The US Department of Defense requested Google to remove some online images from its street-level map service because they pose a security threat to U.S. military bases.
The DOD took action when Street View images of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, appeared on Google Maps. “It actually shows where all the guards are. It shows how the barriers go up and down. It shows how to get in and out of buildings,” said Gen. Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command.
“We have been contacted by the military,” Google spokesman Larry Yu said. “In those instances where they (the U.S military) have expressed concerns about the imagery, we have accommodated their requests.” Yu said it was against Google’s policy to seek access to military installations or otherwise private facilities. “Our policy is to stay on public roads,” he said. “A driver broke that policy.”
Street View, a feature of Google Maps, offers ground-level, 360-degree views of streets in 30 U.S. cities. Web users are able to drive down a street, in a virtual sense, using their mouse to adjust views of roadside scenery. Some people have been concerned about Google’s street-level pictures and say the images can intrude on privacy. Several websites generate decent traffic by finding and posting the most interesting photos.
The popular Google Earth application has also been criticized for offering images of potentially sensitive locations. Google Earth’s images are sourced from civilian releases of satellite maps and commercial satellite mapping services.The popular Google Earth application has also been criticized for offering images of potentially sensitive locations. Google Earth’s images are sourced from civilian releases of satellite maps and commercial satellite mapping services.