Air Force Expert Accepts Google Earth Threat

    June 22, 2007

If there’s any one “type” of person you can count on to be practical, it’s a military man (or woman).  And while Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula of the U.S. Air Force has admitted that some mapping software has created “huge” security problems, he also acknowledged that there’s not much anyone can do about it.

Deptula serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and in regards to programs like Google Earth, he said, “To talk about danger is, if I may, really is irrelevant because it’s there.”

As reported by Reuters, Deptula then added, “No one’s going to undo commercial satellite imagery.”

The lieutenant general’s comments could even help quiet some politicians who have called for Google to censor itself.  “Asked if the US military might try to implement restrictions or blackouts on imagery of some areas, Deptula said he was not aware of such an attempt,” according to Kristin Roberts.

As for what the military is doing about this issue . . . there’s not much information.  “[G]overnments are trying to mitigate the effect through camouflage, concealment and deception, he said, providing no other details,” Roberts continued.  Well, I called the military “practical,” not “open.”

In any case, a lot of Googlers are probably hoping that Lt. Gen. Deptula will get the last word on this matter.