And while we’re on the topic (see previous post), The Australian, a real newspaper, actually interviewed actual Indian military personnel (unlike the Times of India) and manages to get quotes such as these:
“I don’t think it poses a security threat,” C. Uday Bhaskar, the deputy head of New Delhi military think tank the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses said.
An Indian navy source said the pictures in themselves “do not pose a serious threat to security”.
Another army officer, who wished to remain unidentified, agreed.
“Everyone knows where the (Indian) president’s palace is, everyone knows how many rooms it has – these details are there in school books. As for the location, there is no mystery about that either.”
The officer noted that satellite imagery is not a foolproof tool, and cited the US’ failure to detect preparations for India’s May 1998 nuclear tests.
What’s interesting is another case discussed in the article — when India moved tanks closer to the Pakistani border during the 2002 escalation, the US did pick this up via their satellites, and “asked” India about it. This is precisely the kind of intelligence that Google does not provide, however — Google Earth’s priority is showing images taken when skies are clear, not when tanks are moving. And as we’ve learned from the challenges of acquiring fresh images post-Pakistan earthquake, clear skies are not nearly as prevalent as we think, and thus images are refreshed at best intermittently.