After Google Earth Is Banned, What's Next?
For all the good that Google Earth has brought to the world, it’s been a boon for ne’er-do-wells and mischief-makers as well. In the U.K., teenage hooligans allegedly use it to scope out private pools they can crash for impromptu parties. On a darker note, insurgents in Iraq used images from Google Maps to guide their attacks. And the terrorists who killed 170 people in Mumbai last November supposedly used Google Maps images for help navigating the city.
Now an Indian court is considering a ban on Google Earth, hoping to deprive future terrorists of a crucial technology.
Bruce Schneier wonders what we might consider banning next:
Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven’t seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are — by and large — small and pedestrian, and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society’s very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response.
If India succeeds in banning Google Earth, will Frommer’s Guide be next?