Pentagon prohibits Google Street View images of military installations
The Pentagon has taken action After detailed photographs of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas appeared in Google's Street View. The search engine provider is now no longer allowed to take pictures of military installations for security reasons. Google takes the pictures using vehicles with a roof-mounted camera.
"We don't have any issues regarding Google and their products", said Gary Ross, spokesperson for the U.S. Northern Command, "but the Street View provides clear imagery of control points, barriers, headquarters and security facilities that pose a risk to our force-protection efforts." Google staff appear to have been allowed to drive their vehicle into the military installation providing they didn't take pictures of the old site which is still being used by the US military. They appear to have ignored this condition.
Google has responded to the Pentagon's request and removed the pictures. Google spokesman Larry Yu explained that the driver was wrong to drive into the military site and take pictures there. Drivers were instructed not to enter military installations or private roads and to observe prohibition signs. Google not only responded to requests from the military, emphasised Yu, but also to complaints by customers. The Pentagon is now checking Street View to identify any additional pictures that may need to be removed for security reasons.
The launch of Street View sparked concerns with US citizens who thought that Google went too far by offering panoramic street views in addition to the maps and aerial images offered by Google Maps. Google had to remove a number of pictures, and in Canada and Australia the provider is required to blur faces and vehicle registrations to preserve privacy.