The Dark Side of New Technology


google_small.jpgADOTAS — The news that Indian authorities want Google Earth images of the country banned for a few years, once again highlights the possible pitfalls of new technology.

Officials say that gunmen who attacked Mumbai targets communicated by satellite phone, used mobile phones and may have monitored events as the siege unfolded via handheld Blackberry web browsers. The attackers also, allegedly, familiarized themselves with Mumbai streets using satellite images. Google has blurred images, including the White House, in the past.

Twitter previously was mentioned as a possible terrorist tool, though that was deemed a low risk by security experts, and Microsoft moved to ease European privacy concerns with some of its tools.

How this affects the makers of these products is unknown. But even when countries ban one high tech tool, another takes its place so the effectiveness of a ban seems small.

On a side note, and I would be hard pressed to believe this has anything to do with the proposed ban, the complaint comes shortly after India said it would launch its own version of Google Earth.

— Express your opinion, comment below.


  1. Unfortunately this is not an effective response. When up against superior technology or denied conventional technology, terrorists find simple ways to work around it.

    Take the electronic communications and intelligence superiority of US forces in Somalia in the ’90s. Enemies used drums to communicate.

    Take away Google Earth, and there will still be paper maps.


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