Sunday, 29 March 2009

If Aerial Reconnaissance is so Bad...

An elected California official wants the state known for Internet technology to blur images of schools, hospitals, government buildings and houses of worship in online maps.

If images of public areas are too sensitive to be viewed by the public, then I guess we're going to ban telephoto lenses and overflights of inhabited areas by private planes aren't we?

No?

Then whats the point of banning Google Maps?

If I were a terrorist planning attacks, I wouldn't rely on 5 year old satellite photos on a public website. I'd try to get stuff that's a little more current. Successful operations require good intel. Denying access to old (and likely out of date) information isn't going to stop someone from blowing up a school.

This reaction is part of a larger trend I've noticed. As soon as computers are involved, people react in weird ways. They assume that access to information with a computer is a new phenomena and we need to create laws to control that information.

Trouble is, "information" isn't a new idea. Information (or data) exists in many ways through many forms. Denying access to computer based information (if even feasible), doesn't deny access to the information itself. All that's blocked is the computerized means. The information can still be retrieved through other methods.

Case in point. I'm old enough that personal computers didn't exist when I was a kid. But I still saw lots of pornographic material at 10 years of age. Something to do with enterprises called Playboy and Penthouse.

2 comments:

ADHR said...

Actually, there is a push in at least some jurisdictions (the UK is notorious for this) to make it illegal to take photos in public places -- particularly of police, and of government buildings. So, there may be a larger shift involved, towards increased (and enforced) privacy.

Catelli said...

I wonder how effective such a policy is.

But at least its more consistent.