Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses The Internet The Military United States

Google Pulls Map Images At Pentagon's Request 217

Posted by kdawson
from the limits-to-openness dept.
Stony Stevenson alerts us to a little mixup in which a Google Street View crew requested and was granted access to a US military base. Images from inside the base (which was not identified in press reports) showed up online, and the Pentagon requested that they be pulled. Google complied within 24 hours. The military has now issued a blanket order to deny such photography requests in the future; for its part Google says the filming crew should never have asked.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Pulls Map Images At Pentagon's Request

Comments Filter:
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:43AM (#22675004)
    ...how or why this is a bad thing.

    Do we think there should be street level maps inside military installations on Google Street View?

    Whether someone "screwed up" in the meantime, at Google, the installation, or both, is beside the point of whether the imagery should be removed.

    The issue of how/why the crew was granted access, whether it was a gated or "open" installation, etc., are all unanswered.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is a bad thing because it provides a VERY detailed description of the base and it's buildings. I'm far from a hawk but providing any potential enemy with detailed pictures of military installations is just plain stupid. I would think that the danger in this sort of information would be self-evident. Then again I don't believe that Google has any right to put pictures of my house, or any one else's for that matter, on the Internet.
      • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:43AM (#22675744)
        Reread the grandparent. I think you missed the point, in that the GP agrees with your sentiment. The post basically said it was not a bad thing that the images were pulled, not that the GP thought the images should be available.
      • If the public can see your house from the street, I don't see the problem with Goggle taking a picture. If you never wanted anyone to see your house, move to a remote area and put up a big fence/bushes/trees/ etc. or buy a big enough plot of land that your house can't be seen from public space. However, I do believe that any homeowner should be able to request that their picture be removed (at a certain zoom level).

        Better yet, take a picture of your house yourself, and then copyright that image. When Goog
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tha_mink (518151)

      I'm trying to discover how or why this is a bad thing

      Are you serious? Really? You're trying to discover why having street level view of military bases is a bad thing? Or you're trying to discover why having Google pull it is a bad thing? Either way, the situation and post seem to be fairly evident to me.

      The asshat that said "Sure Google, film our military installation all you'd like..." is bad.

      Pulling it from google is not bad.

      I'm pretty sure that's what you meant. I don't think the poster was trying to imply that google pulling it was a bad thi

      • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:00AM (#22675220)
        Yes, I did mean that Google pulling them was not a bad thing. But a lot of people here will think it is.

        And yes, I agree this is noteworthy, but the tone of the article is likely to be interpreted by many here as somehow negative; i.e., that a private company is "censoring" content at the request of the "government". Other posters have already said, essentially, "What's the big deal? This is all stuff I can see with my own eyes anyway!" Read through the rest of the posts and see for yourself.

        Also, it seems very likely this was an ungated, or open, facility (as many large/urban installations are, which then have other levels of restricted access for controlled areas). Google probably formally asked permission to drive around, was granted it, and was allowed to drive around (since in this type of facility they are streets that are effectively accessible to the public). I find it very unlikely that this was a closed/gated/restricted facility that Google was just granted access to simply by asking. In fact, that is almost certainly NOT the case.
        • by SnapShot (171582) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:34AM (#22675634)
          I willing to play devil's advocate and say that it is a bad thing. Or, at least, the presumption that everything associated with the U.S. government should be kept secret from her citizens. In a democracy, everything paid for by taxpayer dollars should be open unless there is a real national security reason that it should be kept secret. And, I'm not convinced that there was a national security reason for Google to take down those images; it was probably some "cover my ass" action.

          Every scandal in the last 7 years has been accompanied by a chorus from the right telling us that public exposure to incompetence (Walter Reed) or malfeasance (billions of dollars lost to contractors in Iraq) or law breaking (torture and warrantless wiretaps) are giving "aid and comfort" to the enemies. But, it is obvious that the real desire for secrecy is not to protect America but to protect the careers and reputations of the people who fucked up in the first place.
          • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:54AM (#22675900)
            Open to citizen John Q Public when he's actually there is one thing and available to anyone with an internet connection is entirely different.

