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Censorship The Military

Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government 96

hypnosec writes with news that India's Central Bureau of Investigation has ordered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google for violating Indian laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations in the country. As per the PE, registered on the basis of a complaint made by the Surveyor General of India's office to the Union Home Ministry, Google has been accused of organizing a mapping competition dubbed 'Mapathon' in February-March 2013 without taking prior permission from Survey of India, country's official mapping agency. The mapping competition required citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants. The Survey of India (SoI), alarmed by the event, asked the company to share its event details. While going through the details the watchdog found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain."
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Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @11:25AM (#47550179) Homepage

    Except, I'm pretty sure there are plenty of places which are also censored [] or blurred from Google maps and the like.

    India is hardly the first country to do this, and there's a few US installations which are blurred out.

    Governments censor data, film at 11.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @11:56AM (#47550447)

    If you can see it from public property and tell what it is, it's (effectively) in the public domain, isn't it?

    Not necessarily. This isn't the United States. Different laws and customs applied differently. Your normal expectations regarding the law may not apply.

    I'd say Google's doing them a favour. If any of their secret installations turn up on it, you know it's time to shut them down or move them.

    Yeah... I'm sure that's exactly how they will see it too... [/sarcasm]

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @12:52PM (#47550929) Journal
    USA routinely tells google to hide sensitive areas and google complies voluntarily

    ...With the inherent irony that you can then use that hidden data specifically to find "sensitive" areas you might not have known about (just randomly load highest-zoom tiles until you find one with artificially degraded resolution) - Then pull up the same data at 1m resolution from the USGS quarter quad library.

    You want something hidden from space? Build it deep enough underground to hide its IR footprint. Attempting to hide things through censorship works sooo well - Just ask Babs S.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2014 @05:56PM (#47553401)

    It's because there are too few planes in India and too few candidates to make the economics of flying schools work in India. The entire aviation sector in the country is probably less than what JFK handles.

    So, you see, it isn't really about permits. Its about economics of scale. Also, there is a huge sunk cost in airplanes like Cessna in the US which enables a pilot to get all the hours necessary for commercial certification.I was looking into all of this some years ago for when the aviation sector opened up in India. The cost of training outside of India was cheaper than the cost of flying in India due to the sunk cost or per hour lease rates of Cessna in India vs US.

    So, it's cheaper to rent a Cessna (more of them available outside of India) as opposed to the other option. Hope this helps clarify issues. Yes there is red tape around acquiring used aircraft and such for training. Why? Just like FAA, the Indian equivalent also has equally good rules on aircraft safety and what needs to be replaced when. So even if you acquire an used Cessna and move it to India, it will end up costing more.

    In effect, it's cheaper to learn where there is plenty of excess capacity already paid for by the middle class America of the 1970's. Now, I don't know how many in middle-class america can afford to fly now.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson