Friday, March 19, 2010

Google Street View and the SAS

I just saw this report that has the UK Government worried that Google's Street View images of the SAS HQ in Herefordshire could compromise security. Actually, I have little sympathy for the government's position. As a country, the UK has more surveillance cameras pointed at its citizens than even the Soviet Union did in its heyday. "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" comes to mind.

Besides, numerous books have been published about the SAS HQ and it would not be difficult for a would be terrorist to work out where the SAS is headquartered, regardless of Google Street View.

But the most significant point in defense of Google's position is that all its street-view images are photographed from a public space. That alone means that it has done no wrong and in no way should Google bow to pressure to remove the images from the internet. The ramifications of doing such a thing would be far reaching.

Besides, the entrance to the SAS HQ doesn't exactly show very much about what may or may not be going on inside!