UK Government Orders Google To Take Down SAS Images From Street View

Search engine giant Google's controversial Street View service has earned itself a slap on the wrist by the UK government after it was discovered that the company had managed to take photographs of secret government establishments and posted them on the internet.

However, the company has now been ordered to remove some of the photographs as they breached the Official Secrets Act, that prohibits 'loitering, photography, sketching' of secret intelligence buildings.

According to a report on the Daily Telegraph, Street View had posted quite a detailed collection of the secret British military and research buildings including the Special Air Services (SAS), Special Boat Services, Mi5 headquarters and other top-secret research locations and buildings.

Interestingly, all of the above mentioned buildings have put a warning sign outside their entrance, prohibiting photography or imaging of any kind.

However, Google chose to photograph these secret buildings any ways, happily ignoring the laws of the country, in which it has a 95 percent share in the search engine market.

More importantly, several government representatives fear that the photographs posted on Street View, can be used by terrorists and other anti-social elements to plan violent and disruptive acts of terrorism.

Our Comments

A Google spokesman, commenting on the issue, said in a statement that “Google Street View is only made up of images from public roads and so it's to be expected that buildings that anyone can see walking down the street may appear.” That said, Google is not above the law.

Related Links

Google Street View 'forced to remove images of secret British security bases'

(Telegraph)

Google images of Herefordshire SAS HQ 'irresponsible'

(BBC)

SAS base images to stay on Google Street View

(Times Online)

Google Street View under fire again

(V3)