Google Earth maps annoy some countries

Dec. 20, 2005 at 1:18 PM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The ability to look at almost anywhere on Earth using free Google Earth software isn't sitting well with several countries concerned with security issues.

India has become the most recent country to voice concern with the satellite imagery, joining South Korea, Thailand and Russia, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Leonid Sazhin, an analyst for the Russia's Federal Security Service was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying: "Terrorists don't need to reconnoiter their target. Now an American company is working for them."

But some in the United States say the security concern isn't warranted.

"Google Earth is not acquiring new imagery," said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, which has an online repository of satellite imagery. "They are simply repurposing imagery that somebody else had already acquired. So if there was any harm that was going to be done by the imagery, it would already be done."

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