            I don't disagree that there was likely no "national security" reason to take the images down, but think of the long term strategic possibilities or even personal safety concerns. The Presidio of Monterey, for example is an open base. It's where the Defense Language Institute is and all services send their soldiers/airmen/marines/seamen there to learn languages that typically are then used in Intelligence collection of one form or another. Aside from the personal safety of the individual servicemen and women, think of the long term strategic advantage gained by targeting a particular area there. One school perhaps, that covers a particular asian or middle eastern language. You can hamper intelligence collection significantly by one well placed attack.

            Sure, it's highly unlikely that someone would do such a thing, but it's certainly a viable target even though it isn't considered such by most folks. Many "open" bases are similar in that they support an infrastructure that is key to the military but not an obvious target.

            I don't disagree that our government has lost its sense of decency with respect to oversight and we should try to take some of that back, but denying world-wide access to potential military targets shouldn't be part of that, in my opinion.
            • by russ1337 (938915)

              think of the long term strategic advantage gained by targeting a particular area there. One school perhaps, that covers a particular asian or middle eastern language. You can hamper intelligence collection significantly by one well placed attack.

              This... [schneier.com] article explains that we too often fall for protecting ourselves from our fears, when it is actually quite irrational based on the probability of what you've suggested.

              And we're making it harder by disclosing more risks than ever to more people than eve

              • by bkr1_2k (237627)
                I never said I think it's a rational thing to "defend against your fears" or whatever you want to call it, just that there are real reasons to protect military information. Of course it's ridiculous to think that anything like my scenario is even remotely likely, but it is the military's job to be prepared for the worst and most unlikely events. Sad, but true.

                Again, driving directions and advice on getting a visitor pass are not the same thing as detailed information on building and infrastructure locatio
          • CYA (Score:5, Insightful)

            by RealProgrammer (723725) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:15PM (#22676154) Homepage Journal
            In a democracy, everything paid for by taxpayer dollars should be open

            While I agree with that statement, it implies that in non-democracies things should be something other than open.

            But your last paragraph is really bad logic. You say that every scandal in the last 7 years of exposure to incompetence, corruption, or illegality has been decried as giving aid and comfort, which is largely true. That's because exposure of bad things does give aid and comfort to our enemies. The argument for exposing them anyway is that it's worth the price. It is incorrect and self-deluding to claim that there is no price to be paid.

            But it is not "obvious" that covering for the people who made the mistakes is the real desire for secrecy, since that lumps all three of your categories together. The real desire for secrecy is in fact to hide our inner workings from our foes. Hiding them from ourselves is just a bad side effect that secrecy proponents are willing to accept, while you are not. And it's not the case that all revelations are met with equal cries of disdain from the Right nor glee from the Left. Lumping them all together is useful for creation of a bogeyman, but it's not an accurate picture.
          • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:24PM (#22676274)
            It's fine to play devil's advocate, but can you really argue there is no compelling national security reason to not have easily navigable and searchable street level photography of military installations, even ones which are quasi-open/public, online?

            You acknowledge that secrecy and classification systems have a purpose, but then go on to say that "every scandal" in the last "7 years" (interesting choice of timeframe; poilitical much?) have used secrecy arguments as an excuse. You then seem to make the logical leap that any use of secrecy in the last 7 years has been to cover up corruption (and this has never happened at any other time in US history...?).

            Consider this: gathering foreign intelligence outside of the United States on non-US Persons has ALWAYS been allowable without any form of court oversight or warrants. As it should be. Now, there are two issues:

            1. Some exclusively foreign traffic between foreign individuals can now travel through equipment located physically in the United States. Why should that be off limits? Indeed, if telecommunications operators are willing to assist, we should absolutely leverage the fact that we have direct access to the traffic.

            2. Capturing communications of a foreign individual outside of the US -- even if the other end of the conversation ended on US soil or was a US Person -- is also always allowable without court oversight or warrants (however, the identity and conversation content of the US Person may be masked for legal reasons). Again, since warrants protect individuals, why shouldn't telecommunications operators be allowed to voluntary assist in the interception of such traffic via much, much easier means?

            Foreign intelligence is a necessity, even for free nations. It always has been. Any denial of this is the denial of reality. The Constitution only applies to US citizens or persons with a legal status within the United States. It does NOT apply to foreign persons outside of the US; any argument that it does flies in the face of the very notion of nation-states, borders, and international relationships. This is precisely why the surveillance of such persons does not require a warrant. In the past, there was no earthly reason to conduct any such surveillance within the United States. Now there is.

