California lawmaker wants satellite images blurred

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California lawmaker wants satellite images blurred

A member of the California assembly has tabled a bill that would force mapping companies to blur out millions of images in case they aid terrorists.

Joel Anderson, a San Diego Republican, has tabled the bill which would ban street view images and blur satellite pictures of schools, places of worship, government or medical buildings.

Failure to do so would bring fines of $250,000 a day and up to three years in prison.

"All I'm trying to do is stop terrorists," Anderson told the AP.

"I don't want California to be helping map out future targets for terrorists. "

He cited the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, where the attackers purportedly used Google Earth images to check out targets and plot access and escape routes.

Such moves have been discussed before and certain facilities are already blurred out by companies like Google. These include some nuclear sites, army bases and, until recently, the home of the US Vice President.

However security experts have questioned the value of such moves, pointing out that terrorists have a host of other potential sources of aid.

“Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then,” said security guru Bruce Schneier.

“While terrorism turns society's very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response - just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.”

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