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Google Earth asked to blur sensitive images

New York state lawmaker Michael Gianaris calls on Google Earth to blur views of potential terror targets on its maps.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2007 12:06 IST

New York state lawmaker Michael Gianaris has called on Google Earth to blur views of potential terror targets on its maps.

At a press conference on Sunday, the Queens assemblyman said federal authorities need to work with Google to blur maps that detail sensitive areas such as airports, chemical storage plants and military bases.

The call comes after reports that the terrorists who were plotting to blow up a pipeline feeding JFK airport, used the site to plan their attack.

Gianaris said he had written three letters to Google Earth's CEO and had received one response, saying the website has enough security measures in place.

Google said in a statement: "Anyone who flies above or drives by a piece of property can obtain similar information. Google takes security concerns very seriously, and is always willing to discuss them with public agencies and officials."

New Yorkers have mixed feelings about Gianaris' concerns. Some think the information is already out there. Some think a general map does not constitute a threat.

On June 2, the Federal Bureau of Investigation exposed an unfledged terror plot masterminded by a Brooklyn man and three foreigners intending to blow up the fuel line at JFK Airport.

If the plot were carried out, the consequences would be unthinkable, city officials said.

First Published: Jun 11, 2007 11:16 IST