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Terrorists use Googlemaps to hit UK troops,army 2 sue google


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this news made me rofl now the british army is considering sueing Google hahaha

Terrorists 'use Google maps to hit UK troops'

Terrorists attacking British bases in Basra are using aerial footage displayed by the Google Earth internet tool to pinpoint their attacks, say Army intelligence sources.

Documents seized during raids on the homes of insurgents last week uncovered print-outs from photographs taken from Google.

The satellite photographs show in detail the buildings inside the bases and vulnerable areas such as tented accommodation, lavatory blocks and where lightly armoured Land Rovers are parked.

Written on the back of one set of photographs taken of the Shatt al Arab Hotel, headquarters for the 1,000 men of the Staffordshire Regiment battle group, officers found the camp's precise longitude and latitude.

"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks," said an intelligence officer with the Royal Green Jackets battle group. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?

"We are concerned that they use them to plan attacks. We have never had proof that they have deliberately targeted any area of the camp using these images but presumably they are of great use to them.

"We believe they use Google Earth to identify the most vulnerable areas such as tents."

One soldier has been killed in the past six months following a mortar attack and there have been several injuries.

Since the maps were found intelligence chiefs have been keeping track of where rounds land to see if the insurgents are using them to pinpoint weakly protected areas.

The British camps experience mortar and rocket attacks on a daily basis.

Salvos are fired from up to four miles away and are increasingly accurate.

Yesterday three rounds were fired into Basra Palace at a block close to where The Daily Telegraph was staying. No one was injured.

Intelligence sources also believe that the insurgents are receiving more training and weaponry from Iran to improve their fighting skills. But the British are gathering more intelligence on mortar crews and launching several "strike operations" to detain the operators.

Anyone with the internet can sign up to Google Earth and by simply typing in the name of a location they can receive very detailed imagery down to identifying types of vehicles.

The company is one of several internet outlets that buy aerial imagery, usually taken by aircraft but sometimes by satellite, from governments or mapping companies.

It is unclear how old the maps are but it is believed the Basra images were made within the past two years.

Major Charlie Burbridge, the British military spokesman in Iraq, said: "We take the security of our bases very seriously and we constantly review the means to provide secure accommodation for our soldiers.

"There is a constant threat of reconnaissance missions to access our bases and using these internet images is just another method of how this is conducted."

A Google spokesman said the information could be used for "good and bad" and was available to the public in many forms. "Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," he said.

"We have opened channels with the military in Iraq but we are not prepared to discuss what we have discussed with them. But we do listen and we are sensitive to requests."

There have also been reports that the images are being sold to rogue militias in the market place in Basra.

The British security services are concerned that terrorists will be able to examine in detail sensitive infrastructure such as electricity stations, military basis, and their own headquarters in London.

Soldiers from the Royal Green Jackets based at the Basra Palace base said they had considered suing Google Earth if they were injured by mortar rounds that had been directed on the camp by the aerial footage.

"Even if they did blank out the areas where we are based it is a bit after the horse has bolted as the terrorist now have the maps and know exactly where we eat, sleep and go to the toilet," one soldier said.

source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...3/wgoogle13.xml

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I'm uncertain of the truth behind the article but I can't see this getting anything more than a solid round of laughter from any lawyers. Even if the base wasn't in Iraq and was actually on British soil is would be hard enough to get the case anywhere near court.

From what I gather the entire article is speculation anyway, they can only guess what the terrorists intended to do with the maps, there's no evidence they are being used specifically for artillery fire. There's also very little in the way of actual quotes from military officials to support these allegations and a lot of journalistic nonsense to make it more of a story.

I don't see how the blame can be laid on Google, are you going to sue a company that makes binoculars because they allow terrorists to see into your base from a distance? Perhaps you would like to sue the makers of the mortar's for making a device capable of killing people? Maybe you want to sue Atlas publishers for showing the terrorists where London is? Better yet how about you sue your own training facilities for producing such inept officers?

I also find it hard to believe that a relatively modern army like the British doesn't know how to operate in hostile environment where detailed intelligence is easily available to both sides. There's been half a century of spy satellites, high resolution cameras etc. I think it was about WWI when generals realised the enemy could see their positions from the sky in their observation balloons. Surely someone at the base has some sort of training in methods of countering such attempts at probing their bases' defences?

The satellite photographs show in detail the buildings inside the bases and vulnerable areas such as tented accommodation, lavatory blocks and where lightly armoured Land Rovers are parked.

Standing on a high vantage point with a telescopic lens does the same thing.

