Google Earth: A Universal Security Hazard?

Dennis Faas's picture

Is Google Earth a threat to world security?

According to the head of U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, it is.

How exactly does Google Earth jeopardize universal security? It gives Internet clients an astronaut's view of the earth. Users even have the ability to zoom down to street level and see very intricate details. Basically, anyone with a credit card is capable of getting a picture of absolutely any place on earth. (Source:

Although this security threat is a large problem, it is only a recent issue. In fact, Deptula believes that Google Earth "is something that was a closely guarded secret not that long ago and now everybody's got access to it." (Source:

While the world's safety is arguably at risk due to web programs like Google Earth, some government powers are taking a passive approach to the matter. So far, The U.S. military has not attempted to alter the public's access to pictures of earth, and no restrictions or blackouts on imagery of specific areas has occurred.

However, for those who believe censorship means worldwide safety, there's still hope. The data available commercially through online software will be tackled by cautious governments as they try to moderate public knowledge via camouflage, concealment, and deception.

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