            I'm not saying taking such surveillance of non-US Persons within the United States' physical borders isn't rife with controversy, much of it valid. But can you see how it's possible for this to not be so clear cut when you just throw out the blanket statement that it's "illegal"? Can you actually envision a scenario in which the Intelligence Community is trying to aggressively leverage all of the foreign SIGINT capability it possibly can given the circumstances? I know that certain folks can only see this as an obvious plot to destroy the Constitution, strip away civil liberties, and create a police state. However, where I live -- aka, the real world -- this was simply an aggressive attempt to make a lot of foreign intelligence collection, especially when one of the endpoints is in the US, a lot more practical. That doesn't mean it's not controversial.

            And Walter Reed [wisc.edu]...I try watching the "exposés" on Walter Reed, and you know what? Kill me for saying this, but water damage on some ceiling tiles and peeling paint? Is that really affecting the level of care? This is what people are up in arms about? Granted, there are a wide variety of other problems with military medical care and facilities, but they're not classified.

            This isn't to say that secrecy has never been used to cover up for corruption or illegal behavior. But you're making some sweeping statements and coming to conclusions that aren't warranted. There is a compelling national security interest to not have easy-to-use street level photography of US military installations available globally. Basic principles of operational security and defense in depth would easily validate that. Does that mean some
            • by tha_mink (518151)
              Hey. Stop right there! That was a totally rational, logical and succinct post that didn't totally bash or belittle any political affiliation...

              What the hell are you doing here?
            • by Taevin (850923) *

              You then seem to make the logical leap that any use of secrecy in the last 7 years has been to cover up corruption (and this has never happened at any other time in US history...?).

              What are you saying here? That corruption and covering it up is acceptable in the present day simply because we've had corrupt men in power before?

              1. Some exclusively foreign traffic between foreign individuals can now travel through equipment located physically in the United States. Why should that be off limits? Indeed, if tel

              • What are you saying here? That corruption and covering it up is acceptable in the present day simply because we've had corrupt men in power before?

                Um, no? I'm addressing the curious choice of the timeframe of "the last 7 years", not justifying any occurrences just because it has happened before.

                Basic decency? Human rights?

                That is a fundamentally different issue than whether court oversight or warrants are required for foreign intelligence collection outside of the United States. Neither is, in fact, require
            • by megaditto (982598)
              What's the use of military secrecy in times of peace (esp. for a Superpower like us)?

              That's like getting a guard dog and not posting a "beware of dog" sign or like getting a nuclear arsenal and keeping it a secret until you are attacked, or getting a red Ferrari and not using it to pick up hot chicks... Idiotic, in other words!
          • by tha_mink (518151)

            I willing to play devil's advocate and say that it is a bad thing. Or, at least, the presumption that everything associated with the U.S. government should be kept secret from her citizens. In a democracy, everything paid for by taxpayer dollars should be open unless there is a real national security reason that it should be kept secret. And, I'm not convinced that there was a national security reason for Google to take down those images; it was probably some "cover my ass" action.

            Really. First off, the US is not a democracy, it's a republic. Semantics I guess. I don't think there's a real good argument out there for a need for there to be "street view" images of a United States military installation. Do you? Do you not see how that could be bad? That would put the level of your stupidity right up there with the guy who approved it in the first place I guess, so you're not alone?

        • There is simply no reason to have detailed street level photos of military bases online. It won't help citizens ferret out any wrongdoings on the government's part, and it may help someone plan an attack. Google should never have asked, and they did the right thing by removing them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by PapaSmurph (249554)
          For those of you who have never been on a military installation, there is a sign as you enter that says "Photography Prohibited". You can't take pictures on a military base. I'm guessing the pictures were pulled because they were taken without permission, not because there was anything secret in them. It's a matter of policy.

          As for the people who let them on the installation, I'm guessing they weren't military. There's a lot of "rent-a-cops" "protecting" military bases right now.

    • by qoncept (599709)
      ...how or why this is a bad thing.
      Go to wikipedia and look up OPSEC. Not that I necessarily agree with it, but use your imagination, man.

      Do we think there should be street level maps inside military installations on Google Street View?
      The military asked to have them removed. Obviously not.
      • Story -> Google Pulls Map Images At Pentagon's Request

        Reply -> How or why this is a bad thing?

