Photo: Reuters
Google Earth initially featured low-resolution photos of Israel
Photo: Reuters

Google ‘spying’ on IDF

Google Earth now offering detailed photos of sensitive military facilities in Israel

Photos of IDF bases and top secret IAF facilities have recently become available to the public courtesy of Google’s satellite imagery service, Google Earth.


Google Earth, launched a year ago, initially featured low-resolution photos of Israel. Lately, however, the company improved the resolution of those satellite images, and last Friday they succeeded in matching the images’ standards to those of all other Google photos.


This allows users to see detailed aerial photos of IAF bases and the top-secret power station located near the southern city of Ashkelon.


The current resolution is two meters per pixel and it allows for a detailed view of the ground.



Israeli internet users demanded better resolution


For security reasons and in accordance with an agreement Israeli has with US-based companies that provide satellite imagery, images of Israel with resolution higher than 2 meters per pixel are barred from sale.


In addition, in 1996 Congress approved a law stating that US commercial companies must apply for a special permit before selling such high-resolution images of Israel.


In other words, if up until now Google had treated Israel differently, now it is treated with the same standards Google applies to other countries. However, Google does not feature images of the nuclear facility in the Negev desert.


Immediately following the launch of Google Earth last year, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other world leaders complained that this service was a risk to their nations’ security.


Nevertheless, in the past several months, Israeli internet users demanded that Google improve the resolution of the Israeli images.


פרסום ראשון: 06.11.06, 16:45
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