Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Google Map/Earth: Powerful tools (for terrorists?)

Just 2 days back, when terrorist attacked PNS Mehran in Karachi, Pakistan, I heard question like below from almost all quarters:

How terrorist plan attack with such detail? who gave them the detailed information, like, where the assets are? what kind of assets they are? how much close or far they are from the outer perimeter? what the surrounding environment is like? so on and so forth.

Have a look at these pictures and the link to Google Map of PNS Mehran, Karachi, Pakistan. See the amount of detail it offers to its viewer.

PNS Mehran - Click to open full size image in a new window

PNS Mehran - Click to open full size image in a new window

PNS Mehran - Click to open full size image in a new window

Click on this link to see Google Map of PNS Mehran, Karachi, Pakistan.

Is there any security threat?

Some of you might ask what the heck these images can do?

Well, quite a lot…

Terrorists 'use Google maps to hit UK troops' - Terrorists attacking British bases in Basra are using aerial footage displayed by the Google Earth internet tool to pinpoint their attacks – The Telegraph

Google Earth used to target Israel - Palestinian are using Google Earth to help plan their attacks on the Israeli military and other targets – Guardian UK

Google Earth accused of aiding terrorists - An Indian Court has been called to ban Google Earth amid suggestions the online satellite imaging was used to help plan the terror attacks that killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month – The Sunday Times

Google Earth High Resolution Images a Threat to China – China wants the United States Government to take action to get Google to reduce the resolution of the Google Earth images of China's military, nuclear, space, energy and other sensitive government agency installations – Wikileaks

How to mitigate that threat?

If this is the case, then how we can mitigate that threat? is this possible to block details of sensitive installations? is there any precedent where Google agree to hide details?

Google erases British bases in Iraq – The Regster UK

Google Earth agrees to blur pictures of key Indian sites – Times of India

NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen : This is the site of the main operating of NATO's Airborne Early Warning Control Force's E-3A Component, which provides an early-warning radar system to enhance NATO's air- defense capabilities. The base includes 17 E-3A aircraft used for air surveillance and air-operations-communications support. Crews from 14 nations, including Spain, Turkey and the U.S., power the aircraft

Soesterberg Air Base, in the Netherlands: This Dutch air-force base and former F-15 base for the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War can't be seen via Google Maps.

Reims Air Base in France: This lone building on Reims Air Base in France is blurred out.

Ramstein Air Base in Germany: Ramstein Air Base figures prominently in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It's the home of the 86th Airlift Wing and headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. It is also a NATO installation. Americans, Canadians, Germans, British, French and other nationalities comprise the base's population

List of locations on Google Map with missing or blur imagery – Wikipedia

Shamsi Air Base – The only camouflaged location in Pakistan

See how Shamsi (Predator) Air Base has been camouflaged? Why Shamsi Air Base alone in Pakistan? off course because we gave that to Americans for Drone Attacks! 

Shamsi Air Base - Click to open full size image in a new window

Click here to open Google Map of the Shamsi Air Base in a new window.