Google Earth sparks terrorist worries

Internet giant Google has spied a British nuclear facility using its Google Earth satellites, and the country’s military says the discovery could assist terrorists in plotting attacks.

The facility on the River Clyde in Scotland is home to the military’s top-secret nuclear defence force. While the facility was blurred on original satellite pictures by request of the British Government, new updates to Google Earth clearly show the facility in crystal clear photos.

The Sun newspaper quoted an anonymous expert who said terrorists could use the pictures to their advantage.  “A strike on our nuclear capability would cause untold devastation. Terrorists could have a field day, knowing exactly where to aim strikes to cause the maximum devastation.”

But a spokesman for the Britain Ministry of Defence also told The Sun that the military cannot control all the websites available providing satellite imagery.  “If people are really determined to target these sites, they can find these images and there is nothing we can do to stop them,” he said.

Reports of terrorists using Google Earth came to light during last year’s Mumbai attacks. But Google Earth and Google Maps director John Hanke defended the company’s products.

“I don’t really think it’s tipping the balance in favour of the bad guys,” Hanke said.

“The evilness is in the philosophies and the desires of those that want to do evil. They will use the tools at hand to do that, whether it’s throwing a Molotov cocktail, or shooting a rifle or using some piece of technology as part of the process.”


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