        "this" = Google pulling the images

        Make more sense now?
        • by qoncept (599709)
          Got it. I didn't read anything in the original post that implied it was a bad thing. Guess we read it differently.
    • by kellyb9 (954229) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:06AM (#22675270)
      Come on, man. How long have you been Slashdot? You are obligated in all cases to say something negative about the US and censorship to get modded up that high. It helps ending with a comment about how the world is going to shit and you how you need to move to Canada. Something obviously went wrong here. But in all seriousness, you're dead on. It's suprised to see the Pentagon is actually on top of this. This means there must be some efficiency in the system. Speaking from experience, I don't really know how or why Google was given access. You typically have to jump through hoops just to get on one of these military bases. I almost think that Google probably should've known better, but thats just me.
      • by Bryansix (761547)

        You typically have to jump through hoops just to get on one of these military bases. I almost think that Google probably should've known better, but thats just me.
        Not all military bases are closed. One of the largest bases in the nation as far as land size (not population) is Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. FLW or "Fort Lost in the Woods" as I like to call it is a completely open base.
        • by toolie (22684)
          There are several Army posts that are open. There are no Air Force bases that are.
    • If they had planned this out they could have had low security installations with signs saying "nuclear arsenal this way". High security installations could have been made to look like training camps. Alternatively they could have laid traps, with signs saying "would the last one out of the missile store please turn off the light", then had a heavy armed presence at all times.
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      I'm trying to discover...
      ...how or why this is a bad thing.

      You know - I don't think anyone actually said it WAS a bad thing. It's interesting. It touches on something we know; interesting tech that tends to draw a lot of debate. That makes it news. But I'm not seeing anything that says there's something to be upset about.

      I suppose it's the nature of these things. Slashdot covers so many negative things that its gotten to the point one almost expects it. It almost goes against conditioning to see and article as anything but interesting.

      Unless, of course, yo

  • they let them in... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chaos421 (531619) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:44AM (#22675022) Homepage Journal
    well what did they expect? they let in a car with a deathstar-like thing on the roof. don't you think the gate guards would have asked what the heck that was? oh i don't know it could have been a camera, laser beam, bomb whatever... maybe they used the force. "move along."

    google street view camera [gizmodo.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Arancaytar (966377)
      This is not the ominous-looking black surveillance van you are looking for.
    • by gnick (1211984) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:11AM (#22675334) Homepage
      Depending on the guard/base, getting on is not always difficult - I accidentally sneaked onto an Air Force base a few years ago (my second time driving onto a military base where I was unauthorized.) I pulled up to the guard station expecting to be turned away - I just wanted to ask the guard for directions to the badge office so that I could get a day-pass for my car. As expected, he asked to see my vehicle pass but, before I could respond, he noticed that I had flowers on my passenger seat (they were given to me earlier that day as congratulations on the birth of my first son.) He told me that if I was just delivering flowers not to worry about it. But, he did mention that I shouldn't spend too long on base before waving me on.

      So that's it - You want to sneak onto base, arm yourself with flowers.

      (As a side note, on my first breach - a missile range - I was armed with a rat. But that's another story...)
      • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:33AM (#22675632) Homepage Journal
        What do you know, the hippies had it right after all.
      • by jregel (39009)
        All who want to hear the story about the rat and the missle range say "aye"...
        • by Eddi3 (1046882)
          Aye.
        • Oh definitely "Aye"!

          I need some material for a d&d campaign, perhaps it'll give me inspiration :P
        • by gnick (1211984) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:15PM (#22676158) Homepage
          Sorry - I didn't post it because I don't find it as interesting as the flower incident and wasn't sure anyone would even care to hear about the flower incident.

          Basically, I got lost. Really lost. (I've been known to get lost in elevators - Really. That can be embarrassing to explain.) I was driving from El Paso to Las Cruces with all of my stuff in my car because I was moving to go to school. That included my pet rat who would ride either in his cage on my passenger seat or on my shoulder. Anyway, I somehow wound up on the wrong side of the Organ mountains (I should have noticed that I'd lost the highway when I realized that there was no traffic and that somebody had installed tank-crossing signs along the road.) The road dead-ended at a guard station - I didn't realize that until the last minute because it was after midnight (dark) and I was tired. The guards (3) came out as I was scrambling to get my rat back in his cage. Before the guard that approached my car could ask WTF I was doing there, I started with "Where the hell am I?" With that, the other two guards chuckled and went back in the building.

