Monday, 2 March 2009

Google Earth In Security Alert; Faslane, GCHQ and AWE

It really is odd, if you walk past these sites you are asked not to take pictures, some your not even to make a sketch of (Burfield AWE). The Government brought in new bylaws to stop people camping near them, and forced me to delete pictures from my camera of these secretive by laws.

Yet here they are on Google Earth! Two years ago the Government asked Google to blot out British bases in Iraq after a terrorist held in Basra was found with a Google Earth map of the Shatt Al-Arab base.

The UK's military top brass are said to be "furious" that updated imagery on Google Earth has laid bare pretty well all of our defence infrastructure, including Faslane nuclear sub base, the "nuclear crisis HQ" in Northwood, North London, the SAS barracks in Herefordshire, GCHQ in Cheltenham and MI6's spook central in London.

Detailed views of the facility on the Faslane Sub Base on the River Clyde in Scotland are available free to all users of the internet. The images of the base show two Vanguard Class submarines at the site, which is the home of Britain's nuclear defence force. The internet site shows the main base as well as the Trident Special Area, ten miles away, where nuclear warheads are stored.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said "We do everything to protect bases but it's impossible to control all websites providing satellite imagery. If people are really determined to target these sites they can find these images and there is nothing we can do to stop them."

A Google spokeswoman said: "We do listen to requests from governments but we don't comment on the details of any of those discussions."

Google Censored
AWE & Burghfield

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