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Google Street View Gets Israeli Government's Nod 90

hypnosec writes "Israel's Justice Ministry has decided to give its approval to Google's Street View services to feature 360 degree images of the country's streets, according to a new, confirmed report. The ministry also assured that Tel Aviv's Law, Information and Technology Authority will cause no worries for Google from now on when it comes to deploying its sophisticated photography equipment in the streets, as well as in posting the photographs taken on its map service."
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Google Street View Gets Israeli Government's Nod

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  • Was it some big deal that google was not allowed to map streets via this method in Israel?
    • by Penguin ( 4919 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:33AM (#37175548) Homepage
      There are some real bizarre laws out there. For instance, United States companies are restricted in the resolution of satellite imagery of Israel.

      This is truly bizarre, albeit true []. With the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act [] in 1997, private companies in United States aren't allowed to provide high resolution satellite/aerial imagery of Israel. This restriction boggles my mind for a free country. Not that it matters much longer as other countries such as Turkey are going to provide high-resolution imagery of Israel in 2013.

      It could be possible to construct a rudimentary "aerial" view by warping street view imagery (of course several areas and building roofs would not get into that picture) however. So yeah, there are some pretty weird restrictions out there.
      • by AJH16 ( 940784 )

        The issue comes from the conflict with Palestine. They are concerned about any highly accurate mapping that could be used for targeting attacks. Sure it's a little weird and probably mostly ineffective since my understanding is that the Palestinians lack anything with accurate guidance, but they may fear they will get something in the future. No doubt, they probably made a deal with Google to alter the accuracy of certain landmarks in exchange before giving approval.

      • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @09:42AM (#37177616)

        This restriction boggles my mind for a free country.

        What AIPAC wants, AIPAC gets.

      • makes sense to's a matter of national security. Keep in mind that the Arabs/Palestinians have been targeting Israeli civilians constantly for over 100 yrs...and of course in the past 15 yrs especially so. We don't want to be handing intelligence info over to our enemies (i.e. our enemies b/c we are allied with Israel in defense of their nation).

    • by Sun ( 104778 )

      I hate to break the series of misinformed replies you received, but the main objection by the Israeli government (residing, by and large, in Jerusalem, not Tel-Aviv) had to do with privacy. The conditions given to Google had to do with obscuring license plates and faces, and not much else.


  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does Google still sniff all the wireless networks and collect all emails they can catch while they drive around, like they did in Finland?

  • and what is written on the confident/top-secret agreements. ;-)
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:46AM (#37175588)

    Given the amount of disputed territory claimed by Israel, is this a political hot potato for Google? Will the Google-cars be driving round streets that the local authorities then help with identifying? I can imagine situations where the Google image makers come back with maps and a local authority says "yes, this is called so-and-so Street, this is called this-and-that Street" and six months later when the images are published there's a big outcry because these streets have been known locally by Palestinian names, or the Google-vans have been driving round new settlement areas and map them as being Israeli land while other communities claim that this has been illegally acquired land.

    Given the outcry when Google has innocently and accidently attributed a border feature / street to the wrong country in other places, I can imagine this is a very hot potato to be dealing with...

    • by danish94 ( 2427678 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:58AM (#37175634)
      Google already has a map of israel with names of the streets. The disputed areas are beyond the green line and google will probably not go there at all.
    • Lol, I don't know who would be suicidal enough to drive google street view vans in the occupied territories. I mean ambulances have been for allegedly containing terrorist weapons, what chances do you think a foreign spy vehicle has?
    • can't they just have multiple names in google?
      nearly all of the road signs in Israel are in both Hebrew and Arabic.

  • Google v the Israeli government. Is there some way they can both lose?
  • Hell, they might as well put Google street-view cars in Tripoli or Iraq while they're at it; perfect targets for western homogenization hating RPG practice.

    I'm all about like, pioneering the way forward, but this seems a little brazen for Google given the political climate and constant, you know...rocket fire between Israel and Palestine...but, what do I know...I'm just a humble developer.
    • by Knave75 ( 894961 )

      .rocket fire between Israel and Palestine....

      The rocket fire only goes one way. "Between" implies that the Palestinians fire rockets at civilians, and that Israel responds by blindly launching rockets back at the Palestinians.

      Anyhow, back on topic. Currently, the rocket fire is inadequate. It is not beyond imagining that google street view could enhance the accuracy and lethality of Palestinian rocket fire, which would make a restriction make perfect sense. I assume that it has been determined by Israel that, despite what I just said in the

  • This is kinda cool. It could help with peace efforts. Israeli's have been so vilified by arab governments that they don't' even imagine them as human beings. Seeing them in their daily lives walking about chatting, with kids and friends...should help to convey that we're all just people and we should get along. Also Arabs will see how well Israeli's who are Arab live within the country and may see that coexistence is possible.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll