Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Terrorists Using Google Earth? Shocking

John Battelle has a post on his blog about a NY Post article and a more detailed one at the Telegraph about how terrorists are using Google Earth to locate British bases.

This part of the Telegraph article I find rather amusing:
A Google spokesman said the information could be used for "good and bad" and was available to the public in many forms. "Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," he said.

"We have opened channels with the military in Iraq but we are not prepared to discuss what we have discussed with them. But we do listen and we are sensitive to requests."

"Always ready to listen to governments' requests." Interesting phrasing, wouldn't you say? Sure. They'll listen. Hell, anyone will listen. But would they do anything? I mean, c'mon, they listened and more than likely read subpoenas for search queries from the US government, but didn't fork anything over. They listened, quite well clearly, to the demands of the Chinese government and complied in order to launch Google in China and listened but didn't pay much attention to the backlash they received for giving into China.

Also, if a product like Google Maps can be used for "good and bad," doesn't that violate the Google policy of "Do no evil"? Or are they going to hide behind the thinking that once the produce is out there, they are not responsible for how people use it?

Seems as if technology, especially at a company like Google, will push ahead and deal with legal ramifications later and in the process set a rather dangerous precedent.

So would the lack of net neutrality limit the ability of terrorists to use Google Earth?

No comments: