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Elsewhere – Google Earth now has world on edge

The Post (Ohio U.)

(U-WIRE) ATHENS, Ohio-A new computer program that allows users to view world images through a satellite has several nations worried about possible security risks, but there’s not much they can do to stop it.

Google Earth, available for download at earth.google.com, provides accurate and detailed images of the entire world. The resolution is not uniform across all the areas of the world, but the program provides close-ups of many major metropolitan centers. Users can even zoom in close enough to count the cars in various parking lots.

Several nations, including the United States, are worried that the program endangers their national security and opens them up to terrorist attacks.

Though Google Earth does not allow users to view sensitive U.S. locations, such as the White House, it does not censor other nation’s state buildings or military bases, and it includes images of nuclear reactors.

Worried nations could try to block access to Google Earth within their borders or attempt to get the U.N. to pass a resolution governing the program. However, those measures probably would not prove very effective, said John Gilliom, a political science professor at Ohio University.

Most likely, the only thing that would effectively censor this material would be to ask Google Earth to voluntarily comply, Molineau said.

October 11, 2005

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