Much of Sydney’s CBD as it appears in the satellite images on Google Maps Australia has been fuzzed out, just weeks before the APEC summit.Google says the imagery was downgraded as a result of a “commercial issue” with a supplier, but the move has aroused speculation it was done at the request of police in order to minimise the risk of a terrorist attack during the September summit, where Sydney will play host to 21 world leaders including U.S. President George W. Bush.
Google has in the past been accused of censoring its maps due to national security concerns by governments, most recently in June when it updated its maps of Washington D.C. but maintained older, blurry images for most of the downtown area.
Users of Google Maps Australia could previously zoom in for satellite views as close as 25m above the ground in much of Sydney, but now maps of the CBD are blurry even when zoomed out to 300m.
Where users could once make out individual people, tree branches and garbage bin lids they can now only view vague outlines of objects.
OMG Give it up, if this was really done at the behest of the Government for National Security reasons then they are their own worst enemy. Any Terrorist that leaves it this late in the game to plan an attack a few weeks out is certainly not going to succeed. But of course the planning would have happened a LONG time ago.
Further more even if they can only make out vague outlines, if they want to hit the Opera House it won’t be hard to know which blob it is.
So if Google did it at the request of the Government good for them complying and staying out of trouble… but it would only go to show just how stupid our governments really are… no?