Will The CIA Censor Google Earth? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
5/11/2007
04:18 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
Commentary
50%
50%

Will The CIA Censor Google Earth?

Controversy surrounding satellite mapping services like Google Earth continues to grow. This week Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, told AP that commercial satellite services may need to be edited or censored to protect

Controversy surrounding satellite mapping services like Google Earth continues to grow. This week Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, told AP that commercial satellite services may need to be edited or censored to protect U.S. interests. Is this just another example of someone who can't deal with the reality of the Web?Right now the U.S. government could do two things to control what images are shown over the Web. First, it could buy all available satellite images and only release what it wants to. This is what the government did during the early phases of the invasion of Afghanistan, but that also was before services like Google Earth made accessing satellite images so easy. The second thing is to restrict funding to many of the companies that provide satellite imagery services.

While these two solutions might work for U.S. companies they won't stop satellite images coming from international sources. And as developing markets like China and India launch satellites and collect images, it will become harder to control what goes live.

I think this is another example of an entrenched institution that wishes the Web wasn't there. Just like the RIAA, government leaders who want to control what satellite images go on the Web seek to institute controls that simply are no longer feasible.

What do you think? Does the U.S. government need to censor what images go live on the Web? Or does it need to embrace the radical transparency that Web 2.0 brings to the world?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll