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California Lawmaker Wants to Carpet Bomb Google Maps to Beat Terrorists

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.

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Discussion

9 Responses to “California Lawmaker Wants to Carpet Bomb Google Maps to Beat Terrorists”

  1. off topic, but guys, i haaaate the new comments system. i could make my peace with it, but you've got to fix it so it displays the number of comments on each post on the front page!!!

    Posted by reader | March 5, 2009, 9:27 pm
  2. We might as well ban medicine so terrorists can't heal from their wounds.

    Posted by Arayus | March 5, 2009, 9:32 pm
  3. It does! I see it in the parentheses next to comments. Don't you? Do you us explorer? If not, which browser?

    Posted by Will | March 5, 2009, 9:41 pm
  4. "it was revealed that terrorists in Israel and Mumbai used popular mapping programs to help plot their attacks" Eliminating tools for terrorist use is a good idea. Perhaps a balance can be found between necessary security and what must be sacrificed, for example, longer lines and boarding times at airports are a sacrifice people are willing to make to have security. (One gets the impression that around here there will always be some sarcastic reason why anything anti-terror is bad. Wrong?)

    Posted by eagle007blogger | March 5, 2009, 9:48 pm
  5. I couldn't agree more!

    Posted by Strawman | March 5, 2009, 10:47 pm
  6. Tools that may be used by terrorists: the internet, maps, GPS, mobile phones, television, radio, email, walkie talkies, public records..etc etc etc. Censoring so much of google maps falls into this ridiculous list.

    Posted by Mohammad | March 6, 2009, 5:55 pm
  7. Right Mohammad because ANYTHING anti-terror is bad, bad, bad!

    Posted by Sheik | March 6, 2009, 9:27 pm
  8. You know full well that's not what I said. I'm saying a lot of things that take place under the guise of 'anti-terrorism' are just ridiculous. This is one of them.

    Posted by Mohammad | March 6, 2009, 9:59 pm
  9. weird! no parentheses show up for me — firefox 3.0.6 for mac. help! :(

    Posted by reader | March 7, 2009, 12:51 am

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