Did Google Earth Violate US Law?

    December 26, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Google has agreed to make changes to the resolution of images of sites in Israel, after concerns about security against terrorism surfaced.

Photos of sensitive sites in Israel, like military and nuclear facilities, created enough concern that Google has limited resolution of those photos. A report at Israel National News said images of Israel will be reduced to two-meter resolution.

If those images were not at two-meter resolution already, Google may have been in violation of federal law. The Kyl-Bingaman amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997 requires commercial satellite companies to degrade images of Israel to two-meter resolution.

The article noted eight sites in Israel appear in Google Earth. Along with Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, images of the nuclear weapons base at Sdot Micha and of the Dimona Nuclear Research Center can be found in the utility.

Countries like India and Korea have registered similar complaints about Google Earth. However, the imagery used by Google has been available from other sources, including Keyhole, which Google purchased and incorporated into its Google Earth offerings.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.