          The guard that remained was obviously more interested in my rat than he was me and asked a few questions as to why in the hell I would have a rat with me. (Wouldn't a better question be "Why are you driving up to a military guard post at 0030?) I explained that I was moving had gotten turned around. He warned me that the missile range was closed except to personnel working there and told me to drive straight through without deviating. I did.

          That's it - End of story. It disturbed me a little that I was let in, but turning me around would have taken 1 hour+, so I won't complain.
          • by ivan256 (17499)
            It's a great story... But it seems to me that you were authorized. The guard gave you permission, after all.
            • by gnick (1211984)

              But it seems to me that you were authorized.

              Fair enough. Maybe I should have said "improperly authorized" rather than "unauthorized".

              In both cases, guards overstepped their authority by waving me on. The guards (for good reason) are not in charge of setting the security policies, just enforcing them. Now, is a guard exercising his own personal judgment and bending the rules a little to cut a break for someone that they decide isn't a threat necessarily a dangerous security breach? Probably not. But, in any case, the potential consequences are o

      • by Skye16 (685048)
        Please, do tell.

        Seriously. There's no way that story can be a bad one :D
    • by ubrgeek (679399)
      > laser beam

      They were hidden in the frickin' sharks ... ;)
    • by DrBuzzo (913503)
      It's not that hard to get onto some military bases. I guess it would depend on the time and the base itself, but if they waited for an airshow or something like that they might be able to get onto the non-sensitive parts of the base with relative ease.
  • really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by verbalcontract (909922) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:44AM (#22675024)

    Google Street View: Hey, we want to update Google Maps so ordinary citizens can more easily find their way around cities. Can we go into your military base with this car mounted with cameras in every direction? Seeing as so many ordinary citizens are going to and from the Starbucks next to Colonel Hapablap's quarters. Even though it's against Google policy to do this in military bases.

    Military Base: I see no problem with that.

    Seriously, how did this happen in the first place? Doesn't the military have security?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by qoncept (599709)
      You've obviously never worked in any supervisory position or for a large organization.

      Picture this. You're a gate guard at on a military base. Your instructions are to allow people in with the proper credentials, deny those without, salute officers and be on the lookout for questionable activity. You do this 10-12 hours a day and get absolutely no respect. You see an odd looking contraption in a car that, through the mind-numbing tedium of your job, you may point out to the guy you're working with, but p
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mitgib (1156957)

        but they don't listen to you because their job is 100% useless 99.9% of the time, and identifying the remaining .1% of the time is trivial.

        This is so dead on from my experience being in the Air Force back on the early 80's at least. Reminds me of the time we jacked the security guys at gunpoint when they crossed our barrier on the flight line with live weapons on the aircraft. You need to remember that at least what I saw in the Air Force, those that washed out of their chosen career due to not being able to complete the training became cops.

    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      Seriously, how did this happen in the first place? Doesn't the military have security?
      Apparently not, but the Pentagon is pretty dam'n efficient in catching this. Wow did I just say that????
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      Doesn't the military have security?

      They did in the early 1970s when I was in the Air Force. My normal job at Dover was towing Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE; compressors, generators, air conditioners, etc) around the flight line. Note that Dover was a MAC base, it's where the dead soldiers were flown from Vietnam to. I didn't know that until long after I was discharged and had no idea that those alumanum boxes were full of corpses.

      I was once volunteered to do a "security detal". The SPs (Same as MPs only t
  • by djmurdoch (306849) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:48AM (#22675082)

    (which was not identified in press reports)
    The BBC report [bbc.co.uk] identifies the base as Fort Sam Houston, in Texas.
    • by Novae D'Arx (1104915) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:07AM (#22675292) Homepage Journal
      Meh. I work a lot at Fort Sam - actually, at the hospital on base. The thing is about the place that it's a much more "open" base than pretty much any other one in the Army. It's a post dedicated almost entirely to training or medical support, and therefore can be much more laid-back than one with a buttload of ordinance and military "secrets" lying around. Also, last time I checked, they use semi-incompetent private security instead of armed military guards like almost every other Army post. I am absolutely unsurprised that there was a mistake like this made. Anyway, that point being made, these guys are too relaxed. The hospital is "open" as long as you can show a valid drivers' license at the gate. The rest of the base is fenced off from there, but the same guards control the gates, and get used to waving anybody through that looks like they think they should be there - lots of drug reps, for example, have to do some of their contracting or product-related teaching on the main post, and it becomes a logistical mess to give them special access IDs and the like. There's a lot of mix-ups related to things like this, so surprise surprise, somebody slipped through who wasn't supposed to be there. It's not some goofy general's fault, really, it's just the unique challenge presented by a post like this one where it's Army, but doesn't have the same mentality as most of the rest of the Army.
    • by paitre (32242)
      As soon as I read the blurb I kinda figured it was Ft Sam.

