NYT on Google Earth and Security

The New York TImes has a very competent article out today about the security concerns and border dispute issues that have followed the release of Google Earth. To me, the two new/interesting elements were:

1) a highlighting of how Google Earth is used by advocacy groups to monitor tropical deforestation or publicize prison camps in North Korea.

2) Comments by Andrew McLaughlin, a senior policy counsel at Google:

He said Google recently began talks with India centering specifically on images of the Kashmir border, long disputed by India and Pakistan. McLaughlin said Google had also entered into discussions with other countries over the past few months, including Thailand and South Korea. […]

Meetings with Indian officials or those from other nations have yet to result in a request that Google remove or downgrade any information, McLaughlin said. Nor has the United States government ever asked Google to remove information, he said.

I hope the “yet” does not imply that information downgrades are possible. If they are, I hope we’re informed ahead of time, so that we can take screenshots of the most interesting bits and keep them as overlays, albeit privately.

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