You can’t make this up. German news site Heise Online is reporting that:
In the opinion of the security expert Klaus Dieter Matschke the coordinates supplied by the program Google Earth pose a security risk to the Soccer World Cup hosted by Germany. […] The precision of Google Earth entailed the risk of handing terrorist groups precise target coordinates for possible missile attacks, he warned.
Apparently, Germany’s publicly available coordinates are only accurate to a kilometer. Matschke clearly thinks anyone can get access to missiles, whereas GPS units and tourist maps are hard to come by. Now that Google Earth obviates the need to spend 2 minutes acquiring accurate coordinates, the world is in danger. Bad Google Earth!
Christian Spanring’s commentary gets it exactly right:
So if we are confronted with security issues based on public geographic information, what should we do? Forbid and ban every kind of GIS and accurate map except for authorities (and security experts of course)? Oh wait, it reminds me of something: can it be that less censorship, better public information and knowledge within countries and governments is, let’s say, an improvement that came along with democracy and modern society?
How do people like Matschke, who really should know better, manage to reach such outlandish conclusions? (Original article in German.)