      They just uploaded, recently, San Antonio street-level pics (like, over the last couple weeks), so it makes sense, just due to timing.

      And while Sam might be open, it's still generally not kosher to be taking pictures of everything.
  • Hollywood politics (Score:2, Informative)

    by Arreez (1252440)
    This is a case of a request from a big named company making a base commanders eyes like a child to candy. Every commander wants to leave a mark on the base he resides. This was an opportunity for this bases commander to be known as the great commander that has a great relationship with google. He can now stretch this at dinner parties and play the "Oh your son is into computers??? I know someone at google...maybe I can make a call for you". US military bases are not as secure as they should be.
    • by amiga3D (567632) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:07AM (#22675294)
      US Military Bases are small towns. They have Burger Kings, Shopping areas, Pools, Golf Courses, Snack Bars and Grills, picnic areas, fishing lakes, child care centers, housing areas....etc. For most of the Base the security is fairly low level. They screen people coming in but it can be evaded if you are determined. Once inside they have areas that are high security. Don't try your luck with those. They've got 19 year olds with automatic weapons that have been brainwashed to the max and are very serious about security. I used to work on perimeter security equipment....those cops are scary. More than one person I know has found themselves in the wrong area....face down on concrete with a locked and loaded M16 to the back of the head. It's not any fun.

      • by Arreez (1252440) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:14AM (#22675396)
        I spent 4 years active duty and you are right about the amenities on the base. However, those 19 year olds with automatic weapons are not brainwashed by any means. Most of them dont want to be on duty and dont want to be there. They are strict about certain areas such as flight lines....if you step over the yellow line then you are on your face. Don't be fooled by speculation based on what the military is advertised to be.....its not.
      • by kabocox (199019)
        US Military Bases are small towns. They have Burger Kings, Shopping areas, Pools, Golf Courses, Snack Bars and Grills, picnic areas, fishing lakes, child care centers, housing areas....etc. For most of the Base the security is fairly low level. They screen people coming in but it can be evaded if you are determined. Once inside they have areas that are high security. Don't try your luck with those. They've got 19 year olds with automatic weapons that have been brainwashed to the max and are very serious abo
  • ITS NOT CENSORSHIP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Friday March 07, 2008 @10:59AM (#22675214)
    Most anything on a military base belongs to the military. Most of the buildings, most of the vehicles, most of the people - GI stands for Government Issue... Therefore in this case it is not 'censorship' in the least.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kimvette (919543)
      . . . and here in America, the military, just like the rest of the government, belongs to the people. In theory, at least. In practice I understand it's quite different, but it shouldn't be. All aspects of government ought to be 100% accountable to the people.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JeanBaptiste (537955)
        It's a little different when you're _in_ the military though. you are no longer a private citizen. they can order you to go take that hill, they can order you to go halfway around the world, they can order you to STFU.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Compholio (770966)

          It's a little different when you're _in_ the military though. you are no longer a private citizen. they can order you to go take that hill, they can order you to go halfway around the world, they can order you to STFU.
          That doesn't change that private citizens in this country still have the right to know the things that their government (and by extension their military) are up to.
          • by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:29AM (#22675560)
            Doubt it. It's never been that way before, why would that change all of the sudden now? There's probably things from WW2 that are still classified. And not like it's the military - do you think you can waltz into an IRS office and demand to know everything they are doing? Of course not, you cannot view other people's tax information! Just as you wouldn't be allowed to attend a high level meeting between Generals... Some information is private, and if you think about it, often it's for good reason.
  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:01AM (#22675234)
    After billions are spent on homeland security, the general public inconvenienced to hell, some of our freedom taken away in the name of security..and something like this is allowed to happen? Well, I sure do feel safe.
  • by Hao Wu (652581) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:04AM (#22675250) Homepage
    Why can't I censor my address "for security reasons"?
     
