Google earth has run into several problems with regards to security.
Lot of concerns have been raised about sensitive locations being
viewed easily. What do you propose to do about this?
Our policy is that whenever we have an issue arising with the
national authorities, we take it away. We do understand their problems,
and in fact there are any number of images that have been adapted.
But I do need to point out to you that the data that we are using
is not ours, typically it is available for free like the Nasa Landsat.
Anyone could have access to it, and so removing it from Google Earth
does not necessarily solve the problem, because the imagery is there.
Its also commercially accessible, in other words if you wanted
that information, particularly if someone deliberately wanted the
security overhead in order to mount an attack, if they have a coherent
capability to attack, they probably also may have the ability to
purchase this information quite independent from Google. So the
problem is more complex than taking things out of Google Earth.
The problem is that a lot of the overhead imagery is widely accessible.
I actually do not know of the specifics of the issues here in India,
I can say that for some US installations we have removed or replaced
information with less resolution or in some cases actually wiped
out like the White House for example, you cant see
the roof, its simply been covered up digitally. So those are
things where actions have been taken.
We face this all the time with regards to content that is indexed
in different parts of the world youll find governments with
different views, usually the Chinese example, the one everyone brings
up, but I want to mention that there are other places. For example
in France and Germany, it is illegal to profit form Nazi war memorabilia,
and so it is considered illegal literally to put up images of these
materials. So we have to consciously remove them form the google.de
and the google.fr index. We understand that and we try to work with