Google Earth Turns Unwelcome Eye Towards Israel

    October 5, 2007

We’ve seen this sort of thing before: people complaining that Google Earth has exposed military secrets or put certain structures at risk.  Yet of all the nations in the world, Israel may have the most right to worry, and it’s this country that the latest update affected.

Google Earth Turns Unwelcome Eye Towards Israel
Google Earth Turns Unwelcome Eye Towards Israel

Actually, Israel’s one of many countries – around 130 – that were covered by the Google Earth update, but it appears to be most affected.  As posted on Monsters and Critics, “Google Earth’s upgraded archive of satellite pictures exposes key Israeli military and security sites, the Israeli Yediot Ahronot daily reported Friday, warning it made them easy potential targets for terrorists.”

The article later continues, “Among the highly sensitive sites visible in detail are the Israel Defence Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, key Israel Air Force bases and Israel’s controversial, classified nuclear reactor in the southern desert city of Dimona. . . .  Users have also identified another site as the alleged headquarters of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency, whose location is secret.”

As always, one has to wonder if this information might not have already been available to terrorists – bin Laden may live in a cave, but he and his ilk have resources and connections.  In any event, Google Earth’s images are likely to stay up – the company rarely backtracks on this matter – and we’re confronted with a “cat’s out of the bag” scenario, regardless.

In somewhat related news, Google Earth images of a swastika-shaped collection of buildings recently caused the U.S. Navy to put $600,000 towards redesigning the area.  It’s interesting to see the search giant have such an effect on world events.