    I consider it a threat that anyone can scout my home for robbery (ie. the best approach and exit) without even driving by.

    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      I'm not ever really sure how to respond to this. I guess by "censor your address", you mean censor the blueprints for your home?? But I'm not sure. As far as I know, they aren't publicly available, but I could be wrong. Regardless, I doubt they are on the Internet. The truth is I can drive by your home in much the same way I can drive by a military base.... except they usually have big fucking fences.... put up a big fucking fence and I guess that might "censor your address"
      • by bkr1_2k (237627)
        Actually all home blueprints are a matter of public record. They're required to be, and many states do have them available online, though not all. You're required by nearly every state to have blueprints for any [authorized] editions and structural changes for your home, so they have to provide them (most home owners don't get the originals) to you, at a nominal fee, usually.

        I'll say it again though, someone driving by your house isn't the same as them being able to "scope" you out from the internet. It
    • by blueg3 (192743) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:14AM (#22675388)
      Anything they can see from a public street is not private. I suggest finding a house further from the street.
    • by Sciros (986030)
      Yeah, citizens government. That's the way it's been for, idk, thousands of years.
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Ok there was a "less than" sign there. I forgot that /. is dumb even if I post in "plain old text."
    • by mapkinase (958129)
      Because you are an orange, not an apple.
  • by GottliebPins (1113707) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:08AM (#22675308)
    I lived on a military base for 4 years and was amazed that while I had to wait in line to enter the base showing proper ID (either look at my ID card or see the sticker on my car window), pizza and delivery trucks would drive on and off with no trouble. Any fool could drive a car onto the base full of explosives with a pizza sign on it and nobody would stop them. And the security itself was a joke too. During the day I used to drive on with my long hair, beard, and earring, and they would salute me as I drove past because my car had an officer sticker on it, no ID check. Only at night did they check ID's. And if you really wanted to get on base at night all you had to do was walk to one of the closed gates and climb over, or walk into the woods and find a tree that had fallen onto the fence or bloody walk down to the back bay where the fence ends at the water and walk around it. Hopefully security has improved since 9/11.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mark_hill97 (897586)
      I used to work for AAFES on MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL. While the things you said about deliveries and such used to be true after 9/11 it all changed. At our base there was a special gate JUST for deliveries, where the contents would be examined in depth. Coming onto the base you would be subjected to a high level of examination, mirrors under the car, examining everything. It was a nightmare, 4-5 hours just to get onto the base if you were driving (I lived near enough that i would walk into work). As for jum
    • pizza and delivery trucks would drive on and off with no trouble.

      A lot of the pizza drivers are active duty or retired mil. They take the runs on base specifically to avoid any hassles.
      I was one of those.
  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran.gmail@com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:11AM (#22675338)
    From what I gather from the article is that the film crew just pulled up to a military base and asked if they could shoot some film/pictures in there.
    It sounds to me that the guys that were filming just wanted a challenge, see how far they can get waving a "google-film-crew" badge. Or just try for giggles, who knows.

    Anyway, it seems to me the military is the erroneous party involved here, if you just let a citizen drive up your base and let them film, something is definatly wrong with your security
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      What I'd like to know is why Google wanted to shoot military bases but they haven't gotten around to doing St Louis yet?
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Right because every citizen who is let on base is stripped of their cell phone cameras right? The answer is no, they are not. Ya, they shouldn't be filming there but base security on a big open base like that isn't going to be able to stop every picture from coming out of there.
  • by GrayGhost144 (1252452) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:13AM (#22675358)
    In support of Google's latest new product, the images have been moved to googlespy. com
  • by dsaint (14427) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:15AM (#22675408)

    "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." http://www.google.com/corporate/ [google.com]
    I guess they need to add an asterisk to that mission statement.
  • by rongage (237813) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:56AM (#22675922)

    Perhaps it wasn't the best choice to start off at Area-51. That place doesn't exist after all....

  • I guess (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BigJClark (1226554)

    I'm the only who thought about, why not change the pictures of the base, to be wholly incorrect, or swap them around. In this way, your average civilian Joe can enjoy zooming around the military base at home, and your average terrorist Bob cannot effectively plan an assault.

    Just a thought..
  • Why shouldn't they have asked? That's not illegal yet, is it?

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

Working...