Google mappers evicted from US army bases

7 Mar 2008

The Pentagon has just twigged something we knew about for years – that Google wants to map the entire earth – and has cottoned on to the fact that 360-degree and satellite images can actually reveal sensitive security information which could be valuable to terrorists.

The search giant Google has complied with a request by the Pentagon to remove some online images from its street-level map service because they pose a security threat to US military bases.

The US Department of Defence, which is still trying to assess how many compromising images exist on the internet, has also banned Google’s mapping vehicles from all military installations after detailed photographs of Fort Sam Houston at San Antonio appeared on Google Maps.

A message was sent to all bases and installations warning officials not to allow Google vehicle access.

The Google Maps Street View feature allows users to zoom in on 360-degree ground views of streets and landmarks.

It is understood that after promising military officials not to videotape footage of the historic San Antonio base, a Google driver went ahead and videotaped the base.

Google has promised defence officials the footage will not go online. The Pentagon, meanwhile, will examine all other online material that might compromise the security of their bases.

By John Kennedy