A California lawmaker, Assemblyman Joel Anderson, a Republican, introduced a bill in the state assembly that would require virtual mapping programs to blur out schools, places of worship, government or medical buildings. The punishment for not doing so? Significant fines and possible jail time.
The reasoning for this odd measure? To help fight terrorism.
Citing attacks in Israel and Mumbai, in which online mapping sites were used in planning, Anderson said “I don’t want California to be helping map out future targets for terrorists.”
“All I’m trying to do is stop terrorists,” he added.
According to Assemblyman Anderson’s bill,
Street-level imagery would also be banned. Companies that violated the provisions of the bill would face fines of up to $250,000 for every day the illegal imagery was available online.
Those who let such images stay online could face up to three years in jail.
I don’t know about you, but I like being able to see the storefront of the place I am looking for, especially in unexplored parts of town. I am not the only one. I bet it is much greater public benefit than harm.
It is an absurd, neurotically anti-terror, suggestion that online mapping enables terror to the extent that limiting it will decrease attacks or their harmfulness. Either Anderson is politicking with the great terror card, extremely naive, or hates Google — even though his site gets top billing for searches of his ubiquitous name.Filed Under maps, war of terror, war on freedom, Will