The Belgium government may be suing Google for not blurring military installations

Google / Tech
Belgium

Google works with many governments to blur satellite photos of military installations.

Like many countries, the Belgium government has a military to protect its borders and people. But unlike other countries, it seems the Belgium government isn’t being afforded the same courtesy from Google. The courtesy in question is the blurring of satellite images of military installations from Google Maps.

BBC News reports that the Belgium government is very close to suing Google for not blurring sensitive images of its air bases and other assets on Google Maps. The Belgian defense ministry has requested Google blur these images and Google says it has been working with them for two years to get it done. Air bases and military installations aren’t the only things the government wants to be blurred. They’ve also requested nuclear power plants be blurred.

“It’s a shame the Belgium Department of Defence have decided to take this decision,” Michiel Sallaets, spokesman for Google in Belgium, said in a statement.

“We have been working closely with them for more than two years, making changes to our maps where asked to make them legal under Belgian law.

“We plan to continue working with them in that spirit of cooperation.”

The company has previously been asked to obscure sensitive military sites in countries including France, Germany and the Netherlands.

It’s understandable that countries would want their sensitive assets to be blurred from a public facing mapping database. It’s unclear why it is taking Google so long to actually do this for the Belgium government. Many United States assets have been blurred or altered for many years. This threat of suing may be a tactic to force Google’s hand and get some movement on the government’s request.

What do you think of this situation? Should Google comply quickly? Or do you think all military installations should be publicly visible? Let us know in the comments below or on GooglePlus, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: BBC News
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