Legislators in California – that state of the eternal budget crisis – have decided that it’s a good idea to spend money trying to force Google to blur Google Maps images of what are known as “soft targets” for terrorists, such as schools, churches, hospitals, and government buildings, to protect them against terrorist attacks.
Because you know, terrorists can’t find an address without Google Maps.
The California legislator sponsoring the bill, San Diego Republican Joel Anderson, says that he decided to draft the bill “after reading reports suggesting that terrorists used online map imagery to plan attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere.”
Even the average schoolchild knows how to find an address online, and how to look it up on a map. Why Anderson thinks that “blurring images” in Google Maps will in any way thwart terrorist attacks on these “soft targets” is a mystery.
“All I’m trying to do is stop terrorists. I don’t want California to be helping map out future targets for terrorists,” said Anderson.
Responded Google, “We are happy to speak with Assemblyman Anderson regarding this legislation and hope to have a productive conversation. Google Maps and Google Earth provide users with a rich, immersive experience, offering useful information and enabling greater understanding of a specific location or area.”
The law, if passed, would require images of schools, churches, hospitals and government buildings to be blurred, and companies who violate the law would be fined up to $250,000 per day for so long as the unblurred image remained online.
Oh..wait, maybe that’s why the financially-strapped state is looking at spending the bucks on passing such a law.
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