph B

    The Muppet Show

    > Why do we have such MUPPETS running the show.

    It could be worse. Look at Italy.

  17. Laurent_Z

    Lawmaker...

    And what do Lawn Ackers know about terrorism ?

  18. Andy

    Ban the INTERNET!

    ....no, wait... {click}

  19. Colin Jackson

    Yawn

    Straw man.

  20. Jason Edmunds

    I wish I'd thought of that...

    Now the terrorists just have to target the blurred bits on Google and they're guaranteed to hit something worthwhile!

    Genius.

    Utter Genius.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warning: Do Not Upset The Terrorists

    Well, well.. having Google ban images of potential targets only address the symptom. Not the root cause.

    And seeing that the politicians wants us to bend over and take it up the back side by loosing cornerstones of our society like freedom of information.. Why not do it properly? Let's treat the root cause.

    Let's all become Muslims. This political arsehole in New York first.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All maps aid terrorists

    Churchill's attack on Turkey went horribly wrong because the navy landed in the wrong place. One of the D day landings was in the wrong place. During WW2, Britain took down street signs,and collected picture postcards of the coast of France. GPS was a military technology. In most of the world, mapping was done for the military.

    In the USA, more lives are lost in traffic accidents than were lost in 9/11. I hope they don't make the traffic worse by taking down street signs and banning maps again.

  23. Dave Coventry

    That would be a nice start!

    """What is it that "our" politicians want; the entire population in chains?"""

    :)

  24. Connor Garvey

    Airplanes

    It's only a matter of time before people use airplanes to do harm to this country. They must be grounded immediately.

    Let's not forget trains, cars, cameras (surveillance), and guns. They also might steal weapons from the military, too, so let's blow those up as well.

  25. Jon Brindley

    Title

    Surely MSN's Live Maps (or whatever it's actually called) aids terrorists far more as it has better satellite imagery than Google - at least it has for every place I've ever looked.

  26. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Err, so what is tall buildings are shown ...

    ... it's not as if they can't simply walk along the street and see one. Oh look, there's a tall building !

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Email him

    Email this guy and tell him censoring and restricting information to Americans will not be tolerated.

    gianarm@assembly.state.ny.us

  28. Alan White

    Oh the horror!

    "I'll go out on a limb here and venture a guess that there is literally nothing in this world that cannot be used for bad purposes."

    Marshmallows?

  29. Chris Sharp

    Re: Oh the horror!

    I burnt myself quite badly on a marshmallow once

  30. Roland Korn

    OMG its MrStayPuffed!!!!!

    But I thought he was the least harmless thing in existence....

    Not when he`s over 50 feet tall he`s not

  31. Phil

    Cut that lawn

    How often do they take these pictures? Just I'm looking at my back garden in Google Earth and it still shows the lawn we had taken up 2 years ago. And I think I can see our old bath that was out in the garden for a while, but got taken away in a skip long before the lawn went. If terrorists are relying on this, they could make some serious mistakes.

  32. Chris

    Re: Marshmallows?

    Nope. Marshmallows can be used to suffocate someone. Even the marshmallows aren't safe anymore.

  33. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    Lazy Terrorists

    Stopping Google Maps/Earth would only stop lazy terrorists. They are well enough funded as to get better info than GE would get them.

    And those things aren't updated that much: our double-decker freeway still shows as incomplete, even though it was finished 2 years ago. Hell, my apartment block isn't even there yet! Anyone searching my address would find some abandoned warehouse or something like that where my building is.

    That's Mexico City, by the way.

  34. Hetore Del Faveri

    Thanks

    Guys, next time I went out to find some reliable information on how to look for a site to blow it out, I'll surelly come to this page again.

  35. Phil

    The real threat

    I think I've worked it out. Google Earth shows my back garden as it was about 4 years ago, so that means the camera must be something like 2 light years away (allowing another 2 years for the picture to get back to earth), not in close orbit as we thought. The pictures on Google Earth are obviously being provided by the Lizard Alliance, and they have some pretty hot long distance surveillance technology. Be even more afraid.

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