Paranoia strikes deep

Thanks to John Battelle for reposting a link to this most bizarre tale. It seems that certain Dutch politicians are concerned that terrorists might use Google Earth to target buildings in Holland. DM also quotes someone identified as a local security expert from the Instituut Clingendael approving of government action against Google Earth.

Uh, guys...get a grip. I can find reasons to knock Google for having its head up its search engine, but not here. The Dutch can go ahead and close Google Earth. They can shut down access to the other commercial suppliers of rival mapping programs while they're at it. And don't forget to clamp down the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (I'm sure that demand will make for an interesting conversation with Uncle Sam).

For better or for worse, the technology cat's already out of the bag. What's more, some folks are letting paranoia cloud their better judgment. If some moron is plotting a terror strike from the safety of a cave along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, access to a mapping tool like Google Earth is, at best, an afterthought, in the decision to stage the attack. And a relatively useless one at that.

Tech Culture
About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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