The Daily Telegraph
is reporting that British Intelligence has discovered Google Earth maps of British military bases.
The British military believe the discovery of such pictures is evidence that terrorists are using the web application to aid the efficiency of their attacks. British camps are under fire on a daily basis, with mortars and rockets being targeted at the weakest areas of the camp. An Intelligence Officer from the Royal Green Jackets had this to say about the discovery:
"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks. Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases? We are concerned that they use them to plan attacks.
We have never had proof that they have deliberately targeted any area of the camp using these images but presumably they are of great use to them. We believe they use Google Earth to identify the most vulnerable areas such as tents."
Google is obviously hesitant to respond, a spokesman replied:
"We have opened channels with the military in Iraq but we are not prepared to discuss what we have discussed with them. But we do listen and we are sensitive to requests."
Either way, serious questions need to be asked about whether Google should be allowed to send satellite images of sensitive areas, especially when it puts lives at risk. The answer that Google Maps can be used for good and bad surely isn’t good enough. One soldier told the Telegraph however, that it would still be too little too late:
"Even if they did blank out the areas where we are based it is a bit after the horse has bolted as the terrorist now have the maps and know exactly where we eat, sleep and go to the toilet."
Where do you stand on the debate about Google Maps – should it be allowed to show detailed images of military areas? Let us know your thoughts in the forum