Defence installations on Google maps: HC asks govt to look into it

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by Indx TechStyle, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    Defence installations on Google maps: HC asks govt to look into it
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    Days after the terror strike at Pathankot airbase, Google's online maps showing Indian defence installations, nuclear power plants and other "sensitive" locations today came under the scanner of Delhi High Court which asked the Centre to look into it and keep it informed on the issue.
    NEW DELHI: Days after the terror strike at Pathankot airbase, Google's online maps showing Indian defence installations, nuclear power plants and other "sensitive" locations today came under the scanner of Delhi High Court which asked the Centre to look into it and keep it informed on the issue.

    A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain to "look into the matter and apprise us about the procedure being followed".

    The court, however, refused to pass any interim order restraining Google from publishing any such maps till the next date of hearing on February 24.

    The petitioner, Lokesh Kumar Sharma, has sought directions to the Centre "to restrain Google from showing, providing and making available maps and images of sensitive installations and defense establishments".

    The petition, filed through advocate C Mohan Rao, has alleged that the government and its authorities "appear to be absolutely negligent and callous in preventing Google from displaying such maps".

    "The respondent No.2 (Google) has put up very detailed high resolution images of Pathankot Air Base and surrounding areas on Google Earth and Google Maps.

    "However, there seems to be no opposition or objection from any quarter to the display of images of Pathankot air base on Google Maps and Google Earth," it has alleged.

    In his petition, Sharma has alleged that Google "in the garb of a competition-Mapathon-induced the general public to give information regarding maps and images including sensitive installations".

    "One Vishal Saini who had mapped Pathankot and its surroundings including the Air force station at Pathankot, was adjudged and ranked No.1 in Mapathon 2013. Respondent No.2 (Google) conducts Mapathon every year," the petition claimed.

    Referring to the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot Air force station, Sharma, a lawyer, has contended that Google "has no right to provide or make available maps and images of sensitive installations" as it would "adversely undermine the security of the nation".

    The petitioner has claimed that Google only shows older locations of defence installations of developed nations likeUSA and in the case of China, all such sites are "masked".

    Sharma has said in his plea that in 2015 former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam had warned of serious consequences of Google providing maps and images of sensitive installations in view of growing threats from terrorism.

    It also claimed that Google was well aware of the serious consequences of providing images and maps of sensitive locations, but was not doing anything to mask such sites.

    "The maps and images provide minute details regarding sensitive installations and surrounding areas showing in detail roads, streets, lanes, waterways, streams, canals, sewage lines, buildings etc with precise dimensions including the distance, length, width and height of buildings, walls, towers and everything in and around the sensitive installations and defence establishments.

    "The amount of information loaded in each map and image is directly proportional to the damage it poses and in the wrong hands, the damage such an information would cause, cannot be under-estimated," the petition has contended.

    "The moment the cursor is pointed to China clear images immediately turn cloudy and entire China mysteriously gets cloud ridden with hardly any observable geo-physical feature. China is said to have more than four air bases in Tibet bordering India.

    "The respondent No.2 (Google), however, did not show a single (Chinese) air base in Tibet. On the other hand, Indian Air Force Stations in the North East are shown with minute details of the air bases," the petition has also alleged.

    The petitioner has prayed the court to "pass an appropriate writ, order or direction, directing respondent No.1 (Centre) to restrain respondent No.2 (Google) and/or restrain the respondents from showing, providing and making available maps, images or sensitive installations and defence establishments on Google Earth, Google Maps or any other App or Apps in any form whatsoever."




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  3. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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  4. SREEKAR

    SREEKAR Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why don't we ask GOOGLE to blur our sensitive installation?
     
  5. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    May government ask but problem still remains. Google is an American company. Will it not give this info to USA?
     
  6. SREEKAR

    SREEKAR Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ofcourse it will.
    Last time I tried to check Chengudu airfield..Damn!! It was blank.
    They blocked everything.
     
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  7. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    What's not to give, it's already the US government's property. If I remember correctly, US govt is tapped into all major American company's server. They don't even need permission.

    More over any data that moves from American servers to any other server in any part of the globe is copied in to their govt servers, the same happens when it moves back. You can checkout snowden-john Oliver interview

    Let's not forget, Internet is U.S Govt property.

    And moreover even our beloved DFI is indexed on google server, I realised this and was pleasantly surprised when my comments on Christine fair was top hit within an hour on Google search last year. This was around the time during the Christine fair-Hyderabad auto guy episode.
     
  8. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    Even if it is forced to blur our sensitive sites form showing up on a public internet platform, the fact that a satellite has picked up pictures of it itself means that your defense installations have been compromised. Now, what the US does with this data is for anyone to speculate. It can use it for itself, it can pass it on to Pakistan, Pakistan can pass it on to LeT. So blocking it just on public sites is of little help. Once a hostile government takes a naked photograph of you, you are vulnerable to them.

    But then again, all major nations have their own satellites that have surveillance coverage over the whole planet even though they might not be showing it off on a public website like Google Earth. The Russian navigation GLONASS is actually 5X better resolution than Google Earth. Even China and India have such satellites but we claim that we 'only photograph our own countries for flood relief' and that we don't have a global reach.
     
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  9. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    Somebody go to China and get info how they managed to block footage of Chengdu Airbase. Being an Aerospace Engineer in 7-8 years, I will try to do the same. :D
    @SREEKAR @Nuvneet Kundu @pmaitra
    Anybody of you know? How to block footage of satellite?
     
  10. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    They even have satellites that can look through underground bunkers. That is how they found Iran's hidden nuclear centrifuges. You can stop them from displaying that information in India, by law, but you can't stop them from gathering that information. For example, in India, it is illegal for any website to show any part of J&K as non-Indian territory, so that law has forced Google Earth to show whole of J&K as Indian territory, as per our constitution.

    Similarly, Europe has made some laws on private data storage of its citizens on Google's servers and other laws. You can only tweak how your data is shown in your country. You can't stop them from gathering data or you can't tell them not to share it with other countries. Your laws are limited to your nation. That is what US will say. All we can say is pass a law which lays out a system which allows the government to blacklist locations from Google Earth 'so and so sites are sensitive, you aren't allowed to show them', the company needs to comply with the order otherwise we can block Google Earth from being used in India totally. That is legally possible. But what is not legally possible is stopping Google Earth from showing all the data for Pakistani users.

    That's the price we have to pay for the kind of world we live in. Most militaries are aware of it and the best counter-measure is a visual blockade of our military sites. During the cold war, the US used to paint diagrams of jet planes on their runway to give a false impression to Soviet satellites that US planes are parked there.
     
  11. SREEKAR

    SREEKAR Senior Member Senior Member

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    At present I am struggling with My b.tech subject : Electric circuit synthesis:lol: ...and here you are asking me how to block satellite footage.o_O
    Apkoo janta maaf nahi karegi!!:biggrin2:
     
  12. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Indx TechStyle

    Our neighbor Sharma ji stopped paying his satellite TV bill and his satellite footage was immediately blocked. We could ask him for some tips. :pound:
     
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