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Google May Censor Korean Maps

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Google has often had PR problems with its Maps and Earth services; the search giant has also had trouble gaining market share in South Korea.  Now a problem that involves both of these issues may be resolved, although the exact solution (assuming there is one) remains unknown.

Stefan Geens noted an article at the Digital Chosun Ilbo that states, “A source at Google Korea said that Google’s policy is to show original materials as they are, but, given Korea’s current situation, the satellite map provider will fully incorporate the Korean government’s demands when it starts its Korean satellite photo service in the future.”

So Google doesn’t want North Korea to blow up the South using its maps – that much is clear.  As for the rest of that update . . .

“Whatever could that mean – a ‘special’ censored version of Google Maps, not unlike the way that China’s Google Maps is ‘special’?” asked Geens.  “Censoring South Korean imagery just for South Koreans would be a phenomenally pointless act, but if that is what keeps the government happy, that’s fine by me:-)  Or is the source implying that the next generation of imagery will be censored for everyone?”

After all, Google uses some fuzzy pictures for parts of Washington, D.C., and Kim Jong Il is probably far crazier than the average al-Qaeda operative.  But it’s hard to say where things will go from here – Google can keep a secret when it wants to, and the South Korean government doesn’t tend to blab things, either.

Google May Censor Korean Maps
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