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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Calif. considers limiting Internet mapping sites

Clearly, maps such as Google Earth and Microsoft's Virtual Earth aren't the only places one can find photos of schools, hospitals, churches and government buildings. But a California lawmaker is concerned that the ready availability of these images may assist terrorists and has proposed that restrictions be placed on certain images.
A California lawmaker wants to force Internet mapping services to blur detailed images of schools, hospitals, churches and all government buildings, reviving a debate over whether such images can assist terrorists.

Assemblyman Joel Anderson, a San Diego-area Republican, said he decided to introduce his bill after reading that terrorists who plotted attacks in Israel and India used popular services such as Google Earth and Microsoft 's Virtual Earth.

But even if his bill becomes law, it might be difficult to prohibit Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other mapping companies from posting such photographs. That's because those images already are public and often are posted on the institution's own Web site.
More here.

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