Written on the back of one set of photographs taken of the Shatt al Arab Hotel, headquarters for the 1,000 men of the Staffordshire Regiment battle group, officers found the camp's precise longitude and latitude.

Stand at the gate of the base with a handheld GPS unit?

"This is evidence as far as we are concerned for planning terrorist attacks," said an intelligence officer with the Royal Green Jackets battle group. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?

The "evidence" seems to prove nothing more than terrorists understand how to use Google Earth. I do understand that the maps probably are being used for some not so good purposes but there are a lot of other reasons for the maps. Looking at military bases in the US, Russia, China etc is quite popular among users of Google Earth, you never know what you might see. Perhaps someone was merely curious as to what was really in that big British military base down the road?

"We are concerned that they use them to plan attacks. We have never had proof that they have deliberately targeted any area of the camp using these images but presumably they are of great use to them.

"We believe they use Google Earth to identify the most vulnerable areas such as tents."

Merely speculating on the intended purposes again and there's other ways to gather intelligence. I'm guessing a camera is probably cheaper and more reliable than a decent broadband internet in Iraq?

One soldier has been killed in the past six months following a mortar attack and there have been several injuries.

Since the maps were found intelligence chiefs have been keeping track of where rounds land to see if the insurgents are using them to pinpoint weakly protected areas.

The British camps experience mortar and rocket attacks on a daily basis.

Salvos are fired from up to four miles away and are increasingly accurate.

Yesterday three rounds were fired into Basra Palace at a block close to where The Daily Telegraph was staying. No one was injured.

Obviously the maps aren't giving the terrorists pin point accuracy. While I regret the loss of any human life the inhabitants of the base aren't exactly being slaughtered. I imagine casualties are what would be expected of an inexperienced "terrorist" randomly firing a poorly made and maintained mortar towards your base.

Intelligence sources also believe that the insurgents are receiving more training and weaponry from Iran to improve their fighting skills. But the British are gathering more intelligence on mortar crews and launching several "strike operations" to detain the operators.

It sounds like Iran is a lot more likely to improve their accuracy then Google Earth, some how I don't a lawsuit would work against Iran either though.

Anyone with the internet can sign up to Google Earth and by simply typing in the name of a location they can receive very detailed imagery down to identifying types of vehicles.

That means that you too can sign up for it and use it. If it's such a wonderful tool for reconnaissance then maybe you should use it to hunt Osama down?

The company is one of several internet outlets that buy aerial imagery, usually taken by aircraft but sometimes by satellite, from governments or mapping companies.

There's hundreds of providers of imagery, Google Earth just happens to be free and popular, if consumers can find an alternative then surely terrorists can too. There's no way you can count on all of them to censor your base.

It is unclear how old the maps are but it is believed the Basra images were made within the past two years.

Maybe that's why they're not hitting anything, they're firing their mortars at where you had your tent pitched two years ago.

There have also been reports that the images are being sold to rogue militias in the market place in Basra.

Apparently "rogue militias" can't get internet access or a printer but "terrorists" can get them just fine and sell the maps?

The British security services are concerned that terrorists will be able to examine in detail sensitive infrastructure such as electricity stations, military basis, and their own headquarters in London.

As mentioned earlier it can already be done in many other ways.

Soldiers from the Royal Green Jackets based at the Basra Palace base said they had considered suing Google Earth if they were injured by mortar rounds that had been directed on the camp by the aerial footage.

As I suggested before, perhaps Iran, the mortar manufacturers and the whoever trained these soldiers should be sued first.

"Even if they did blank out the areas where we are based it is a bit after the horse has bolted as the terrorist now have the maps and know exactly where we eat, sleep and go to the toilet," one soldier said.

How about you move things around every now and then to keep them guessing? The insurgents have learnt to be evasive, perhaps the British forces should learn it too.

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i for one was in Iraq back in 2003 for the invasion...........up until about a year ago, google earth showed our base to where you could see our vehicles and everything, so the images from google earth aren't the most accurate anyways, they are most of the time up to a few years old

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i for one was in Iraq back in 2003 for the invasion...........up until about a year ago, google earth showed our base to where you could see our vehicles and everything, so the images from google earth aren't the most accurate anyways, they are most of the time up to a few years old

yep up to 2 years max but the brits eem to have lost the skill to change their camp layout every 6 months like you should ...

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Does kinda seem like a rookie mistake to make, especially since they employ Iraqi's to work on base with the troops. Plus, who would have thought that an invading army was at a disadvantage compared to the locals when it came to knowing ones back yard...?

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