MOD won't go to war on Google Earth

Google comes under 'secrets' criticism, after sub base spotted

Military experts have criticised Google Earth, after close-up views of a top-secret naval base in Scotland were found on the service.

According to The Sun, images of the naval base include two Vanguard Class nuclear submarines and even reveal the co ordinates of the base.

The Sun's unnamed 'military experts' believe that "a strike on our nuclear capability would cause untold devastation. Terrorists could have a field day, knowing exactly where to aim strikes to cause the maximum devastation."

Impractical

With this in mind, TechRadar spoke to the MOD about the Google Earth controversy, and it insisted that no action would be taken toward Google and felt that asking the website to take the images off would be 'impractical'.

"The MOD cannot prevent satellites taking imagery of its establishments, however we ensure that steps are taken to protect highly sensitive equipment," said a spokesperson.

"It would be impractical to ask Google to withdraw images as they can be easily obtained from other sources over which we have no influence."

The spokesperson also revealed that satellite imagery comes under a different remit to aerial photography. In short, if Google had taken the pictures from a plane, the imagery could be deemed as illegal. As the images come from a satellite no actual action can be taken.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.